Spring has arrived; we have lighter evenings, and (some) better weather, enabling us all to get out and about.

Avon Federation of Women’s Institutes continues its work with supporting WIs and members in the area – Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset, and Bath and North East Somerset – almost 100 WIs. In addition, the teams meet and plan events which are open to all WI members in the area.

Future events for May include basic first aid, coffee morning with guest speakers, and Federation Quiz – when WIs can compete against each other. In June we look forward to a visit to Hinkley Point Power Station ‘C’, a Cotswold Steam Train Trip With Cream Tea – a chance to enjoy the Cotswolds’ scenery with the nostalgia of steam, plus a cream tea. Also in June, a chance to hear the authors of “Scandal of Sexit” discuss their book; and Crochet for Beginners. As the summer progresses, we have an opportunity to try Petanque, and the Federation Lunch at Mendip Spring Golf Club, with guest speakers.

At National level, work continues on our engagement with women in today’s society. A recent survey by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes found that there are many women who are interested in the WI and who support what we do, but are unable to join us as members. The main reasons for not joining included a lack of time; overriding commitments such as caring responsibilities or work; and not being able to find a local group that worked for them. On the basis of this information, the NFWI is introducing WI Supporters. There are two level of WI Supporters – Option 1 is Supporter, for which they would receive a package of promotional materials, and information on our campaigns.

Option 2 is Supporter Plus, this will give a broader range of information on the WI, including receipt of our monthly magazine, limited access to our on-line forum and courses. This is more of a taste of the WI for women who are interested in becoming involved in the WI but don’t know where to start or cannot find a suitable group.

Members and non-members can get further information on any item mentioned above by ringing the Avon Federation office on 0117 9864782.