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Reports from everywhere - July 1946

Welwyn Garden City WVS were called in by the SSAFA Secretary to help with clothing for a GI bride with a child of two, sailing at very short notice, whose husband had sent her no cash for expenses.

Kingsbridge RA, Devon, are in close touch with housing progress in their area, as three WVS members are on the Rural District Council and four are co-opted on the Housing and Public Health Committees.

Keynsham UD WVS, Somerset, have been running an infant welfare centre continuously since 1939, the administration in the hands of WVS, and doctors and district nurse acting in an advisory capacity.

Bristol WVS are taking a large part in the work of welfare clinics and the hospitals, are giving useful help and advice in rehabilitation cases, assisting with broadcasts on diphtheria immunisation, reading to the blind, minding children whilst their parents are out and preparing materials and teaching embroidery to the wounded in hospital.

Portsmouth CB WVS were asked by the Naval Welfare Department and by SSAFA to undertake all their accommodation problems, which has kept them very busy. The return of ships from the Far East has also meant that relatives from all parts of the country have been writing asking for WVS help in booking accommodation for them.

Burgess Hill’s 25 Dutch children are now back in Holland, and WVS are receiving glowing accounts from their parents of the change in the children and the benefits they have received from their stay in England. Firm friendships have been formed and warm invitations received for the hostesses and their children to visit Holland later on.

Bishops Stortford WVS have made 58 Hospital Car Service journeys during the month for regular treatment cases, and have also been driving at the request of the Herts County Medical Department. From their “mixed bag” of enquiries come the following : The vicar sought a convalescent home for one of his parishioners ; a dentist required rooms for his nurse receptionist ; and a grandmother asked for the loan of a cot as her grandchild was coming on a short visit.

Posted by Matthew McMurray, Royal Voluntary Service Archivist at 09:00 Monday, 20 July 2015.

Labels: Kingsbridge, Keynsham, Bristol, Portsmouth, Burgess Hill, Welwyn Garden City, Bishops Stortford, Hospital Car Service, Dutch children, SSAFA, naval welfare, Welfare Clinics, GI bride

Reports from everywhere - April 1945

A small group of rug-makers is meeting twice a week at Grimsby to make rugs for London homeless.

Kingsbridge have started the keeping of certificates for domestic poultry keepers, to obtain wire-netting.

Biggleswade salvage stewards collected 2,500 old ration books during December.

In 1944 a Bath member did 1,170 hours of hospital work, in addition to being a VCP driver, a mobile canteen driver, and a worker in a static Services Canteen.

At Tavistock a WVS member, refusing to be beaten by the weather, went out on a sledge and collected 450 articles for the Re-homing Gift Scheme.

Henley Services canteen recently served 20,714 hot beverages, 249 soft drinks and 21,685 sandwiches during one month.

During the last three years WVS as voluntary telephonists have done 10,000 hours of duty at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

WVS members at Smethwick have collected 8,400 stamped envelopes and note paper for the use of wounded soldiers when they arrive in hospital, to notify their relatives.

Two National Savings Centres in Islington, entirely staffed by WVS, have during the past three and two years exceeded the £500,000 and £75,000 marks respectively.

An evacuee train en route through Taunton was able to stop only for eight minutes, but WVS managed to get 630 cups of tea and over 900 buns and sandwiches on board, during those few minutes.

The Army Welfare Officer at Peterborough has asked WVS to operate a “Get you Home Scheme” so that men on leave from overseas who are stranded at the stations at night can be taken home by car.

One work party member at Battle, who very specially “mothered” the relays of men manning a searchlight near her home during the fly bomb attacks, now has an average of seven letters a week from her men now serving overseas.

The WVS Village - Representative at Offley recently received a letter of thanks and congratulations from the Regional Commissioner for the “ excellent services ” rendered by herself and helpers when a Rest Centre had to be opened after an explosion resulting from a collision between two motor vehicles.

Bridgewater Welcome Club are very proud of the mural paintings done by one of the American members. D-Day came before he could finish his picture of the main street of the town, which is left incomplete without the Welcome Club. The Club hope he will come back and put in the finishing touches. He, like so many other of his countrymen, will be sure of a grand welcome.

A large number of gifts from Plymouth for the Re-homing Gift Scheme have been received from people who had been bombed-out themselves and whose offerings entailed real sacrifice. One woman gave some things which she had been treasuring in memory of a sister who had been killed in a raid ; she felt she ought no longer to be sentimental and that the things should be used now to help others.

Ipswich have started a salvage “Something for Nothing Scheme” in which small gifts are exchanged for a certain weight of rags or bones. A bead necklace, for instance, can be “bought” for 56 lb of bones, a teapot for 28 lb of rags, a bicycle bell for 56 lb of paper, etc. The response has been so enormous that the prizes have had to be “put up". Recently, in the same borough, a six-feet pile of bones, which had been stewed down for the dogs, was discovered rotting near a dog racing track and immediately collected !