St. Wilfrid's WI

The WI at St. Wilfrid's Hospice demonstrates our ability to remain current and responsive to local people and their needs.

This WI meets in person at a hospice.

When was your WI formed?

Wilfrid’s WI was formed on 5th September 2019.

How did the idea arise?

A volunteer at the Hospice who had previously been a WI member in East Sussex suggested forming a WI at the Hospice when in conversation with St Wilfrid’s Therapies Team Manager. The idea was well-received by both the Hospice and the County Federation Chair. The potential benefits for Hospice staff, patients and their carers were acknowledged at a subsequent meeting of interest with Hospice Management and the WI County Chair and WI Adviser.

Did you face any difficulties setting everything up?

The County Chair and the WI Adviser report that they found the process of setting the new group up to be relatively easy. The Management at the Hospice was very supportive, approachable and worked in partnership with the WI from the outset.

They also advertised the new WI by printing and distributing posters and leaflets within the Hospice and via Social Media.

Additionally, the usual room hire charge has been waived for both Committee, and WI meetings and assistance is given with room set up.

How many people does it take to keep things running?

There is currently a committee of seven: three of whom are employees of the Hospice, two are Volunteers. Knowledge of the Hospice as an organisation and pre-existing relationships with key members of staff has proven to be a huge benefit.

WI members are always willing on the evening of the meetings to give a hand to support the Committee.

What do meetings typically look like?

It is still early days for the WI. However, the membership has been given the opportunity to provide their ideas and suggestions about how they hope the WI will look in terms of the meetings, activities, and engagement with the Hospice community.

It is clear they want to form a WI which is forward-thinking and dynamic in its approach.

Female inpatients and their carers are welcomed to join all or any part of the group meetings as guests.

Name the best things about your WI.

The WI shares the core values of the Hospice and will strive to offer its members:

  • A compassionate WI where members care for each other.
  • A progressive WI which is forward-thinking seeks new opportunities, ideas, and approaches.
  • A respectful WI which acknowledges and accepts people's individuality, allowing friendships to form in a safe and caring environment.
  • A professional WI in which knowledge and skills are shared individually and collectively to enable personal development and that of others.

“The WI is…”

An organisation that continues to provide women with opportunities to further their knowledge and skills and to engage in a variety of activities that are meaningful and valued by them as individuals and their local community.

The creation of a WI within the heart of a Hospice community provides a unique and very special opportunity for the WI to demonstrate that it remains current and responsive to local people and their needs.

Photography Kate Swanson