The WI plays 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. Modern WI’s are uniting women across the country, taking traditional WI principles and giving them a modern twist to make them relevant to today’s women.
The Women’s Institute was formed in 1915 with the original aim to revitalize rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War. Since then the organisation’s aims have broadened and the WI is now the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK. The WI will celebrate its centenary in 2015 and currently has 212,000 members in around 6,600 WIs.
Each member joins a (mainly autonomous) local branch, and in doing so gains membership to the nationwide movement which is the WI. WI rules dictate that membership starts each year in January and February costing £36.00 (2015 price). This gets you access to all meetings (11 per year) as well as the national magazine –“WI Life” delivered direct to your door, a voucher booklet and the ability to vote on resolutions and for the committee. New members can join up from the previous October thereby getting a couple of months free. If you’re not a member, don’t worry! Guests are welcome to Valley Girls WI, for a £4 entry fee which covers craft materials/ the speaker(s) and room hire (we are not for profit). Click on the WI logo below to enter the full website for the NFWI (National Federation of Women’s Institutes).