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Meet your new Chair of Trustees


I hope you all enjoyed the Spring Council Meeting back in March at Winchester Guildhall and online, it was as always lovely to see so many friendly faces and catch up with you all. It was a brilliant day with a fascinating speaker on life back-stage and running a theatre production, followed by an insight into the world of Strictly outfits with some members providing a catwalk in some very sparkly outfits. We always like to hear from you, so let us know what you thought of the venue, online format, speakers, even the official section with our presentation of the Annual Report and Accounts!

Thank you for all the kind comments and feedback on my Treasurer’s presentation. Having been Federation Treasurer for a year I can say, yes there were challenges and things I needed to learn, but it really was not as daunting as I expected. I know many WIs struggle to find officers, in particular the Treasurer, so I really hope my experience encourages some of you to take on the role for your WI. Remember help is always on hand, just ask!

That’s the past, now for the future. As you may have gathered, I have been elected as your new Chair for the coming year. I have big shoes to fill with Helen’s departure after three years but I will do my best. I thought this would be a good time to tell you a bit about me.

I’ve been a WI member for 13 years, and a trustee for 6 years. I have three boys (who will never forgive me for committing them to print in a WI magazine), work as a civil servant in maritime but still find time to enjoy yoga, sewing and running. I’m quite happy to chat (or rant) about current favourite subjects: menopause, women’s rugby, and ultramarathon runners! Many of you will have seen me at the New Forest and Hampshire Show in the WI Tent or speaking about my role in Autonomous Shipping (think remote-control boats in the local park just bigger!). Talking of the New Forest Show don’t forget to get your entries in via your WI, the schedule this year is A Day at the Beach. I’m sure the tent will look amazing; I know I’m hoping for a sandpit!

Being a WI member has given me lots of opportunities to do the things I love, and this time last year I was invited to join the NFWI and other WI members as a flag bearer at Twickenham for the Women’s Six Nations England v France. I hope some of you enjoyed the Women’s Six Nations this year. I managed to get tickets to see England v Ireland, live rugby is always a good day out.  As a Federation we will look to arrange some outings to matches during the Women’s Rugby World Cup next year as part of the WI partnership with England Rugby. If you’d be interested in working with our events team on this let us know.

As I write this I’ve only been in the role a matter of weeks, its already been busy. I joined our WI Advisers at an interest meeting for a WI at Rowan’s Hospice in Waterlooville. Hopefully by the time you read this a new WI will be up and running. Although I work and have a busy family life, I want to visit as many of you as possible, and we have a Board of 14 trustees so you will see some of them even if I’m not able to attend.

Good luck with all the WI birthday parties and celebrations. I hope you have a lovely May, and I look forward to reading about what your WI has been up to.

Katrina Kemp