By Chris Walker, WI Adviser and Membership Committee Chair
The following communications has been sent to every President and Secretary across Wiltshire... please do let us know if your WI is in need of assistance or can provide help to other WIs across Wiltshire.
The way we live our lives has changed so much over the past few months as a result of the Pandemic and naturally how we organise our WIs has had to adapt too.
Each WI is unique and shaped by its individual committee and members and we want to ensure that everyone is getting the most from their membership. There are many resources available such as Denman at Home, Zoom and WI Wanderers but we appreciate that not everyone is online or even enjoys virtual meetings. There are alternatives. We have seen some great innovative ideas, for example, meetings in a bag, small group meetings in gardens, and some committees have worked tirelessly to keep their members informed, even delivering newsletters by hand.
Unfortunately, the challenges of living with the Coronavirus are not going away and as some regulations are being relaxed about meeting together, we are all hearing stories of venues that will not be able to accommodate all WI members at once because of maintaining social distancing and there not being enough capacity.
We are a small team of advisers in Wiltshire but we aim to be as supportive as possible especially in finding ways to ensure that all members are being reached and we would certainly like to strengthen links across the county. We want to facilitate a Buddy system where we can share ideas, resources and experiences.
Does anyone in your WI have the time and expertise to assist another WI across the county or would you and your members like some specific help? We suggest that before signing up, you ask within your own WI. It may be an opportunity to enlist a new member to your Committee too.
We have included a table of skills, see below, and would be grateful if you could identify whether you would be able to share any of these with others or if you would value some support to be able to do any of them to help your own members.
Please send any requests, using the table (click here for access to the document), to the Advisers and then the Membership and Digital Teams can endeavour to buddy you up or provide some assistance where possible.
The WI values of fellowship, truth, tolerance and justice have never been more important and we want to be able to demonstrate these to our communities across Wiltshire.