A few months ago when I saw an advertisement for the new Viaduct Violet Women’s Institute looking for founding members.. I knew it was meant to be. At that point I remember firing off text messages to Gill of Gilliblogs and we both agreed to give it a go. I wanted to be a part of something bigger, something brilliant – and I knew that joining the WI was a step towards that. The WI has always been something I’ve wanted to become a part of – the history, the message – everything.
What is the Women’s Institute?
The Women’s Institute was formed in 1915, to help refresh rural communities and get women involved in food preservation and production to aid the First World War effort. Since then, the Women’s Institute has become so much more – supporting initiatives that have changed the shape of the world around us as we know it. As the largest voluntary organisation for women in the UK, the WI celebrated it’s centenary in 2015 and over 6000 individual groups like ours, champion the cause.
When I first walked into the founding meeting, I knew it was a place I wanted to be. My anxiety was roaring and there were over thirty women in a small room all bubbling and chatting away… And I was fine. I was comfortable. I knew that this was something I wanted to be a part of – and during the second meeting I paid my £39 (alongside Gill) and invested myself into becoming a part of something much bigger.
I felt so at home with these women that looking back on the candid photographs, I can see that it was the right place for me to be. I joined the Women’s Institute to meet strong, inspirational women and I joined it to follow in the footsteps of those women. Each and every woman we meet with each month has their own story, their own successes and their own journey. Over time, I want to get to know each and every footstep on those journeys – to get to know a network of women I can learn from and look up to. I’ve fallen into an already fabulous group of women around me in work, and as friends – everything can only get better now I’m a Viaduct Violet.
If you are in the local area, why not come along and join our group? The Viaduct Violets meet every third Tuesday at St Patricks Social Club in Newton-le-Willows. You can come along for a taster for £4, and a years membership is £39 – for twelve meetings and various opportunities – from craft sessions to trips out around the local area. We have some great trips out planned for the summer months including the Bakewell Cake Festival & Southport Flower Show – well worth that annual fee!