Jasvinder Sanghera CBE: survivor, campaigner and founder of Karma Nirvana brings NWR conference to powerful close  

Jasvinder Sanghera, founder of Karma Nirvana, closed the annual conference of the National Women’s Register (NWR) today (12 September 2021).

JS Con21

Speaking about women’s rights in the context of faith and culture, Jasvinder (pictured above) is patron for NWR, a charity that operates local meeting groups for women across Great Britain.

Jasvinder shared her own experiences of forced marriage, sexual harassment and campaigning, commenting that many abuses take place against women in the name of culture or religion, and in all religions and cultures. 

Her closing remarks were a call to action for NWR’s members to be curious, challenging and supportive of women of all ages to combat isolation.

Jasvinder, a survivor of forced marriage, is the author of ‘Shame’, a ‘Times’ Top 10 Bestseller’. She is widely recognised as bringing the issue of forced marriage into the public domain in the UK. She was appointed Commander of the British Empire in 2013 in recognition of her outstanding contribution for the victims of forced marriage and honour based abuse. Awarded Legal Campaigner of the Year in 2014, Jasvinder’s work is acknowledged as being pivotal in the creation of a specific UK forced marriage criminal offence in the same year.

Natalie Punter, NWR’s national organiser commented:

“Jasvinder is an inspiration to our members, who admire her dedication, strength and purpose. I know our members left her presentation feeling like super women, wanting to celebrate our organisation and connect with more women to share what NWR has to offer.”

Karma Nirvana is a national award winning charity that supports both men and women affected by honour based abuse and forced marriages.

NWR members take part in discussions, presentations and activities through meetings ranging from local group meetings to online book groups to national conferences. Whether meeting face-to-face or online, NWR members are assured of a warm welcome and respectful audience, thus enabling women to share thoughts, ideas and experiences in a supportive environment.

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Fiona Catterson of Kilbarchan Group Announced winner of the Mary Stott Award 2021 at NWR National Conference

Birmingham, 11 September 2021

It is with great pleasure that the Trustees of NWR (National Women’s Register) announce Fiona Catterson of Kilbarchan Group as the winner of the 2021 Mary Stott Award.

The Mary Stott Award is presented annually to an NWR member who has made an exceptional contribution to NWR, her community or a wider initiative. Candidates for the award exemplify exceptional personal development and unswerving commitment to their cause, and are nominated by NWR members.

Fiona joined NWR in 2015 and is local organiser of the Kilbarchan Group, which welcomes members from in and around the Johnstone area of Scotland.

Jennifer Johnson, NWR trustee and lead judge for the Mary Stott Award, presented Fiona with NWR’s commemorative quaich - a Scottish cup of friendship - at the charity organisation’s national conference. She commented:

“This was the year of the pandemic and all NWR members had to face a new way of working and maintaining our important NWR links, and Fiona made exceptional efforts to support her NWR group in dealing with the unfamiliar ways of working. She not only helped her own group to maintain links with each other, but also encouraged them to engage across the full range of NWR's digital offerings making them feel very much part of the wider NWR community.”

Fiona’s work securing a sizable lottery sum for the Friends of Stanley Park Care Home in Paisley was also recognised by the judges, as were her environmental activities and research into climate change and conservation.

Fiona’s Kilbarchan Group colleagues commented in nominating her:

“Fiona is deeply committed and very active in her church. She is passionate about climate change, single use plastics and conservation, and with her push the church has become an Eco Church community, moving from strength to strength, and expecting to achieve silver and then gold status.

“In these strange times, Fiona through all her hard work with our NWR community and other organisations, has shown a tremendous commitment to the mental welfare of many people. Without her at the helm, many of our members would have had little contact with others. She is quick to notice who needs a helping hand. Now that things are easing a bit, she is calm and collected as some of us feel gung ho, while others are a bit concerned about mixing again.”

About the Mary Stott Award

Mary Stott was the first and longest serving editor of ‘The Guardian’ newspaper’s Women’s page, and it was under her aegis that ‘The Guardian’ provided a launch pad for the National Housewives Register (NHR), a forerunner organisation of NWR.

Mary Stott was a great supporter and friend to NWR; over 40 years she acted as an informal advisor, served as a trustee and was appointed an Honorary Life Member. Following Mary’s death in 2002, the NWR Mary Stott Award was founded as a lasting tribute to her contribution to NWR.

