Sara Jane Murray

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Rubbish visit by Harrogate NWR!

resized Harrogate NWR members and friends at Allerton Waste Recovery Park

UK households bin more than 27 million tons of rubbish each year and we are running out of space in our landfill sites. Since spring 2018, waste from homes in North Yorkshire and the city of York is not dumped, untreated, in a hole in the ground but is processed at a brand new waste recovery centre.

Many local residents, including some members of Harrogate NWR, were concerned at the thought of an industrial waste processing plant near their homes. Contractors Amey, no doubt conscious of the need to win over local sceptics, have built a visitor centre on site and welcome adult groups and school parties. We decided to visit Allerton Waste Recovery Centre and see it for ourselves.

The top half of the shiny new building is easily visible, sitting amongst the fields beside the A1 road, but as it is built inside a disused quarry much of the site is hidden. The grounds have been landscaped and the, now obsolete, landfill site that was already there has been grassed over. First impressions on arrival were that the plant was surprisingly quiet and it didn’t smell. We learnt later that the building is kept under negative pressure to stop any odours escaping.

Debbie, our guide greeted us at the visitor centre and after coffee we took our seats for her presentation, explaining the workings of plant. The facility is not a recycling centre, it handles what’s left after householders have removed the recyclables. Bin lorries from the local area empty their load directly into the plant, waste from the more distant parts of the county is brought to site in large, sealed, containers. The waste is then sorted, the first material to be removed is food waste and other organic material. This is fed into an anaerobic digester where a colony of micro-organisms feed on the waste, excreting methane gas which is used to generate electricity for use on site.

Although householders should have removed recyclable materials before putting their waste in the bin, some gets through. A combination of magnets, eddy currents, light beams and jets of air are used to recover the recyclables. Then, just to make sure that nothing useful is left in the waste there is a final check by human operators. In case we had concluded that we could forget about recycling and go back to chucking all our waste in together, Debbie emphasised that the metals, glass and paper recovered this way are dirty, broken up and less useful and valuable than the nice clean material from our recycling bins.

Once all the useful materials have been recovered from the waste, the rest is burnt at extremely high temperatures, in the “energy from waste” plant, generating enough electricity to power 40,000 homes.

After Debbie’s presentation it was time to visit the plant itself. We had been instructed to wear long trousers and sensible shoes to which we now added bright yellow hi vis waistcoats.

When we got inside the processing plant it was a little smelly, but less so than a bin lorry on a hot day. It was also very quiet as the sorting equipment was not in operation; a householder had chucked something into their bin which had jammed up one of the trommel drums which are used to screen the waste at the beginning of the processing. None the less the equipment was still impressive to see.

We invited friends and partners to join our visit which proved so popular that a second visit is planned for those who couldn’t attend the first time. There are several similar sites around the country, maybe your group would enjoy a visit to your local one.

Sue Howes

Harrogate NWR

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Office Hours during current heatwave

Our NWR office in Norwich is in an old industrial building, and despite a portable air conditioning unit, is becoming unbearably hot during this current weather. 

Consequently, our office staff are working flexibly and working from home during the hottest parts of the day.  All emails will be answered as usual, but the phone line will go to answerphone and will be checked each morning and enquiries responded to as soon as possible.

We expect to be back to normal next week as the weather cools.

Thanks for your understanding.  If you have an urgent enquiry please email the office, rather than leaving an answerphone message.

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Reflections on my (first!) 4 years in post, Josephine Burt

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Having just completed four years as a trustee I can honestly say that it's been a invigorating, challenging and enjoyable few years. So much so that I've signed up for another four years! Under the NWR's governing document that is the maximum.

I’ve learnt a huge amount about NWR, the charity sector and governance - it’s certainly been a steep learning curve. I’m continuing because I feel that I still have lots to offer and to provide some continuity.

