Monthly Archives: March 2017

Hot Topics March 2017

Fiona welcomed 86 members and 2 guests. Before the main event of the evening the following notices were mentioned.
Speakers: Fiona mentioned that she and Linda had been to “New Speakers Auditions” where they got to listen to some interesting talks amongst which was a manager of a donkey sanctuary, a physicist, an ex-wife of a celebrity and a very lifelike King Henry VIII. Watch this space as some were so impressive we hope to be booking them.

Surrey WI News: Fiona also mentioned there is a sign-up sheet for “Surrey WI News” – the informative magazine that tells us what is going on in the Surrey Federation – and only £5 for 12 copies. There will be another chance to sign up for this at the April meeting.

NFWI Raffle Tickets: Lys mentioned that she has these for sale at £1 each – various prizes to be won.

Wimbledon Fair: Fiona reminded us that the Wimbledon Fair isn’t that far away and we should be thinking about produce, particularly marmalades and jams etc. The fair is on 17th June and is our biggest fundraiser of the year.

Surrey Prison WIs: Eileen told us that she had received a very grateful letter from Surrey Federation thanking us for the wonderful donation of craft items you all made last month. These will be distributed to the three prisons within the county – Bronzefield Bees WI at Ashford, Send Inspired WI at Send and the recently formed Downview Dames WI at Downview. With regard to Downview Dames WI, two of our members have subsequently been invited to their first open event – Coffee and Craft on 5th May – and Eileen and Dulcie will be attending this time.

Crochet and Chat Evening: Tuesday, 18th April has been set for our “Crochet and Chat Evening” to be held in the family room at the Hand in Hand Pub, Wimbledon Common at 7.15pm. Come and try your hand at crochet, bring a piece you are working on or just come for a chat – we look forward to seeing you.

Volunteers: One of our members, put out a request for volunteers to help at an event on Monday, 29th May. It is part of the National Open Garden Scheme and will be held at 15 The Avenue, Cheam, SM2 7QA. Gillian said she had sign-up sheets to help on the day between 10.30 and 5.00 and a sign-up sheet for cake donations to be brought to the April meeting when they will be frozen in readiness for the day. All offers of help and donations gratefully received as all proceeds will go to St. Raphael’s Hospice which is our chosen charity for this year. If you missed the chance to sign up, just bring in a freshly made cake with details of ingredients to the April meeting, thank you.

Future events: Rotherhithe Walk, Thursday, 6th July (£8) and National Theatre Backstage Tour, Saturday, 20th May (£8.95)

For your information, the recent resolution selection results are as follows:
Resolution title Selections
Alleviating Loneliness 23218
Plastic soup: Keep microplastic fibres out of our oceans 21208
Supporting women’s refuges 15672
Equal access for all who need specialised maternal mental health services 12985
FGM: More Awareness for More Action 11968
Provision of appropriate welfare and safe spaces for women and children in refugee camps 6336
Total 91387
Alleviating loneliness
This meeting calls on every WI and the NFWI to work alongside health and social care providers and their local community 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 assistance and support.
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 our 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

Host Families: We have been contacted by GF Work Placements which organises work experience placements in the volunteer sector for young Italians (16/17/18 mainly) who are looking for host families in the Wimbledon Area. Host families are paid £130 per week for each student (bed, breakfast and evening meal). Please contact if you are interested.

Handbag, Scarves and Underwear: Thank you to everyone who brought in handbags and scarves to sell and thank you to those who bought. We made £157 for St. Raphael’s. Also thank you for the overwhelming donation of your unwanted bras and pants – fantastic response.

Fine Cell Work: An extremely enlightening talk was delivered by Cherry Conway-Hughes, a volunteer with Fine Cell Work. She also had some wonderful examples of the work created plus a slide show. Fine Cell Work trains men and women in prison to do high-quality, creative needlework in their cells and textiles training in prison workshops to foster hope, discipline and employability. Their aim is to enable them to finish their sentences with work skills, money earned and saved, and the self-belief to not re-offend. They also seek to guide them towards training and support on release.

