Hi everyone, 

I booked myself a few precious child free hours and a secret stash of biscuits, to sit down and write our monthly newsletter, just a pity I am still not allowed any wine!!

At last months meeting, for the first time we welcomed guests to the group, feedback was really positive and where possible we will continue to offer spaces. Guest tickets will be advertised on our external Facebook page and in our newsletter.

We were joined at the meeting by a panel of 5 alternative and complimentary health therapists. Nutritionist - Amie Richmond, Reflexologist - Carol Burgess, Reiki - Clare Pendegrast-Johnson, Hypnotherapist - Tina Grey and Accupuncturist - Rick Mudie.  They gave a really informative talk on their respective areas.  Unfortunately it wasn't possible to record the meeting, however each practitioner left contact details with me should you wish to contact them.

We were really excited to announce our idea to hold a Ball in aid of our chosen charity Demelza next March.  We polled you to see if this was something you would be interested in and have been really pleased by your response, we will keep you posted on how plans are progressing.

At our next meeting we were due to welcome the Boobettes, as I mentioned last month they somewhat put us in an awkward position and we unfortunately had to cancel.  We will look to have another women's health charity come and talk next year.  

We decided instead to use our meeting as a chance to socialise and  work on our decorations for the Christmas Festival Tree.  It's also our first Annual General Meeting (AGM), as a new group we are being guided by our WI advisor who will be attending our meeting. And as an extra treat we  have been able to fund a free glass of prosecco for each member (or a soft drink alternative) to raise a toast to our new WI year..

I look forward to seeing you next week (October 17th @ 7.30pm)

15/10/16 chutney making course WI Headquarters, Hailsham

Carol Burgess one of our members went along to a workshop laid on by the East Sussex Federation.  She has kindly written an overview of the day:

Being a keen cook I had been looking forward to the Chutney course as it was something I had never tried to make before but very keen to try!

A little apprehensive about going alone but I really did not need to worry as the reception from our hosts Avril and Sue was very wellcoming along with the other 11 people attending the course ..

We sat down to a cup of tea as Sue demonstrated how to make a tomato chutney.. we then paired up to make a big pot of chutney using our ingrediants brought from home, apples, onions and brown sugar, Avril then added the other ingrediants dates, apricots, vinegar and spices.. some cooked the ingrediants on the stove, others microwaved theirs.

We then had a chance to mingle and chat with the other people in the group, it was nice to hear about the other W.I. groups whilst smelling the delicious but potent aroma of six large pots of chutney cooking!

Sue and Avril are national cooking judges and were able to give us valuable tips about presentation, taste and texture of chutneys.

My chutney was not quite ready and was finished at home, it was ready when a spoon can be dragged through leaving a channel with no liquid running through... The chutney was then ready to put into our steralised jars and to be put away ready for christmas use !

I thoroughly recommend the course and have come away with a new skill and will maybe  even consider enterering some shows, something I would not have considered before..! I am eager to experiment and know what family and friends will be getting for christmas this year!  

Details of future workshops will be available to our meeting on the registration desk. They are great value (the chutney course cost £10 to attend) and if you are willing to do a write up we can include in the newsletter.


From November onwards we will be encouraging the sub-groups to do a short update on what's going on in within their groups and up-coming activities. 

Laura the lead from the singing group has set up a weekly get together on Thursday's at St Phillips, Laura has created a Facebook group for those interested.  

The next baking club get together will be getting rooty with a Autumn Vegetable theme.  For more details head over to Becky's blog where you can get more details and check out some of the previous delicious bakes.  

Art's & Craft
To get this group underway Becky and Charlotte will be hosting a get together on the 23rd November to look at venues and craft ideas.  If you are interested in joining the group please head over to the Facebook page we have a few volunteers to help support but any help would be appreciated.

Supper Club
Now that I am up and mobile I will be organising our first supper club for late November at a local eatery, The plan is to book a largish table, then let you know date/time and those who would like to come along can drop me an email.  

Dog walking, Health and Well Being and Book clubs are all still running and dates for future events will be updated on our website

With such a large group, Sub-Groups form an important part of how we get to know each other.  If you have an idea for a get together, whether it be a mums and toddlers meet at Funabounds, a Wine group meeting to rate the latest chablis or even a running group please let us know, we are happy to support you getting the group started.

