ANOTHER good attendance for the March meeting on 13th, with one new member joining us.

After getting the business of the month sorted out – mainly the changes to dates for the April, May, and June meetings due to bank holidays (see below), an upcoming photography exhibition for the Bath Festival, and arrangements for a social lunch on 13th April – we welcomed Lynn and Steve from the RSPB for an amazing run through of the ‘Antarctic adventure’ that Lynn went on in November/December 2021.

This was as the Covid restrictions were being lifted; you may remember that the Falklands were one of the few places we could travel to and, fortunately, Lynn’s trip was doing just that on one of the first expeditions into the Antarctic for about two years.

The talk, with some beautiful slides, covered the animals seen in the Antarctic, not just the birds – though they were magnificent enough.

Fascinating insights into the work that goes on to preserve this area included having to vacuum all their outdoor clothing to remove seeds and dirt, always returning to the ship for lunch in case of contamination and strictly adhering to routes once on the islands.

Chard & Ilminster News: Lynn from RSPB detailing her trip to AntarcticLynn from RSPB detailing her trip to Antarctic (Image: Contributed)

The ship and its passengers were the first humans that many of the animals and birds had ever seen as no visitors had been allowed for two years, so despite the (strictly adhered to) advice not to approach too near, many of the animals and birds, particularly the penguins, simply wandered up, inquisitive to know more about these strange, new, two-legged creatures.

Lynn took us through her trip with descriptions of the various wildlife encountered and details of the area’s history and how a few brave souls went for a swim in the freezing water.

The passengers were mainly Europeans with a few from the USA (including an astronaut who had been to the Space Station) and were mostly there to see the total eclipse of the sun.

All passengers were roused from their beds at 3am (this is the Antarctic summer so it was not dark), issued with protective glasses - and viewed a completely cloudy sky while slides of another total eclipse were shown to them.

We were part of the Chard Diversity day on Saturday 11th March, when Kate joined Cath and other staff from Sparks and CCSS on the stand.

As well as enjoying the truly diverse range of people and activities we also spoke to a number of carers and increased our knowledge of how different groups of people care for their loved ones.

As there are some upcoming bank holidays and of course the coronation, we have shifted the dates of the next few meetings.

April’s meeting will Monday 3rd April, followed by a meeting on Monday 24th April, and then Monday 15th May.

The June meeting will be back to normal on second Monday of the month, 12th June.

If you are an unpaid carer and would like to learn more about our group then contact Pat on 01460 220026 or Kate on 01460 394331, contact us at or find us on Facebook – Chard Carers Support Group.

Written by Chard Carers Support Group