Hearing from and meeting members has been a privilege and their commitment and support for NWR going forward has inspired me. I really look forward to going to the national conference, area meetings and Area Organisers workshops. We all want NWR to continue to provide a space for women to have stimulating discussions, meet friends and have fun

My aim has always been to move NWR forward and to be open and transparent as a charity. Developments are a challenge with our limited funds and we continue to seek ways of diversifying our income. However we have introduced regular membership surveys, some competitions, more centrally organised events and are excited about welcoming a patron soon. Our approaching 60th anniversary is a great opportunity to celebrate with members and raise our awareness. Alongside this NWR is a well organised charity, meeting all the legal and compliance requirements.

Inevitably there have been challenges. One continuing challenge has been increasing our reach to attract more members. Another frustrating aspect has been the high staff and trustee turnover in the last three years for a variety of reasons. However we have a team led by Natalie Punter, our National Organiser, who is committed and focused and ready to take on change.

Let's see what we can achieve in the next four years.

 

Josephone Burt

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Last few places for 'Audacity to Dream' regional conference

This day conference in Salisbury is organised by the SW04 NWR area and offers a mix of keynote speeches and though-provoking afternoon workshops celebrating 70 years of the NHS.  There will be coffee on arrival and a delicious buffet lunch with wine and fruit juice included. There are just a few places left, so please do book soon.

Venue: Sarum Academy, Salisbury

Date: 6th October 2018

For bookings and further information please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Trustee Jennifer Johnson presents this year's Mary Stott award...

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I was delighted to be involved in the Mary Stott Award this year.

Just a little about Mary and why there should be an Award in her name. Mary was a Guardian journalist who was instrumental in getting NHR (as we were then) off the ground almost 60 years ago. She continued to support NWR throughout her long life. She died aged 95 in 2002 and in 2003, in recognition of her support, the NWR Trustees decided to give and annual award to an NWR member who has achieved something exceptional during the previous year. This is the Mary Stott Award!

This year we were delighted to have 3 nominations all of whom had done truly exceptional things. It was difficult job for our panel to make a choice but we were happy to announce our winner was Jenny Wright of the Seaford NWR Group. She was nominated by Barbara Richardson of the Shoreham by Sea Group.

A bit about Jenny - Jenny has always liked to be busy and has been in a variety of clubs and societies ranging from the Adam Faith Fan club, the Scooter Club and ultimately graduating to NWR; what development and variety! Jenny moved to Seaford 17 years ago and there was no NWR group in the area. Barbara suggested she might like to use her organisational and people skills to set one up - this she did! Now 17 years later they have over 70 members.

Jenny is being honoured with this award because she is exceptional in her commitment to NWR, its vision and mission, to the ladies of Seaford who have benefited from her own commitment and care. Jenny embodies what NWR is all about during a time of exceptional challenges experienced by many organisations.

Jennifer Johnson, NWR Trustee

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Egg-citing news for NWR!

Eggheads Team

As you know, we tried to get a team onto the Eggheads TV quiz last year, but didn’t get through to filming. Well, NWR members are nothing if not tenacious, and I am DELIGHTED to tell you that as I type this our team of ‘Lively Minded Women’ are at the TV studios in Glasgow being filmed for the latest series of Eggheads.

We don’t yet know when it will be broadcast, but I’ll let you know as soon as we know the date. Please don’t ask us for any more details as we are legally bound not to give away any more information. But to say I am EGG-cited is an understatement (sorry, couldn’t help myself...)

Here’s a little more about the team of six (five of them will be filmed):

Susan has been a member of NWR for 22 years. She first joined when she moved to Cambridge as it was a good way to meet new people. Susan is 63 years old, and is a part time visitor guide at Kings College. She enjoys gardening, quizzes, and vintage cinema and really enjoys the variety of topics discussed at the Cambridge group NWR meetings.

Valerie lives with her husband, Dave, daughter Beth, and two cats, Smudge and Shaggy, in Luton. Valerie also has a son, Alexander, and three grandchildren. She has been married nearly 40 years and will be celebrating her Ruby anniversary next month in Jersey. Valerie works in administration and as an invigilator, but her social life is very important, and she enjoys a number of activities with NWR as a member of the Luton and South Beds Villages Group.