We have moved our November meeting (22nd November @ 7.30pm) Cakes, Bakes and Fiddly Bits on top meeting to early next year as we are still in discussions with the Civic Centre about it, we have therefore been busy planning an alternative that we think will be fantastic.  

We have Martin from Cheese etc and Charles from Noble wines showcasing 6 different cheeses each paired with alcohol and to test Charles' knowledge we have also tasked him with finding an accompyment to 'GARY' or vegan cheese. We will have non-alcoholic drinks available too.

We have 25 guest spaces for this event and they are being snapped up! If you have a friend you would like to bring along please register a place on EventBrite alternatively please email It's a £5 charge for guests payable on the door.

I mentioned in our last newsletter about Brighton Boogie running a course following our meeting in June.  A few of our members signed up and kindly sent over a video of their session (it's been loaded onto our member's area on the website password gin&jam)  

It looks a lot of fun and any member is interested they are starting a new course in November, email for more info.



I hope you all had a wonderful summer?  It's been fab weather (mainly!) and we even managed to pack in a few visits to the local beaches which has been lovely.  

Since the last newsletter we have had two brilliant meetings.  The fantastic dance class led by Brighton Boogie in June. They taught us some fabulous moves including a few Charleston steps and due to popular demand set up a follow up course at Isfield Village Hall. Great picture of us learning our routine!!

And, in July, Louise and Julie from Flamingo Trends co-ordinated the pamper event on what was possibly to hottest evening this year, the feedback we have had  has been fantastic so a huge thank you ladies for all your hard work.

The WI 'Tea and Cake' stand at the South of England Show, Ardingly was amply stocked thanks to your efforts.   We were asked if we could manage 6 cakes and ended up with 31!!  Super effort ladies and a big Thank You to Becky for co-ordinating.  We have now received our money from the federation and will get this out to the bakers shortly.

We all voted on our preferred and second choice charity, by an overwhelming majority Demelza came first, it was quite tight for second place but Friends of Uckfield Hospital was chosen.  I have been in contact with Demelza and they are over the moon!! Over the next few weeks we will be discussing fundraising goals  and how we can become long term partners.  Ideally our second choice charity will be changed each year and we are planning ways in which we can support them.

The committee met up last week to finalise plans for this months meeting, organise our AGM and discuss lots of really exciting events and activities for the next year.  

I look forward to seeing you in September.  

Our September meeting is all about Health and Wellbeing.  We are being joined by a panel of complementary and alternative health professionals ready to give an insight into their therapies ranging from Nutrition to Reiki, Hypnotherapy and Reflexology, we are also hoping to be joined by an acupuncturist and a homeopath.

We would like you the members to submit questions for the panel for example:

Do you want to improve you general health?
Have a specific pain you are suffering from?
Feel lethargic after eating a certain food?
Struggle to sleep?  

What every you would like to ask please email all questions will be asked anonymously so please lets make it an interesting debate!!

October is a big month for the Uckfield WI, we are hosting our first Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 18th October 2016. The meeting will be a chance to recap the year with reports from our Secretary Tiffany Diamond, our Treasurer Laura Morgan and the President Leasa Buhlman.

But first, as its Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are  going to kick off the evening with a talk from a 'Boobette' ambassador for the charity Coppafeel. Almost 50,000 women and 400 men get diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK each year. CoppaFeel!‘s mission is to make sure all breast cancers are diagnosed at the earliest stage possible. 

We will then move onto the important tasks of deciding on our committee.  We have 9 people on our existing committee (Leasa Buhlman, Heather Camsell, Laura Morgan, Tiffany Diamond, Laura Dobson, Sophia Hill, Anne Duc, Becky Maini and Charlotte Clark) everyone is still very enthusiastic and committed to their roles, having only started back in March and just getting the hang of the WI way of doing things!  We meet once a month to run through official business and dedicate quite a few hours per week to ensuring our meetings run smoothly.  If you are keen to join the committee please do get in touch with and we can discuss potential roles.

We'll also be voting on who our president will be. Every member at the AGM will be asked to choose which committee member you think should take on the role for the next year with a secret ballot for nominations. Any committee members nominated in this ballot will then be asked if they're keen to take on the task. Leasa, who founded the group in March will be very happy to serve another year (should she receive a nomination!)  

