The women’s institute conjures up images of ladies in the country making jam, baking cakes and singing Jerusalem! In many groups, there are few members under 55, and they’ve all lived in the same community for years.
I work in a very niche area, most of my friends are other theatricals. I’ve found that my social circle has become narrower over the years. I’m not religious so joining a church wasn’t for me, But I wanted to find a way to meet new friends that aren’t connected to my work.
London is a brilliant place to live and work, and i love this city. It’s a very big place, and getting to meet people socially can be tricky. I do a lot of business networking, and i have made some firm friends in the networks I belong to, but again it’s “work” related. I read about the resurgance of the women’s institute in london a couple of years ago, and began researching as it seemed a great way to get to know people who maybe lived or worked near me
The thrifty Studios are in Stokey, where I lived on and off for many years. So that seemed a good place to start. It took some tracking down, but I found the Stokey WI. My first meeting was a guerilla gardening event last May, and as i don’t have a garden, it was a great opportunity to get outside. The group had lots of ladies of all different ages, and best of all, the gardening was topped off by a retreat to a local pub! Perfect!
The group needed a speaker in June, so as a brand new member, I gave my first ever public talk on sewing, Gosh that was nerve wracking! Since then, i have joined the committee, and i’ve made some amazing new pals. None of the ladies i’ve met at the WI would have crossed my path, had i not joined. Just this week i was sat enjoying a beer with several committee members who spanned several age groups, and all did very different jobs. I like organising stuff, so by being on the committee i have an outlet for all my organising geekyness!
One of the other great things about being a WI Member is that i’m exposed to stuff I would never have known about before. International women’s day this year saw me attend a special WI “inspiring women” National gallery talk, followed by an evening at “The Migrant Woman of the year” award ceremony at the south bank
So i’ll fess up- I want to learn how to make jam, I have jam making skill envy! fear not, another local group N1WI will hopefully be sharing this in the Autumn!
So if you fancy expanding your knowledge and meeting great ladies, then do check out a Wi group. It’s been one of the best year’s of my life since joining!