5 reasons to join The Women’s Institute

When I was searching for articles on why to join the Women’s Institute I couldn’t find any that said what I would say.  But I did find a Mumsnet thread that used the reasons below as a barrier to joining, so…

If you’re not a member of the WI then this is for you.

For the young women who think it’s about sitting and listening to talks about Jam. Or any women who might think it’s a bit posh, or you need to be an expert cake maker.

Let me shatter those illusions and introduce the Women’s Institute of today.

Fun and friendship

We have a wide age range throughout the Cheshire Federation, and it will be the same where you are too. From women in their late 20’s through to 80+. Working women, retired women, women with young children, women with disability, single women, women with empty nests and more. Sitting alongside each other where age and status is not a barrier to friendship, sharing life experiences both ways. Putting the world to rights over a cup of tea and sometimes shop bought cake.

I’ve made some very good friends through WI. Women that live 5 minutes away but we’ve never met before. Just think, your next best friend could be a few streets away and you don’t know.

Learning

From the expert speakers who come to give talks, to fun activities and crafts, we learn together. At every meeting our aim is to all leave having learnt something, usually we will have gained new information or tried a skill. We’ve had fabulous authors, amazing organisations, experts and dedicated volunteers all with interesting experiences and stories to share. Sometimes some of us dress for the occasion too, this was our 1940’s themed meeting featuring Adele Siddle Ward who brought a selection of her authentic vintage 40’s memorabilia.

Helping change the world

The Women’s Institute resolutions are game changers. We all have a vote on what we want to take on as a whole. Resolutions and campaigns help raise awareness, wether it’s using green hearts to lobby MP’s to end climate change, or working towards ending food waste and addressing food poverty. Nearly 220,000 Members and 6,300 WI’s are a lot of voices working together.

list of Women's Institute Campaigns

Discovering new activities

From Indoor bowls to Tai Chi, Scottish dancing to candle making, we all get to offer suggestions for activities so you can get to share your favourite hobbies with your WI community. Our Tai Chi taster resulted in the instructor starting a new class for all our ladies that found the session so rewarding and enjoyable they wanted to attend regularly.

Working with your community

Being involved in the local community is important. It could be a stall at a fete or a stand at an information event, or working alongside a community group that need extra pairs of hands, like our Old Town Bloomers community garden. Our garden loving members, some who no longer have their own garden, help tend the town centre community garden. We now have a dedicated WI section of the garden too.

plants

 

Spin off groups from our WI are varied. Groups evolve from what members want, someone to go to the cinema with or for a walk. Wether it’s Book Group, Lunch Club, Coffee Morning, Cinema Club, Walking Group, days out or Craft Club. It’s all been started by a suggestion from a member.  Our social media and active Facebook page is a place to chat, share ideas and to suggest trips and see who’d like to come along.

100 years on the WI has adapted with the times to still provide something for all women, …. and if we don’t do it already put it in the suggestion book.

Have you thought about joining?  You can find your local WI here and can attend as a visitor before you join.

International WI  Australia, New Zealand, Canada,

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  • Thank you for that Lorraine – I see you are a fellow Brit Blogger, I’m further down south in Suffolk on the coast. I may well go and seek out my local branch on the back of this – I’m wondering if I can get my 91 year old mum to go with me as she would benefit from getting out and about more – will definitely be exploring the possiblity.

    • Hi Gilly, Yes, I’m in Cheshire. I hope your Mum will go with you, even if she can just sit, chat and see what’s going on I’m sure you’ll both enjoy it. Let me know if you do go.

    • Haha, Joanne it’s a common misconception, our President has purple hair and is very modern. It’s good fun.

  • This sounds like a lot of the reasons I enjoy our Senior Cits Centre – the name always scares people off, but once you get past that, there’s soooo much on offer (including Tai Chi!) I’m so grateful I found it and I’m sure you feel the same way about the WI – reaping the benefits of being involved with people who love sharing their knowledge and skills is just wonderful.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

  • WI sounds like a wonderful group Lorraine with many reasons to join. Here in Australia we have a similar group called the CWA – Country Women’s Association. Enjoyed this post #MLSTL Will share on SM

    • Thanks Jennifer, one of our members went to Australia and met up with a group. It was great mohave that connection across the world.

  • Hi Lorraine I recently was listening to the radio and they had a segment on the CWA (Country Women’s Association). Many of us think of this as a group of ladies getting together to bake scones but it has developed to be so much more. Younger women are joining and like your Women’s Institute there is more than just tea and scones happening. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL and have a wonderful week. x

    • Thanks Sue, that’s so true, I think there are more modern issues being dealt with too, like climate change and poverty.