West 4 Women

Image above: West 4 Women Christmas party; Ann Crighton third from the left in the front row

Chiswick women’s group who ‘socialise, network, support each other and have fun’

The West 4 Women group is a social group which organises activities throughout the year in and around Chiswick.

Originally set up more than 30 years ago as a support network for working mothers, it has long since dropped the requirement that members should have either children or a career and has evolved into just a group of women with no other agenda other than to ‘socialise, network, support each other and have fun.’

Criminal barrister Ann Crighton took over running it five years ago and word has spread; with her diligent promotion it has gone from 40 to 140 members during her tenure.

“I think there is a need for women’s groups” she told The Chiswick Calendar, “because for example I saw someone comment in social media the other day that they had moved to the area and they are a bit lonely.”

Unless you plug into a network as the parent of a child at school or a member of a church congregation, or have a particular hobby which requires socialising, it can be hard to make friends when you move somewhere new or your circumstances change.

Image above: West 4 Women Christmas party

West 4 Women has a programme of speakers, music and film, meals out, a monthly book club, anything that takes their fancy. They meet sometimes in members’ houses, but more often in pubs and restaurants.

“Our most recent talk was by Dr Penny Law, a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at The Portland Hospital, who gave a talk on women’s health at her home, but more often we meet at the Queen’s Head in Sutton Lane North.

“We have a monthly book club, which about 20 people come to. This month we’re reading Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus.”

Elizabeth Filippouli

In the calendar for this year there is a meal at My Old China in Acton on 22 March, a talk by Elizabeth H. Filippouli, founder of Global Thinkers Forum, at the end of April and a presentation by May Tha Hla introducing Helping the Burmese Delta, the charity she has set up together with her husband John to help create opportunities for children in her native Myanmar, in May.

Images above: Kyi Lè Lè Oo with her family; a child whose life has been transformed by an operation funded by Helping the Burmese Delta; villagers in the Irrawaddy Delta Region of Myanmar

In the summer there will be guided walks around Acton and Holland Park, wine tasting, a curry night and a Colour Me Beautiful evening with colour stylist Sandy Lancaster, whose House of Colour styling service also happens to be a member of The Chiswick Calendar’s Club Card scheme.

Images above: Sandy Lancaster; House of Colour

“My favourite thing about W4W is the sense of belonging and community it gives me”

“Not everybody goes to the events” Ann told us, but they find the emails and information we give out useful.”

There is back and forth by email discussing where to get anything from a roofer to a maths tutor. Members attest to the supportive and helpful nature of the group in their comments to us:

“I moved to Chiswick eight years ago when my son left school – I was working in Central London and had a busy social life. Then *Boom* the pandemic hit – I lost my job, I couldn’t see my friends so easily as they live outside of London, and I was missing female companionship.

“I now run a Digital Marketing business from home, and decided to join West4Women so that I can meet local women, be introduced to new activities … and hopefully make some new friends.

“The group have been so warm and welcoming, and the variety of events they arrange is fantastic – there is something to appeal to everyone.”

Another member wrote:

“My favourite thing about W4W is the sense of belonging and community it gives me.  I would never have met the fantastic range of women living nearby otherwise, especially as they have completely different types of work to me – everyone shares their interests, so I get notifications about music, art exhibitions, books, tango dancing, gin tasting which I can join if I fancy and it’s usually walking distance.

“Every time I go to an event I meet new people, some of the longer standing members have become good friends. During the Covid lockdowns, I was able to replace my ‘watercooler’ conversations from work to local people also working from home. W4W gives instant access to hassle-free social events run by an incredibly welcoming and organised committee.”

If you are interested in joining the group, for a membership fee of £10 a year, you can send the committee a message through their website.

w4women.co.uk

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

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