Saddleworth WI rallies during Covid-19 outbreak

SADDLEWORTH Women’s Institute has pulled together in these challenging times to support each other and the community.

With their meetings and groups on hold, some members have dusted off their sewing machines and produced scrubs and bags for the NHS and local nursing homes.

Several members have also been knitting hearts for the ICU Oldham. Due to restricted hospital access, relatives are unable to stay with loved ones so instead they can stay connected through the hearts, with one in the patient’s hand and another held by their loved one.

Meanwhile, after successful fundraising last year, the WI has made donations to its nominated charities: Oldham Food Bank, Dr Kershaw’s Hospice, Maggie’s Oldham, Francis House Children’s Hospice and Blood Bikes Manchester.

To keep members connected and entertained during lockdown, they have embraced technology to communicate, including regular email newsletters containing useful information and a few tips and light-hearted items.

Their Facebook page has been busy, including a weekly Virtual Walk, a daily riddle and book reviews.

Some members have become pen pals to brighten each other’s days, while others are exchanging recipes.

And many threw ‘stay at home street parties’ to celebrate VE Day, decorating their houses, dressing in 1940s’ outfits and enjoying a socially distanced picnic in the garden.

• When possible, join Saddleworth WI on the first Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm at The White Hart, Lydgate. Visitors welcome, small fee of £3. For more information call 07763 028466 or visit

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