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.
Nadia Elworthy – President
Occupation? Consumer Insight Director (yeah, what’s that?!) and mum of two 🙂
Why did you want to join the WI? To make friends! I was a new mum when I moved to Forest Hill and I knew nobody. I was pretty lonely in those early months, despite going to the usual baby classes, I missed adult conversations. I read an article in a magazine about how WI’s had become very cool in London – of course I had all those stereotypes in my head about knitting and making cakes, but I was curious enough to try it. I was delighted to meet such a diverse set of women – people I am now proud to call friends – and realise that you don’t need to be a crafter to fit in! I joined the committee a year later and then had an opportunity to be president in 2019. Belonging to the WI has for me been the best way to really understand this little corner of London and feel a part of a family of smart, funny and creative women.
When did you first move to Forest Hill? In 2016
What’s your favourite ‘secret’ spot in Forest Hill and why do you like it? Well it’s not secret if I say it, but the Blythe Hill Tavern is such a gem of a pub, it’s possibly my favourite in London. The staff are so welcoming and great with kids. We know some of the locals now, it feels like a second home. Great garden too!
What is your greatest skill? I think I have quite a playful mannerism that tends to put people at ease in all sorts of situations. Well, that’s the serious answer – the real answer is that I’m great at wolf whistling.
What do you wish you were better at? Putting things into perspective and obsessing less about small things. And dancing, as I need to win Strictly one day. Despite not being a celebrity.
If you could spend a day in the UK doing anything, what would you choose? I love long, lazy weekends with friends, so I’d be happiest in some big cottage in the countryside – a long walk ending in a country pub, followed by lots of wine and late night talking. A hot tub would be nice too!
Clair Giani- Secretary
Occupation? I’m a Food Technologist by profession and mum to two boys aged 8 and 4 years old.
Why did you want to join the WI? When I first moved to Forest Hill I really didn’t know many people in the area nor in London in general so my main aim was to increase my social circle. But I also wanted to learn more about my community and become active within it. I joined the Forest Hill WI when it first started up and started on the committee 18 months later and have enjoyed planning meetings ever since.
How long have you lived in Forest Hill? I moved to Forest Hill in August 2011 to live in a big house after living in a tiny flat on the Isle of Dogs! I remember my house feeling like a palace, it was that big as we had no furniture at the time. We were just starting out.
What’s your favourite ‘secret’ spot in Forest Hill and why do you like it? Although technically Catford, I recently discovered Wildcat Wilderness which is close to the Waterlink way. It’s such an amazing place for kids and adults to explore and be a big kid again. I took part in a parent child cookery session and it was atmospheric cooking outside while the rain was pouring. Luckily we were well sheltered under their outdoor kitchen and later on got to taste our wonderful cookery accomplishments.
What is your greatest skill? I am born and bred in Yorkshire and very proud of my roots. I’d say talking about Yorkshire is probably one of my greatest skills.
What do you wish you were better at? I am very good at starting crafting projects but not so good at completing them, so I’d definitely say this is something to work on.
If you could spend a day in the UK doing anything, what would you choose? I’m a bit water phobic but at the same time quite like challenging myself to try something new so if I could do anything I would do stand up paddleboarding as this is something I have never tried.
Vikki Dodd – Treasurer
Why did you want to join the WI? To make some new local friends separate to those through school
How long have you lived in Forest Hill? Never! I lived in Honor Oak for 10 years and have been in Sydenham for 2 years
Best ‘secret’ spot in Forest Hill and why do you like it? Wells Park by my house. It’s a beautiful park and never hugely busy
What is your greatest skill? I like to think I make a good friend
What do you wish you were better at? Art and creative things. I’m terrible at drawing!
If you could spend a day in the UK doing anything, what would you choose? I’d love to go on a behind the scenes tour at the British Museum and see all the things that aren’t exhibited. Then cocktails at a fabulous boutique hotel with all my friends!
Jaime Creeth – Creative Guru
Occupation? Art Therapist by trade, though on a career break to raise my two little boys
Why did you want to join the WI? To get involved in the community and meet some lovely local ladies
How long have you lived in Forest Hill? 2 years
Best ‘secret’ spot in Forest Hill and why do you like it? The view of London at Horniman Gardens lookout. It’s easy to lose perspective, so good to see the bigger picture!
What is your greatest skill? My creativity, though I don’t make enough time for my own art practice. Life gets so busy!
What do you wish you were better at? Being on time
If you could spend a day in the UK doing anything, what would you choose Right now, literally anything. Can’t wait to visit friends’ houses again or take a trip to the Tate Modern. Woohoo!