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The Queens Platinum Jubilee

The 2022 Eileen Bowler Competition

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The Queens Platinum Jubilee

The Eileen Bowler Competition, 2022:

Two chances to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

NEXT year Her Majesty The Queen will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee — 70 years since she ascended to the throne on February 6, 1952. To mark this very special occasion, our Eileen Bowler competition will consist of not one but two competitions.

Schedule 1

You are invited to write a reflective essay entitled Queen for a Day in not more than 500 words (the same length as for the Lady Denman Cup).

Entries should be posted or emailed to SFWI HQ by Friday, January 28, 2022.

Schedule 2

This is your chance to design a card for Her Majesty “on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee” on behalf of Surrey Federation. Your card can be completed in any way you wish but will need to be of a suitable size to be sent by Royal Mail —A5 or A4 or anything in between.

Platinum Jubilee card entries should be posted or delivered to SFWI Headquarters by Friday, January 21,2022.

The Queen for a Day winner will be announced at the Annual Council Meeting in March. If you would like guidance on the marking scheme that the judge will use, you can book a place on the essay course at our On with the Show event (see below).


On with the show!

Wednesday, October 6 – SFWI HQ, 10am-noon – 1pm-3pm.

DO YOU need help and advice for entering classes at shows? Perhaps you feel there’s no point in entering them because others are better than you! And if you do enter, do you wonder why you don’t score higher marks? Would you like to find out what judges were looking for when they choose the winner?


 We are offering members two half-day workshops at our Guildford HQ to assist, guide and encourage you to enter our competitions.

The day will be divided into four sessions: cookery and preserves in the morning and crafts and essay writing in the afternoon, and will focus on the 2022 Eileen Bowler Competition (see above for details), and the WI classes at the 2022 Surrey County Show.

The classes include a Victoria sandwich, a bottle of cordial, a knitted item, a crocheted item, a dough model, an item of jewellery, an item for a baby and two or more dressed peg dolls.

The schedule can be found at (scroll down to Surrey County Show and click on Schedule 2022).

The tutors (who include a couple of trained judges) will talk you through how to gain marks in competitions. You will also have the opportunity to have a go at judging items for yourself.

Members may apply to do either the morning or afternoon sessions, or both, and will be given a printout of On With The Show, the WI’s comprehensive guide to competing which tells you all you need to know. Our website, also contains a link to the booklet.

The cost is £5 per half day session (£10 whole day). Tea/coffee will be available but you will need to bring a packed lunch if you are attending both sessions.

The closing date for ticket applications is Friday, August 27. Apply via our website ( or by email to the office, following the ticket application instructions on Page 23 of SWIN or by post by filling in the application form on that page.

Home Economics, Craft and Gardening Committee

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Can we train you to become a WI Adviser?

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Can we train you to become a WI Adviser?

Read on …

THE next round of WI Adviser training is due to start in September. The Federation needs more Advisers, so please ask yourself:


  • Dynamic and inspirational;
  • A good communicator;
  • Well organised.


  • Enjoy meeting people;
  • Enjoy helping others.

If the answer is “yes” you are just the sort of person we need. The WI will train you in leadership skills covering communication, WI governance and finance and providing support for WIs.

The role is voluntary and the accredited training is done through the NFWI and is paid for by Surrey Federation.

If you would like to be part of a team of enthusiastic women taking the WI forward, here’s what to do:

  • Go to and watch the So You Want To Be An Adviser video.
  • Contact the office to discuss becoming an Adviser.
  • Find further information on MyWI>Federation Team>Federation Roles>WI Advisers.

It’s a very worth while job and just the sort of post-lockdown challenge you might be looking for. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Autumn Fed Speakers

Autumn Federation Meeting – Monday, 18th October 2021

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Autumn Fed Speakers


Meeting starts 10.15am. Tickets £16. closing date Friday, 3rd September book online via our website or by email/post via form on p23 of Swin

It must be third time lucky!

POSTPONED from March 2020, postponed again from October 2020, it must be third time lucky for the speakers we have had booked for so long!

Amanda Owen needs no introduction to fans of the Channel 5 series Our Yorkshire Farm, the story of life with her husband Clive and their nine “free range” children at remote Ravenseat Farm, high in the Yorkshire Dales. Snow, hail, gales, whatever the weather Amanda, Clive and the children are out there battling the elements to earn a living from their thousands of acres of moorland — a scene of incredible beauty but which can be cruel and hostile.

Joining her are two more women at the top of their game.

Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton has been a firefighter since she was 18 and is now one of the most senior female firefighters in  the UK. After leaving home at 15 and school at 16, she joined the fire service in Wales. While climbing the ranks, she  studied at the Open University and then at Cardiff University, eventually completing a PhD in psychology. Her subsequent research into incident command in the emergency services has not only won awards but has also  influenced policy at a global level.

Sabrina was recently conferred as an Honorary Fellow at Cardiff University. Her first book, The Heat of the Moment, was  published in April 2019 and has been optioned for TV by Kudos TV. She is an ambassador for The Big Issue and lives with her husband and daughter in London.

Alieda Moore is Deputy Agent for Greater London at the Bank of England. Her job involves acting as the Bank’s eyes and ears to connect bank policymakers with London businesses and communities. She gathers business intelligence to inform monetary and financial stability decisions, such as the setting of UK interest rates and acts as a public speaker, explaining the bank’s policies to businesses, local communities and schools. It will be interesting to hear what she has to say about the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak on Britain’s economy Alieda graduated with a first class Honours Degree in Economics from Loughborough University and previously worked as a consultant at Deloitte and intern at Goldman Sachs. She started her career at the Bank of England as a senior analyst, leading on  numerous work streams in preparation for a live bank failure.

