East Yorkshire Roses WI

"Come and discover your inner Rose! Our virtual WI offers encouragement to blossom with new friendships and opportunities just waiting to be explored - we’d love to meet you!"

This WI meets virtually.

Why did you want to set up a virtual WI and where did the interest come from?

The digital world has become more prominent in many women’s work and home lives. Socialising in the digital world is creating a convenient and easy way of connecting with like-minded people, offering new opportunities and friendships. Starting a virtual WI was a natural progression to bring the fun and friendship of the WI to women who are unable to commit to a face to face meeting every month.

How did you spread the word about your WI?

We used social media platforms both locally and nationally to spread the word and to introduce our new online community. We continue to evolve through social media advertising, word of mouth and listening to what our members would like from a virtual WI.

What are the three best things about your WI?

New friends – our virtual WI means that members can make friends with women the length and breadth of the country and further afield.

New ideas – We are at the beginning of our digital journey so every member has the opportunity to shape the Roses into a WI for the 21st Century and all the women that will follow in our footsteps.

“Be You” – The opportunity to join a supportive and inclusive group. To have a voice, be heard, valued and supported. Whether you find socialising a challenge or a busy lifestyle means fewer opportunities to take time for yourself, the Roses offer an inclusive environment to be “You.”

How many members?

We have 45 members, some of whom have been with the Roses since its formation and others joining us on our adventure along the way.

When thinking about the future of your WI what are you looking forward to the most?

Growing and evolving as an inclusive group. Finding new ways to interpret the WI values in the digital world and the many friends we will make in the process.

Best activities so far?

Our Sunday social is always full of laughter. The Roses Reading Room is our inclusive book club where we discuss genres rather than a particular book, recognising that not everyone has access to digital books, visit a library or English as their first language. Our monthly meetings have introduced us to some inspirational speakers, some insightful speakers and some “wow I never knew that” moments.

Advice to anyone who would like to set up a virtual WI.

Go for it! The digital world is expanding and offers so many opportunities. Use as many social media platforms as possible and make use of the free graphic design websites for your posts.

What is the biggest challenge?

Incorporating all the ideas our members bring to the group and keeping up with ever-changing technology.

The biggest advantage of meeting online?

Whatever our members' circumstances or location, the East Yorkshire Roses WI is an easily accessible virtual community offering friendship, support, and new opportunities. If you have an internet connection on any device, you have the Roses WI at your fingertips.

What meeting platform do you use?