Our Latest News


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.

The Unveiling of Emmeline Pankhurst’s Statue

On Friday Manchester unveiled its second female statue and long awaited ‘Our Emmeline’. 

Women from across the region, including women from Cheshire and Lancashire Federations, walked together to celebrate 100 years to the day when some women placed their very first vote in the ballot box on 14th December 1918 .

Of course women in the WI have been able to vote on WI issues in their institutes since 1915.  And Alia el Asmar our Resolutions Advisor says ‘Don’t forget to return the results of your vote!  You can do this by posting in your slips to WI House or by emailing the results to sec@cheshirewi.org.uk.  Results should be in by the end of January 2019.  Please do not use the email address Alia recently sent (cfwi.resolutionsadviser@gmail.com) as it is no longer working.’


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

Happy Christmas To All Our Members and Friends

Jean our Federation Chairman and all the Trustees wish everyone a very happy Christmas and send you all best wishes for the New Year.

Christmas at Whitefriars

WI House closes on Friday 21st December and reopens on Thursday 3rd January

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

Christmas at White Friars

Despite the weather, which was particularly wet on Saturday, Trustees and members enjoyed the two special Christmas days at WI House.   White Friars was beautifully decorated, there was an archive display to explore as well as the house itself, crafts items to make and, of course. food and drink to be consumed.

Jean Harding, CFWI Chair, says ‘thank you to all the members who visited White Friars on either Thursday 6th or Saturday 8th December.  Many visited for the first time and found the House fascinating and beautifully decorated for Christmas.   There was a lovely atmosphere as members were welcomed with mince pies and tea/coffee or mulled wine and there was considerable demand for the delicious wine!   Members then tried their hand at craft or the raffle when everyone won!!

The smell of bacon cooking certainly tempted everyone to buy a very tasty bacon bap.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many members, some I already knew but also many I had not met before.  It was a pleasure to talk with you all.

Thank everyone who worked so hard to make both days so successful.

Finally, may I wish you all a very Happy Christmas together with a healthy and successful 2019.’

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

NFWI Food Donation Poll

Rebecca Sharkey, Head of NFWI Public Affairs writes ‘  The NFWI is conducting a poll to establish the extent to which WI members and the public donate to food banks and other community food aid organisations.

In 2017-18, a record 1.3million food parcels were given out across the Trussell Trust foodbank network, representing approximately 60% of the foodbank picture.  However, much less is known about how the public is helping tackle food poverty by donating time, money or food to local foodbanks and other food aid projects.

The poll will take no longer than two minutes to complete and, subject to sufficient responses being gathered, it is hoped that the results will draw attention to the issue of food poverty and build better understanding of how WI members and the public are helping alleviate food poverty in their communities.

The poll will be open to WI members and the public, and we would like to hear from them irrespective of whether or not they have donated to a foodbank or other community food aid initiative.

The poll closes on the 2nd January. Due to the short timescale we should be grateful if you would distribute details of the poll across your networks.

The link to complete the survey online can be found here: THEWI.ORG.UK/S/FOODPOLL

If you have any questions about this process, please contact the Public Affairs Department on 020 7371 9300, ext. 238 or PA@NFWI.ORG.UK.

Thank you for your support.’

More Information about Food Poverty

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

Eastham WI in Devon

Members of Eastham WI are on holiday in Devon for the week.  With glorious weather and excellent company, they returned exhausted to their hotel after Christmas shopping.  Jean and friend found a chair to rest in in the shopping centre while Ann got into the Christmas mood.   Next stop Bideford.

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

Dean Row WIs 95th Birthday Celebration

Dean Row WI celebrated their 95th birthday on November 7th in style by holding a party filled with singing and dancing.  The day also commemorated 100 years since some women got the vote and the end of world War 1.  Members dressed in period costume, were greeted on arrival by two “soldiers ” whose presence enhanced the Poppy display created by the craft and chat group.  They were then treated to a Bucks Fizz welcome reception and two course meal with wine.  Professional singer Maria Manchester entertained, followed by Dean Row Drama group.   The cake was cut by two members and the longest serving member, 97 year old Iris Upham, was presented with a bouquet of flowers by CFWI Chairman Jean Harding.

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

Tytherington’s Real-life Calendar Girls Bare All for Charity

Members of our very own Tytherington Treacles WI have bared all in a revealing, 2019 calendar shoot to raise £10,000 for the Victoria Breast Screening Centre in Macclesfield.

Twelve women, aged from 39 to 76 years old, pose in a series of nude images, beautifully shot by award-winning, Manchester photographer, Emma Finch.   Each photo reflects the subject’s special interest or occupation – from baking and quilting, to husky-training and rock climbing.   A further three women appear in the group photo on the calendar cover.  The photos were all taken at Shrigley Hall.

‘I’ve been a software developer all my life, so I’m pictured with a computer,’ said Valerie Jones, aka Miss April, and Secretary of Tytherington Treacles WI.

‘Our photographer, Emma, was amazing.   She helped us to work out our poses and completely put us at our ease.’

Cash raised from calendar sales will help fund a new ultra-sound machine and other vital equipment at the Victoria Breast Screening Centre, which aims to detect cancers early.

‘As breast cancer affects one in eight women, we all know someone who has had this terrible disease,’ said Valerie.

‘Two of our wonderful calendar girls have had treatment for breast cancer; it touches all of us.  Early detection may mean simpler and more successful treatment.  Today, breast cancer screening saves around 1,300 lives every year.’

Representatives from the Victoria Breast Screening Centre, including consultant, Mike Crotch-Harvey, were amongst guests at the calendar’s Big Reveal launch night recently.  Also attending was Radio 5 Live Breakfast Show presenter, Rachel Burden.  She spoke movingly about her colleague and friend, Rachael Bland, who recently died from breast cancer, aged just 40.

The calendars can be bought at Macclesfield Tourist Office for £10.  The WI will also have a stand at Macclesfield Treacle Market this Sunday (28 October) and in November and December.  The fundraising campaign has already been boosted by a prize raffle and sponsorship from local businesses.  Local printers, Spiral Printers, produced the calendars free of charge.

‘This would not have happened without the support of our local community and local businesses.  We have been overwhelmed by your generosity.  Thank you so much,’ said Valerie.

It was the WI, in a century-long tradition of campaigning, which first lobbied the government in 1975 to set up breast screening clinics.  This resulted in the national screening programme being established in 1988.

‘The WI has always been a formidable force for good and this month marks 100 years since the first WI Resolution,’ added Valerie.

‘We really hope that the sponsorship and fundraising from our calendar goes a long way to improving the lives of those in our local community.’

Please like us on our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Tytheringtontreacleswicalendar2019/

For more information contact:  Valerie Jones, 07976 974 432  valeriefrommacc@gmail.com

or Deborah Grace, press officer, 07979 908 871   deborah@grace-pr.co.uk

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

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

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