Have your say on the next WI campaign for 2020
At our May meeting we will be voting on the two resolutions that received the most votes from members. All WI’s get one vote for each resolution which are then taken forward to the NFWI AGM in June which this year is taking place in Bournemouth. It is not an either / or vote, we will be voting on each resolution separately and if both are successful the NFWI and all WI’s across the country will be campaigning on both throughout 2020.
The two resolutions are:-
A call against the decline in local bus services
Over the past decade there has been a massive decline in the number of bus services, particularly of those in rural and semi-rural areas. In order to alleviate loneliness, improve health and wellbeing, as well as promoting sustainable development, the NFWI calls on the Government and authorities to increase subsidies and work in partnership with bus companies and community transport operators to enable an adequate provision of services.
Don’t Fear The Smear
Cervical screening saves around 5,000 lives a year, yet attendance is at its lowest for a decade. The NFWI urges members to attend routine screening, to take action to raise awareness of the importance of cervical screening and address barriers to attendance to help eradicate cervical cancer.
There is more information on all these resolutions in your WI Life on page 19 magazine and on the NFWI website here
Our 2019 Resolution
MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS
The resolution states:
Mental health matters just as much a physical health. The NFWI urges all WI members to recognise the importance of parity between mental health and physical health and take action to make it as acceptable to talk about mental health issues as much as physical health issues, and to lobby government for better support for mental illness.
We will be looking at how we can take action on this resolution at our AGM in May with a talk on Mental Health
Update on Plastic Soup
You may remember that at our meeting last Autumn we discussed the 2018 Plastic Soup campaign and how we might raise awareness individually and as members of the WI.
We decided a useful starting point would be to send a letter as individuals and as members of the WI to our own washing machine manufacturer’s to enquire as to their level of awareness of this issues and any research and development steps they are currently taking to rectify the amount of plastic microfibers that make their way into our oceans and the food chain.
You can cut and past the letter below, any text in bold needs to be replaced by your relevant details and we will keep you updated on any responses we receive from the manufacturers.
Your Manufacturer’s Details
Dear Customer Services,
I am a concerned owner of a one of your washing machine. I am also one of 220,000 members of the Women’s Institute in the UK. We voted on a resolution this year to raise awareness and campaign to keep microplastic fibres out of our oceans.
You will already be aware of the problem of ‘plastic soup’ which is the term used to describe the microplastic fibres which are shed from synthetic clothing during washing. Not only are these microfibres threatening our sea life but they are finding their way into the food chain.
As a customer of your organisation, I am writing to you to find out what research your company is doing into finding a solution to the problem. I realise that these fibres are very small so the solution will not be easy. I wonder, for instance, if you are developing new technology for your washing machines? If there is any kind of retro fit solution available I would be very interested to know how I can obtain one.
I would be very encouraged to know that your organisation are already working on this problem. My hope is that future products will provide customers with a built-in solution. If this is not possible perhaps new machines could, at least, come with information, advice or some sort of filtering wash bag included?
Supply machine reference details.
2018 National Campaigns
The National Federation Of Women’s Institute Campaigns for 2018 are:
Link Together To Alleviate Loneliness
This meeting calls on every WI and the NFWI to work alongside health and social care providers and their local community to raise awareness of the causes and impacts of loneliness, thus ensuring better identification of lonely people in order to be able to offer them appropriate assistance and support
Did you know….
Loneliness is reported by 28% of new mums, 1.2 million people over the age of 65 and 32% of people with long term health conditions….however, 75% of people who are lonely do not know where to turn to for support…
Throughout 2018 we will be looking at what we might do to alleviate loneliness in our community
AND Plastic Soup: keep microplastic fibres out of our oceans
Microplastic fibres are shed from synthetic clothing with every wash and are the main contributors to microplastic contamination of the oceans. The NFWI calls on Government and industry to research and develop innovative solutions to this problem in order to stop the accumulation of microplastic fibres in our oceans.
Did you know…
Over a million tonnes of clothing was purchased in the UK in 2016, 36 billion loads of clothes are washed every year across Europe alone and by 2050 there could be more plastic in the sea than fish
Among other things the NFWI is exploring opportunities for members to take part in research and testing to build the evidence base about the release of microplastic fibres through the washing process, and possible solutions. If you are interested in taking part please contact the Public Affairs Department.
If you want to know more about each resolution there is a wealth of material available on the NFWI website
An update on the Plastic Soup Resolution generated by our recent meeting
At our November meeting we discussed how we might contribute further as individuals to the plastic soup campaign. We are currently putting together a template letter that as individual members of the WI we could choose to send to our washing machine manufacturers asking them how aware they are of these issues around microplastic fibres in our oceans and what, if anything, they are putting in place to tackle it. We will upload the template here when it is finalised so if you want to, you can fill in the blanks and send to your washing machine manufacturer.