June Meeting- Self Defence

Brilliant meeting, with Ulrike Gerstenberg from Modern Arnis Martial Arts Club based in Newham.

Ulrike showed us some basic moves and ways to keep safe. Shouting ‘fire’  would attract more people.  We walked around the room, and had to follow each other. The purpose of this was to be made aware of being followed and what to do in that situation ( turn around and shout ‘stop’ .)

  • Being assertive
  • Stamping  on a would be attacker’s  foot,
  • kicking the person in the nether regions.
  • Bending back fingers ( if someone tried to steal your bag or rucksack)

Most people shared their experiences, and Ulrike took time to discuss tips and ideas around staying safe.

Next month’s meeting

Picnic in the garden.



May Meeting 2018 Human Trafficking



For our May meeting we welcomed Dr Isabella Girling ( Clinical Psychologist) who had recently completed a doctorate on Human Trafficking. Her talk was very thought provoking, with Isabella reading quotes from trafficked women, about their hopes and fears. There lots of questions from the floor, and discussions after the meeting. This talk tied in with one of the shortlisted resolutions.

We are hoping to follow on from this talk to see what has happened to the trafficked women.

We also voted on the current resolution ‘Mental Health Matters’ to go forward to the NFWI Annual Meeting which is going to be held in Cardiff next month. Phillip read out a brief reminder of the chosen resulting, and it was a resounding yes, for the vote to go forward.


March and April Meetings 2018

March Meeting – International Womens Day

This month to celebrate IWD we were privileged to have two of our local councillors and WI members Dianne Wall and Kay Scoresby who spoke about their journey into politics, (Rachel Tripp and Anne Easter were due to speak as well, but we unable to attend.)

Dianne told stories of being being inspired by her grandparents at an early age, arrested at a Springbok rugby match, and offering her house as a safe house for members of the ANC,

Kay spoke of her recent achievement in helping to launch Woodgrange Market which is now in its 7th Year. Both inspirational women for IWD.

we also had  Suffragette cake! Thanks to Phillipa and Steph, who made some amazing cakes.


April Meeting – Annual Meeting

At our Annual Meeting we invited Jane Williams from the Magpie Project ( one of the local organisations FGWI support ), who gave a lovely talk about the work that her group do https://themagpieproject.org

After her talk we got down to business to vote for the new committee for 2018/2019  ( with the help of our WI Advisors from Essex Federation,  Jan and Jo ). Phillipa Jones is our newest committee member, and Karen Kershaw is president for 2018/2019.


January and February Meetings 2018 Annual Quiz and How to get ahead in social media.

January Meeting

Annual Quiz

Welcome to 2018 and our annual quiz. Sharron was the Quiz mistress and made us use our grey matter in a big way.

As  usual,  the competition was fierce, but the Prosecco Princes were narrowly pipped to the post by The Big Brains team  .

There were also briefings read out by the committee for the NFWI 2018 resolutions.

’Mental Health Matters ‘ has been chosen to be taken forward to the NFWI annual meeting in June. ( No photos I’m afraid as we were enjoying ourselves too much ).

February Meeting

How to get ahead in Social Media.

We welcomed Lucy Flinter from our sister WI Stone Rangers, who talked through social media, how to enjoy it, and how to stay safe on line.

A very informative and enjoyable evening, stopping at 8pm to make a noise  in celebration of the 100 years since some women were given the right to vote.

November & December Meetings 2017 – Sing your heart out and Christmas Crafts


November Meeting- Sing Your Heart Out.

November saw us being Disco divas  for the evening. Lizzie Renihan founder of Natural Voices  www.naturalvoices.co.uk

Great night singing the old classics such as Car Wash by Rose Royce, and I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor . ( We got to dress up as well. )


December Meeting – Christmas Crafts

Our December meeting was a chilled affair. Antionetta Torsiello, Suzan Ipeklioglu, and Christine McGuiness led festive workshops.Antionetta, and Christine showed is how to make foam  print and decoupage cards, whilst Suzan led the Christmas decorations workshop.

(Christmas cocktails and ,mulled apple juice courtesy of Committee members Stella and Sally.)

September and October Meetings- Inspirational Women & Gardeners Question Time 2017

 September  Meeting – Inspirational Women

Our September meeting was about inspirational women. Freya Rodger, who battled non- Hodgkin Lymphoma decided to complete as many Olympic sports open to women before the closing ceremony in August 2016. What takes of inspiration.

Chtistine spoke about her moving story- married to a Hungarian refugee, Her life as a  teacher, and how that had to end with the  onset of her blindness,  Christine finished the talk explaining how she copes with  her everyday life the aid of technology, and her wonderful dog May.

October Meeting – GQT.

It was the return of our garden experts, ( this time Elaine Fieldhouse  Lisa,Alison and Christine joined Penny giving us sound advice on how to put our gardens to bed. )

The panel  gave insights on how they got into gardening and general gardening tips

Members asked various questions – how to make leaf mould, when to prune roses, what type of spinach to grow in winter, and the most important tip, no matter how big or small your garden is enjoy it. !





Camp-July 2017 Forest Gate WI style

For those of you who haven’t experienced  a FGWI camp you must – Again a hot sunny Saturday afternoon, we arrived at Debden campsite armed with barbecues, tents, sleeping bags , food, some beverages and friends.

After setting up, we enjoyed a lovely art lesson from Sybil amongst the trees.

After that it was time to get the barbecue ready.

( For those of us who had been to many a woodcraft camp,)  we set about collecting wood, for the fire pit . Once we’d collected enough, we set up a wonderful fire, and started preparing the barbecue. Lots of homemade delights,and a few G&Ts.

Next day leftovers for breakfast, then packed up and made our  home. It’s a great way to meet other members informally, and have a chilled and relaxed 24 hours under the stars .