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Annual Report 2019 -2020

Annual Report of the Board of Trustees

Amendments to W/Federations/NFWI Governing Documents

The NFWI is aware that the on-going pandemic, and resulting restrictions on freedom of movement and assembly, have caused logistical difficulties for WIs and federations when attempting to comply with the governance requirements in their governing documents (constitutions).

It is therefore proposing changes to the constitutions of WIs and federations (as well as its own governing document), to make these processes easier. The changes are summarised in the attached explanatory note.

To ensure WIs are happy with the changes, NFWI’s articles of association specify a process where Federation Representatives (the chairman and treasurer of each federation) consult with the WIs in their federation. This is that consultation.

We would be grateful if you could provide any comments in relation to the questions below (and using the questions provided), by email to or by post to the address below so it has arrived with us by 15 January 2021. Any feedback that arrives after this date will unfortunately not be included in our formal response to NFWI.

NFWI then intends to send notice of an NFWI special meeting which it anticipates will take place in early February 2021, pending the outcome of this consultation.

As our Federation is structured as a Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG), we will then have a Board meeting to adopt the changes.

NFWI Constitutional Changes Explanatory note

1.WI Constitution tracked changes - for consultation

2a. CLG Federation articles tracked changes – for consultation

3. NFWI articles tracked changes – for consultation

2.Unincorporated federation constitution tracked changes – for consultation

2b. CIO Federation articles tracked changes – for consultation

"DOWN ON THE FARM” Quiz 2020

As ever, thanks to everyone for supporting this quiz, which raised a magnificent £166 for LRFWI funds.  There were 66 entries received altogether, and of these, only 8 were all correct:  The lucky winner drawn at random was Mrs Clare Robertson Smith of Ullesthorpe WI, who won £25 - congratulations Clare, I hope you enjoyed your well-deserved prize!  Answers

Resolution Procedure open here

Board of Trustees Nominations

No nominations have been received for new members to stand on the Federation Board of Trustees 2021-2023. As a result, no election will take place. The Board are keen to co-opt members and would welcome observers to board meetings. If you would like to observe a meeting please get in touch.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for ‘Trustee Tuesdays’ to find out more about our current board members!

Be a WI Adviser!

WI Advisers are members just like you, who have been put forward by the federation to fulfil this role. As a WI Adviser you would establish new WIs and help existing WIs to grow. As well as developing new skills, such as public speaking and digital communication, training will offer you a recognised qualification. The team meet monthly on Zoom. Why not contribute to the success of LRFWI and beyond? Interested? Contact Mandy @

Leisure Committee Update

The Leisure committee had their monthly committee meeting this week via Zoom. It was decided to cancel the Ghost Walks due to the rule of 6 and Leicester still being in lockdown. These events have been rearranged for October 2021.

Christmas at Belvoir Castle has also been cancelled, although Belvoir are still opening at Christmas you can only book for a 2 hour slot and the coach capacity would be limited due to social distancing. This is very disappointing, however Belvoir have events planned for next Christmas so the visit will be rearranged next December.

If you have any ideas for future events please get in touch with a member of the Leisure Activities Committee.

Support for members during Covid 19

WI House is not open for visits unless they are pre-arranged collections. The website, Facebook page and County News are still going so please send any items of interest to to share with the membership. The National Federation have sent some suggestions and resources below.


If you have access to social media, you will have seen the National Federation have been using the hashtag #MyVirtualWI and have posted on the website a bit more about this initiative:

As the WI has always been at the centre of communities, our first priority during this uncertain time is ensuring WI communities are as strong as ever. The National Federation have been asking all WIs to think about how they can strengthen their WI community, including taking their usual activities and meetings online, enabling them to continue running at this time, and ensuring WI members can continue to reap the benefits of their membership. They are sharing lots of case studies of inspiring WIs on social media and the website to give some ideas and inspiration.

Resources on My WI

In case you have not already seen, there have been lots of resources on My WI over the last few weeks. Many of these link with the #MyVirtualWI initiative, such as hosting virtual meetings and arranging online sub-groups, as well as resources about looking after your mental health during this time of isolation, FAQs about the impact of Covid-19 on WI meetings and events, and a wide range of exciting craft, cookery and sports activities to keep members busy during isolation.

-          How to host a virtual meeting

-          Take your sub group online

-          How to look after your mental health during Covid-19

-          FAQs about Covid-19

-          Craft projects using your ‘craft stash’

-          Store cupboard recipes

-          Keeping moving

Please do check My WI regularly, and encourage members to sign up if they haven’t already. It is more important now than ever that as many members as possible utilise the wealth of resources it offers, as well as being the most immediate source of up to date information for all members.

We are aware there are WIs who are not online and members who do not have access to a computer. Therefore, if you have not already done so, please do consider how you can keep these members connected at this time. For example, you may wish to encourage them to ring each other frequently and particularly focus on looking out for vulnerable members who may need additional support, such as to get shopping or pick up prescriptions.

With regards to Associate members, we would like to encourage them to attend any virtual WI meetings that are taking place. This will ensure Associates remain connected at this time. Therefore, if any Associates do get in touch with you asking about virtual WI meetings please do assist them as best you can. If you are holding virtual meetings please let me know so I can direct anyone who enquires.

The WI will be a huge support network for many members at this time and we would like to thank you for all of the work you have already done to support your members.

Membership Subscription Extension

The NFWI has been very concerned about the disruption this lockdown period has had on WI meetings and activities and your membership experience this year. We recently held consultations with all federations to discuss ways in which we can acknowledge this in our membership subscription this year.

We are delighted to share with you that as a result we are offering a three month extension to this year’s membership subscription. The next renewal date for membership subscriptions will therefore be 1st April 2021. In addition, from this point onwards, membership renewals will always be in April. This is to acknowledge the feedback many of you shared with us during the recent Strategic Vision consultation about the challenges of the January payment date and how you wished to see this changed in the future.

We know that many WIs have responded creatively to the practical challenges posed by lockdown and we continue to be inspired by the activities being delivered to ensure members remain connected during this difficult time. However, we do appreciate that this period has meant that many members have experienced disruption to their WI experience and therefore we hope the additional three months will provide some compensation to acknowledge the disruption.


An update for you on the two resolutions that were due to be discussed at the NFWI Annual Meeting this year. As the Annual Meeting was cancelled, the two resolutions were not able to be debated or voted on by delegates.

The NFWI Board of Trustees has decided that in these exceptional circumstances, the results of the shortlist selection process will be used as a proxy for the Annual Meeting vote.

The shortlisting selection results were: