New Year, same us!

Hello, just a little reminder that January is a great time to try out the WI.

Now I’m not saying it should be a New Year’s Resolution or anything like that, I don’t tend to make them or keep them, but just something nice to do in the depths of January hopefully to lift the spirits and maybe start something new.

Traditionally, we have always had an active meeting in January with a gentle exercise, martial arts or dance session: For January 2023 we will be dipping our toes into some Afro-beat Kuduro House choreography with Julie and Paulo. (Wednesday 11th January 2023, 7.30pm start)

Your first trip to City WI is always free, after that we’ll ask £4 a session or you can become a full member. Our membership year now starts in April so there’s no rush to decide straight away; membership in 2023 is £46 and you pay nothing else for your meetings.

Most of our sessions are held at the MCO centre on Beaumont Street in Sneinton which can be a bit tricky to find; there’s usually someone who can meet you to walk down, or just give us a shout and we’ll come and find you. There is parking, but we share with the other centre users. Our Summer meetings will be outdoors depending on the activity, and we have one online meeting planned this year so that we can have an excellent speaker who lives further away.

Our Craft Club will also be returning in the new year, in an online format – perfect for a bit of social interaction without venturing out in the cold weather.

If you would like to hear more about the group or the WI, please get in touch – we’ll answer as soon as we’re able to.

Happy 2023!

Vicky x

PS I’ll be on BBC Radio Nottingham next Wednesday afternoon to talk about the group – eep!

We’re still here . . . a bit about us!

Hello! My name is Vicky and I’m President of Nottingham City WI, have been for four years now – been in WI for 6 or 7 years now (I think!).

I started off attending meetings with a friend who is still a member too, joined the Committee to help run things and then became President. Obviously two years of my tenure were over the pandemic which was undoubtedly hard for everyone, but we carried on valiantly by learning to do meetings on Zoom and sometimes just being there for a chat was enough. We won’t dwell on that too much but I can only think that we’ve survived this long because our members love the group and we offer something special; friendship, loyalty, solidarity, learning, fun and joy ;). That might make it sound a bit ‘culty’, but we’re essentially a group of friends who meet monthly for an activity or talk and the rest is bonus material!

A bunch of joyful women hold up the Nottingham City WI pennant

We just happen to be a small cog in the well-oiled machine that is the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) which also allows us to be part of national campaigns suggested by members on the issues important to them.

The WI is for women and anyone who lives as a woman over 18, if you’d like to come and try us out please do!

Your first visit is free, so if you find that we aren’t your cup of tea there’s nothing lost. Most WIs will let you visit for free to try them out so you can find your perfect group. You can actually join as many as you like, if you have the time that is! Meetings are once a month, but there’s usually something else happening like book clubs, craft clubs and outings.

If you’d like any more information, why not email us at citywi@ymail.com or have a look at our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/nottinghamcitywi/)

2021 – New Year, New Lockdown

Happy New Year one and all! We’re hoping that hugging will be a thing this year, but at the moment, we’re still hunkering down and keeping things virtual to keep folks safe!

Our 2021 Programme is filled with a veritable smorgasbord of speakers and activities to satisfy the broadest of palates – bit of history, cookery, social action, crafts, horticulture, clothes and leaping about. We have set it up in such a way that all of our activities can take place as Zoom meetings, but they can be moved to a real-life venue when we are allowed to meet in real life.

Joining the WI is just £10.75 from now until April 2021, so if you fancy giving it a try, just get in touch and we’ll get you in!

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for the most up to date news or to send us a direct message.

Hope to see you soon!

Zooming Through Lockdown

Well hey there!

We had our third virtual meeting last night, it went brilliantly and I loved seeing everyone. Some of us carried on way past the end of the meeting discussing current affairs, social distancing and lots of other things; it’s this kind of contact that some of us are missing and I can’t wait to see everyone again soon.

Our guest was Louise from Sharewear Clothing Scheme who is such a passionate speaker on the wonderful charity that she founded and is an massive part of. We talked about the charity and the current campaign on Clothing Poverty which rears it’s head in so many different ways, and how we might be able to help. This week is Clothing Poverty Awareness Week #CPAW2020, and I would urge everyone to visit Sharewear’s Facebook page to learn more about current campaigns and their ongoing work. They have been busier than ever during lock-down and haven’t ever closed their doors to those in need.

They are also intending to expand into Sheffield and have a fundraising page to get it off the ground; this will benefit so many people, not just in Sheffield but it’s surrounding areas and ultimately the Nottingham area too.
https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/sharewear-sheffield?fbclid=IwAR3vw9NZeU3hzWsJyk15YvygRt_eCo7iYfny31pZootxqQUbg-kUxbhGF_0

We had a fantastic conversation on Sharewear, sustainability, ethical shopping, and what effect this period of lock-down might have on us and our shopping habits in the future; lots to think about.

See you all again soon,
Vicky x

OUR BIG BIRTHDAY BASH!!

Well, that was fun!

Our 10th birthday party came and went in the blink of an eye, but we had a fab evening of celebration.

My rambling rundown of 10 years of meetings, events, talks and cakes, jogged a few memories and we chatted about some of the more notable occasions: The Great British Sexpert (nudge, nudge, wink, wink!), Robin Hood’s sword (nudge, nudge, wink, wink!), Sing Out Sister, Ghost Walks, Cave Talks, Garden Parties, yoga, Krav Maga, Jiu Jitsu, parades and marches, and many more.

