More about the WI  - Centenary Year 2015

The first WI meeting in the UK was held in Llanfairpwll on Anglesey, Wales, on 16 September 1915.  Since then the organisation has grown to become the largest women's voluntary organisation in the UK with over 212,000 members in 6,600 WIs. 

The National Federation of Women’s Institutes (the NFWI) plays a unique role in 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. The National Headquarters are at 104 New Kings Road, London SW6 4LY. Telephone 020 7371 9300.  For more information on the WI please visit the website  

WI Structure

Abberley WI is a self-governing group within the framework of the WI constitution and rules.  We are part of the Forest Group of WIs in north-west Worcestershire and belong to the Worcestershire Federation, with its office at WI House, 7 Elgar Business Centre, Moseley Road, Hallow, Worcs. WR2 6NJ. Telephone : 01905 641658.

Each level of the organisation is run by a committee of elected members; Click for Abberley WI committee members. The NFWI Board of Trustees is democratically elected every two years by WI members. The WIs and Federations make up the National Federation.


Members democratically decide all campaigning issues. Each year members submit resolutions to a selection process where the most popular suggestions are put to the vote at the AGM. If members support these resolutions, they become mandates and form the basis of campaigning activities in the years ahead.  You can read about  previous campaigns on the WI website 

Denman College

The NFWI owns a residential, adult education centre, Denman College, Marcham, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX13 6NW,  Telephone 01865391991. It offers members and the public a wide range of courses from cookery and aromatherapy to photography and painting. Other courses give members the skills needed to run a WI, such as leadership skills and public speaking.

Funding and WI Enterprises

The majority of NFWI income comes from the annual subscriptions. Other sources of revenue include grant-making bodies, educational trusts, commercial sponsors and investments. WI Enterprises Ltd is the trading company of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes. It exists to raise revenue for the NFWI, provide benefits for members and generate funds for federations and WI’s.