South West

Carolyn Hempenstall


I joined NWR in 1986, when I was a founder member of the Horrabridge group. We are still going strong and I hope provide a ready made circle of friends for anyone new.

In 1999 I was Speaker Liason for the Exeter Conference and following that assisted Margaret Lavelle, who was our area organiser for many years. Glenda Paciuszko and I are joint AOs for the South West.

There are 18 groups in the area and we are very spread out. We usually have a pub supper for LOs in June, a garden visit in the summer, a workshop in Ivybridge (which is fairly central) in October and a lunch with a speaker in March. The lunch is organised by a different group each year. Kingsbridge are organising the Margaret Lavelle Memorial Lunch for 2011 and Truro are in the early stages of planning the lunch for 2012.

Nikki Iles and I meet up frequently She is now Joint AO with me and I am very grateful to her for all her support. I would recommend being an AO particularly if you can get someone to share the job with you.

Member of:
Horrabridge NWR

NWR member since:


Ginnie Rhodes

ginnie.rhodesAREA ORGANISER FOR SW06

2009 was the year I found NWR but, like so many others, I had not heard of it before. We had moved back to the UK after living overseas due to my husband’s postings with the Royal Navy.

On our return we decided to look for a place to live, with the view to future retirement. This resulted in us moving to a small village on the outskirts of Taunton in Somerset – but we didn’t know the area or any of the people! Having been used to moving and establishing ourselves (this was our 5th move in 7 years) I quickly set about finding things for me to become involved with and luckily I found NWR. It was perfect, it provided me with new friends and the meetings took me to new locations across the area. In 2011, I took over as the LO and have worked to increase our programme from a once per month evening meeting to now also having a daytime meeting plus additional social events and outings.

There are only a couple of NWR groups in our region and it is my hope that, in becoming an AO, new groups can be established in the surrounding towns. I am passionate about meeting the social needs of women who, like me, may have moved to a new place and feel a little lonely, or those who are facing a change of direction in their lives and are in need of stimulating company. It would be very sad to think that someone in our wider community felt isolated just because they didn’t know we were here. So promotion, advertising and spreading the word is my mission!

Member of:
Taunton NWR

NWR member since:


 Vanessa Moulding

vanessa.mouldingAREA ORGANISER FOR SW04

I joined the Salisbury NWR Group originally when in it’s infancy as a very young Mum of 3 smalls in about 1970! I moved around with my then husband a good deal and built up my teaching career.

This and the demands of 3 growing children gave me little time for much else so I did not continue with NWR until I returned to Salisbury after the break up of my first marriage. I renewed old acquaintances and made many new friends which I desperately needed at this difficult time.
I was a teacher for 23 years. After a life threatening illness I changed direction and worked in the hospice movement for some years before re-training as a Chiropodist. I have spent the last 13 years offering a domiciliary service in and around the Salisbury area travelling the beautiful green lanes of Wiltshire and making many wonderful new friends.

I have been LO for Salisbury twice, once solo and last year as joint LO with a member who is also a close friend. I have attended Conferences at Keele and Hatfield. It was at the latter that Kathryn approached me regarding the vacancy for AO in SW 04. I thought about it over the winter and whilst my husband was recovering from serious ankle surgery.

I was asked to attend the recent annual workshop as a visitor and during the course of the 24 hours I said I would take it on. I needed little persuasion after I had met all the other lovely, lively ladies who are already on board!
There are 13 groups at present in “my” area and geographically some are a long way from my Salisbury base…..I am right up on the most Northerly edge and my job will inevitably involve some long drives but through some wonderful countryside which has to be a bonus!
I am a keen gardener ( flowers and an allotment), love cooking, read voraciously, walk as far as my replaced hip allows, adore travel and volunteer at the local Hospice. Most of all NWR is very dear to me.
As AO I hope to raise the profile of NWR, support the groups in my area as and when required, meet regularly with the groups already flourishing and talk with LOs about how to increase membership. It would be great to attract younger women but to me it’s the “lively mind” that is of paramount importance and age is fairly immaterial. I would like to gain a wider view of how individual groups function and promote amongst all members the feeling of being part of a National/international organisation.

Member of:
Salisbury NWR

NWR member since: