SCAMchampion of the Month, July 2017

My name is Lee Ede and I’m a Trading Standards Officer for East Sussex County Council. Part of my role is to support victims of fraud including doorstep crime and scams.  The work is interesting and at times challenging but it is amazing to know that on a daily basis my colleagues and I can make a difference. That is a great feeling and a real motivator to spread the word about scams amongst my family and friends. I became a Friend Against Scams after completing the online training course.

Outside of work I’ve made a lot of friends by being a member of the WI. No calendars from me but spending time with like-minded women has really improved my knowledge of a wide range of matters and I really enjoy the social time as well. A gin tasting session was memorable as was a talk about chocolate.

My Federation in East Sussex asked me to become a trainee WI Adviser last year. This role is key within the organisation as only a WI Adviser can open a new WI. With the popularity of the WI being at an all-time high; membership is currently 225,000 with about 35,000 new members every year, lots of requests for new WIs are received.

The training course was quite intensive and included a practical exercise, a training session for me to deliver to a minimum of 15 people. As the East Sussex Federation of WIs had recently signed up to be a Charter Partner in the East Sussex Against Scams Partnership group, the Friends Against Scams presentation was an obvious choice.

I used the Federation Headquarters for the presentation and the audience were extremely interested and I think at times very shocked by the information they heard during the presentation. They were pleased with their certificates at the end of the evening and I’ve had several enquiries since my presentation. One WI member contacted her local Police station the next day and had a personal visit from two Police officers, on the same day to deliver some promotional material to be used at her WI.

The WI in East Sussex are now including scam advice and guidance in every copy of their Federation newsletter and I have more presentations planned for later in the year.

Friends Against Scams and WI go together really well and I would urge any WI member to consider becoming a Friend Against Scams. SCAMchampions do make contact with your local Federation WI HQ, details can be found on the following webpage https://www.thewi.org.uk/contact-us

You will find a friendly welcome from the WI, a great cup of tea and you never know maybe even a piece of really amazing cake. Lime & Pistachio has been on the side as I’ve written this article. Not made by me I hasten to add, it was made by one of my WI friends.