GUEST BLOG: How I became a 24 year old member of the Women’s Institute (and why you should too)

Every month (or less if we’re lucky) we’re hoping to feature a guest blog from one of our members telling you a little about themselves and why they joined the WI. The first of our guest blogs is from our President Kerry who was one of the founding members of our WI and is already a popular blogger in her own right (read the rest of her blog at kerry cooks). So without further ado – here we go for guest blog number one!


How I became a 24 year old member of the Women’s Institute (and why you should too)

Me (second left) and other committee members at our October Fete

Probably the easiest way for me to surprise new people when I meet them is for me to tell them that I’m the President of the Nottingham City branch of the Women’s Institute. They’re all like “What, but you’re not a granny!” (paraphrasing)(Also theoretically I could have been a granny by now, but I would have had to have a kid at 13 and then they do the same…. I’m going off on a tangent!).

People don’t generally expect anyone young to be involved with an organisation like the WI that has such a stereotypical image. Although the image can be staid, the actual Women’s Institute is full of massive variety between different groups, spanning the continiuum between ultra traditional and modern. Our WI doesn’t sing Jerusalem or produce great quantities of homemade jam, but there are plenty that do.

In general, whoever you are, there’s probably a WI that will be a great fit for you – its just a question of trying a few and going with whichever ones the best fit. Another great thing is that you can be as involved or not involved as you like – we have members who just turn up at every meeting, and then we also have people who volunteer to get involved in the organisation of our WI.

Here’s what I personally get out of being a member of the Women’s Institute –

  • I like crafty things. Especially baking. I’m currently pretty hopeless at knitting and sewing and hoping crochet might be more my style!
  • I like learning new things. See above!
  • I wanted the opportunity to meet new people and create a wider social network of women – of different ages and backgrounds. This has been the best thing about the WI for me since I joined. I was able to recruit a few of my existing friends to joining and have also made lots of new friends through the WI. Having the structure of once monthly WI meetings and committee meetings is great as it ensures that I meet up with those friends regularly, which can be hard in the course of everyday life.

If you’d like to, come along to the next City WI meeting on June 8th, at the Community Centre on Mansfield Road (NG1 3FN) at 7.30pm. We’ll be having our annual Knit and Natter/Stitch and Bitch! meeting so feel free to bring along any knitting, sewing, crocheting or even just a magazine that you’ve been meaning to finish. We finish about 9.30pm.

Fete preparation

We had a really good committee last night at our Vice President Trista’s place. Over delicious homemade cake, we discussed the upcoming fete including stall holders, types of baked goods and publicity.

By the end of the meeting we’d got a pretty good idea of what our fete is going to look like, who’s bringing what bunting and what our poster will look like. Further details and the posters will appear here (and throughout the city) soon but in the meantime we can reveal to our lovely online friends that this year’s City WI’s ‘A Twist of Fete’ will include homemade cakes, a tombola, jewellery by Gill Page, crafts by Sew Handmade, vintage ‘zines, a nail bar and lots, lots more.

Excited? We are!

Check our blog and our Twitter feed regularly for the latest updates. We’ll also be featuring guest blogs from our members and committee in the coming months  so be sure to come back to read those.

In the meantime here’s a picture from our last fete. Ah good memories… and good cake!

Happy bank holiday weekend from City WI!

April meeting review

We at City WI apologise for the blogging delay recently, fete preparations are taking up much of our time at the minute!

Nevertheless here’s a review of our meeting in April at which we were treated to a talk on vintage dressmaking from the lovely Hannah Wroe. Hannah’s talk was fascinating and covered her love of vintage fashion and making dresses, the process of deciding to train to do something that you love, the evolution of fashion and how people used to use fashion books and magazines to create their own dresses. Hannah even brought in some samples of clothes she’d made and we even got to touch them!

It was once again a wonderful City WI meeting with an inspiring talk and plenty of cake, tea and gossip!




May meeting

City WI’s next meeting is on Wednesday 11 May at 7.30pm. We will be meeting at the YMCA International Community Centre on Mansfield Road as usual.

First time visitors are welcome to come along for free but we ask for a suggested donation of £3 from other visitors. Membership fees for 2011 are £30, please ask the ladies on the money table for more information. As usual we will also be having refreshments and a raffle. Refreshments are 50p per evening and the raffle is £1 per ticket.

For the meeting we will be joined by Nottingham Air Ambulance and we will also be presenting the two shortlisted WI resolutions for our members to vote on – public libraries and mega farms. More information is available on the WI website.

City WI will also be getting out and about in the next few months (watch out!) with our Summer Fete, our trip to see Calendar Girls and other potential day trips (oooooh!). Watch this space for more information.

Summer Fete

Our Summer Fete has now been confirmed for Saturday 2 July 11am-3pm at Cape Bar, Nottingham (same venue as last year’s ‘A Twist of Fete’).

Alongside our homemade cakes we also hope to be joined by a variety of stalls. We already have a jewellery stall confirmed. If you know anyone who might be interested in having a stall at the fete please email