Friday, 24 April 2009

Spring is in the air...

Malago Mondrians, Monets and Matisses!

The Southbank Art Trail is nearly upon us, and we are beavering away at our Learning To Love You More assignments, which will be displayed at 84 Greville Road on 9 and 10 May, alongside the Marmalade Cafe.

Without donations - of artwork or cakes or time or all three - from Malago WI members, we won't have a show. So please help us, it's a fine cause as you all know, and we have high hopes it will prove to be a successful fundraising and awareness-raising exercise which all goes to making MWI bigger and better.

Alice has done battle with Adobe Illustrator and come out victorious, with two beautiful posters for you to download for your window here in pink or here in grey

Marmalade Cafe
We know there are some very adept cake-makers out there as we've experienced at our meetings so far. Please, if you can spare the time and ingredients to make something, anything, large or small, for us to sell in the cafe we'd really appreciate it.

Or, if your skills lie in tea-making or waitressing, we need you too! If you can spare time (between 11-5, even an hour will do) or cake or creativity, let us know by emailing or talk to Lottie at Wednesday's meeting.

Learning To Love You More
The assignments may appear a little daunting to the uninitiated, but fear not - they are designed to be completed by everyone, regardless of artistic experience. Here, we have picked out a couple of examples that we think we might attempt, and we hope might tickle your fancy too:

If you're stuck indoors with nothing to do, have a pop at one of the above. And don't forget to bring it along to Wednesday's meeting!

Talking of which, Wednesday's double-header features urban self sufficiency from one half of Bristol's own Good Life duo, Dave Hamilton, and a talk from Kath Kelly, best-selling author of ‘How I Lived a Year on Just a Pound a Day’. See you on Wednesday 29 April at 8pm.

And if you haven't already seen it on the website, we've drafted an environmental policy to set out Malago WI's aspirations in terms of minimising our impact on the environment. Take a look here, and leave a comment if you feel inclined.

Coming up
May’s meeting is all about campaigning. Learn about the WI’s impressive history in campaigning (Keep Britain Tidy being one of the most famous) and how we can get involved both locally and nationally. Is there something that you would like to change, perhaps we can channel our collective voice and energy into doing something about it? This year’s national resolution is ‘SOS for honey bees’ which, if passed, aims to address the declining honey bee population. Find out more about it, listen to our speaker Ivor Davis, a master beekeeper and ex president of the British Beekeepers’ Association and cast your vote.

A bientot
Malago WI x

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Malago WI March and April

Malago red roses, you sing like birds!

Your humble correspondent was off sick, but our president, Karen Bowers, sent this report:

March's meeting was a real gem. Everyone seemed to talk to someone new, everyone had a laugh. Selina of Intercre8 led us in a fantastic ice breaker that had us running madly across the room like children playing musical chairs at a party. Then we started to find our voices, and then we sang. We sounded great! I think we were all stunned. Working in groups meant we mixed and mingled, and then pairs exercises on tongue twister certainly removed any last remains of embarrassment or keeping up appearances. Even finishing off the evening, with the usual announcements, felt different and felt like we were all in it together. 

Sounds like I missed a good one. But, to bring me back from the brink of despair, April's meeting is set to be a corker too. Phew. With this dreary credit crunch showing no signs of abating, we need all the fun we can get. And penny-saving tips to boot! Which is just as well, as we have urban self sufficiency from one half of Bristol's own Good Life duo, Dave Hamilton, and a talk from Kath Kelly, best-selling author of ‘How I Lived a Year on Just a Pound a Day’. Put Wednesday 29 April in your diary.

And talking of environmental issues, Malago WI now has its very own environmental policy, detailing how we plan to minimise the impact our activities has on resources and do as much as we can to help save the planet. Have a look here:

Feel free to comment - we want your ideas on how to make Malago WI an exemplar group.

There's still time to don your smock and beret for the Art Trail. Whether you'd like to make work for the art exhibition, a cake/biscuits/treats for the cafe, or volunteer your services to help out over the weekend, just drop us a line at the usual address, The more the merrier.

Malago W.I Go Pro on Flickr!

