July’s Meeting – The Arts with Carrie Reichardt

We are super excited to announce that our speaker for July is going to be Carrie Reichardt! Carrie is a local contemporary artist working in mosaic, ceramics and graphic design and she’ll be talking to us about her work and her inspiration. She describes herself as a renegade potter and is part of the craftivist movement, using her art for activism and protest.

Carrie’s someone we learnt about after walking past her absolutely amazing house down by Acton Green Common – you may recognise it from the photos!

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West Ealing WI Bake Off

Our theme for this month is traybakes. Whether it’s a classic flapjack, the fabulous sounding custard cream blondies or the crunchy blueberry almond bar  the traybake should be big on flavour and short on faff. Our bake off is non-competitve and purely about sharing the joy of cake. If you bring the receipts for your ingredients along, our lovely treasurer Emma can reimburse you.

Women’s Refuge Donations

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West Ealing WI has chosen the Ealing women’s refuge as our charity of 2017. Each month we will be collecting items for donation at the main meeting. Women and children at the refuge have often left home with nothing, and desperately need practical items and little luxuries. This month we are asking for cleaning products. Although we’ve got some electricals in the photo above please don’t donate anything unless it’s absolutely brand new – anything secondhand needs to be PAT tested to ensure it is safe to use and we don’t have the capacity to set this up, we were just very lucky that someone had these lying around to share. What we are looking for is washing up liquid, kitchen and bathroom spray cleaners, furinture polish, dusters, sponges and scourers, that sort of thing! Anything you can give us will be greatly appreciated.

Brentford Festival on Sunday 3rd September

As many of you will be aware WEWI was very disappointed that we were unable to attend Hanwell Carnival. Fortunately we’ve found another fund raising and cake flogging opportunity and are going to be in Blondin Park for the Brentford Festival on Sunday 3rd September.

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To make this event a success we’re looking for donations of cakes, volunteers to help run the stall, and maybe some people to ferry the cakes to the site. Our important cake rules for the day are:
* Pre-sliced if possible – we sell everything for £1 a slice and like to err on the generous side so people feel they’re getting good value
* No fresh cream or anything that needs to be refrigerated
* If you save your receipts we can reimburse you for you ingredients

We’ll have a sign up sheet for cakes and voluteers at the July and August meetings, or you can register your interest by emailing westealingwi@gmail.com.

We’re also going to be running a tombola and would greatly appreciate any prizes you can donate! You can bring these to the meeting tomorrow or on Tuesday 22nd August. Any money we raise from the day is going to go towards helping the women’s refuge – it looks like there are a few decorating and gardening projects we can get involved with which will help create a more pleasant and welcoming space.

Middlesex Newsletter and Facebook Page

The WI is more than just West Ealing. All of the WIs in our area are a part of Middlesex Federation, which runs events, trips, and charitable and educational activites for the group. You can keep up to date with what’s available via their Facebook page, and see what other WIs are up to in the monthly Middlesex News – June’s edition available here! West Ealing WI have been a bit slack in keeping Middlrsex informed of what we’re doing, so if anyone was interested in writing some updates for us we’d greatly appreciate it! Either drop an email to the usual address or grab one of the committee members (anyone with a purple lanyard) at the main meeting.

Memebrs have also expressed an interest in learning some new craft skills and Middlesex Federation runs a number of dabble days where you can try new crafts for a small fee. These are usually based at the county office on the Green in West Drayton and a list of all upcoming events is in Middlesex News. If you do join the Facbook group, Lorraine who runs the events and is Middlesex’s Craft Guru usually sends everyone an event invitation for upcoming courses to keep you up to date with what’s available.

2017 Annual Meeting & Resolutions

On Wednesday 7th June WI members from across the country descended on Liverpool for our Annual Meeting. This year former president Lorna attended on behalf of West Ealing WI and a few other groups from Middlesex Federation, and this is her report.

