President Jean Renton welcomed everyone to the February meeting and thanked Janet Arrand for standing in as secretary in the place of Angela Browne who was recovering from a recent operation and making good progress. The recent coffee morning had gone very well, with lots of people braving the heavy rain to come along; it had been a very friendly social occasion, all the stalls had done well and the event had raised over £350 for WI funds. Reminders were given of the Lincolnshire north federation’s annual meeting at Skegness on March 9 and of the Cliffside group meeting on Monday, April 11. Other business included a request for volunteers to steward in the WI tent at Lincolnshire show on June 22 and 23. Stuart Gibbon, a former police officer in the met and later in Lincolnshire – part of whose service had been as a DCI was the guest speaker whose theme was Staying Safe, the aim being to give advice and reassurance. He showed two short films, the first on security in the home – making sure windows and outside doors were locked when going out, including locking the front door when busy in the back garden, marking valuable electrical goods with an ultraviolet pen (available from the police), dealing with rogue traders, avoiding being the victim of a postal, phone or email scammer and never ever revealing your pin number or handing over your bank card to any caller, however “genuine” he or she may appear.
The second film contained a number simple practical measures to take when away from home – for example never leaving a purse, wallet or keys lying about near the top of an open handbag, or visible in a trouser or jacket pocket, or near the cash desk when packing shopping; bells on a purse or keys would make anyone think twice before trying to pinch it. Stuart also advised shielding a cash point key pad with your hand and so preventing anyone trying to see it, or snap it by phone camera. Other useful tips are to make sure your mobile phone is kept charged, your torch is working and that you have enough petrol in the car, particularly if travelling at night – all obvious precautions, but ones which are so often forgotten. Some people might also like to carry a small personal alarm which are not expensive to buy. Stuart Gibbon stressed that Lincolnshire was one of the safest areas in the country.
The next meeting of Scotton district WI is their annual meeting on Thursday, March 10, when elections for the 2015-6 committee will take place and the 2015-6 president elected from their number.