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NOTICE of ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

In accordance with the Memorandum and Articles of Association, notice is hereby given that the next Annual General Meeting of the National Women’s Register is to be held on: 

Saturday 11 September 2021 at 10.15 am.

 
The AGM will be hosted virtually via Zoom, as well as in person at our 2021 annual conference, and members wishing to attend via Zoom or in person may register to attend HERE.

Members attending the national conference do not need to register to attend the AGM.

Copies of the AGM Agenda, Annual Report and Accounts for 2020, the draft Minutes of the 2020 AGM and the Special Resolution are available to download from the NWR website members’ area HERE.

The trustees and the staff of NWR aim to give comprehensive answers to all questions presented at the AGM, but in the interests of meeting efficiency and effectiveness, you are invited to submit questions in advance of the AGM to the National Office team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (or NWR, Unit 31, Park Farm Industrial Estate, Ermine Street, Buntingford, Hertfordshire SG9 9AZ), and no later than 27 August. We will accept questions in writing or by email. Anonymous questions will not be accepted.
 
Please note that as questions will be invited from AGM attendees following the presentation of each section of the Annual Report and Accounts for 2020 at the meeting, the agenda does not include Any Other Business.
 
Josephine Burt
NWR Chair of the Board of Trustees

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NWR AGM 2021

The date of this year’s NWR annual general meeting is 11 September 2021.

We hope members will be able to attend our AGM to hear from trustees and members as we report and reflect on developments of the past year. A quorum of 75 AGM attendees is required for the meeting to be valid. 

The NWR AGM 2021 will take place on 11 September 2021 at 10.15 am at The Burlington Hotel, New Street, Birmingham.

Access to the AGM is available via Zoom, as well as in person. If you would like to register to attend this year’s AGM - either via Zoom, or in person - please do so via EventStop - linked HERE. Our EventStop booking page will be open for AGM bookings until 11.59 pm on Friday, 10 September.

Members attending our National Conference on 10 - 12 September are not required to register for the AGM.

The AGM will be recorded and posted on the members’ area of the NWR website for viewing after the event.

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NWR announces new patron appointment, Jasvinder Sanghera, founder of Karma Nirvana

NWR is delighted to announce the appointment of Jasvinder Sanghera CBE as a patron of NWR.

Jasvinder is the founder of Karma Nirvana, a national award winning charity that supports both men and women affected by honour based abuse and forced marriages. A survivor of a forced marriage, Jasvinder is an expert advisor in matters of child, civil and criminal law proceedings, and her work is acknowledged as being pivotal in the creation of a specific UK forced marriage criminal offence in 2014.

Her memoir ‘Shame’ was a ‘Times’ Top 10 Bestseller’ and Jasvinder is widely recognised as bringing the issue of forced marriage into the public domain. She was appointed Commander of the British Empire in 2013 in recognition of her outstanding contribution for the victims of forced marriage and honour based abuse. 

Jasvinder’s work is recognised globally. She has been listed as one of ‘The Guardian's’ 100 Most Inspirational Women in the World, and is a recipient of the Global Punjabi Award.

Recognised as Legal Campaigner of the Year 2014, her successful claim of sexual harassment against a peer in the House of Lords was the first in its 479 year history and has led to an increase in reporting of similar offences, and resulted in significant changes in House of Lords policy and practice and a House of Lords independent inquiry into sexual harassment and bullying.

Jasvinder was born and brought up in Derby. She was made an Honorary Doctor of the University of Derby in 2008, and in 2018 she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Law by De Montfort University, Leicester.

Josephine Burt, Chair of the Board of Trustees of NWR commented on the appointment:

“The NWR trustees are delighted that Jasvinder has accepted our invitation to join NWR as a patron. Our members told us that they were inspired by her commitment and bravery, and we hope to learn from her. She is a supporter of our goals and I know her involvement in NWR will bring our organisation to the attention of a wider audience and potential new members.”

Jasvinder Sanghera commented on her appointment:

“I am so looking forward to being a part of the NWR network and doing whatever I can to support its great friendship group.”

Jasvinder joins award winning author, Marion Molteno, as a patron of NWR.

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Catch-up with our patron, Marion Molteno

We are pleased to announce that NWR's patron, Marion Molteno has restarted her occasional blog to reconnect with friends and readers.

"... I’m celebrating by re-starting my blog, which, unsurprisingly, will be all about Real Lives. People whose lives have inspired mine, and whose spirit I want to capture, so that it is not lost. “Writing,” said a 14th century Persian scholar, “is the offspring of thought, the lamp of remembrance, the tongue of those who are far off, the life of those whose age has been blotted out.”