2017 Annual Meeting

WIAM2017-0Filling up the Liverpool Echo Arena.

The meeting opened with the usual rousing Jerusalem and a welcome from the Mayor of Liverpool. Janice Langley emphasised her commitment to reducing the gap between NFWI and the membership in her final Chair’s Address and it was good to be reminded of the work undertaken of the last few years by the board to meet the members. She was excited to announce the new online membership space, My WI, and was positive and cautiously optimistic about Denman. The Treasurer described the finances as “a good foundation garment: holding everything together and pointing in the right
direction”.

The first resolution to be discussed was loneliness. The proposer called for us to work to embed strategies with local service providers and raise awareness of the impact. Marcus Rand from the Campaig to End Loneliness said that loneliness has such an observable impact on health and wellbeing, increasing likelihood of mortality by 26%, that
if it were visible we’d have taken action by now. The rebuttal suggested that loneliness is part of the human condition and cannot be treated directly, instead the causes need investigation. The response from the floor was mixed. There were moving stories from
women who had faced the common situations that can cause loneliness who were significantly helped by joining the WI. There were also strong arguments against this resolution particularly around the wording and the identification of lonely people and this was reflected in what turned out to be a close vote.

We had an inspiring talk from the founder of Green & Black’s chocolate who thanked us for being part of her success: the WI, Oxfam and Christian Aid were the first organisations to back the Fairtrade initiative. One of the villages supplying G&B cocoa now has 80% of its children achieving secondary education, up from zero before Fairtrade so how we shop really can make a difference.

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After lunch and the announcement of the 2017-2019 NFWI board we returned to the resolutions: microplastic fibres in our oceans. Dr Natalie Weldon became everyone’s new hero with her fantastic talk about her research in the Clyde on the impacts of marine micro plastic pollution. Domestic washing fibres are the largest source of pollution, making up to 30% of the stomach volume of surveyed langoustine. Natalie said that this problem can be tackled at home through extra washing machine filters and wearing natural fibres, and through political lobbying for better filtration at water treatment facilities, and commercial lobbying for plastics with quicker degradation. There wasn’t a rebuttal and the comments from the floor were wholeheartedly in favour of the resolution. There was an excitement in
the room about being a leader of the campaign, but also caution that we don’t cause more problems in fixing the problem. Bamboo was cited as a natural fibre that actually uses a high amount of energy and water to produce and is therefore not a sustainable alternative.

Susie Dent of Countdown Dictionary Corner provided 
entertainment with talk of malaphors, incorrect metaphors such as “we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it”, and eggcorns, misheard words and phrases that replace their originals. “Trending towards” is currently replacing the original “tending towards”. If you’re worried about the degradation of the English language, Susie instead thinks it is incredibly exciting and gave examples that this has been happening for centuries.

Having a boogie!

The Retros played out the meeting, having entertained the WI at Denman College, they had the WI ladies dancing in the aisles and I left the meeting with a huge smile on my face!

Thanks for attending on our behalf, Lorna! The NFWI have put up some videos from the day covering many of the discussion – the morning session is below, and you can find the afternoon session here.


Resolutions

As Lorna said above, both of this year’s resolutions passed!  They are:

Alleviating loneliness
This meeting calls on every WI and the NFWI to work alongside health and social care providers and their local communities to raise awareness of the causes and impacts of loneliness, thus ensuring better identification of lonely people in order to be able to offer them the appropriate support and assistance.
North Cave WI, East Yorkshire Federation
The resolution was passed with 69.3% of the vote.

Plastic soup: Keep microplastic fibres out of our oceans
Microplastic fibres are shed from synthetic clothing with every wash and are the main contributors to microplastic contamination of the oceans. The NFWI calls on Government and industry to research and develop innovative solutions to this problem in order to stop the accumulation of microplastic fibres in our oceans.
Ashley Green WI, Buckinghamshire Federation
The resolution was passed with 98.9% of the vote.

