Over to You

This web page is to allow WI's to see what other institutes are reporting on.  The reports will be available after the publicised dates on this page by visiting Find a WI and clicking on to individual WI pages where all reports by institute can be seen.
At the moment you are unable to access the individual WI pages hope this will soon be rectified.  As there will not be monthly meetings for a month or two will leave the content  here until we are back up and running, hope this will not be to long.  Take Care everyone.

Over to You

Ashby Spa WI

“Ashby Spa WI ladies have been very crafty on the build up to Easter – and have knitted 116 little yellow chicks. We received all the yellow wool as a donation, and then shared a chick pattern amongst our ladies. Very soon we had little chicks hatching all over Ashby de la Zouch. We collected them all up – and we have donated them to our local Ashby Foodbank, we hope they bring a little Easter smile to those families that will be collecting their food parcels from the food bank over the next few weeks.

The Committee also organised another goodie-bag drop for all 120 of  our members. This time with an Easter theme. Each member received a personal delivery, and a nice door step chat on most occasions. In the Easter bag were lots of goodies including activities for us to get our teeth into, sunflower seeds for a growing competition and a Chocolate Lollipop – it has to be said the lollipop won the popularity contest!”

Anstey WI

Members of Anstey WI were delighted with another goody bags full of home-made gifts and treats for Easter, as well as a newsletter and a quiz.  This time delivery was shared by a number of people,, so each had only a small number to do, and it was a joy to do on foot in beautiful sunshine.

We had a speaker at our Zoom meeting in April.  Tracey Pollard told us about Age UK Leicestershire.  There were technical issues at her end.  At first we could see but not hear her, then we could hear but not see.  This puzzled her, as she had successfully used Zoom that same afternoon.  We went ahead with audio only, poor Tracy bewailing the fact that she had put on make-up and done her hair specially!

Nevertheless, she proved a warm and enthusiastic speaker.  She began with the need for volunteers, particularly for the befriending service.  Tracey does this herself, and clearly enjoys it very much.  She also told us of the 28 services they provide, most of which are free. A new, popular one is their footcare. They have also delivered food and medicine to people unable to get out during the pandemic.

She encouraged us all to take part in the Big Knit, making tiny hats for Innocent smoothies.  Each one earns 25p for the charity.  Several of us had made them in the past, and some new recruits have already started on them.  There is a good range of patterns available on the internet, so although they are quick to make it doesn’t become repetitive or tedious. In fact it can be great fun.


Blackfordby WI

Blackfordby WI have just received their Easter Meeting in a bag.  Our committee delivered the bags to the members over the Easter weekend.  Our Easter themed bags included our meeting letter, wordsearch, quiz, a recipe, biscuits, tea bag and two chocolate 'naughties' to enjoy while they completed their Easter Challenge.  Each bag had an Easter Egg template to be filled in using Doodle Art with a pen provided. The month before we had delivered plants to all our local ladies, so with lockdown being relaxed a little we were able to make sure nobody was forgotten. I would also like to thank our secretary Hilary Newton who is featured on one of the photos for all her help in supporting me and Blackfordby WI over the last year.

Barkby & Beeby WI

The doorbell rings, I look and find a small paper bag with the WI Logo and my name on it - My ‘Meeting in a Bag’ has arrived courtesy of Sue, a committee member of BARKBY & BEEBY WI. The bag contains a letter from our President, a note of the state of our finances, and a quiz, word search, knitting pattern, 2 recipes and the obligatory individual teabag and piece of iced fruit cake (for the refreshments) also a small gift of hand cream. I forgot, a picture to colour – we had crayons in our bag last month. It cheered me up no end on this dreary wet Tuesday morning and I thought I would like to share it with you all. It brings together our WI friends in spirit as we cannot meet face to face. It won’t be forever and we have to work to get back to normal as soon as it’s practical and safe.  Sheila Bullock

Birstall and Wanlip WI

Birstall & Wanlip had their first face to face meeting on 17th May (groups of 30 outside allowed). The speaker Andrew assisted by Carolyn, both Trustees of the Belgrave Heritage Trust, spoke about St Peters Church, the history behind some of the gravestone and people that had been buried in the churchyard dating back to the early 19th century and before. Everyone enjoyed the talk and the picnic afterwards in the park. Ladies are looking forward to meeting again soon and joining some planned walks.