Isabelle lives in Dunfermline, Fife, with her husband and adult son and is a member of Dunfermline NWR. Whilst her career in Higher Education as an Effective Learning Advisor was enormously satisfying, recent early retirement has given Isabelle the opportunity to enjoy more time outdoors, walking and gardening.

Jan lives in the hills to the east of Manchester and is the Treasurer of the Mellor NWR group. She is married and enjoying retirement following a career in HR. An erstwhile equestrian, she is still very much involved with horses and has a keen interest in National Hunt racing. She enjoys walking with her two Border Collies and is an active gardener. Jan also likes to travel and indulge in the many cultural activities that the North West offers.

Anne is an Essex girl and is a retired optometrist. She loves opera, ballet, animals and amateur dramatics. She has been revising very hard for the Sport round on Eggheads by watching the World Cup and Wimbledon - this has of course been a terrible hardship for her!! Anne is a member of the Hadleigh NWR group.

Georgie is one of the 2 Essex girls in the team. She was for many years a member of Dronfield NWR in Derbyshire, but 4 years ago moved back to the village where she grew up, to look after her elderly mother. She now helps to run the local community bar, and has spent the last two weeks swotting up on US Presidents and capital cities! Georgie is a member of the Harwich and Dovercourt NWR group.

I am sure you will all join us in wishing the team the very best of luck!

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My first conference as a Trustee...

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I’ve been asked to write a Blog about my first experience of a Conference as a Trustee, and this is the first blog I’ve ever written; so that’s another new life skill I’ve learnt since volunteering!

The last Conference I attended was York, in 2003, before I went to live abroad. Then, I was part of the organising committee, so Chester 2018 felt very different. I felt quite emotional as I was voted in, but was also wondering, what have I done? Luckily, everyone was very kind to me when it was my turn to speak and once that was over, I was really able to relax enjoy the rest of the day.

Apart from the AGM, being a Trustee at the Conference is no different to being a normal delegate and, like everyone there, I had a great weekend in Chester. The Speakers and Wrap Around events were excellent, although maybe I enjoyed the wine tasting a little too much! All the catering was delicious and efficiently delivered by smiley staff, especially the Friday and Saturday night events.

I liked meeting and chatting to members from all over the country and putting faces to those names I had previously only seen on Facebook or in emails. I was thrilled to catch up with a friend from that York committee, and also with the person who first introduced me to NWR, but who I hadn’t seen for 30 years. Thank goodness for name badges! We’d both moved around the country several times in the interim, but had always managed to find an NWR group to join and were grateful for the friendships that resulted. I also spoke to a lady I’d never met before, who spoke about volunteering at the Olympics. When I asked her if, by any chance she’d come across a friend of mine who’d also been a volunteer, they had, coincidentally, worked together. I love the links and connexions that belonging to a national organisation like NWR brings.

Not everyone is lucky enough to be attached to a local group, but even as an Independent member like me, it’s possible to enjoy a lot of what NWR has to offer by joining in with area and national events whenever possible. The organisers go to a lot of trouble to make them fully inclusive and there’s always a friendly face ready for a chat, so no-one needs to feel alone. We’re all part of the NWR Community.

Gillian Wignall, Trustee and Independent Member

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My thoughts on another fabulous conference - Chester 2018 by Josephine Burt

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Once members attend a national conference they have such a good time that they usually go again. Chester was my 7th national conference and yet another exhilarating, informative and fun weekend. The conference theme 2018 was 'Nature versus Human Innovation' so quite a challenging topic for the organising committee. However they found three excellent speakers working in the fields of genetics, sustainable agriculture and conservation.

The first speaker was Dr Lyndsey Craven-Butterworth from the University of Newcastle on Mitacondrial Research who are pioneering IVF-based techniques which has led to what the press call 'Three parent babies'. She was enthusiastic and gave a fascinating talk to explain what Mitacondria are and that Mitacondrial DNA disease is carried through generations by women. The first baby is due later this year.

