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To join the WI?

28 replies

PaperdollCartoon · 13/06/2017 22:30

Mostly posting here for traffic.

I'm in my late twenties, moved last year with DP to an area that both love and is great for us, but neither of us grew up in, so we have no friends here.

I'm a very sociable person, much happier when I can enjoy the company of and support others. I think the hardest part of moving away from friends is that point on a Friday night when I'd love to open a bottle of wine with friends in the garden, but there's no one to invite. I don't have kids yet, which I know is a good door opener. But hopefully not the only option.

I've reached out to my local WI. Sounds like the perfect place for me to make friends, love the idea of a book group but worried that as a young, childless, unmarried woman in might not fit in. I'd love to hear from other WI members about their experiences if poss :)

Thanks x

OP posts:

pipsqueak25 · 13/06/2017 22:54

WI welcomes everyone, it's a great way to meet people and learn new things, go for it !


frazmum · 13/06/2017 22:57

Ours ranges from your age to 80+. we meet in the evening so I guess that appeals to those of us working or with DCs. We meet monthly with a speaker & have lots of side groups. I'd really recommend going along for a couple of meetings. You'll meet a lot of women with fascinating stories & great opinions. Just like MN. Grin


MsSusanStoHelit · 13/06/2017 22:58

I'm a touch older than you cough cough but I've been thinking the same thing - I think it sounds like a wonderful organisation, and I've had a secret crush on them ever since the Blair slow clap thing.

I know when my local meetings are but I've not had the courage yet - in London the various groups near me were all super trendy and I was scared of them but now I'm the opposite, wondering if now I'm in the home counties they'll all be older and only want to make jam.

And I'm scared of boiling sugar.


Trying2bgd · 13/06/2017 23:00

I love the idea of joining the WI but as yet not bravery enough to go! It sounds great fun so I think you should go for it. Tell us how you get on.


AndNoneForGretchenWieners · 13/06/2017 23:01

I'd love to join the WI but am a bit put off because the only one in my city is in the posh area and I am too wimpy to go along because I don't think I would fit in, and am socially awkward.


KeiraKnightleyActsWithHerTeeth · 13/06/2017 23:04

I used to go to a WI in Manchester where the average age would have been around 35-ish. It was a lot of fun.


moreslackthanslick · 13/06/2017 23:07

Omg I just joined my local one tonight! I'm (a young childfree) 45 and was certainly not the youngest there! Seems a great laugh and looking forward to next month! I almost started this thread the other day!


CocosMummy · 13/06/2017 23:07

I'm young (28), unmarried and childless and I've been a member for 3 years. One of the best things I ever did! I've met some wonderful people that I wouldn't have otherwise.


MsSusanStoHelit · 13/06/2017 23:10

I'm still a big scaredy cat but I love the idea: next meeting is next week. I might risk it - what happens at a typical meeting?


MeDented · 13/06/2017 23:13

I go to a WI group where the majority are aged 60-95, I'm in my 40s but age is just a number. Some of them are some of the most interesting women I have ever met, I really enjoy their company. I love the wide variety of the speakers each month. Some aren't things I would normally be interested in but that's what makes it good.


moreslackthanslick · 13/06/2017 23:15

I joined for the same reasons as you OP. I live only slightly out of my home area, but the WI is within walking distance. I still socialise with friends in my home area but wanted something of my own close to home.

Had a result too, we had a quiz! I know I was new and nobody likes a know it all but I get competitive in quizzes and won a nice bottle of red Grin


nigelsbigface · 13/06/2017 23:17

I'm joining the WI as soon as we move house.Ive always wanted to join but never had time.Im very excited! I am 37...


hellokittymania · 13/06/2017 23:18

I need to find out where in my local group is. I have done some activities, there is a special-needs club that I have gone to occasionally, but the local activity center offers classes in languages that I already know, or computers, which I already know, or yoga, which I don't like. My library has a waiting list for the bookclub.