We look forward to catching-up with Marion, here

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COVID-19 NWR advice update

NWR's priority remains the safety of our members, and I would draw your attention to country specific COVID-19 restrictions applicable to your location:

And request that NWR members adhere to the following guidelines regardless of whether you have had the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Please ensure you are familiar with and remain up-to-date with your location’s COVID-19 restrictions for your own protection and that of others
  • Do not attend NWR meetings if you have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Stay 2m apart, wash your hands frequently (using soap and water for 20 seconds), use hand sanitiser and wear a face covering
  • Do not share food, beverages or catering utensils
  • Do not carpool and share vehicles

NWR’s advice for when meetings may take place indoors is as follows:

  • Select venues that can provide evidence of being ‘COVID safe’
  • Adhere to any NHS Test and Trace venue requirement (Please ensure one group member attending any meeting takes responsibility for recording the names and contact details of all members in attendance.)
  • Ensure your venue provides sufficient space to enable social distancing for the size of your group, and entrance and exit routes
  • Ensure rooms are ventilated and open windows wherever possible

If meeting in members’ homes (or gardens):

  • It is at the host’s discretion whether they require visitors to have taken the COVID-19 vaccine 
  • Hosts are requested to provide antibacterial wipes for bathroom cleaning use

If you have any queries regards the NWR COVID-19 advice, please do not hesitate to contact me or the NWR Office team.

 

Natalie 

National Organiser

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Give the Gift of Friendship!

                   nwr gift card 1                          

Do you know a woman who would enjoy being a part of NWR? 

Are you struggling to find the perfect gift for a birthday, Mother's Day or Easter?

In these times of uncertainty and isolation, the NWR has never played a more important role in connecting women, providing friendship and support from other lively minded women.

We may be unable to meet in person at the moment, but we are not letting that stop us!  NWR members are still able to communicate, connect and engage with each other by joining a wide range of fascinating talks, taking part in local and national meetings, testing their knowledge through national quizzes and enjoying themed events - all via Zoom.

So please help us in welcoming new members and spreading the word!

When you purchase a Gift Membership, the recipient will receive your choice of:

  • a gift card with envelope
  • a gift package with gift card, our latest NWR magazine, NWR pen, bag and either trolley coin or torch keyring, all beautifully packaged.

We can send your gift choice directly to the recipient with a handwritten note or to you to gift yourself.

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Murder Mystery Pays Off!

This is my annual email to let people know how much money has been raised from hiring out my Murder Mystery plays during the year and to thank them for hiring them.

I would like to thank the NWR office for kindly forwarding emails from NWR groups to enable them to book plays.

This year I sent £725 to the Disasters Emergency Committee who are helping “people around the world who are struggling to cope with the effects of this pandemic, alongside their daily struggles with conflict, hunger and natural disaster.” https://www.dec.org.uk/

I have obtained matched funding so the total received by the charity is £1,450. Sadly, due to the pandemic this total is lower than usual. However, it brings the total raised for third world charities (from all the plays, including matched funding) to £17,109.

Thank you so much for helping to make this total possible.


Linda

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Women in Street Names Project

Your Street Name Here 2

One of our members, Carrie de Silva from the Nantwich and Audlem group in Cheshire, launched a project at The Women's Library to highlight streets named after women (and how few there are), and to produce short biographies of some of the women named.

If you would be interested in getting involved then please contact Carrie for more details.  She'd love to collate local knowledge from across the UK.  For more information please click on this link 

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Recent Comments
Enid Hoseason
Can I just ask, is this blog regarding renaming streets after women, a personal thing or is it being promoted by NWR? I ask becau... Read More
Wednesday, 22 July 2020 10:27
Andrea Bethell
Sounds like a campaign to raise awareness of all women.
Wednesday, 22 July 2020 11:54
Anne Scoones
Does Carries de Silva still want contributions? Seems like a good idea to put in our next planning program for Croydon.
Monday, 01 February 2021 13:51
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Walking is one Thing we can all do!!

Fav Walk Chandlers Ford

The Chandler's Ford Group, like all of us, are having to find different ways of communicating, and they decided at a recent meeting to discuss their favouite walk, because at least it is something we can all do in this time of Lockdown. they have 20 members in their group out of which 12 participated in an online ZOOM meeting.  Three others sent their contributions before the meeting.  the list of walks was compiled and then emailed to all members... which is something that other groups might like to try!

