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Report from the NFWI Annual Meeting

61705636_2249629398462462_7606419014297845760_nNotes of NFWI AGM 2019 – Held in Bournemouth on 5 June 2019

The Chairman, Lynne Stubbings, welcomed us to the NFWI AGM and had a busy year visiting as many WI’s as possible and how we are a powerful group of women and can been seen to make a difference so it is important to put forward resolutions each year.

A short overview of how previous campaigns were progressing was given. The Public Affairs team work on activities around the resolutions and issues raised and information can be found in MyWI.

The Treasurer gave her report and full details of the accounts will be available at the end of September.

The Resolutions followed:

1st Resolution – A Call against the decline in Local Bus Services

The Expert speaker on the resolution was Darren Shirley of the Charity for Sustainable Transport.

· 134 million miles of bus services have been lost in the last decade.

· The NHS is filling the gap for people getting to medical appointments as the local authorities are not supporting the buses.

· More involvement is required by local government.

· Local subsides are at the bottom for funding. Not to invest in public transport is false economy.

Speaker in Opposition

· Bus companies have been privatised which creates a monopoly system in some areas. Some are badly run and are expensive. No longer cost effective in some areas where many buses are almost running empty.

· 2/3 of the trips are made by women or retired people.

There were many comments from other delegates

· Many local villages have lost their bus services, making many people feel more isolated. This also means more people have to use their cars or some of the elderly have to rely on others to take them out shopping.

· Difficult to get to medical appointments.

· Smaller buses should be used.

RESULTS: For: 5,729 Against: 262 Carried by 96%

First Speaker The first speaker of the day was the Right Hon Lord Bradley or Withington who spoke about his work as a Trustee of the Prison Criminal Justice System and the severe mental health issues they deal with day to day.

This was followed by Competition presentations and Denman’s News. Also more WI Advisors are required – NFWI are asking for more volunteers to do this role.

2nd Resolution – Don’t Fear the Smear

Expert Speaker for the Resolution from Jo’s Charity

· Home testing kits are being tested this year.

· The Campaign needs to be sustained all year not just March to April.

· The smear test and HPV vaccination are a vital part of the screening.

· We need to speak about this with others and encourage everyone eligible to take up this screening.

· There is a fear around screening and fear of the results.

· Cervical Cancer is the most common cancer in woman under 35.

· More than 1 in 4 women are not attending.

· We need to continue to raise awareness of how important it is to have this screening.

No Expert speaker against – however the Committee put forward some possible arguments forward:

· Is it the right approach and at the right time?

· There are leaflets in chemists – would we be able to reach a new audience.

· Fear and embarrassment were highlighted.

· We can be the driving force to enhance the campaign.

Once again many Delegates spoke backing the resolution.

· Employers should give female employees time off to attend these appointments.

· Various others gave their own personal experiences or contacting cervical cancer.

· Each of us needs to talk more openly about screening and how important it is to have this screening. Talk to our daughters, our granddaughters, friends and family.

· A few minutes of discomfort can save your life.

· Push for the self-testing campaign.

RESULTS: For: 5,788 Against: 194 Carried by 97%

The Second Guest Speaker was Maggie Philbin OBE Broadcaster and CEO of the award winning organisation TeenTec who gave an interesting talk on her work with young people.

Lynne Stubbings gave her final address urging us to get involved in our communities and to let our WIs know that we have the power to change important issues if we all work together.

A slide show showing different WI activities that had gone on throughout the year to the song of ‘Girls Wanna Have Fun’! It was a fun end to a great day. Thank you for allowing me to be part of it as your delegate.

Sandie Helm

Wantage King Alfred’s WI

11 June 2019

Delegate for: Buckland, Burnt Cakes, Hanney, Stanford In the Vale

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