Latest News

WI House

WI House will be closed to enquiries from 10-17 July due to annual leave. Please contact Janet Kirk in the case of an emergency.

We plan to open WI House for doorstep collections by arrangement on Tuesdays 10-12 from Tuesday 21 July assuming the localised Leicester lockdown has been lifted by this date. If you would like to collect yearbooks or Federation Art competition pieces please contact me to arrange a suitable time.

County News on download page

Recent Results of Federation Quiz 2020

NFWI Raffle have you got your ticket yet?

How are you going to spend the £10,00 cash that is the top prize in the NFWI raffle? Don't forget that your Secretary has the tickets and you just need to buy one to be in with a chance of winning £10,000 and other great prizes as well. The tickets can be sold to anyone not just WI Members and the Federation gets back 60 % of the proceeds of what we sell. This is a great opportunity to help the Federation earn a bit of money and you could be a lucky winner. Please dig out those tickets and try and sell them all and return to NFWI by the 25th September. If you need more books of tickets we have some at WI House we can send to you, or we will get you some. We had a winner of the cruise one year in the Federation so it could be your turn this year. This is a chance to see some of your Members while keeping at a safe distance and sell them a ticket. Hope you can all find the tickets and please get selling. Thank you ladies.  Janet


The Board of Trustees met online last week and decided that the County and Barbara Gill bursaries would still be awarded this year despite the cancellation of the Annual Council Meeting. This will hopefully provide the winning WIs with a much needed morale boost!
The draw took place today and the winners who will each receive £200 in Denman vouchers are.....
County Bursary - Hallaton WI
Barbara Gill Bursary - Cottesmore WI

Hello from the Food & Flowers Committee

Everyone on the F&F team is disappointed that we have had to postpone so much this year, and most recently the Taste and Try booked for September at Kirby Muxloe, though that is rescheduled for September 2021 so that’s something to look forward to.

Some of us have been fortunate enough to spend more time in the garden during lockdown, and we thought you might like some suggestions to help you cope with a glut of produce all arriving at the same time.

The Cherry Tomato sauce is very easy and versatile as any tomatoes can be used, the Gooseberry and Elderflower ice cream is delicious and a great way to convert anyone who doesn’t like gooseberries, and the chutneys are a tasty gift – if you can prise it out of the hands of the family!

Lady Denman Cup Update

The Lady Denman Cup competition will continue this year.  However, a decision has been made to extend the competition timescale.  To allow a fair and standardised competition timescale across all WIs and federations, the NFWI has set a closing date of Friday 18 September 2020 for members to submit their entry to their Federation office. After this date, Federations have until Friday 16 October 2020 to select up to three entries to go forward for national judging.  Results will be announced by mid-December 2020.
A revised schedule, individual entry form and federation entry form will be available to downloaded from My WI shortly.

Denman Weekend

Unfortunately the Federation Denman weekend 14-16 August will not be able to go ahead. I have included an update from Denman that explains why. We will be issuing refunds so will be in touch with individuals regarding method of payment. If you have any queries please call the number below which is diverting to my mobile when working from home.

National Garden Scheme

NGS gardens have only just started opening again, with very strict guidelines for opening: visitors are asked to book a specific time slot for their visit and to pay a small entry fee in advance.

See attachments for further information.
Gardens in the Market Harorough area

Support for members

I hope you are keeping well. You will be aware that WI House is closed and will remain closed for the time being until government advice changes. The website, Facebook page and County News are still going so please send me any items of interest to share with the membership and I can forward on. 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.

Cocktails and cocktail making.

We’re interested to know what W.I. groups are doing around the county and region. Are there any meetings happening at all in any form? I'm thinking of onscreen meetings perhaps such as on Zoom.

We've had an enquiry from a W.I. group down South about us doing a presentation online and I'm interested to know if this is 'a thing' in your area at the moment. Details in Year Book for contact.


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:

Federation Holiday

Ladies something to look forward in the not to distant future, don't forget the Federation Holiday at Bodelwyddan Castle Hotel from 25th January  to the 29th January 2021 to see detals

Competition Results

Margaret Johnston Writing Competition 2000‘On a street where I live’Winner Margart Towsey, Ratby WI
Edith Buckley Poetry Competition 2020 ‘A Favourite Walk’Winner Sue Wainwright, Thorpe Acre WI
Programme Competition 2020 Winner Melton Afternoon WI
Federation Art Trophy 2020

A Tree Stump

Tree Stump

Winner Beverley Ashby, Loughborough Ladies WI