Items of interest from the groups.

Chinese New Year

Equals IW Friendship Group first open event of the new year on Saturday 25th January was held in the Breeze at the Island Harbour. Group members shared in a meal to celebrate the Lunar New Year with wider family members. Great food, laughter and happiness made the evening very enjoyable for all.

The 2020 Lunar New Year fell on January 25th and ended on February 11th 2021 with a public holiday lasting from January 24th to 30th. The peak times for celebration were the New Year's Eve on January 24th and New Year's Day on January 25th. The New Year Calendar, as it is commonly known, started on New Year's Eve to the Lantern Festival on February 8th 2020.

mardi gras

Thousands of people stepped out on the hottest day of the year so far to celebrate the Isle of Wight Mardi Gras. The annual parade made its way through the streets of Ryde on Saturday 29th June 2019. Hundreds of revellers with costumes and floats linked by the theme ‘Biosphere Island’ were brought together. The natural beauty of the island was celebrated in true carnival style.

The theme ‘Biosphere Island’ was a collaboration between Island based event organisers, the New Carnival Company and the Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (IW AONB). The IW AONB has bid for the Island to become a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Celebrations got underway at Ryde School as the hot summer sunshine shone down on the Island and the many different group and schools.

Around a thousand participants from 23 island schools and 34 community groups danced in the streets. They proudly showcased their amazing artistic creations marking the culmination of months of preparation work. Each school and group worked under a heading such as Historic Environment, Food and Farming and Dark Skies. Local organisations and businesses partnered with the groups including Robin Hill, the Isle of Wight Zoo, Archaeology Discovery Centre, Hampshire and IW Wildlife Trust, Dinosaur Isle and Briddlesford Farm.

Happy Nurses Day

International Nurses Day was this year celebrated around the world on Sunday 12th May. The Royal College of Nursing invited healthcare professionals to organise their own get-togethers with colleagues.

The Equals IW Friendship Group joined an event at the St Mary's Hospital to celebrate Happy Nurse Day on the Friday before. Niviera attended the event and met the Director of Nursing, Midwifery, AHP's and Community Services, St Mary's catering manager and many other wonderful Nurses and staff.

2019 02 happy nurses day

Tuti and Arum volunteered to make bala bala, spring rolls and pukis cake for the occasion. Obviously these delicious Indonesian snacks were gone in no time. Thanks to Arum and Tuti.

Mardi Gras

The Isle of Wight Mardi Gras is a wonderful themed parade and was held this year on Saturday 30th June 2018.

This year the theme was Global Biospheres in support of the Island's bid to become a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. 

Equals IW was represented through the work of the Equals IW Women’s Friendship Group with their entry themed around Komodo Island, Indonesia.

The very colourful parade brought joy to those watching in the streets of Ryde as the town basked in summer sunshine.

The event was a collaboration between Island-based event organisers, the New Carnival Company and the IW Area of Outstanding Beauty Unit.

Click or tap on an image to see the gallery

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Mardi Gras
Equals IW is recruiting now for 20 Mardi Gras Team Members
  • We need people to join the Creative Team to create the costumes, Komodo dragon, Flowers and Flags.
    • Be available to attend some of the workshops shown in the programme to make the costumes and the Komodo dragon.
  • We need Dancers and Performers to join the Parade Team and take part in the parade.
    • You must be available to take part in the Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday 30th June 2018
    • Be available to attend some of the dance workshops to practice the dance routines. These details will be sent out in due course.

You can join either team on its own but we would love you to join both, helping to create costumes and join in the parade.

Join now and give your name and contact details to

  • Niviera Piper 07807156229 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Aireen Gauntlett 07514805961 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Mark Cox 07854852518 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Open to all ages everyone is welcome to join.

The Equal IW Ladies' Friendship Group put on Cultural Kitchen events at two Cowes Schools towards the end of the Summer Term.

They were at Lanesend Primary School Cowes on 4th July 2017 cooking Chinese noodles with year 6 pupils.

2017 07 04 lfg 4 cultural kitchen lanesend primary

After the noodles they prepared "Klepon" which is an Indonesian dessert.
2017 07 04 lfg 4a cultural kitchen lanesend primary
The next day the Ladies' Friendship Group were at Cowes Primary.
2017 07 05 lfg 3 cultural kitchen cowes primary

The Ladies' Friendship Group visited Vecta House Care Home in Newport Isle of Wight twice over the summer.

In July they attended the garden party dressed in traditional costumes.

The garden party at Vecta House

In September they gave a cookery demonstration as part of International Week at Vecta House.

2017 09 lfg 1 demo cooking vecta house

Both events were a success and the contribution by the Ladies' Friendship Group was much appreciated by the residents.

Regular Equals IW Ladies' Friendship Group meetings started this month after the summer break.

This months activities included

  • A meeting with Samantha Greatrex who is the Equalities Lead for the local NHS Trust. Held on the 14th Sept 2017 at St Mary's Hospital we discussed the possible involvement of Equals in Black History Month at the hospital.
  • Some members attended the Celebration of Heritage Lottery Funding India Mardi Gras ,also on the 14th Sept 2017, at Ryde Academy. Sandra and Niviera were given certificates on behalf Equals IW for their contribution.
  • On 22nd Sept 2017 the Ladies' Friendship Group participated at Vecta House Care Home in Newport for their International Week by giving a cooking demonstration.
Canada Geese at Ryde Canoe Lake

June Meeting Update

"As the Equals Men’s Friendship Group Co-ordinator I am keen to get the group out and about in the community during the summer months.

Sam and Justin from the Men’s Steering Group met me outside Ryde LA Bowl on Tuesday 20th June 2017. Steering Group Member Wayan came along with Ilker.  

As a group we took an evening leisurely walk along the sea front and got up close with nature at the canoe lake. Then we walked along to Appley Tower and took in the wonderful views of Solent on a beautiful summer’s evening. 

We discussed ways to build the Men’s Friendship Group and shared ideas of fun activities and cultural experiences. We all agreed that once we had a large enough membership an evening to go karting would be amazing fun. In the longer term the men are keen to challenge Women’s Friendship Group to a racing event.

David from the Men’s Steering Group sent his apologies and wished the group evening every success."


Next Event

Coming from any background including an ethnic background, you may sometimes feel like you need a friend who understands and supports you in the community.

If so join the New Equals Men’s Friendship Group by coming to an evening Barbecue at Prince’s Green West Cowes on Thursday 24th August 2017, 18.30 to 21:00.

Come and join the New Equals Men’s Friendship Group, building bridges to celebrate and embrace diversity on the Isle of Wight.

EqualsIW at the 2017 Ryde Mardi Gras

EqualsIW took part in the 2017 Mardi Gras in Ryde on Saturday 1st July 2017.

The theme for the year was "Reflection of India" and the Women's Friendship Group was in

the Imperial India “Deli Durbar” section. Here are a few more images from the day.

  • mardi-gras-5969

Wendy Loader passed the donation bucket and it was almost full thanks to all generous donors especially the kids on the streets ...well done!