Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Manchester Women's Institute
I'd long suspected that some branches of the Women's Institute had decided update a little; taking things beyond Jam and Jerusalem. However, the one most local to me didn't seem to be pushing the boundaries of contemporary WI experience so I had been put off joining. Then along came Alex Taylor and Lucy Adams with a really modern take on the WI concept, and Manchester City Centre's first ever Women's Institute group. They are still keeping the WI's core values at the heart of what they do, but are really interested in updating and, for me, expanding what it means to be part of a WI group.
So, I joined, I volunteered for the committee and we had our first monthly meeting on Tuesday. I had managed to miss the first two meetings of committee so did look a little like a spare part at times, but mostly managed to find a use for myself and the first meeting itself was absolutely hectic but absolutely great.
There was a real buzz as women signed up for sub groups (there are Craft, Gourmet, Reading/theatre/cinema, Fitness and Baking sub groups forming), participated in a raffle with some fab prizes, chose our charity, and of course participated in some tea and cake!
I was too busy flitting about seeing if I could help and, let's be honest, nattering, to eat much cake. All I managed was a small brownie square (which was delicious) and also didn't take a single picture! Bad blogger! I did manage to sign up for Craft, Reading etc and Gourmet (I am not a gourmet expert but someone mentioned cocktail classes so I'm in!), and I cast my vote for Paws for Kids for our charity, which won by one button (pretty sure that was mine!).
The chosen charity, Paws for Kids, really tugged at my heartstrings as what they do seems so small, but I'm sure makes such a big difference to the people they help. The charity is based in the North West and helps women and children who are victims of domestic violence by fostering their pets while they await rehousing. Pets are often neglected during the process of providing refuge to these women as the refuges themselves cannot take pets and, if left, the pets may continue to suffer in a potentially violent environment, so what this charity does is important to those involved.
All in all a great evening, if tiring (my poor damaged feet!). I am so looking forward to what we have planned for the future. If you want to find out more about Manchester WI, there are details below!