All the latest on your local community activities, plus our national campaigns and how you can get involved!

For more detailed info on Resolutions, please go to: Resolutions or, for Campaigns, please go to: Campaigns

Fairtrade Founders

Were you aware that the WI were founding members of the Fairtrade movement?

Why not celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight 2020 at one of your meetings?

Fairtrade Fortnight is 24th February until 8th March and is an action-packed highlight of the year, when campaigners, businesses and groups show their support for the farmers and workers who grow our food in developing countries.

Free resources are available at :

Don’t forget to let us know what you get up to for Fairtrade Fortnight and email your pictures and copy to

#TeamEssexFed Your Federation Needs You

Have you some time to spare? Are you motivated by helping others? Can you work in a team as well as on your own?

Then training as a WI Adviser could be for you, please contact or for more information

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Resolution Resources For Your WI

Full links to the NFWI resolution resources can be found here Resolutions Page

Essex ‘MHM: Where To Find Help’ Guide Available

Our team at Essex WI are delighted to fully support the Mental Health Matters campaign with a guide designed to provide a comprhensive list of contacts whether you are someone in need of support, know someone who needs support, are a carer, or a WI member who wishes to campaign with us on this issue.

Mental Health Matters Where To Get Help

We hope you find this a helpful resource. If you feel we have missed out any useful contacts, then please do email us on: to let us know.


Great Food Debates II: Food Poverty Toolkit

Now available!

NFWI are asking WIs and Federations to organise debates on the topic of food poverty so that together we can collectively consider what steps need to be taken to ensure everyone had access to affordable, healthy food.

Our toolkit will help you organise your own debate, and includes background information, discussions point, and actions that your WI can take to help tackle the issue in your local area.

Download it here: NFWI Poverty Toolkit

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What is the role of supermarkets in food waste?

The latest research from environmental organisation, Feedback, about just how much farmers have to waste each year and the role that supermarkets play in this process, can be found here: Global Feedback Report

Resolution Resources For Your WI

Full links to the NFWI resolution resources can be found here Resolutions Page

2018 Resolution Confirmed By NFWI

NFWI have confirmed the 2018 resolution with the following statement on their FB page:

“Over 100,000 members have taken part in the 2018 selection process, the highest turnout ever. Thank you to all members who have taken part. One resolution has now been selected to go forward to the final vote at the Annual Meeting in Cardiff on 6th June.

The resolution is: Mental Health Matters

Mental health matters as much as 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.”

The resources for you to debate this effectively will now be prepared by NFWI and we will share these with you as soon as they become available. The FEWI team will also keep you up to date with information and will be running their Pros and Cons workshop in March to support you too – see above for details.

#showthelove 2018

We’ve seen on our Facebook page, what The Brentwood Belles WI and New City Girls WI got up to for #showthelove2018…

We also have our brand new, fabulous Climate Change blog from Jill Bruce of Chappel and Wakes Colne WI, who is our Climate Change Ambassador – read it here: Jill’s Blog

Don’t forget to tell us what the rest of you have been up to as well! Send your pics of your green hearts!

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Pros and Cons Workshops – Dates Confirmed

Following on from 2 very successful Resolution Workshops in November, based around the short list of 5 proposed resolutions, we will be holding Pros and Cons workshops for the final proposed resolution(s) in March and April 2018. Please ring the office to reserve your place. The dates are as follows:

Tuesday 27th March: FEWI Centre, Terling, Hatfield Peveral, 10am – 1pm

Friday 6th April: Havering Bowls Club, 10am – 1pm

Celebrate Our Democracy

In 2018 it will be one century since women were granted the vote. And it will be 90 years since all women were able to vote at the age of 21. Coincidentally, 2018 is also the centenary of the passing of the earliest WI resolutions – these focused on the need for sanitary housing. To find out more ways you and your WI can get involved, download the NFWI toolkit.

Insurance For Craft Stalls At Meetings

Following a couple of queries to the Federation Office, we would like to clarify the position on the above. If a member wishes to have a craft stall at a meeting, and they operate as a business already, then you need to check their Public Liability Insurance certificate to ensure that they are covered in the event that someone is injured or harmed by their products. Food stalls need to be able to show your their Food Hygiene certificates too. For stalls run by members where they are selling items purely made as their hobby, then they are covered under the Essex Federation’s Public Liability Insurance. However, we would need you to complete a Health and Safety check of their stall prior to the start of the sale to ensure there are no things such as trip or fire hazards etc (this list is not exhaustive).

If you are unsure and wish to double check with someone, then please call the Federation Office and ask to speak to Tony.


Purse Project Donations To Dagenham

A boot full of purse project donations, recently sewn by The Brentwood Belles WI Sewing Bee, left FEWI to go to Dagenham Homeless Hostel on Tuesday 31st October. There were 35 purses in the package which will be much appreciated by the hostel. Thank you to all members who took the time to produce some purses across the whole county – they are going to make a real difference for many ladies.


2017/18 Resolution Shortlist Released Early

Take advantage of this early release and get your WI prepped and up to speed ready to make their first decisions about the resolution(s) we will support in 2018/19!

Below is the final shortlist of resolutions for the 2017/18 resolutions process. This list was developed by federation representatives at the Resolution Shortlist Selection Meeting on 2 October. Briefing materials to support WI and federation discussions on the shortlist will be published in the November edition of WI Life and on the website during first week of November. Our  Resolutions page will have more details once released.

1. Positive body image in a digital age

This meeting urges every WI and the NFWI to campaign to ensure that government and the media industry promote healthy body images and ensure diversity is represented in the media.

2. Stop female genital mutilation

Almost 200,000 women and girls in England and Wales are affected by or threatened with the risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). This figure rises to 200 million worldwide. FGM is illegal in the UK, but it is still happening. We urge the NFWI to use its collective voice and influence to raise wider awareness of the traumatic health consequences of FGM and support and partner with agencies that are working to end this practice in the UK and worldwide.

3. Raising awareness of modern slavery in the UK

Modern slavery affects thousands of people in the UK every year, and leaves them facing servitude, forced or compulsory labour, sexual exploitation and human trafficking. This meeting calls on every WI and the NFWI to raise awareness of this important issue and to lobby for more effective support for the physical and psychological health of victims of this crime.

4. Mental health matters

Mental health matters as much as 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.

5. Healthier Mouth, Healthier Body

Health research suggests that there is a link between gum health and serious illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and even dementia. The NFWI calls upon the government to raise awareness about the importance of oral health and the impact that it can have in preventing life changing acute and chronic health conditions.

Next steps

  • Briefing notes and the selection form will be published in the November edition of WI Life.
  • Additional supporting materials including detailed briefing notes, PowerPoint presentations, quizzes and videos will be published on the NFWI website and MyWI during the first week of November.
  • The deadline for members to return their selection slips to federations is 9thFebruary. This deadline will be published in WI Life.
  • Federations must return their tallied results to the NFWI by close of play on 16th February 2018.