Public Affairs Committee (PA)

The PA Committee meetings are informal, discussing how best we can campaign, organise and promote awareness around matters that are important to WI members and mostly significantly around WI Resolutions. We also organise an annual event such as a faith visit, science day and events that focus on promoting women, Fairtrade, etc.  The Committee also promotes awareness and campaigns around ACWW and Climate Change.  Do come along, see what we do and decide for yourself if it’s a Committee you’d like to become involved with as we’d love to welcome more members onto the PA Committee.

Current members are: Gwen Williams (Chair), Annie Phillips (Vice Chair), Jill Newell, Jan McLardy, Danielle Chatten, Pat Collison, Val Simpson (ACWW), Joyce Haisledon,  Rae Stapleton and Maggie Glavin

The Public Affairs Committee is currently meeting by via Zoom sessions.  If you would like to join us to find out more about the Committee then please email Gwen Williams -

The next meetings of the PA Committee are on

30th November  10am  at Park Farm

11th January 2022  10am at Park Farm


Val Simpson, Haverhill Owls, is the new ACWW rep.  Val is actively promoting ACWW throughout SWFWI - look out for ACWW news and articles in the Hive, SWFWI website and on SWFWI Facebook.

Climate Ambassador

Lesli Tunbridge, Glemsford, is the new Climate Ambassador.  Lesli is actively promoting her role throughout SWFWI - look out for Climate Change  news and articles in the Hive, SWFWI website and on SWFWI Facebook.

Welcome to the PA Committee Memo

Want to know more about WI resolutions past and present? Unsure about how to get involved with campaigns? The PA Memo is here to help. This quarterly publication will give ideas for you and your WI, aiming to make resolutions accessible and more relevant. Then, whether you’ve organised a regular resolution update at your WI, a low-key event for members only or an event for the wider community, we’d love to hear about it! Let’s celebrate the wonderful work you do – share via The Hive, the Federation Office or the SWFWI Facebook page and website.

PA Memo Issue 1


Innovate East event - Global thinking for our collective futures. Event organised by Anglian Water, Essex &Suffolk Water and Northumbrian Water  - an event that tackled  some of the most pressing challenges facing the water industry, our region and society – at Trinity Park Showground, Ipswich.  Innovate East has the potential to have a huge impact and deliver solutions to challenges and opportunities we collectively face.

WI Life - Advertising inserts.  The PA Committee recently wrote to WI Life challenging the practice of sending paper advertising to all WI members.  Read WI Enterprises's reply here

We look forward to seeing you at PA Committee meetings or at the PA events.

Gwen Williams          Annie Phillips
Chair                         Vice Chair

Annie         &        Gwen

Events Reports

Innovate East (September 2019)

Visit to Great Blakenham Recycling Centre (September 2019)

Suffragette Coffee Morning (4th December 2018, Barnham)

Science and Environment Event (Lavenham 9th November, 2018)

Walsham-le-Willows - Buddhist Retreat

Cambridge - Polar Institute and Kings College

Lavenham - Inspiring Women Supper


The Best Before Project, the aim is to stop good food from being thrown away, see attached link for more information.
The Project has joined up with FareShare and is receiving weekly food donations from Tesco and other donators. The shop is open once a week on Tuesdays 10am to 2pm at present. .  Unit 4, Elseys Yard, Risbygate Street, Bury St Edmunds IP33 3AA    If you can help out at the shop then please contact Hilary Whitwell.

Best Before Website

Best Before Project - Bury St Edmunds

Our aim is to stop good food from being thrown away.  Food which has passed its “best before” date may lose some of its initial quality (taste, aroma or texture) but still remains edible and safe (Food Standards Agency  It is these food items that we are giving out to all sections of the community, to help people on low budgets, to assist in educating people about this unnecessary waste and the negative and harmful impact it has on our environment.  Food is distributed free of charge, from the shop, with the choice of giving a donation. Our shop is open once a week on Tuesdays 10am to 2pm at present.  Unit 4, Elseys Yard, Risbygate Street, Bury St Edmunds IP33 3AA

Best Before Project can be contacted on:
Website:  Facebook:  Twitter: @BestBeforeBSE

2016 Resolutions -  Avoid food waste, address food poverty

One of the WI’s 2016 resolutions was “Avoid food waste, address food poverty” and, following the SWFWI’s April Resolution Evening’s meeting, the speakers around this resolution, Karen Cannard, The Rubbish Diet, and Ben Aldous, Deputy Manager of the Bury St Edmunds Sainsbury’s, met to discuss the store being involved with donating unsold food to local charities.

Discussions have taken a while to get an agreement but the PA Committee is very pleased to report that Sainsbury’s is now donating its unsold food to two Bury St Edmunds charities. As part of an initiative to eradicate its food waste, the supermarket has starting working with the addiction charity Focus12 and Bury Women’s Aid Centre (the Refuge).  Clients at Focus12 receive a £25 weekly food allowance and the project, which began two months ago, has already saved if £400.

WI’s call “...on all supermarkets to sign up to a voluntary agreement to avoid food waste, thereby passing surplus food onto charities thus helping to address the issue of increasing food poverty in the UK” has made a positive start in Bury.  It just proves what positive actions start from a WI resolution, enabling a discussion and from people talking with other.

Gwen Williams
PA Committee

2nd September 2016