Kettricken · 13/06/2017 23:27

I've been a WI member for 2 years now, it's brilliant! I'm 41 and am one of the younger members of our group. They're such a lovely bunch of ladies, so welcoming and friendly. We have a variety of speakers, trips out, meals out and groups like the book club, knitting group, sewing group, walking group, board games group and you can be involved as much or as little as you want. You could try a couple of different WIs, one group might suit you better than another and you don't have to join straight away.


Nanny0gg · 13/06/2017 23:48

I'm a lot older than you and I've been in the Wi for 5 years now.

I don't bake, I don't make jam and I don't sew.and it doesn't matter.

Not all WIs are the same - they can vary in size from 10 or so women to 100+.

If there is more than one near you try them all, you can go as a visitor usually up to three times at each. They're all very different. Some are still old school, some are very Out There (there's a gothic one, a 1940s one...)and some are just a good place to go to get to know people.

If anyone wants to know more, or needs help finding one, feel free to PM me, I'm happy to help.


PaperdollCartoon · 14/06/2017 15:14

Fab thanks all. The next monthly meeting is July so not for a few weeks, but I will report back. I generally prefer the company of women older than me anyway, so hopefully that will help!

OP posts:

StumpyScot92 · 14/06/2017 15:25

Just a little interjection... what's the WI?


WheresTheEvidence · 14/06/2017 15:29

As well as the Wi, check out meetup groups in your area. I joined my local meet up group in November and haven't regretted it. I go to a young professionals - it's a mix of male/females and also a woman's fitness one. We do lots of different bits and now I'm out a minimum of 3 nights a week attend picnics, drinks, meals as a large group but also have a few close friends who just come over for Chinese or that I whatsapp with. Good luck with the WI :)


Nanny0gg · 14/06/2017 23:57

Women's Institute


disastrousflapjack · 15/06/2017 14:56

I would totally give it a go. And YY to visiting all the groups in your vicinity if there's more than one.

I joined about 4 years ago after a totally shitty divorce. Ages are early 40's up to around 85. I'm in my 50's. So many open-minded, really intelligent, interesting women. It really wasn't what I imagined at all. We have made jam just once and as it was totally chaotic, it's not been repeated. We have talks and workshops on everything from needling felting, portrait photography, wine and cheese tasting, foraging, henna hand and arm decorations, making dresses out of pillow cases for girls in developing countries, bollywood dancing, pilates, singing, ukelele.

We support local businesses and charities and done lots of collections for refugees, food banks, women's shelters. Everyone is so supportive and there are lots of laughs and everyone is welcome. I'm really glad I joined. Am also shit at knitting, sewing, crafts, baking but always feel encouraged and not looked down on by those who are flipping awesome at stuff. I've not been for most of this year due to health problems but got a sweet card and a plant from everyone. So glad I joined.


MidsummerMoo · 15/06/2017 15:43

I looked into joining my local but I work FT and they meet in the afternoons like everything else I'm interested in, so that's out.

I have a friend elsewhere who is a member and her group looks wicked.


lidoshuffle · 15/06/2017 15:59

I've recently joined in a town that is not generally very friendly and the women there are so welcoming and nice. One of our members has just had a baby, though on the whole women tend to be 50s plus, but that's probably reflective of the demographic here. I've met some lovely people and been to interesting talks and outside events.

You get two free tasters before you're expected to pay, so I really recommend you go and try it out, you'll be made very welcome.


GeminiRising · 15/06/2017 16:01

You should also think about checking if there is a Ladies Circle in your area. They're great for making new friends and meeting people - friendship group that does social activities and also gives back to the community.



requestingsunshine · 15/06/2017 16:57

I've thought about this too as a way to get to know people since moving here but haven't plucked up the courage yet. Let us know how it goes!


MadamPatti · 15/06/2017 17:21

I've been a member of my local wi for about 5 years. We're a small, alternative group that meets in the evenings. Most of us are in our 30s or 40s. We meet a minimum of once a month and run other social activities on an ad hoc basis. It's a great way to meet people. Xx

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