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The rural, 2015 style

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By Fiona Reid
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The rural, 2015 style

EVERY month Jane and Freya Chalmers enjoy a night out together. But this mum and daughter duo aren’t heading to the cinema or the bingo, instead they are regulars at the Dunscore branch of the SWRI.

FOR ALL . . . left to right: mums and daughters Pauline and Abby Little and Freya and Jayne Chalmers are all active members of Dunscore SWI

Jane, 41, is secretary there and 13-year-old Freya is one of two younger members and is following in the footsteps of her older sister, Beth, who also used to attend with mum.
Jane said: “I went to the rural when I was 14 with my mum, then I got older, left home, had children and went back again. I’ve been a member at Dunscore for five or six years.”
She most enjoys the social aspect and said: “For me it’s about mixing with people that I would not mix with
generally. There’s such an age range of members, with the more mature heading up to their 80s and I just feel that you learn so much.
“There’s a misconception that it’s just for grannies.”
Explaining that it’s not just about sewing and baking, she explained: “We try to have a different speaker every month: this month we had a quiz and next there’s a lady demonstrating soap making. We also organise competitions every month for two items, either a make or bake.
“We go out once a session and have a Christmas party with a caterer.
“It’s not just jam and cakes.”
Jane would love to see more people her age and younger going along and is keen to spread the message.
“Some people do not want to make jam and do baking, but it’s not about that. Of course you can take it as seriously as you want, but it’s supposed to be fun,” she said.
Freya has been attending for three years and is enthusiastic about the group.
She said: “The best thing is meeting new people and getting do to the competitions every month. It challenges you to do something new.”
She particularly enjoys baking, with brownies her speciality, but has also learned other new skills, adding: “It’s a good organisation for young people. You can learn new skills and I enjoy the speakers, they are really good.”
Her mum agrees, saying: “It has given my daughter confidence, she has come on with going to the rural.
“She has learned new interests and it’s opening doors for her.”
Also keen to spread the word and get more people going along, Freya added: “It’s for all ages of women. I would like to keep going all my life. The message I would give to other girls my age is to come and have a go. Try it.”

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