Welcome to Hampshire Federation of Women’s Institutes. Formed in 1918 our federation currently has 195 WIs and 7,240 members. Each WI is unique in style, size and character and each has its own personality and programme for its members. Based in villages, towns and cities there is bound to be one near you, if not we can look to form one. Apart from monthly meetings with a speaker or demonstration many WIs have an extra wide range of activities including book clubs, theatre trips, walking, darts, craft, lunch and Mah Jong groups.
Hampshire is a beautiful County to live in with coastal areas, The New Forest, The South Downs, and the historic cities of Winchester, Southampton and Portsmouth amongst others. Famous people from Hampshire include Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. We have many visitor attractions such as Highclere Castle, Odiham Castle and many beautiful ancient churches and cathedrals. There are unique hamlets and villages with thatched cottages and welcoming communities, many with their own special story to tell such as the village of Wherwell and Enham Alamein. One of Hampshire’s most famous assets is its homegrown watercress found growing and produced in its clear chalkstream waters. We are blessed with many rivers such as The Test, Backwater, Itchen and Meon with restful walks alongside the flowing waters.
Our Federation runs many events and activities for members and takes part in Shows such as The Hampshire and New Forest County show. Alresford, and Littleton & Harestock as well as individual WIs supporting their own local events. We are open to suggestions for new events, activities and areas to get involved in. Our Board of Trustees are the Governing body overseeing all aspects of the Federation and supporting the staff. We have a small friendly staff team who support the Board, our team of Advisers and WI members. The staff welcome enquiries either by telephone, email or in person at WI House. Visits to WI House are by appointment, please either ring 023 8061 6712 or contact email@example.com to book a visit. We appreciate members patience as we transition back to office working with reduced staff and annual leave.
The WIs and the Federation are under the umbrella of The National Federation Of Women’s Institutes, with approximately 220,000 members in England and Wales and we are the largest voluntary organisation for women. With National campaigns and resolutions the WI is a force to be reckoned with.
We look forward to welcoming new members and supporting existing ones. We are inclusive and whatever your interests we can inspire you. You can find local WIs on the ‘WI Search’ toolbar at the top right hand corner of the Federation webpage. Click on it and a map will appear with Google pins highlighting where your nearest WI meet. If you can’t find one locally get in touch and we will see what we can do. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 02380 616712. Look forward to seeing you soon.
It is disappointing that I have to write and let you know that the Board of Trustees have had to cancel the Autumn Council Meeting next month at The Anvil, Basingstoke. We have not sold enough tickets and even with an extended deadline it is clear we will not sell enough to make the meeting viable. We are sorry to have to do this but we are sure you will understand. There will be a full refund for tickets sold, apologies to those who did book and were looking forward to it. It has been decided not to hold a replacement meeting via Zoom.
The feedback we have had was that many ladies felt uncomfortable in a large venue, despite reassurances from The Anvil. Many of you use public transport to travel to Basingstoke and again felt uncomfortable.
Please note that due to staff sickness and annual leave we are stretched at WI House. It will help if you can call the house and book a time to visit. There may be times when we need to close the house with little or no notice and we don’t want you to have a wasted journey.
On a positive note the WI birthday open days at the house were successful. It was good to see members face to face and there were many interesting stalls, archives and an interesting display of items made by members in lockdown. As we get back to regular meetings I hope to see you sometime soon.
The WI is a democratic, social and educational charity and gives members the opportunity to build new skills, make new friends and be inspired. We encourage members to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their Communities. WIs meet once a month.