Prisoners are taught by experienced volunteers before continuing their work in-cell. Having the opportunity to work independently helps them to regain control of their lives and allows them to maintain dignity. Prisoners gain a sense of connection to the world outside prison through the sale of their work. It also helps them establish a work ethic, and allows them to send money to their families or save for their release

Currently working in over 30 British prisons with a work force of up to 500 prisoners each year, Fine Cell Work specifically addresses key issues affecting prisoners’ offending behaviour: establishment and reinforcement of work skills, building relationships, and mental resilience.

“Fine Cell Work has given me back my sense of pride in myself, my self-esteem and self-worth” – FCW stitcher

Further information on Fine Cell Work can be found on this link

Quiz Night is this Saturday at St. Mary’s Church Hall, Merton Park. Please arrive 7.00 for a 7.30 start. Ploughman’s supper provided and a bar to buy drinks.
April meeting will be on the 4th Monday i.e. 24th April when Joyce Meader will be talking about “Historic Knitting”. Plus a Book sale and Jigsaw swap.
The clocks go forward this Saturday so we lose an hour’s sleep.
Just a few months ago the ‘new and improved’ five pound notes were released into circulation and we have now got just weeks to spend the old ones or take them to the bank before they become worthless. On 5th May the old fashioned cotton paper notes will no longer be legal tender.
On 28th March the new £1 coin, dubbed “the most secure in the world” due to its many security features, will start finding its way into your purses. So, if you have any old £1 coins, make sure you start spending them as they will cease being legal tender on 15th October.

Hot Topics February 2017

Fiona welcomed 69 members and 3 guests. Before the main event of the evening the following notices were mentioned.
Fiona said that one of the things mentioned in the NFWI bulletin is how to be alert and aware of Scams as these can come in many forms. Uninvited contact can be received by email, letter, telephone or in person making false promises to con victims out of money. The criminals attempt to trick people with flashy, official looking documents or websites, or convincing telephone sales patter, with the aim of persuading them to send a processing or administration fee, pay postal or insurance costs or make a premium rate phone call. Doorstep Scams are crimes carried out by bogus callers, rogue traders and unscrupulous sales people who call, often uninvited, at people’s home under the guise of legitimate business or trades. For more information see

Fiona was pleased to inform us that Angie Leach (Streatham WI) and Toto James (Fulham & Chelsea WI) have taken over from Jill Elliot as WI Advisers for the Surrey/London area which is good news for London WI’s. Not only are they geographically much closer but, hopefully, there will now be more London based events etc. Angie has already informed us that there are still places on the Surrey Denman weekend (13th-16th July). Please contact Dulcie for more information if you are interested.

We have been approached by Jenny Harwood of Jigsaw4u who are looking for volunteers to befriend and assist vulnerable 10 or 11 year olds in Year 6. Jigsaw4U will offer extensive training in how to help the children and ongoing support and supervision for the whole year. For further information phone 0208 687 1384 or see website

Lys mentioned that members will have seen the NFWI Board Elections 2017 listed in WI Life Magazine and that we will be voting for them as usual on behalf of the group.

Eileen thanked everyone for donating their haberdashery bits to be given to the newly set up WI’s in local prisons. She has been informed by the Surrey Contact, who she will be meeting on Thursday to hand over the collection, that doing crafts has a big impact on the women’s wellbeing and self–esteem.
Eileen also mentioned that there will be another assignment of teddies, jumpers etc going to Kenya in April along with “goody bags” that have been put together for new mums which include amongst other things a teddy and jumper. So more teddies, jumpers and hats would be appreciated and in particular bootees (patterns for these can be found on our website).

Also it is hoped that the Craft Group will be holding another Craft Saturday or evening. So if there is anything you have a burning desire to try, please let one of the Craft Group know.

