We had a wonderful evening with Jackie Carreira, taking about her novel Sleeping through War which features the experiences of women living during May 1968 - in Portugal, America and London. As well as Jackie reading from the book we enjoyed hearing the experiences of two of our members - one of whose Mother came to the U.K. from the Caribbean and became a nurse in the NHS, and the other of whom was involved in the anti war demonstrations in America. Of course we also enjoyed wonderful food - many thanks to our members and also to Waterstones for the their pop up bookshop! It was wonderful to see so many new faces and we hope to see you all again soon.
This year was our 10th Taste of Culture Event, where our members and supporters showcase food, either from their own home Country or from a Country with which they have a particular association - perhaps through work or through previous residence. This popular event saw over 100 visitors tasting food from 9 countries together with a cookery demonstration - and opportunity to participate - from one of our members.
We will be enjoying more food and culture next year in October and would be delighted if you could join us. Many thanks to all our participants for their hard work and wonderful food.
Who knew that Suffolk women such as Constance Andrews and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson were so influential in the national debate! An inspiring evening. Thank you Joy.
We also enjoyed the glass mosaic made by our members which will become a feature of the inner courtyard at the St John's Centre in the future.
We will be entering our garden, together with the Fair-trade Garden and Cafe adjoining, in the Hidden Gardens event during June 2019.
It was wonderful to see nearly 40 of our members, friends and families for our evening party on 4th July. This year the very reliable summer weather meant we could enjoy our range of global salads ( followed by strawberries and cream) in the informal setting of the garden at the St John's Centre
Around thirty people took to the streets in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday 17 February 2018 to make a stand against violence against women.
We organised a demonstration on Angel Hill in support of One Billion Rising [OBR], an international campaign, opposing violence against women.
This is the fifth time that we have ‘risen’ in support of OBR and, as in previous years, we dressed in red and performed the ‘Break the Chain’ dance. With no recorded music, we danced in silence or to improvised singing!
See more photos here
St Edmundsbury Mayor and Mayoress, Cllr Terry Clements and Vivienne Clements, took part, as did Deputy Mayor, Cllr Margaret Marks.
Cllr Clements said: “We have been trying to learn the dance; we looked at it online, but it was not so much learning the dance as hearing the words of the Break the Chain song. When you hear those words, that is when it actually means something. And when you see how many people across the world are doing the flash mob dancing, and how it has caught on, you have got to be part of it.”
Sandra Attolini, founder of MWG, said: “We are doing this because we support women who are victims of violence – a billion women around the world. It might be physical or psychological. As a multicultural group, we feel that we can speak to the world at large with this event. We have had good participation today, we are visible and it is good to see men in the group, because we need men on our side.”
Representatives from the local Women’s Aid charity were there, making a collection for the women’s refuge in Bury St Edmunds.
Heather Hunt, CEO of BSEWAC, said: “We are very happy to have been invited to be involved in this event. Something like this draws attention to the violence that occurs across all walks of life. We are telling the world that violence against women isn’t acceptable.
“The situation in west Suffolk is the same as it is up and down the country. We are very fortunate to live in a relatively affluent area, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t violence and abuse happening behind closed doors.”
BSEWAC has a website, and their contact telephone number for advice and help is 01284 753085.
We are grateful to Bury St Edmunds Town Council for for funding support which helps us reach out to the community.
Justine Thompson, Patient and Public Involvement Lead from the new Cancer Alliance and Emma Frost the Volunteering and Engagement regional lead for Macmillan Cancer Support came to the coffee morning in February to talk about how the Cancer Alliance is keen to engage with people who either have had cancer or are currently on the pathway, to enable patients voices to be heard.
There are opportunities for volunteering in various capacities, including patient support. Macmillan East of England have a Facebook page. Click here for the Cancer Alliance website
The ninth Taste of Culture event organised by the Multicultural Women’s Group of Bury St Edmunds (MWG) on Saturday 28 October 2017 was a great success.
