Have Your Say on our next campaign
The WI’s democratic model means that every member has a say in the national campaigns and every resolution stems directly from the concerns of members. The five resolutions that are on the short list are as follows:
- A call to increase awareness of the subtle signs of ovarian cancer.
- Stop women dying prematurely from coronary heart disease (CHD)
- Racism and discrimination
- Now’s the time to act. Protect your nature space to create wildlife-friendly communities
- Stop the destruction of peat bogs to tackle climate change
There is further information on each of these resolutions in the current edition of WI Life on pages 22 – 25, and also more detailed briefing notes and videos can be found here by logging in to My WI
The current pandemic has meant that the NFWI AGM could not go ahead as planned in June. However, the NFWI has decided to take forward the two resolutions that were to have been voted on, for us to campaign around next year.
A call to increase potential stem cell donor registration
There is an urgent need to increase the number of people registered on the aligned UK stem cell registry in order to provide potentially life-saving treatment to people of all ages with certain blood cancers. We call on all WI members to promote registration to the database to avoid people dying whilst waiting for a match.
End Modern Slavery
There are tens of thousands of victims of modern slavery hiding in plain sight in the UK. Modern slavery has severe consequences for the health and mental wellbeing of survivors. The NFWI calls on Government to protect victims of modern slavery in the first instance and deliver longer term support to help them rebuild their lives. We call on our members to raise awareness of the prevalence of modern slavery throughout society and to campaign to defeat it
Resolution Shortlist for the 2020 Annual Meeting.
The other resolutions for 2021 were
Female crash test dummies
Women are significantly more likely to die, or be seriously injured, in car crashes than men. The WI calls on the government to mandate equitable testing with female crash test dummies to that of male dummies in regulatory vehicle safety tests; and for consumer organisations, such as EuroNCAP, to include a gendered breakdown in their published results.
Time to talk about death and dying
64% of people in the UK think that we do not talk enough about death in this country, yet these conversations can be really helpful in enabling people to receive the end of life care they would want. In order to demystify a natural part of life, and support more people to share their wishes, the NFWI calls upon members to encourage open discussions about death and dying.
Protect our precious helium
Helium is a precious resource that is widely used in healthcare, medical and scientific research, but it is non-renewable and in short supply. The NFWI calls on WI members to help raise awareness of the need to conserve helium, and on government and industry to work together to ensure it is used responsibly, and to support innovative research that could address the shortage such as reducing use or improving capture and recycling.
WI campaign for 2020
The two resolutions successfully adopted at the AGM were:-
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.
At our April 2020 meeting we have invited a speaker from Jo’s Trust to come and talk about the importance of the screening service, unfortunately this had to be cancelled due to the lockdown. However we are considering running this meeting next year
There is more information on all the resolutions 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.