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THE POWER OF A COLLECTIVE VOICE
Liverpool hosted the Annual Meeting of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes on 11 June and Staffordshire members were there in force. The hybrid meeting allowed over 3,000 members across the country to be involved in the event.
The Chair of the National Federation, Ann Jones, gave a warm welcome to the ladies and congratulated our most distinguished member, Queen Elizabeth, on her Platinum Jubilee.
The WI has a proud history of campaigning for positive change to improve society and a recent campaign involved Modern Slavery. The meeting heard a talk by Kate Garbers, Independent Modern Slavery Consultant and co-founder of the charity Unseen on theissue. She explained how the pandemic and conflict in Europe have increased slavery and people trafficking. Kate asked for anyone with any concerns that someone may be working under duress or being forced into actions against their will to report these to the Police or via the Modern Slavery helpline 0800 121 7000.
This year’s proposed resolution for change was for better diagnosis and treatment of girls and women with ASD and ADHD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) After listening to experts in their fields, and hearing personal accounts from individuals in the audience, members voted by over 96% in favour of adopting the Resolution. This will now become a campaign for action with a framework to be provided by the Public Affairs Team.
The Keynote Speaker was The Lady Usher of the Black Rod, Sarah Clarke, who is the first female holder of the role in its 650 year history. Sarah was previously the Director of the All England Lawn Tennis Club and gave a fascinating insight into how her Team ensured the smooth and successful running of a major sporting event. Her experience at Wimbledon and involvement in the London 2012 Olympic Games has proved to be excellent grounding for her role as Black Rod.
The WI continues to be the largest women’s organisation in Britain with over 220,000 members – find out more about the WI and find an institute near you by visiting www.thewi.org.uk
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