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.

Nadia Elworthy – President

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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

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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

Occupation? Solicitor

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

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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!  

4 comments

  1. I would love to become a member. Lived in forest hill all my life now in sydenham.
    I am bubbly passionate creative. Open to new ideas of supporting and encouraging all and many .
    Would love to make a difference to comunity and society. And to break down judgements and stigmas to create opportunity and everyone come together in good spirit.
    Would love to bounce ideas and perhaps raise money for causes like mental health charities in the area.to meet new people to relate to and share with. And do amazing things together.best wishes.

    Like

    • Hi there Caroline.
      Lovely to hear from you, and we’d be delighted to have you join our WI.
      We meet (virtually for now, but at the All Inn One pub when physically possible) the second Monday of every month, at 8pm.
      You can try us out for 3 trial session before deciding to sign up as a member. Then, membership is £44 per year – this would be charged pro rata to the nearest quarter. Membership gives you 11 meetings with us (as we have a break in August), subscription to the Monthly “WI Life” magazine and also access to the “WI Wanderers”, who arrange a calendar of virtual meetings you can join to any WI’s opting in.
      Our next meeting is the Annual General Meeting, on 10th May, where we will round up the year’s events and have our annual WI Quiz. So it will be quote a nice social one.
      Let me know if you’d like to try us out on this one, and I’ll ensure you get the info, which we generally send out a week before.
      Many thanks
      Nadia

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  2. Hello, I’ve just moved to the area from Gipsy Hill and would really love to join you.

    I’m a Creative in my day to day job and a mum to my little boy and would love to meet like minded people, learn more about the area and get involved if you’re taking new members?

    Thanks,
    Jen

    Like

    • Hi Jen  

      Thanks for reaching out – it’s great to hear you’re interested in our WI and welcome to the area!

      Yes, we’re always welcoming new members and have had a few in the last few months actually. We meet on the 2nd Monday of every month at 8pm, except in August when we take our summer break. We are back to having physical meetings at last, which is at the All Inn One pub, just behind Forest Hill Station. 

      For the first 3 months it is free to come along as a guest until you decide if you’d like to become a member. Then it is £44 per year which we work out pro data until renewal (every April). 

      Our next meeting is Monday 8th October and will be a talk with a wonderful tour guide from Hampton Court, who we’ve had before. She’s very popular! This time she’ll be talking about ghosts and scary things in the history of Hampton Court Palace. Let me know if you’re interested in trying us out and and I’ll forward the invite.

      Any other questions you have about what we do or how we run, let me know 🙂

      Many thanks
      Nadia 

      Like

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