BRAVERY TO SING WITH DEBBIE BRIDGE – 12 APRIL 2023

Debbie began by asking us all about our singing experience and there was a wide range of answers. Some members said that they sang regularly in local choirs, others sang along to favourite tunes in the safety of their own home and others professed to not being able to sing a note! But after some some breathing exercises and copying simple notes and sounds, we discovered that we could all sing after all and ended the session with a rousing rendition of Que Sera Sera. Many thanks to Debbie for a wonderful evening.

GIving to Charity: getting the impact you hope for – 8 February 2023

We were given a very informative and thought-provoking presentation on charitable giving by NWLWI member Jan Knight who has had a long career in charity management and grant making. It was encouraging to know that in 2020 £11.3bn was given to charity in the UK – and when asked why, the overriding answer was “because I was asked”.

As well as advice on how to spot the less genuine ‘charities’ we were guided to some of the resources available to help us make more informed choices. Jan highlighted advantages to both small and large charities and helped us to think about what we wanted to achieve by making a charitable donation. 

NFWI Resolutions and Bingo – Wednesday 11 January

Caroline, Lindsay and Angela summarised the four resolutions that had made the shortlist drawn up by the NFWI:

  • Save our water – every drop matters
  • Women to women – turning over a new leaf in the lives of women tea workers
  • Online gambling harm: time for action
  • Clean rivers for people and wildlife

After questions and a discussion, everyone voted on their preferred resolution. Once all members who were unable to attend have voted, the resolution with the most votes will then go back to the NFWI.

The evening was rounded off by a lively game of bingo (renamed WIngo!) – the lucky winners all received a chocolate orange (was it a coincidence that all the winners were from the same table!?)

Party time! – Wednesday 14th December

Many thanks to Frances for once again letting us hold our annual party at your lovely house. A great turnout and a good time was had by all. Members provided lots of delicious food and this year’s competition was for the best festive headgear. The evening was rounded off by a hilarious game of charades, which required some serious guessing!

Annual Meeting and Quiz – Wednesday 9 November 2022

We had a good turnout for our Annual Meeting and were pleased to be joined by Yvette Rathbone from the Middlesex Federation. Yvette made sure that the election for a new president was run by the book and Caroline was elected unanimously! Members thanked Angela for being an exemplary president over the last year, a year which saw the membership grow and the number of activities increase. Tributes were also paid to Louise who stood down as Treasurer after seven years in the role. New members of the Committee were welcomed (see Committee page of website). Angela and Louise gave their final reports and Frances gave a report on behalf of the Committee (see noticeboard page of website). Once the formal business was concluded, Denise presided over the quiz which was very well received, with a knife-edge result, but eventually won by the team who got the closest answer to the number of people who had died in the Great Fire of London! Who knew it was eight?! (certainly none of the members present)

Bee keeping in North West London – the good the bad and the ugly! – 12 October

Patricia gave us a riveting talk about her experiences of bee keeping over the years and we not only learned all about the life-cycle of bees, the production of honey, etc., but we were also in awe of the many obstacles Patricia has had to overcome to pursue her hobby, including the time she had over 40 bee stings! She brought along an observation hive so we were able to get to see the bees up close (luckily they were safely behind perspex!). Many thanks to Patricia for a very enjoyable evening.

The experiences of a critical care nurse on the Covid frontline – 10 August

Anthea Allen, a critical care nurse with over 30 years experience, gave an awe-inspiring account of working throughout the Covid pandemic at St George’s Hospital, telling us how she and her colleagues had had to adapt to a completely new way of working in order to cope with the onslaught of Covid and all the challenges it brought. A simple email to friends at the start of the pandemic asking for biscuits went viral and as a result she carried on chronicling her experiences in a weekly email that was read across the world. Her emails formed the basis of her best-selling book “Life, Death and Biscuits’.