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 have fun.
We meet on the second Monday of each month (except August) in the Parish Hall, Links Lane, Rowlands Castle, PO9 6AD at 7.00pm (for a 7.30pm start). 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 two thriving Book Clubs, a Theatre/Cinema 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 2020/2021, members enjoyed trips to Chichester Festival Theatre and West Dean Gardens to name but a few.
For those who like to be a little more competitive, we have a table tennis group and a Scrabble group who meet monthly. We also take part in skittles tournaments and quizzes held between other local WIs (which form the Staunton Group).
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 2020/2021 fundraising programme included a collection for the Beacon Foodbank and for Solent MIND, and craft sales to raise money to contribute to our ongoing running during Covid-19.
We are also campaigning to reduce our plastic waste, encouraging national and local companies to provide plastic free/reduced shopping experiences. And, have 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 (held each July). We support this by having a stall selling high quality hand-crafted goods and wonderful homemade produce courtesy of our members.
But remember, you don’t have to be a great crafter, 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
13th September 2021
- The Houses of Parliament (A Virtual Tour) – Tour Guide Freda Bates is welcomed back to Rowlands Castle after her previous engaging talk on Westminster Abbey to talk this time about the Houses of Parliament. Join us on Zoom for a sneaky peak tour inside the buildings history and mystery.
11th October 2021
- Speakers Corner – Join us as we meet face-to-face to hear a little bit of whatever our members have to offer in our speakers corner session. Previous sessions have been laugh out loud and bought a tear to the eye.
8th November 2021
- South Downs National Park Dark Skies Reserve – Dan Oakley, South Downs National Park Ranger will bring the mysteries of the night sky to life to us as he talks about the importance of the South Downs as a Dark Skies Reserve.
13th December 2021
- Deck The Halls, A Victorian Christmas – Join us to welcome in the festive season, with Katherine Collett. Her innovative, entertaining and informative talk on the history of Christmas is interspersed with stories and songs.
10th January 2022
- Serving as a Royal Navy Officer – Captain Jenny Curwood joins us to talk about life in the Royal Navy in the 2020s, the challenges she has faced and her links to Rowlands Castle. This promises to be an unmissable event.