A couple of dictionary definitions of ‘charity’;
The voluntary giving of help, (typically in the form of money), to those in need.
Generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless.
Sowood WI members have supported, and continue to support a number of charitable causes, making a difference to our local community.
This year our fundraising will be to support the work of The forget me not children's hospice. Based in Huddersfield, the Forget Me Not Children's Hospice supports children with life-shortening conditions, their families and families living with the loss of their child across West Yorkshire.
In 2023 we raised an amazing £8,070 for Andy's Mans Club, a men's suicide prevention charity. Whilst the charity itself is focused on men's mental health issues, the impact of the illness can be devastating to the women around them.
In 2022 we chose to support the vital work that Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team undertakes in our local area. We donated an incredible £10,500, which will make a significant difference to the team.
In 2020 and 2021 (the "lockdown years") we raised an incredible total of £17,071 to support the activities of the Air Ambulance across Yorkshire.
In 2019 we raised in excess of £11,000 to support the vital work carried out by Overgate Hospice in Elland.
Our chosen charity for 2018 was Stainland Sports Association and we were able to raise £8,000 to support the local sports groups
Our chosen charity for 2017 was the Poppy Trail, an ambitious project to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our communities and to get people walking round this most lovely corner of our green and pleasant land.
We raised £9000 during 2017, and the project was completed for Remembrance Day, November 2018.
In 2016 we raised funds to buy and install 4 community defibrillators in Holywell Green, Stainland and Sowood. To support this initiative week have trained 120 of our members in the life saving skill of CPR. The training will continue for new members and with refreshers for those who want it.
4-6 members give their time monthly, to serve wonderful breakfasts at St Andrew’s Church Community Café, where their actions are helping to develop stronger community links and build new friendships. Why not call in with a friend, or perhaps to make a new friend, it runs from 9am –11.30am on the 3rd Monday of the month.
We have also had members knit/crochet ‘twiddlemuffs’ for local dementia sufferers, and hats and octopus’ for premature babies. Again, you our members are demonstrating the true meaning of charity, through your actions.
That is not all we do for charity, for example we also respond to requests from local community organisations for support at their events. So there is a lot going on!
Your generosity has provided much needed goods to the Food Bank and Women’s Refuge on a regular basis, and you, your friends and families have excelled themselves in the tremendous support for the Xmas appeal, donating so many toys, goodies, clothing, backpacks, that we needed to share them far more widely than anticipated. They were distributed across multiple refuges, plus a local homelessness charity, helping many of those who were in dire circumstances at that special, but for some very lonely and difficult time of the year.