One of our local WI members has a daughter working in Greece with girls rescued from the slave trade which operates through the "Balkan Gate".A coffee morning was set up to raise funds for this cause because we felt it fitted in to the National WI's campaign against "Violence against Women". We were told harrowing tales of what these girls suffer and how they can be sold and re-sold across Europe. The work also is relevant to the Modern Slavery Act which the WI backs. There are 27 million people trapped in slavery today and this is part of a campaign to help in victim restoration and to raise awareness.We left feeling great admiration for the workers who are committed to giving their time and lives in such a worthy cause.
What do you understand by the words "joint enterprise"? This was the topic set for the WI discussion group tonight.Several members had done their homework and were able to explain that it is an activity of two or more people usually for profit which may be a partnership or any business in which they invest,work or have equal management control with an agreed goal or purpose. In court this means that everyone involved will be liable for any penalty incurred. In everyday circumstances this can be fraud, burglary or even murder. There has been a movement against this ruling because there have been recent cases where someone has been unknowingly present when a serious crime has been committed and become an unfortunate example of being in the wrong place at the wrong time or not having the intelligence to realise what is happening. It was a good topic and we wondered whether we might return to it and see whether it might be something the WI could take on board nationally.
A group of members from our WI spent the morning at the Magistrates Court in Milton Keynes. This came about because we had had a speaker last year who set up a trial court room case at the monthly meeting. I didn't realise that if it is convenient for the court's schedule, members of the public may go along to the court and sit in to listen. We split our time between 2 courts and a magistrate gave us an introductory talk to explain what we were about to see and hear and then we watched and listened behind a glass panel.At the end of the morning, we re-convened to discuss what we had seen.We were concerned at the waste of time and money when the defendants don't turn up for their hearings and at the restrictions on what the magistrates could actually do about persistent offenders. It is so sad when youngsters over 17 get themselves so caught up with relationships that when they break down, they react in fury and have to live with this black mark on their records for life. It was a fascinating, interesting but sometimes depressing way to spend the morning.
Come the evening, we were out again to the Group meeting where Annie Gray in costume gave us a marvellous talk about the history of tea. It was a well-attended meeting and I think we all enjoyed it very much and the refreshments were wonderful. Our group had had successes this year in the Regional Quiz and in the County Show competition and we have all gained new members so we finished the day feeling pretty tired but quite pleased with ourselves!