The WI movement began at Stoney Creek, Canada in 1897, when Adelaide Hoodless addressed a meeting of the wives of the members of the Farmers’ Institute and then started classes in home economics for local women.
The first British WI meeting took place in 1915 at Llanfairpwll, Anglesey, Wales, and was originally set up to revitalise rural communities and to encourage woment to become more involved in producing food during the First World War.
Ever since, the WI has offered women opportunities for friendship and learning, and is actively involved in social, environmental and consumer issues of the day. It is a registered charity for women which has moved with the times to enable the development of individual skills and talents. The WI also has its own college of Adult Education, Denman College, near Oxford.
The WI is non-sectarian, non-party political and is the largest women’s organisation in Britain.
Teesside Federation of WIs was formed in 1983, initially as the Cleveland Federation but renamed in 1997 after local fovernment re-organisation.
Hartburn Village WI
Hartburn Afternoon WI
Long Newton WI
Newsham and Aislaby WI
The WI also supports Associated Countrywomen of the World (ACWW) as the largest international organisation for rural women, offering mutual support, friendship and practical help to its members. The organisation has a membership of nin million through 365 member societies in over 70 countries. All societies work together to raise the standard of living for rural women through education, training and community development programmes, providing practical support especially in establishing income generating schemes, and to give rural women a voice at international level through its links with the UN. All WI members are automatically members of the ACWW.