Hot Topics July 2016

Fiona welcomed 78 members and 6 guests. She said how sorry she was to hear that our guest speaker, Tessa Dunlop, is unwell and cannot make tonight’s meeting and that we wish her a speedy recovery.

Resolution Submissions: Liz mentioned that any member can propose a resolution for consideration by the NFWI. So if you have been inspired, the NFWI are now accepting resolution submissions for the 2016/17 resolutions process. Please read the guidance notes that can be found on the link below that gives you advice on how to structure the wording for your resolution etc., and before submitting it, send a copy to The closing date is 14th September 2016 so any proposed resolutions would need to be sent to committee before end of August.

Denman Bursary: Angela won the Denman bursary last November and gave us an account of her lovely weekend there recently when she attended a flower arranging course and learnt how to create some beautiful flower designs. She said everyone was so pleasant, the food was lovely and she had a wonderful time.

Wimbledon Windmill Museum: Veronica made a plea for volunteers for Wimbledon Windmill Museum. They need a few people to act as stewards at weekends when the windmill is open which is only between March and October. If you think you may be interested or would like more information, please contact Veronica.

Craft Evening: Fiona mentioned that at the Christmas Craft Evening in October it would lovely if members could bring along anything they have made to put on display to show their skill and talent.

Craft Workshop: Eileen talked about how successful our recent patchwork craft day was and said we would like to plan another day but need ideas from members what to make and that if one of us can’t help, we will try and find an expert who can. Eileen suggested maybe making lavender bags (even using lavender from your own gardens) or block printing.

The Surrey Federation Meeting is an all-day event on Monday, 17th October at Dorking Halls and the guest speaker is Anne Diamond. Please contact Dulcie if you are interested.

The 2017 WI Diary costs £4.50. If you would like one please email Chris with your order.

The Summer Party will be held on Saturday, 20th August at our monthly meeting’s venue (Ursuline High School) from 1.30. There will be a charge of £10 per person to help cover any costs. Guests and partners are welcome and there will be a buffet lunch available. Please bring your own drinks. Please let Gillian know if you want to come.

Christmas Meal: On a beautiful summer’s evening Fiona knew people wouldn’t want to be thinking about Christmas but said a date has been fixed for the Christmas meal and asked members to make a note in their diary. It will be 6.30 for 7.00 on Tuesday, 6th December at the Taste Restaurant, Merton College. The cost of the meal will be £29.95 excluding drinks.

National Trust’s Nymans : A visit to an intimate garden set around a romantic house and ruins near Haywards Heath. For this to go ahead, more people are needed to sign up. It is on Thursday, 29th September and costs £30. Please contact Gillian if you would like to go or have a friend who may be interested.

The WI Sports week 12th – 18th September: If we have enough members interested the following activities are planned.
Monday, 12th – Swing Dancing – 7.15-8.30 £10 Worple Road Wimbledon
Wednesday 14th – Ten Pin Bowling – 7.30 Approx £10 David Lloyd
Friday, 16th – Hogsmill walk – 10.00 Ewell Station
Please contact Dulcie if you would like your name added to list.

Women’s Refuge: Lesley said she was delighted with the amount of items she will be taking to the Women’s Refuge this month and thanks everyone for their donations.

Speakers: Fiona then introduced and thanked the two speakers for the evening who stepped in at very short notice, Julia and John Eastwood.

Julia gave us a very inspirational talk on the projects undertaken by the Merton Park Explorer Scout Unit in Mbaraka Chembe, Kenya over the last 20 years. They have been working side by side with the local people and during this time they have built a one storey building for a doctor, a clinic and dispensary. Then a water tower for clean running water, doctor’s house, maternity ward and toilet block. The government have subsequently piped clean water to the village and the primary school then doubled in size (1,500) mainly due to healthier children and mortality rates dropping. Even though the community is very poor and it could take some children 2 hours to get to school, they all wanted to do their bit and the children would bring a stick with them for the woodpile. A secondary school was built by the government which meant the children did not have to travel to Malindi, where they would have to stay all week and only returning home at weekends. Women found they had more time as children were healthier, so a women’s group was formed. Funds were raised and material, 3 Singer sewing machines and 2 interlockers were provided and it wasn’t long before the women were making clothes etc. to sell at market. To raise more funds the Explorer Scouts would do an annual sponsored swim on Christmas Day!! This money would go towards things like desks for the 70/90 children in a class or to mend the church roof. Wimbledon AFC also provided kit for the local football team. The “dress a girl” dresses have gone to women’s health clinics and orphanages and the “fish and chip” jumpers, teddies and hats have all been gratefully received. The next project to be undertaken is a second doctor’s house and a security wall. Another trip is planned in October when anything members make will be taken (items would have to be brought to September meeting as Julia goes before the October meeting). Baby blankets are also needed to wrap around babies at night so 24 to 30 inches would be fine and to remember to make any items in bright colours as they are seldom washed.
Link to Fish and Chip jumper/hat.

John Eastwood gave us a potted history of his long and interesting career in renal medicine and dialysis work which started at St. George’s Hospital, Hyde Park and then Tooting in the 1960’s. Dialysis has come a long way since it was first introduced in England in 1963. Life expectancy then was not long but one of the earliest patients Robin Eady, is one of the longest-living kidney patients and has experienced over 50 years of renal replacement therapy – nearly 25 years of dialysis and 26 years following a transplant. Amongst John’s current research interests are kidney function and high blood pressure in West Africa, where he and Jenny lived for a while, and has links in Ghana to assist development of the speciality of renal medicine.

John went on to mention how high our daily intake of salt is and how it raises blood pressure. He said until 5000 years ago (before it was discovered salt could be used to preserve food) daily intake was only 0.1g. For a healthy diet we should only be having 5g a day but it is more like 10g to 12g (due to preserving and making food palatable etc.) There are South American tribes who have no access to salt and despite having very stressful lives their blood pressure is characteristically among the lowest of any demographic group. For this reason, the Yanomami Tribe have been the subject of studies seeking to link hypertension to sodium consumption. 80% of salt intake is hidden in food and to be able to change this, the cooperation of the whole food industry is needed. Too much salt in our diet can lead to stomach cancer, stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, osteoporosis, left ventricular hypertrophy.

Have a good summer everyone and we look forward to seeing those who can make the Summer Party in August and everybody in September when we resume on the 19th. We will be having a talk by Siobhan Clarke on “The Crown & the Cradle”. Royal babies have always excited interest because the health and survival of the child would shape history. This lecture explores the stories of some of these royal babies: the circumstances of their arrival, their nursery years and historical significance, from the Wars of the Roses to the present day.

The Committee