Meetings Programme

All meetings subject to change


Wednesday 5th October
Guest speaker:
Father Philip Sumner from Oldham Interfaith Forum

The mission of Oldham Interfaith Forum is to promote harmony, understanding and co-operation between all members of the community, especially with regard to issues that relate to faith and belief. Father Phil is currently Parish Priest of St. Mary’s with St. Patrick’s in Oldham and Rural Dean for Oldham, Ashton and Mossley. He was the first chair of the Forum and still serves as a Trustee. Father Phil has been the Chair for many organisations, a presenter on the radio and has lectured for UNESCO in several parts of the world.

Wednesday 2nd November
Guest speaker:
O’Donnell Solicitors – Wills

A team from our local O’Donnell solicitors will talk to us about the importance of an up-to-date will. We will hear about this subject from different angles and how modern family life can impact on this.


There will not be a Wednesday meeting in December – instead it is our Christmas party on Saturday 10th December! See Workshops, Events and Trips page for details.


Wednesday 4th January
Guest Speaker: Reverend David Ireland, Chief Executive of Francis House Children’s Hospice

As architect for the Rainbow Family Trust, David oversaw the conversion of a former convent into Francis House Childrens Hospice in 1990. He will talk to us about the hospice and the work done there as well as the fundraising treks and events he has undertaken to raise funds.

This speaker was originally booked for June 2022 prior to organising our Platinum Jubilee Celebration meeting.

Wednesday 1st February
Guest Speakers: Rachel Metcalf JP and Mr Nick Sheardown JP, Magistrates in the Community

We will learn about the role of the Magistrate, the law and sentencing in the UK.

Wednesday 1st March
Annual Meeting

Paul Norfolk, Quiz Master

Wednesday 5th April
Guest Speaker: Esme Ward, Director of Manchester Museum

Esme was appointed Director of Manchester Museum in 2018. She is the first woman to hold the role since it was founded in 1867. Prior to this she was Head of Learning and Engagement and the Whitworth. For several years she worked alongside Maria Balshaw on the £15 million transformation of The Whitworth Art Gallery. 2023 is an important year for the museum.

This speaker was cancelled twice due to Covid and earlier this year she had to rearrange her date due to an urgent height level meeting. She is fully committed to coming to SWI next year.

Wednesday 3rd May
Guest Speaker: Melanie Latham
Chutney and Cheer

Melanie will talk about hand made traditional and unusual preserves. At the meeting she will actually make chutney during her presentation which she then sells with 50p from every jar going to the Stroke Association.

Wednesday 7th June
Guest Speakers: Rachel Metcalf JP and Mr Nick Sheardown JP

Following their presentation in February Rachel and Mick return to hold a mock trial and sentencing. Volunteers will be required, some to take the roles of defendants, witnesses, solicitors etc. reading from a trial script. We have asked for the scripts ahead of time and hope that volunteers can be found say a month or two before the meeting.

Wednesday 5th July
Guest Speakers: John Parker and James Minchin, RSPB Dove Stone

John will tell us all about the Birds of Dove Stone and how he has spent over a decade bird watching and chatting to visitors. James will be happy to answer any question on the work the RSPB do at Dove Stone.

Wednesday 2nd August
Guest Speaker: Helen Robson, Executive Director, Autistic UK

Helen works with the Greater Manchester Autism Consortium. She is a working textile artist and has been involved in running creative workshops. She is a great believer in art’s ability to help people open up and express what’s going on internally. Helen will talk to us about Autism.

At our Annual meeting earlier this year the resolution ‘Women and Girls with ASD (autistic spectrum disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) – under identified, under diagnosed, misdiagnosed and under supported’ was passed with a majority of 96.5%. The NFWI calls on members to raise awareness within their WI’s of the issues facing women and girls with ASD and ADHD.

Wednesday 6th September
Social Evening

On our anniversary meeting we will have games and a chat with friends, both long standing and brand new. 

Wednesday 4th October
Guest Speaker: Lucy Thompson
Nipple Innovation Project

Lucy founded this charity in 2018, the UK’s first mastectomy tattoo charity. The charity focuses on body autonomy after breast cancer, empowerment through art and 3D realistic nipple tattoos following mastectomy surgery. 

Wednesday 1st November
Guest Speaker: Brian Topping
Tales of a Customs Officer

Brian served for many years as a Customs Officer in the former department of HM Customs and Excise at Heathrow Airport. We will hear about the many situations he came across when dealing with passengers travelling through the airport and his involvement in apprehending and investigating smugglers.