This is the last copy of the Middlesex News for the year. It has got litter picking, baking business owners and 99th birthday celebrations, plus so much more. Click the link to get an insight to what the WIs get up too.
I hope you are all well and have had a wonderful Summer. It was brilliant to have such lovely weather well into September, but it does highlight the strange behaviour of the weather and how our seasons are changing.
Luckily, the weather didn’t affect the Riverside Dip, Dabble and Picnic, which was held in Sunbury On Thames last month.
The event was arranged by Sunbury Village and Teddington WIs to raise awareness of this year’s Resolution, Clean Rivers for People and Wildlife.
The day was a great success – well done to all involved. More details and photos inside the newsletter – and well done to all who went for a “dip” in the river!
Last month, I was also pleased to attend the Hayes, Harlington, Iver, West Drayton and Hillingdon Group Meeting and celebration of WI Day. We all had a fantastic time; we played Skittles, tested our brains in a quiz and had to guess the identity of some childhood photos of some of their members. Unfortunately, the only one I could guess was of Georgina, our Federation Secretary. She hasn’t changed a bit!
Group Meetings are a fantastic way to get together with your neighbouring WIs and have some fun! I hope to be able to attend some more in the future.
As Autumn approaches, we are starting to plan for next year. A date for your diary is 25th March 2024, when we will be holding the Middlesex Federation Annual Council Meeting.
As we had such good feedback last year, we have decided to return to Questors Theatre in Ealing. I do hope you will join us – we had a great time last year and our speakers were excellent.
It’s a good opportunity to meet up with your colleagues from across the Federation and celebrate all that is good in the WI.
We are also hoping to revive the ‘Chair’s Challenge’. The idea is that we would like you to create a design for a new Federation tablecloth. More information will be sent to your secretaries, but we are looking for you to design a central focus for the front of the cloth.
Please start thinking about it, you won’t have to do the sewing, just the design!
Have a good month.
Group meetings, river dips and croquet competitions are only a few of the exciting activities the WIs have been getting up to this month.
Click the link to have a look.
This months newsletter is filled with activities that remind us autumn is finally here, crisp morning walks, Halloween crafts and poppies. Make sure you have a read!
As most of you are aware, I’ve been editing the MFWI newsletter for over four years, having taken on the role in April 2019. This edition is my fiftieth edition (yes, 50!), and marks a handover to our Federation Secretary Georgina Glynn (George), who will be taking over newsletter production. As we make this transition, I’ll be here to give a helping hand as the process is bedded in, but from this issue on, George is in charge!
Both George and I have access to the Newsletter email account and there is no change to how you will submit information, or to deadlines. To make George’s life easier, please try to keep your submissions to 150 words, and send photos at their original size, as separate attachments wherever possible. I’m sure you’ll welcome George to this role and we both thank you for your patience as she gets to grips with the newsletter.
Whilst the workload of the newsletter is not something I will miss (my friends are frankly sick of hearing, “Sorry, I have a newsletter to finish!”), I have very much enjoyed the interaction I have with all of you, and I do feel I’ve got to know so many members, many of whom I’ve still not met in person. It continues to be a wonderful way to keep up with the goings-on in the Federation. Thank you all for your ongoing support of our Federation and the newsletter in particular.
George already has some fresh new ideas for future newsletters and I certainly look forward to seeing them!
Very warm wishes
…and welcome to our late Summer Middlesex News.
I hope that you have enjoyed the warmer weather – although as I am writing this there is an amazing thunderstorm going on.
Ah, the joys of a British Summer!
As you probably know, National Federation has sent out information and deadlines for the submission for next year’s Resolutions.
Is there an issue that you feel passionate about and that the WI could get behind? Would you like to enter it for discussion as a Resolution?
Your Secretary should have a copy of the guidelines, and there is full information on My WI. Alternatively, have a chat with Alison Fremantle, our Federation Public Affairs representative, who will be able to help.
National Federation has also sent out details of next year’s Annual Meeting, which will be held on Wednesday 5 June 2024 at The Royal Albert Hall in London. I hope to see some of you there at this wonderful venue.
