What is the WI?


So what is the WI all about? When most people think of the Women’s Institute, they probably think of groups of elderly ladies gathering together in village halls, making marmalade, listening to talks and having the occasional nap! But this is far from the reality of what the WI is – as the logo suggests, it’s all about inspiring women!

Established in 1915 (2015 marked our centenary¬†– hooray!), the WI is a diverse and vibrant organisation and is the largest women’s voluntary organisation in the UK.

The WI was originally set up to revive rural communities, and to encourage women to become more involved in food production during the first world war. More information on the history of the WI movement can be found here.

The WI now provides women with opportunities to form new friendships, have a go at lots of exciting activities and learn new skills. The WI also gives women a unique opportunity to campaign on issues that are important to them and their communities, often with national implications. For example, did you know that the national Keep Britain Tidy initiative was formed as a result of a WI campaign surrounding the prevention of litter?!

Much more information about the who, what, where and whys of the Women’s Institute can be found by visiting the national website.


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