Jam packed summer of events for Ely City WI’s Sheila

Ely City WI treasurer and member, Sheila Willson.

Ely City WI treasurer and member, Sheila Willson. - Credit: Archant

It’s been a busy few months for Ely City WI treasurer and member, Sheila Willson.

In June, she attended the WI centenary annual meeting at the Royal Albert Hall with 5,000 other WI members in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and their Royal Highnesses the Princess Royal and the Countess of Wessex.

In addition to the business of the day, inspiring talks were provided by English historian Lucy Worsley, para-olympian Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson and Helena Morrissey, CEO of Newton Investment Management along with a fashion showcase born out of a collaboration between the WI and students from Kingston University and a rousing performance from the winners of the NFWI ‘Singing for Joy’ choir competition, Bleadon Belles.

In July she joined 500 members at the second annual WI ‘Tea and Tents’ camping weekend in Newark. The programme ranged from biscuit dunking championships, cookery demonstrations, workshops, a bake-off that attracted so many entries it took the whole camp the entire weekend to eat them all; arts and crafts where Sheila secured runner-up in the sewing bee; to the more adventurous activities such as climbing walls, kayaking, assault course, rifle range. A full weekend programme was put together by the six-strong WI member organising committee with many friendships across the WI network being created and celebrated throughout the weekend.

In September Sheila attended the first WI centennial fair, open to non WI members as well, at the Harrogate International Centre, where 13,800 people shared everything WI over 4 days. There were cookery and craft demonstrations, talks, craft workshops, competitions, along with a myriad of exhibitions ranging from flower arranging entries for the Huxley Cup to the NFWI 100 year story of the WI, to textile panels produced by the 13 Federations of Wales; across the 4 halls. Plenty of retail therapy was provided from artisan foods to craft supplies, to fashion as well as potential travel options.

Ruth Bond, past NFWI chairman, who talked at a local federation event, reminded the WI members there that “we are women of our time” and “the great thing about WI is that, if women want it, it provides so many opportunities for women to create new friendships, learn new skills, and influence the policy-makers of today”.

Why not give WI a try? Pro-rata membership for October to December 2015 is £9.

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Ely City WI meet at 7.30 pm (feel free to turn up 7.15 onwards), on the second Monday of the month at The Old Dispensary, 13 St Mary’s Street, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4ER.

For more information tel 01353 663787, email ruth.g.sindall@btconnect.com or visit wielycity.wix.com/home