President’s Virtual Tea Meeting

BFWG President Patrice Wellesley-Cole organised first virtual afternoon tea meeting on 5th June 2020 with Local Association Presidents. It was an informal gathering on Zoom hosted by Winchester President Dr Reefat Drabu.

Meeting was joined by following as seen in the picture taken by Sudha during the meeting:

BFWG Zoom tea Party

From left to right –

Top row: Reefat, Sudha (London and Young Members, News Editor) Kay Howell (Lincoln President), Jasmit (BFWG President-Elect)

Middle row: – Jill Mitchell (Huddersfield President and alternate Northern Regional Rep) Ruth Birnie (standing in for Betty Pritchard, North East President) Jennie Landsberg (Canterbury President and Chair of Finance) BFWG President Patrice Wellesley-Cole

Bottom row: Jean Soper (Sutton Coldfield President), Carole Smith (Norfolk and Norwich) Carole had some problems getting in but could hear what everyone said and made a helpful written contribution afterwards.

Meeting was productive and thought provoking. Recruitment of members and retaining them afterwards was discussed and everyone agreed to not only lookout for universities but also other working women. Kay Howell shared the experience of Book Group, Committee Meeting and Coffee morning over Zoom. Norfolk and Norwich seem to be particularly successful at getting new members, gaining five just before lock down, but are getting nowhere with younger graduates or contacts with the university. There was a ‘model’ for recruiting and setting up a group at Cambridge. However, UEA links didn’t happen.

Another topic discussed was about the resolution One Women One Vote which was taken positively by everyone and seen as a step forward. It has possibility to increase membership.

Suggestions were considered over having a Zoom speaker near the virtual AGM but keep it open to all members. Mary Beard came up top list and President Patrice have already secured her for a Q&A session 28th July 2020. It was agreed that members send their questions in advance to facilitate the smooth running of the session as well as to look professional.

Ideas were welcomed on Twinning. Sudha shared her experience of GWI Twinning Webinar and circulated her report for possible actions BFWG can take. Once we pick up from the Twinning options, GWI will facilitate finding partner and any other possible help.

The idea of regular meetings over Zoom was appreciated and meeting ended on a positive note!

Sudha Srivastava
Editor, BFWG

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