Lesley mentioned that she has had an odd request – Have members any old bras and pants in reasonable condition that can be donated to a worthy organisation in Africa. Many ladies in South Africa and other countries do not own any underwear which makes them vulnerable and by us giving them our unwanted underwear helps their self-esteem. So go through your “knicker drawer” and bring any unwanted bras and pants to our next meeting.

Fiona said that our biggest fund raiser of the year is Wimbledon Village Fair, that we will be having our usual cake and preserves stall and that it is not too early to start thinking of making jams etc – particularly marmalade as it is that time of year!!!! Veronica has very kindly offered to oversee it all again.

Subs were due last month and are now overdue so if you intend renewing your membership and haven’t done so, please send your payment to Wendy as soon as possible (£39 full membership £19 dual membership – cheques made payable to Wimbledon WI).

Fiona reminded us about our chosen charity event on Saturday 25th March when we will be having a quiz evening in aid of St. Raphael’s Hospice. Tickets are going well but there are still places. Tickets cost £12.50 which include a ploughman’s supper and will be held at St. Mary’s Church Hall, Merton Park. Please contact Gillian for tickets.

Fiona mentioned that selling theatre tickets have proved very difficult and several shows have had to be cancelled due to lack of interest. If we are to continue applying for cheaper tickets we need more commitment and perhaps some suggestions from members what they may like to see.

After all the notices were over we had a very lively evening with Liz and John Scholey who got us barn dancing with the occasional line dance thrown in. Liz made an excellent caller and John accompanied her on his melodeon or harmonica. All in all a very enjoyable evening.

And as a last note a “thank you” from Wimbledon Foodbank for our continued support which they say makes a huge difference to supporting families in crisis. So thank you ladies.

Dates for your diary
Next Meeting Monday, 20th March – Fine Cell Work (Embroidery) Talk. Also bag and scarves sale so start sorting out any unwanted scarves and bags (proceeds to St. Raphael’s).
Rotherhithe Walk, Thursday, 6th July (£8)
Friends of St. Raphael’s Hospice are having a Music Quiz Night, Wednesday, 19th April (£5) see for further information.

Arts and Crafts

Crafty Ladies meet locally once a month when you can make a simple project either seasonal/theme related or bring along your own knitting, crocheting or any hand held craft work.  Everyone is invited to come along for a natter.  Please see Preview Notes for next meet up.

Please click on links below for the patterns

Click here for knitted “Bunny” pattern

Colins jumpers
Click here for “Fish and Chip” jumper and hat pattern
Click here for a selection of bootie patterns

Teddy pattern

    • With 4mm (8) needles and Double Knitting.


    • Garter stitch used throughout (knit every row)

Cast on 8 stitches and work 16 rows.
Break off yarn and cast on 8 stitches and work 16 rows to form other leg.
Knit across both legs (16 sts) and complete 8 rows.
Cast on 8 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows.
Work 8 rows.
Cast off 8 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows.
Now work 42 rows on these 16 sts.
Cast on 8 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows.
Work 8 rows.
Cast off 8 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows.
Work 8 rows.
Using only first 8 stitches, work 16 rows and then cast off.
Return to remaining 8 stitches and work 16 rows and then cast off.

Making up
Fold knitted piece in half lengthways. The fold becomes the top of the head.
Join seam around teddy, leave a small gap between the legs.
Turn right side out.
Backstitch a diagonal line across corner of head to form ears.
Stuff (with flame resistant stuffing) and slip stitch closed area left for stuffing.
Embroider a face on teddy.
Take a double thickness of yarn and thread around neck, going in every few stitches, (making sure there are no loops that little fingers can get into).
Draw up yard tightly to form neck and secure ends.

Optional scarf
With same needles and thickness of yarn, cast on 60 stitches.
Knit 6 rows and then cast off. Tie round teddy’s neck and secure in place if being given to a small child.