The Online Annual Meeting 2020

Well, ladies, our 2020 Annual Meeting was meant to take place in April 2020, but in March 2020 the world had different priorities.  As did Cam City WI - we have had 8 months of learning to run our WI online via Zoom, and making the very best of a strange situation.

But, business has to be done and our committee discussed the requirement to hold an AM for 2020. 


We decided we would deliver the business remotely, and carry out necessary processes by email and via online form submissions.  Just imagine this is all being delivered to you face-to-face ( we hope you do take the time to really read through the reports).


Here you will find:

  • The 2019 Treasurer's Report

  • The Secretary's Committee Report 

  • The President's Address

  • The new committee line up for 2020/2021 

  • The Result of the President Nomination Process...

Just as a reminder:

  • the AM would usually be carried out during the course of a physical meeting - with each of these reports being presented;

  • the presentations would be followed by a new committee forming;

  • then all Members would then be asked to anonymously nominate a President from within the membership of the new committee;  

  • next, any of the nominated committee members would be free to accept or decline their nomination;

  • If just one nominated member accepts their nomination then they become President, but If more than one nominated member accepts their nomination, then the entire membership is asked to vote for the next President.



The 2019 Treasurer's Report

Our most excellent Treasurer, Tracy S, has put together our 2019 reports. 


Our financial year runs from 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2019.

She took some time to give us a high level summary that gives us some direction and explanation of: our current status (the fact that we are close to the end of the 2020 financial year!); and for the future of our finances, which takes into account the fact that we are now getting close to the beginning of the 2021 year.  

We have been an a fantastic position financially which has allowed us to give bursaries in 2019, run meetings with higher costs, buy-in resources for members to use and to transfer fundraised monies to Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre (CRCC).  Tracy has done an excellent job to work through our accounts and bring them bang up-t0-date.  No small feat.

What is now clear is that we have been spending more than we have been bringing in, in income.  This means that even though there is 'money in the bank', that we are running with a budget deficit. 


The new committee will be looking for ways to ensure that we can:

  • increase our income - through fundraising and by increasing the number of members and encouraging your renewals for 2021/2022 in April 2021.

  • reduce our outgoings with some spending efficiency - with enough lead time, we could ask members to source materials we will need for practical meetings.  We can also ask members to lead meetings and share their knowledge and skills.

Here are the official documents for your review.

The Treasurer's Report 2019 AND The official  Cam City WI Financial Statement

The 2019/2020 Secretary's Committee Report

Our most amazing Secretary, Helen L has prepared this year's report and illustrated it with her now infamous Picture Presentation! 

Cam City WI Committee Report 
April 2019 - March 2020

Our Year

April 2019: Annual Meeting  

It’s Business Time! We voted in Mel as our President and welcomed new faces to the committee. We also voted on the two resolutions, “Don’t Fear the Smear” (unanimously passed) and “A call against the decline in local bus services” (majority passed). 
Walking club went on a circular walk around Horningsea, finishing with a charity BBQ and pub quiz at the Crown and Punchbowl (which we won).  

May 2020: Salsa Dancing

A taste of Cuban Salsa moves with the awesome Randy from More Than Salsa. As Mel said “if we had tail feathers we woulda shaken them!” 
June 2019: Modern Calligraphy Taster with Danielle Lummis

33 members got a taste of ‘drills’, strokes and elements and beginning to write a lower case alphabet. It was a lovely creative evening and we all took away ink pots and pen nibs to practice at home. 
Walking club went on a walk around the Cambourne Nature Reserve, climbing up Crow Hill for the 360° view. We finished at my house with tea and cakes. 
July 2019: Getting Seriouzzzzzly Quizzical 

Your committee members Tracy, Jane and Mel, created a fab quiz to test our brain cells, creativity and taste buds. Tracy even made us glass victory trophies for the winning team. 

