Three sub-committees and two working groups help to keep Surrey WI members busy:
- Events, Leisure and Fundraising Committee
- Home Economics, Craft and Gardening Committee
- Membership Committee
- Communications and Publicity Working Group
- Public Affairs Working Group
EVENTS, LEISURE AND FUNDRAISING
Events, Leisure and Fundraising organises a wide range of activities covering educational opportunities, introductions to various sports and pastimes, artistic pursuits and social occasions such as outings, literary and other lunches or suppers which help to raise funds for the Federation. It also holds auditions for speakers who, if successful, are listed in our Year Book.
HOME ECONOMICS, CRAFT AND GARDENING
The WI is known for its skill in home economics and crafts and this sub-committee has now added gardening to its brief. It holds classes in all types of cookery and craft work including floral art, talks, demonstrations and day schools. An important part of its work is to encourage members to take courses in nationally recognised certificates so they can pass on their knowledge. We train members to become judges at county and village shows. Under the Let’s Cook Local banner our volunteers run six-week cookery courses in schools and show young parents from disadvantaged backgrounds how to make economic, healthy family meals using locally produced fresh food.
This sub-committee is responsible for the welfare and development of WIs in the Federation. WI Advisers are trained by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes and reappointed annually. Helping to set up new WIs is an enjoyable part of an Adviser’s work, and while some WIs inevitably close due to demographics or lack of volunteers to take on officer roles, new WIs keep springing up. We support new Presidents and Secretaries through workshops to help them understand and carry out their roles. Each WI in the Federation belongs to a Group based on their geographic area and sub-committee members are actively involved in Group committee meetings and social events.
COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLICITY
Its brief is to publicise and promote the wide range of educational opportunities and events offered, encourage more members to take part in them and keep them up to date with what’s going on. It does this via Surrey WI News, a 16-page monthly magazine which is designed and edited in-house; social media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – and, of course, this website. It publishes a Year Book giving details of Federation personnel, all the WIs in Surrey and the Groups to which they belong, plus an extensive list of speakers on a huge range of subjects who are available to entertain and inform our members.
Surrey Federation have launched a working group to aid the focus on Campaigns and Resolutions. The various committee members have skills and knowledge across the spectrum to help members with writing resolutions, understanding the process, researching past mandates to enable campaigning in many forms and working with the NFWI on the implementation of current campaigns at individual, local and federation level. The committee will develop ways to campaign as a federation on issues of current and relevant concern, along with offering help and support to individual WIs and members who wish to campaign on past and present mandates. Over 8,000 Surrey members campaigning together will be incredibly powerful.