Wednesday, 5 February 2014

On the road to the centenary

The Federation Centenary Link project was officially launched in December with the NFWI Trustees and some staff travelling to Anglesey to pass over the baton to the first federation to start the centenary celebrations. Anglesey Federation Trustees and members hosted a fantastic evening of food and music, and after being passed around the room, the baton patiently waited until 1 January 2014 before starting its epic journey through Wales, England and the Islands to visit each and every Federation – all 69 of them! – before finishing its trip with a journey to the Royal Albert Hall for the NFWI Annual Meeting in June 2015 to celebrate 100 years of WI membership. Spending a week in each area, the baton’s arrival is being celebrated in a huge range of different ways – each federation is planning its own event so they are as varied as our members – and we have already learned of some great plans to truly celebrate everything that the WI has offered to all women for almost 100 years.

Having been on the road for a month now, we have already had a great range of photos sent over for the dedicated archive project associated with the baton; each federation is uploading twelve photographs onto a specially designed memory stick, stored inside the baton itself, that represent their local area and their members. These photos are also being shared through dedicated social media platforms to capture the national journey of the baton, and through the NFWI website, to share the photos as widely as possible, and to get as many members involved in the celebration leading up to 2015 as possible. Having travelled through North Wales so far, the baton is heading to its first stop in England today, and then on to the Isle of Man before heading on to the North of England. Full details with dates for each federation can be found online.

Whilst we are receiving the twelve photos each week and happily sharing as widely as possible, we do still need members’ help; what is your federation planning to do to celebrate the baton coming to your local area? What events do you have planned? Please let us know so that we can share details and photos of the celebratory events along with the twelve photos to be saved as part of the project. We want to inspire as many people to get involved with the celebrations when the baton travels to their own area, and to encourage women who haven’t previously thought that the WI was for them to go along to an event to see the huge range of opportunities on offer through the WI.

So far, we’ve seen great baton handovers with events planned to let everyone know what was going on, special banners flown, and special guests invited to get involved and really honour 100 years of WI membership. But we want to know what you’re planning for your future events so we can share as many details as possible and get everyone involved in the biggest WI party to date – if we all work together we can make this the best celebration so far, and really make a mark as we head towards 2015 when a whole host of other activities will be taking place!

So what’s the best way of letting us know your plans? Please follow the dedicated social media platforms on Twitter and Facebook and just send us a message to let us know what will be going on. Many members are already keeping us up-to-date, which is great, but we know that much more is being planned and we’d love to find out what’s in the pipeline. You can also email us to give us an update – we’re always happy to receive members’ news. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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