August 2019: Summer Social Bat Safari Punt Tour

We joined the Wildlife Trust for a punting safari at dusk, exploring the Granta down to Granchester Meadows. Chauffeured by Scudamore’s, a Wildlife Trust expert helped us to detect the bats flying above our heads with specialist electronic bat detectors. We learnt how to distinguish between different bat species flying close to our punts. It was a truly magical evening.  
September 2019: Tasty Experiments - Food Science with Martin Blake

We welcomed back the very funny and knowledgeable Martin Blake for a session on Tasty Experiments. We got very messy trying out ‘kaleidoscope milk’, ‘Sugar Water Rainbows’ and ‘Ice Cream in a Bag’ with a coke and mint explosion finale.  
October 2019: Spooky Crafts and Pumpkin Carving Demo

Our very own member Kim introduced us to 2D and 3D Pumpkin carving techniques. We also made spooky monsters and ghost bunting. As it was also our 7th Birthday our lovely member Liz made us a huge Rocky Road celebration cake.

Also in October:

  • a small group joined Danielle Lummis at her lovely home for another session of Calligraphy.  

  • Walking club did a wet and muddy but extremely satisfying walk from Dry Drayton finishing with a very fine roast at the Black Horse pub. 

November 2019: The Lady Cheese Monger - Talk and Tasting

The wonderful Suzannah Watson of Humclosen joined us for a very tasty talk. She provided us with a fabulous range of artisan cheeses made by women and the history of lady cheesemakers along the way. Still one of my favourite meetings. 
December 2019: The Silent Disco Reprise.

We lit up the café with decorations, filled the tables with food and had a great time again in our sweaty headphones. Dancing (and caterwauling) Queens! 

Also in December:

  • we held a stall at the Mill Road Winter Fair. We prepped for months at home and at our Craft Club pub sessions, making gorgeous stock items. All the hard work more than paid off as we raised an incredible £448.50! It was a lovely day selling our wares and raising awareness of our WI and CRCC. 

February 2020: Poison and Powder

An informal and fun talk, looking at cosmetics through the ages with Michelle Bullivant. From the Ancient Egyptians to the modern day, we learnt about beauty trends across the ages, many of which are still relevant today.  

March 2020: Celebrating women in STEM International Women's Day Quiz

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances our planned speaker could not attend. So we extended our International Women’s Day Quiz and learnt about inspirational women past and present. 


The 2019 Bursaries

In honour of our 7th Birthday we had 7 bursaries up for grabs for our members. As only seven members applied, we luckily didn’t need a 'selection process'.


Maeva V, Mary H, Ruth B, Bronwyn R, Lorraine A, Sarah N and I, all received a bursary up to £100. ALL of their full reports and photos are available to see on our website too!


  • Mary went to the Lodge Flower and Craft school, a beautiful location in Hemingford Grey, for a glass fusing workshop. At the end of an enjoyable day, she had created two beautiful designs. 

  • Lorraine went to Backstitch for two courses. The first, Machine Basics “was great for beginners” and helped her create a lovely cushion cover. The second, Introduction to Machine Applique, used scraps of material to create a very cute cat motif.

  • I myself went to Adam Frost’s Garden School at his home outside Stamford. It was a winter gardening class going through all the jobs you can be doing at that time of year. Most importantly I made friends with his cats Willow and Ash. It was the perfect day for a Gardeners World fangirl like me!

  • Ruth B and Bronwyn used their bursary to pay towards a Modern Cakes course at Denman with the amazing Kelly Mauger (off of Bake Off Professionals). They spent a weekend creating rainbow layered sponges with ice-cream drip decoration, chocolate mirror glazed cakes and Mojito curd. With a car full of cake they headed back to Cambridge and Ruth has tried the recipes again at home with great success!

  • Sarah Nelson spent hers on a yearly subscription to Artful, a quarterly craft box full of new techniques to try. So far she’s experimented with lino printing. 

  • Maeva did an Introduction to Silversmithing course. 

Book Club
What a busy reading year; Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine trilogy books, Kate Atkinson’s time loop Life after Life, Margaret Atwood’s dystopian sequel The Testaments, Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus, David Sedaris’s anthology Me Talk Pretty One Day and Pat Baker’s historical retelling Silence of the Girls.  

