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Ladies, I am sure it will come as no great surprise, but it is with a heavy heart that I confirm we will not meet as a WI group during April and May, and perhaps even beyond.

We, like other groups across the country have to heed government advice to protect both the most vulnerable in our society and the capacity of our precious NHS, so all our meetings, trips and sub groups are postponed until better days ahead.

I have spoken to several members in the past days, and know what a mixture of emotions we are all going through. The common thread is fear: fear of being stuck in the house and not seeing anyone, fear of losing a job, fear of our mental health suffering, of not seeing our loved ones, of seeing a precious business fail, of not being able to pay our bills, of finding food, of catching Covid19 or above all losing someone dear to us to this terrible virus.

We face challenging days ahead, and maintaining our personal equilibrium is perhaps the biggest challenge. Many of you want to find ways to help those worse off than ourselves which is commendable and symbolic of all the WI stands for.

At present I would say look after yourselves, your families and your neighbours first, and if you have spare capacity offer your help to one of the fantastic voluntary sector organisations in Selby who will be mobilising this week to support the vulnerable. 

The Operations Team will be looking at creative ways of staying in touch, and of course if any member needs support in any way please do get in touch and we will do what we can to help.

Sadly there will be no reduction in our annual subs to cover missed meetings, but I’m sure this is down everyone’s list of things to worry about right now.

Keep smiling ladies, I am sure we will all meet up again very soon having made it through some dark days.

Warmest wishes, Susie and the Selby Swans team.

2020 Subscription Fees

Subscriptions 2020

Every year we pay our subscription fees to remain official members of the WI. Your subscription fees go towards a number of things: our meeting room hire, refreshments, a payment towards the main WI and also NYEFWI.

The 2020 fees are: £43.00

New members joining the WI for the first time, i.e. who have not previously been a member of any WI in the past 10 years, will pay a pro-rata subscription depending on the quarter in which they join. The rate per quarter is shown in the following table:

Date of joining and total Subscription due:

1 Jan-31 Mar £43.00

1 Apr-30 Jun £32.25

1 Jul-30 Sep £21.50

1 Oct-31 Dec £10.75

WI members can belong to more than one WI, by paying the full membership fee to the first WI, and a further £20 to any additional WIs at any time of the year. There is no pro-rata rate for dual membership.

Your membership entitles you to eight copies a year of the WI membership magazine, WI Life, as well as regular newsletters and mailings to keep you up-to-date with all the news and events from your federation (a small charge may apply) and the NFWI.

We’ll be collecting these at the January meeting so please bring either cash or your cheque book to pay your subscription, then you can sit back and enjoy the rest of the WI year! 

October craft competition winner

Every other month we run a craft competition for our members around a set theme. In October our theme was ‘Harvest Festival’.  The competition winner was brand new member Jill Palmer with her knitted squirrel and autumnal tray.

Our WI Advisors Janice and Pat were on hand to present Jill with her trophy.

What a way to start your WI life Jill! 


August competition winner!

Every other month we run a craft competition for our members are a set theme.

In August, to coincide with our speaker from the Alzheimer’s Society, we invited our members to create a Twiddlemuff.  These are double thickness muffs which have items attached inside and out. They are designed as a stimulation activity for restless hands for patients affected by dementia.

A big thank you to Jean Simpson who brought along around 20 muffs which had been made by some of the women who had crafted poppies for the display at Selby Abbey.

The competition winner was Jan Wightwick with her nautical themed twiddlemuff.

All the twiddlemuffs have now been donated to local care homes and are being well received by residents!


The Red Box Project

At our August meeting we were joined by Rebecca from The Red Box Project to share with us what the project is about and how we can help.

What is The Red Box Project?

It’s an initiative that quietly ensures that no young woman misses out on her education because of her period. We are 100% community driven and run by women around the UK. We place constantly stocked Red Boxes of sanitary wear in schools for young women to access, aiming to reach those who may not be able to afford these vital items.

Working as a nationwide community of women, The Red Box Project seeks to free sanitary wear to any young woman that may struggle to access it, this means more boxes in more schools across the UK – we need your help!

The Story

The Red Box Project was initiated in March 2017 by three friends who wanted to give young women in their local area access to sanitary products. After reading about ‘Period Poverty‘ in the news, they were angered at the idea that young women were missing out on their education because they couldn’t afford the products they needed during their period. They decided to take action and contacted several secondary schools in Portsmouth to ask if a constantly stocked box of sanitary wear would be welcomed. The feedback from teachers was that the issue was real and the resource was needed. Recognising that the need was nationwide, they invited women from across the country to be a part of this movement and the response was overwhelming. From Scotland to Cornwall, women began to group together and set up Red Boxes of tampons and towels in their local schools. They fundraised, collected, had craft sales and donations drives, all to make sure their boxes never became empty.

How can we at the Selby Swans help?

We now have our own red donation box. We ask that you donate items such as new knickers (any size!), any sanitary products including towels and tampons, feminine hygiene products, drawstring bags or sanitary towel tins – you could be adding an extra packet to the shopping trolley when you buy your own, or you’ve seen products at a bargain price. Or perhaps you have a stash of supplies you no longer need. However you choose to donate, it’s good to know that these products go to young women in our local area.