If someone said to you ‘Women’s Institute’ what would you think? Housewives knitting scarves in a stuffy community centre? The ladies pretty much as old as your mum or even your grandmother? Well think again, the WI has seen mounting interest from women in their 20s and 30s and far from stuffy- there are groups popping up all over from the Shoreditch Sisters in London to Buns and Roses in Leeds, meetings often taking place at the local pub.
I recently checked out my local WI group, the Brighton Belles and was pleasantly surprised. The meeting was held upstairs at the Mesmerist, I sat at a table with some other newcomers and we spent 2 hours learning to make Frida-esque flower crowns, making new friends and drinking – what’s not to like? The veteran members were fabulous- in a fun aunt kind of way. I had one lady invite me to their weekly Stitch and Bitch sessions (alas I’m not a knitter..) she told me with a cheeky glint in her eye ‘we’re knitting vaginas at the moment!’ !
I came away with a new skill, a couple of friends and the decision made to sign up properly asap. As someone who has in the last year moved to a new town, I know how hard it is to meet like minded people and I reckon that the WI is a good way to get started.
These ladies are the original Girl Gang, we can learn a thing or two from them. Check your local WI out, you not only get to learn new skills (next month we’re making cocktails with ice cream, hell yes!), you will also meet great women. Find your nearest WI group here.