Film Club
We reclined our way through Everybody’s Talking About Jamie The Musical, Margaret Atwood Live, Last Christmas, Bombshell and Kinky Boots The Musical. 

Special mentions
Our fab Walking Club organisers Bronwyn and Lisa C and our Book Club leader Sarah Nelson. Thank you for all you do!

Also thank you from me, to our committee who have kept our WI going and built a fabulous programme of activities over this past year. 

President's Address 2019/2020 by Melanie Reed

'To all our lovely Members,

I write this President’s Address at a time much later than anticipated.  I’m writing it after a time of much change for all of us and I am considering how we can keep looking forward to times that will remain ‘changed’ for the foreseeable future.

It’s my job in this President’s Address to look back at the fantastic year we had from April 2019 – March 2020.  I can’t even say March 2020 without my head being filled with the changes we have made since then.  But the main thing I want to say about the year we are celebrating, is that NONE of it would have been possible without you the members, and most especially the work of your committee. 

We gained an absolute gem of a Treasurer in Tracy, who has worked extremely hard to shine a real light on our finances, configure them into the required state and educate the rest of the committee about spending and budgeting on a regular basis.  With her consultation and organisation, I am confident that Cam City WI will move forward with a clear understanding of our budget and how our WI can run within our means.  She has been a pillar to help us keep up with fundraising for charity and for our own activities.  She has given us her time as a very busy woman with an independent business, who is also undertaking further education at the same time.  I want to thank her for being a most amazing member. Thank you, Tracy.

We retained the most fun Secretary, Helen L, taking on the Membership admin and leading and recording all our Committee Meeting activity, always willing to get her hands dirty (especially as she is also now leading our Garden Club!).  She is another pillar of our WI, dedicating some of her precious spare time outside of her demanding day job do this particular and important role for us. Thank you, Helen.

The passionate Sarah C, has developed her Campaigns Lead role further than just our WI too, becoming a Climate Ambassador in the region - educating herself and us on the continuing progress of National WI campaigns.  There is much we can do in this area as a WI and I have hope that she will help our members find a fire in their bellies about a particular campaign to work on going forward.  Thank you, Sarah.

Our programme would not have been so awesome without the input, ideas and support that have come from Sharon, Liz C and Jane.  All the best committees are made up of those who come along with a voice, a pair of hands, and a way to help the group generate ideas – these ladies always look in to how we can make those ideas part of our WI programme. Thank you, Sharon, Liz and Jane.

My time and the things I do for our WI remain unchanged – I LOVE what I do to contribute – I love the communications role, maintaining the website, being part of the programme setting and getting to see you all during the meetings.  During our physical meetings I find my happy place, being able to get to know you and what you want and love about our group.  I consider many of you my close friends and am determined that our current Virtual format won’t be a barrier to getting to know you all even better and helping you make great connections, share your interests, and learn new things. 

This group is for you ALL, and you ALL deserve a space that you can feel part of and feel happy to BE a part of.

I write now, wondering to myself how you all feel about our WI since the enforced changes that have happened since March 2020 and how your lives have been affected.  I write now, feeling anxious about what I face in my personal life and how that may affect my ability to do all the things I LOVE doing for my WI.  I write now - with right now - no answers other than a promise to myself that I will continue to do my utmost to keep our group moving forward safely.  Any help that you feel you can give as a member, in the form of ideas, or joining as a member of the new committee or just keeping engaged with your WI friends will be perfect and will be enough.

Thank you for being a member of Cam City WI.

All my love.

Mel x'

Your confirmed Committee for 2020/2021

Your volunteer Committee members for 2020/2021 are:

  • Helen L

  • Jane H

  • Liz C

  • Maeva V

  • Mary H

  • Melanie R

  • Sarah C

  • Sharon M

  • Tracy S

There were three committee members nominated for President for 2020/2021 via an online form delivered by email to all members). 

The nominations were for Helen L, Jane H and Melanie R.


  • Melanie R was the ONLY nominated Committee Member to accept their nomination and will therefore continue as President of Cam City WI for 2020/2021. (This means no further voting from the membership is necessary!) 


Thank you for reading through it - it is appreciated.