Items of general interest discussed at Equals meetings.

Equals IW is appealing for funds to help in its vital work on the Isle of Wight. Here is the text of a letter being sent out to local institutions seeking support.

You have probably never heard of us, and you wouldn't unless you are newly arrived on the Isle of Wight, you are a woman, possibly from another country, a person with little or no family support, do not speak good English, member of one of the LBGT communities, or a man with similar problems.

That was why the Equals IW group was formed, to provide a solution for those who have found integrating in British society to be difficult.

Our vision is that the Isle of Wight will become an even more inclusive, supportive and friendly place to live, work and visit for all people. We want the Isle of Wight to be a place of true equality of opportunity, with peace and respect for all.

We are working together with other organisations and individuals to achieve this vision. As you will gather from ensuing pages we have been fulfilling this task and following the original objectives. Our activities have encompassed disparate ethnic and cultural groups and notably we have been able to encourage many foreign born women to step forward and participate in traditional British community activity.

All our active members are volunteers and we have no professional workers. Our expenses revolve around hall hires and costs most of which are defrayed by contributions but we still need some top-up finance to keep us going. We are presently preparing a celebration of United Nations Diversity Day in May 2019 and this would involve at least a dozen national and cultural groups on the Island. We are already committed to working with the Mardi Gras and Pride events.

We would welcome your financial support and sponsorship.

2018 Asian Day Flyer

The Totland Bay Mosaic Arts Company and Heart in my Mouth are working with Equals IW to Support Asian Day 2018.

The Isle of Wight Asian Day 2018 is a free event for everyone.

We would love you to come along and visit our stand where you can have ago at Indian Printing, Asian Arts, Glass Painting to create your own Asian Style Tea Light.

You can also have ago at Glass Painting to create your own Asian Style Tea Light.

Whilst visiting us why not take a look at lovely handmade craft items made by Helen and Lesley, include some special craft items with an Asian theme on sale just for this special day.

Treat yourself or buy as a gift for someone special to you.

Main Points of General Interest

Equals IW has made progress on several organisational fronts

  • Operational procedures around privacy
  • Links to other Isle of Wight organisations
  • Fund raising
  • Trustees and the Charity Commission
  • Finance
  • Equals IW Membership

The Women's Friendship Group membership has been falling so the group are considering a marketing drive after the summer.  The issue was raised that having Mardis Gras workshops in a venue restricted to Women, while cost effective, prevents male participation. Also the timing of workshops during the day prevents those in paid work from joining in.

The Men's Friendship Group has been dormant due to work commitments. The committee discussed whether focusing future meetings on a specific activity would increase interest.

Activities are currently being planned for

  • Mardis Gras Parade. Kimmy the dragon's framework has been created during a series of Women's Friendship Group meeting. Work continues on Kimmy and the costumes for the parade.
  • Asian Day. A gazebo has been promised for Equals IW promotion.

This is a very brief abstract from the minutes of the meeting.
A copy of the minutes is available on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Would You Like A New Exciting Challenge for 2018 then come and join the Equals IW Committee.

We are looking for people to volunteer and develop the work of Equal’s IW:

  • Secretary – work includes typing committee minutes, organising committee meetings, taking meeting minutes, organising meeting venues, replying to Website and Facebook enquires, sending official correspondence on behalf of Equals IW.
  • Press Secretary – work includes promoting Equals IW's local meetings, activities and events in the local press, local magazine publications, online and on the local radio. Also prepare and issue statements about relevant affairs on behalf of Equals IW.
  • Grants and Funding Co-ordinators – to work in a team to seek out and propose funding sources and make funding applications.
  • Education and Training Co-ordinators – to work in a team to promote equality and diversity in the community and the work of Equals IW. Deliver awareness training of equality and diversity, facilitate and deliver talks and presentations on equality and diversity in the community. Delivery of formal and informal programmes involving equality and diversity activities to schools, colleges, community groups, adult learners and staff associated with businesses.
  • Fundraising Co-ordinators – work in a team to plan, organise, facilitate and run fund raising activities and events for Equals IW.
  • Equals Development Co-ordinators – work in a team to develop new opportunities for Equals IW, develop partnership working opportunities, identify, suggest and co-ordinate events for Equals IW to be involved in.

