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'Stow Roses' WI promises modern approach
A woman has set up a new Women’s Institute (WI) but vowed not to be "all jam and Jerusalem”.
After tweeting to see if anyone would be interested in joining a new branch of the WI a few months ago, co-founder Jacky Bergman has described the response as “unexpected and overwhelming.”
The Stow Roses, as the group will be known, has 326 followers on Twitter and 271 likes on its Facebook page.
And it has already been offered stalls at local community events.
A core of five founding members are now hoping they can squeeze everyone in to the all-women activity group’s first meeting, which takes place on October 2 at 7.30pm at The Warrant Officer in Higham Hill Road, Walthamstow.
Mrs Bergman, 54, of Salisbury Road, Walthamstow, says the core members want the women who come to the meeting to decide on what kind of things the group will do.
She said: “It’s not going to be jam and Jerusalem, it’s going to reflect the lives and interests of women in Walthamstow.”
Mrs Bergman puts the swell of interest down to a national resurgence in traditional activities such as knitting, crafting and baking, combined with a local appetite for feeling part of a community.
She said: “There are so many people who want to get involved in things. There’s something quite romantic about the WI and we are such a diverse community, this can bring all those people together.”
The five core members are being mentored by the Women’s Institute Federation while they get the group off the ground, but they have already booked their first guest speaker for their second monthly meeting on November 6 at The Warrant Officer.
Susan Murray, a regular stand-up performer at the Rose and Crown in Walthamstow, will be talking to the group about her experience as a woman comedian in a male-dominated world.
“Mrs Bergman added: “We would love to see as many women as possible coming along to help the Stow Roses develop into an inclusive, interesting and empowering organisation.”
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