WI members join Anglian Home Improvements for 2015 Denman Day

1st July 2015

Around 100 WI members assembled at Denman – the WI’s educational college – on Wednesday 24th June for an informative and engaging day with Anglian Home Improvements, entitled ‘A window on your home’.

A packed schedule of educational talks, useful tips and entertaining activities kept the ladies busy all day, with topics ranging from energy efficiency in the home to keeping indoor plants healthy all year round.

Anglian opened the day with an enlightening session on understanding energy ratings in the home, explaining how the system works in general and what the labels mean in terms of energy consumption. This prompted plenty of questions from the WI members who were keen to learn more about energy efficiency.

Guest speaker John Mitchison from TPS Assured delivered an absorbing talk about consumer rights on the phone, giving tips on how to report nuisance calls and highlighting when not to respond at all, such as in the case of spam text messages. He said that over 21million numbers are now registered with the Telephone Preference Service and encouraged the visitors to sign up free of charge if they have not done so already.

Next was a talk from Anglian Home Improvements on the company’s Code of Conduct and having salesmen in the home. Anglian distributed ‘No Cold Calling’ stickers to all the ladies present, encouraging them to display these in their window if they would prefer not to be disturbed by foot canvassers.

David Domoney with 2 WI members at Denman day

TV gardener David Domoney gave an entertaining and informative talk on keeping plants healthy in the home all year round. He provided tips on where to place them and how to keep them looking their best, explaining that central heating and draughts were Britain’s biggest killers of plants, along with overwatering. He also provided useful tips for outdoor plants, including how to keep garden roses nourished and how to deter garden pests such as squirrels and slugs from damaging plants.

After a delicious buffet lunch, the ladies returned to learn about the truth behind triple glazing. The speaker from Anglian Home Improvements explained that rather than being a universal solution, triple glazing should really only be fitted in the places where it’s needed, such as in north-facing rooms that rarely get any sunlight.

The next guest speaker was Alfie Hosker from the official UK Police flagship initiative, Secured by Design, which supports the principles of 'designing out crime' through physical security and processes. A former police officer, he gave the guests an in-depth insight into security features in the home, advising on what to look for when choosing products and how to make homes more secure.

David Domoney rounded up the day’s presentations with a talk on some of his TV garden makeover projects, as well as an overview of the planning and execution of his show gardens for the RHS. This was followed by an opportunity for two of the WI members to take part in a ‘galloping gardening’ competition, where they were presented with compost, plants and a range of everyday containers – including a cookie jar, saucepan, lampshade and vases – and given three minutes to show their creativity and plant up as many as they could. The ladies did extremely well and David announced the result as a draw, giving each of the ladies a bottle of Champagne for taking part.

A free prize draw at the end of the event saw three lucky WI members go away with a pair of tickets to the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, where Anglian will be unveiling its new Laura Ashley Decorative Glass Collection as well as exhibiting a stunning timber orangery. Meanwhile, all the visitors were given a goody bag and a beautiful hydrangea plant as they left, courtesy of Anglian Home Improvements.

Melanie McDonald, Head of PR & Brand Marketing at Anglian Home Improvements, said, “It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and a lovely opportunity to meet so many WI members, from so many different Federations across the country. We’ve been working with the WI for some time now and were delighted to be able to hold this event at Denman in the WI’s centenary year. We’ve already had lots of very positive feedback on the day and are very much looking forward to continuing working with the WI in the future on a range of interesting events and activities.”


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