Suffolk East Federation
The National Federation of Women's Institutes is divided into 70 federations in England, Wales and the Islands. Each federation contains a varying number of WIs with a total of 6,800 WIs and 211,000 members.
In 2009 the Suffolk East Federation of WI's (of which Wenhaston is a member) celebrated the anniversary of its founding 90 years ago.
Amongst other celebratory events a Carol Concert was held in Blythburgh Church featuring "90 voices for 90 years". Elizabeth Crosse, a Wenhaston member was one of the choir.
Suffolk East Federation (SEFWI) is administered by an Executive Committee which is elected every two years to organise a programme of social and educational events and activities for the benefit of members. It is assisted in this work by various sub-committees and Wenhaston is represented on the Public Affairs sub-committee by Marro Johnstone.
Marro writes "For the last five years I have been a member of Wenhaston's WI committee and really enjoyed being part of the innovations introduced during this time. However, I stood down earlier this year as I think committees need to have an injection of new members with new ideas and I had accepted a place on SEFWI's Public Affairs Committee.
The committee is concerned with eduction, the environment and all national and international developments which touch the lives of members of the WI. We have a meeting at least once a month at the home of our Chairman. The committee comprises nine ladies who all belong to different WI's.
A great deal of time revolves around resolutions for Federation Council meetings and for the National AGM. We arrange resolution conferences with expert speakers and the follow-up work after a resolution has been adopted by Council is co-ordinated by this committee.
Another responsibility for our group is the auditioning of new speakers before their names are accepted for the recommended list of speakers that appears in the SEFWI yearbook - distributed throughout Sufflok East and referred to by Institutes when choosing a speaker on a particular topic. Members from local WI's form the audience at the auditions and give their opinions which are much appreciated.
What else do we do? - We arrange topical outings and also try to achieve a better international understanding through our links with the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW). We are always willing to provide speakers to promote the work of this charity which is currently working to support women food producers.
I am enjoying being on this committee, probably because I come from a long line of women who have fought for many causes. Any queries do contact me through firstname.lastname@example.org