I WOULD like to say “welcome” to all our new WI members and I hope you have a great time finding friends and learning new things.
I expect we can all remember our first meeting, walking into the hall/meeting place, not knowing anyone and finding ourselves surrounded by a lot of women who all know each other.
A lovely lady called Victoria took me under her wing, made me feel welcome, introduced me to a couple of other ladies and guided me through the meeting, explaining each part as it went along.
This encouraged me to return as I had made friends who welcomed me to the next meeting and introduced me to more members.
And so my WI journey began.
I would like you to think about your own WI; I imagine it has the same welcome and encourages members to greet visitors with a smile, say hello, and include them in the meeting.
However, a few WIs leave visitors to flounder, to find their own way, making them feel lonely in a room full of strangers, unsure of how the meeting runs.
This is sad when we know we have a great capacity for friendship, fun and kindness. It’s one reason why I love visiting other WIs, I am always made so welcome and know I will have a wonderful time.
Do you think your WI should review the way you greet visitors to see if improvements could be made to the way they are welcomed?
Talk to your members and see how they feel about their first few meetings. You could have a welcome sub-group to plan a new members’ coffee catch-up, or invite visitors for coffee and chat with a few members prior to the meeting so they are not confronted by a lot of strangers.
Ideas like this will encourage more ladies to join the WI, make friends and broaden their horizons. – Chris Wilson, WI Adviser

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