Dr Kate Pressland from the Soil Association spoke after lunch. Kate runs the Innovative Farmers programme which aims to bring scientists and farmers together in order to provide good food without the use of chemicals. This is hugely important for the ecosystems and for us.

The Sunday morning conference was a new option which attracted 84 members back to the Queens Hotel. Jennifer Tegg, Head of Marketing at Chester Zoo, gave a passionate and fascinating illustrated talk on palm oil production in Borneo and the conservation of orangutans in which Chester Zoo is is a world leader. Chester is now working towards becoming the world's first sustainable palm oil city engaging with restaurants, hotels, manufacturers etc to achieve this.

There was a wide variety of optional wrap-around events and workshops from Friday till Sunday which created a stimulating and full programme. I enjoyed the 'Horrible handwriting' and walking the Chester walls and I heard great reports of the wine- tasting, the drumming workshop, the ghost walk and Discovering the Rows walk.

I am looking forward to the Plymouth conference in 2019 already with its theme of Voyage and Discovery. It's an opportunity to learn about new topics, make friends and have fun and perhaps have a holiday in beautiful Devon. Why not join me?

Josephine Burt

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Join the fight against dementia.

A major UK study, run by scientists at King’s College London, makes it possible for members of the public to support dementia research from the comfort of their own home.

The PROTECT Study is an online project that aims to understand what happens to our brains as we age and why people develop dementia. It is gathering valuable data on how the brain changes with age and investigating which factors in mid-life affect our risk for the disease. Certain lifestyle factors such as exercise, smoking and blood pressure have been found to affect our risk of dementia, and there is increasing evidence that our genes play a role too.

Participants in PROTECT provide lifestyle information about themselves and complete online assessments to measure their abilities in areas such as memory and reasoning. By repeating these assessments each year, the PROTECT investigators will monitor how they change over the study and gather data that will help develop better approaches to prevent and treat dementia in the future. To help answer the study’s genetic questions, participants are also asked to provide a sample of their DNA through a simple at-home kit.

Prof Dag Aarsland, Chair of Old Age Psychiatry at King’s College London and a Lead Investigator for the PROTECT study, says “The great thing about online projects is that you are breaking the geographical boundaries between eager participants and research departments. PROTECT is something you can simply do from home and shape around your own lifestyle. Although the tests are not demanding in nature, their future value to researchers will be indescribable.”

Who can join the PROTECT Study?  You can take part in the project if:

  • You are aged 50 or over.
  • You live in the United Kingdom.
  • You have not been diagnosed with dementia.
  • You have access to a computer and the internet.

PROTECT is actively looking for people to take part and has an overall target of 50,000 participants across the UK. The study itself is due to last a period of 10 years, but participants can choose to stay involved for as little or as long as they like.

 

Keep updated on related research

Other than advancing dementia research, taking part in PROTECT means you would be joining a stronghold of 24,000 participants from across the UK! You would be kept updated on the project through the PROTECT newsletter, and can read up on fascinating findings from an array of scientific fields — dementia, schizophrenia, addictions, autism and more — through the King’s College London newsfeed.

You would also be the first to hear of new exciting sub-studies hosted on the PROTECT platform, and have the opportunity to take part in novel research such as the popular Brain Training programme. Although the Brain Training study has now ended, the games are still available and free to use by all PROTECT participants.

If you’ve always thought about taking part in research but felt uneasy about drug trials or the prospect of clinic visits, then this could be the study for you.

To find out more about PROTECT or to enrol in the study, please visit www.protectstudy.org.uk

Their friendly helpdesk team can be contacted via email or phone:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

0207 848 8183

PROTECT is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre

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Heather De Lacey
I signed up to this as soon as I read about it in the latest magazine. In common with lots of people I'm sure, I have come into f... Read More
Monday, 04 June 2018 14:24
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Thank you to all our volunteers!

