Guest blog by Liz Barker, Resolutions Adviser for Norfolk Federation and member of Brundall Evening WI
Imagine a Village Hall in rural Norfolk filled with over 50 WI members, all talking in a very animated fashion- not about cakes and jam- but instead discussing everything from equal pay in Norfolk to education of women worldwide, from food waste to internet safety, from organ donation to safe use of antibiotics.
Yes, you have guessed correctly- on Thursday 20 November, Norfolk Federation were discussing Resolutions and Campaigns, covering both the current campaign on talking about organ donation and the 7 shortlisted resolutions for voting on in 2015.
The shortlisted resolutions provoked much lively discussion, led by members of Norfolk Federation’s PA Committee. We all hoped that more than one resolution could go forward to the National Annual Meeting at the Royal Albert Hall to make for a meaningful debate of the issues.
Campaigning is very important here in Norfolk and we have had several resolutions taken forward as national campaigns – think Care Not Custody and No Smoking in public places for starters!
Then in the afternoon we turned our attention to the current campaign about discussing organ donation and we brainstormed ideas for talking about this difficult subject with our loved ones:
NORFOLK’S TOP TIPS FOR TALKING ABOUT ORGAN DONATION
· Ask members of your family whether they have considered organ donation for themselves
Give them a copy of the WI leaflet, with the form to sign up for organ donation in it, and say “I’m up for it, are you?” Perhaps put a leaflet in their Christmas stocking!
· Use “triggers” such as WI Life, attendance at this meeting, or news items to start the discussion
· Involve younger members of your family. Grandchildren might be more receptive to a discussion
· If you carry emergency details such as allergies, medication advice, phone numbers with you, then add your wishes about organ donation
· Have a notice in your kitchen saying “Please take my organs when I no longer need them”
We then moved on (because we are a thoughtful bunch of ladies who have lots of ideas – like most WI members!) to discuss possible future resolutions and explored ideas including internet safety, road safety and children’s language skills. Even buggy design attracted our attention!
So overall we had a really good day and went home full of ideas. This is what the WI is all about – learning from each other and constructive discussion sprinkled with a dose of humour! This sounds like a recipe… so we are back to cakes and jam again!
For more information on the #WITimeToTalk campaign, please see our website: