Meet your WI

We asked our Committee Members to tell us a bit more about themselves. Discover their skills (or lack of), favourite places in Forest Hill and how they would spend their ideal day.

Claudia Moss (President)

CLaudia

Age and Occupation? 34, former PR and lobbyist, currently a mum.
Why did you want to join the WI? Truthfully, I’ve been inspired to join the WI by my Gran, who has been a member of the WI since I can remember. My Gran taught me to embroider and cross stitch (I can only remember how to do the latter), as well as how to knit. The WI have always been a fantastic community for my Gran, and that aspect of the organisation really appeals to me. I’m really looking forward to improving my skills and learning some new ones, as well as getting to know my local community a little better.
How long have you lived in Forest Hill? Five years.
What’s your favourite ‘secret’ spot in Forest Hill and why do you like it? I love all the independent shops and restaurants in Forest Hill; we really are spoiled for choice. I’m going to have to be a bit sad though and say that my best ‘secret’ spot in Forest Hill is my garden, especially in the height of summer. The kids and I love watching the fruit ripen on the redcurrant bush and I look forward to the blossom appearing on the tree in the garden every Spring.
What is your greatest skill? I’ve always felt that my greatest skill is the ability to think critically, but upon discussion with my husband it would appear that it’s the ability to juggle two small children and a kitten and still maintain a degree of sanity.
What do you wish you were better at? Patience! It’s a virtue, apparently. That and being able to ice cakes so they look presentable as well as being edible.
If you could spend a day in the UK doing anything, what would you choose? Setting aside sleep, because that would be a boring answer, I would love to do one of the courses at the WI’s training centre, Denman College. If I could stretch for a weekend rather than just a day, I’d do one of their residential courses. That way I might manage to fulfil my sleep aspirations too!

Helen Brown (Secretary)

Helen

Age and Occupation? 38, Stay at home mum (ex marketing manager).
Why did you want to join the WI? I joined to meet people, learn new skills and escape TV and early nights occasionally!
How long have you lived in Forest Hill? I’ve lived in Forest Hill for 5 years. I moved to the area from Limehouse but I’m originally from Bury, Lancashire.
What’s your favourite ‘secret’ spot in Forest Hill and why do you like it? I love the Teapot on London Road, it doesn’t seem to get mentioned much in local chat but has the friendliest staff and does a great bacon sandwich.
What is your greatest skill? When I was a teenager I used to teach little children ballroom dancing, if only I’d stuck at it I could have been on Strictly!! Seriously though, I like to think I’m good at multi-tasking and organising so hope that’ll make me a good branch secretary.
What do you wish you were better at? I wish I was better at crochet (no seriously I do, I have no clue!).
If you could spend a day in the UK doing anything, what would you choose? My ideal day involves not being woken up before 7am, I’d spend the day with the family up in the Lake District with a bracing walk, beautiful views, staying in a place with a spa then lots of food and wine.

 

Liz Power (Treasurer)

 

Liz P

 

Age and Occupation? 37 and I am head of learning at the London Transport Museum.
Why did you want to join the WI? I wanted to meet more people in the local area and maybe learn a few new skills!
How long have you lived in Forest Hill? I have lived here for almost 4 years, I didn’t know anything about them area before moving here, and now I love it.
Best ‘secret’ spot in Forest Hill and why do you like it? Just on the edge of Forest Hill, I love the Phoenix cafe just off Stansted road towards Catford. It’s a great place to take my 3 children for lunch, chips and great cake.
What is your greatest skill? I can make pretty good blueberry pancakes
What do you wish you were better at? I would like to be better at craft, any craft! I am good at starting thing, but never finish a craft project, ever.
If you could spend a day in the UK doing anything, what would you choose? I would love to go to Harry Potter world, have the whole day just having fun, child free!

 

Emma Crittenden

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Age and Occupation? 35, consultation specialist for Transport for London.
Why did you want to join the WI? To meet more local ladies – I love having a sense of community and knowing people when you pop to Sainsburys!
How long have you lived in Forest Hill? I’ve lived in Forest Hill for 9 years but I’m married to a true local who only lives two streets from where he grew up.
Best ‘secret’ spot in Forest Hill and why do you like it? Top of Canonbie Hill on New Year’s Eve – great to see the fireworks from and great party spirit with the peeps that gather there.
What is your greatest skill? My husband would say ‘nagging’…. I’d like to think it’s my skill in being able to chat to anyone about anything.
What do you wish you were better at? I wish I was better at not stressing out about the small stuff.
If you could spend a day in the UK doing anything, what would you choose? I love a good hen do – hurled up somewhere with your besties, talking rubbish and drinking wine!

 

Lizzi Easterbrook

 

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Age and Occupation? 33 and I’m a content producer for Learning at the Royal Opera House.
Why did you want to join the WI? I wanted to join to (hopefully) to learn something new and to take part in some fun activities that I might not normally try.
How long have you lived in Forest Hill? I moved here six years ago, we moved for the house prices (at the time) but I’ve stayed for the community feel, green spaces and ever-improving high street.
Best ‘secret’ spot in Forest Hill and why do you like it? I love a walk through the deep dark woods (Sydenham Woods) – mud to squelch in during winter, lovely during Summer.
What is your greatest skill? I’m not sure it counts as a skill but I can normally find something to smile about in any situation.
What do you wish you were better at? Singing – I make up for lack of talent with enthusiasm!
If you could spend a day in the UK doing anything, what would you choose? Family, friends, seaside, sunshine, glass of wine and good food and I’m happy.

 

 Holly Coleman

 

photo

 

Age and Occupation? 38 and I work as a textile conservator.
Why did you want to join the WI? To meet people and contribute to the local community. Learn some skills, can always use more hobbies.
How long have you lived in Forest Hill? I’m originally from Australia, but I arrived in Forest Hill 8 years ago.
Best ‘secret’ spot in Forest Hill and why do you like it? The woods, especially the bridge over what used to be the railway line leading to Lordship Lane station (painted by Pissarro) or the Horniman gardens. Somewhere quiet where I can listen to the birds.
What is your greatest skill? I suppose I should say hand embroidery here.
What do you wish you were better at? Life and possibly answering these questions.
If you could spend a day in the UK doing anything, what would you choose? It would have to involve being somewhere remote and wild, possibly observing wildlife or making something and wine, lots of wine.

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