The Federation holds two meetings a year, the Annual Council Meeting (ACM) in March and the Autumn Federation Meeting (AFM) in October, both at Dorking Halls. Meetings last from 10.15 am to 3.30pm with a lunch break from 12.30-2.00pm.
There is always a main speaker in the afternoon with other speakers or entertainers in the morning to provide an enjoyable day for members. Recent speakers have included the Queen’s former Press Secretary, Dickie Arbiter, Calendar Girl Tricia Stewart, Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger and TV, the Rev Kate Bottley, Simon Thomas and Tom Hart Dyke.
Displays and stalls are staged which members can investigate before the meeting and during the lunch break. At the ACM there is a display from Federation Committees as well as exhibits of entries for our competitions; the AFM has stalls where members can indulge in some retail therapy. There is also always a very good raffle. Members apply for tickets to both meetings via an application form in Surrey WI News or via the website. The March 2021 Annual Council Meeting was held via video conferencing with tickets ordered via the Federation Office or website.
THE ANNUAL COUNCIL MEETING
The Annual Council Meeting in March is equivalent to an Annual General Meeting for the Federation. The Council is made up of the Federation Trustees and one delegate from each WI. Delegates are entitled to a free ticket to the ACM and can claim travel expenses from their WI. It is a business meeting where decisions, which can impact all Surrey WI members, have to be voted on. The Federation reports on its financial state and what it has done for members during the past year.
As with all annual meetings the Council needs to adopt the Standing Orders (SFWI Terms of Reference Policy as shown) of the meeting which become available at the end of January and delegates should be prepared to adopt the orders at the meeting.
THE AUTUMN FEDERATION MEETING
Held in October, the Autumn Federation Meeting (AFM) is more of a social occasion. It briefs members on what the Federation is doing as well as educating and entertaining them with top quality speakers. Future speakers booked include firefighter, Sabrina Cohen-Hatton and Amanda Owen, the Yorkshire Shepherdess.
The 2021 AFM will be held on Monday, 18 October 2021.
NFWI Annual Meeting
In June the National Federation of WIs holds its annual meeting at which each WI is represented. With about 7,000 WIs in England and Wales it is impossible to find a venue to seat this number of people, so to reduce the numbers one Delegate represents represents a group of WIs. In Surrey a Linking list is produced. If the first named WI is unable to provide a Delegate, then the second WI gets the opportunity and so on until a Delegate is found.
The NFWI Annual Meeting will be a virtual event on 8 June 2021.
Delegates and Observers
At most annual meeting venues there are enough seats to allow some Observers to attend also. Delegates get free tickets to the annual meeting, free travel and overnight accommodation, dinner, bed and breakfast, which is organised by the Federation. Observers have to pay for their tickets, travel and accommodation although they may arrange it through the Federation so that they can travel with the Delegates and stay in the same hotel. The Delegate is expected to vote at the meeting on business matters and also vote for the resolutions in accordance with the wishes of the individual WIs they represent.
ACM: 15 March 2021
NFWI Annual Meeting: 8 June 2021.
AFM: Monday 18 October 2021
As a result of COVID-19, this year the NFWI Annual Meeting will be held virtually. Observer tickets will be priced at £9 each and there is an unlimited amount available. One ticket is required per device and, therefore, small groups may choose to share the cost. Ticket registration closes on 1 June 2021.