Club news: Hornchurch Harmonies Women’s Institute more than jam and cake
PUBLISHED: 10:00 21 May 2017
The Women’s Institute has been around for more than 100 years but it still struggles to shake off the image that it is all about jam and cake.
This is not the case, however, according to the Hornchurch Harmonies Women’s Institute communications secretary Glenda Edwards, who is calling for more members to join.
The group is made up of 35 women aged in their 20s to 70s.
“It’s not all jam and cakes as people think,” said Glenda. “The Women’s Institute is very modern these days.
“We educate ourselves and have lots of speakers about various things. This month we had one about hypnotherapy.
“We also have a craft club and book club.
“It’s just a way of meeting people, building friendships and having fun and inspiring each other.”
While the group participates in a number of social activities, another core value is campaigning.
“Equally the Women’s Institute is about campaigning about things they believe strongly in,” said Glenda.
“This year it’s the women’s refuge. We are going to have a meeting with them to see how we can help in any small way we can and to raise awareness – it’s not just women there’s men as well who have suffered from domestic abuse.”
For Glenda, joining Hornchurch Harmonies has introduced her to several activities, issues and even people that she wouldn’t have come across on her own.
“I joined because I wanted to get out more because I’ve been ill, and I wanted to meet people. It was somewhere to go where I knew I would be in a safe environment.
“I’ve met lots of other Women’s Institute ladies from all over the country and I have done burlesque and theatre which I never thought I would try on my own.
“Even the campaigns they raise awareness of – I wouldn’t have thought or known about them that much beforehand.”
The group meets every third Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm at Havering Indoor Bowls Club, Harrow Lodge Park and costs £3.50 for visitors. Annual membership is £39. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.