Committee 2018/19

The committee for 2018/19 salute you ….

Dinah Barrand (President)

I’ve lived in Bognor Regis for a couple of years and love being by the sea. I joined the WI as a way of getting to know people but it’s turned out to be so much more than that. I’d just retired from teaching and I was looking for ways to feel a sense of belonging. I must admit that my first visit to BRWI was a bit daunting – so many women and all talking so very loudly! But the lively atmosphere won me over and I’ve enjoyed being a member for the last 3 years. I joined several of the sub groups and got to know lots of interesting lovely ladies. I’ve most enjoyed making new friends, the range of activities with like-minded people and the supportive atmosphere that’s encouraged me to try painting for the first time. I’ve also enjoyed several courses run by West Sussex Federation.

It wasn’t long before I took on the role of Secretary and now find myself as the President. I looked up the National Federation guidelines about the characteristics required of a President (I should probably have done that before the election!) and I’ll do my best to emulate them

‘She should be enthusiastic and decisive, yet approachable and friendly in her manner, interested in her members’ views and ready to listen to their suggestions.’

I used to tell my classes ‘You have two ears and one mouth so please try to listen twice as much as you speak’. I’ll do my best to follow my own advice.

Overall I think that BRWI is a fantastic group of spirited women and I look forward to another year with you all.

Katie Lyne (Secretary, social media)

In 2013 there was a lot of press regarding the resurgence of WI’s and their relevance to younger women. I had always assumed the WI was for retired middle class ladies, so I was intrigued to read articles about tattooed thirty somethings joining the sisterhood.

Being a tattooed thirty something, I wanted to investigate and visited and joined Bognor Regis WI in 2014. I appreciated the community spirit of the group and particularly enjoyed the monthly competitions, where I was able to craft to my hearts content.

Being a working mum of two I’m not able to attend as many sub groups as I’d like, but that’s what I love about our WI; you can come along to one meeting a month or be active every week! It’s totally up to you, your availability and interests (and if there isn’t a sub group for you – start one up!).
A few years ago I set myself a number of challenges that would normally be outside my comfort zone: I ended up on the committee and going to a WI camp in Essex on my own.
I am a very proud WI member and am gaining my confidence on the committee.
I want to be a part of moving the WI forward and appealing to younger women, whilst retaining the traditional values that have attracted so many ladies for so many years.

Joyce Aird (Treasurer)

Having been curious “what is the WI”,  I started a little research and found the Bognor Regis WI – with a friend we attended a meeting and loved the energy – so we joined!

I moved to this area many years ago but between my two daughters growing up, the need to work, and some charity work along the way there never seemed time for me.

I gave up working last year and was keen to explore the next adventure – meeting new people, learning new skills, even taking time to just be.
The WI is all that and more.

I trust that in joining the WI and the committee I can contribute to such a wonderful organisation moving forward.

Sue Harris (Vice President, MCS Rep, GDPR, Welfare officer, Welcoming Steward)

Joining Bognor Regis WI was part of my ” big adventure”.  I’d lived in West London all my life and in 2013, following separating from my husband, I decided it was time for a change. I took early retirement from the Civil Service and decided to fulfil a lifelong ambition of living by the sea. I had spent many happy family holidays in Felpham in the 60s and when I moved here in 2014 it seemed like coming home.

The only difference from home was I knew no one!! Friends had suggested I joined the WI but, as I didn’t sew or knit and had never made jam, I was a little sceptical. However, I decided it was worth a look and found the BRWI website. What a revelation!! Many groups that ticked my interests.

I visited in Nov 2014 and was totally taken by the warm welcome, the buzz of the meeting, and the array of opportunities to get involved in. I duly joined up in Jan 2015.  Having joined I found friendship with a large group of like minded women and began to appreciate that there was a lot more to the WI than cakes and jam.  I had found somewhere I belonged, in an organisation that I was proud of.

Joining the WI had given me the friendship and activities I had been looking for and, as a way of giving something back, I joined the committee in Oct 2015.  I became  responsible for updating the national membership system, becoming the welfare officer and meeting and greeting members at the meeting, something I love.  For the last 2 years I have also been Vice President.

Being on the committee has given me an insight into the WI at local, federation and national level, and the opportunity to work with a group of ladies committed to do their best for the membership.  I also gained great support from the committee during a health scare in 2016, in fact being on the committee helped save my life!!

I look forward to another busy year full of different activities , challenges and lots of fun and friendship. Also, having recently turned 60, perhaps it’s time to learn to knit or make jam!!

Debbie 5
Debbie Brooks (Programme Planning)

I moved to the area in 2012 to ‘live the dream’ by the sea and haven’t been disappointed.  As I had no connections to the area, I decided, in 2013, to join the WI to make new friends and find out more about what was on offer in the local community.  This was a great decision and since joining I have considerably expanded my social circle and developed new interests.

The Bognor Regis WI offers something for everyone through its monthly meetings, sub groups and ‘bit on the side’ activities.  I have enjoyed trips to the theatre and cinema as well as having the opportunity to try out a range of eateries with the Dining group.  I am an active member of the SCIFFLe group, which is led by the very knowledgeable Karen, our very own published sci-fi and fantasy author.
In addition to  local WI activities, I have enjoyed attending several courses at the WI Denman College in Oxfordshire, which I consider excellent value for money and a great opportunity to socialise with the wider WI community.  Thanks to the WI, my diary is never empty!
This is my second time ‘on the committee’, this time as Programme Secretary, booking, organising, and looking after our various external speakers.

Barbara Foster (WS News, WS Sign ups including ordering tickets, Members Meeting Buddy)
I first joined the WI in Gloucestershire in 1981……always enjoyed it and was really pleased to join the vibrant Bognor branch six years ago…..since which time I have made friends with some really lovely ladies and have participated in activities and groups not only “in house” but across West Sussex.

Sarah Greenway (Welcoming Steward/Teas & Coffees/Visitor Liaison)
Having lived in Bognor for 20 years, I thought it was about time I got to know more people, make more friends and have a bit of  ‘Me time’ .
Why the WI?  Well it might have something to do with my love of CAKE!
My Children think I’m old fashioned – My passion is sewing, I’m a bit of a Fabric junkie!  I love baking and my music tastes are extremely diverse.
But on the other hand I do have a couple of tattoos and a piercing, so I am a bit of a mixture and that’s why the WI can suit any woman really, as there’s something for everyone.

Kate Claisse (Web & Buzz Editor, Members Meeting Buddy)
What I love to do is learn something new, and if possible pass that on to others.
Since joining the WI  I have learned how to build and maintain a website, helped other WIs to do the same, taken up knitting and crochet, showed school kids how to bake bread rolls, learned more about organ donation and now help promote it.
As a founder member of Bognor Regis WI, I am very proud of what it has become.  We’re a group of ladies of different ages, skills and interests – bound together with friendship, kindness, and a will to learn.
So glad I am a member.

Gina Fitch-Roy (Press Officer/New Members/MCS/Welcoming steward)

Recently retired giving me more time for cycling, walking, gardening, vegetarian cooking, reading, theatre, knitting, family and friends.

Love the ever evolving WI in general and Bognor in particular- sisterhood at its best! 💪