We’d love any thoughts you have on what we as a WI can do around these resolutions to bring about positive change in our community!

June Meeting 2017 – Campaigns

We’ve had a scorching start to the Summer and West Ealing WI is ready to get hot and bothered about Campaigns! Following on from our newly announced resolutions, Alleviating Loneliness and Plastic Soup: Keep microplastic fibres out of our ocean, WEWI will be learning all about campaigning. There will be a range of speakers, including the Ealing Women’s Refuge and Southall Black Sisters, as well as a seasoned campaigner from a national organisation who will be talking about effective ways to share a message and make a difference. We are really looking forward to this inspirational and informative session, and we hope it will give us lots of ideas about how West Ealing WI can get campaigning.

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WEWI getting our march on!

 Women’s Refuge donations

West Ealing WI has chosen the Ealing Women’s refuge as our charity of 2017. Each month we will be collecting items for donation at the main meeting. Women and children at the refuge have often left home with nothing, and desperately need practical items and little luxuries. This month we are collecting single bedding, including sheets, duvet covers, mattress protectors, and pillow cases. Please donate new or in new condition items and remember that both the women and children need bedding.

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West Ealing WI Bake Off

The theme for our June Bake Off is ‘Chocolate’. Share your chocolate bakes with us, whether you bring a brownie, make a chocolatey cake or a melt in the mouth biscuit we would love to try your choctastic creations!

As agreed at the May meeting, the Bake Off is no longer competitive but we will have a monthly theme to inspire bakers. All the great bakes will feature on a new picture gallery on the WEWI website. Please keep your receipts and the cost of ingredients will be reimbursed.

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West Ealing Camping Trip

Tea and Tents is on a break this year so we’re planning a WEWI camping trip to Haye on Wye from 7th to 9th July. Tickets are £20. The more the merrier, don’t worry if you don’t have a tent, we can find you a space, but if you have your own camping gear great! Please let us know asap if you would like to join in! As long as you can find a spot in a car or drive your own we can accept last minute happy campers!
Brentford Festival: Save the Date!

As many of you will be aware WEWI was very disappointed that we were unable to attend Hanwell Carnival due to a miscommunication about new rules and regulations for stall holders. However, we are now working towards an alternative! Brentford Festival is taking place on 3rd September and it looks to be a great event to finish off the summer and raise some funds for Ealing Women’s Refuge. We will need bakers, volunteers to staff the stall and willing drivers to help us transport cakes, equipment and our gazebo. Even if you can just donate one Victoria sponge or an hour of your time we would be most grateful if you could let us know in advance so we can plan our cake stall. .

 

May Meeting 2017 – Summer Crafting

The theme of our May meeting is Summer Crafting. The sun is shining, gardens are bursting into life and West Ealing WI will be having a go at flowering arranging! Following on from the recent resolution proposal for Alleviating Loneliness we will be making Lonely Bouquets. The idea of the Lonely Bouquet is to spread a little joy by making a small bouquet, or even just a single bloom, and leaving it somewhere for a random stranger to find. Lonely bouquets help start conversations about loneliness and raise awareness of the issue in our community. Last year 60,000 bouquets were made and distributed. Each lonely bouquet will have a tag explaining who made it and encouraging people to ‘adopt it’.

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A local florist The Cracked Pot has already agreed to donate to flowers. It would be fantastic to have donations from your own gardens, window boxes and allotments too! We will need flowers, greenery, scissors and secateurs. Please note that the visitor’s fee will be £5 for this month. We are really looking forward to this creative campaigning meeting!

West Ealing WI – what do you want from your WI?

The Committee would like to dedicate the first half of our May meeting to discuss what kind of events and activities West Ealing WI members would like to participate in and plan. We really want to know your ideas on craft club, bake off, theatre trips, socials and campaigning. What events would you attend? What are activities are you interested in and what would you like to plan? Please bring some ideas and suggestions for discussion.

