Pakefield Church’s Mothers’ Union meets from 2.00 – 3.30pm in the Church Hall on the third Thursday of each month. They are a friendly group of ladies (although men may also join). Some of them run the monthly Teddy Edward Club in church for babies and pre-school children and their parents. They also host and lead the Living for Life course that we run as part of our marriage preparation course. And two of them are the Diocesan organisers of AFIA (Away From It All) holidays for families who need a break but who can’t afford it.
Sue took the service at our May meeting with thoughts of member Beryl Bird who died recently and a theme of ‘helping others’. Anne then enrolled Lilian into membership – welcome!
It’s not often we have dogs at our meeting, not one but two – Barley and Jacob, guide dogs to Jayne and Georgina with their volunteer helper, Julie, who began by explaining how she joined a local branch of volunteers. Blindness is a form of captivity and volunteers can help in so many ways – for example, with e-mails, driving as Julie did to the church hall, helping to raise funds and much more. Volunteers also train for guiding children with blind parents.
Georgina explained how going blind was an overwhelming experience and how having a guide dog changed her life. Jayne told of her experience with Barley and previous dogs which are, she explained, a lifeline to independence and also become their best friend. Barley is quite wilful said Jayne and demonstrated how, in the early days of being together, she had to use a stern voice when Barley kept nipping onto Jayne’s bed instead of her own, at which point Jacob woke up with a start and looked around hoping it wasn’t him in trouble!
Jayne further explained how a puppy of six weeks goes to puppy walkers to house train, getting used to traffic, visiting cafes and restaurants, to come back on a whistle and so on. Formal training takes place at 14 months with advanced training 16-18 months. Finally, it is the turn of potential owners. Georgina and Jayne met when they were training with their dogs staying in an hotel for two and a half weeks. Some dogs fail at the puppy walking or training stages but they are always found loving homes Dogs welfare and food are expensive items, especially if blindness prevents someone earning a living, and the Guide Dogs charity pays vet’s fees and food. The charity is dependent on donations to train dogs, pay staff and so much more and members gladly raised funds for this vital charity.
Anne thanked our visitors for kindly coming to speak to members and handed over our donation. The dogs didn’t miss out, they had lots of attention from members!
There is no meeting in June but it is our annual outing to Ely Cathedral Flower Festival.
The coffee morning has been postponed from 21st July to 1st September. More on that later.
July 19th Is our strawberry tea.