DOVESTONE Women’s Institute’s popular Christmas Markets may not be going ahead this year but the community-minded ladies are still bringing festive cheer with a new plan.
The creative group have come up with three ideas to capture some Christmas spirit: an advent calendar style online event, ‘Gift A Gift’ to help foodbanks, and delivery by their WI elves.
Jess Moreland, Dovestone WI president, explained: “I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you that this year Dovestone WI’s Christmas Markets are not going ahead.
“After much discussion with our committee and members, this decision is as heart-breaking for us as it is for all involved.
“However, all is not lost! We are looking at not one, not two but three ways to make some magic happen.
“Firstly, in a bid to support local businesses and traders, provide community involvement, and capture some Christmas spirit, we are launching an Advent Calendar style online event all through November.
“We will be showcasing up to three stall holders a day on our Facebook page and website. This will mean all the people that would normally sell their products at our market at least have the opportunity to sell their wares online.
“It will consist of images and pictures of their stock being uploaded online along with contact details or links to their own website or Facebook page.
“This will be a fabulous way of supporting your local businesses, traders and artisans while getting some beautiful, unusual and individual gifts.
“If you are a local trader or know of anyone that would like to take part, please message Dovestone WI on Facebook for details.
“Secondly, while we continue to make fabric face masks, we wanted to incorporate the work we’re already doing with local foodbanks.
“We would like to ask this awesome community to step up once again to ‘Give a Gift’ – if you could pop a little extra in your trolley while shopping, any little gesture is going to be hugely appreciated.
“We will then work in collaboration with the foodbanks to ensure each of the families get a gift.
“A drop off point has been set up and is open at the Civic Hall on Lees Street in Uppermill from Monday to Friday 10am-2pm and Saturday 8am-12noon throughout October and November.
“And last, but by no means least, it wouldn’t be Christmas without the Dovestone WI Elves!
“Our Elves will set up Santa’s Workshop where all the donated gifts will be sorted, wrapped, labelled and sent to local foodbanks around the area in time for Christmas.
“We know this year Christmas is going to be unusual but let’s all work together and help to make it the very best it possibly can be.”Dovestone WI’s ‘Fabric into Food’ initiative continues and since May has raised £8,000 in donations for face coverings, with the money used to buy food to donate to foodbanks for families and vulnerable people who are struggling financially.
The cotton face coverings, in both adult and children sizes, are available at local shops for a minimum £2 donation:
• Delph: Little Owl Farm Shop;
Delph Chippy; Saddleworth
Craft & Co.
• Diggle: Saddleworth Country
Store; Diggle Lock Cafe;
• Greenfield: Station Brew;
Well-I-Hole Farm Shop.
• Uppermill: Reclamation Rooms;
Gift for all Seasons;
Weaver & Wilde Cafe.
Meanwhile, Dovestone WI’s fundraising Ice and Fire Ball to celebrate their first birthday has been moved to Friday, October 22, 2021 instead of this year.
Your bookings can be held for the new date but if that is not convenient, please contact Dovestone WI for a refund.
Even though Dovestone WI has just celebrated its first birthday, the institute marked 105 years on September 16.
The Women’s Institute played an active part in two World Wars and now in a pandemic, supporting their local communities.
The WI has always been so much more than ‘Jam and Jerusalem’ and has a rich history as a powerful force for change both locally and nationally.
Dovestone WI are currently meeting on Zoom on the third Tuesday of the month, starting at 7.30pm.
Visit their website www.dovestonewi.com and Facebook page for planned speakers and activities.