Has Your WI Entered the Social Media Competition?

During lockdown, WIs have discovered a newfound appreciation for social media! For the past months, it’s been just about the only way for members to ‘meet’.

All of this makes our Social Media Competition more timely than ever.

Tell us how your WI has used social media to navigate the tricky waters of lockdown. Have you held Zoom meetings? Have you used Facebook in a new way? Are you all busy Tweeting? Have you dabbled in YouTube, Instagram or Pinterest?

We’d love to hear about all the creative ideas you’ve come up with to make social media work for you to help sustain your WI during difficult times.

To enter our competition, please email cfwisecretary@btconnect.com with a link to your website, Facebook page, Twitter account – or whichever platform you’ve used to help your WI – along with a description of how using technology has helped you cope with 2020.

The WI deemed to have made the most effective, creative and innovative use of social media or technology will be named the winner and will receive the beautiful Social Media trophy.

Closing Date: Thursday 31 December 2020

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Support CFWI with EasyFundraising!

Have you noticed the Easyfundraising logo at the bottom of our web page and wondered what it’s all about?

Easyfundraising is a way for you to help raise money for CFWI by doing nothing more than shopping online! It doesn’t cost you a penny.

Now, more than ever, CFWI is experiencing the financial pinch of Covid-19, and we appreciate every little bit our members can do to help.

Just click on the Easyfundraising logo or click here and you’ll be taken to CFWI’s Easyfundraising page. Then all you need to do is click the ‘Join’ button and you’ll be led through the process. It’s all very simple and straightforward.

After that, whenever you’re shopping for something online, just go to the Easyfundraising page first, search for the retailer you’re interested in and CFWI will automatically get a percentage of the amount you spend. It costs you absolutely nothing extra. There are literally thousands of participating retailers, so there are plenty of opportunities for you to raise funds. Most major supermarkets are participants, so if you do your weekly shop online, please think of us! Most big department stores, along with Amazon and eBay, participate, as do many major insurance companies and holiday firms.

It’s EASY!

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What’s Cooking in Ladock?

Thirteen WI members from Ladock, Sticker and Atherton in Lancashire experimented with their first virtual Cook In on Zoom.

The recipe for plum streusel cake was emailed to everyone, ingredients bought and then armed with mixing bowls and other essential tools the women baked together. Everyone agreed that it was fun and the pictures assembled an hour later were amazing. There were also a few husbands and partners waiting in the wings, as the cakes were taken out of the oven.

The bakers are now waiting for their next session when they will attempt a fruity baked cheesecake.

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October is Black History Month

Wangari Maathai (1940-2011) is one of the Black women featured by NFWI this month. She was a renowned Kenyan social, environmental and political activist. Wangari Maathai was the first African woman to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize (2004), and she founded the green belt movement in 1977 in Kenya which is now a global movement.

October is Black History Month, an event that has been celebrated in the UK for more than 30 years. The month was originally founded to recognise the contributions that people of African and Caribbean backgrounds have made to the UK over many generations. Now, Black History Month has expanded to include the history of not just African and Caribbean people but Black people in general.

Catherine Ross, Guest Editor of Black History Month 2020, says, “In years gone by, October has been the only time of year when the UK talks about the achievements of Black people in Britain. Hopefully, the events of 2020 will be a catalyst for Black history to be shared much more widely – in museums, galleries, schools, universities, public spaces and communities.”

If you follow NFWI on Facebook, you’ll have seen their brilliant series of profiles of Black women from history and the present day, including author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and environmental activist Wangari Maathai. Read the full blog about these wonderful inspiring women here. Not only that, but NFWI is also profiling some of our own Black WI members on Facebook. Why not have a look and get to know them better?

So what can you do to celebrate? There are lots of fantastic educational events available online at the moment. 

Friday 16 October: Join Dr Gwen Rose and Friends to discuss Spiritual Healing of the Wounds of Slavery and Oppression (£6)

Saturday 17 October: This event for young people, held by the Humble Gallery, highlights and celebrates the work of Black artists who migrated from the Caribbean to the UK during the Windrush era (free)

Sunday 18 October: The Batley Poets are holding a Virtual Open Mic Poetry Session which will give you an opportunity to hear and share poetry from the Black Community (free)

Wednesday 21 October – An Evening with Jeffrey Boakye: Th author of Black, Listed: Black British Culture Explored, will join Dr Fraser Mann, Senior Lecturer in Literature at York St John University, for a challenging and insightful dialogue surrounding issues of racism and social justice. (free)

Saturday 24 October – The One Woman Black History Show: This show takes you hopping and skipping through black British history learning about key moments in Black UK History that contributed to the world we live in today (donation)

Wednesday 28 October – Black History is British History: This Anglia Ruskin University event discusses how black history is taught not only with a focus on ‘African Americans’ but also Black people. (free)

Thursday 29 October 2020 – Black Hair Makes History & We Got it on Loc: Kouture Locs presents this history of Locs, the impact of Locs past, present and future, and a virtual gallery.

You can read about a lot more online educational opportunities here.


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Right Tree – Right Place Conference

Two of our CFWI Climate Ambassadors recently attended a virtual conference entitled ‘Right Tree – Right Place: Wild about Truro and Cornwall’. They found the content interesting and very informative about environmental issues. They learnt a lot about ecosystems and economic issues, and also some inspiring examples of initiatives in Cornwall with talks from farmers and wilding projects.

