Early in 2011 two women independently asked the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) if there was a WI in Ealing that they could attend in the evening. Middlesex Federation contacted Nikki and Val and suggested that if they could not attend the daytime meetings of Ealing Oaktree that they could set up their own WI. A lot of hard work later, and after roping me in as an additional committee member, the West Ealing WI was ready to launch. And then the riots hit London. What we thought would be a small scale launch party was overrun with eager women.
And so we started.
It’s been five years since that hot August evening and what a whirlwind of fun, laughter and friendship it has been.
The West Ealing WI meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 7:30pm in Northfields Community Centre. Our main meetings offer a catch up with members, a chance to connect to the wider WI movement and an evening learning something new. We always have an activity, workshop or speaker and details of who is coming next can be found on our programme page. We always welcome visitors who can pay £5 to participate (although it may be a pound or two higher if there are craft materials to pay for!) And if you come to a meeting and would like to join then 2018 membership is £41.00 – a total bargain for everything that you get.
In addition to our main meetings we have a number of activities going on each month. We let out our competitive streak at the Star and Anchor Pub Quiz on the first Tuesday of the month. Our book club meets on the second Monday of the month and craft club meets on the third Tuesday. If there is a fifth Tuesday of the month we often arrange a social get-together then too. We have regular culture club outings to see local museums, plays and films.
We also like to get out and about and host stalls at fairs and festivals. We participate in national level WI events whenever we can, including WI competitions. We also support the WI college, Denman, and like to attend the New Wave Weekends.
Our WI really does have a lot going on and yet there’s so much more that we can be doing. For me, the real joy comes from the friendships I’ve made by attending and getting involved. When I look around a meeting I marvel at the wonderful women of all different ages and backgrounds that we have in one room and am filled with awe at the potential of what we can achieve as a group.
I love the WI and I think there’s so much it can bring to women’s lives to connect, socialise and learn with and from other women. It takes only as much time as you have to give it but gives back so much more.
If you’ve got any questions, please don’t hesitate to drop us an email on westealingWI@gmail.com – we’d love to hear from you!
Hope to see you soon,
West Ealing WI President