2015-2016 Shortlisted resolutions

The NFWI has published the list of eight shortlisted resolutions for 2015-16. Why not have a read below and see which one might be your cause. We’ll all have a chance to vote later on in the year – look out for the voting slip in your copy of WI Life!


2015–16 NFWI Resolution Shortlist

1) Ban the microbead
Beach litter and floating plastic debris is more than just an unsightly problem. Scientific research shows that plastic microbeads, found in cosmetic and personal care products, are polluting the oceans and causing long-term health risks for both aquatic life and people. We call on WI members to take action to reduce use of plastic microbead-containing products in their own homes and communities; to raise awareness of the problems associated with plastic microbeads; and to lobby manufacturers, retailers and see the UK Government following in the steps of the Netherlands and other countries in proposing a ban on the use of these products.

2) British fruit: reviving our heritage
This meeting calls on the WI to spearhead a national campaign that creates a fruit revival in local communities, celebrates our WI roots, promotes health, addresses food security and reduces the carbon footprint.

3) Free sanitary protection for homeless women
We call upon WIs to campaign for homeless shelters to be provided with a funding allowance to enable them to provide sanitary protection (tampons and towels) for homeless women.

4) Prevention of sudden cardiac death in young adults in the UK
Every week in the UK at least 12 apparently fit and healthy people die suddenly from undetected cardiac abnormalities. The majority of these deaths are preventable. This meeting urges Her Majesty’s Government to put in place a national strategy for the prevention of young sudden cardiac death to ensure that all young people between the ages of 14 and 35 have access to heart screening by appropriately qualified professionals to identify any potentially life-threatening conditions.

5) First aid to save lives
The NFWI considers that suffering could be minimised and lives could be saved if more members of the general population were trained in first aid. We propose that HM Government should promote first aid training in schools, colleges, universities and in the workplace. Furthermore, that all WIs should support and encourage first aid training and volunteer first aiders in their communities so that we become a safer and better informed country ready to help save lives.

6) Mind or body – equal funding for care
The National Federation of Women’s Institutes calls upon the Government to ensure that the care of people with poor mental health receives funding and respect equal to that provided for people with physical health problems.

7) Avoid food waste, address food poverty
The WI calls on all supermarkets to sign up to a voluntary agreement to avoid food waste, thereby passing surplus food onto charities thus helping to address the issue of increasing food poverty in the UK.

8) Appropriate care in hospitals for people with dementia
We call upon HM Government and the NHS to provide facilities to enable carers to stay with people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia that have been admitted into hospital.

Our resolutions meeting

Last night was our annual resolutions meeting. This year’s NFWI resolution reads:

This meeting calls on HM government to remove the distinction between nursing care and personal care in the assessment of the needs of individuals, in order to advance health and wellbeing.

After hearing our guest speaker and engaging in our customary spirited debate, we voted on the resolution. This year’s vote was close, but the resolution failed to pass with 17 no votes and 14 yes votes.

Our vote will now be sent to the NFWI Annual Meeting in London with our link delegate from Porthleven WI, Jill Blunn. We will invite Jill to attend our June meeting and hope she’ll be able to attend to share some of her Annual Meeting experiences with us.

Thanks to all who participated in the discussion and who voted last night.


2015 Spring Countdown … and TOILETS!

Those of us who attended the Cornwall Federation’s Spring Countdown on Tuesday had a full day!

In the afternoon, we heard a great talk by author and former nun Eleanor Stewart who spoke candidly and often humorously about her life. Sent first to France and later to Liverpool, Eleanor completed her nursing and midwifery training while a nun. However, her strong desire for children of her own led her to leave after eight years. She dispelled some of the myths we held about nuns and entertained us with stories about giggling with the other novices, drinking babycham and revealing her secret to her flatmates.

Anyone wanting to find out more about Eleanor can pick up her books, Kicking the Habit: From Convent to Casualty in 1960s Liverpool and New Habits: From Sisterhood to Motherhood.

The highlight of the day for Crowlas & Ludgvan members, however, was hearing our own Sue Badcock stand up in front of the audience and speak passionately about saving our public toilets. This was presented as a possible WI resolution and was passed by an overwhelming majority of the members present.

Hooray for Sue who did such a stellar job of representing us!

p01w654bAfter we returned from our lunch break, Cornwall Federation Chair Barbara Corbett revealed that she’d been on the phone with Radio Cornwall’s Laurence Reed and had told him about our resolution. You can listen to Barbara here. Her bit comes at about 01:42:00, so scroll forward until you find it.

It looks as though the fight is on! We’re looking for ideas of how we can ‘Save Our Loos’, so please put on your thinking caps!

2015 Short Listed Resolutions

The NFWI Resolution Shortlist Selection meeting was held earlier this month, and the following seven short listed resolutions were decided upon for 2015:

The next 100 years
As we mark 100 years of the WI, we deplore the unacceptable level of gender discrimination that still exists. We call decision makers to remove barriers preventing today’s women and future generations reaching their full potential.

