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.


June Meeting- bathbombs and card holders

We decided to have a craft evening( since we hadn’t had one for a long time). So in our wisdom, and something that had been done by another WI, we thought about making bathbombs and  card holders.

After a practice the week before, we were ready .

The bath bombs were prepared, essential oils , glitter, rose petals, and lavender were added. Some turned out perfectly, and some fizzed into wonderful pieces of sculpture.

There were some beautifully designed card holders. I’ve used mine for my WI membership card, and Cinema card .


We used Oyster card holder template , then cut out our design. The holder was laminated to keep it in shape, and pocket holders inserted.

( A word of warning, do not let your laminator overheat , and let any glue dry before inserting the holder through the laminator).

we also held our first mini market- WI members, Elaine, Vicky, Kina and Jasmin sold plant  supports, up cycled bags, knitwear , and plants – to showcase their talents.

The mini market place was a success  , with members buying homemade crafts, and plants  , so if there are any members who would like to sell samples of their arts or crafts, please email forestgatewi@gmail.com as we would like to hold another mini market place later on in the year.

As I was so busy helping and supervising, there aren’t many photos, but I think you get the gist.



May Meeting, Hula-Hooping with Shakira

May meeting saw some of us shaking our booty, and whittling our waists with hula- hoops. Shakira Taylor  hula- hoop instructor showed us all manners of hula hooping

( Unfortunately ,  I was more than useless, but may purchase a hula- hoop to practise  at home . )

We were hula-hooping with our waists, with our bottoms and arms.

Hula –  hooping is a great way of keeping fit, as  you break out in a sweat, and is a fantastic way of burning calories.

For more info about Shakira’s classes, follow her on Twitter .  @hulafitwithshakira

or check out her website  www.hulafitwithshakira.co.uk.

Shakira will be running summer sessions at Roof East  which reopens on 3rd May.

You can follow them on Twitter @Roofeast

May meeting was also about the resolutions.

we listened to Laura and Helen present the arguments for and against both resolutions and decided to vote in favour of resolutions that will be voted on at the NFWI Annual meeting in June.

Both resolutions ( Appropriate care in hospitals for people with Dementia, and Avoid food waste, address food poverty, ) struck a cord with members, who had stories to share, in relation the dementia, and felt quite strongly about the amount of food thrown away, by the food industry. If the WI can make a difference, then that would be a bonus.


April Meeting AGM

It was our Annual Meeting(AM), where members were able to vote for the committee and president for 2016/2017.

Jane Bird ( our WI advisor),  oversaw the procedures. The meeting started with  a rendition of Jerusalem , then a brief talk from Sally Muylders  from the Forest Gate Festival committee, about raising  funds for the Forest Gate Festival via Crowd Funding.

The nominations for the committee were read out.

Adzovi Nyanyo, Andrea Mercer, Hellen Stack, Karen Kershaw, Kathy Lancaster, Laura Glendinning, Sally King, Sarah Jaggs, Stella Wybron and Wendy Levis  are the committee members for 2016/2017. ( There were a couple of members who were not at the meeting, who can be co-opted onto the committee). They will be announced  soon.

Stella read the financial report, and explained that the report was  still with the accountant. She went on to explain that there was another account  which was used to make donations to  local organisations, and to fund the 10 bursaries for members who would not normally be able to afford to join the WI.

The funds were  raised via the cake stall, the Big Lunch and the Harvest Stomp.

The local groups were Churches FoodBank, Forest Gate Community Garden, and Lola’s. Homeless.

The final report will be ready for members at the May Meeting.

Adzovi read the Annual report,  which touched on the last twelve months ( including the visit to Buckingham Palace, Adzovi’s visit to the AM at the Royal Albert Hall in the presence of HM the Queen, and our Centenary party.)

The  last part of the meeting was to vote for president. Adzovi was voted by members so will be president for the next twelve months.

Finally, we had a guess the baby competition, which was good fun.( It was quite difficult to match the photos to the members who’d  participated.

We’d like to thank Jane for coming  to oversee the meeting, and here’s to yet another successful year( this year being special, as it’s our 5th Birthday in October.)


March meeting -Yoga, Pilates Relaxation

Our March meeting was all about relaxation.


Local yoga  and Pilates teachers – Rosemarie St Loius ( left) Anna Bywoth ( centre) and Rachel Stephenson ( right) came and gave us a talk on  yoga, and Pilates.

Both Rosmarie  and Rachel  who have been teaching  for many years , spoke about how they accidently discovered, yoga and Pilates (  respectively  ) years ago,  and  how that first class changed their lives , ( after both being in high powered jobs – Rosemarie at the Stock Exchange, and Rachel in Media. )

Anna- spoke about working with autistic  young people in her former job,  again, attending yoga classes, losing her job, going to a yoga class, deciding in becoming a yoga teacher, meeting Rachel in Forest Gate, which  led to them opening The Space East: a vibrant new community  space for Pilates and yoga, which is situated in a railway arch in Forest Gate,

Rosemarie,  ( who  currently teaches yoga at Coffee7) started off the meeting with  a taster – chair yoga,( which was slightly challenging for some, as we discovered how bendy we were, or not in some cases,)  but still fun.

Anna and Rachel, spoke about The Space East, which has been open for a few months, how it is for the community, and how yoga and Pilates can help a person, both mentally and physically.

Rosemarie ended the meeting with relaxation, ( which involved, ambient music, candles and darkness .( A lovely feeling – I’m sure some members nodded off ).

For more information about  classes at The Space East or Rosemarie’s classes at Coffee7, you can either check them out on Facebook. ( look up The Space East – for Anna and Rachel,  or Intuitive Grounded Coaching  for Rosemarie).

You can also follow both on Twitter @TheSpaceEast and @Rosemarieyoga