THE Federation is asking WIs to send one delegate to represent eight WIs at the NFWI Annual Meeting in Cardiff on May 25, 2023.
Delegates’ coach travel and hotel accommodation are paid by the Federation. You may have heard of the “pooling of fares” which all WIs pay to their Federation; this is to help towards travel costs.
Recently we have had a shortage of volunteers, probably because of uncertainties about Covid.
How are delegates chosen?
Every year each WI is sent a schedule of the WIs to be represented at the Annual Meeting. The schedule is divided into columns and the WI in column 1 is asked for someone from its membership to volunteer to attend as a delegate.
If no-one is willing to go then the Secretary of that WI must contact the WI in column 2. If no one from that WI is willing to go then the request goes to the WI in column 3 and so on. This is very important because a lot of time is wasted chasing non-replies and having to find delegates from elsewhere in the county.
What does a delegate do?
We encourage delegates to come to the Annual Meeting in person to experience and enjoy being part of a big organisation with the opportunity to meet members from all over the country.
The Federation runs a resolution briefing meeting each year (in person and virtual) to help delegates understand the role and answer any questions.
We have over 150 WIs in Surrey so we need about 20 delegates. Each delegate collects the number of votes “for” or “against” that year’s resolution from each of the WIs she is representing, by visiting or by email.
There will be interesting speakers to hear, the Annual Meeting business and the debate on the chosen resolution. Your WIs will have given you their decisions on the resolution and you will probably have been given discretion in case there is an amendment (without discretion you can’t vote if there is a change to the wording of the resolution).
When you arrive, you will be given eight coloured cards with “For” written on them and another eight with “Against” (one for each of your WIs). When the time for voting comes you will be asked to pass the relevant cards along the row where you are sitting — one for each WI. The votes are then taken away to be counted. Those taking part virtually will have been given instructions regarding voting online.
At lunchtime there is time to browse the NFWI information stalls and often there are things to buy as well. When the meeting is over you either return to your hotel or head for home.
Afterwards your only requirement is to send a report of what you thought of the meeting to your representative WIs as soon as you get home, or you can arrange to visit and give a verbal report.
So, if your WI is lucky enough to be asked to send a delegate, do take the opportunity to volunteer and come in person. You can bring a friend as an observer, but she will have to pay her hotel, coach and entrance expenses — but if the Federation is short of delegates she could volunteer to become a delegate as well.


Anne Heward

WI Adviser

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