WI members from all over the county have celebrated a successful year during the Northamptonshire County Federation of WI’s annual meeting in Northampton.
We welcomed a host of dignitaries including the Mayor of Northampton, the High Sheriff of Northamptonshire and other guests together with representatives of neighbouring federations.
New WI groups in Guilsborough and Braddon were also enthusiastically welcomed.
Members began proceedings by standing to sing Jerusalem, accompanied by pianist Brenda Griffiths, before treasurer Yvonne Read delivered this year’s financial statement.
Federation chairman Sue Kendall addressed the meeting and spoke of the common purpose, new ideas, learning new things, educating women, the overall exploration of women’s natural curiosity and desire to experience new things.
She praised the many trips and workshops and visits to wonderful places, coffee mornings well attended and all the events at WI House.
Among the many highlights of the last 12 months were the new Blakesley-cum-Woodend WI – who had very quickly become so involved in many activities – the fact that there are six WIs celebrating their centenaries next year and the improvement of the Denman situation due to so much hard work.
Sue looked forward to future events on the agenda such as the Big Raffle and celebrations of the centenary year ahead with a planned picnic at Althorp.
The results of the Challenge Cup Trophy 2017 followed, delivered by Anne Rodwell. This was to prepare a picnic for the chairman and three guests. The winner was Cranford WI.
Jean Bates then took the stage to bring us information on the Associated Country Women of the World project.
It was amazing to hear that funds were raised to meet the last target with £600 surplus - this was then used to provide a much needed water pump.
The ACWW new project is to aid and raise awareness of the low caste women in India, to be helped out of poverty.
After the interval, federation secretary Jackie Andrews introduced our board of trustees for the coming year.
Various awards were then presented by our guest speaker, Rosemary Conley.
Rosemary spoke about her life, her challenges met along the way, the things that motivate her now, and the organisation called STEPS of which she is patron.
She encourages us all to keep fit and healthy, never give up on things, to pursue our dreams and hold onto a determined spirit.