Latest News

The Food and Flowers Committee needs your help!

Are you a Creative Cook?

Do you have a Flair for Flowers?

Have you been Tempted by our Taste and Trys, and Enlightened by our Event Days?

Are you Itching to share your Ideas and Desperate to add Diversity to our Deliveries?!

We would love to talk to you and, better still, welcome you to our Team.  At the moment our meetings are held at 10am on the 1st Monday of the month on Zoom, though we hope to return to WI House in due course.  We have also enjoyed informal coffee zooms between meetings during lockdown.

Please ring Clare on 01455 202499 or Gail on 01509 842874 if you’d like any more information about what you’re likely to let yourself in for.  You would be welcome to join us for coffee on Monday 24th May or to our next meeting on 7th June.

Associated Country Women of the World

2020 has been a year like nothing else most of us have experienced in our lifetimes. However some things have continued including the need for women across the world to be empowered through education, economic self-reliance and improved health. ACWW has worked to improve the lot of women in many developing countries for nearly 100 years, supported financially by women like you and me. Women’s Institutes have contributed through the “Pennies for Friendship” scheme and my thanks go to every Institute who has contributed again this year, even though members have not been able to meet as a group. In 2020 a total of £2236.78 has been sent so far to ACWW – one Institute gave a donation envelope to every member and then collected these by visiting everyone - an opportunity for a socially distanced chat at the door.

It is still not too late to send a donation – cheques made out to “ACWW” – to the Federation Secretary at WI House in Leicester.

More information about the work of ACWW a=can be found on their website

Competitions - Dual Membership

A query regarding members holding dual memberships entering national competitions has recently been brought to our attention.  To clarify...

It is recommended that should a member, with a dual membership, wishes to enter a national competition, then she must decide which WI she is entering under and remain loyal to that WI; it would be inappropriate and unfair if the dual member contributes to one or more WI competition entries, therefore she may only enter under one WI.

Subscriptions 2021-2022

NFWI have now requested that subscriptions are sent to the Federation by 30 April 2021 where possible. An amended subscriptions letter is attached.

We are aware that collecting subscriptions is likely to be more difficult than normal this year so please keep in mind we are setting the above date to be followed as much as is reasonable and possible.

If you are able to send what you have collected so far by the date above that would be most helpful.

Subscriptions 2021-22 Update

The NFWI has been very concerned about the difficulties created by Covid-19 and its impact on WIs and members.

We are particularly concerned that some members have felt a lack of a full ‘WI experience’ this year, particularly those in WIs where activities have been significantly impacted by the pandemic, and that this is causing some members to reconsider whether to renew their membership in April.

As we have already offered a three month extension to the current membership subscription, which has cost the organisation £1.7 million, we (NFWI, federations and WIs) simply cannot afford a further extension or any monetary acknowledgment of the ongoing challenges faced by WIs.

However, we are delighted to launch a new initiative which allows WIs greater flexibility over their portion of the membership subscription, offering WIs the option to charge the full amount of the WI portion (as set by the NFWI and National Council each year), reduce the WI portion of the subscription, or completely waive the WI portion of the subscription. The decision on which option to choose is up to your committee.

NFWI and federations have fixed costs in order to deliver fixed aspects of the WI experience, such as WI Life, newsletters, promotional materials, member support, etc. However we are aware that WIs may have saved on these fixed costs this year and in some instances may not always need their full portion of the membership subscription in order to deliver their WI experience to members. We have become particularly aware of this during the Covid-19 period, when some WIs have been able to continue relatively seamlessly – giving a member experience and using their funds as normal – but others have not.

Before this initiative was rolled out to WIs, we undertook a member consultation in which we reached out to a wide variety of WIs, rural and urban, of all sizes, across the entire geographical location of the organisation. Thank you to all WIs who were involved in this consultation, your feedback has been invaluable in the development of this initiative and the accompanying guidance.

The NFWI strategic vision, which was launched in September 2020, includes ‘Flexible’ as one of its main statements, and more flexibility was something that many members requested as part of our vision consultation. We are delighted to able to offer initiatives such as this which reflect WI members’ requests for more flexibility and our commitment to introduce this into the way we operate. Although there is no obligation for any committee to make changes as part of this initiative, we hope all members will appreciate the additional flexibility.

This guidance will also be placed on My WI, where we will add FAQs over time if necessary, so please refer to My WI for the most recent version at any given time.

We hope the guidance is clear but if you have any further questions or would like clarification or assistance, please get in touch with your federation or the NFWI Membership and Engagement department (

Annual Report 2019 -2020

Annual Report of the Board of Trustees

Amendments to WI/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.

WIs were asked for comments and these have been forwarded to NFWI to inform the consultation.

NFWI then intends to send notice of an NFWI special meeting which it anticipates will take place in 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

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 @

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.