The Women’s Institute has been at the centre of our beautiful village since 1946 – but in our group we don’t rest on our laurels, we give traditional WI activities our own modern twist. So yes, sometimes we make jam and sing Jerusalem; but just as frequently we share laughs over a glass of wine or you will find us ‘Tweeting’ about our next fundraiser. At heart though, our meetings are a place where women of all ages can share interests, make new friends, learn new skills, and perhaps most importantly enjoy having fun.
We meet on the second Monday of each month (except August) in the Parish Hall, Links Lane, Rowlands Castle, PO9 6AD at 7.30pm. And our meetings go a bit like this… After grabbing a glass of wine (if you want) and catching up with friends, we begin with our ‘formal business’. This is followed, after a short refreshment break, with a talk, presentation or hands-on learning session. Our programme is varied and aims to offer something for everyone (this year’s programme is listed below).
As well as the monthly meetings (which are a lot of fun on their own) we have lots of other exciting activities you can get involved in. For example, we have a thriving Book Club, and a very popular Craft Club where you can take your own project along to just enjoy a ‘knit and natter’ or learn a completely new skill.
As a group we also love a trip out, whether it is a local countryside walk or somewhere further afield. In 2017/8, members enjoyed a barge trip on the River Wey followed by a tasty cream tea, a back-stage tour of Chichester Festival Theatre and a trip to Paris and Monet’s garden at Giverny. 2018/9 promises more of the same with the chance to join trips to the Poppy Factory and Museum, Richmond, The Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery and even the bulb fields of Amsterdam.
For those who like to be a little more competitive, we have a table tennis group and a group who meet monthly for a fun game of scrabble. We also take part in skittles tournaments and quizzes held between other local WIs (which form the Staunton Group). Or you could join in with one of our regular competitions?
Campaigning For Change
Raising awareness of important social issues, such as homelessness and mental illness, is an important part of our WI’s purpose. We also like to support local good causes, raising funds for community projects. Our Good Cause for 2018 is The New Blendworth Centre, a day provision for post 19 year olds with varying degrees of learning difficulties/disabilities. The Centre offers work orientated placements which helps develop and support individual goals, encourage friendships, raise self-esteem and promote confidence and independence.
As of May 2018, we are also campaigning to reduce our plastic waste, encouraging national and local companies to provide plastic free/reduced shopping experiences. We’ve also set ourselves a goal of reducing our own plastic waste at meetings and in all our work.
Supporting Our Village
Any excuse and you’ll also find us helping to show off what we believe to be the best village in Hampshire! One of the events we enjoy most is our Village Fair (7th July 2018 from 11 am). We support this by having a stall selling strawberries and cream and wonderful homemade produce courtesy of our members.
But remember, you don’t have to be a great baker or preserver to join us. We are proud of all of our members – so come and meet us, let us welcome you, and see if we can tempt you to join us!
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
|9th July 2018||Suffragettes – an insight into the making of the film Suffragette, Sarah Gavron’s historical drama, set just before the First World War. This film explores the increasingly defiant campaign by British women for equality and the right to vote. Additional commentary on the campaign for suffrage locally and what the WI are doing to ensure the story of the suffragettes and suffragists is still being heard.|
|August 2018||No meeting|
|10th September 2018||Fresh From The Boat – An award-winning local company who provide people and restaurants with sustainably caught fish & shellfish. A lively talk and demonstration from Chantelle Williams will detail their passion for conservation and delivering a quality product, fresh from the sea to the table in the shortest timescale possible. All your “fish-y questions” answered.|
|8th October 2018||Cape Farewell – In 2001 the artist David Buckland created the Cape Farewell project to instigate a cultural response to the climate challenge. Dr Simon Boxall, Lecturer in Ocean & Earth Science, University of Southampton and Trustee explains the project’s aims.|
|12th November 2018||Wreath Making & Christmas Table Decorations – get a head start on your Christmas planning with this tutored session. Learn how to make the ultimate Christmas wreath and festive table decorations to complement your own yuletide decorating scheme.|
|10th December 2018||Horndean Rock Choir – Be uplifted by the voices of this wonderful local choir. Usher in the festive season with a delightful mix of Christmas classics, old and new, whilst enjoying seasonal drinks and nibbles.|
|14th January 2019||Fondue Evening – Dig out those fondue sets and join us for a social evening where we will be discussing the WI’s proposed Resolutions and voting on which good causes we will be championing in the coming year.|
|11th February 2019||Westminster Abbey – A royal church in the centre of London and a World Heritage Site all rolled into one. Speaker, Freda Bates, will take us on a virtual tour of the abbey and answer all our burning questions about its history and cultural significance.|
|11th March 2019||A Murder Is Announced – Can you solve the murder of Mary Fisher, bludgeoned to death on her way home from her local WI meeting? Join members who will be solving the crime through a series of quizzes and puzzles.|
|8th April 2019||Great Ormond Street Hospital – Judy Anderson promises an interesting and entertaining talk about the ground-breaking hospital which offers pioneering treatment for children and holds the copyright for Peter Pan.|
|13th May 2019||AGM, Birthday and Speakers Corner – After our AGM, we will hear from some of our members on their pet peeves, long-lasting loves and life changing moments in our regular Speakers Corner session. Not to be missed is a chance to enjoy a slice of our birthday cake.|