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Broughton Astley WI

James Haddow entertained us fabulously by Zoom for over an hour with “The Life and Loves of the Taxi Driver Poet”, reciting his own unique poems interspersed with amusing anecdotes of his life. He has always loved words and used to recite his poems and stories to his passengers when working as a taxi driver in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and soon gained a reputation, appearing in local media. He gave us a list of his 100 favourite poems and asked us to talk about ours. Wordsworth’s “Daffodils” had prompted him to write his own “Do clouds get lonely?” and he gave us his version of Shakespeare’s “Shall I compare thee…...” which made us all laugh. His poems were on many themes – love, life, loss and memories. Many were humorous, others sad and poignant. He has presented to many WI groups and his poem about a WI raffle caused more laughter as well as the one about his wife having a crush on Monty Don! It was a really enjoyable evening and we all could have listened to him for another hour!


Our committee delivered an Easter treat of a chocolate bunny (to aid inspiration?) and an Easter quiz to each member; several members had made Easter wreaths for their doors and one a delightful Easter tree.

We have been meeting in groups of 6 in gardens to chat and catch up in person and look forward to being able to do so in larger groups. We continue to plan future meetings and events for when regulations allow. Modern technology has been a life-line during these difficult times but we can’t wait til our meetings return to as near normal as possible.

Burbage WI

On 23rd June Burbage WI held their first face to face meeting since the lockdown in March 2020. The committee organised an afternoon tea in Vice President, Vicki Dolphin’s Garden.  The day dawned warm, sunny and bright, sun dresses and hats were definitely the order of the day.  The committee provided a delicious selection of cakes and members were able to sit outside enjoy, tea and cake and a chance to catch up with members they had not seen for a while.


Penny and Vicki:                                 Penny Ross, President and Vicki Dolphin, Vice President

Serving Tea:                                          Eileen Hirons, Linda Burton and Carol Wightman

Margaret, Brenda and Adrienne:  Margaret Meigh, Brenda King and Adrienne Hill

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Cossington WI

In April, Jools Partridge told Cossington members what his work involved as a wildlife officer for Leicestershire County Council transport department.

Prior to any major work being done on roads and bridges a comprehensive wildlife survey is commissioned to establish the impact on species around the area. As his talk progressed it became only too apparent the vast amount of work done by the council to protect the wildlife in our area.

When asked what we could do to help, Jools advised us to simply take pleasure in our wildlife and to get involved by volunteering.

As Easter approached members Barbara and Janet filled lockdown hours by making Easter egg hunt bags and Jayne knitted Peter Rabbits containing cream eggs.

Great Bowden WI

To raise money for their One Hundredth Birthday celebrations in June 2023, Great Bowden WI organised a Coffee Morning on 23rd June.  This was held at the home of the Vice President, Anne Wilson, in North Kilworth. The weather was glorious and we were able to sit at tables in Annes lovely garden.  Coffee and cakes were served and there was a raffle with excellent prizes.  Anne’s Husband, John, had devised two quizzes, one with a sporting theme, where from a display of various balls guests were invited to name the relevant sport.  In the second they were asked to identify certain plants in the Garden. Prizes were awarded to the winners.  Of course, there were also delicious cakes on sale.  Over thirty members and friends attended and it was wonderful to enjoy each other’s company and to have a chat just like old times.  We are very grateful to Anne and John Wilson for allowing us the use of their home and beautiful gardens and to the members of the Committee for all their hard work along with Anne and John for organising the event and we are delighted to say that £225 was raised.

Below are photographs of members and friends enjoying coffee and cake.

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Huncote WI

Huncote WI was formed in 1966.  Five members were recently individually presented with their NFWI Membership certificate by our President, Karen Smith.  Anne Deacon, Hilary Comyn and Milly Rathbone were each awarded their 50 year certificate. Diane May and Jill Larter (Vice President) were awarded their 25 year certificates.

In February, members were asked if they would like to make a bunting flag, these will be joined up and used to remind us all of our strong WI bond.  The bunting will be used to decorate our first event, 43  flags have been produced, some depicting  ‘what the WI means to me’

On April 19th Chris Rigby & Sue Holmes took part in the “No more Violence to Women” walk in Croft (pictured with a friend plus dog).

An Easter Primrose, with chocolates, was given to each member, a reminder that Spring has arrived along with renewed hope.  We all very much look forward to being able to meet up soon.

Kegworth WI

All members of Kegworth W. I. were pleased to receive a delightful bag of goodies for Easter - plant, mini eggs, two quizzes and an Easter card. We all appreciate the efforts of the committee in keeping us all in touch and giving us such lovely surprises.

We have met on Zoom for our monthly meetings, in March we had a virtual tour of Cambridge by Murray Jacobs, a Cambridge Guide, which was very entertaining as well as giving us an insight into University life, past and present.