If you would like the opportunity to view the conference, it’s available online.  Passcode: s7!.myVN

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Road Safety Survey from NFWI

In 2016, the NFWI developed a partnership with IAM RoadSmart which resulted in a number of successful driving events being held around the country.  Over a three-year period, over 1500 members took part in various driving experiences, all proven to help develop and improve women’s road confidence; from speed awareness, driving at night, motorway driving and 1 to 1 tuition with an IAM Instructor, all members who attended reported that at least one aspect of the event(s) reassured, or improved, their driving ability.

Following lockdown and continual changes to government restrictions, the NFWI felt that now more than ever, members would be interested in the benefits that our partnership with IAM RoadSmart could offer.  Getting back behind the wheel, with heavier traffic, will require more caution especially as many drivers may feel out of practise or may have lost some confidence in their competence.  Ability to judge things that previously felt like second nature, may be poorer, driving may feel unfamiliar and with heightened concentration levels, driving can quickly become tiring.  We also need to be even more aware of other road users lack of skills, including their emotions such as patience or lack of it!  Some drivers have been used to having quieter roads, creating temptations to speed, so adjusting to higher traffic and slower journey times may feel frustrating post lockdown.

For these reasons, the NFWI and IAM RoadSmart have been working together closely, sharing knowledge and experience, to put together a programme of activities, bespoke for the WI, that offer a variety of opportunities which members could access to help them improve, or reassure them of, their driving skills. 

However, before the programme is launched, NFWI wants to be sure that what they are offering is exactly what members of the WI want.  To help achieve this, NFWI would appreciate members taking 5 minutes to click on the link below and complete the survey. The results of this will help NFWI build a programme that meets the needs and interest of members, both short-term and long-term.  


If you have any questions, or would like to share ideas or suggestions not covered within the survey, then please contact Helen Neal, Activities Officer, on h.neal@nfwi-unit.org.uk.

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Lyn and the Giant Sunflower!

Mermaids: Mylor & Flushing WI members have been busy in their gardens throughout lockdown and the summer, and are now enjoying the fruits of their hard work.

A sunflower challenge went out to grow the tallest one and proved quite competitive. The result was close, but Lyn Chapman was declared the winner with an amazing 10 foot flower. Congratulations, Lyn!

Following on from this the next challenge will be to grow a daffodil bulb in a pot, and take a picture for judging. With so many green fingered members, we’re sure there will be some beautiful blooms.

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Mawnan WI Flower Arranging Group Celebrates National Poetry Day

A twist was given to this month’s flower arrangements at Mawnan WI which, following National Poetry Day, were accompanied by poems. Some verses were written by members; others were chosen because they had particular memories attached to them. The task set was to create an all-round design in a long rectangular container focusing on a central line of roses or similar flowers. The 14 Mawnan WI members who took part have certainly shown imagination in their interpretation of the brief! Next month there will be a Halloween theme: flowers in a pumpkin.

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An Invitation from the Gloucestershire Federation

In response to enquiries from other Federations who do not currently have an on-line programme, the Gloucestershire Federation of WIs is very happy to extend an invitation to WI members from around the country to join them at their online events. Your members are able to buy tickets for Gloucestershire’s on-line events programme via Eventbrite using the following link:


They offer a varied programme. The schedule for the next few weeks looks like this:

Be prepared to be wowed by Nottingham’s leading operatic comedienne, and humorously tickled by Victorian slang and phrases. Hear stories from the Victorian past with tales of music halls, bull baiting, boxing matches and wife selling (!) accompanied by a little Victorian vice and villainy.

Tickets £5 via Eventbrite – click here, or search GFWI within Eventbrite.

Make a small piece of four blocks, which will be joined together. You may wish to go on and make a larger item such as a throw or lap quilt. This is a good technique to use up scraps and is a manageable way to make a quilt of any size. The front and back are quilted at the same time as you go along, so no large pieces of wadding and backing fabric are needed. Requirements of materials will be send out with the booking confirmation.

Tickets £10 via Eventbrite – click here.

Jackie Sumerfield is an artist living in Helmshore, Lancashire. She paints mainly in watercolour but tries mixed media too, and has been keeping journals since 2005 – she has about 30 to date and counting! She loves sharing what she does and showing others how easy it is to keep a beautiful journal they can be proud of. And no, you don’t need to be able to draw, or be an artist to start, the important thing is to have a go.

Tickets £5 via Eventbrite – click here, or search GFWI within Eventbrite.

A journey with a difference, see Europe as you have never seen it before. Come on a fun journey through some unusual parts of Europe in a quirky vehicle. Join the adventure with Peta Allingham and explore places not visited by many Brits, and meet some interesting people along the way.

Tickets £5 via Eventbrite – click here, or search GFWI within Eventbrite.

A programme of talks and classes has been planned extending through December and the Gloucestershire Federation looks forward to welcoming members from around the country.


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Denman Vouchers

NFWI is currently processing Denman voucher refunds and has noticed that there are some voucher purchases made by WIs that have not been claimed.

If your WI or any of your WI members are still holding valid Denman vouchers (i.e., vouchers with an expiry date after the 20th March 2020), please contact finance@denman.org.uk.

The information that you will need to provide is the voucher numbers of those that are held and bank account details so that NFWI can refund the vouchers by BACS transfer.

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