As I write this letter to you on what is the first day of a new year, I find myself reflecting on the challenges we have all faced in 2020. There is no doubt that they have been many and various but as always the WI has risen to them and found ways and means of looking out for each other, supporting each other, staying in touch with each other and continuing to deliver the WI to your members in whatever format worked for your communities. Of course, it hasn’t all been bad, just think of the progress so many of us have made grappling with new technology and we have perhaps come to realise even more the precious value of our families, friends and the environment, and just how important a simple hug can be!
Although as I write we are all currently in Tier 4 with its many limitations we are moving closer to receiving the precious vaccine and a feeling that some sort of normality will resume this year. I was thrilled to hear over Christmas that the ‘Oxford’ vaccine had been approved for use – what a fantastic achievement for the tireless scientists who have worked so hard towards this end. I can’t mention the scientists without also adding our gratitude and thanks to all the wonderful NHS staff and key workers who have helped us this far, they are all heroes.
I am looking forward to 2021 with great optimism and I am sure you are too. It will be wonderful to get together again and for us all to be doing what we do best, being together in person. It may still be a few months away but it is coming.
For now, I send you all my very best wishes for a very Happy and successful New Year. We will definitely meet again soon.
Oxfordshire WI Chairman