The WI – who are we?
Broadly speaking, the WI is a 3 tier organisation.
The National Federation, to which all 69 Federations are affiliated, is based in London. Individual WIs are all under the umbrella of one of those Federations and in Oxfordshire we have over 4,900 members spread across almost 140 individual WIs throughout the county. We all share the same aims and objectives.
Altogether we have approximately 220,000 members in England and Wales and are the largest voluntary organisation for women.
The WI is here to inspire you
We are about inspiring women through experiences, knowledge and skills. These are passed down through generations and updated every day.
Enough of the statistics, just remember we are strong enough to be recognised as an important voice for national and local government when contemplating new laws and directives, and are represented on many “think tanks” and other institutes and assemblies.
This is our serious side; striving to make a difference and improve the world in which we live. High aims which are mainly directed through a process of Annual Resolutions, debated at our Annual National Meeting.
The WI is everything you want it to be
Whatever your reason for joining, we offer all kinds of opportunities to all kinds of women.
For some it’s a chance to meet people and catch up with friends. For others it’s a way to learn new skills and campaign on issues that affect the wider community.
At a local level, lots of our members just want to have fun, perhaps learn new skills, have a pleasant social evening once a month, listen to a speaker, enjoy a drink together, whether it be tea or wine, and read our monthly magazine News & Views which opens up the possibilities of signing up for a trip, workshop and many other opportunities. If space permits, these are often opened up to non-members too.
The WI is what you make of it
WIs come in all shapes and sizes and our members can be involved in the way that suits them.
This can mean joining a local WI or setting up a new group with other like-minded women. Others may prefer to be Associate members with the opportunity for local WI involvement.
If you visit one WI and find it doesn’t quite suit your personality, do try another one in your vicinity.