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With thousands of members across the county there's always something interesting going an and so much we want to share with you. Keep up to date with all our latest news and check back regularly for updates and details of events and meetings.

PAL Meeting at Frodsham 24th October 2018

Members, primarily PALS, listened with rapt attention to a clear, understandable, sometimes humorous, and very engaging and informative talk from Cliona Kirwan about breast cancer, as part of the regular series of events arranged by our Public Affairs sub-committee.  And unsurprisingly, after the tea and cake break (kindly provided by Frodsham WI, there was no shortage of questions.

Caroline Bennison, a member of the fund-raising team at The Nightingale Centre, accompanied Cliona with information leaflets and advertising material.  If you would like to learn more about the Nightingale Centre or contact Caroline please click here

From a family of doctors, her grandmother qualified in 1930, Cliona inevitably followed her older brother and sister into medicine.  Following MBBS qualification in London and, inter alia, a spell in South Africa working in trauma, she obtained her PhD in Manchester where she is still based.

Both a senior lecturer in surgical oncology with a particular interest in the relationship between blood clotting and cancer and consultant breast surgeon at the University Hospital of South Manchester, Cliona divides her work between clinical work and academia.  In addition to doing diagnostic and follow-up clinics, Cliona performs re-constructive surgery alongside lumpectomy or mastectomy.

Also a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Cliona’s talk focussed on the Nightingale Centre in Wythenshawe hospital.  Based in a state of the art building opened in 2007, it coordinates the NHS breast screening programme for Greater Manchester.  With diagnostic and treatment services, consultants and dedicated breast care nurses, it is home to the Prevent Breast Cancer Charity.  About 50,000 patients are screened by mammogram each year, and where further investigations are necessary, see a consultant.  The centre houses many of the Prevent Breast Cancer Charity researchers looking at ways to predict and prevent breast cancer.  In addition to her other roles (as clinician and researcher) Cliona advises on prioritising areas of clinical research and identifying and applying for research grants.

Cliona told members that breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK with 150 people diagnosed each day (1.6 million world-wide), that one in 9 women and 1 in 1000 men will get breast cancer and that these figures are rising, probably due to increasing obesity.

But after telling members about different  types of cancer (including ductal carcinoma in situ which is a pre-cancer which has not escaped from the milk ducts) and what individuals can do to prevent breast cancer, by being breast aware: by self- examination (looking for changes from individual normal – lumps on the breast or in the armpit, thickening, dimples, irritation, swelling, discharges and pain), regular screening (every 3 years), and, reducing life-style risks, Cliona moved onto the positives – the greatly improved treatments (both reductions in the toxicity of treatments as well as improvements in surgical techniques leading to much improved outcomes in survival rates and cosmetic satisfaction.  It was emphasised that those over 70 years of age, 73 in some areas, are also eligible for screening by directly contacting the local centre.  Early diagnosis, whatever age, leads to improved prognosis.

Cliona finished her presentation by talking about the 4 pillars of high-quality research funded by Prevent Breast Cancer: gene research (how differences and mutations in genes may increase the chance of breast cancer eg the BRCA1 & BRCA2 genes), early detection and screening (identifying new screening methods for early accurate diagnosis), preventative drugs (to reduce the risk of breast cancer, such as first, Tamoxifen (an anti-oestrogen) and more recently Herceptin (for  those with the BRCA gene)  as well as diet and lifestyle (identifying lifestyle factors that contribute to risk). And too aid all of the many research projects there is are 10,000 families in the family history library.

Cliona maintains her interest in an apparently symbiotic relationship between blood clotting and cancer.  Research focuses on the observation that there is an increased risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis, thromboembolism) in people with cancer and that those patients with DVT appear to have a worse prognosis, with more aggressive cancer than those without.  In breast cancer, increased clotting has been seen in the breast tissue surrounding carcinoma in situ and it may be that clotting helps cancer escape from the ducts and progress to invasive cancer.  Use of anti-clotting drugs, such as Rivaroxiban, may target clotting system cancer facilitated cancers.  The PROCAS (predicting risk of cancer at screening) studies are examining breast density, which can increase risk of breast cancer up to 6 times, with a view to assigning a risk score at initial mammogram.  These form a small part of the total number of studies being carried out.


Posted in Cheshire WI in the News, WI Events

NFWI Judges

Congratulations to the members of the Cheshire Federation who have qualified as judges recently.

Cindy West, Tricia Jones, Bev Langham and Jane Percival, have been successful in becoming qualified NFWI Craft Judges.

We also have three new NFWI Produce Judges in Cheshire, Sue Atherton, Clare Hollins and Helen Sadler, I think we can be proud of them all, probably the most number of new judges in any one year, for any Federation.

They have worked very hard to obtain their judges qualifications shadowing judges at shows all year and completing various modules both online and at Denman.

