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Getting Quizzical about Mental Health

Getting Quizzical about Mental Health

In the last few months we’ve had a focus on mental health. We started off in April with a fund raising online Quiz Night. Friend of the WI Nick gave us a great night of questions he donated his services as quiz master and provided a really interesting and varied mix of questions to whet everyone’s appetite. It was attended by over 40 members and guests playing in teams, it was a great success. The prize was a basket of WI goodies gathered by our members. We raised amazing £237.14 for Mind in Haringey our local charity and…a great time was had by all.

Then in May to chime in with Mental Health Awareness week invited Deborah King from Mind in Haringey to come and help us discover how to look after our mental health and wellbeing, effectively manage stress and spot signs of early distress through an interactive workshop with expert guidance from.

This was a great opportunity to equip ourselves and learn about mental health, was really valuable in these times of change as well as understanding the WI campaign Make Time for Mental Health, more info can be found here.

Christmas wishes for the Whittington from SGWI

Christmas wishes for the Whittington from SGWI

Christmas can be a hard time for many and as we faced the prospect of staying in and missing all the usual parties of the festive season some of our members turned their thoughts (as usual) to craft and how it could bring joy not just to themselves but also to those missing the comfort of home.

So we would like to thanks to Eileen for her gorgeous knitted Santa’s which were made for families with babies in the Special Care Baby Units at Whittington Hospital so they would have something special on Christmas Day.

We also wanted to make sure that those working during this difficult time got some of the recognition they deserved and on behalf of SGWI Michele sent a Christmas card to the Hospital together with the WI letter thanking NHS workers for everything they are doing during the pandemic. The letter was in a copy of WI Life last year and the template is available for you to download on My WI if you would like to send your own letter of thanks to your GP, local clinic etc.

We grew sunflowers to cheer up our summer

We grew sunflowers to cheer up our summer

The highs (and the lows) of the sunflower seed

The nail biting has stopped; collective breath released; tensions eased. Yes, the results are finally in and, fanfare of trumpets, we can announce that Alison is the winner of the 2020 SGWI Sunflower Growing Competition **. Many congratulations on achieving a magnificent 138cm tall specimen. Runners up were Angeline (122cm) and Eileen (116cm).

Gill’s idea, sown at the beginning of May (pun intended), to grow giant sunflowers using a spare bag of seeds brought an enthusiastic response from members eager to show off their horticultural expertise…or lack of it depending. Seeds/pots/compost were distributed and regular measuring took place when some plants just grew…and grew…and grew. By early June a few had reached 25cm and there was dark mutterings about high strength fertiliser, ‘artificial aids’, repotting techniques and general dirty work at the crossroads.

But of course every high has its low and very soon tears were being shed mid-June as Cyril the Squirrel, Sid the Slug and Sammy the Snail munched their way through several prize blooms and pics were shared of the devastation. Boo hoo! However, not to be outdone, the intrepid WI members replanted and sat with loaded shotguns, guarding their charges, some of whom had become members of the family (Sunny, Tony, Stu..!).

All in all the project proved to be not only an opportunity for everyone (even those without Internet facility were involved) to take part no matter whether in garden, in window box or indoors but a fun way of gaining a bit of experience in growing your own, with lots of laughs along the way, helping to keep spirits up with a pop of sunshine in a pot.

** Negotiations are underway with BA for the 1st prize tickets to NYC…watch this space…but don’t hold yer breath!

Many thanks to Kit for this report!


Stroud Green WI proudly presents our WInter Fair!

Stroud Green WI proudly presents our WInter Fair!

Local crafts and our WI cake stall will be the highlights of Stroud Green Women’s Institute WInter Fair on Saturday 30 November, which is raising funds for Mind in Haringey. There will also be a WI preserves stall selling jams and chutneys.

Local small businesses and crafts people will be selling unique gifts – jewellery, ceramics, stationery, cards, candles, scarves, gardens in a jar and homeware and much more!

And there will be wonderful raffle prizes donated by local businesses in Stroud Green and Finsbury Park, including a Christmas tree from The Christmas Foresta £40 meal for two from the Stapleton Tavern, goodies from The Deli at 80, a £25 voucher from Rewild Flowers, a £15 voucher from Bacchus N4 plus a stallholders group prize.

