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It has come to our notice that there is some confusion within some WIs regarding Dual members.

Dual members pay the WI portion of the subs and are therefore entitled to take part and vote on all matters within the WI they have joined as a dual. Dual members can only vote on National and Federation matters at their main WI, where they pay the full subscription.

Activity Ideas

Ideas for Activities to help maintain contact with your Members

This list has been compiled by one of our WI Advisers, Lindsey Peters, who was assisted by Jo Saby, and some of her WIs.


Hold a ‘Find Out More About Your Local WI’ Zoom.  Set a date and time and publicise on your local social media or bulletin board, or in your local newspaper or bulletin – basically whatever your area offers to spread the word. Harold Wood Evening WI did a few minutes of WI history and then lots about what they do; the sub-groups, the community work etc. The aim was to get those ladies to join by the end of the Zoom.

Notify your members of other Zoom meetings available. Other WIs open meetings, Federation events, WI Wanderers.

For Non Zoomers

Split your members between your committee so you are all calling roughly the same number of ladies each and give each member a regular call to see how they are. This can be via letters or phone calls.

Monthly Newsletter

You could ask for volunteers within your WI to write it, or if you have someone happy to write it each month then great. Only ladies without an email get a paper copy and maybe print in black and white if it saves on ink. Keep it short and sweet. Perhaps some of your digital users could share their experiences with non-digital members.

Pen Pals

There is nothing like receiving a letter, especially this year. Set up a Pen Pal group. You just need some members who would like to write a letter now and then. Pair members up preferably with members who do not know each other well so new friendships can be formed. We can help if you would like to pen pal with a member of another WI.


Put members together. Buddies can support each other in terms of company and companionship. Also, once more contact is permitted, they can share access to virtual events.

Craft Activities

Notify members of local requirements for things your members could craft:

  • Knitted hearts
  • Make a craft bag for your members
  • Make bunting to celebrate returning to meetings

Interest Groups

Some WIs have put members together who have a special interest e.g. photography, painting, local history, book clubs, gardening groups, exercise, and walking. Federation could help with this via social media.

Investigate the history of your local area. Perhaps this could be a meeting when we meet up again.

Hold your own Sewing Bee or Master Chef virtually or photograph your achievements.

‘Thinking of You’ gift

Does not have to cost much. One FEWI member hand drew and cut out Hugs. She drew on paper something that had long arms and hands and wrote in the middle ‘Sending you a Hug from ______ WI’. Another member knitted each member a little Christmas pudding that sits over a chocolate. The WI paid for the chocolates, and the member said she had spare wool so did not charge for the puddings. All of these little things show the members we are thinking of them and we care.

Meeting in a Bag

Again does not have to be expensive. If you are Zoomers, match the bag to the meeting (e.g. pamper evening). For non Zoomers, the contents of the bag should link to a WI objective. Could be quizzes, puzzles, seeds, recipes etc.

Jigsaw/Book Swap

If you have members who like Jigsaw puzzles or reading, on the regular member phone calls find out if anyone would like to borrow or lend and put them in touch with each other.

Community Activities

  • Handbag with toiletries for local refuge
  • Donations for foodbank
  • Start planning how you will tackle Resolutions and Climate issues
  • Support a local hospice
  • What can your members produce that might help?

Special Events

Hold a one off challenge. New City Girls WI celebrated a recent WI anniversary by covering the distance between Chelmsford and Canada. They totalled the distance their members exercised whether walking, swimming, running, hoovering…whatever!

This list is not exhaustive and if your WI has some suggestions please send them in so that they can be added to this list and shared with your WI colleagues. Please email your suggestions

#TeamEssexFed Your Federation Needs You

Have you some time to spare? Are you motivated by helping others? Can you work in a team as well as on your own?

Then training as a WI Adviser could be for you, please contact for more information

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Archived Memos Section

June 2019 Members Monthly Memo

Thank you to all WIs for making the Federations WI Advisers, Membership Helpers & Trustees welcome at your Annual Meetings.

Places on Training workshops are still available, but going quickly, so book NOW.