Posted in Members News, WI News

Autumn Council Meeting at the Storyhouse

The Cheshire Federation of WIs Autumn Council meeting was held for the first time at the refurbished Storyhouse Theatre in Chester and it was a great success.  We were warmly welcomed by the staff and there was plenty of room for everybody, both in the foyer area and in the theatre itself.  Everyone had a numbered seat which made a refreshing change from the habit of seats being draped with scarves and coats. The ushers helpfully got us all seated.   Our trustees lined the stage which was decked with flowers and Jean Harding, our chair welcomed all to the venue.  Jean announced that Rachel Hughes is to step down from the Board of Trustees due to health reasons and thanked her for her support and hard work.

We heard some of the plans for our centenary year in 2020 and then had an inspirational talk from Razia Daniels the ex Lord Mayor of Chester.  Then we heard from our sub-committee chairs.  Sybil Graham stood down from the role of Resolutions Adviser and introduced Alia el Asmar who has been appointed to the role.  Diane Coulton gave us information about the Cheshire show 2019 when the theme will be “The Silver Screen” and Lyn Hand told us about the next CFWI trip to Denman on the 25/10/19.
After lunch we came back to the auditorium and listened to Eve Pollard, who was a glorious and very funny speaker, talking about her career as a journalist, in newsprint, magazines and on television.  She told a few stories about her daughter Claudia Winkleman, about meeting the Queen and covering all the Royal weddings and births and about other famous people as well as highlighting her work supporting women in business.  Although she entertained with many amusing anecdote, Eve told us she was keeping some things back for her memoirs!  Her time with Cheshire Federation ended with questions from the audience.
Many thanks to Jean and all those on the Board for planning and organising the event and to all the advisers for helping on the day.
There were a lot of very happy ladies on the bus back to the park-and-ride at the end of the day.
Posted in Cheshire WI in the News, Members News

The Big WI-Kender 2018

The Big WI-Kender was held in Cuddington by members of seven WIs from Cheshire Federation (Cheadle & Gatley, Offerton Hatters, Cale Green, Great Moor & District , Fulshaw, Runcorn and Stalybridge plus Cottonopolis WI from Lancashire Federation.  This is the third year that this event has been held and members attended craft sessions and cookery demonstrations, took part in competitions, went on walks, went to gin-club, took part in Wild West fun and learnt new skills or just relaxed all accompanied by lots of laughter.  A perfect example of building relationships across boundaries.


Posted in Cheshire WI in the News, Members News, WI News

White Water Rafting in Wales

Members of Fulshaw WI challenging all the stereotypes doing a spot of white water rafting near Llangollen.   What an amazing way to spend a Wednesday.  The pictures were taken by an employee of the Water Rafting Company on a bicycle.

Posted in Cheshire WI in the News, Members News, WI News

Golf Day September 2018

Veronica Gough, Chairman of our Sport and Leisure Sub Committee writes:  ‘On Friday 21st September twenty ladies gathered at Hartford Golf Club.  The weather looked ominous but at that time it was fair.  Halfway round though it was raining and the consensus was to call a halt so the scores are based on nine holes.  The winners (on a card play off) from Margaret Thomason and Elizabeth Williamson (Hough and District) were Susan Cox and Jenny Moore  ( Tarporley ) with a very good score of 20 points. Congratulations ladies!

I would like to thank Jean Harding  ( Federation Chairman) for coming to present the trophies and to Jenny Moore (Sport and Leisure Sub Committee) for all her hard work organising the day’.


Posted in Cheshire WI in the News, Members News, WI News

Malbank Group Afternoon Tea

Margaret Hughes, Chair of Malbank group. writes “the Group started to organize an afternoon tea to celebrate the 100th birthday of the WI on September 16th 2015 and it was decided to make it an annual event.   This year, members representing 7 WI’s from the Malbank Group attended and had a lovely afternoon tea with convivial company in relaxed surroundings at Hunters Lodge, Crewe .

This event provides a great opportunity for members to socialize and get to know each other a little better and I hope to see you at our next Group meeting next month”.

Posted in Cheshire WI in the News, Members News, WI News

Huxley Cup Winner 2018

This photo is featured in this month’s WI Life (September 2018) together with an article about the Huxley Cup competition which took place at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern, Worcester Federation on 14th June.  It shows the winner of the Huxley Cup, our very own Dorothy Monks from Lower Withington WI, Cheshire Federation with her wonderful prize winning arrangement.  Many congratulations Dorothy.

Huxley Cup winner

Posted in Cheshire WI in the News, Members News, WI News

Eastham WI Litter Picking

Our Federation Chair Jean Harding joined fellow members of Eastham WI to litter pick on the local playing fields.  Jean tells us ‘we had a really good morning and were thanked by a few people for the work we were doing.   So rewarding!’


Posted in Cheshire WI in the News, Members News, WI Events, WI News

Cheshire Federation Members at Chester Pride

Cheshire Federation was represented at Chester Pride on Saturday 11th August by members from Little Sutton Sapphires, the Iron Maidens and Great Moor and District.   Our members promoted not only the WI and its 100 year history of Resolutions but also that it is open to all self-identifying women.

Posted in Cheshire WI in the News, Members News, WI Events, WI News

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