The News page is now split into current updates during the Covid19 situation, the Monthly Flier, and a 'pick' of WI News.  
To skip to the start of each section please click on the appropriate link below :

Important News
Chairman's Coronavirus Update 
Current updates during Covid19 situation
Monthly Flier Information
A 'pick' from WI News



Your Comms Team and Events Team continue to work hard for you, even during these unprecedented times, and two Zoom events have now been organised.

A new page, Zoom Information, has been set up on which there is a link to a Zoom Events page that gives all courses currently planned, and also a link to a Zoom Instructions document.

Zoom events will be shown on the Events page and will also be advertised in our monthly WI News so keep an eye open.

Please support these Zoom events.  The Events Team strive to find ways to bring us courses and events during
these difficult times and a Zoom event must be better than nothing at all; we can still benefit, albeit not physically together.


The NFWI have issued the following :

The NFWI has been very concerned about the disruption this lockdown period has had on WI meetings and activities and your membership experience this year. We recently held consultations with all federations to discuss ways in which we can acknowledge this in our membership subscription this year.
We are delighted to share with you that as a result we are offering a three month extension to this year’s membership subscription. The next renewal date for membership subscriptions will therefore be 1st April 2021. In addition, from this point onwards, membership renewals will always be in April. This is to acknowledge the feedback many of you shared with us during the recent Strategic Vision consultation about the challenges of the January payment date and how you wished to see this changed in the future.
We have added full FAQs to My WI to help you understand a bit more about the process and how this will impact WIs. The FAQs can be found here:
We know that many WIs have responded creatively to the practical challenges posed by lockdown and we continue to be inspired by the activities being delivered to ensure members remain connected during this difficult time. However, we do appreciate that this period has meant that many members have experienced disruption to their WI experience and therefore we hope the additional three months will provide some compensation to acknowledge the disruption.
We are aiming to ensure that this message reaches all members as soon as possible. As well as the formal notification to federations and this announcement on social media, there is a memo in the July WI Life magazine and a letter in the July WI mailing. We hope that by ensuring the message is consistent across all our channels of communications, it will reach all members; but please do ensure you share the news with all the members in your WI too.

The latest statement from Jenny Preston, Federation Chairman, is below and the website is being kept as up to date as possible.  The Comms Team are doing a sterling job in keeping us informed, and posting useful information on Facebook
so do keep an eye on the Dorset Federation of Women's Institutes Facebook page.


What a strange year this is turning out to be.

Since I wrote my last article for the website we have all observed the guidelines of staying at home and are now adhering to the lifting of restrictions, albeit tentatively for many of us. With further restrictions being lifted this weekend let’s hope common sense will prevail so we can avoid a further lockdown.

It’s sad we are unable to attend our usual meetings but WIs are ever resourceful and are finding many ways of keeping in touch.  Zoom meetings hadn’t been heard of for many of us until lockdown but in a relatively short space of time have become part of everyday life.  It always amuses me at the end of a Zoom meeting when at least one person can be heard to say “now how do I turn this off?”.

Although Denman is to remain closed until further notice there is a good selection of online courses, at very little cost, which have proved to be both popular and successful.  Full details are available on the Denman website, and our Dorset Federation Deman weekend details are now available.  Whilst we are unable to take bookings at the moment, Marilyn Holehouse, our Denman Ambassador,  has set up a ‘save a place’ facility for those who have already chosen the course they wish to do.

We are lucky to have Isabell van Millingen as our new News Editor.  Isabell has taken over from Liz Beeson who edited our magazine for many years.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank Liz for all her hard work and I know she is delighted to hand over to Isabell who has done a stirling job in producing our magazine digitally which, together with this website, our Facebook page and the fliers sent to your WI Secretary by Diane Towndrow, our Federation Secretary, is keeping everyone informed.

I’m sure you were all pleased with the news that our subscription for this year has been extended for 3 months, and that subscriptions for 2021 and subsequent years will be due in April.  I know many members up and down the country have been asking for April for some time so I hope this will be a welcome decision.

I hope we will be able to meet again safely before too long and I look forward to that day.

In the mean time, take care and stay safe.

My very best wishes


Jenny Preston
Federation Chairman

Please note that NFWI continue to post the latest pandemic guidance, etc on their website so if in doubt take a look.

Similarly, DFWI continues to update members on various issues during these unprecedented times and following is a statement issued by email to WIs on 15 September 2020 :

Following a query regarding a reduction in subscriptions the Board of Trustees have agreed the following statement :

It has been pointed out that some other charities such as English Heritage and National Trust have offered a membership extension with an 'opt out' scheme.  However, these charities, because of their charitable status, adhere to different charity rules.

In line with our constitution every WI member must pay an equal subscription fee  There has to be consistent rule for all as it would not be fair for some members to be offered a lower rate.

The subscription rate is set by the NFWI in consultation with the National Council.  If changes are made to the subscription they must be applied to all members in all WIs equally.


Please see Events page and November issue of WI News for full details.

DORSET WI NEWS   -   November issue now available on

Check out Flier Number 8 for further information.  This should now be with your WI Secretary.

but do read the November edition for full details and information

After many years on the Board of Trustees Tess Burt has decided the time has come for her to retire as a Trustee.  She does, however, remain on the Events Committee and hopes there will be an opportunity in the future to run some craft workshops for members.

Also retiring is Liz Beeson, who was editor of WI News and a member of the Events Committee for many years.

As with all retirees from these volunteer posts we wish Tess and Liz well and it is hoped that some younger members can be encouraged to join the wonderful team at County level.

A "plug" from Jenny Preston, our County Chairman, concerning MyWI :
"MyWI is an online facility and we each have a unique password which enables us to access it   -   your MCS representative will be able to help if you've forgotten yours (or never knew you had one!).  MyWI contains lots of information about all sorts of areas of life as a WI member.  Give it a go   -   you may just be surprised at what you find."

To read Jenny's full "piece" please see page 2.

The 2020 / 21 shortlist is now out there is a Zoom meeting organised to discuss them prior to decision making.  See the Events page or WI News to read more.

"Nobody can predict when we might be able to meet again in our usual venues and like everyone else we await further guidance with interest.  However, we hope that as many of you as possible will continue to try to stay in touch by whatever means you can."

To read the full piece please see page 4 of WI News.

This aspect of the WI has been missing recently from our Federation but Esme Isaacs has volunteered to head a new committee, and she is looking for others to join her.  How about you?  If you might be interested please contact Esme at