The photograph above was taken in 1918 at the NFWI’s second Annual Meeting at Cathedral Hall in Westminster. The women met to select the first resolution for the WI, which called for ‘sufficient supply of convenient and sanitary houses, being of vital importance to women in the country’.
I wonder if they imagined that one hundred and one years later WI members would still be meeting to choose which challenge they’d like to tackle for that year.
Read on to find out more!
The Women’s Institute is the largest women’s voluntary organisation in the UK.
It has been campaigning for 101 years (and counting!) on issues such as increasing the number of female police officers in 1922 and 1924 (see the image below), to becoming a founding member of the Fairtrade Foundation in the early 90s.
All WI campaigns are suggested by, discussed and debated on, and voted in by WI members.
In fact, according to the Women’s Institute’s website, “this year’s total is the highest since the individual selection process was introduced, with over 105,000 selections cast by members.”
If an idea for a campaign passes the test, it goes on to be that year’s resolution for Women’s Institutes at a national level.
Individual WIs may have special interests or local community issues that they focus on, but the National Federation for Women’s Institutes (NFWI) and the WI community as a whole pulls together to work towards their winning goal for that year.
Resolutions that are considered particularly relevant go on to become key campaigns for the NFWI. Current key campaigns include End Plastic Soup, Food Matters, Alleviating Loneliness, and Climate Change.
The WI isn’t just a campaigning organisation though. It is about it’s members, the relationships they forge, and the activities they do together.
Our next meeting will be about changing things and making things.
We will be discussing the proposed resolutions over making decorative name badges.
Here’s to the change makers, and to never being in that awkward situation where you can’t remember another member’s name again. Cheers!
This Month’s Top Tip
Green fingers? Then get your hands on these!
April showers are giving way to May flowers, tomatoes, chilli peppers, and more at our plant swap on Wednesday the 8th of May.
All kinds of plants are welcome, from cacti to carrots, so long as they’re not too cumbersome (cucumber-some?) for someone to take home with them at the end of the night.
If you don’t have plants to bring but would still like to take some home with you, just add a small monetary donation to our “pot”.
The Hive WI Library – Closed This Month
We’re putting the library on hiatus to make space for our spring plant swap (details below), so please hold on to your books or feel free to give them to a charity shop.
Now starts in June
To give it the best start possible, the launch of the Hive Walking Group has been rescheduled to June.
Don’t worry though – its getting its boots on and will hit the road in a month’s time.
The WI: Powered by Volunteers
If you’re looking for some volunteering opportunities, The Hive WI committee is a great place to start.
We’re always keen to get members involved!
You’ll be working with the committee team on projects like fundraising and event planning, as well as getting to know them on a personal level.
Volunteering is a great way to challenge yourself, learn new skills, or build on existing ones. It can also be fun and extremely satisfying to take on a more active role in our WI and Nottinghamshire community.
The committee meets every fourth Wednesday of the month at 18:30 at The Crown Inn in Beeston, though we understand if committee members can’t make every meeting.
Eyes on the Prize
What can you snaffle at our raffle?
Anyone who chips in at the Health and Wellbeing Fair will be gifted a raffle ticket.
Raffle prizes include vouchers for a Pastiche facial; a Keith Hall wash, cut and blow dry; a workshop with Two Little Magpies; a colour therapy treatment; a fruit basket; Weleda and Forever Living products; a reflexology treatment; and a connective therapy taster session. Christine’s Delights in Beeston is also donating some freshly made pies. Yum!
Well done to the setup team for securing such an impressive bounty!
The fair is on Saturday the 11th of May between 12:30 and 4:30 in the afternoon.
Tickets will be available at the next meeting.
Parking is free in the council car park next to the fair from 12:00 onward.
WI campaigns are about changing things for the better and tackling the issues that matter to members.
The Women’s Institute has been campaigning on a wide variety of issues since 1918.
In fact, there have been 400 resolutions passed since that year.
At our next meeting we will be discussing the two proposed resolutions that have made it to the final shortlist for 2019: “Decline in local buses” and “Don’t fear the smear”.
WI members have built a reputation for the WI as a practical and ambitious organisation that doesn’t shy away from tricky issues.
– NFWI website
For an in-depth exploration of these two topics, please read our blog post here.
Decline in Local Buses
Over the last decade there has been a massive decline in the number of bus services, particularly of those in rural and semi-rural areas. Council’s “bus budgets” have been slashed by 45% since 2010.
Saving buses relates to several key WI campaigns including alleviating loneliness, mental health, education, and tackling climate change by reducing CO2 levels.
A bus service is a vital tool for connectivity, growth and social cohesion. It ensures that communities remain sustainable, reduces social isolation and ensures access to employment, education and local facilities such as shops, leisure centres and health services.
