Express & Star

Trysull & Seisdon WI ladies have fun with sign language

Mary Westwood and Barbara Morris were presented with certificates and badges as long-standing members of the WI

President Jo Johns welcomed us all to the May meeting before handing us over to Judy Fryer who announced the winners of the Grand National sweepstake last month; Pauline Hough won first prize of £20, followed by Pam Fellows who won £10, and Ann Wilcox was third winning £4.

Other events to look forward to are a Bring and Share Garden Party at Joan Burton's on Thursday, August 8 and an indoor car boot/tabletop sale on September 28.

Sandy and Babs are continuing to collect aid for Ukraine and brought an updated list of medication, toiletries etc. for members to see. Finally, before introducing our speaker for the evening, Jo presented Mary Westwood and Barbara Morris with certificates and badges as long-standing members of the WI.

We were then entertained by Glynis Myles and Maggie who had come to introduce us to sign language. Glynis started working with adults with learning disabilities 30 years ago and learnt Makaton, a form of sign language used with speech, which helps them to communicate. BSL is similar but used for people who are hard of hearing or completely deaf. She explained how important it is to speak a bit slower, avoid background noise which can be painful for those wearing hearing aids and to use your body and facial expressions.

Covid, when everyone wore masks, was a difficult time for people who relied on lip reading to help them communicate. Signing can make a big difference to stroke victims and is even used with babies. Glynis has formed a sing and sign choir with 500 members who perform annually at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham at The Big Sing.

We then had a bit of fun learning to sign to You Are My Sunshine. Glynis was a very good teacher and explained that we only need verbs and nouns to make ourselves understood. We had such a good time that we did an encore of Sweet Caroline! It was a very informative and entertaining talk, and we all felt we had a better understanding of what it is like to be unable to communicate with others.

After refreshments, Glynis judged the competition for the best Victoria sponge. The winner was Mary Stanley, Joan Burton came second, and Dot Sanders was third.

The next meeting is on Thursday, June 13 and our speaker is John Homer talking about everything Black Country. The competition is a limerick beginning with the words "I once knew a Black Country bloke..." So come along to the Village Hall, Trysull and join in the fun. We are always pleased to welcome visitors and new members.

By Diane Birks - Contributor

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