May and June Meetings

At our May meeting, Walthamstow based campaigner  Poppy Flint from ‘This is Rubbish ‘ and ‘Best Before ‘ campaigns, , gave us an insight on reducing food waste.  A very interesting and informative meeting, which made us think twice about throwing away food that had reached  it’s best before date. Members were so inspired that on 20th May at the Woodgrange Food and Music  festival we set up,a pop- up stall, gave away homemade bread and butter pudding with bread donated  by one of the local  supermarkets, plus bread found in the reduced items for sale  aisle at the Co-Op. This coincided with the WI’s weekend to reduce food waste which was the chosen campaign for 2016.

Our food Waste  bunting was also on display.


June Meeting

We were entertained by the Walthamstow based  Blackhorse and Standard Women’s Morris Dancers ( or Morris side which is the correct term).

Carol McGuiness  one of our members and a member of the troupe  explained the history behind Morris dancing . She explained that there are so many ‘Morris Sides’ around the country.

Carol’s group follow the North West dancing, which originates from the mills around Manchester and surrounding areas.

Plots of Q&A , then we had a go at dancing,(,which a pretty energetic workout)

. All in all a great evening.


February, March , April meetings .

February  Meeting

WI member Hasina Zahman, CEO of Compassionate Funerals gave a talk about ‘End of Life ‘ decisions. She spoke in depth about types of funerals she has led, what choices people can make so that the decision making is easier for the family and loved ones. It was an emotive talk, where some members shared their own experiences with the group.


March Meeting

As it was International Women’s Day, we celebrated in style, by organising a trip to  the cinema.

We watched a fascinating film called ‘The Eagle Huntress ‘ about a young girl from Mongolia, who breaks with an age old male dominated tradition to become the first female Eagle Huntress .

Beautifully shot  in  the mountains and surrounding area, the film showed how determined she was to succeed to become the best, and overcome male prejudice from some of the elders.

Amongst the audience were members from  local WIs , East Edge Sisters, Stone Rangers, and Wanstead WIs.



April MeetingAnnual Meeting

The April meeting  ( AM) saw us vote for a new President  and committee.

After three years of being president, Adzovi stood down, and handed over the baton to Karen Kershaw. Congratulations Karen

The Secretary’s report, outlined all the activities and meetings over the last twelve months, and how we have been involved within the Forest Gate community.

The Treasurer’s report, outlined income and expenditure over the last twelve months, plus how monies raised from monthly cake stalls have been donated to various local charities, including  RAMP ( Regeneration and Migrant Project ) who amongst other projects support  migrant women who live in Newham, The Food Bank,  LOLAS Homeless .

Chocolate tasting (whilst votes were being counted, ) saw members tasting a number of different chocolate bars, guessing which bars were Fair Trade, and what was their favourite chocolate. It seems Green and Black organic chocolate won the day.




December and January meetings.


Greetings to all, and a belated Happy New year.

its been a while since I updated you with Forest Gate WI meetings..

Our Christmas  meeting was a crafty affair. Lots of paper angels, mini wreaths,  cone features ,  twiddle muffs, mulled wine and mince pies.

We had a great time learning our to make angels out of paperback books, mini wreaths,  and cone decorations. See the ones we made earlier.

January Meeting

Forest Gate WI was packed with returning members and lots of visitors for the annual Quiz  hosted by Sharron who has hosted the quiz since we started  back in 2011.

Questions were tough, but our winners enjoyed  a treat from Cafe Familiar.This years shortlisted resolutions were discussed, with Equal access for all who need specialised  maternal  mental health services being the resolution that Forest Gate WI have chosen. Thus will go forward to Essex Federation, who will collate results to send to NFWI. We will find out in April/ May which resolution has been chosen, we will instruct our delegate( who will be someone from our group of London WIs , ) whether we are going to vote for or against the chosen resolution,  with a discussion  in May.




November Meeting – Docklands

Apologies for the delay in sending this out. It’s been a busy old time in WI world. So here is the latest blog. Short but sweet .

Kathy Lancaster- WI member, and former Blue Badge guide, gave a fantastic and very informative talk about London Docklands. Kathy ( who was brought up in the East End,) spoke about the development and history of the Docks.

Kathy kept a captive audience, with her vast knowledge of London Docklands.

Kathy Has also organised walks for Forest Gate WI and has always made them entertaining. She is hoping to lead more in 2017. So watch this space.

Next meeting will be our Festive  crafty party on 6th December. 7.15- 9.30pm at Durning Hall.

Join us in a spot of crafting, as well as festive nibbles and cocktails/ mulled wine/ and non alcoholic festive drinks.




October Meeting( Happy 5th Birthday)

img_0022We celebrated our 5th birthday with special guest Joanne Croxford. Joanne, ( member of several WIs ,and  original member and former president of Cambridge Blue Belles spoke  to members about her incredible journey fighting drug and drink addiction, whilst working in the music industry. Joanne captivated all the members, with her honest and humbling story, plus details  her new WI initiative, to support women at Step2Recovery. There were a number of members who were interested in this initiative. If you are , please contact Joanne at

We had our usual suffragette cocktails lots of delicious food, plus four birthday cakes.

(Thanks to those who baked such delicious cakes ).There were fantastic raffle prizes,

a FGWI pendant, Marks &Spencers goodie bag, a Neals Yard and WI goodie bag.

Congratulations to our winners.

Rachel Emerson won the birthday draw for a craft weekend in Denman. Well done Rachel, plus some of the original committee from October 2011 joined in the celebrations.

All in all a great evening.

September Meeting – charities night.

Welcome back to FGWI and our September meeting, and what a meeting it was. We decided to invite a few of the organisations whom we have supported over the last year or so, and welcomed some new ones.

Amongst our groups, Bruce Stokes from the Churches FoodBank and Ruth from RAMP ( whom we support on a bi- monthly basis, ) gave a lovely emotive talk, about the work their respective organisations do in the borough.

We also invited Andy from the Calais refugee group,  Dementia Friends,  from Newham and St Barts hospital.

Lloyd from Forest Gate Community Garden,  Lorraine and Jasmin from LOLAs Homeless, and Jackie from the Cygnus Trust ( which is an organisation who give grants to small groups ,)

There was a lot of opportunity to chat to the organisations , and to see how we could help .

It was a pretty emotional evening, as we also held a collection for one  of our members Judith Kay, who recently passed away, plus Lorraine from LOLAS talking from the heart about the homeless in Newham.

A big, big thank you to all of the organisations who came along, and shared with us,all the fantastic work they do.  There are some pretty dedicated staff and volunteers in and around Newham.


NEXT MONTH- it’s party time.Forest Gate WI will be 5 years old. We’ll be having a party, with some very special guests.

July Meeting- Picnic in the garden



Our annual picnic welcomed a change of venue. Instead of Wanstead flats, we gathered st Forest Gate Community Garden. A  picture of colour, and beauty in the heart of Forest Gate.

About sixty of us descended on the garden, armed with  sausage rolls, homemade goodies, and some strawberry Pimms for the last meeting before our summer break.

It was lovely to be sitting amongst the flowers and plants , grown by local people and volunteers in Forest Gate.

We chatted, and new members and visitors got to meet other women.  The time flew by, – we could have spent a lot longer in the garden. We did however continue the party at the Forest Tavern( where some of us were the last to leave. )

I hope all of the first time visitors and women who came  for a second time join our lovely, and  lively WI.

I would also like to thank the steering committee  from Forest Gate Community Garden , for allowing us to hold the picnic there.

Please  note, no meeting in August, BUT hoping to go to Eltham Gardens sometime in August.