Don’t Fear the Smear
Cervical screening saves around 5,000 lives a year, yet attendance is currently at its lowest for 20 years. The most at-risk age group is the least likely to attend screenings.
Cervical cancer screening has been a longstanding concern of the WI. A WI resolution was passed in 1964 calling on the NHS to provide comprehensive and routine smear tests for all women in order to detect cervical cancer. This resolution would enable members to build on the WI’s earlier work to introduce routine smear tests by helping to increase public understanding of and engagement with the screening programme.
We’re looking forward to a lively discussion and hearing your thoughts at the next meeting.
The Hive Honey Pot
Why fundraising is so important
Most WIs hold community events so that they can raise essential funds for the running of their WIs.
After the first year, Women’s Institute groups give a percentage of their membership fees to the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (the NFWI).
At The Hive WI we top up our savings with money we raise from selling refreshments, as well as the regular media swaps we hold.
Now that we’re in our second year it is even more important to raise funds so that we can make our WI the best it can be and ensure that the Hive has a future.
To that end, please spread the word about our Health and Wellbeing Fair on Saturday the 11th of May, and look out for our lovely treasurer Kat at the next meeting. She will be updating us on how our Hive is making the most of its honey.
Pick a card, any card
We care about our Hive community, so when someone is celebrating a birthday, getting married, retiring, had a baby, or is in hospital, we like to send them a card to let them know that we are thinking of them.
If you are a card maker and would like to donate some of your cards to our stash, please bring along your contributions to any of our meetings.
They’ll be gladly received!
This Month’s Volunteers
Maeve M, Katie C, and Lorraine D are our star bakers this month.
Please arrive early so we can slice and serve your cakes ready for 19:10.
We want to pay you back for the cost of the cake (up to £2.50 per cake) so please remember to sign for your reimbursement by seeing a committee member in the kitchen, too.
Kat M-B and Sue C will be helping out in the kitchens.
Nicky B will also be helping with setup and cleanup.
Thank you so much to our May team!
All refreshments are 50p.
If you’d like refreshments before we start, please come for around 19:15.
We will break for refreshments again later in the evening (do bring change!).
Please do not bring a cake if you have not already signed up to do so.
Bring your own cups if you can to save on washing up (though cups will be provided in case you forget), and wine if you would like it.
Time and Location
Our main monthly meeting is every second Wednesday of the month at 19:30 to 21:30 in the church hall on Foster Avenue, Beeston (opposite the library).
Our next main meeting is on the 8th of May.
Parking and Transport
There is parking just outside the church hall as well as across the road next to the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Beeston’s transport interchange is excellent for regular trams and buses.
The interchange is just by Tesco and a four-minute walk from where we meet.
Non-Members and Guests
We’d love to meet you!
Guests are very welcome but you must reserve your place before coming.
There is an optional visitors donation of £5 to our charity.
Guests can come to up to three monthly meetings each year as a guest before being asked to join officially.
Guests can also come to many of our subgroups as a plus one.
If you sign up for membership that evening or in the seven days following the meeting, your donation will be refunded.
Cafe Society: Christine’s Delights, Wednesday 1 May, 14:00
Wednesday Craft ‘n’ Chat: Wednesday 1 May, 19:00 (please note the Craft ‘n’ Chat has been changed from Tuesday to Wednesday after a vote from members)
Main Meeting: Badge Making and Resolutions, Wednesday 8 May, 19:30-21:30
Supper Club: Sanchans, Wednesday 15 May, 19:30 (please email us to reserve a place or sign up at the next meeting)
Saturday Crafternoon: Saturday 18 May, 14:00
Tuesday Book Club: The Century Girls by Tessa Dunlop, Tuesday 16 April, 20:00
Thursday Book Club: One For The Money by Janet Evanovich, Thursday 23 May, 19:30
Wednesday Craft ‘n’ Chat: Every first Wednesday , 19:00-21:00 at the Methodist Church in Beeston (please note the Craft ‘n’ Chat has been changed from Tuesday to Wednesday after a vote from members)
Cafe Society: Every first Wednesday, 14:00 (various locations)
Main Meeting: Every second Wednesday, 19:30-21:30
Tuesday Night Book Club: Every third Tuesday, 20:00 at The White Lion in Beeston
Saturday Crafternoon: Every third Saturday, 14:00-16:00 at the Methodist Church in Beeston (note: the date has been changed for April).
Supper Club: Every third Wednesday, 19:30 (various locations)
Thursday Evening Book Club: Every last Thursday, 19:30 at the White Lion in Beeston
Find Us Online
Facebook group (members only): facebook.com/groups/thehivewi
You can also search for us on Google Calendar using our email address.