Anita Dudley
Treacle Tarts WI

When I joined the WI in 2013, I was working from home with my husband.  Our children were on the cusp of leaving home and I was feeling rather isolated.  My mother-in-law who has been a WI member for 30 years, invited me along to her WI.  I went along rather reluctantly thinking “this is not for me” and have not looked back since.   I am a member of the Treacle Tarts WI based in Nuneaton, joining the Committee after one year.  A few years later I became a member of the Public Affairs Committee and last year, passed the training course to become qualified as a WI Adviser.

Since joining the WI, I have made many friends and learnt new skills along the way.  I thoroughly enjoy meeting other WI members and learning all about their experiences and ideas.

Trish Handsley
Newbold Pacey & Ashorne WI

I became a member of WI and President of Newbold Pacey & Ashorne WI on the same day in November 2014 – in at the deep end and no mistake and I wasn’t even in the country when it happened!  I hadn’t meant to join the WI:  I didn’t feel I needed any more commitments.  But I’d heard the WI was going to close after 95 years if they couldn’t get a committee and it seemed such a shame for a village institution to disappear.

In the past six years as President, I’ve learned a lot about the WI and myself.  I’ve enjoyed serving on the Creative Activities Sub Committee – organising craft workshops we hope will appeal to lots of Federation members.  I’ve become a WI convert, advocate and enthusiast.  Our WI has thrived, celebrated our centenary, adapted to new technology and become much more outward looking.  I’ve now handed over the President’s baton and am enjoying my role as WI secretary.

I love WI for the opportunities it provides in a supportive environment: learning new skills, hearing what other WIs are up to, making new friends, working as a team, being part of something huge that offers so much to women of all ages in all walks of life.  Life is definitely for living and every day is a school day.

My other interests include gardening/allotmenteering, knitting/sewing – any crafts really, walking, reading, baking, marmalade/jam making and writing.  I’m married to a very supportive and long-suffering husband, have two married daughters living locally and four lovely grandchildren.

I was honoured to be asked by Anne Bufton-McCoy to join the Board of Trustees as a co-opted member and I look forward to making a contribution and enriching my WI experience at this next level.