January meeting

Veganism and Veganuary

It was lovely to welcome 29 participants wearing some lovely sparkly Christmas hats, with fairy lights galore to our monthly meeting.

The society was founded 1944, the founders defined the word vegan and ’own’ the word. They started with 6 members and have expanded to 8,000 members today.  Registering as a charity in 1964.  Louisianna defined veganism and outlined the range of activities and the mission to make veganism mainstream.  There is a vegan trademark, established in 1990, and now used on over 47,000 products worldwide.  

The Society has a number of campaigns including: 

·     Animal rights: ‘future normal’  https://futurenormal.org.uk 

·     Environmental: climate emergency, plate up for the planet, grow green; The grow green campaign has a shift away from animal farming and supports rewilding; catering for everyone, launched in 2017, for more and better vegan food on every public sector menu.

·     Health: vegan and thriving, which is a health focused campaign launched in 2019; they have created a vegan eat well guide. 

·     Inclusivity: Live vegan for less, play fair with plant milk, catering for everyone, vegan on the go; and live vegan for less, developed in response to increasing numbers of people experiencing financial hardship in 2020. 

·     Partnerships: Veganuary; They are developing a vegan food network throughout 2021. Veganuary is the latest campaign, started in 2014, encouraging people to try vegan for 31 days, most commonly in January and participants from 192 countries have taken part. 


There are many ways to support the society and work for them, lots of social media outlets, just search for the Vegan Society on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn.  There is also a podcast, ‘the vegan pod.’

There were many questions from all participants and we thanked Louisianna for a very interesting and informative talk 

Suzanne fed back highlights from the recent members’ survey: half of membership responded with good ideas relating to interest groups, especially walking and looking past Covid to what we can do in future. There was a good response to the cook book suggestion so we will progress with this project. We will feedback at next month’s meeting with more ideas as to how we are to take the results forward.



Veganuary Month was launched in the UK in January 2014 by vegan founders Jane and Matthew, who quite simply want to see a vegan world. Like any mission, Jane and Matthew knew that they needed to start somewhere and that one of the biggest barriers to veganism was a simple lack of awareness. Since 2014, Veganuary has inspired and supported more than one million people in 192 countries to try vegan for January – and beyond.

Fancy a vegan treat…this is the easiest ever chocolate vegan cake recipe and is delicious. It also uses basic cupboard ingredients

Vegan Chocolate Loaf

Line a 2lb loaf tin, be warned this is a wet mixture

Sieve together in a bowl

200g self-raising flour

200 g caster sugar

4 tbsp cocoa

½ tsp salt

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

In a jug mix together

5 tbps vegetable oil (I use sunflower)

1tsp vanilla extract

1tsp white wine vinegar

250mls cold water

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients bit by bit mixing as you go until they are all combined.

At this stage you can add if you want, vegan chocolate chips, or raspberries, or cherries for variety but it tastes great on its own

Pour into your loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes Gas Mark 4 or 180 or 160 fan. A skewer should come out clean when it is ready, leave to cool and then carefully remove from the loaf tin which I tend to do by placing it on its side and gently sliding out the loaf.


Book Group

Our regular book group is meeting on Tuesday 19th January at 8pm: we are reading Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor and will meet using Zoom once again.  The book is about identity, friendship, loyalty.


This January we are doing The SOLACE 40 –  a challenge to walk, run or cycle 40 miles in January. That’s one mile for each Solace refuge which offers safety and security to survivors of domestic violence.

Every mile goes toward supporting survivors build safe, strong futures

As we have been missing each other so much we are going to do this as a WI relay, enabling different members to join different sections of the walk and stroll on together.  Lesley has devised a 2 mile walk around De Beauvoir so we can do this in sections with different members joining at different points to walk for as little or far as they want to.  It is obviously a sponsored event to raise money for Solace but if every member was sponsored £10 and joined the walk we would raise nearly £500.  Can you walk (or run or cycle) a mile for Solace enabling them to continue their amazing work – email in if you would like to join us. 

We will be walking for SOLACE on Thursday 21st January and Sunday 24th January, do come and join us. Let us know if you’d like to come along by emailing us as due to current restrictions we sadly cannot walk in a large group but will be planning a relay type walk in twos or more depending on where we are restriction wise towards the end of January.  If you would like to walk independently of these days and contribute your miles to our total just email us with the information and we can keep a regularly updated total on our Facebook pages.

Our suggested start time is 11am.  A map and info will be sent out shortly. We have also set up a Justgiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dbwisolace.

De Beauvoir Christmas Trail update

This was a huge success, the De Beauvoir community was out in force supporting local businesses, enjoying the carols and feeling that Christmas spirit.

The WI stall sold out and we are donating £100 to Solace Women’s Aid from the profits on the day, plus we received 3 carrier bags full of toiletries and gifts from members and non-members along with another £170 worth of gift vouchers for the women and children spending Christmas in a refuge. A huge thanks to everyone who crafted, baked and preserved and manned the stall and to those who shopped and donated.

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