What our WAGs think ...
Often in life, unexpected consequences arise from small beginnings. A chance conversation can result in momentous decisions. A conversation with a work colleague about wanting to join the WI but not being able to find a suitable one (they are all different) resulted in Chloe Bowler sowing the first seeds for the formation of Whiteley WAGs WI.
Chloe was brought up with strong WI women around her; her Mum and aunties were active members of the WI in Gloucestershire, and when Chloe settled in Whiteley she knew she wanted to be part of the WI. With her drive and enthusiasm, Chloe set up a first tentative meeting in November 2010, along with a Hampshire WI Adviser, to guage if there was any interest in setting up a new WI. Local ladies did not disappoint; 49 were at the first meeting at Whiteley Community Centre and the WAGs were born. Nearly seven years later, membership has peaked at 80 members, we have a diverse and interesting programme of events, we have extra activities all year round which everyone can join in with such as guided walks, theatre trips, five clubs meeting monthly, and quarterly Dress for Dinner nights. We are active members of our group of WIs, the Bishops Waltham Group, our members attend Hampshire Federation events, National Federation events and support our WI college, Denman. Chloe is still a member of WAGs, so is her Mum, and we some of the original formation members are still actively involved in our WI.
Most new members give the reason they wish to join the WI as 'wanting to make new friends'. We hope that everyone who has joined the WAGs feels that it is a friendly, active WI, catering for all its members by having a wide range of activities for you to join.
We keep in touch with a 'twin' WI, Brimscombe & Thrupp WI in Gloucestershire which is Chloe's mum's main WI. They kindly hosted a day for some of our members and we reciprocated in 2014 with a day of social activities in Lee on the Solent. In 2018 we will be twinned with Alverstoke WI as part of the 'Caring and Sharing' theme of Hampshire Federation's Centenary celebrations. Some of our members will be hosted at their April 2018 meeting and the return invitation will be for some of their members to attend our November 2018 birthday meeting. We will also be arranging a walk on a Saturday in May with a pub lunch.
“I know I can go to any of the events and will find a friendly face to share a laugh and chat with.”
“I joined so I could do something just for me”
“I love our bunting, cakes, tea, dressing for dinner, muddy walks, feeling crafty, and a good book”
“Going to Craft Club has given me the confidence to start selling a few of my handmade items online”
“Craft or Social group? Who cares, I always achieve something and have a lovely evening”
“Craft group is a great way to spend an evening. Chatting with like-minded ladies, sipping coffee & being crafty too. ”
“I read books (and mostly enjoy) I would never choose myself and look forward to the lively chat during the meetings”
“I enjoy finishing a book knowing I will be able to discuss it with everyone else! “
“I enjoy the variety of books we read, every month is something different”