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Thinking of joining the WI

(23 Posts)
Ambergirl Fri 11-Aug-17 17:47:55

Hello... I am thinking of joining my local WI. Has anyone on here any experience of the WI. I would like to get to know more people locally. I have looked at their site and they say they are a friendly group! It is just taking that leap and making the initial contact!

Jaycee55 Fri 11-Aug-17 18:03:08

I'm a W.I member and have been for years. I'd say, give it a try. If you are lucky enough to have more than one near you, try both, as they can vary. I believe you can have two visits to try before you join. Good luck!

rosesarered Fri 11-Aug-17 20:16:37

Have been a WI member for years and years....yes, they do vary a lot.They all claim to be friendly groups but not all are, so go along, say you are a visitor and sit back and watch/listen.Are you greeted, do people talk to you or are you left alone?
On the whole, most groups are friendly though and they can be good fun.

gillybob Fri 11-Aug-17 20:24:35

I'm a WI member too ! I love it . We are a very new branch ( 18 months old) and have so far had the most amazing speakers and events. I am a very anti social person ( don't want to be I just lack confidence ) but I am always comfortable in our meetings . Can't recommend it highly enough . Even made me do some things way out my comfort zone such as burlesque ! Blimey who would have thought it ? It's a brilliant way to make friends if you've got time . Sadly I tend to miss a lot of the best stuff due to other commitments . Do give it a try Ambergirl

Deedaa Fri 11-Aug-17 21:26:20

When I moved to Cornwall 40 years ago they were just starting a branch in our village. We were all quite young and had a great time. I've not been since we left Cornwall but it's definitely worth giving it a try.

grannyticktock Fri 11-Aug-17 21:40:57

I was a lapsed WI member and then rejoined last year when my husband died, and found them very friendly and supportive. I have found that by joining some of their more adventurous extra activities (canoeing, joining in a carnival procession) you get to meet the more lively, outgoing women.

Lindylo Wed 18-Oct-17 11:19:44

I'm also a member and would definitely recommend it. Everyone is very friendly and accepting and there is a good mix of ages too. There's usually plenty of things to do outside of the regular meetings if you want to get out and about.

Teetime Wed 18-Oct-17 15:05:02

I have two experiences of trying to join the WI in two entirely different parts of the country. I was severely told off at the first one for bringing biscuits on one occasion and a cake on another ' you have not been invited to do so by the Chair/President'. The second one I went to two meetings and no-one spoke to me and ignored my attempts to smile and be friendly. I gave up. I am disappointed about this it was one of the things I was looking forward to getting involved with in retirement. In both places of course I was an in-comer one of those awful people from London/Essex.

NotTooOld Wed 18-Oct-17 15:23:29

I tried once but I was put off by being made to sing 'Jerusalem' before the meeting got going. I expect it was me but I hate community singing, I find it rather embarrassing as I can't sing anyway, and I didn't go again.

Jane10 Wed 18-Oct-17 17:16:57

I have done lots of talks to WIs and always enjoy meeting the members. There are differences between them which I suppose depends on the membership and also how the office bearers run things. Some seem more formal than others. Sometimes I find myself fancying joining a particular one if they've seemed an especially nice group. I'd suggest visiting a few and seeing how they feel to you.

gmelon Wed 18-Oct-17 17:24:27

Please go, give it a few months trial.

I have had two experiences of WI. Wonderful times.
One inland Norfolk and one coastal town in Norfolk. Both very small communities.
I was new to the areas in both cases and had come from London. No one treated me like an outsider.
The first were very welcoming and explained everything, made sure I was safely negotiating the hall and garden. (I have Multiple Sclerosis).
They gave me advice and inclusion on the next monthly challenge which was "garden in an egg cup". Make a tiny garden to fit in an egg cup.
They were lovely and I was sad to leave when I moved home.
Next one was even nicer and I stayed for five years until house move again.
They had all sorts going on socially and supported ladies through serious illnesses , bereavement, etc. One of the most thoughtful things was a monthly meal arrangement at a local hotel for ladies with no husband/partner to take them out.

They did carpet bowls and other activities on different days from the monthly meeting . Come along if you felt like it.
Coach trips, suggestions from the members where to go.

It was such great fun . Everyone was older than me but they made me so welcome and acted as friends from the off without being intrusive.
I am nearly a year into my new home back to London now and am chomping at the bit to join locally here. Soon as I am well enough.

gmelon Wed 18-Oct-17 17:26:19

p.s. To add to my post above
The carpet bowls sounds oldy and boring but it was in fact hilarious fun and we were all rubbish at it.

Jane10 Wed 18-Oct-17 18:29:00

I know I posted about it before once but I was so struck by the actions of one WI that I visited : one of their members had suffered a bad stroke while visiting her daughter in Australia. She was severely incapacitated and now in a nursing home with no prospect of returning. She only knew her daughter and she could only visit at weekends. The WI contacted the local WI in Australia and they immediately started to befriend the poor woman and arranged visits and outings for her. It was such a heartwarming story of a WI reaching across the world to support a member and the local WI welcoming her.

Iam64 Wed 18-Oct-17 18:40:58

I was invited to join a local WI and was keen, if only because I sing Jerusalem at every opportunity but also because I see the WI as an all round good thing.
This thread has prompted me to get in touch again. I retired a few years ago and expected to have loads of time - if only!

Chewbacca Wed 18-Oct-17 18:58:42

I've recently joined out local WI and I'm really enjoying it. Already been on a couple of jaunts out to places of interest and met people that I never would have otherwise. We're quite an informal group and I was made very welcome from the beginning.

GrandmaKT Wed 18-Oct-17 22:14:49

What is Jerusalem and what does it have to do with the WI??

loopyloo Thu 19-Oct-17 08:44:21

Dear Grandma T , Jerusalem is a poem by William Blake about the industrial revolution and making England a better place. It was set to music and is an inspirational song that has been suggested as England's National Anthem.

Anya Thu 19-Oct-17 08:58:55

Tried it, twice, and it’s really not everyone’s cup of tea - too much cake IMO.

The U3A offers more.

Jane10 Thu 19-Oct-17 08:59:56

I absolutely detest 'Jerusalem'! The lyrics are daft.

gillybob Thu 19-Oct-17 09:13:22

My WI is a very young group only just 2 years old. At 55 I am one of the older members as mostly made of of 30 something's. I find the young ideas are great and very different to what I expected. We don't do Jerusalem (as the result of a vote when we formed) but did have a modern choir leader come in and teach us to sing it in a new "modern" way (which was a huge laugh) . We also have loads of separate breakaway clubs going on almost every day, cinema club, wine club, culture club (brilliant) and everything else under the sun. I would highly enough recommend anyone give it a trial. Although I have heard that some older groups are quite old fashioned and set in their ways ours is most certainly not.

NanKate Thu 19-Oct-17 10:05:34

I joined the WI about 8 years ago. It took me about a year to feel I was truly a member of a great group ( with a few exceptions) of women. I have made lasting friendships, been on lots of great outings, gone rambling always ending up at a pub, listened to some good talks, learned to play Rummykub, and fund raised money with a Beetle Drive. LOVE IT !

Anya Thu 19-Oct-17 10:21:35

Rummykub sounds decidedly dodgy to me NanKate if not downright illegal hmm

NanKate Thu 19-Oct-17 14:50:52

It’s pure innocent fun Anya and keeps my brain just about ticking over, well that’s my story anyway. 😉