Meet the team: Grace, WI president aka El Presidente


1. What does the president do? 

I rule the Wicked Women with an iron fist! I also plan the meetings. I listen to suggestions that members make and try to create a fun monthly meeting that makes that W.I subscription fee worth it. So far we’ve done quite a lot of eating, drinking and making things, which people seem to be enjoying!

2. Why did you want to start a WI?

I wanted to start a WI because I felt like Hackney Wick should have one! It’s such a great area, and my friends who were living there and I thought it would be nice to get some of the ladies of the Wick round for a chat to see if we all fancied being friends. I also wanted to get involved with the wider Hackney community, which so far the Wicked Women have been amazing at!

What’s your fave moment so far of being president?

It’s all so great! My favourite moment was probably when people who I wasn’t related to or friends with decided to come to the group – I was worried nobody would come! I’m always really happy when someone I don’t know turns up, and I think they always leave happy!

In terms of actual events, raising £350 for Free Cakes for Kids Hackney and seeing how generous the local businesses of Hackney are was amazing.

I also interviewed Julia from Hollaback London for our first radio show which was great – I’ve never done anything like that before and I am always quite nervous to do those things, but it went really well, and it was really inspiring to talk to her.

3. What’s the least fave? 

There’s nothing bad about it! It’s quite stressful but our events always go well and I always leave happy! the group did have a W.I day out to the Hackney Wick V&A Takeback, and I did very dramatically push some art over onto Lora Su, our VP, and caused a huge scene. It was embarrassing, but we Wicked Women take these things in our stride and I left with my head held high and my can of cider still in my hand.

4. Outside of WI, what do you get up to?

I’m currently obsessed with Breaking Bad, so nothing but sitting around my flat. I love craft so I spend a lot of time doing that, which is quite W.I cliche I guess. And seeing new things in Hackney – I’ve started a terrible/great thing recently where I don’t leave Hackney at the weekends..

5. Favourite tipple?

Gin! (and jam). Or prosecco. I’m a classy President.

6. Fave thing about being a woman

Being a woman now is amazing because everything is changing for us. It’s great to be around as so many inspiring women stand up for themselves and the rest of us, and although it’s been slow, it’s making a difference. There are so many campaigns that started small and that anybody can join, and their impact has been so impressive.

…And I bloody love buying bras.

7. Least fave thing about being a woman

Gross men on Tinder..?

There’s not much I don’t love about being a woman, but I do think it would be nice to be able to walk around alone and not have a man say something outrageous to me. I don’t want to always have to be swearing at people as I cycle past. I’m sure that will be a reality soon.

8. Ryan Gosling or Tom Hardy? We know it’s a tough one…

No question! Gosling is clearly the winner. 

9. Favourite place to east in East/Hackney Wick?

I recently ate at Number 90, which is where we have our meetings! Great burger. And I went to a great party in Stour Space the other weekend with an incredible flamingo themed cocktail, and a boat.