East Sussex Federation

New WI in Hailsham – Hailsham Earlybirds WI

We are pleased to announce the opening of a new WI, Hailsham Earlybirds WI. They meet on the 1st Monday of the month at 10.30am at the Hailsham Club, 43 Vicarage Field, Hailsham BN27 1BG.

Please do come along and join in the fun.

WI Stationery Orders

NFWI have changed their stationery supplier and it can now be ordered online by individual WIs.  As a result of this change the prices have increased but do include postage costs. We will still carry a small amount of stationery for those who don’t want to order online but we will still have to add additional postage costs unless the items are collected in person.

This is the link to order stationery direct from the WI Shop:


Please note that they are unable to accept orders over the telephone or via post.

An updated copy of the stationery form for those who still wish to order through HQ can be downloaded here:

Stationery order form 2021

Improving our ESFWI systems

This note explains more about Eventbrite, the on-line events booking system we are now using, and another new system we intend to introduce shortly – Mailchimp. It explains why we why we are choosing to use these platforms, and the benefits for you and for us. The note was sent by email to all WI secretaries recently, but we think it is so important we decided to put it in the News as well.

This well-used and secure on-line booking system enables you to sign up for an event, make a payment, and get confirmation sent to you instantly. It gives you all the information you will need about the event, where/how it will be held, including a map to find the venue, timings, and special requirements etc. If an event is over-subscribed, we can ask the system to put a certain number on a waiting list and notify you if a place becomes available, or it will tell you that the event is fully booked. Nearer the time of the event, Eventbrite will you a reminder, any special instructions or even your Zoom link. If an event has to be cancelled, the system will notify you and refund your payment.

How does this benefit you?
It takes away delay and uncertainty. You know straight away if you have got a place for an event, and your payment is processed immediately. You can be confident that you will have all the
information you need to attend and enjoy the event. If an event is cancelled, you will be refunded instantly.

How does this benefit us?
It saves office staff time. It saves paper, postage, the need for cheque processing etc. It gives us the tools to manage demand for our events, and collate information on attendees.

What does using Eventbrite require you to do?
Ideally, you need to be comfortable making your own event bookings on-line. If you are not online, you can ask someone else in your WI to book a place for you, or if you are really stuck, you can contact the ESFWI office and they can make a booking for you.

This is another well-used system, enabling large numbers of email recipients to be contacted directly and securely. Currently, all information from ESFWI, and the monthly News, is sent out via Secretaries. We know that this is a substantial work burden, and we also know that, for example, member’s access to events depends on secretaries distributing material to members promptly.
While, for the time being, we intend to continue the normal monthly posting process, we plan to supplement this with a regular monthly Mailchimp message to all members who have an email registered on MCS. This message will contain details of upcoming Federation events as well as brief information on issues that all members need to know about. The monthly News will also be attached to this.

We know that Mailchimp works successfully for our members due to the great work already done via the Crafts and Arts monthly mailings. We can already see that C&A mailing recipients are more likely to know about events etc.

An important point – if individuals do not want to receive Mailchimp emails, they don’t have to. They can easily unsubscribe.

How does this benefit you?
More, direct, timely communication. Secretaries can have confidence that all their members who are on email have access to Federation information, and will have more time to focus on those
members who are not on-line.

How does this benefit us?
We can have more confidence that the maximum number of our members are receiving highquality communication.

What does Mailchimp require you to do?

Nothing, provided we have an accurate Email address for you registered on MCS.

New Virtual WI – Blooming Zoomers WI

Meet the Blooming Zoomers, your Virtual WI for a digital world. This fledgling branch of ESFWI was formed in April 2021 and offers all the benefits of WI membership, including the right to vote on resolutions, take part in national campaigns and join courses, workshops and events. We meet on the fourth Monday of the month at 7 30 pm via Zoom.  With no need to travel, particularly on dark, cold winter nights, you can sit in the comfort of your own home with your favourite tipple to hand, make new friends and be among the first to enjoy a different WI experience.  If you are keen to join the WI but are unable to attend regular meetings because of work or other commitments, someone whose membership has lapsed or perhaps want a different view of the WI, the Blooming Zoomers could be for you.


Our programme for the next few months is now almost complete, with the option of Breakout groups and sub-groups to come. Starting with July we are having a talk on the Beachy Head Heritage Project, in August we are virtually travelling with Peta and her Quirky Car, in September we hope to have a talk on climate change, while in October we have our own crafty session, making ‘roses’ with Felicity Jennings.  We will hold our first Annual Meeting in November followed by “Would I lie to you?”  December is tba but our plans for our new year meeting are well under way. Nothing like getting ahead!


We also have our occasional, popular ‘Another Booming Quiz’ evenings.  All this and more available to you at a click of a button, a veritable portable WI.  Visitors are always welcome so why not give the Blooming Zoomers WI a try and help us to spread the word so that we can Zoom, Bloom and Grow! You can find us on Facebook and if you are interested please contact: bloomingzoomerswi@gmail.com.

Looking for new Independent Financial Examiners

Every year, in return for a small remuneration, our specially trained Independent Financial Examiners (IFEs) help to examine our WIs’ Year End accounts ready to sign them off in accordance with Charity Law.

ESFWI are always looking for new Independent Examiners.  We provide a free one day training session at Hailsham HQ which is interesting and not too formal.

It is not essential to be, or have been, a WI Treasurer to undertake this role, all we ask if that you have a good head for figures!

If you would like to know more, or to register your interest for the training, please contact Judy Buckle at HQ on 01323 442592 or by email hq@esfwi.org.uk

We look forward to hearing from you!