Leisure Committee

The Leisure Committee spent time at their March monthly meeting discussing the Darts and Skittles Tournaments for 2021. After much deliberation it was agreed that sadly it isn't possible for Darts to go ahead. Jane Elson (the darts coordinator) has spoken to a few WIs that couldn't confirm they could get a team together for the matches. As lockdown restrictions will not be relaxed until 21st June at the earliest, we agreed it isn't practical to go ahead this year. However, for those WIs that can get a team together later in the year they may be able to arrange a friendly match with each other, a bit of practice for 2022.
Listening to the news saying there maybe another COVID peak in the autumn skittles will not go ahead either. Again, you may want to get together with other WIs for friendly matches.

Markfield WI

Markfield WI held our first virtual coffee morning which was well received, we will shortly be inviting members to a second giving members a chance for an informal chat until we can meet up outdoors.

We discussed how we continue to challenge ourselves with new crafts or re-discovering old ones.  Our President Fran has been talking on-line classes with Denman College on Getting to know your Sewing Machine, judging by the tote bag she has made the course has been very successful. Other members are looking towards Spring and the garden; our secretary Jane  has seeds to grow her own loofahs, something we look forward to seeing. Others have been taking advantage of the zoom talks given by the college, being at home means husbands can listen in.

Nailstone WI

On Monday 15th March 5 Nailstone WI ladies met up (in stages and social distance observed) at the Millennium Gardens in the village of Nailstone to create a raised flower bed for our WI centenary rose bushes.  The previous 3 having died off after being set in very poor soil.  All materials for the project were purchased and delivered to a member who happens to live next door to the gardens.  We arrived with spades, forks, a battery drill plus a large pair of lopers for cutting through underground large roots and suitable dressed for hard work.

After two hours and a coffee break we stood back and admired all out hard work, very pleased with the final result.  Ladies involved Shirley, Hilary, Joy, Anne and Kathy not forgetting her husband Bob who supplied extra top soil when we didn't quite have enough.

WI ladies can rise to any challenge with pleasing results.


We started the year with our post Christmas meal at Rutland Golf Club enjoyably, unaware of what was to come. In March we had been due to host a horseshoe meeting with guests from our local WIs but that unfortunately was cancelled due to Covid regulations coming into force on the same day.  Little did we know that there would be no more regular member meetings this year. We soon realised that the committee would need to meet and started to hold our committee meetings via Zoom. Our president started a monthly newsletter which was e-mailed out to members and continues to be sent monthly. In June all members received “a hug in a mug” delivered by committee members.  A Whats App group was also started.

We were lucky enough at the beginning of September to be able to hold a meeting outdoors before the regulations changed again. We also ran a treasure hunt around Oakham.  It became increasingly clear that we had to take the opportunity to ensure that as many of our members as possible were confident in using Zoom prior to the winter, as things were not going to get better for a while.  We invested in a Zoom account, using the money we would have been paying for hall rental.

Whilst we were still meeting in sixes for coffee and walks, we started to embrace Zoom with our first monthly meeting held in September on Zoom where we had a session of face yoga and a quiz.  At our October meeting we held our AGM and also had a presentation by a local photographer, Richard Adams on travel.  Something we are all missing.  In November we invited members of our local WIs to join us to hear Murray Jacobs give us a virtual tour of Cambridge.  35 members enjoyed his insight into the Cambridge we thought we knew but didn’t. We have a varied programme of speakers planned for the next few months.

For lockdown 2 we have extended our use of Zoom from our normal quiz night, book club and local history club to include a games afternoon with the games played so far being bingo, a beetle drive and a virtual scavenger hunt.  We try to make sure that we have at least one Zoom activity a week, sometimes two.

Swinford WI

Swinford W.I. have kept in touch with their members throughout lockdown in as many ways as they have found practical to do

Together we have celebrated the Summer, Christmas and Easter and although not the same as physical face to face meetings we know our members have appreciated our efforts

We also have regular Zoom meetings which nearly 50% of our membership have managed to access

The photograph shows Easter bags as they were completed with their contents

Easter Bads
We look forward to commencing some “bubble” garden parties next month weather permitting of course

We have planned our delayed AGM and our first formal meeting in 18 months for July, fingers crossed

Thurnby & Bushby WI

One of our members Pat Wesley did a sponsored challenge to knit 200 wrist cuffs for premature babies (these are used to keep cannulas in place on the babies' arms). Pat has raised over £100 for the Leicester Hospitals Charitable Trust. This charity was the one our WI had chosen to support at our annual Strawberry Tea but this of course had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.