We get asked lots of questions about our meetings, our members, and our activities. Some of them come up once and again, so we thought we would put together a list of the most common questions we get to save some time!
1. Can I visit a meeting before joining? Yes. We meet the second Wednesday of every month at the Friends Meeting House on Jesus Lane from 19:45 to 21:45. We ask for a donation at the door, to help cover the meeting expenses: £5 for non-WI members, and £3.5 for WI members. If you would like to attend a meeting as a visitor, please email us via email@example.com with ‘Visitor’ in the subject line.
2. What happens at your meetings? We normally either have a speaker (e.g. about photography, history of female tattoo artists, chemical components of plants) or an activity (e.g. belly dancing, flower crowns, drumming), followed by tea and cake. Then we finish with a notices section.
3. What are your members like? Our members range from 20 to 50, and are bon vivants, freelancers, professionals, students, scientists, artists, knitters, bakers… often all at the same time!
4. Do I have to be crafty / know how to [knit / sew / crochet / bake] to join? Not at all! Some of our members enjoy crafting and making, some don’t, and lots of our members are creative in many different ways, but it is not a requirement.
5. Can I bring a family member to a meeting? Mums, grannies, aunts, sisters, cousins etc. Everyone’s welcome as long as they are over 18 and self-identify as female. Babies in arms can come depending on the meeting, please reach out to the committee in advance to confirm whether this will be possible.
6. Can men join / visit? Nope, the WI is only for women. Anyone self-identifying as female is very welcome to attend our monthly meetings and join as members.
7. How do you pick your speakers / how can I become a speaker? Each year a sub-committee will discuss options for speakers. If you would like be a speaker or have an idea for a meeting, please email the committee with your suggestions.
8. I am a feminist, will I be welcome? Yes, of course!
9. Do I have to be British to join the WI? No, all nationalities and ethnicities are equally welcome.
10. Is the WI or are the Blue Belles political? The WI as well as the Blue Belles are non-party political. However, the WI is sometimes involved in political campaigns.
11. Is the WI or are the Blue Belles religious? It’s a non-religious organisation. People of all faiths are welcome.
12. What level of commitment and involvement to do you expect from members? Your membership entitles you to attend 11 meetings and we encourage everyone to take full advantage of this benefit. We also ask members to help out at various points throughout the year by either bringing cakes or other treats to meetings as well as helping to set up and clear away. Every Belle is further invited to join the committee at some point.
13. Besides the monthly meetings, what else do you do? We do book clubs, game nights, theatre trips, as well as meet ups for new mums. There is also a social in the summer instead of a regular meeting.