Plant a tree for the future
The NFWI urges Her Majesty’s government to start a continuous national broadleaf tree planting programme to replace vital woodlands lost in previous decades. WIs in consultation with their local councils and community groups will be asked to plant trees in celebration of their centenary and to benefit future generations.

Public access defibrillators
There is an urgent need to widen public access to defibrillators to significantly increase the survival rate following a cardiac arrest. This meeting urges WI members to work with their communities to install public access defibrillators.

Failing to care – assessment of need in long-term care
This meeting calls on HM government to remove the distinction between nursing care and personal care in the assessment of the needs of individuals, in order to advance health and wellbeing.

Cutting back on food waste
Everybody loses when good food is thrown away. We call on WI members to reduce their own food waste and all public and private sector organisations to do more to minimise food waste and protect our finite resources.

Ending FGM
This AM welcomes the progress that has been made towards ending Female Genital Mutilation. We call on political leaders and the UK public to maintain momentum behind all efforts to eradicate this abuse of human and child rights.

To curb the use of antibiotics
In view of the problem of increased microbial resistance to antibiotics, this meeting urges HM government to work with health professionals and the public to raise awareness of, and encourage the appropriate use of, antibiotics in human and animal healthcare.

All the short listed resolutions will be discussed in greater detail in the November issue of WI Life, so look out for your copy. Also in the November issue will be a selection slip for you to fill in and choose the resolution you favour to go forward.

In February 2015, we’ll find out which final resolution(s) have been selected, and we’ll then have the opportunity to have our own discussion at our Resolutions Meeting in May.

‘Time to Talk’ about Organ Donation

The WI’s Time to Talk Campaign is about making sure we all know what our loved ones’ wishes are about organ donation. The decision to be a donor is up to each of us (you can become Registered Donor here if you like), but in the end, it’s left to thousands of families every year to turn those wishes into actions.

We know talking about donation with our loved ones can sometimes be difficult. So we’ve come up with a way to use WI members’ talents to show their leadership in finding the Time to Talk.

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We’re starting the Big Conversation, which means we’re asking each and every WI member to:

  • Find the Time to Talk and have a conversation with their loved one about their organ donation decision
  • Get creative and make something through craft or illustration to show who you spoke to
  • Take a photo and send it to us

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Did you sit down to a cup of tea with your husband? Did you mention it to your children when you were cooking dinner in the kitchen? Maybe you mentioned to a close friend after getting your driving license renewed? Perhaps reading a story about donation in the paper prompted you to talk to a family member.

Transform who you spoke to (or are going to speak to) and the context of that conversation into whatever craft or creative project you like. It can be as skilful (crochet, pottery, decoupage, quilling, embroidery) or basic (spell out their name in icing or take a selfie spelling out who you told!) as you want.

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Take a photo of it and post it to social media using the hashtag #WITimetoTalk. Or email it to the NFWI Public Affairs team (publicaffairs@nfwi.org.uk) and we’ll publish it for you.

The results will be shared online over the next year on Twitter, Facebook and an online photo gallery. At the end, we will create a massive mosaic of photographs of all the WI members’ crafts for a special exhibition as part of the WI’s centenary year.

With each photo representing a real conversation, together they will show how WI members have found the Time to Talk, and inspire others to do the same. Remember every single discussion about organ donation is part of a bigger conversation.

You have until Friday 27 March 2015 to share your conversation photos with us. Get crafting!

Click here for more detailed instructions on how to participate as well as some ideas to get you thinking creatively!


Well done, Joanna!

Our friend Joanna Nankervis is back from the 2014 Transplant Games! In only her second time at the games, Joanna returned with a whole handful of medals! She picked up a gold medal for the freestyle 25m swim, beating her personal best time by six seconds, and also won silver for the 25m backstroke, silver for ball throw and bronze for a team tug-of-war event.

Congratulations, Joanna!

Read all about it here.

AGM Update

Time to TalkJust a very quick message to let you all know that the organ donation resolution passed at last week’s AGM in Leeds with a resounding 98% majority.

You can read all about it on the NFWI blog (‘Behind the Door of 104’) here.

As you probably know, our link delegate for the AGM this year was Sheena Thomasson from Germoe and District WI. Sheena will be attending our meeting on Monday evening and presenting her report on the AGM to us then.

Informative and Inspirational: Our Resolutions Meeting

Last night’s Resolutions Meeting provided members with a lot to think about as we cast our vote for or against this year’s NFWI resolution.

Our speakers were Dr Gillian Saville, a consultant from the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro who deals with transplants; and Joanna Nankervis, a 12-year-old girl from Penzance who received a kidney transplant nearly two years ago.

Joanna Nankervis shows off her Transplant Games medal  as she talks to us about her experience  as a kidney transplant recipient.
Joanna Nankervis shows off her Transplant Games medal
as she talks to us about her experience
as a kidney transplant recipient.