TO READ ABOUT THEIR WALKS CLICK HERE

 

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Jennie Taylor
Just to say, walking is not something we can all do. For one reason or another it maynot be possible for us to walk.
Sunday, 02 August 2020 09:36
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Making the Website more user-friendly

We know that it's difficult for members to find their way around the website and to find the information they need, so we have added a couple of tabs on the Information for Members menu which we hope might help clarify things a bit.  We have added "Quizzes and Talks" which is where you will find all the online events we have offered, and where you will be able to find links to the replays.  We've also added a 'Newsletters' tab so that you can easily find these in one place.  This means that 'Programme Planning' now does exactly what it says on the tin - all the resources to help you plan your programme of activities for your group, whether that's for face-to-face meetings or Zoom meetings.

We have also added an "Online Events" tab to the Events menu, so that you can see both upcoming events and past events offered.  However, to listen to the talks you will have to log in as a member and go to 'Quizzes and Talks'.

and 'Magazines' has now been moved to the Members Only area of the website and is also under 'Information for Members'.

Let us know how you are finding it!

.. and we have a few more changes on the way soon.Crossroads Confusion Cartoon

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Durham Zooms Ahead

The Durham Group have already started having all their meetings online, starting with a Planning Meeting and then their first Discussion Group on the subject of "What is Nuclear Medicine?".

Enid Hoseason the Local Organiser writes "It worked quite well and instead of going around the room and asking members to contribute, we just went around the screen, and like a normal meeting, those members who did not want to contribute, just listened.  

Members are using different devices, from iphones to iPads and lap tops so those using phones have to swipe the screen to see everyone in the group as they only see four at a time.  it is also useful to use the CHAT button on the bottom of the screen if someone cannot hear very well.

Each week we have had emails from each other, from members who have walked around their gardens and taken photos of their lovely flowers and shared them online - just little things to keep us in touch with each other. I know that tonight, some members have watched the live theatre on the television and others are taking part in the events NWR Head Office are organising.

This is a photo of us enjoying a VE Celebration tea and cake together."

Durham VE Day Zoom Pic

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Canterbury Group Two Celebrating 60 Years of NWR

Celebrating 60 Years of NWR

Canterburynwr5

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NWR's Interview on Woman's Hour

NatalieP1 

On Friday 28th February 2020 our National Organiser Natalie Punter and Trustee Jo Thomson were interviewed by Jenni Murray in the BBC Studios London.

So after many years of being a "Best Kept Secret" with recommendations passed around by word of mouth, we've been given nationwide publicity. 

It was a wonderful and inspiring interview capturing the ethos of NWR. 

Listen to the interview by clicking on the link http://tiny.cc/n3kpk

Jo Thomson Reports on Her Experience

"On Thursday, 27th February, Natalie and I discovered that we were to be on Woman's Hour on the following day.  This invitation had been sparked, I think, by the extensive interview in the Guardian on Thursday with Maureen Nicol.  We were contacted on Thursday afternoon by a BBC producer who gave us some idea of what we might be asked, and we duly presented ourselves at Broadcasting House on Friday morning. 

We thought we might be nervous, or perhaps find that we had nothing to say, but we were shepherded up to the Green Room and had our photographs taken, as well as chatting to others who would also be included in the programme, so that there wasn't really time to think about how we were feeling. 

One of those we chatted to was Helen Lewis, author of "Difficult Women", on the subject of feminism, who was most interesting, and she in turn was intrigued by NWR.  In due course we were taken up to the recording area where we waited for the previous item to finish, and then it was our turn to be ushered into the studio in front of Jenni Murray.  She very kindly put us at our ease immediately with that lovely warm tone of voice, and we found that we had plenty to say, managing to cover all the topics we had meant to mention.  It was all over in no time, and almost as soon as we left we started receiving congratulatory messages from all and sundry, which was very gratifying.  We certainly very much enjoyed it, and hope it benefits NWR too."

 

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Liz Valette
Think that is Trustee Jo Thomson sheltering from the rain under the umbrella
Sunday, 01 March 2020 14:27
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The North East Region Diamond Day Celebrations

The North East Region Diamond Day Celebrations

The function took place at the Priory Street Centre York where almost 100 members attended

In the morning we heard about the history of diamonds and were able to see some beautiful examples.

At lunchtime a lovely meal was provided by the venue. After that, via the live link, it was good to actually see and hear from our founder Maureen Nicol.

