Federation Meetings

The Federation holds two meetings a year, the Annual Council Meeting (ACM) in March and the Autumn Federation Meeting (AFM) in September/October, both in the Main Hall 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 and radio’s favourite vicar, the Rev Kate Bottley.

Displays and stalls are staged in other halls which members can investigate before the meeting starts and during the lunch break. At the ACM there is a display of what the Federation does as well as exhibits of entries for our competitions; the AFM has stalls where members can indulge in some retail therapy. Bursaries towards the cost of courses at Denman are drawn at both meetings and, of course, there is always a very good raffle. Members apply for tickets to both meetings via an application form in Surrey WI News (see under What’s On.)


The Annual Council Meeting in March is equivalent to an annual general meeting for the Federation Council. The Council is made up of the Federation Trustees and one representative from each WI (the Delegate). 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 show committees, have to be voted on. The Federation reports on its financial state and what it has done for members during the past year.

An Annual Review is produced for adoption by the Delegates at the meeting.

Also requiring adoption are the minutes of the previous ACM.

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 Chairman and Treasurer’s reports, which were presented at the meeting, are published after the meeting.


Held in September/October, the Autumn Federation Meeting is more of a social occasion and briefs members on what the Federation is doing as well as educating and entertaining them with top quality speakers.

It is with great regret that the Board of Trustees has taken the decision to cancel the 2020 Annual Federation Meeting, that was to be held on October 5th. At the present time, Dorking Halls do not know when they will be permitted to open or how many people they will be able to admit. It would likely be a significantly reduced number. It would also be unlikely that, under social distancing rules, we could have the stalls that you so enjoy and the great raffle. If we were able to run the event it would be at a significant financial loss to the federation, which would not be appropriate.

We very much hope that ‘We’ll meet again’ at Dorking Halls on Monday 15th March 2021.

NFWI Annual Meeting

In June the National Federation of WIs holds its annual meeting at which each WI should be represented. With about 7,000 WIs in England and Wales it is almost impossible to find a venue to take this number of people, so to reduce the numbers one Delegate represents up to four WIs. In Surrey a Linking list is produced with four WIs in each link. 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.

2021: The NFWI Annual meeting will be at the Royal Albert Hall on 19th April 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: meeting cancelled

NFWI AGM: meeting cancelled

AFM: meeting cancelled