Items of general interest discussed at Equals meetings.

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.

Main points of interest

  • The Asian festival. This was absolutely fabulous with more than five hundred people who came. There is the possibility of having the next one in a better venue such as Ventnor, Northwood or the Riverside Centre. A tentative expected date for next year’s event is 30 June 2018.
  • The Women's Friendship Group will resume after the summer break on Wednesday 6th September.
  • The Men's Friendship Group. Marketing of the group is being improved.
  • Facebook Pages. The Facebook pages are to be re-organised.

Our meeting venue has been changed:

The Saturday, 30th September 2017 meeting at 10:00-11:30 am will now be held at the Fairlee Room, Riverside Centre, The Quay, Newport PO30 2QR.

We plan to hold all our regular meetings will be held at the new venue. It has been booked 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.

EqualsIW wishes to express support foor all those invloved in the recent natonal tragedies.

Members of EqualsIW are reminded that they can submit updates or items of interst to Rex as webmaster.

The group congratulated Aireen on her work with the Isle of Wight Asian Day.

The Women's Friendship Group (WFG) had a successful Ryde Mardi Gras event on the 1st July. A Culture Kitchen was also held on the 4th of July at Lanesend Primary School in Cowes

On the 5th of July some members of the Friendship Group participated in the International Day at Cowes Primary School.

On 21st of July the group were invited as guests at Vecta House Summer Party at the Barchester Vecta House Care Home in Newport. They wore their traditional costumes and chat with the residents.

Congratulations also to Cecilia Herbing for the successful book launch held last 9th of July at St. Therese Hall wherein three members also attended.

The next meeting of the Men's Friendship Group (MFG) will be a barbecue on 24th August at Prince's Green in Cowes.

A Men’s Friendship Group facebook page is planned for the first week of August.

The next meeting tobe held on the Monday 21st of August 2017 at 6.30pm to 8.00pm  at Newport Police Headquarters has now been confirmed.

Please note that the start time has been put back to 6.30pm to 8.00pm allowing members free parking nearby.

At the last AGM meeting held between 10:30-11:30 on Saturday, 17th of June at the Fairlee Room, Riverside Centre in Newport the following members were nominated and elected unanimously by the show of hands

  • Shahzad Khan – Chair
  • Louis Lawrence – Vice Chair
  • Steve Milford – Treasurer
  • Cecilia Herbing – Secretary
  • Niviera Piper – Friendship Group Co-ordinator
  • Mark Cox – Men’s Group Co-ordinator

Committee Members (in surname order):

  • Aireen Gauntlett
  • Wendy Loader
  • Jane McKean
  • Laraine Pascoe
  • Lisa Paul (co-opted Police representative)
  • Anna Speczck
  • Sandra Trigg