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Women’s Refuge donations

West Ealing WI has chosen the Ealing Women’s refuge as our charity of 2017. Each month we will be collecting items for donation at the main meeting. Women and children at the refuge have often left home with nothing, and desperately need practical items and little luxuries. This month we are collecting bras (new or used in good condition), knickers (new) and sanitary products (tampons and sanitary towels). Please donate bras and knickers in your own size, we are a representative group of women of all shapes and therefore reflect what will be needed at the Refuge.

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West Ealing WI Bake Off

The theme for our May Bake Off is ‘Fruity’. Have you perfected your lemon drizzle cake? Can you bake a batch of fruity scones? Or does your family have a fantastic fruit cake recipe? Whether it’s an old classic, a comfort bake or a new recipe we would love to see more members bring homemade bakes to our meetings!

The winner will be judged by the Committee (each month a different committee member will act as judge). Our best baker will receive a special WEWI certificate and their bake will feature on a new picture gallery on the WEWI website. Please keep your receipts and the cost of ingredients will be reimbursed.

Exercise your democratic rights

At our May meeting we will be voting on this year’s WI resolutions. The two resolutions are Alleviating Loneliness and Plastic Soup: Keep microplastic fibres out of our ocean. West Ealing WI has to vote to support one or both resolutions. The vote will be taken at the beginning of the meeting (only paid members at the meeting are eligible to vote). Read more about the resolution process here

April Meeting 2017 – British Traditions

The theme of this month’s meeting is British Traditions and we are celebrating that great British Tradition… the pub! We will be joined by Lucy Do owner of The Dodo a new local micropub. Lucy will be telling us about her journey from beer enthusiast to lady publican, as well as sharing her experiences of the micropub and craft ale movements. Lucy is also bringing along three real ales for a tasting session, so that we can learn how to judge a good pint! Even if beer isn’t your thing this promises to be a fun and informative meeting. We are really looking forward to welcoming Lucy and her enthusiasm for West London community pubs!

Women’s Refuge donations

West Ealing WI has chosen the Ealing Women’s refuge as our charity of 2017. Each month we will be collecting items for donation at the main meeting. Women and children at the refuge have often left home with nothing, and desperately need practical items and little luxuries. This month we are putting together ‘pamper hampers’! Please bring make up (e.g lipsticks, eye shadow, mascara, eye liner), face masks, nail varnish, hand cream & moisturiser, perfume, and other toiletries. This is a great opportunity to use any vouchers, magazine offers or spare Boots points.

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West Ealing WI Bake Off

The theme for our April Bake Off is ‘Easter’. Do you still have mini eggs rolling around in the cupboards? Have you seen an eggcellent recipe you just have to try! Bring along your Easter bakes to our April meeting.

The winner will be judged by the Committee (each month a different committee member will act as judge). Our best baker will receive a special WEWI certificate and their bake will feature on a new picture gallery on the WEWI website. Please keep your receipts and the cost of ingredients will be reimbursed.

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Bluebell Walk

Sunday 30th April 12pm West Ealing WI will be heading to Perivale Wood to enjoy a bluebell walk. Admission is free and there will be a nature trail, plant sale, tea and cakes.

Exercise your democratic rights

At our April meeting we will be voting on this year’s WI resolutions. The two resolutions are Alleviating Loneliness and Plastic Soup: Keep microplastic fibres out of our ocean. West Ealing WI has to vote to support one or both resolutions. The vote will be taken at the beginning of the meeting (only paid members at the meeting are eligible to vote). Read more about the resolution process here

Marching ahead!

West Ealing WI has enjoyed lots of different and exciting activities in the past month. Culture Club has been very busy! On 12th March members attended a special private screening of Hidden Figures, hosted by the Mums in Technology group. WEWI gave the film a five star review, and highly recommends this fascinating story about the lives of three African American women working at NASA in the 1960s. This month’s theatre trip was to Shirely Valentine at Richmond Theatre on 24th March. Jody Prenger played the lead and only character, and Pauline described her as a ‘cracking talent’! Thank you to Nilam and Julia for organising another fun night out. If you are interested in Culture Club, and in particular our next trip to see 42nd Street in May let us know!

