New skills / new friends at West Hampstead WI

I bet lots of you didn’t even know there WAS a WI in West Hampstead. But there is, and it’s thriving, and here’s Emma to tell you all about it:

How did you start your new year? I like to get out and do something a bit different in January, while still watching the pennies. So I was lucky that after a short stomp through the cold to Brioche at the beginning of the month, I got to spend a brilliant evening learning about puppetry. Watching a professional puppeteer demonstrate her exceptional talents for engaging an audience through this fun art form, I then began learning how to bring my own hand puppet to life. Plus there was time to meet new people from around West Hampstead and catch up on the local gossip with friends. This is why I love being part of my local WI.

The West Hampstead Women’s Institute recently celebrated its first anniversary, and we are looking for new members to join us.

The puppeteer at our January meeting was Ruth Walters of Curly Ru Puppets and she is typical of the diverse range of topics that make up our monthly meetings; all of which aim to entertain and inform our members and are a great way to make new friends.

What is the Women’s Institute?
The Women’s Institute is a national organisation and charity with branches across the country. It plays a unique role in providing women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities.

During the past year the West Hampstead WI has organised talks and Q&A sessions with local stage and film actors (such as Imelda Staunton and Jim Carter), readings and discussions with local authors, guided London walks, pub style quizzes, raffles, singing lessons and craft workshops.

We meet on the first Thursday of the month at 7.30pm for a variety of talks, workshops and social events. These official monthly meetings are free for members, or you can join us as a guest for £3 up to three times.
We also meet during the month on a Wednesday morning at 10am for an informal coffee morning. There is no entrance fee for these morning meetings.

Our next meeting is on Thursday 7 February at 7.30pm and will be a hands on meeting about portraiture with artist and sculptor Barbara Beyer. Come and join our growing network!

All meetings, unless otherwise advertised take place in the Brioche cafe on West End Lane.

Membership: £33 for the year, and you can sign up at one of our meetings.

Upcoming events

  • February 7th – Barabara Beyer, artist and sculptor, will lead us through the details of portraiture – a hands on meeting
  • March 7th – Liz Astor will talk about the challenges of being a parent of a child with autism and preparing that child to enter the adult world.
  • April 4th – A social evening. Last year’s social evening was a real success, so we hope to have some more of that buzz
  • May 2nd – Senior midwife Jude Bayley, will talk about the state of midwifery today. Very topical as this year’s WI resolution is about supporting the recruitment of more midwives.
  • June 6th: An evening with local West Hampstead organisations including West Hampstead Life – A chance to find out what is going on around us.

Contact Details
Email us: and join our mailing list
Find us on Facebook:
Follow us on Twitter: @WestHampsteadWI
Check out the Women’s Institute Website:

We look forward to meeting you at one of our events!

Vicky, Jane, Dilys, Sue and Emma
The West Hampstead WI committee.