International Women’s Day was an appropriate day for the annual meeting of the Lancashire Federation of Women’s Institutes.
In addition to a programme of inspiring speakers, there was also the presentation of awards at the event in Southport.
One of the top awards, the Standfast Trophy, is awarded annually to a member who has served her community well.
Unbeknown to her, Ribby-with-Wrea WI had nominated one of their members, Frances King, and they were delighted when she was chosen.
Frances nursed for 45 years and on retirement she continued to use her skills to help others.
After hearing a talk about Mercy Ships, she was inspired to serve on the ships, volunteering three times, going to Ghana, Liberia and Togo.
She worked both on and off the ship in sometimes dangerous conditions, preparing people for operations who had often walked many miles for treatment.
Frances then volunteered with “The Jubilee Sailing Trust” on a scheme to integrate able bodied and disabled people through Tall Ship sailing. Frances was buddied up to a disabled young man and her help enabled him to experience a week’s sailing on a Tall ship.
Frances was entirely self-funded in these ventures and has given more than 200 talks which have raised over £58,000 and taken her from Northumberland to Oxfordshire
In addition to those causes, Frances has helped people at a local level, by visiting the sick and housebound of her church and helping with basic nursing skills.
We in the WI are very proud of her.
by Kristine Murray