WI Support Team

Chairman: Helen Rose

We have 6 WI Advisers and 2 Adviser Support
We all help and support WIs throughout Nottinghamshire - we can start a new WI, help an existing WI, and will put on training events for new Presidents, Secretaries and Treasurers.


If you would like to join one of our WIs in Nottinghamshire or start a new WI, Please contact the County Office 01636 673550 or email: secretary@nottswi.org.uk


January 2021

Coming in January a Zoom OPEN Forum on Wednesday 20 January @ 7.00pm. for members to share their problem or worries.

I don’t know about you but I am beginning to get a bit excited about Christmas. At my own WI Committee meeting today, we planned our virtual Xmas meeting – entertainer, charades, carols, and a calendar in an envelope for everyone. The envelope is turning into a goody bag [who wants to call them meeting bags at this time of year!] Also, in the envelope will be the Christmas card from the Federation Trustees, who have worked so hard to bring you a variety of Zoom events. A card for every member has been a mammoth task but so worthwhile. I miss being with my family, the friends in my WI and the members on the committees at Federation. We have a window over Christmas to meet up but even more important is to stay safe so that we can continue to enjoy the benefits of being a WI member. Have a good Christmas from all the WI Advisers & Support Team.

You’ve heard of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, well what about the 7 Months for 7 Monthly Moments. If your WI hasn’t given you at least some of the missed 7 Monthly Moments then you need to take the moment yourself and start organising something outside with a WI friend or two. Your Federation have now upped their game and will be providing you with lots of free moments over the coming months. Everyone, and I mean every single one of you, should be receiving the new ‘monthly moment’ Hornblower with all the details. There is lots out there that we can do, especially if you have access to the internet. BUT even if you do not you will know someone who does and they can print ideas off for you. Three simple things you could do this month are 1. Put a light in your window for 1-16 days starting 25 November 2. Wear a white ribbon during this time 3. Collect items for Women’s Refuges – let the office know when you have some – all to support No More Violence.


From our successful WIST Advice Clinics it would seem that you have concerns, quite rightly, about starting meetings. Assessing the risks – numbers, toilets, cleaning, movement, etc - and what to do to mitigate them is paramount. Do not despair but take it one step/area at a time. My own WI has just finished our risk assessment and the main outcome is that only 12 can meet at a time. So, its continue with Zoom, phone calls and letters, or meeting in bubbles of 12. Whatever your committee together decide please give them your full support so that ALL our members keep safe.

Notts Federation are part of a working group developing the latest NFWI Inclusion Policy looking at how the WI can accept, support and include all women whatever their needs. I don’t often recommend books, as choice is a matter of taste and interest, however I do recommend to you (even with the few exasperated expletives) ‘The Salt Path’ by Raynor Winn. Not only a well written account of walking the South West Coastal Path but brings to the fore our preconceptions of people and our reactions to them. Good for a Book Club discussion too.


WI Meetings

What’s the situation with pink elastic? The constitution says, “A minimum of 11 meetings open to all WI members should be held each year in whatever month or months and at whatever place or time decided by the members or the committee”. The first thing is should not must, and this is an unusual year. The second thing is whatever month or months. So if members are to receive value for money then 11 meetings should be held during the year, even if this meant two or more in one month or even all of them in one month. As long as all the members are told where and when, and the meeting/event/activity is free [apart from refreshments and/or raffle] it can be whatever you like, after the pandemic is over of course – a walk, a picnic, kurling, visit to art gallery etc. WIs with pending year-ends are requested to extend their financial year to 31st July. Any WI not able to hold their Annual Meeting is to postpone it until September. We have been advised by NFWI that refunds for subscriptions are not being considered.



Be BOLD – Have you had a speaker talking about the achievement of a woman? Has your WI offered members the opportunity to do something different?

Be INCLUSIVE – Are you really friendly and welcoming to new members or do you have to sit where and with whom you always sit?

Be FLEXIBLE – Have you surveyed your members to see if the time and place of meetings, including committee meetings and activities, are convenient for everybody?

GROW – Is your WI on Facebook and is it used well for promotion? If not, apply for funding from your local MP and for 3- 6 months send out a newsletter to 50-100 houses in the area.

These are just a few suggestions, we bet you can think of and do more.


Data Protection for ALL members. When sending out emails to more than one WI member it is important that you put all recipients in BCC (blind carbon copy) not CC, as you are breaching data protection by showing other members’ email addresses. We are sure that everyone knows that members’ emails are for WI business only.


The Annual Meeting Paperwork is under review and will be available shortly


How many committee meetings should be held in a year.  The constitution says a minimum of 6 meetings a year should be held. However, your WI may well need more meetings in order to keep up to date with news and events and of course planning for your main meetings may take some time.  Remember the saying that "If you fail to plan then you plan to fail". I am sure that doesn't affect your WI but planning is an essential part of running a good WI and this is generally done at your WI Committee meetings.



My new member hasn't received WI Life why is this?


In order to receive WI Life your new members' details need to be added to the MCS register with a date of joining.  After her details are added she will start receiving WI Life, she will receive a New members pack from the Federation via her email or the Hornblower envelope sent to your WI and she will also receive a new member pack sent to her from National but only if her details are put on within three months of her joining. It is important that the MCS is kept up to date not only by adding new members but deleting members who are no longer in your WI.


We have a page to help WIs -  WI Guide and Promotions.