I am so pleased to tell you that, having joined the Membership Support Committee as an observer in July last year, Karen Rochester of Stannington WI, will begin her WI Adviser training with us. When normality returns and we are able to visit WIs again, Karen will accompany current Advisers and will commence her training with an online course in January. We all wish her well!

National Annual Meeting 2021 – What a disappointment it was for everyone concerned when this year’s National Annual Meeting had to be cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak.  To make up for this disappointment, the Board of Trustees has agreed that the 2020 delegates be given the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of the Royal Albert Hall at the meeting to be held on Monday 19 April 2021.

The coach has been booked, hotel arrangements have been made at the Holiday Inn London Forum Kensington and the delegates have been contacted.  Although April seems a long way off, it’s good to start making plans for the future!

Unfortunately, as yet we have not been informed of our WI Adviser and Observer ticket allocation and will not hear from National regarding this until October – the allocation will depend upon the number of seats available in the Royal Albert Hall and Government regulations in place at the time.  As soon as this information is to hand, we will contact those members who wished to attend the meeting as WI Advisers and Observers this year.

Charity, Constitution and Covid19 – Many WIs have now held committee meetings and even members’ meetings via Zoom and I know that this has in fact caused concern amongst some members in regard to the legality of such meetings. You will all be aware that under our Constitution and our charitable status we, the WI, are required to offer our members a minimum of eleven meetings per year and each meeting has to be available to every WI member. This of course explains why an outing held on a meeting night still has to have a business part and any transport has to be provided to the members free of charge if it is one of the eleven meetings to be held.

You are of course free to hold more than eleven meetings in a year if you wish to do so. Not all individual members will have computers or smartphones or, even if they do, they may not be happy to use Zoom and therefore may feel left out of normal meeting proceedings which no WI would want to happen.

These are very unprecedented times and the Charities Commission are well aware that individual WIs, Federations and National are all doing their very best and they are taking a pragmatic view on meetings and further information can be found on National’s website under FAQ’s-Covid19-Impact on WI Activities and members where all your concerns are indeed answered. Please do take the time to look at this document.

Northumberland WI

t: 0191 217 0808


11/12 Brenkley Way
Blezard Business Park, Seaton Burn
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE13 6DS