NWRquote10

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Leighton Buzzard Day Conference – The Rothschilds in the Vale of Aylesbury

As the sun rose on Saturday May 19th it promised to be the start of a perfect day for the big event, our day conference, the first that Leighton Buzzard group had ever held. It had been a long while in the planning, and although we were fully booked at an early stage there were last-minute nerves as we anticipated the arrival of our guests for the day.

There was another big event on the same day, which we thought might affect attendance, but in fact it didn’t seem to matter, and of course those who were so inclined could record it all and watch it at leisure later in the day.

Our first speaker, Susan Brooke, is a freelance art historian and guide at Waddesdon Manor. She explained how the Rothschilds built their wealth and financial expertise on the basis of being trustworthy and reliable guardians of their clients’ wealth, and as they rose through the ranks of society they were keen to impress, building magnificent houses and filling them with the most opulent treasures they could find. Contrary to other families who had amassed great wealth, they were careful not to squander it so as to pass the baton to the next generation.

The second speaker, Catherine Taylor, is head archivist at Waddesdon Manor, and gave us a fascinating history of the different Rothschild homes in our area, together with entertaining stories of some of the occupants. She also emphasised the considerable philanthropic work undertaken by the family, together with the various trusts and foundations which were set up over the years.

After a delicious and very varied bring and share lunch, attendees had the opportunity to visit Ascott House, a Rothschild home just half a mile from where our event was held in Wing Village Hall, either exploring the treasures displayed in the house or enjoying the beautiful and extensive gardens. Others opted for a walk round the village. Tea and cakes were offered on their return to the hall before setting off on the journey home.

We received some lovely comments during the day, including “Just a note to say all three of us from North Beds. Villages enjoyed Saturday very much. Interesting speakers and we were very impressed with Ascott House and the lovely gardens", and, “Thank you and your NWR colleagues for giving us all such a good day.  
It was all so well organised and you had made the venue look so inviting. Ascott House is delightful and the gardens and wonderful - mind you such good weather helped! Many thanks.” Thame NWR

We went home tired, but relieved it had all gone well and that everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves. Who knows, we might even organize another event one day!

Jo Thomson

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National Conference now open to non-members

We are delighted to be able to release a few tickets for our national conference 'Nature versus Human Innovation' to non-members.  Why not bring a friend to find out more about NWR and enjoy a day of fascinating talks, stimulating discussion and engaging workshops. The main conference takes place in Chester on Saturday 23rd June, with optional events on the Friday and Sunday as well, so why not make a weekend of it?

Tickets for the Saturday conference are just £65 for non-members and all the details can be found on our booking site here

Tickets for NWR members are also still available, please do book soon as many of the workshops and wrap-around events have limited spaces and some are already booked up!

 

See you in Chester in June we hope!

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Important information for all members...

New General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws mean that we need your permission to stay in touch for any reason beyond basic membership functions, even if you’ve given us permission before.

Staying in touch is the best way to get the most from your membership. Whether you want to find out about nearby events, theme related information and activities, the national conference, or sign up to the TTT, we’ll keep you up to date. What’s more, you can hear first-hand about all the exciting developments of NWR - including activities for our 60th anniversary in 2020.

There are always new opportunities to get involved, so whatever matters to you, don’t miss out. Visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NWR_GDPR by the 31st May and update your preferences to allow us to stay in touch.

You can change your preferences at any time by contacting the office.

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Opportunity to get involved in celebrating 100 years of votes for women

Would you like to be involved in a public artwork celebrating 100 years of votes for woman?

PROCESSIONS is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in a mass participation artwork to celebrate one hundred years of votes for women.

In 1918, the Representation of the People Act gave the first British women the right to vote and stand for public office. One hundred years on women and girls across the UK are invited to come and mark this historic moment as part of a living portrait of women in the 21st century.

On Sunday 10th of June, women and girls in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London will walk together as part of this celebratory mass participation artwork. Wearing green, white or violet, the colours of the suffragette movement, the PROCESSIONS will appear as a flowing river of colour through the city streets.

