Votes and totes!

Or Resolutions and Handbags!

Our May meeting provided an opportunity to consider and vote upon the two resolutions proposed to go forward to the National A.G.M. in June.

The first, on alleviating loneliness reads:

“This meeting calls on every WI and the NFWI to work alongside health and social care providers and their local community to raise awareness of the causes and impacts of loneliness, thus ensuring better identification of lonely people in order to be able to offer them the appropriate assistance and support.”

The concerns raised provoked strong feelings from members. Most of us are aware of people who may be lonely, and many of us recalled times when we ourselves had experienced loneliness and the impact this had had on our well-being and self-esteem. There was an overwhelming consensus that this is just the sort of issue which the W.I. should address and where it is in a good position to take action.

The second proposed resolution on “Plastic Soup” relates to the marine environment.

“Microplastic fibres are shed from synthetic clothing with every wash and are the main contributors to microplastic contamination of the oceans. The NFWI calls on Government and industry to research and develop innovative solutions to this problem in order to stop the accumulation of microplastic fibres in our oceans.”

Whilst many of us were aware of the problems cause by microbeads found in cosmetics and other products, we had been largely unaware of the damage which comes from the shedding of microplastic fibres, for example from clothing in the wash. These fibres are often toxic and when they enter the food chain can harm not only fish and other marine wildlife but also humans. Preventing such contamination is essential, as cleaning up the sea once the plastic fibres are in the water is almost impossible, and we agreed that – however difficult – it was important to start somewhere.

After lively discussion, both resolutions were voted on by our members and both passed.

The discussions continued over tea, but members also had a chance to browse the accessories Bring-and-Buy – assorted handbags, hats, scarves and jewellery brought along and all looking for new homes! A share of the proceeds was duly delivered to our funds.

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