In the afternoon we had a fabulous talk about Rebel Women, we heard about some specific women from the 19th century to the current day who were pioneers in their different ways. The talk was illustrated by some wonderful clothes from the time.

During the event members participated in quizzes and the day ended with tea and cake!

 

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CAT Radio: Kate Blakemore chats to Jill from the National Women’s Register

For the last 7 years Judy Challinor and I, along with other local members, have represented NWR at Nantwich’s Societies spectacular – an annual showcase for local groups, societies and charities. Each year a local radio broadcaster CAT Radio have been there providing background music. Last July I took the plunge and spoke to their presenter about appearing on the station to publicise NWR. The result can be heard by pressing on the link below. A recording from 6th December.

I confess to being somewhat nervous but Kate Blakemore put me at my ease and away we went. I was expecting to just chat for 10 minutes or so but I was there for the whole hour show! I urge people to give it a go and become a radio presenter – even if it is for just an hour!

Here is the link : 

http://thisisthecat.com/the-motherwell-show-kate-blakemore-chats-to-jill-from-the-national-womens-register/

Jill Lucas

Joint Area Organiser for the Midlands 01 Region

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Scrapbook Project

NWR 2020 Scrapbook Project

**Notice***  WE ARE PAUSING THE SCRAPBOOKS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.  THE CO-ORDINATORS HAVE BEEN INFORMED AND WILL BE IN TOUCH WITH GROUPS TO ADVISE WHEN WE CAN CONTINUE.

pause the scrapbooks until further notice and that co-ordinators have been informed and will be in touch when we can continue.

pause the scrapbooks until further notice and that co-ordinators have been informed and will be in touch when we can continue.

The Scrapbook project is part of the Diamond Anniversary celebrations. Please find some information which may answer any questions you may have. 

NWR groups have been divided into 8 regions; Central, Eastern, Midlands, North East, North West, Scotland, South East and South West plus the independent members. Each Region has a Regional Co-ordinator who will be responsible for all the groups in their area. 

They have all been issued with A3 paper and an art carrier for safekeeping the pages in. Each co-ordinator will be responsible for planning a 'route' for the scrapbooks between the groups in their area. The plan is that your group will have two weeks in which to complete your entry.  Ideally, the scrapbooks will be handed over in person from group to group, where possible, to encourage a feeling of interconnection and of being part of a National Organisation.  If not, other ways of forwarding will be worked out. 

Please be patient with your co-ordinators who will begin to notify groups of when they will receive the scrapbooks shortly. The number of groups in each region ranges from 32 to 76 so it may be some time before it reaches your group. 

What happens when the 'scrapbook' reaches your group? You may already be aware that they are not actual books but sheets of A3 paper which will be combined and bound to form books.  

  • In your turn, the A2 art carrier containing the blank sheets and any completed sheets will be delivered to you.
  • Each group should take 2 sheets of the same colour paper and complete it in PORTRAIT style.
  • The content is entirely up to your group but try and aim for 50% images and 50% words.... Possibly a link with 1960 and now......Be creative and make it look attractive........ include e.g. reports, poems, photos, anything you feel reflects your group (but not just 'we did this', 'we did that'). You can choose your own font, size for words and colour of words.
  • For ideas see the NWR Pinterest site at…                                                 

 https://www.pinterest.co.uk/nwrorguk/nwr-uk-2020-scrapbook-project 

  • The only stipulation is that a one-and-a-half-inch border MUST be left at the edge to be bound. The other three sides should have a 1-inch border, or slightly less as long as nothing overhangs the paper. 
  • The pages will be in the form of a double page spread and only one side of each piece is to be used. To use both sides could cause a problem with glue seepage etc. When the scrapbooks are ready for binding and completion, the blank sides will be clipped together in some way, but this is not something the groups need to concern themselves with. 
  • Please ensure your group name is included somewhere on the pages.
  • Also, in the A2 carrier will be some A3 plastic wallets. Once your pages are completed, please place them with blank sides together and put them behind previously completed pages. This will enable other groups to have a look without needing to take them out of the wallet and risking tearing them. 
  • Your co-ordinator will tell you who the 'scrapbook' is to be passed on to.

It is anticipated that the project is completed by the end of 2020 and will be available to view at the 2021 Conference. Ultimately it will be presented to The Women's Library, where our archives are stored.

We hope you will all enjoy filling in your pages and look forward to seeing what NWR means to you!

