Some of the Woy Woy CWA members with president Jane Bowtell (in pants centre).
Some of the Woy Woy CWA members with president Jane Bowtell (in pants centre).

Recipe for morale boost from CWA

SELF-ISOLATION can be tough but self-isolation without snacks is even tougher.

That's the thinking behind Woy Woy CWA's Facebook page Recipe of the Week - just one of the ways branch president Jane Bowtell is keeping up morale in lieu of meetings.

She is also urging the entire community to stay in touch and support each other, with even a simple phone call "going a long way".

"It's exhausting," Jane said of the coronavirus-related restrictions that have left members feeling a little lost without their weekly get-togethers and fundraising activities.

"I think everyone is feeling the same - a sense of loss, that there's no urgency to what we are doing and questioning our purpose because for most of us the CWA is such a big part of our lives."

The Woy Woy branch has an 88-year history and last year was the second-fastest growing branch in NSW, with a membership of just under 50 women from 30-92 years old, and more than 1000 followers on Facebook.

Members are currently keeping in touch through a "phone tree", as well as Facebook, and Jane welcomed anyone to contact them if they needed help or just a chat.

The group is involved in a slew of activities, including most recently making about 700 cooling neck ties, containing water-soaked crystals, to help local firies combat the immense heat when in the field.

They are also running a Pulling Our Socks Up For The Firies campaign with Central Coast Disaster Relief to provide all Coast firies with fire-rated socks.

At time of writing they had raised more than $7500 towards their $20,000 goal, including a $600 cheque from Terrigal Inner Wheel.

But Jane said the group had been hit hard by a large number of the events that it normally supports and others from which it would gain revenue, including hall hire, being cancelled due to coronavirus.

"We gave away about $9000 last year to charities and community organisations, and we just won't be able to do that this year," she said.

"If people have ideas about how to help everyone get through this … maybe there are some seniors who have lived through really tough situations and can tell us, 'this is what we used to do', we'd love to hear from them."

Jane's weekly Recipes of the Week are based around pantries not at their fullest, and she encourages us rather than halving ingredients to share our cooking with a neighbour.

The group normally meets at 9.30am each Wednesday for craft and chat, and at 10am on the fourth Wednesday for the monthly meeting.

For more information, get in touch through Facebook at or phone Jane on 0411 434 785.

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