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.


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 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

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.