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Poring over the Past – NWR at the Women’s Library

Poring over the Past – NWR at the Women’s Library

This week our chair of trustees, Josephine Burt, along with National Organiser Natalie Punter and Mary Stott Award winner (and former National Organiser) Antoinette Ferraro visited the Women's Library at the London School of Economics (LSE). This library holds records of the women’s’ movement in 19th and 20th centuries including the NHR/NWR archives.  Here's what she had to say.

Antoinette, Natalie and I recently spent a wonderfully interesting day at The Women’s Library (part of the British Library and currently housed at the London School Of Economics, LSE, in Central London) looking at 60 years of NWR heritage.

The Women's Library houses England’s primary library and museum resource on women, women’s issues and history, and the women’s movement from, primarily, the 19th and 20th centuries. The main collection dates back to the mid-1920s, though the core collection was formed from a library established by Ruth Cavendish Bentinck in 1909. These archives moved to LSE, as part of the British Library collection, in 2013.

We had the opportunity to view photos and marketing materials dating back to the early 60s even the official annual reports and financial returns, though we decided to leave those for another day!

It was lovely to see photos of the women who set up and ran the organisation from 1980 - having read the book that details our first twenty years 1960-1980 (“The Lively-Minded Women” by Betty Jerman published in 1980) and it was great to see the original materials upon which it was based. Antoinette was delighted to find some photos of the National Group in the 1980's which included her.

Some of the publicity materials looked very dated, as they would, but the Golden Anniversary literature (from 2010) looked fresh and vibrant. We also found a hidden gem – a poster from the 1960s – which we are thinking of rejuvenating for our anniversary! (watch this space).  It was sobering and yet reassuring to find that the problems and issues we have today have been there over the years and are really a feature of informal organisations such as ours.

I felt very nostalgic when I found some local press cuttings from Leighton Buzzard from the 1980's and recognised the names of friends I met through NWR. I’d like to thank our members and LOs for keeping such excellent records of our history and I think we owe it to the next generation of NWR to ensure we continue to send in materials from the last 10 years and onwards.

For those of you (individually or as a group) who would like to see the archives for yourselves NWR members are welcome to visit by appointment - see http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/collection-highlights/the-womens-library or call LSE Library 020 7955 7229

Josephine Burt, Chair of Trustees


Celebrating 60 years of the National Women’s Register and the National Housewive’s Register – 1960-2020

 National Conference 2020 – Precious Gems - A Celebration! 11th-13th September 2020

#NWRDiamondDays #NWRdiamondconf2020 #LivelyMindedWomen

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Equality and accessibility - NWR's commitment to you.

This year NWR made a commitment to our members to improve our accessibility as an organisation, including our responsibilities under the Equalities Act and financial accessibility, and to become and remain a Carbon Neutral organisation.

One initiative, launched in April, is the NWR members’ hardship fund. This is designed to ensure that members are never forced to leave NWR due to financial issues, illness etc. It also allows potential new members to receive subsidised membership, should hardship otherwise prevent them from joining.Our first hardship fund applicant came almost immediately via Susan, an LO.

Susan explained that a longstanding member, Belinda, had become seriously unwell and, when group subs renewals came around, found herself in difficulties. Her group felt — as I would — that it would be inappropriate to approach Belinda or her husband. So, what to do? Previously Belinda’s membership would have lapsed, along with that all-important connection with other women through our organisation’s local groups, regional events and conferences, regular newsletters and magazines and, of course, our very popular national conferences.

Fortunately, LO Susan knew about our new hardship fund and approached me directly. We discussed what NWR meant to Belinda and the nature of her illness. I decided to grant a three-month membership subsidy. Three months rolled by and Susan and I spoke again. Belinda had approached the group to ask about remaining a member and, to our delight, she said “Of course I want to stay!” Happy Days!

However, this isn’t about NWR or about one NWR group losing a member: it’s about making sure that women who want or need to be connected to likeminded women may do so - regardless of financial restrictions. Sitting at home today you might not consider that the loss of one member, long-term or new, matters - but it matters to them and it matters to me.

I am delighted to be with NWR to celebrate the diamond 60th anniversary and I am excited to see what we can do to involve as many women as possible in the years to come. So, as you peruse the magazine and attend your meetings, please think “What can I do, in my group or as an individual, to make sure that the objectives of NWR — to connect, to educate and intellectually stimulate women in my community — are honoured?” We all need to be thinking back over the past (nearly) 60 years and asking “What did I need?” and “What can I do now?”

Happy 59 and a halfth anniversary, and I look forward to seeing you all next year! AMH 

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