Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Change of name and the beginning of Cowes WI.

As you will see I have decided to change the name of my blog to Zo Blogs - a play on words you see! All credit to the husband.
Anyway back to business. I have many new exciting things to tell you all but for now I am going to reflect on setting up Cowes WI and I promise I won't keep you in suspense too much longer.
After the email to IOW WI House I had a telephone conversation from Joan Finch, who became our trusted advisor. The conversation went a little like this:
J "where do you live?"
Z "Cowes - but there isn't one in Cowes is there?"
J "no, How old are you?"
Z "31"
J "how would you like to set up a brand new WI for Cowes?"
Z "erm yes okay"
J "Great get at least 5 people interested and call me back and we can take it from there".
So off I went to recruit. Please bear in mind I also work full time and have a cake business as a sideline but hey I found the time. I decided to set up a Cowes WI facebook group as a way to get people interested and a tool to keep high levels of contact. I got support from some amazing people who were as passionate about the idea of a Cowes WI as I was. I spoke to as many women as I could and when I got to around 21 interested ladies I decided to call Joan back. This was after about a week and I think Joan was impressed. The next stage was to find a venue (Northwood House Community Hall after seeing oh about 10 venues!) and a date to hold the initial meeting. Before all this she suggested I get together some ladies that might make up the committee to get together to discuss what a WI is all about and how we can make sure we have a successful new WI. This went well and so did the initial meeting with over 60 ladies from Cowes and further afield turning up who pretty much unanimously voted to have a brand new WI which would be called COWES WI. The president (me) Secretary (sue) and Treasurer (Jo) were all voted for as was the other committee members (Rose, Pauline, Bev, Suzie, Jennie, Becky, Jane) with the very first official meeting being in May 2010. The newly formed committee had  a busy time ahead not only getting to know each other but also plan the activities for the year.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Talking bout a resolution!

WOW what an inspiring meeting I have just got home from. Not only did the July Cowes WI meeting consist of chat about natural beauty and some beauty tasters we had the usual tea and cake, chit chat and an overwhelming vote for a resolution that will be put forward to NFWI. I will tell you the subject at a later date as need to get the paperwork all official first but I am not only inspired by my ladies but it is great they all see the benefit that this resolution will bring.
Once again a reason to be incredibly proud of being involved with women that have clout and power! Lets just hope NFWI consider it for the vote.
Zoe xx

How it all began!

It was early March 2010 and I had just received my latest Joules 'catzine'. For those that don't know what this is - it is a catalogue and magazine all in one. As I settled down with a cup of tea and a 'home made' cake I started browsing the lovely new clothes Joules had to offer. They had a featured titled 'if you do one thing this year - join a WI'. Interesting I thought especially as Joules were tipping it. I always thought the WI was for older ladies and was all, you know, jam and Jerusalem. Its wasn't that I can't bake but the WI does have a old fashioned perception and being 31, good career, even better social life I was not sure if it would suit me but hey if my favourite fashion brand were suggesting it maybe it was something that would be right for me. After all I loved sewing, baking, meeting new people and learning and so I looked online found the Isle of Wight federation page and emailed them to see how I could join.........
to be continued.......

Thursday, 21 July 2011


Hello .....
I have thought about it on and off for oh about a year. I have imagined what I'd put on it and now I am here BLOGGING!
So please bear with me as I am new to this..... So you might ask why now? Well after setting up a brand new WI in May 2010 and at the time being 31, I was probably one of the youngest presidents. So much has happened in the last 18 months with the WI that I feel some of the stories are too good not to share and so this blog will yes be current, but will also reflect on my decision to set up a WI, the hurdles to get over at the beginning and still nearly 2 years in, why we are very different to a normal WI group and why I think all ladies from as early as possible should take inspiration and join or set up a WI.
I hope you find this blog fun and entertaining but more importantly inspiring!
Zoe Stroud
Cowes WI President