Emma Ruth Jones in Print!

So, I got my picture in the paper. The Nottingham Evening Post Weekend magazine to be precise. I dislike having my photo taken due to my inability to pull off a natural facial expression on demand but this was for a good cause, so I gave it my best shot.  Its was in a feature about the modern face of the Women’s Institute or W.I. in Nottingham. I have been a member of the City W.I. for about a year and a half now and I love it. So why does a 30 year old woman join such an institution? Initially the W.I. was set up to help and encourage women in rural areas to produce food for the British war effort in the early 1900’s, but has now evolved into something much more wide ranging. It’s current role is to help ‘providing women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities’. More than this, its a real-life social network unbound by topic or genre. Many women might belong to a sports club, a craft club or book group, go to a mum and baby club or be involved in a church or other faith group, but what if you don’t want to commit to joining something that has just one common focus? You just want to meet like minded women of all ages, cultures and religions to talk, drink tea and maybe learn something  and have some fun? Then thats where the W.I. comes in.
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And as Hollie-Anne says in her article, not all young women want their social life to purely revolve around going out drinking either. It might be we want something else to compliment this, we can’t/don’t drink alcohol for whatever reason or its just not out bag. So much of the British social experience and culture revolves around meeting in pubs and bars after work for a drink, going out to a club or gig at the weekend and drinking at home with family and friends. Take this out of the equation and it there are surprisingly few ways to meet new people.
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City W.I. meets once a month on a Wednesday evening and each month we do something different. Last month it was a guided walk around Nottingham City with Robin Hood himself! We have done cupcake decorating, made our own bath products and learnt about organic gardening and community volunteering. And we chat, drink tea and eat biscuits. If you think this sounds like fun, take a look on the Women’s Institute website to find a group near you and take a look for yourself.
Thanks to the lovely Hollie-Anne Brooks (go look at her fab blog http://lifeofadigitalgirl.wordpress.com!) for writing a great article!

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