Little Joanna stole the show. She gave her own Power Point presentation, describing her experiences with dialysis through to her transplant and recovery, and on to her great successes at the Transplant Games. Joanna, who’d like to be an underwater photographer, when she grows up, brought along her proud mum Helen and grandmother Lyn to our meeting. Her story was truly inspiring and the applause we gave her was testament to that.

Gill then gave us the professional’s perspective with facts and figures that were at times staggering. Although 90% of people say they would accept a donated organ if they needed it, the percentage of those who say they are willing to donate is much lower.  We discussed the new system in Wales, whereby people who have neither opted in nor out of organ donation will be assumed to have opted in. Gill talked about the fact that not only does organ donation save lives, it also enhances lives. There is no greater example of an enhanced life than Joanna Nankervis.

Following both speakers’ presentations, we had a lively and engaged discussion and question-and-answer session after which we cast our votes on the NFWI resolution which reads as follows:

The NFWI notes that three people die every day whilst waiting for an organ transplant. We call on every member of the WI to make their wishes regarding organ donation known, and to encourage their families and friends, and members of their local communities to do likewise.

I’m pleased to report that Crowlas and Ludgvan WI voted unanimously to support the resolution. Our vote will be taken by our link delegate to the AGM in Leeds next month.

There’s a great little article about organ donation and the WI on the Western Morning News website which mentions the talk some of us heard at Spring Countdown earlier this year and which quotes CFWI Chairman Kathy Reed. You can read the article here.

If any of you is interested in joining the NHS Organ Donor Register, you can find the link to the website Gill mentioned last night here. As she explained, it allows people to be very specific about which organs they would be willing to donate.

Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!

HoneybeesCCD_m_0503There’s been a lot of buzz lately about the WI’s 2009 resolution about honey bees.

During the last year, the NFWI has worked hard to help persuade the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs that a joined-up, comprehensive Bee Action Plan is needed if we are to tackle bee decline effectively. The Plan is currently out for public consultation, providing a key opportunity to tell government what should be improved, as well as remind them that the WI and wider public are behind an ambitious pollinator strategy that will make a real difference to bees in the long term.

Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Sow seeds for bees. Plant a range of flowers so that bees can have access to pollen from spring to late summer. 
  • Support local honey. There’s a lot of beautiful local Cornish out there! Not only does it taste delicious, it’s also reputed to help prevent hayfever
  • Send a postcard to the Minister for Bees. If you didn’t get one at last night’s meeting, we can get more! Email us on crowlasludgvanwi@gmail.com.
A picture of a beekeeper taken from an Egyptian temple from 4,500 years ago.

Have you read Martha Kearney’s Bee Blog? It’s really great! And what about tuning in to see her on BBC 4’s The Wonder of Bees? If you’ve missed it, you can always catch it again on iPlayer.

If you prefer your bees in real life, why not go on the CFWI ‘A Day at an Aviary’ event at Lanhearne Aviary near St Eval in June? You’ll have a chance to don a bee suit and visit some working hives! The cost is £17 per person. See Alison or email us on crowlasludgvanwi@gmail.com if you’d like to put your name down. The deadline is 7 May.

Finally, why not try a recipe using honey?

Honey Granola
Granola is like a slightly sweetened roasted muesli, which gives it a lot more crunch and chew, as well as some baked nuttiness. It’s the honey that really brings this together: as well as being a preferable form of sweetener, it binds the ingredients to make fun clusters. Try blossom or heather honey for a proper taste of the British countryside in your breakfast bowl. Once you’ve made your own granola there’s no going back to shop-bought.
(Makes around 1kg)

150g honey
60ml sunflower or groundnut oil
250g rolled oats
100g bran
150g sunflower seeds
100g hazelnuts
150g dates
100g dried apricots
100g wheat germ
100g sultanas

1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

2 Pour the honey and oil into a pan and heat gently until the honey has melted.

3 In a bowl, mix the oats, bran and sunflower seeds, then pour on the liquid from the pan and mix well. Spread out on a big baking tray.

4 Roast for 20-25 minutes, turning everything three or four times, then leave to cool.

5 Meanwhile, roast the hazelnuts until they turn a golden brown (which takes about 10 minutes), then roughly chop, along with the dates and apricots.

6 When cool, mix everything together with the wheatgerm and sultanas. Store in an air‑tight container; lasts for about a month.

Recipe from The Guardian, 9 February 2013.

Keep the honeybee buzz going!

Save the High Street – Do Your Part!

5961266-largeThorne’s Fruit & Veg in Penzance is doing its part to help save the high street! If you spend £10 at Thorne’s on any visit in the month of April, they’ll give you £1 to pay for two hours’ parking in town.

Malcolm Hendy, who has run the shop with his wife Sue for the past 18 years, says, ““It would be great if we could encourage some of those who currently do all their shopping at the big supermarkets to come into town to do their shopping.”

This is right in line with the WI’s efforts to encourage people to shop in their local high streets.

You can read the full article about Thorne’s in The Cornishman here.