Hot Topics July 2019

Fiona welcomed 63 members and 2 guests

General Data Protection Regulation: Fiona mentioned the importance of GDPR and reminded members not to give out email addresses, phone numbers etc., without checking with the member first to get her permission. Fiona also reminded members of the Wimbledon WI Facebook Page which has a “closed group” section for members only. Please visit the Facebook Page to join   

Fiona informed us of a few future dates:

Battersea WI invites all Surrey Federation WIs to a picnic in The Winter Garden, Battersea Park on Saturday, 7th September at 1.00 pm

SFWI Autumn Federation Meeting, Monday 7th October 10.15 – 3.30 at Dorking Halls. Speakers will include Tom Hart Dyke and Simon Thomas. This is a good day out and a few members have signed up to go already. If you would like to attend please let Wendy know (

The NFWI AGM will be held at the Royal Albert Hall on 4th June 2020. This is a popular event and “pot luck” to obtain tickets. Members will be notified in the autumn when they can apply for tickets.

Resolutions 2020: Lesley mentioned requests for next year’s Resolutions. So if any member has a Resolution they would like to enter, please let us know as soon as possible as it has to be submitted by 13th September.

Plastic Pollution: The end of “Plastic Soup” is a WI campaign and one of our members has emailed us saying “Anyone who even has only a minor concern about the need to reduce plastic in our lives should catch up with this BBC programme. It is not just about plastic pollution in the sea. It is horrendous”.

Merton Heritage Centre: Eileen mentioned that Merton Heritage Centre is celebrating 25 Years since it was opened at The Canons, Mitcham on 23rd April 1994. They are staging a special jubilee programme combining exhibitions, talks, film, guided walks, crafts and heritage workshops. Booklets are available at libraries or visit for information.

Wimbledon and Putney Commons Open Day on Sunday 8th September: Veronica reminded members about the Open Day and that there will not be another meeting before this event. So we are asking members to generously provide produce to sell at our cake and preserves stall – anything from cookies, brownies, flapjacks, carrot cake, sponge, fruit and savoury scones, jams and chutneys etc. Please don’t leave it to someone else. We need every member to provide something. This is your WI main fund raising event so please help. Remember if you are away you can freeze items and find someone to drop the item off for you.

To ensure conformity and compliance with regulations everything will be wrapped, priced and labelled on Friday 6th September.  Please deliver cakes, biscuits etc., to the Lower Hall, Sacred Heart, Edge Hill on Friday, 6th September between 9.30am – 4.30pm (you will only be able to drop off cakes etc. between these hours.) When you deliver your cakes etc., please remove produce from tins as we can’t guarantee their return.

LABELLING– Label all:

  1. Type of cake.
  2. Ingredients [e.g. contains nuts, alcohol]
  3. Highlight if they contain the above.
  4. Indicate if pre-frozen.
  5. Gluten or Dairy Free etc.

Chutneys/Jams/Preserves can be delivered from Monday, 2nd September to Dulcie

Do not hesitate to phone or email Veronica in the week leading up to the Fair if you have any queries

Future Outings/Events:

Gillian reported that trips to see the Strictly Come Dancing Costumes and Brunswick House, Vauxhall are now full but there are still places for:

Chatham Dockyard, Friday, 27th September £37

Christmas Dinner at Taste Restaurant, South Thames College, Thursday, 5th December 6.30 for 7.00 £27

As usual please let Gillian know as soon as possible if you would like a place

Wimbledon Crafty Ladies: The next Crafty Ladies meeting will be held on Friday 3rd August in the upper restaurant at Ely’s Department Store in Wimbledon from 2.30pm to approximately 5pm.  Members are welcome to come to every meeting or just to attend now and again.

Speaker for the evening: Malcolm Wells MBE “So Far So Good”. Malcolm is a fundraiser for Canine Partners who train dogs for people with disabilities to enjoy a greater independence and quality of life through the provision of specially trained dogs. The charity train dogs for servicemen and women injured on active service, as well as civilians with a range of disabilities such as multiple sclerosis, spinal injuries and cerebral palsy. The dogs actually select their new masters and are carefully matched to the applicant’s needs and lifestyle, no matter how challenging. They are trained to help with everyday tasks such as opening and closing doors, unloading the washing machine, picking up dropped items, pressing buttons and switches and getting help in an emergency.

Malcolm left school at sixteen with an A level in music playing the cello, but having no other qualification he chose to join the Royal Artillery to play in their orchestra and to travel. And so he did initially touring Europe. He later served in Northern Ireland and the Gulf (1991) and Malta. The orchestra were re-trained, as medics, for Kuwait where they set up their hospital in two days complete with operating theatre.

Amongst their concerts the Royal Artillery Orchestra appeared at the Royal Albert Hall in a Prom concert, an engagement at Kensington Palace, at the Queen’s birthday engagement and at (old) Wembley for the England/Brazil match. They have also entertained at the Monarchs League at Buckingham Palace (these are private gatherings of royalty and ex-royalty from across Europe).

More recently Malcolm joined ‘Literacy in a Box’ which is sponsored by Roborough Rotary. In developing countries teachers often struggle to do their job fully due to poor facilities, a lack of basic school materials and pupil absence because of poverty and AIDS/HIV affecting children’s families Each box has enough material for 25 pupils for one term, are tailor made to the request of the teachers and have been sent to Zimbabwe, the Philippines, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana and Nepal. No one at the charity receives a penny.

Malcolm joined the Royal Artillery in 1975 He was awarded the MBE in 1998 in recognition of his ongoing commitment to charity work. He left the Army in 1999 and was appointed fundraiser at St Wilfrid’s Hospice, Chichester and in 2003 took the opportunity of joining Canine Partners being appointed head of community fundraising and in 2010 national speaker.

We have subsequently heard from Malcolm saying how much he enjoyed the evening and he is pleased to confirm that the sum of £84.80 was donated to Literacy in a Box. This will be used to purchase school equipment which will be dispatched to the 41 schools they currently support in Zambia,

Wishing you all a very happy summer and look forward to seeing you at the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Open Day on 8th September and then at our meeting on 16th September when Joyce Meader will give us a very amusing talk about “Knitting”.