Alieda is co-chair of the Bank of England Ethnic Minorities network and led on a successful launch of a new strategy that focuses on further senior engagement on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) issues and initiatives, aimed at making the network more inclusive to BAME and non-BAME staff. She is a mentor to one of the Bank of England African-Caribbean scholars and has also sat on the Steering Group of the Women in the Bank network.

Entertainment by students from Orpheus

THE Godstone-based Orpheus Centre was founded by Sir Richard Stilgoe. It is an independent specialist college that believes every young disabled person should have the same opportunities as their non-disabled peers. It offers a personalised study programme focusing on building independence, communication and social interaction skills through the arts, supported housing and a personal care service.

Orpheus students have performed in venues including the Royal Opera House, Royal Albert Hall, Glastonbury  Festival, Notting Hill Carnival, the Paralympic Opening Ceremony and the Royal Festival Hall and appeared in the hit TV show Call The Midwife. 

Ann Lovelace, a volunteer with the centre, will be telling stories of Orpheus and introducing alumni who will perform their chosen songs.



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What’s New from HQ (July 2021)

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What’s new from HQ

During July there is no mailing planned, the next mailing will be at the end of August.

If your delegate for the NFWI Annual Meeting did not report back in person or send/ email you a written report about the meeting, please email the office at and we will send you a copy of the report.

The office is only manned twice a week at the time of writing and other times when required, but it will be closed to members for the whole of August.

Best wishes,

Karen Whitehead, Federation Secretary 

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Message from our Federation Chairman (July 2021)

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Don’t fear the new, embrace it

‘Be Cautious, Be Calm, Be Kind’ a poster reads on the outskirts of Guildford as one is welcomed into the town, stoic advice as life has returned to relative normal. The regulations have now gone and we, some boldly, some far more tentatively, emerge.

For many it has been some considerable time since they have stepped beyond their garden gate, gone into a shop, a pub, eaten a meal out, and had family or friends in the house and to stay. For me it was eight long, painful months that I was prevented by Covid from seeing my daughter and her family.

I wish you all well on your journey to freedom, whatever form it takes. I am sure that your WI will be instrumental in facilitating this journey.

As WIs return to face-to-face meetings there will inevitably be caution and hesitancy. Some WIs are also greatly  concerned by reduced membership numbers and income. Will renewal cover the basic costs? Where can a new venue be found when evicted, or room costs have become too high, and new meeting models are required to  ensure members’ safety and comfort?  You will find those hidden strengths and skills to solve these problems, just as you have over the past year.

What might seem one challenge too much, is the Federation’s introduction of Office 365. Many of you have greeted  the Federation’s Office 365 advances with enthusiasm, some have chided them, whilst other have met them with resignation. Fear not, be calm, help is at hand!

Due to the strict regulations around General Data Protection, it has become vital that the Federation ensures that your data is kept safe. Office 365 is the answer. It will also facilitate remote access for our staff working from home, to enable us to keep them safe and to promote environmentally friendly working practices.

But what will it mean for you as a WI, I hear you say? ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. Fear of the unknown is a basic human trait, and crucial to our survival. We are programmed to either fight our flee, we embrace or we turn our back.

I recall my mother-in-law, well into her 90s, rising to the challenge of the computer in order to play crib, and my  parents similarly acquiring computer skills late in life to track their grandson via a blog as he trekked across South Africa.

Office 365, in the fullness of time, will become a tool to serve all our needs. WI officers will have their own email addresses, space on the cloud where documents can be shared virtually, and most importantly, WI committees will have access from the comfort of their own homes to every document that they will need to run their WI, all in the same place, data secure and paper free. It will save time, money and help save the planet. Adopt your WIs email address at the very least, it is your password to untold treasure!

But it is not expected that this will be achieved overnight. WIs will be offered training, will be able to adopt the system at their leisure, and will still be able to receive paper copies on request. Often fear and apprehension is worse than the thing one is afraid of, so I urge you to embrace Office 365. And remember you are not expected to make this change overnight unless you wish to.

Hands-on training will be provided following best practice —‘I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand’ to quote Confucius. I have already been trained and will subsequently receive further input as secretary of my own WI. I have dabbled a little each day, acquiring new skills along the way. I have certainly found that by working step by step and taking notes as I go, I have quickly become familiar with the system.

Remember, there have been many women key to the history of the computer, from Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), the ‘Prophet of the Computer’ and the ladies of Bletchley Park, through to the many who work in the field of computing today. Let us add our names to this list by participating in the roll-out of the project.

Members of the WI have showed, and always will, their veracity. Let’s tackle Office 365 with that same spirit. I invite you to applaud your many achievements. What have you learned over the last year that you never thought possible? Be proud of it, celebrate it and add your mastery of Office 365 to this list.

And finally, as you enjoy the summer with your family, friends and WI members, take a moment to reflect. “I’ve discovered something better than cake..” [said] the mole… “A hug, it lasts longer.” “Nothing beats kindness” said the horse. “It sits quietly beyond all things.” (Charlie Mackesy, The Boy, The Fox, The Mole and The Horse).

Carol A. Gartrell

Federation Chairman

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