Campaigns and Resolutions
WI campaigns are about changing things for the better and tackling the issues that matter to members. Members are at the heart of the WI and they play a central role in bringing issues onto the WI's national agenda through our public affairs and campaigning.
From equal pay to climate change, from gaps in the midwifery workforce to the plight of the honey bee, WI members have embraced a diverse set of challenges and built a reputation for the WI as a practical and ambitious organisation that doesn't shy away from tricky issues.
The WI calls on all supermarkets to sign up to a voluntary agreement to avoid food waste, thereby passing surplus food onto charities thus helping to address the issue of increasing food poverty in the UK
Proposed by Snailbeach WI, Shropshire Federation
83% of delegates voted in support of the NFWIs 2016 resolution to ‘avoid food waste, address food poverty.’ The resolution calls on supermarkets to sign up to a voluntary agreement to avoid food waste, as well as to pass surplus food on to charities to help address the issue of food poverty in the UK.
As a first step in the campaign, the NFWI has produced a report and manifesto detailing ways in which supermarkets can adjust their practices to help consumers reduce food waste in the home. From retail practices which encourage overbuying, such as promoting multi-buys and multipacks, to confusing date and product labelling, which can mean consumers are throwing out food prematurely, the report sets out a range of ways supermarkets can help reduce food waste in the home.
The WI has a proud history of taking action to protect the landscape and countryside of Britain. Over the years we have cleaned up our beaches, stood up for the honeybee and campaigned for wide areas of special beauty. In recent times this concern for our natural environment has seen members rally against climate change, the impact of which is already affecting the things that we love. Climate change can be seen through increased flooding, summer heatwaves and the decline of bee populations, it is changing the seasons, affecting crops and flowers, and disturbing the journeys of migrating birds.
We call upon HM Government and the NHS to provide facilities to enable carers to stay with people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia that have been admitted into hospital.
A stay in hospital shouldn't be catastrophic for people with dementia and their families, but we know it often sadly is. More than 90% of carers report that their loved one with dementia found the hospital environment confusing and frightening. At the Annual Meeting in June 2016, WI members were clear that action must be taken to improve patients' care in hospital and to support their families.
Our Carers Welcome campaign calls on all acute and mental health hospitals to take steps to allow families greater access to their loved one while they are on the ward. Whether that's by extending visiting hours or allowing them to stay overnight, the aim is the same: carer's welcome.
This campaign is not about compelling carers to stay in hospital- we recognise that carers need and deserve respite. It is about ensuring the rights and freedoms of carers and safeguarding the dignity of those with dementia.
There are chronic shortages of midwives. The NFWI calls on the Government to increase investment in the training, employment, and retention of midwives in England and Wales to ensure services are adequately resourced and are able to deliver a high standard of care. - Horwich WI, Lancashire Federation, 2012
SOS for Honeybees
Honey Bees play a vital role in the pollination of food crops and in our environment. In view of concerns about the accelerating decline in the UK honey bee population, this meeting urges HM Government to increase funding for research into Bee Health.
The decline of honey bees represents a major loss in biodiversity as honey bees are not only responsible for producing honey, but play a vital role in pollinating plants. Approximately a third of our human diet is directly dependent on bees, making them central to our existence.
Despite some recent improvements, winter 2012/13 was the worst on record for colony loss of honeybees. Wild and solitary bees are in trouble too; two bumblebee species are already extinct in the UK, and solitary bees have declined in over half of areas studied.
Bee decline is multi-faceted, with decreases in availability of habitat for forage, changes in the climate, pests and diseases, and pesticide use all playing a role in accelerating that decline. Such declines amount to a major threat to biodiversity, not just for bees but for the many species of plants they help to pollinate.
Time to Talk
The NFWI notes that three people die every day whilst waiting for an organ transplant. We call on every member of the WI to make their wishes regarding organ donation known, and to encourage their families and friends, and members of their local communities to do likewise
- Standon and Coates Heath WI - Staffordshire Federation
The WI's campaign encourages members to have a think about donation, make a decision and then talk about it to someone close to them. Time to Talk About Organ Donation is about easing the burden on grieving families. When families have a clear idea about what their deceased loved-one wanted, it makes it so much easier for them to fulfill their wishes.
It doesn't matter whether you are in England or in Wales or the Islands - families matter. If we can get more people talking about donation, and having their decisions known and respected by their loved ones, we can increase the chances of a transplant being possible for those 7,000 people still on the waiting list. One donor can transform the lives of 9 different people.
Care Not Custody
in June 2008, the WI passed a resolution calling for an end to the inappropriate detention of people with mental health problems.
More than two-thirds of all prison inmates have two or more mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Many have a history of attempted suicide and self-harm, while significant numbers have severe and ongoing problems such as schizophrenia or personality disorders.
Too many people are getting inadequate mental healthcare in prisons when they could have been diverted to hospitals or community based alternatives. The NFWI is calling for people with mental health problems to get the right care for their condition via more diversion schemes and better community mental health services offering safe alternatives to imprisonment.
Supporting UK Dairy Farmers
The price that farmers are paid for producing milk hit the headlines again in summer 2012 because three of the main dairy processors responsible for supplying liquid fresh milk into the UK market place announced plans to reduce the price paid to farmers. Following widespread protests from farmers and consumer groups the proposed price reductions were withdrawn and a number of major supermarkets responded to consumer pressure to ensure farmers are being paid a fair price. The summer's events only show part of the story and with many farmers still being paid less than the cost of production for their milk, the problem is far from solved.