We’re pleased to welcome the following stalls: Fran Wood Design’s Scandi and mid-century inspired screenprints and giftware, mini gardens from Linda Philips, jewellery designed and handmade by Leila Khasal, handmade or upcycled items to help promote a plastic free lifestyle from Wastelady Studio, stationery and paper goods from illustrator Julia Wyzgowska, handcrafted ethical fashion accessories from Enfair, wheel thrown stoneware ceramics from Maria Cabrera, sterling silver and gold jewellery from Tracey O’Neill, gift wrap, prints and homeware from Bryony & Bloom, accessories and homeware using upcycled vintage fabrics and trimmings from Annie Sparkles, a range of hand felted items from Jacqui Osley, plants and gifts from Rewild, crochet mug cosies and gift accessories from That Tea Cat, fabric and crafty bargains from Shoreditch Sisters WI, and handmade scarves, shrugs and aprons from Rarebits Design.

The fair will be opened at 12pm by the mayor of Haringey, Councillor Sheila Peacock.

Sarah Wiseman, president of Stroud Green WI, said: “We’ve got a wonderful variety of stalls featuring handmade crafts, plants and jewellery. We’re all looking out for Christmas presents – for ourselves if no one else! You won’t want to miss getting a slice or two of our cake, or a jar of preserves. It’s going to be a great afternoon in aid of a superb cause.”

Lynette Charles, Chief Executive Officer of Mind in Haringey, which will benefit from money raised on the day, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to the WI raising money from this year’s fair for Mind in Haringey. Every pound we make on the day will help us support the well-being and mental health of people in Haringey.”

The Stapleton Tavern has generously donated the use of its grand Chandelier room for the fair.

Saturday 30 November, 12 – 5pm
The Stapleton Tavern, 2 Crouch Hill, London N4 4AU

Wreath making at the WI!

Wreath making at the WI!

Wow! Look at all these

Our Christmas meeting was wonderful! We made rag wreaths, Lorraine the WI federation chair showed us how and provided us with lots of materials and ideas as well as technique.

We had  such a lovely evening all round – there was creativity,   lots of lovely festive food and drink kindly supplied by our members, some fantastic organising by our committee (including a paper Christmas tree tutorial).

We were also really pleased to have so many new faces among us, who we hope to see again.

A very big thank you to Lorraine who drove a long way to provide our activity for the evening


A proud maker!

Our finished products!

Some of the lovely materials we used to create our wreaths

Some of the finished products on proud doors around the borough!



Our Vegan Meeting

Our Vegan Meeting

The delicious vegan spread, with cupcakes by Baking Bad (they really were very nice indeed).

Kamil chatting to a member

Yvette’s special vegan birthday cake

Bridget plying us with delicious vegan wine from her deli

We had a lovely evening at this month’s WI meeting, despite the sudden chill in the air and lashing rain, we were a well attended group.

We had two visitors this evening, the lovely Bridget, owner of the Deli at 80, who gave us a talk on veganism and brought along some delicious vegan wine and amazing little vegan cup cakes. Kamil, one of the co-founders of the ‘Olive Branch’ a small family run business that primarily produces olive oil and olive related products, also came along and he gave us a talk on all things olive oil production, both talks were great, really interesting and complimentary.

The  tapenade’s also produced by Olive Branch, were really delicious, they went really well with the humous that Bridget brought with her – which was a creamy, smooth delight!

I (Deb) also gave my perspective on veganism, as the only vegan member of the Stroud Green WI.

As if all that wasn’t enough we were also able to celebrate our seventh Stroud Green WI birthday with an amazing and super huge vegan birthday cake made by member Yvette, which went down a storm!


Stroud Green WInter Fair

Stroud Green WInter Fair

It is with great regret that we have made the decision that this year we will take a break from the Winter Fair. We have a list of great quality stalls but not enough to put on the Winter Fair to the standard that we are used to and the stallholders, their customers and our patrons deserve.

In Spring 2019 we intend to start planning a bigger and better Winter Fair than ever.

Our September Meeting

Our September Meeting

Morris Dancing!

At our September meeting we did Morris Dancing, it was a great success, everybody joined in and had an energetic and enjoyable evening.

We were led by the Black Horse and Standard Group of women Morris Dancers. They were really knowledgable about the history of Morris Dancing and were also very encouraging at leading us to learn a simple dance.

Below  are some pictures of the night, However if you want to know more about the history of Morris Dancing, of fancy joining the Blackhorse and Standard group (they really are very friendly and welcoming). You will find more information here: