Keep up to date with our latest happenings!

2018 Committee

President - Sarah Woollard

Vice President - Joanna Mullineaux 

Treasurer - Rachel Kitten

Secretary - Mary Judd

Membership Secretary - Esther Hills

Programme Planning Liaison (x2 posts) - Tania D'Ambra and Marina Hartwell

Press/Social Media - Sarah Woollard 


NEWS 2018

October Meeting 

Esther, our membership secretary, chose to share her interest and belief in Paganism with us.  She shared with us the festivals of the Wheel of the Year, Samhain which is Halloween time of year is her most favourite of the festivals it is this time of the year where in years gone by to stare death in the face as we have to take stock of our lives and ensure we have enough provisions make sure we survive the winter it. There are many forms of Paganism and we had a very interesting discussion about these and how the Christian faiths link into the old Pagan celebrations.  

September Meeting 

For our now annual crafting meeting we made Christmas crafts.  Esther, Hazel, Lesley, Mary, and Sarah ran a table each making hand decorated tea towels, quilled gift tags, pine cone ornaments out of fabric, hand painted glass jars and vases, and hand sewn Christmas cards  The results were excellent with all members having a go on at least one craft.  The aim of this crafting session is to show anyone has the ability to create something beautiful so the crafts will always be accessible to all and something if a member enjoys they will be able to continue at home in the future for minimal expense.

August Meeting

There is no official meeting in August as this is when our committee and PPG can have a break, however at Stow Roses we have an annual picnic in Lloyd Park, this goes ahead rain or shine (we now own a gazebo, or we retreat to a nearby pub).  The weather was in our favour this time following a previous week of rain and we had a special guest of a lovely dog which one of our members Marion was looking after for a friend.  Just because we are in the WI doesn't make us all cat ladies :oD 

July Meeting

Our Treasurer Rachel organised this months meeting which was from a charity very close to her heart, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, you may have seen them on TV on the program Whale Wars showing the direct action they take.  They showed us some very moving footage of their actions but also of what happens under the ocean with the menace of plastics, Darren our speaker was undertaking a single use plastic free month which made us look deeper at what we could do to reduce our consumption of single use plastic.  In 2017 the Womens Institute voted for this as one of that years Resolutions that we campaign about on a national scale, for more information on Sea Shepherd and also the Resolutions we support each year please see these links

June Meeting

In this centenary year of some women and all men achieving the right to vote we had Esther Freeman to give us a talk about the less known but equally as fabulous people from around the East London area who helped us achieve this.  With funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund Esther spent several years uncovering stories about the East London Suffragettes, discovering the names of lesser known women who fought for the vote.  They may not have had the notoriety of the Pankhursts, but their efforts were no less brave or significant.  As well as following their struggles to gain the vote, she looked at what they went onto do afterwards; stories that were at least as interesting as their suffragette lives.

May Meeting 

Rebecca Ward aka Face Invader visited us for Mays Meeting, telling about her extraordinary life which led her to her business of With Rebecca we made some amazing hair clips, not sure if our creations would make it to the V&A like some of her work has, but they looked fabulous and we also got to try on some of the pieces she has made herself.

April Meeting 

Our secretary fulfilled a life long ambition by inviting the Pearly Queen of Bow Bells and Old Kent Road, the amount of work they do to raise money for charity is outstanding, we learnt how to become a Pearly in the future and that you do not need to be born into it, how you have to sew your own buttons onto your outfits and the history of how they came about, it was absolutely fascinating, they are amazing fund raisers

March Meeting

A controversial meeting was held in March, Pandora / Blake a feminist pornographer held a talk about their life, how they got into the industry, and how they are working within the industry to change the makers view points that it isn't just for men, plus their fight with the censors. This is what Pandora / Blake had to say about their visit, its sounds like both us and our Speaker did not know what to expect :o)

'It was my first ever WI meeting, and I have to admit it was different to how I expected - a real mix of ages, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, all seeming politically engaged with a real zest for life. They listened attentively as I spoke about my experiences in the porn industry, and how I came to do the campaigning that I'm doing now, including my journey with Dreams of Spanking and my victory against ATVOD. We discussed a lot of the most commonly wrestled with issues around women's rights in porn, and they were an engaged and receptive audience'

In March several members joined March4Women the annual International Womens Day March organised by CARE International UK, we met up with several other WIs from London and further afield

February Meeting

Our traditional annual quiz night was held this month, Mary was quiz master, tables were Suffragette themes and many rounds had a empowered female theme.

Some members also attended Making Her Mark: 100 Years of Womens Activism in Hackney, this reminded us we still have work to do after seeing the shoes of Nicola Thorp if you do not know her story please see this link

January Meeting

To counter the after Christmas blues we enjoyed a session of Laughter Yoga, I wonder what our new venue hosts at Walthamstow Trades Hall thought when they could hear all these cackling hysterical women prancing around upstairs.

Members also attended Cheers to 100 Years at Pillars Brewery hosted by the Fawcett Society, this is a year to remember the Suffragettes and Suffragists that campaigned so that some women received the right to vote 100 years ago