Shorwell Women's Institute
70th Anniversary logo

Introduction by Debbie Lumley - President of Shorwell WI

Picture of Debbie Lumley"A very warm welcome to the website of Shorwell Women’s Institute, whether you are a WI member or not, a new resident to our lovely village, or just passing through, virtually or physically.

My name is Debbie and I was elected to be President of Shorwell WI at our annual meeting in November 2017. I have lived in Shorwell for 4 years and have been part of Shorwell WI since moving here, although I have been a member of the WI since 2007. Moving to the Island and immediately joining my local WI has helped me to make friends and get to know people in the village proving that the WI friendship extends throughout the counties.

WI was formed in 1948. We are all looking forward to celebrating our 70th anniversary in 2018 and have some exciting plans, including launching this, our own website.

At the end of 2017 we had a membership of 31, with members coming from Shorwell, Brighstone, Chale, Newport and Merstone. Our ladies come from all walks of life and have different views and interests. Our longest standing member joined in April 1967 and our most recent visitors will be joining in January 2018 when annual subs are due. (£41 for full members, £20 for members who are already in the WI).

Each WI is different and we always suggest you try us out before deciding if you’d like to join us. You are welcome to come and visit 3 times before we ask you to pay anything. There is no visitor fee, just a smile and a warm welcome.

We meet monthly on the second Monday, at Shorwell Parish Hall in Russell Road. We are an evening meeting beginning at 7.30pm and usually finishing around 9.30pm. Each month we have a speaker, some time for WI ‘business’ and social time. There is a small raffle, best bloom competition and regular competitions related to the theme of our speaker. In addition we have an annual summer outing (which always involves a tea) and a summer garden party held in a member’s garden. We organise our birthday dinner in October and our ‘post-Christmas’ lunch in January.

Most years we hold a Soup & Pudding lunch in the Parish hall (date for 2018 is Tuesday 6 February). This is our annual fundraiser and is a popular get together for members and non-members. Almost everything is homemade and we hold a raffle and split the raffle takings between a local charity and our own funds.

When I arrived in 2014 there was no regular knitting or craft group (one of my passions). I started a knitting group which is held fortnightly in my house. During the two years it has been running we have sent knitted teddies to Africa, hats and scarves to the Sailors Mission, sold craft at one Midsummer Fair and Village Christmas Craft Fair and made items for our own use. Some of our members wanted to come along but don’t knit, so we now call it ‘Not Just Knitting’ and some members just drink tea or coffee and chat.

Shorwell is a small village of around 700 people. One of the big events of the year is the Midsummer Fair held in Northcourt Manor grounds. Shorwell WI runs the Produce and Preserves stall, selling produce made primarily by our members. The sales taken are all put into the Midsummer Fair coffers, these are then distributed to community activities, groups and clubs.

Although we don’t have many regular events running in-between our monthly meetings, many of our members are part of other local groups, such as walking, table tennis, tai chi, coffee mornings, card-making and ukulele. We also have many members who volunteer for other charities. We are part of the Longstone Group of WI’s along with Brighstone, Chale, Niton & Rew Valley and of course the Isle of Wight Federation. This provides us with the opportunity to take part in many other meetings and events.

Why not come and give us a try? We would love to see you."