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.