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AGM in Birmingham

This year the 109th AGM was held on the 11th April, again in the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham in The Salisbury Room, with approximately 33 people in attendance, both ladies and gentlemen.

Our president, Janet Poole, opened proceedings with a welcome to all those attending, and a minutes silence was held in memory of members who had passed away during 2016/2017.

Before the main business of the day began, a cheque for £9,000 was presented to Hannah Sturmar of the National Deaf Children's Society, the 2016/2017 League Project. Little Maisie Barry, aged 5, who has bi-lateral cochlear implants and who has benefited from the support of the NDCS, presented the cheque on behalf of the League. A very proud grandmother, W.L member Margaret Hill, was there to watch the proceedings.

The usual reports were given during the Meeting, and our outgoing President, Janet, was most gracious in her thanks to everyone who had helped her during her year of office. Special reference was made to all the lovely places she had visited – 15 visits in all and to the warm welcomes and generous hospitality she had received during these times. She said it had been a 'wonderful opportunity, to have had the privilege and honour of being National President of our Women's League this past year'. Janet handed over her Presidency for 2017/2018 to Rev Celia Cartwright as elected President, and Anne Gemmell was made President-Elect. Other officers were continuing and were thanked for all the work they had put in during the past year.

The main speaker at the meeting was Peter Woodward on behalf of Prostate Cancer UK the League Project for 2017/2018. Peter, a prostate cancer survivor of 6 years, spoke passionately about the work of the Society, giving us many facts and figures. In the early stages of the disease there are no symptoms which makes diagnosis in the early stages very difficult. However, over 11,000 men are diagnosed every year. It tends to run in families (2.5 times more likely to get it if your father had it for instance), and it has been found that maintaining a healthy diet and weight can possibly help.

Unfortunately, prostate cancer is a much underfunded charity, with only 8 per cent of the total monies raised for cancer charities goes to prostrate cancer research. The reason we were told is probably that women talk about their health, therefore making more people aware of it, such as breast cancer etc, and men don't. However, Prostate Cancer UK is fighting back, raising awareness by handing out cards at places such as football and rugby matches, and finding people who are happy to go round to organisations and talk about it. They also support men and their families, through specialist nurses and services such as a helpline, online information and in the communities across the UK.

Our new President, Rev Celia Cartwright closed the meeting with her specially chosen hymn for the occasion – 'Let it be a dance we do'.


Triennial Rally The League had a successful Triennial Rally at Luther King House, Manchester in October 2017. This was organized by the Conference Secretary, Mary Wightman. We visited the home of the 19th Century novelist Elizabeth Gaskell who was married to a Unitarian minister.

The Women’s League AGM will take place at 1.30 pm on Thursday 5th April 2018 during the GA at the De Vere Staverton Park Estate, Daventry Road, Daventry NN11 6JT. All welcome. There will be a presentation of a cheque to a representative of Prostate Cancer UK followed by a talk given by a representative of Sepsis Trust UK, the Project for 2018/19.

Rally 2018. At Whalley Abbey on 17th and 18th October organized by Mary Wightman, Conference Organiser. For forms contact Mary Wightman. There will be a short service, evening meal and social gathering, a business meeting or free time n the the first morning followed by lunch.

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