At our March meeting we welcomed storyteller Sarah Rundle. Sarah was very entertaining, and shared traditional fairy stories and folk tales from Italy, Scotland, France and old England. She had us gasping in shock, laughing, and providing sound effects when necessary! It was a really fun meeting, and for the first time WEWI trialed stalls for the raffle, book club, book sale and culture club. This proved very popular and we will be doing it again, watch this space!

At our March meeting we also held our first West Ealing WI Bake Off! The theme was ‘family recipes’ and we had some delicious bakes submitted by members and visitors. Our Winner was visitor Camilla Madeleine. Unfortunately Camilla’s shortbread kisses were all gobbled up before we could get a photo! Well done to Camilla, and our bake off theme for April is ‘Easter’. So start thinking about some eggcellent ideas….

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(Cakes and biscuits don’t survive long at West Ealing WI!)

On Saturday 1st April WEWI visited the WI Fair at Alexandra Palace. The WI Fair is an amazing event which hosts four fabulous days of craft, cooking, creativity, shopping, learning and travel. Our members had a great time, and really enjoyed meeting other WIs, sampling the tasters and getting inspired by some crafty ideas!

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Finally, in campaigning news. we have been collecting home and foreign stamps for the RSPB Save the Albatros fund. Thank you all the ladies who donated their stamps, Elaine will be sending off our collection this week and will report back on how much we helped to raise.

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WEWI has chosen our charity for the year, and we will be raising money and collecting items for Ealing Women’s Refuge. The Refuge is in desperate need of the basics like clothes and toys as well as little luxuries like make up and a karaoke machine. The women and children staying at the refuge often have to leave home with nothing and WEWI want to help make their stay more comfortable and pleasant. WEWI will be starting monthly collections for the Refuge as well as thinking of ways we can fundraise to help support childcare provisions. At our April meeting we ask that members bring make up and toiletries, lipsticks, eye shadows, nail varnishes, face wipes, moisturizers etc for the ladies at the refuge.

WEWI is looking forward to a fun filled April, watch this space for our next meeting announcement…….. it’s going to be a good one!

March Meeting 2017 – Her-Story

At our March meeting (Tuesday 28th) we are welcoming storyteller Sarah Rundle, who is going to spin a yarn and entertain us with some tall tales. On a wet Manchester evening, Sarah Rundle escaped into a warm performance café, and discovered Storytelling. She’s been nattering ever since – tales from Britain, China, the Middle East, Italy, and the Silk Road.

Sarah has devised works for the British Council, Wellcome Foundation, Geffrye Museum, and the National Trust, and performed at Stockholm’s Fabula Story Café, the Nivesh Festival, Delhi, and Festival at the Edge. Her work has been described by Ben Haggarty as “truly magical … it sparkles with a particularly glorious humour.” This promises to be an entertaining and amusing evening!

WI Fair – 1st April

Have you heard about the WI Fair?

The fair is running from 29 March – 1st April and as it’s always more fun to go together than alone we’re planning an excursion on Saturday 1st April. It’s no joke!

If you’d like to join us make sure you buy your own ticket directly through the website. We’ll arrange meeting time/place on the West Ealing WI Facebook group. If you are not on the Facebook group but would like to join us on the trip please email us with “WI Fair” in the subject heading.

West Ealing WI Bake Off

The homemade cakes at our meetings are always truly scrumptious. We’ve noticed that we often have cakes from the same bakers each month and so to encourage a few more of you to join in we’re launching a monthly baking competition.

The theme for March is ‘family recipes’. Do you have a favourite family recipe? Bring it along to our March meeting! It doesn’t have to be complicated, just something you and your family enjoy.

