Our committee

President

Tasneem Sharrem

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Age and Occupation?

34, Social Impact Officer to Digital Mums, a social venture that trains mums to become social media manager so they can find flexible #workthatworks.

Why did you join the WI?

I wanted a way to connect and socialise with other women from all sorts of backgrounds in my local area.

As a stay-at-home-working-mum, so much of my life is simply split between working and parenting that I realised I needed something else that I did just for me.

My time at committee and general meetings is an opportunity to be myself whilst making new friends and learning new things.

How long have you lived in the area?

This latest stint of living in the area is coming up to 3 years, but I actually didn’t grow up too far away and went to school in Plumstead. I consider myself a south-east London gal.

What’s your favourite place in SE18 and why?

Whilst the debate about gentrification in SE18 rages on, I have to admit that I do really like The Woolwich Equitable. I like the general vibe/feel of the place and how friendly the staff are.

I remember holding an informal meeting in February 2016 in the Snug there to gauge interest in having a Woolwich and Plumstead WI and the room being packed! It’s great that we still have our committee meetings there and go for a cheeky drink after general meetings there too.

What is your greatest skill?

It’s hard to say what my greatest skill is and if I put this out there, it creates a lot of expectation but, anyway, I’d say that a fair few individuals over the years have remarked on my aptitude for sharing banter. I like the way that it brings people together and can break down tension in a group. My nickname at work is TBants (true story).

What do you wish you were better at?

I wish I was better at not giving myself such a hard time and expecting to be able to do it all. Sometimes you just have to breathe and accept that done is better than perfect.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!

I once interviewed Paul McCartney and Giles Martin, son of famous producer, Sir George Martin, for a radio documentary on Abbey Road that I helped make back when I did a radio course at the Roundhouse.

Vice President

Lou Thompson

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Sam Dowling

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Secretary

Kylie Petitt

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Age and Occupation?

29, Digital professional

Why did you join the WI?

I wanted to join a WI since I first watched Calendar Girls and admired the spirit and community drive that the women have. It reminds me so much of being a girl guide and meeting and making new friends in the local area.

How long have you lived in the area?

I’ve lived in Woolwich for just over two years and love it.

What’s your favourite place in SE18 and why?

Woolwich Common! I love the open space and frequently run and let my thoughts free there.

What is your greatest skill?

Greatest skill… yikes. Mmn I think I’m a good listener and people know I am there for them if needed.

What do you wish you were better at?

I really, really wish I could sing. I would love to be able to belt out a song at karaoke.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!

I’m not good at fun facts. At one of our first meetings, my fact was I’m left handed. I use to have an addiction to Coca Cola. Four years free and counting.

Treasurer

Emma Yeomans

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Membership Communications System (MCS) Rep

Elain McAlpine

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Resident Illustrator/Comms

Emma Bath

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Age and Occupation?

35, Illustrator and Director of my own company.

Why did you join the WI?

I came across the WI by chance on Twitter- and got urged to come along and try it out by Tasneem! I didn’t really know much about WI’s – I thought it was all about Jam and Victoria Sponges! How wrong was I?! I came along and haven’t looked back!

How long have you lived in the area?

I was born in Woolwich- I’ve lived in a few other places since but SE18 is where I always come back to!

What is your greatest skill?

I’d like to say that my best skill was my creativity… I think!

What do you wish you were better at?

I wish I had more confidence- the WI has been helping me loads!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!

My dad was in the original Kate Bush Band

Craft and community engagement

Pat Lumsdale

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Age and Occupation?

I am 66, can’t even make myself younger by turning it backwards!

Why did you join the WI?

Having worked for NFWI for many years, I originally joined a WI when I retired from my ‘day’ job to keep getting WI Life. I didn’t attend meetings, my WI was in Oxfordshire! When I heard about The Roses starting up locally I wanted to become part of this new and enthusiastic group.

How long have you lived in the area?

I’ve lived in good old Plumstead for 45 years and my favourite place is my allotment, it’s so peaceful

What is your greatest skill?

I guess my best skill is my stitching and the thing I’d love to do better is dance, love to do it but pretty uncoordinated

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!

Something I’ll never forget doing is organising five thousand WI women to knit in the Albert Hall to break the ‘most people knitting simultaneously’ record for the Guinness book of records.

Maggie Rastall

Age and Occusq-maggiepation?

64, retired Physiotherapist and Project Manager.

Why did you join the WI?

I never thought about joining a WI until I saw a post about the idea of starting one locally. I was soon hooked on the idea, of being part of such a dynamic group of women.

How long have you lived in the area?

I’ve lived in Plumstead for over 30 years.

What’s your favourite place in SE18 and why?

My favourite place in SE18 is the Scope shop in Woolwich! I have been going there for many years and have a treasure trove of fabrics and bits and pieces I’ve bought there.

What is your greatest skill?

My greatest skill is making anything and everything from textiles.

What do you wish you were better at?

I wish I was better at Life Drawing (although I am improving).

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!

I used to live in a flat above Ian Dury and fell asleep during one of his concerts!

 

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