One hundred women artists are being commissioned to work with organisations and communities across the UK to create one hundred centenary banners for PROCESSIONS as part of an extensive public programme of creative workshops. Community banner-making will also take place up and down the country – why not make an NWR banner to display?

More details and how to register can be found here.

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Radio Time for NWR!

Great photo of our Chair of Trustees, Josephine, at local radio station Forest FM, just before she was interviewed live on air about a new NWR group she is helping to set up.  Great publicity for us and I hear she was a natural on air!Josephine ForestFMinterview2

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Would you like to get involved in a new social history project?

Have you seen this project inviting people to tell the story of their grandmother?
The 'Tell Me About Your Granny' project is aimed at connecting people with their family history, through celebrating the wonderfulness of our grandmothers, but also to build a collection of social history stories about women and women’s lives for the generations that will follow.
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Competitions

Competitions

​We aim to organise occasional exciting competitions with great prizes. This enables our members to bring their creative juices to the forefront and shine. We always strive to put together a judging panel of experts in the area of the competition. We don't have any competitions running at present but please keep an eye on our social media and news feeds for details in the future.

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Successful area lunch in Devon.

Ivybridge group organised another successful Area Lunch on Saturday 24 March at the Buckfast Abbey Conference Centre in Devon. 93 members from all over the South West and as far afield as Solihull attended and it is always great to catch up with members you have met before.

First on the programme was a welcome from Brother Christopher and a humorous description of day in the life of a monk including questions such as 'Are you a monk?' and 'Where are the nuns?'! Then we were treated to a fascinating presentation by the Abbey beekeeper Clare Densley. Clare
explained the changing role of the bee colonies at Buckfast from honey production to a focus on education about bees and bee keeping courses. She showed us different beehives, went through the lifecycle of the bee and finally recommended plants to grow for bees including dandelions, Vipers Bugloss and forget-me-knots.

After a superb two course lunch in the light and spacious Refectory complete with complimentary fudge, the Devon author Marcia Willett joined us. Marcia's writing career started aged 50 and she has now written 29 books including short stories under her pseudonym Willa Marsh. Landscape is always the first 'character ' in her books and then other characters evolve and the plot. Her research always includes lots of visits to the setting of the stories which are often places in Devon.

The formal sessions concluded with a brief explanation on the duties of a trustee, by trustee Josephine Burt and exciting news from Natalie Punter, NWR National Organiser about the 2019 national conference. The Joint Area Organiser, Glenda Cooper concluded with huge thanks to the Ivybridge Group, led by Anne Brooks and Marilyn Coles, for organising such a stimulating and enjoyable day.

Despite the wet weather some members made the most of their visit with a guided tour of the Abbey gardens and a visit to the bee barn.

The planning for the 2019 Area conference in Tavistock on Saturday 23 March is well under way so what better excuse for a short break in Devon!

Josephne Burt, Trustee

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Membership Survey

Have you responded to the member's survey yet?

Please do send in your responses before the 29th March when the survey will close, we have already had some great feedback via the survey.

Member feedback is important to us so that we can understand your needs and what you value most about belonging to NWR. It will also help with planning for the next 3 years - including planning for our 60th anniversary in 2020!

Many of the questions are the same as the ones we asked in 2016, this is so that we can compare the data to see how we are doing. A summary report will be available to all members later in the year.  Thanks for your help on this!

If you still haven't taken part please use this link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SC3TSR8 

Recent Comments
Penny White
When was the survey sent out? It seems to have missed me by. Is it possible to have a link here so I can complete it?
Saturday, 17 March 2018 12:09
Sara Jane Murray
Hi Penny, I will put it in the members news section on Monday, Thanks!
Sunday, 18 March 2018 14:14
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The impact of NWR, a member's quote...

For International Women's Day, March 8th, we felt this quote from an NWR member says it all. To all our NWR members, and women and men across the world we'd like to ask you to join us in celebrating this day and make sure your voice is heard...

 

nwrquote5

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