KINGSTON WI: All change this month. The meeting was held in the church as the Synergy Theatre group were using the Parish Hall. Also the planned speaker, Dr Moira Harrison and her dog Treacle, were unable to attend due to an accident, so Thea Powell stepped in at the last moment to talk about her conservation work in Borneo. Thea, who was brought up in Kingston, described her academic career in Zoology which then led to working in Borneo with OuTrop (The Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project). This charity focusses on the conservation of the physical and natural environment by promoting biological diversity in Indonesian Borneo; on the education of the public regarding tropical biodiversity and the promotion of research carried out. It also promotes sustainable development, prudent use of resources and relief of poverty and the improvement of the conditions of life in socially and economically disadvantaged communities. Thea showed beautiful photos of orangutan and talked about their appearance, behaviour, diet and the very long bond between mother and infant, with the infant remaining with its mother for up to seven years before becoming independent. Thea described life as a researcher in the rainforest; up to her knees, waist & even sometimes shoulders in water whilst trying to follow orangutans through the forest whilst monitoring their behaviour from waking at 3am until finally falling asleep late in the evening. She clearly enjoyed a wonderful life experience on this trip and is hoping to continue working in conservation with a strong desire to educate the public on the issues supported by OuTrop.

The business part of the meeting then followed with the treasurer’s report, an invitation to help plan the 2017 programme, requests for help for the WI Tea Tent for the Village Fete, and an offer of a few places in the First Aid course to be run in the Pavilion in July.

Kingston activities were announced: the walk will be today, Friday, meeting at the end of The Street at 9.30am; Tap Dancing in the Parish Hall on Thursdays April 14 and 28 at 7.30pm; the Book Group to be cancelled for this month as it clashes with the Queen’s 90th birthday celebration event at the Pavilion and on the Downs; Pilates on Tuesdays in the Parish Hall, 2pn to 3pm (spaces for new members); Craft Group on Fridays at 2pm in the Pavilion with a new project of crocheted and knitted flowers for an entry in the South of England Show in June; and the Singing Group on Fridays at Peggy Nicholson’s house, preparing for their next concert. A very full basket on a coffee theme was completed, to be taken to the Federation Annual Meeting in Eastbourne on April 9. This in fact was the very first basket to be sold on the day.

The AGM of the National Federation of WI’s will be held this year in Brighton and will hopefully be attended by four members of Kingston WI. Two resolutions have been selected to be taken to this meeting, to be voted on by the members: Appropriate care in hospitals for people with dementia and Avoid food waste, address food poverty. If a majority of members vote in favour of the resolution, it then becomes a mandate for the WI, allowing both national and local campaigning. Kingston WI members will cast their votes at the next meeting, which will be held at Iford and Kingston School on Thursday May 5 at 7.30pm. (moved due to local elections). The speaker for the evening will be Edwina Griffith; her talk entitled Backing into the Unknown - at a certain age. Visitors are always very welcome to attend our meetings. Contact for further information: Beverley Wakeford-Brown on 01273 4745456 or

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at

2) Like our Facebook page at

3) Follow us on Twitter @sussex_express

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Sussex Express - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.