After the meeting is over we have secured the room for a little longer so that we can have chance to catch up, get to know one another a bit better and toast to the new year of Uckfield WI!!


Hi, and welcome to the first issue of our newsletter! 

The newsletter aims to keep you up to date with everything going on, both in our group and at the East Sussex Federation level. We also hope to simplify the monthly WI meetings by putting the majority of the formal stuff on here.   

I hope you enjoyed our May members’ quiz night, committee members Heather and Tiffany devised some excellent questions that kept us on our toes and it was great to spend time getting to know fellow WI-ers. It was also the first month of serving wine and i'd say it was definitely a hit.

It's been a busy month for the committee planning this years activities, we took on board your suggestions and feedback to devise a varied programme of speakers and activities, I am particularly looking forward to our members from Flamingo Trends showing us some summer looks in July and learning a few moves from the Brighton Lindyhoppers next month.

Here's what we have planned for 2016:

Our programme is designed to print off and keep as a handy guide, please email if you prefer a plain text version.

You should have received a letter from the NFWI welcoming you to the Women's Institute and a membership card.  Ordinarily this card should have come with a booklet of vouchers (which is why it looks like a piece of paper rather than a 'card') We are on the case with our local federation as to why we didn't receive the vouchers.  

If you didn't receive a letter and membership card and haven't already been in touch please email so we can chase it up.

We are lucky to have a dedicated group of committee members, responsible for; planning the monthly meetings, budgeting, fundraising, member communications and ensuring as a charity we abide by the rules laid out in our constitution.

Leasa Buhlman - President
Heather Camsell - Vice President
Tiffany Diamond - Secretary
Laura Morgan - Treasurer
Becky Maini - Social Media
Anne Duc - Membership
Laura Dobson - Events
Sophia Hill - Special Events

Baking Club

Organised by committee member Becky Maini to get together to chat and share their baking, each month has a theme e.g. Boozy Bakes, Valentines and Yellow!  The group has its own website with more information and to see some of their delicious past bakes.

At the May meeting we heard from some of our members willing to lead on sub-groups,  If you are interested in joining a sub-group and didn't put your name on the list please email with your choices. We will then aim to get an email out for all groups in the next few weeks.

Book Club
Organised by Jo Aldridge and meets every couple of months to discuss books chosen by a member at the previous book club meeting and usually meets at Ben's Place (Formerly known as Twisted Lemon) the group is for members and non-members.

Dog Walking Group
The walking group is being led by Suz Diamond-Wall for members to bring along their dog/s (although Suz says everyone is welcome) . The walks are publicised on our Facebook group so keep your eyes peeled.

Aiming to launch in September/October Laura Dobson will be running our singing group, she assures us you don't need to be a good singer to join.  We will keep you posted with details in the next few months.

Supper Club
Do you like eating out?  An informal get together of members to be publicised on our Facebook page and newsletter with meals out, trips to food events or markets - basically anything to do with eating! 

Health and Wellbeing

Rupi Valentine is forming a health and wellbeing group there will be discussions on different diets, trying new exercise together, gym meet ups at freedom leisure, diet planning, food advice, healthy cooking sessions, basic health checks, mental well-being. 

Arts and Crafts
All skill levels welcome, the group is yet to be formed but with so many of you interested this group looks to be a corker!! I will be emailing everyone signed up to arrange the first meeting. 

Cinema Club
Vice President Heather Camsell is setting up a cinema club she is working on the details for those interested.

Wine Club 
Do you know your Pinot Grigio from your Sauvignon Blanc? We would love to form a Wine Club and judging by from our meeting we are quite partial to the odd tipple so if you are interested leading a group please get in touch.

Each month the East Sussex Federation of which we are a member produce a monthly newsletter, you should have seen these on the table at our last meeting.  

We get sent 150 copies of these for every member, we have asked the federation for electronic copies of this magazine to forward onto you rather than print to reduce paper wastage.  We will still bring a few copies to the meeting should anyone wish to read.

First Aid
Are you a certified first aider? We are a large group and it’s always good to know who to ask for help. Please let us know when you sign in at next months meeting.

Member Profile
As there are so many of us, we would like to break the ice with a short member profile in our newsletter. If you’re interested please email

Since we are a charity, we have a fundraising goal to help ensure we meet our costs and . We will be launching a number of initiatives over the next few months, if you fancy getting involved please email