The future of the Women’s Institute is looking bright.
And as the historic movement celebrates it national centenary a whole host of events are planned to help things go off with a bang.
Buckinghamshire was an early adopter of the Women’s Institute, and the federation itself celebrates its 95th anniversary this year too.
Bucks has been at the forefront of the movement ever since it began, and has campaigned on issues such as milk prices, chemicals and health, AIDS and the decline of the world’s bees.
Pat Poole, vice chair of the Bucks Federation, said: “Throughout the years a lot of things have changed, but then a lot have stayed exactly the same too.
“We all still come together, enjoy ourselves and inspire each other, and for modern women it is still a way of connecting with other friends where maybe they don’t have the family and friends in the area because of moves for work.
“With the Women’s Institute you know exactly what it is, and you know it’s been there for a long time, it is something you can rely on and there is a very strong structure.”
And the groups all pride themselves on taking part in fun activities, and extending the hand of friendship to new members.
The first event in the celebration calendar took place on Wednesday at the AVDC Gateway building.
With science as a theme, 200 members enjoyed specialist speakers, who gave addresses on a range of issues.
We all still come together, enjoy ourselves and inspire each otherPat Poole, vice chair, Bucks Federation of the WI
Doctor Barry Hughes, gave a speech on the importance of the medical detection dogs, and the science behind the canines who can sniff out cancer and other diseases.
Bucks Federation is also hosting the WI Baton Relay in April.
From April 21 to 28, the ceremonial baton will pass through towns and villages across the county, with much merriment along the way.
The first main event in the relay will take place at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre on April 22.
A meeting will then be taken by Bishopstone, the newest branch in the county and at the end a ‘surprise guest’ will pick up the baton to take it to its next stop in Winslow.
To find out more about the Women’s Institute, and how you could join up visit www.womensinstitute.org.uk
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