Each WI is run by a committee which is elected at each Annual Meeting, which for us is in May.
Meet our committee members for 2019-20:
Maggie Weatherby, President
I am one of the founder members of The Alexandra WI and set it up with my daughter, Victoria, in 2010. She became the first President and for the next five and a half years I took on the role of Secretary, became a WI Adviser and sat on the Federation Board of Trustees. I continued on as a Committee Member for the next two years.
Before I retired, my professional background was in Health and Social Care, firstly as a practitioner and then as a teacher/trainer. I began working in groups with women and families including battered women, and found that the group experience helped them to recover from their traumatic experiences. I then moved into teaching/training and specialised in subjects such as dementia, loss and bereavement and elder abuse.
I have always been a keen gardener and while doing a project for the Alzheimer’s Society I acted as project mentor for a group of carers in building a garden for people with dementia at a day centre in Tottenham. I also enjoy classic WI activities like making marmalade and making cakes and especially, cooking for my family. I enjoy making quilts although nowadays I restrict the size to smallish ones for my grandsons and Project Linus.
I think the WI is an amazing organisation, well known but little appreciated for the work it does and has done for women and families over the last 104 years. I believe that the charitable aims of the WI are as relevant today as they were over 100 years ago and I look forward to working with the committee and members to promote the values of the WI.
Emma Watson, Treasurer
Originally from Melbourne, Australia, I moved to London for work in the design and construction industry in 2005, and since 2010 have been enjoying life in lovely Crouch End.
I had always wanted to be involved in an organisation like the WI, inspired by my grandmother, who was an active member of and leader within the Country Women’s Association in Australia for many years, as well as a knitter and baker.
In addition to my role on the Committee, I am Editor of the Middlesex Federation Newsletter and member of the Middlesex Federation’s Digital Team, which bring new WI challenges and widen my WI experience.
Nina Jewell, Secretary
I am a qualified Local Government accountant with 25 years’ experience at both Hammersmith and Haringey Councils. I am also the Treasurer for my local Neighbourhood Watch.As I start to think about retirement, I am volunteering more and more as I find it rewarding and a great way to meet like-minded people. I have rediscovered knitting through the WI group and enjoy cooking for the summer fair. My other interests are collecting art by West Country artists and I am passionate about pottery from the Leach Pottery in St Ives.
You will often find me browsing the shops of Muswell Hill or the Antique fairs at Alexandra Palace in search of a bargain!
I trained as a Home Economics teacher and taught in a school in West London for several years before becoming involved in prison education in both male and female establishments. Following retirement from full time employment I have continued to teach part time. I was very encouraged to read of a WI being set up in a women’s prison and hope other prisons will welcome this initiative. I was delighted to find The Alexandra WI soon after I retired as I wanted to join a branch near where I live. I am pleased to have more time to enjoy hobbies, gardening, cooking especially making preserves, baking, knitting, cross stitch and tapestry. It is great being able to meet other women, who also have similar interests and are interested in discussing topics of a mutual interest.
More info coming soon!
Approximately 150 years ago my Great-Grandmother came to North London from a distant seaside community in Essex. She didn’t find her fortune (and unfortunately no member of the family has), but she did give up being a lowly servant, married and reproduced. I am still here (whilst the more enterprising members of my family have moved to California, Australia, New Zealand and Bournemouth).
I work as an academic in Computer Science, where my research is focused on the design of technology and the writing of technical standards to ensure that all users can benefit from technology. If you want a three hour explanation of web accessibility standards or even ISO/IEC 27001:2013 – please ask!
As one of the `lucky’ women who were affected by the changes in the pension age I still have more than ten years to mix work and leisure. Currently in my spare time I practise creative writing and wondering how on earth other women manage to do all they do. I joined the WI to become inspired. I have been inspired but I still can’t arrange flowers and my second career as a scarf juggler is yet to take off.