Should you join a Women’s Institute?

Should you join a Women’s Institute?

It’s not all ‘jam and Jerusalem’ anymore. Here are six reasons why you might want to consider joining a WI.

It’s not all ‘jam and Jerusalem’ anymore. Here are six reasons why you might want to consider joining a WI.

Founded during World War I, the Women’s Institute has stood strong for more than 100 years.

However, it’s often struggled to shrug off its reputation of being all about baking cakes and singing hymns. Of course cakes are still involved – thankfully! – but the programmes are becoming more and more varied, as are the members, with even women in their 20s joining up.

So if you’ve written the WI off in the past, take a look and see if any of the below take your fancy…

You’ll make new friends

It can be hard to make new friends when you’re older. Most people have already established their friendship circles, and there aren’t as many opportunities to meet new people if your social life is quieter than it used to be.

However, the WI is all about meeting new people and making new friends. Plus, you’ll be sharing new experiences together, giving you good ice breakers and plenty to talk about.

It’s tempting to ask a friend to join you, but this often results in you sticking like glue to each other and not meeting anyone else. Instead, brave it and go alone.

Try approaching a group of ladies and let them know you’re nervous and would appreciate it if they could look after the “newbie”. Or if you’re feeling too shy for that, you could approach another lady who’s on her own and work on building a friendship together, while making an effort to welcome and getting to know any other nervous new joiners.

Before you know it, you’ll have a whole host of new friends.

You can start a sub-group

The WI meetings are usually only once a month, which makes it very easy to fit into your diary, but tricky to get friendships off the ground. So a good idea is to start a sub-group.

Whether it’s a book club, involves regular trips to the cinema or theatre, or even travelling around the UK and beyond, put an idea out there and see who’s interested. This is then also a way of finding out who has similar interests to you, which is a great start for a friendship.

You get to eat cake!

Meetings are always accompanied by the obligatory tea and biscuits – and a member or two will often supply a tasty home-baked cake. If you’re a dab-hand at baking, it’s a great excuse to whip up your favourite and share it with the group too.

If you don’t feel confident eating, laughing or even talking in public due to your dentures, simply upgrade your adhesive cream to Fixodent Plus. This dual protection cream keeps your dentures in place all day long, as well as creating an antibacterial food seal, so you can tuck in and talk to your new-found friends with total confidence.

You’ll learn a lot

Most WIs organise activity sessions where you learn new skills – from beekeeping to bunting making. You never know, you might discover your new favourite hobby. And if you have a skill or interest, you can suggest a workshop, or even run one yourself!

They also have talks from a variety of speakers – whether it’s someone with an inspirational life story, an interesting job, or they just know a lot about a fascinating subject, you’re sure to come away from your meeting knowing a lot more than when you went in.

It restores a sense of community

In this digital age, genuine human connection is getting harder and harder to come by, so a WI helps reignite that sense of community togetherness.

WIs can be found in villages, town and even across cities, so you’re sure to find one in your local area. This means the other members will live nearby too, meaning you won’t have to go far for a coffee with that new friend.

You can campaign for things you care about

There’s so much change that’s needed to make the world a better place, but it’s easy to feel frustratingly powerless when it comes to making those changes happen.

With nearly 250,000 members, the WI has a big and powerful voice, and they often use it to fight for the rights of others. From human trafficking, environmental concerns, animal welfare and more, if there’s a cause you’re passionate about, this is a fantastic outlet for implementing change and making you feel like you’re contributing to something worthwhile. And you never know, you could be one of the next Calendar Girls!

Are you a member of a WI? Let us know why you love it in the comments section below.

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