- Can I visit a meeting before joining?
Yes, you can visit us as a guest up to three times. We meet the second Thursday of every month at 7.30-9.30pm in Cliffs on Northdown Road (some meetings are held at an alternative venue – check our calendar for more information). Entry fee is £3 for your third. Please contact us to reserve your place.
- What happens at your meetings?
Meetings begin with the President’s welcome and any news updates the Secretary may have. Typically, social time will follow where you can get a drink from the bar (tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, prosecco and snacks are all available to purchase – card/cash accepted). We will then have our main event which will either be a speaker talking about subjects such as local history, mental health, foraging, nautical fashion, cooking or an author or an activity. Previously we have enjoyed Vogue-Chi, life drawing, hula hooping, singing, ballet, wine/beer/food tasting, crafting and fashion upcycling. The meeting will then come to a close with a final address from the President.
- Besides the monthly meetings, what else do you do?
We regularly get involved with local projects and events such as POW! Thanet Festival, Margate Pride, Cliftonville Games, beach cleans and any other opportunities that may come our way. Each year, we host a Christmas Fayre at Dreamland Margate for local artists and makers to sell their wares. We also have a range of sub-groups. More details can be found on our Sub-groups page.
- What are your members like?
Our members range from 18 to 80 years old and are artists, students, teachers, professionals, creators and makers, retired, photographers, mothers… a whole spectrum of jobs and interests. We all, however, share a common goal and want to meet other inspiring women, support each other and our community and learn something new whether it’s a skill or about ourselves.
- Can I bring a family member to a meeting?
Mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts and cousins etc. Everyone’s welcome as long as they are over 18 and self-identify as female. Unfortunately we unable to accommodate anyone under 18 years, this includes babies in arms.
- Can men join/visit?
No, the Women’s Institute is only for women. Anyone self-identifying as female is very welcome to attend our monthly meetings and join as members. We do, however, have male speakers/activity leaders visit us.
- Do I have to be crafty or know how to knit/sew/crochet/bake/make jam to join?
Absolutely not! Some of our members enjoy crafting and making, some don’t, and some really want to learn how! There is no requirement, though.
- How do you pick your speakers/how can I become a speaker?
Each year our Committee plan the upcoming year’s calendar using feedback and requests the members have given previously. If you would like be a speaker or have an idea for a meeting, please Contact Us with your suggestions.
- What level of commitment and involvement do you expect from members?
Institutes thrive when every member takes full advantage of their membership. This involves attending the 12 monthly meetings, taking part in trips, joining in committees or sub-groups, taking part in local events we’re involved with and encouraging friends and family to join too!
We understand our members lead busy lives so can’t get involved with every aspect of our institute, but even just offering feedback, contributing ideas, buying a raffle ticket at our meetings or helping clear up at the end of the night plays a big part in the success of our WI. So although nothing is expected it really is a case of ‘you get out what you put in’, so make the most of it!
- How do I join the committee?
Every November we hold our Annual General Meeting. This is when our members can put themselves forward to join the committee. You may wish to take one of the main roles (President, Secretary or Treasurer) which are required in order to operate as an institute, or a more general role.
If you’d be interested in joining, speak to a member of the current committee for more details.
- Are you a political organisation?
The National Federation of Women’s Institutes, as well as the Margate WI, are non-party political. We are, however, sometimes involved in political campaigns.
- Are you a religious organisation?
The National Federation of Women’s Institutes, as well as the Margate WI, are a non-sectarian organisation. People of all faiths are welcome.