Message from the National President – Josephine Helly
Dear fellow Member,
As we move to the next phase of these extraordinary times, it is more important than ever to maintain and share the activities that make the bonds among our ICA Guild members so strong.
At National level, we are committed to maintaining as much service as possible during this time, and both the ICA and An Grianán Facebook pages and websites continue to devise new ways to keep us in touch and active in our area of interest. Central office will have one staff member present each day to answer phone, email and other correspondence and to carry out normal office functions. Other staff will work from home and are in full contact with the office. Life goes on.
In An Grianán, while it is closed to the public, there is a programme of painting, maintenance and upgrading being carried out – all fully observing social distancing and safety protocols. An Grianán is determined to show its best when it is reopened.
The National Executive Board held its first meeting through teleconference last Friday evening and plans to meet again in this way on Friday 3rd April. We were surprised how quickly we adapted to meeting this way and will continue to improve as we get more experience. The Governance and Business side of ICA will continue to be dealt with by the NEB during this crisis, and we will be ready to resume all activities when the all-clear is given and life returns to normal. The teleconference facility in Central Office is also available to Regions and Federations wishing to meet in this way.
Technology is a key to maintaining personal communication and contact also– be it the humble telephone or the more advanced use of Skype, WhatsApp or Zoom (this is a great way for a number of people to ‘meet on screen’ together if you have access to good broadband).
The current weather is cooperating with anyone whose interest is gardening or produce so I hope you are making the most of it.
Handcraft kits should be taken out and a start made on a new project. New recipes should be tried out. Letters should be written to friends. Paintings begun and new songs learned. It is important for all our mental health to continue with these activities that provide such pleasure to each of us at an individual level.
At family, community and Guild level it is also important to maintain our spoken and email contact with each other. I am sure our ICA members don’t lack any creativity in keeping these links strong as we get through this crisis together.
I urge you all to stay healthy and safe, but also to stay active and enjoy your personal interest – even share it through photographs and messages to each other. Participate in the virtual competitions via website or Facebook pages. Overall, stay positive and in touch.
I am now off to my craft room to have fun while I self-isolate. I haven’t had such an opportunity since I became National President and I’m finding it to be great fun. We are a resilient lot, and we have all been through problems before and weathered the storms, remember every cloud definitely has a silver lining, now go and find yours!
Yours in fellowship and friendship,