Until recently we have only had a lowly guest account on the photo-sharing site, Flickr. We are now very pleased to announce that we have upgraded to a Pro account. This means we can upload many more photos and document different aspects of our institute online. Perhaps you’ve tried out a new recipe and photographed the results or maybe you’ve knitted, gardened or campaigned. If you have an image you think might be at home on our Flickr page please send it to Alice at alicehendy at

Pip pip,


Malago WI Environmental Policy

Malago Women’s Institute Environmental Policy
Members of the committee have worked on developing this draft Environmental Policy, and welcome comments from members, either by leaving comments on the website or by email

Statement of Intent
Malago Women’s Institute recognises that our operations have an impact in the local and global environment.

This document sets out our intent to minimise this impact and lists a number of measures to be implemented in order to do so.

This policy is implemented from committee level. This document should be issued to all members to make them aware of their own personal responsibilities.

The process of implementing environmental improvements will be done in consultation with members, who will be invited to suggest ways we can minimise our environmental impact. This will ensure that all considerations are taken into account and that understanding and co-operation is optimised.

This document signals Malago WI’s intent to:
1. develop a sense of responsibility for the environment amongst all members.
2. set targets to improve the use of energy and raw materials and reduce the group’s environmental impact. Regularly review and report on progress each year.
3. work towards becoming a Carbon Neutral Organisation.
4. reduce wastage to a minimum and to recycle materials to the maximum. recognise that wasting energy causes avoidable pollution so endeavour to keep energy use to a practical minimum.
5. avoid/reduce pollution of air, land and water wherever possible.
6. promote sustainability in all its forms through our programme and fundraising efforts.
encourage members to use sustainable means of transport when travelling to and from meetings and events.
7. consider this environmental policy in future decision making processes.
8. celebrate and publicise Malago WI’s environmental successes to members and the wider community to be a role model of environmental performance for the community.

Malago WI Environmental Policy
Malago WI has made and continues to make a concerted effort to improve its environmental performance. The objectives of this process are to:
  • minimise the environmental impact that Malago WI has on the local and global environment,
  • minimise waste of money and resources, and
  • set a good example of environmental performance to members

All members are encouraged to adhere to the procedures set out in this policy and to help Malago WI optimise its environmental performance in every possible way. Notes are included below in order to help members to do this.

Malago WI has a switch off policy for all lights and all electrical appliances, to encourage all members to take greater attention to minimise waste by turning off lights, electrical appliances and radiators when not needed.

Members are encouraged to ensure that lights are neither switched on when they are not needed or left on longer than they are needed. Members are also requested to encourage other members to do the same.

Electrical appliances should be switched off overnight and when not in use

All committee members should consider energy efficiency when purchasing all new equipment and to make regular PATs (portable appliance tests) on appliances.

Waste reduction and recycling
The following procedures for re-cycling and re-using waste should be followed as far as possible.

1. Reduction and Re-use
Envelopes should be opened carefully and reused as far as possible.
Paper printed on one side only should be re-used for printing draft copies.
Used paper should also be used for note pads and scraps of paper for messages etc.

2. Recycling
Paper, glass bottles, cans and cardboard should be collected outside the kitchen area and taken home by committee members for weekly black bin recycling.
Bubble wrap packaging will be reused.
All other items will be recycled through the Bristol Freecycle website group

3. Water conservation and pollution measures
Members should remember to conserve water where possible and ensure that taps are turned off after use.
Care should be taken to minimise the chemicals entering the drains. Non toxic cleaning products will be used whenever possible

Members are encouraged to consider walking, cycling, public transport or lift sharing to Malago WI activities, as far as possible.

General/ Purchasing
Our bank account is with ethical bank smile.

Any direct purchasing of food and drink should be GM-free, and members on the cake rota should be encouraged to use the following ingredients:
Unrefined wheat and sugar products, as far as possible

Malago WI should buy and use cleaning products which are not environmentally damaging (such as Ecover brand).
All paper and envelopes are made from recycled paper

Demonstrating achievements to members and the wider community
Malago WI will take the following steps to communicate with members and the wider community:

Information sent to speakers when they are booked will include statements outlining Malago WI’s environmental policy and requesting members to assist our efforts to optimise environmental performance.

The environmental policy statement of intent will be on display on the reading table and available on the website, a full copy of the document can be viewed on request

The education and activities programme will promote environmental sustainability wherever possible.

Malago WI’s commitment to environmental sustainability shall be clearly stated in marketing material.