The London WIs within Essex Federation have now been placed into the newly formed Sylvia Pankhurst Group. This name truly reflects the spirit of these WIs and the Communities they serve.

We sadly suspended Home Farm recently but hopefully these ladies will be continuing their WI journey in another local WI.

January 2019 Members’ Monthly Memo

Happy new year to all our members from the Members Advisory Committee here at Essex Federation!

The winning WI of our 2018 new members competition will be notified shortly, and a formal announcement and presentation will take place at the County Annual Meeting in March.

Please book WI Advisers for your Annual meeting and places on training days early to avoid disappointment.

The Waltham Abbey Warriors have recently changed their name to the Waltham Abbey Iceni Sisters.

Sadly, we have recently suspended 3 WIs in Essex – Boreham WI, Ergeleda WI and Upminster & Cranham WI. We hope these ladies will continue their WI journeys in other WIs close to them.

Members’ Monthly Memo – December 2018


The winning WI of the 2018 membership competition will be notified early in the New Year with a formal announcement and presentation being made at the County Annual meeting in March 2019

Members Monthly Memo – November 2018

November is MCS month – can all WIs please ensure that they have a dedicated MCS Reps to maintain your database with National and maybe use the month to undertake a bit of housekeeping on your system!

The Members Advisory Committee will be meeting during 2019 on the following dates.  If any member would like to come and observe this committee and/or learn more about the role of WI Adviser please contact the Federation Office

Jan – Tuesday 8th, 10am – 12.30

Mar – Tuesday 5th, 10am – 12.30

May – Saturday 4th, 10am – 12.30

July – Tuesday 2nd, 7pm – 9pm

Sept – Tuesday 3rd, 10am – 12.30

Nov – Saturday 9th, 10am – 12.30  

MAC 2019 Training Dates Released

Our Members’ Advisory Committee have released their training dates, that help support you and your WI, for 2019. These dates fill up quickly to do email quickly to book your place!

MAC Training Dates 2019

Members Monthly Memo – October 2018

If you require an Adviser at your 2019 Annual Meeting, book now to avoid disappointment. Advisers diaries are already filling up!

Please note – WIs cannot make charitable donations using WI funds to local branches of National Charities.

Also note – WI funds can be used to provide “reasonable levels” of refreshment at a WI meeting. This will depend on what the WI Committee (Trustees) feel is reasonable and within the scope of the WI’s funds.

The 2019 Members Advisory Committee dates will be published soon. If any member would like to observe at this Committee and learn more about the role of WI Adviser please contact the Federation office

Members Monthly Memo – April 2018

A big “Hello” to our new WI in Essex, Baddow Bees WI. We wish them well! A sad farewell to Stondon Massey WI, who suspended in February. Recent advice from the Charity Commission suggests that for those WIs who are CC registered and complete their returns online, all WI Trustees should hold the password to their WIs CC online site not just the Treasurer. I hope all Annual Meetings are running smoothly – please do speak to your allocated Adviser, or the WI Office, if you experience any problems. Best wishes, Jane B.


More details on our National News page: National News

Members Monthly Memo – March 2018

If you still have not booked a WI Adviser for your Annual Meeting and you would like one, please contact the Federation office to secure a booking. If you have any queries about running your WI or about National issues please contact your WI Adviser or the Federation Office who will be able to give you a quick answer. We have recently said a sad farewell to Loughton WI and White Notley & Faulkbourne WI, Broomfield afternoon WI, Manor House(Laindon)WI and Engains WI who have all suspended.

Constitution and Rules

Please find here a link to the national constitution and rules that govern every WI: Constitution & Rules for WIs (2013)

Time To Say Goodbye!

Sadly, the Autumn County Meeting was the time for us to announce a resignation from our wonderful WI Adviser team. This was long standing WI Adviser, Liz Buxton. We shall be extremely sad to see her go as she has put in enormous amounts of work in supporting many of our WIs over many years. We are sure that many of you will have very fond and fun memories of your times with Liz and are as appreciative of all of her efforts as we are at FEWI. WI Adviser, Liz Buxton