Appleton le Moors Women’s Institute was founded in 1927 and has met on the 4th Wednesday of the month in the village hall for its entire history, even during wartime.
Social distancing measures due to Covid-19 have meant that 2020 is the first year that meetings have had to be suspended temporarily. However, the ladies of Appleton le Moors WI are not to be stopped by a national emergency and have quickly mobilised to move online, in tune with the new virtual home based world in which we all find ourselves, whilst keeping in touch by other means with those members who do not have access to the necessary technology.
Catherine Lockwood, WI Secretary explained, “Online committee meetings have taken place via Zoom video conferencing and this week saw the first virtual meeting with all members invited – the WI’s motto of fun, friendship and education is not forgotten despite the lack of physical meetings. Our resourceful ladies are planning plenty of ways to keep in touch with each other, some online and some by post, including shared quizzes, a recipe exchange, updates on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/AppletonWI/?ref=br_rs), email newsletters to members, and regular WI news updates. Past President, Gill Humphreys, has been writing and editing the new Pulling Together While Staying Apart webpage on the WI’s website http://appletonlemoorswi.weebly.com which focusses on positive activities of all sorts to keep members and non-members busy.
A very popular feature is Bear’s Blog, which features the exploits of member Hils Hawkins and her lovely dog. The website is open to everyone, WI member or not, the webpage has been very well received and viewed from Devon to Durham!”
The National Federation of Women’s Institutes is also running virtual webinars, groups and activities which can be found on their website and Facebook.
The Women’s Institute is the UK’s largest voluntary organisation for women, and has in excess of 200,000 members – it continues to thrive in North Yorkshire where the Calendar girls made it famous; but the Jam and Jerusalem stereotype has been well and truly forgotten with WI’s like Appleton le Moors continuing traditions such as crafts and cookery whilst adding new activities which are relevant to all ages and backgrounds of women in the local area and are fun too.
Sue Hook, Appleton le Moors WI President said, “We know how important the WI is to our members, offering regular contact with each other, and always lots of fun activity, so we have just had to find new ways to deliver that. Our members are resilient and cheerful, despite the stay at home restrictions and we really look forward to being able to hold our monthly meetings again. All women are very welcome to join us – members come from all over Ryedale to WI, not just from Appleton le Moors.”