To find out more contact Mark via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can learn more about Equals IW on Facebook or

download and display our flyer.

January's meeting covered mostly administrative and planning activities for the coming year.

The next meeting will be held on the Thursday 22nd of February at 6:30pm in the Police Station.

Main points of interest

  • For the 2018 Mardi Gras by the New Carnival Company, Equals Group has been allocated the theme of Unique Places - Komodo Island BR Indonesia.
  • The Equals New Year’s Oriental Night Party will be a wonderful way to start the year 2018. We will hold the event on 27th Jan. 2018 from 6 pm - 10 pm at Wootton Community Hall. The tickets will be £7 for adult and £5 for children.
  • The next Mens' Friendship Group meettingg is to be held on Monday15th January 2018, at the Isobel Community Café Furlongs Newport from 7pm to 9pm.


The Ladies' Friendship Group meetings are to be held at

  • Wednesay 10th January 2018  in Cowes from 10am-12pm
  • Wednesday 17th January 2018 at the WoW Centre Newport from 10am-12pm
  • Wednesday 24th January 2018 in Cowes from 10am-12pm
  • Tuesday 23rd January 2018 at the WoW Centre Newport from 6pm-8pm in the evening
  • Wednesday 31st January at the WoW Centre Newport from 10am-12pm

Next meeting will be held on Saturday 20th of January 2018 at 2.30pm at Newportt Police Station


Main points of interest

  • The next Ladies' Friendship Group meeting will be on the 29th December 2017 at the WOW Centre, 4-5 James Street, Newport PO30 5HE.
  • The Ladies' Friendship Group has chosen Indonesia as their theme for the 2018 Mardi Gras Parade in partnership with the Mens' Friendship Group.
  • A proposed celebration dubbed as ‘Oriental Night’ will be held from 6pm to 10pm on the 27th of January 2018 at a venue to be announced. While not a fund raising event there will be an entrance charge for attendees of £10 for adults and £5 for children.
  • Two new members have joined the Mens' Friendship Group which will hold their next meeting on the 15th January 2018.
  • Equals IW is seeking volunteers to act as Press Secretary and Fund Raiser.


  • The next committee meeting will be held on the Saturday, 30th of December 2017 from 14:00 to 15:30 at a Newport Police Station.

Main points of interest

  • Citizens' Advice and Victims' Support held discussions with Equals IW regarding future co-operation.
  • An English language course is being considered starting next year.
  • Equals IW is planning a fund raising event to be held on International Day 20th May 2018.
  • The next committee meeting will be held on the Saturday, 25th of November 2017 at 10:30am, Riverside Centre.
Cultural Kitchen

Equals IW supported the Cultural Kitchen event as part of the Black History Month activities held at St Mary's Hospital in Newport Isle of Wight. 

Main points of interest

  • Equals IW met with the new Equality Lead for St. Mary’s Hospital NHS Trust last 25th of Aug 2017 discussing partnership opportunties.
  • Attendance at the Men's Friendship Group Meeting has not been as good as hoped. Marketing ideas were discussed and publicity is being further improved for future meetings.
  • The Women's Friendship Group resumed after the summer break on Wednesday 6th September. The meeting scheduled for Wedensday 13th September has been cancelled as it clashes with the Food Hygiene course being held on the same day. The group has found that the cancellation of the Cowes chain ferry across the Medina River is proving a problem for East Cowes residents getting to the meetings.
  • Facebook Pages. There is to be one Facebook page covering Equals IW as a whole and linked by a Facebook icon on the website pages. A separate link to the Men's Friendship Group Facebook pages will be placed on pages dealing with that group.
  • Committee meeting are now being held at the Fairlee Room, Riverside Centre, The Quay, Newport PO30 2QR from 10.30 to 12pm on the last Saturday of each month unless there are exceptional cases. There is sufficient parking, tea, and coffee with biscuits plus toilet facilities are also provided.