Being a relatively young WI we were able to have all Presidents past and present in the room: Once I finished talking, our founding President Kerry gave us an insight into her reasons for starting City WI, and its highs and lows.  Then Sarah and Lucy (second and third Presidents) spoke about joining when the group almost folded at its 5-year mark. Obviously we are all so glad it didn’t close, where else would I be on a Wednesday evening?!

We were lucky enough to be joined by the Lord Major of Nottingham, Councillor Rosemary Healy, who gave some lovely words of encouragement. There was the potential for a chain-off between her and our Federation Chair Pam Stoddard, but as Pam didn’t wear hers so Rosemary won by default.  I loved Pam’s comment about wishing she could “bottle what we at City have”!  Helen, Helen and Ellie from the WI support team also came along; it was lovely to meet everyone and they are always welcome.  Of course, we were super pleased to see some of our past members (and current friends) along, it really was lovely to see everyone. 

Another highlight of the evening was the cutting of the beautiful cake, complete with everlasting singing birthday candle. I’m not sure what happened to it in the end, I think it might still be singing!

Members and visitors enjoyed a lovely spread befitting a 10 year old’s birthday party; tea cup trifles, cheese and pineapple on sticks, snacks, pop, a fabulous birthday cake (thanks to Laura) and a bit of something fizzy to toast the occasion.

For this our decennial anniversary (yes, I looked up that word) we’ve had beautiful limited edition pin badges created (thanks to Sarah) in the shape of our logo, which will be handed out to anyone who joins up in 2020 (while stocks last). Our guests were presented with one each; I hope they will wear them with pride.  I think everyone was happy with them!

We had many party games planned, but we chatted the night away and totally ran out of time; we will save them for another occasion, especially our “Pin the rosette on the Suffragette” game.

I would personally like to thank everyone on the committee who worked so hard and spent lots of their own time to pull everything.

Thank you all for coming along to celebrate with us, hopefully we’ll be able to do it again in 2030. 

With a skip, a rattle and a broom!

Traditionally our first meeting of the year has been an active one, normally led by a member’s family member or close friend. This year was no exception and our lovely Christine convinced her mum, along with a number of her Morris team to come along and put us through our folk dancing paces. The fabulous folk from Rattlejag Morris gave us a bit of history on costume, music and dance composition before leading us through some (apparently) simple dances. There was plenty of energetic skipping, dosey do-ing (do-si-does? Dos-a-dos? The internet does not appear to know) and some very natty moves involving brooms – my personal favourite being the aptly named jelly legs.

It was great to see so many returning members but also plenty of fresh faces and I’m sure 2020 is going to be a banner year for City WI. Next month sees us celebrate our 10th Birthday so make sure to join us to celebrate in proper 10 year old style as we crack out the jelly and ice-cream.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

November’s meeting brought a cornucopia of Christmas crafting! Pudding pom poms, origami party hats, napkin creations and clay gift tags were all on the menu and definitely got us into the spirit of the season.

By the time we got to our December meeting we were well ready for our festive fuddle. Stuffed on cheese straws, sausage rolls and scones we had a proper good ecclectic chat about, amongst other things, the earth’s depleting helium supplies, birthing stories, designing for women as well as men and death doulas. I couldn’t think of a better way of rounding out the year than a proper good chingwag with this lovely bunch of ladies.

Thanks for a fab 2019, can’t wait until 2020 shenanigans begin!

Gothic Goings On

For our Halloween themed October meeting we were visited by Madame Parboiled, also known as Kath George.

Kath is an amazing storyteller who told us about some of her own spooky experiences while growing up and while working at Wollaton Hall, Risley Hall and many other venues.
(I will not be going down into Wollaton Hall’s kitchens any time soon!)

Then we got onto the Gothic tales . . . horror filled stories of torture, ghouls and skulduggery . . . told with the lights off . . . eek!

The evening rounded off with drinks and Halloween themed cakes (see pictures), we had such a good time with Kath that we didn’t have time for anything else!

Hope everyone slept well, mwah-ha-ha-ha!!!

WI Day & First Responders

September’s meeting happened to fall on WI day and the meeting encapsulated everything that is great about this organisation. The WI aims to give women educational opportunites, build new skills, advance public health and promote civic responsibility. And boy did we learn some useful skills this evening. A lovely gentlman from the East Midlands Community Responders gave us a thorough overview of how to respond in an emergency situation before letting us loose on some Resusci Annies to practice our new found defibrilation skills. I feel a lot safer in these chaps hands now and I’m pretty sure I’m not getting the Bee Gee’s ‘Staying Alive’ out of my head any time soon.

Eco Autumn

After our headstart on the Morsbags in July, August & September saw our green crafting go into overdrive.

Our August meeting brought a new eco-craft into our lives – wax wraps, an environmentally friendly alternative to cling film and we had a go at beeswax and soy versions as well as bashing out a few more Morsbags. Taking a piece of scrap cotton fabric, sprinkling it with wax and then ironing between sheets of greaseproof paper it was almost too easy to be an eco-warrior, we soon had a veritable production line going. Most action my iron has seen in years!  

We then spent the next few weeks clearing out wardrobes and drawers and on a warm Sunday in early September we palled up with our local WI sisters in Beeston, Clifton and Arnold to put on a clothes swap at the Green Festival in the Arboretum. I think we can proudly say this was an unmitigated success, the stall did a roaring trade all day and along with £300 in donations we still had plenty of items leftover to donate to Sharewear at the end of the day. Well done women!