East Sussex Federation

Lady Denman celebrated with Blue Plaque

East Sussex County Chair, Gill Nokes, accompanied by two past Chairs, Shirley Kirby and Kathryn Hutson, and fourteen other East Sussex Federation members joined members of West Sussex Federation to celebrate the life of Lady Gertrude Denman with the inauguration of a blue plaque. The plaque was placed on the side of the Victory Hall, Balcombe and commemorated Lady Denman’s hard work in the Women’s Institute of which she was a founder member and the first elected Chairman of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes. It was unveiled by the current National Federation Chair, Lynn Stubbings.


Gill NokesEast Sussex Federation of Women’s Institutes (ESFWI) was formed in 1919 having originally been part of the Sussex Federation which was the first to be created in the country in 1917 – just slightly earlier than the National Federation.

Today we have 101 WIs across the County in both towns and villages. They each have a regular monthly meeting and many WIs have interest clubs and other activities in between. One thing is certain, wherever you live in East Sussex you are not too far from a WI.

Each WI has its own character, activities etc. and we encourage prospective members to visit several to make sure they find the one that suits them. Many of our members enjoy the WI so much that they belong to two WIs.  As a member in East Sussex you will also have access to the wide range of activities, workshops and outings arranged by ESFWI.

Our friendly office staff are happy to give information about local WIs for you to visit. In the unlikely event of you not finding a WI to suit you (wrong day or time) then why not gather a few like-minded friends, contact Hailsham HQ and we’ll talk about starting a brand new WI.

Come and join us!

Gill Nokes
County Chairman, ESFWI

Green Hearts update

These are some of the green hearts made by members who came to Hailsham to take part in the Drop In days making Green Hearts as part of the Climate Change campaign. Everyone made two or three hearts from the amazing stash of free materials supplied by members of WIST (WI Advisers) to take back and inspire their own WIs.