The winner will be judged by the Committee (each month a different committee member will act as judge). Our best baker will receive a special WEWI certificate and their bake will feature on a new picture gallery on the WEWI website. Please keep your receipts and the cost of ingredients will be reimbursed.

Exercise your democratic rights

Resolutions

The resolution results are in! West Ealing WI voted to support Women’s Refuges, and as this was the preference of our members we are thinking of ways we can support this resolution through our own fundraising and campaigning. However, nationally, the two most successful resolutions were: Alleviating Loneliness and Plastic Soup: Keep microplastic fibres out of our ocean. Now West Ealing WI members have to decide whether they want to support one or both resolutions. The vote will be held at the April meeting, so feel free to read up on the issues using the links above.

Social Media

We would like to draw your attention to West Ealing WI online! West Ealing WI has a facebook group, a facebook page, and twitter. We often share important information, events and activities on our social media. In particular we love to share photos, links and news on our facebook group. Please follow and like us to get up to date news and information.

Spring is in the air

The weather is getting warmer, the daffodils are popping up, and West Ealing WI has had a busy February! We kicked off the month with a special crafting event for the #ShowtheLove climate change campaign. This campaign encourages WI members to craft green hearts, wear and share them in order to raise awareness of climate change and express the love we have for the planet. Here are a few examples of our #showthelove hearts from Amy, Isabel and Steph.

This year West Ealing WI has committed to joining in more local and national campaigns. So Amy and Julia continued the activist spirit by representing WEWI at a local demonstration protesting the closure of Acton FGM clinic. FGM awareness was proposed as a resolution this year, and therefore WEWI attended the demonstration to oppose the closure of the clinic and help raise awareness of FGM. It was a privilege to meet the service users and learn about the crucial work of the clinic. We will keep members updated on the ongoing campaign and petition.

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Culture club is in full swing, and there have been two theatre trips in the last month. Thirteen members of WEWI thoroughly enjoyed a night out at The Girls, and both laughed and cried. This was an especially relevant culture club trip as The Girls is the true story of the famous Yorkshire WI Calendar Girls. We recommend it to everyone! Next, and not so far afield, culture club traveled to Richmond for Menopause the musical. It was an evening of pertinent songs about the menopause, the show had us laughing and blushing with its clever use of new lyrics to some well known songs. Culture club is looking forward to Shirely Valentine in March, and has plans for 42nd Street in the summer.

Our February meeting ‘Mystery Science’ was a fantastic way to finish off the month. Two engineers, Simon and Tamara, told us about their work and the world of engineering.  In the second half of the meeting we had a go at some engineering ourselves in a newspaper tower competition. It was a hilarious chaotic mixture of newspapers, sticky tape and toppling towers. There were some amazing designs, and some less successful ones! Well done to the winners who, thanks to Pauline, made such a beautiful and innovative tower!

We have lots to look forward to in March. On Sunday 5th March we are getting our boots on and the banner out for the International Women’s Day March. Book Club will be discussing Sebastian Faulk’s “Where My heart Used to Beat” on Monday 13th. WEWI is launching a baking competition, and would like to invite members and visitors to bring along their ‘family favourites’ for our March meeting. We are looking forward to the WI Fair at the beginning of April, and encourage everyone to book their tickets for our trip on the 1st. It’s so fantastic to have such an eventful and action packed start to the year, and we can’t wait to start planning our Summer activities!

February Meeting – Mystery Science

This month’s meeting is ‘Mystery Science’ and we will be exploring the world of engineering. From planning underground tunnels, to designing buildings to withstand hurricanes, what do engineers do to keep us safe as we go about our daily lives.

