(74 Posts)
motherrunner Sat 08-May-21 15:36:08

There is a WI near me and I’m thinking about joining. Is anyone a member of a WI and can be an insider insight to what you enjoy about meetings?

OP’s posts: |
MrsTerryPratchett Sat 08-May-21 15:36:58

To but I've always fancied it. Report back!

motherrunner Sat 08-May-21 15:40:37

There are actually two groups that run near me. I might just register my interest and see what comes about from it.

OP’s posts: |
Thecatonthemat Sat 08-May-21 15:41:10

Bear in mind everyone is included..

WhatWouldPhyllisCraneDo Sat 08-May-21 15:42:55

I expressed an interest in my local WI about 10 years ago. They told me it wasn't really for my age group and made me feel like I couldn't join.hmm
Despite that I'm tempted to look into it again as I need some kind of social something.

HopeClearwater Sat 08-May-21 15:45:06

They might have you now, ten years on @WhatWouldPhyllisCraneDo 😉

motherrunner Sat 08-May-21 15:45:14

I think that’s my concern @WhatWouldPhyllisCraneDo. I don’t care about age, would just like to be in the company of interesting women but don’t want to feel an ‘outsider’.

OP’s posts: |


motherrunner Sat 08-May-21 15:45:56

@Thecatonthemat You mean if you identify as female you can join?????

OP’s posts: |
amiahoarder Sat 08-May-21 15:47:26

There's one in my city that I went to and it was quite a young demographic , it was great but I couldn't make the meetings due to husband's working hours. I would like to go back when children are older. Try different WI groups as each one has its own feel.

WhatWouldPhyllisCraneDo Sat 08-May-21 15:49:45


They might have you now, ten years on @WhatWouldPhyllisCraneDo 😉

Apparently there aren't any near me anymore. So they can't have me grin

Biscuitsanddoombar Sat 08-May-21 15:50:59

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

zzizzer Sat 08-May-21 15:52:58

When I was a sullen teenager younger, I have to admit, I thought WI sounded naff. The women in my church ran one and I didn't get the appeal at all.

These days I think it sounds amazing. Maybe I'll look into it when life gets back to "normal" round here.

CousinKrispy Sat 08-May-21 15:53:14

A friend from work is in her local chapter (she's in her 40s) and really enjoys it. She's a master needleworker, I'm always envious of her skills.

NotMeNoNo Sat 08-May-21 16:09:06

In the last 10 years or so there has been a real surge of new/ young WIs set up. I was secretary of one for a couple of years before moving area. I’ve got to say it was a blast. As well as the basic monthly meetings we had loads of trips, spin off groups, county competitions, a choir. Because anyone can come they are a good social group for women who have moved into an area or aren’t in the school gate clique. I made loads of friends and got much more involved in village life generally through it. I like my crafts which is like a ninja skill in WI but it’s definitely not the main focus.

It’s normally pretty obvious from social media the flavour of a group.
Many of the more established groups are still very friendly but they may cater more to an older membership in their style and meeting time, it just depends what you enjoy.

You can normally go to a meeting or two for a look-see before joining, and you don’t have to join the nearest, there’s no catchment.

motherrunner Sat 08-May-21 16:10:27

@zzizzer I felt the same! It’s just I hover round this board and love the feminist chat and would like to do that IRL. But are WI feminists or just a club that’s for women?

OP’s posts: |
WinterIsGone Sat 08-May-21 16:10:42

Funny you should post this. I was just looking on Nextdoor.co.uk, and someone on there was posting that their local WI was looking for younger, more diverse and dynamic members. Loads of women posted saying they were interested, and were asking about crafts, cake, raising money for the food bank etc. There was a short chat about whether they still sung Jerusalem - this branch did. Then a man sprang up, and asked about the "cultural baggage" of the hymn. This may or may not be true, but it made me smile, as he had to find something negative to say, even though he wasn't going!

motherrunner Sat 08-May-21 16:11:53

@NotMeNoNo Thanks for the insight! Your group sounds like it was really fun. Just my cup of tea so to speak. I will check out social media, thanks again!

OP’s posts: |
motherrunner Sat 08-May-21 16:17:32

Just seen there’s an ‘unofficial’ WI group on Facebook so have joined that and hopefully that’ll give me some greater insight.

OP’s posts: |
EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 08-May-21 16:18:22

There was a "younger" WI set up near us a few years back too, lots of coverage in the local paper etc. I think they had a waiting list to join!

Sacreblue Sat 08-May-21 16:19:21

They aren’t just local groups, the WI is active internationally too. My DM has taken part in conferences with similar organisations from around the world working to uplift women.

Even local groups have a regular ‘visit another group’ evening as well as the regional competitions and meetings.

I really liked my brief sojourn despite teasing from other friends. If I hadn’t had to deal with exiting an abusive relationship I would have stayed.

Thanks Mother for reminding me of it - I’m going to look into rejoining!

WhatWouldPhyllisCraneDo Sat 08-May-21 16:20:02

Apparently we do have a local one. If I search my town on the WI website it shows London as my nearest. If I Google WI town name it finds a local one. confused
I'm not on Facebook though so no idea what "flavour" they are. Guess I could contact them and see.

motherrunner Sat 08-May-21 16:24:35

That’s interesting @Sacreblue. Must be fascinating to link up with other women far and wide.

I’ve always been a feminist but since my own DD is coming into puberty I’ve been more aware of the need to surround her with a strong female presence.

OP’s posts: |
motherrunner Sat 08-May-21 16:26:56

@Sacreblue Sorry to hear your circumstances. Hope you’re on the other side of the tunnel.

OP’s posts: |
RuthW Sat 08-May-21 16:27:55


*@Thecatonthemat* You mean if you identify as female you can join?????

Yes of course you can and will be most welcomed.

Councilworker Sat 08-May-21 16:32:43

I was in one a few years back. Ironically it was when in a city and now I live more rurally there's not one in my community. They permitted a rule change a few years back to allow more Urban areas to open chapters. Manchester and London have quite a few now.
I mostly enjoyed my time. We did have some really interesting talks and events however it was run by women a little younger than me who didn't have kids and were fairly recent graduates etc so did have a lot of time to run it and there was quite a clique feeling as it was only a couple of years established so the committee and most of the longer standing members had existing friendships before the WI and it felt hard to join in that as an outsider. I did enjoy the book group a lot as we picked some really interesting reads that I wouldn't have picked up otherwise and they led me to other books.

They are open to self ID if that is an issue for you but despite being one of the modern branches there were no TW in my group.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in