November Meeting- Dementia Friends

Dementia Friends

Caroline with guests from the Danish branch of the Alzheimer’s Society.

We welcomed Caroline Wairira Dementia Friend and champion from Newham and Redbridge Alzheimer’s Society. She led a lively, interactive session , talking about living with dementia, and how to become a dementia friend . Fun but also thought provoking

We also were given a brief talk about a recent trip to Calais from Andy and Dinna,( who have both been out to Calais, providing neccessary items for the refugees who are out there.

They both gave a brief description of their time out in Calais ,  about refugees from different countries, and why they’ve fled leaving most of their belongings behind.

Through our raffle, we raised  about £120.00 for the Calais refugees. Andy left a list of organisations that are bringing aid to the refugees, and how we can contribute. More details to follow.

October Meeting.

October’s meeting was all about running your own business. Sarah and Vicky, ( two of our members) gave us an insight  on how they set up their  own businesses.

Sarah Ruiz ( who runs Eat 16 cafe ), spoke about how she set up her cafe in Canning Town,  the joys and frustrations of being her own boss; from dealing with broken down freezers to welcoming all members of the community. Sarah demonstrated that that despite all the difficulties associated with running a business, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Vicky Grainger( FaceBook- Pretty Demoiselle) is a former design and technology teacher. She runs  her on-line business through Facebook and Etsy. She explained that she doesn’t like seeing things go to waste, so by utilising her years of experience, and doing something she loves, Vicky has turned this into a fledgling business.

Two different takes on setting up your own business.





Centenary Party

What a time we had!!

So many dressed up, the cakes were AMAZING, the hall looked great with bunting and pom-poms we had all helped make, we sang Jerusalem and read poems (3 to follow).

There were loads of photos taken (thanks to Elaine Odlin), I hope I have included everyone who was there, If I’ve missed yours I’m sorry but am pretty sure you’ll be in the Facebook collection.

Thanks to all who contributed to making such a great evening, special mention must go to Sally King for the stunning cake.



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Poems by members

One Hundred Years


One hundred years ago

the WI had a go

started off with six or

seven, and now reached

a milestone.

Work hard throughout the years

making cakes, bunting,

and shedding tears

making new friends who have guessed

the WI would be

a success!

– Rose



Rally round our leader, girls,

Hear her battle cry.

Votes for women; equality

Our cause will never die.

Rally round our leader, girls,

Our lives are about to change.

We will plough the fields

Whilst our men practise

On the firing range.

Rally round our leader, girls,

The war – it has been won

But we will not rest, girls,

Our work will carry on.

Rally round our leader, girls,

From suffragette to WI,

One hundred years have gone

And we will carry on, girls –

We are the WI, and we are STRONG

– Kathy

WI Poem

Ladies of leisure,

Hard-working Mum,

Sylph-like figure,

Or maybe a tum?

An avid go-getter,

Or: ‘I could do better’.

Baking, sewing, crafting


But perhaps all of these

–You do none.

We all get together

To enjoy the day;

Have a laugh and a

Natter — a whole lot

Of fun.

The WI is for everyone.

– Helen Perry


Our Prizewinners





Summer Picnic

After the weather keeping us guessing right up to the last few hours and in spite of a side wind that would have blown a group of lesser women straight of the flats the picnic took place last Tuesday.











The Queen’s Garden Party 2nd June 2015

The Queen held one of her garden parties in honour of the WI centenary this July, she only throws 6 such parties a year so it felt really exciting. 8000 women were invited and each group was asked to hold a ballot to pick members . Our group held this in March and Laura Glendinning’s name was pulled out of the hat. All the other members names who wanted to go were sent to the Essex Federation. I think because we are a big group 4 further members were chosen at random.

June 2nd was the garden party day, the group, Laura, Christine Vinell, Helen Walley, Rachel Emmerson and Seyi Akiwowo met altogether at St James Park Station, where it was easy to spot lots of other WI women arriving in big hats and posh frocks, covered in coats and rain gear. Unfortunately the weather was not good! Luckily the rain did stay away but the wind kept going. . Emma Jones from the Leytonstone branch came with us, as she was the only one from that branch who was attending

As we approached Buckingham Palace you could see a long line of women, all dressed up, taking photos, there was lots of laughter and excitement and at 1.45 the queue started moving into the front of the palace. We had been told we couldn’t take photos but we checked this out early on, Rachel asked a Beefeater (yes a Beefeater!!) and he made it clear that they couldn’t stop us all but asked us to be discreet.

Walking out into the grounds was lovely, there is a vast terrace at the back leading onto the lawn, there was a massive marquee to the left this to collect our tea, there were further marquees for the Royal tea, the royals didn’t mix with us ordinary members! There seemed to be two factions within the garden, those who prioritised the tea and those that prioritised seeing the Royals. The Duchess of Cambridge – Camilla, Duchess of Wessex – Sofia and the Duchess of Gloucester – Brigitte, were the Royals that attended and they spent at least an hour mingling and chatting, we got a brief glimpse as they left the terrace.

We prioritised the tea!

The Tea – as we arrived there was lemon barley water handed out and there were two brass bands that played throughout. Of course everything was impeccably organised lots of people on hand to help. Tea was served at 3pm, the queues were too long, which was good  as we were ready for a cuppa! Our very own Christine was the first to get served!

The menu was extensive*, and you were encouraged to have a try of everything – so we did! Really delicious sandwiches, cakes and canapés, followed by ice cream.

After tea we had a walk around the vast gardens, they include a lake, tennis courts, and rose garden. It was fantastic talking to everyone it felt as though we knew everyone because we all had the WI in common.  As it drew towards 5pm the sun did come out, the wind did not die down and throughout the afternoon you could see women chasing after their hats across the lawn.  The band played its last tune, the national anthem, and then we sang Jerusalem. It was a fabulous afternoon which will not be forgotten.

*I hope to put an image up laterIMG_0694 IMG_0695 IMG_0696

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