Two engineers will be talking to us about their work and the engineering projects they have been involved with. Firstly, Simon Johnson, from Mott MacDonald, will be talking about Mechanical Engineering. Simon has worked on projects including Crossrail, the Blackwall Tunnel, the Northern Line extension, and the road tunnel refurbishment at Heathrow. Secondly, Tamara Rowe, from the Waterman Group, is a Civil Engineer specialising in Infrastructure and the Environment, and will be talking to us about her experience as a female engineer. Tamara has worked on projects in Canada, including the Strathcona Dam Seismic Upgrade, and has recently been working for Network Rail in the UK.

After telling us about their work, Tamara and Simon will be showing us some hands on engineering in an interactive tower building competition! We are really looking forward to this fun and fact filled meeting.

International Women’s Day 5th March

We really enjoyed the Women’s March earlier this month so we’re getting the banner out again and taking to the streets for the International Women’s Day March. On March 5th Care International is holding their annual Women’s Day March to celebrate women and continue the fight for gender equality. It will be a fun family event with music and speeches. WEWI will be attending with our banner and if you want to join us meet at Ealing Broadway station at 10am on Sunday 5th March

WI Fair – 1st April

Have you heard about the WI Fair?

The fair is running from 29 March – 1st April and as it’s always more fun to go together than alone we’re planning an excursion on Saturday 1st April. It’s no joke!

If you’d like to join us make sure you buy your own ticket directly through the website. We’ll arrange meeting time/place on the West Ealing WI Facebook group. If you are not on the Facebook group but would like to join us on the trip please email us with “WI Fair” in the subject heading.

West Ealing WI Bake Off

The homemade cakes at our meetings are always truly scrumptious. We’ve noticed that we often have cakes from the same bakers each month and so to encourage a few more of you to join in we’re launching a monthly baking competition.

Each month we’ll have a baking theme and to enter our bake off you just need to bring something along that meets the theme.

We’re starting in March and the theme is family recipes. If you’ve got a secret family recipe, something your gran taught you to make, or however you interpret the brief, bring it along to our March meeting. Our best baker will receive a special WEWI certificate and their bake will feature on a new picture gallery on the WEWI website. Please keep your receipts and the cost of ingredients will be reimbursed.your receipts and the cost of ingredients will be reimbursed.

Stepping into the New Year

West Ealing WI have had a great start to 2017. On Saturday 21st January several members attended the Women’s March in central London. The organisers of the Women’s March on London explained

“We marched for the protection of our fundamental rights and for the safeguarding of freedoms threatened by recent political events. We united and stood together for the dignity and equality of all peoples, for the safety and health of our planet and for the strength of our vibrant and diverse communities.”

The WI is one of the country’s largest women’s rights campaigning groups, and therefore we believed it reflected the aims and values of our organisation to participate in the Women’s March. The atmosphere was fun and friendly, with plenty of joyful chanting and powerful placards. We even bumped into Tooting WI and enjoyed a raucous rendition of Jerusalem. This experience has really inspired us to be more involved in activism and campaigning, at the local and national level, so watch this space!

On Tuesday 24th we had our first meeting of the year. Stephanie from 1st Steps Linedance ran a great session and had us toe tapping, side stepping and hip swinging in no time. We had a great turn out with returning members and new visitors, and everyone really enjoyed learning the electric slide, cotton eye joe and cheeseburger! Stephanie was an excellent teacher and even the less coordinated among us soon picked up the steps and strutted our stuff. Thank you once again to our members for their donations for Ealing Foodbank. West Ealing WI is looking for new charities for 2017 that we can support through fundraising and donations, if you have any local projects in mind let us know. We also held our Denman Bursary draw. Denman College is a fantastic WI institution which offers day and residential courses including cookery, crafting, nature walks and history lectures. West Ealing WI has offered three bursaries to our 2017 members, and we look forward to hearing which courses our three winners will book!

In addition to our pub quiz, craft club and book club we are already planning culture club activities and other events. Our next extra curricular activities will take place on 31st January. Julia is taking a group to see the WI inspired musical Girls and Amy and Steph are hosting a special Valentine Crafting Workshop. West Ealing WI is looking forward to another busy year.