Last week Meg Hillier the MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch dropped by to our meeting. That makes it sound really informal and friendly – but it was. She was just one of us.
Not as well known in the media as her Hackney MP counterpart, Dianne Abbott, Meg gave us some wise words about what’s like to be a female MP and a whistle-stop tour of her career. She stayed right until the end so there’s not enough room to tell all here (plus some things that are said at the WI stay at the WI – that’s a good reason to join, hint, hint).
The things that stood out most I thought were:
- She was the first woman in her family (of ten siblings!) to go to university. The second was her mum!
- She juggles being a mum of three with a HUGE job, but was very clear about saying how she’s just like any other working mum and so she can understand all the issues and fights for them at her workplace.
- What she loves the best? Her surgery and being out and about with her constituents.
- There’s a real sisterhood amongst all the female politicians (there were gasps from most of the group about this).
- But the leitmotif throughout the night was that we need more women to get involved in politics on all levels from being councillors on up. How? Women should encourage women along the way, but she’s highlighted that she’s had some great male mentors too and what’s most important is to inspire more women to get into politics.
Thanks for the visit Meg – we’ll take you up on the offer to come back.
For those of you who missed the meeting we want to remind you that we have a stall at the St. Peters Christmas Fair organised by the De Beauvoir Association. The knitting and Jewellery clubs have been busy making items to sell but we are looking for lots more donations from our members. Crafts, home made cards, preserves and pickles, bagged treats – all donations for our Christmas stall will be greatly received. The DBA are looking for donations of sweet and savoury fayre for their tea stall so if you can’t resist a bake you know where to take it.
We have decided that it would be a great idea to make jams, preserves and marmalade so we can build up a store for our various stall activities. We need you to collect jam jars which can be brought along to meetings, and we are looking for anyone who is expert enough to teach small teams the basics. If you know what you are doing or want to help (or learn) let us know so we can put some teams together. Lastly if you know of anyone with surplus produce give us a shout, we might be too late this year but we need to be on the case in 2016!
On the third we will be celebrating Christmas with a range of crafts to try out plus mince pies and mulled wine.
This year all the local pyrotechnics seem to happening on Saturday which is just as well because I think most of us are looking forward to meeting Meg Hillier this Thursday. Don’t forget that you can bring guests, its just £5 on the door.
Representing DBWI Lynn Brooks took part in the 100th celebrations at Walmer WI last month. She says:
“we each represented a decade of women & I was the calendar girl… Jennifer,the chair used to live in Hackney & started the Gardeners Club with Jude & Doritie. I’ve been to one of their meetings before as her guest & they are very formal & sing Jerusalem. Most of them are slightly older than me, but I felt a generation younger!”
Southbank Centre Charity Shop Design Challenge
The Southbank Centre are transforming the whole of the Royal Festival Hall into a huge charity shop the weekend of 12 & 13 December. A major focus for the weekend will be our Charity Shop Design Challenge where we are asking people to showcase their favourite charity shop buys on our catwalk. They would like our WI to get involved so if anyone is interested shout out now! More details are below:
Exploring the themes of charity and giving back this winter, Southbank Centre’s Charity Shop Fashion Show showcases the best of on-trend looks, all put together from items found in charity shops and they need you to get involved! The Charity Shop Design Challenge invites members of the public to create an outfit from charity shop clothes or materials with a budget of just £20 with the theme of ‘Choose a Charity Shop’ to encourage people to think about shopping in charity shops more often to create great looks. You can select any items or materials you want as long as they are purchased in a charity shop (they will allow the use of some second hand items too) and you can add extra embellishment/ upcycling as you desire. After registering your details you will be invited to an hour long workshop session in November with Channel 4’s Fabulous Fashionista Bridget Sojourner who will be giving tips on her CharityShop inspired style, and will be one of the judges on the day of the show.
Register using the form here, making sure you have thoroughly read the listed terms. After registration has closed you will be sent details of how to submit your final entry into the show. Registration closes on Sunday 15 November at 12pm.The Fashion Show will take place as part of Winter at Southbank Centre with NatWest on Saturday 12 December at 3pm.
And lastly please remember that we have a table at the De Beauvoir Christmas Fair on 28th November. The knitting group are busy making items to sell but we need all your contributions which can include crafts, bagged confectionaries, christmas decorations etc. Please get in touch to let us know what you will be donating to the stall or if you need any help with ideas.