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New Year's Resolution to Join the Digital Revolution

The new year has arrived and by now we are well into 2021.

The Wiltshire Federation of WIs (WFWI) is a forward-thinking group of women who want to connect and inspire the women of Wiltshire. Your local federation is dedicated to the ideals of the National Federation (NFWI) and they are eager to assist the local WIs.

With 2020 being a very difficult year for many WIs, your Federation is eager to get everyone set up for a fabulous recovery in 2021. During the pandemic lockdowns it became apparent that communication was key to keeping people connected. Usually a WI would hold a monthly meeting where people could meet up and have a chat, listen to a speaker, debate resolutions, and enjoy a cup of tea. With lockdowns restricting gatherings it became vital for people to communicate in a different way. People could no longer meet up so it was imperative to use other means of communication. Telephone calls are lovely and personal but you cannot reach multiple people at once.

Technology has given us a big advantage by providing us with many other forms of communication. Emails may not be as personal as a telephone call but it is a wonderful way to reach the entire membership of your WI and keep everyone informed of news. As not everyone has access to the Internet it is not always possible for everyone to be reached in this manner but for those with an email address it allows for timely dissemination of news, events and resolutions to be passed down from the NFWI to WFWI and to your own WI.

Did you know that the WFWI have implemented a dedicated email system for all the WIs in Wiltshire?

For the past few years your local Federation has been setting up a system to enable a smoother flow of information between the WFWI and its membership. It has a specific web address and every WI has been issued three emails: one for the President, one for the Secretary, and one for the Treasurer. Why doesn't everyone just use their personal emails like they've always done? Well, it is not GDPR compliant to give out someone's personal email address and it becomes very difficult and time consuming when officers change and WI House in Devizes does not have access to a WI. There are many other advantages including file storage in a safe GDPR compliant environment, large file sharing, and quick access to other WIs in your Federation.

If you are an officer of your WI, then consider contacting WI House to obtain your WI email. There is training provided and you will also have the ability to store your WI digital documents on the file sharing system. WFWI is using Microsoft Office365 which includes Outlook for email and OneDrive for file storage. You will also have access to Word, PowerPoint and Excel. There is no charge for your WI to use this service and your Federation is eager to get everyone connected.

As we are now in the second decade of the 21st century it is time to join the Digital Revolution and use the tools which are available to us. Last year it became apparent just how necessary it is that we need technology to survive. Your Federation is an early adopter of digital transformation and with virtual video meetings it has provided the Annual General Meeting in October 2020 (Not the Usual Annual Meeting) as well as regular speakers on Zoom and the weekly pub quiz delivered by your WFWI Chair, Lesley Holdway.

For more information on getting set up with your (President, Secretary or Treasurer) WI email please contact your Federation Secretary [email protected]

- Ruth Davies, Trustee WFWI


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