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What does WI Membership mean to you?

With a huge proportion of the world currently in lockdown, these are challenging times and, for a lot of people, this has provided time for a bit of reflection.

It‘s our 10th birthday year and having some extra down time is a great opportunity to remind ourselves how lucky we are to be part of such an amazing group of women and celebrate what WI membership means to us.

We’ve asked some of our members to tell us about their experience of being a MVWI member and we’ll be sharing these with you over the coming weeks. We are kicking off with Moira, who first joined us 10 years ago!

"It doesn’t feel like 10 years since I joined the WI (again). I say again as I used to attend with my mum in Scotland as a child. It was a surprise therefore when my beautician (who had just spoken about her talk on home made beauty products to Maple Village WI) told me I should check it out. The clincher was when she told me that the previous month the speaker was a male escort! I don’t recall my mum’s WI ever having that!

I was also keen to make local friends and get to know Surbiton as most of my socialising was in London at the time.

So along I went. Early meetings (in the Surbiton Flyer) covered etiquette in the modern age and cocktails (that was a late night). Everyone was very friendly and I remember a ‘Come Dine with Me’ evening which certainly challenged my local knowledge as we moved around Surbiton and up to Berrylands for different courses.

I was then posted abroad in September 2011 so missed out on 3 years of activity in Maple Village.  I had kept in touch however, so when I got back I was able to get back to the meetings.  Lots of new faces, and it the group had outgrown the venue and moved into a new meeting place.  Unlike many members, I was not born in London so I knew nothing about the local area.  Joining the WI has helped me make lots of new (local) friends and made me feel more of a community spirit.

Ten years on I still socialise with old friends in London, but I also do lots locally which I never did before.”

Moira, Maple Village WI Member.

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