Just a reminder that it’s time to renew your 200+ Club shares. Shares remain at £6 and there have been a lot of lucky monthly draw winners this year, as well as the bursary winners at the Annual Meeting.
You have to be in it to win it—more details from your Secretary.
You may recall that Federation has been updating the Speakers Directory as well as trying to make it a bit more user-friendly. We are now finalising this and hope to be able to send it out to all WIs soon.
It would be great if you could send us feedback when you book one of the speakers—it all helps other WIs to decide whether the speaker is someone their members may like to hear.
Finally, plans are afoot for a Federation-wide competition that will be open to all WIs.
More details to follow…
I hope that you will enjoy the rest of the summer. Don’t forget to send in photos of your WI activities.
Our newsletter for September is a jam-packed round-up of what’s been happening in the Federation over the summer. Garden parties, flashmobs, croquet: we have it all!
Bright and early with the summery July newsletter!
Here’s a link to download the PDF from the Middlesex Federation website—please share with family and friends and help spread the WI word:
Here’s the link:
I hope you are all well—and hasn’t the weather been wonderful?
In the last few months I have made a real effort to get out walking more and these last few weeks have been a joy—the parks and gardens really are at their best.
My walks have also taken me along the riverside and it has made me think more about this year’s resolution, Clean Rivers for People and Wildlife.
What is the river like near me? Is it a safe habitat for river wildlife, for the freshwater fish, voles, dragonflies and kingfishers? Even the bumblebee, foraging among the banks.
Would I want to swim in it??
I will definitely be exploring the issue more in the coming months. What about you? Are you and your WI planning anything to get involved?
In September, couple of our WIs are planning a WI Week of River Action in support of the resolution and they are starting off with a riverside picnic, dip and dabble in Sunbury-on -Thames (see page 4). I believe there will be some ‘wild swimming’ so hopefully we will have some photos to share!
The Thames swim looks like a brilliant day; do let us know what else is going on in the Federation. Please also turn to page 3 for member Sian Cooley’s report of the NFWI Annual meeting which involved… swimming!
Just a reminder that we will be holding Officer training in July. Please get in touch with Georgina, Federation Secretary, if you would like to book a place, on email@example.com.
Finally, some of you may remember that we used to hold a craft ‘Chair’s Challenge’, with the winner being announced at the MFWI Annual Council Meeting.
We have decided to revive this, and more information will be shared with you shortly, but get your creative thinking caps on.
A reminder that we do have an August/September issue of Middlesex News, then take a break from production in August, with the following issue the October one.
Have a great Summer.
The Annual meeting at Cardiff was the first National event I had attended.
I was excited to be part of such a large gathering of WI members, and to be voting for a Resolution that really spoke to me personally. As a year-round swimmer and lover of wildlife, I feel passionate about the Environment, and our responsibility towards it.
The weather was perfect, and once arrived in Cardiff, I travelled with Debbie, Chris and Caroline to Penarth, to swim in the sea and sample local Welsh ice-cream on the beautiful Victorian pier. Walking back into Cardiff across the Barrage, with views of the freshwater lake and sea, we were reminded how important it is to look to the future and put plans in place to support wildlife and outdoor leisure pursuits. (Scroll down for info on Teddington’s river event in support of the resolution)
It was inspiring to see how Mermaid Quay (Cardiff’s waterfront precinct) supports this, with the Bay trail for cycles and walking, sailing, paddle boarding and swimming on offer, as well as a variety of wildlife, including the amazing Swift Nesting Tower, with its eerie calls ringing across the bay.
The Conference day itself was overwhelming, exciting and definitely inspirational. The hairs on the back of my neck prickled as thousands of voices sang Jerusalem together. I loved hearing the speakers talk about their personal journeys through life, following their dreams with passion and resilience.
I felt privileged to be part of such a huge group of women, working together to bring about change through education, campaigning and never giving up. I would go again in a heartbeat and am already looking forward to the event in London next year!
—Sian Cooley, President, Teddington WI