A Taste of Culture is an annual event, celebrating food from different cultures around the world; USA, Spain, Cape Verde, Jamaica, Pakistan, Romania, Germany, Bulgaria, India, Sri Lanka.
It was a real feast of taste, with a steady stream of visitors enjoying free food tasting and a convivial atmosphere.
In a link-up with the Bury St Edmunds Literature Festival, there was a recipe book swap during the event; people could bring unwanted recipe books and take one away. It was popular, with just two books left over to take to a charity shop afterwards.
MWG members worked hard to pull the event together in a short space of time, with particular credit going to Marina Kralina who persuaded people to bring their traditional dishes.
As well as sampling food and talking to stall holders, visitors could get a mehndi henna hand painting and join in dancing from Russia or an English morris dance. For children, there were art activities and a chance to try cake decoration.
Faith Stabler, a director of MWG, said: “It is so interesting to find out about food from around the world. I think it inspires the imagination. The book swap table with the link to the Bury St Edmunds Literature Festival went well too. All the people I spoke to thought it was very enjoyable.”
Our visitors left many comments saying:
"Such a wonderful idea - friendly, generous, lovely",
"Great food and a chance to dance",
"Fabulous, really a great morning with lovely people",
"A lovely, inspiring experience. Enjoy coming each year. Love the diversity and tastes."
The Bangladeshi Support Centre group from Ipswich are staunch supporters, and said what a lovely warm atmosphere [MWG] managed to create.
Read a report in the Bury Free Press here
MWG member Stephanie Gooding took part in the Girls Night Out moonlight walk in aid of St Nicholas Hospice on Saturday 10 September 2017.
Stephanie, who lives in Mildenhall and depends on pubic transport, was so determined to take part she considered coming into Bury during the day and walking the route by herself to raise money for the hospice.
In the event she managed to get a lift into town on the night and did the 11.2 mile walk, finishing at 11:30pm, “with no ill effects”.
Stephanie said: “The Girls Night Out went well. I got a ride into Bury St Edmunds from a woman and her daughter, who live within a block of me. They both wanted to do the 11.2 miles. I started out with Ruth Cassar and Elizabeth Cuttobaraf [pictured below], both new to MWG, or at least, new to me! They wanted to do the 6 miles only, so I left them at the 5 mile mark. I got home at about 1:00am. I saw MWG member Nemonee Stone, acting as a marshal, along the way and at the end. I had a great time.”
Stephanie collected £82.80 in sponsorship from MWG members, which was donated in the name of the group.
MWG founder Sandra Attolini said: “Stephanie is always very generous in her efforts to give something back to the community. MWG has been supporting the amazing work St Nicholas Hospice does since 2012, and we are happy to carry on doing so. Thank you, Stephanie, for your effort and thank you to St Nicholas Hospice's staff for all they do in our community.”
The eighth annual Girls Night Out walk, was a record-breaker for the Hospice, with more than 2,370 women pulling on their pyjamas to walk either 11.2 or 6 miles around the town. The event raised an estimated £250,000 for the Hospice.
For more details, go to https://stnicholashospice.org.uk/subject/fundraising-subject/girls-night-2016-record-breaker/
Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds, attended the MWG Coffee morning on Friday 13 October 2017.
Jo talked to MWG members about her personal journey and career, and also spoke about the involvement of women in public life. She linked that theme to the centenary of women's suffrage in Britain, which falls next year (2018).
MWG founder member Faith Stabler said: “Jo Churchill’s angle on the question of confidence was interesting. She has suggested that we might make a visit to the Houses of Parliament, with help from her PA, Lesley Canham, who also attended the coffee morning. That would be something we would be interested in.”
PHOTO: MWG members (L to R) Faith Stabler, Stephanie Gooding, Margarida Oganfowora and Tahira Dahar with Jo Churchill MP