THE HISTORY OF THE WI
The WI movement began at Stoney Creek in Canada in 1897 when Adelaide Hoodless addressed a meeting for the wives of members of the Farmers' Institute. The WI was formed to provide education and help to women in rural communities.
The first British WI meeting took place on 16 September 1915 at Llanfairpwll on Anglesey in North Wales. The WI was originally set up in the UK to revitalise rural communities and to encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War.
Since then our aims have broadened and we are now the largest women’s organisation in the UK. We celebrated our 90th anniversary in 2005 and currently have some 208,000 members in 7,000 WIs.
We play a unique role in providing women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities.
The National Federation of WIs (NFWI) (Tel: 02073 719300) based in London, is the governing body of the WI run by the General Secretary and a small number of paid staff, who work on WI campaigns, publications, membership and training etc.. under the leadership of the Board of Trustees. The country is broken down into areas of WIs, called Federations and there are 69 in England and Wales.
The Warwickshire Federation (W.F.W.I.)(Tel: 01926 419998) is our immediate governing body, founded in 1918, and has approximately some 110 institutes with around 4000 members. The W.F.W.I. is run by a Board of Trustees.
Denman College, Oxfordshire, (Tel: 01865 391991) is the WI's own college, open to all members and also non-members, offering day or residential courses on diverse subjects.
WI Life is the WI national colour magazine, containing news from NFWI and Federations and WIs throughout the country as well as articles on cookery, fashion, crafts, health, travel and environmental issues and is delivered 8 times per year directly to members.
The Corunna News is the WFWI magazine published in 10 editions throughout the year, giving details of Federation events, courses and outings. Curdworth members receive their copies of this at their WI Meeting.
Curdworth members receive a Newsletter each month, to keep them right up to date on what is happening at Curdworth WI
WI is an organisation respected world-wide and is frequently consulted by governments and governing bodies to guage opinion and and collect information.. But WI is also a wonderful 'club' where people of all ages and backgrounds meet up at their monthly meetings, enjoying interesting speakers, learning new skills and making new friends.
If you are not a member - contact us and pay us a visit - you won't regret it!
For many years the WI has campaigned nationally on a variety of issues that are important to women and the community.
Every year WI members are given the opportunity to put forward 'issues' (also referred to as 'resolutions') that they would like the national WI body to campaign on. Short-listed suggestions are discussed and debated by grass roots WIs and then voted on in June at the National AGM.
A Current campaign :
* Plastic Soup' - this campaign tackles concerns regarding the amount of microplastic fibres, from man made yarns and materials, that are, via washing machinesand recycling, . polluting our oceans and our water sources eventually ending up in our food chains
An ongoing campaign highlights concerns regarding food waste - by supermarkets, restaurants and in our own homes, urging us all to do our utmost to stop food wastage in our own shopping and lives as well as encouraging local businesses and shops to help.
Recent Campaigns have included: Climate Change / Organ Donation/ Hospital Dementia Care / A fair Deal for Dairy Farmers and Care Not Custody to highlight concerns over the imprisonement of vulnerable people.
Previous campaigns, to name just a few, have included : * Keep Britain Tidy
* The Cervical Cancer Smear Test
* The Correct Labelling of Food
* The S.O.S. for Honey Bees Campaign
* The Breast Cancer Screening Programme
* Freedom from Hunger Campaign
More information about the history of the WI and campaigns can be found on the National WI website - www.thewi.org.uk
(Text copyright of www.thewi.org.uk)