Every May we hold an AGM, which is an important process in the WI calendar. Every WI is overseen by the National Federation of WI (NFWI) and regional federation (Manchester WI is overseen by Lancashire), and we have to adhere to a few processes to remain affiliated. The AGM is also a chance for members to vote on national WI resolutions, which are campaigns that the WI as a whole takes on, and as well as on our president and which charity we will support for the year. There was plenty of cake, tea and prosecco at the meeting as well to help keep everyone occupied!
Current President Shelley gave an update on our finances. We keep a proportion of the membership fees, with the rest going to NFWI and Lancashire Federation. She explained how most of our income is spent on room hire, and how membership fees are vital in order to keep Manchester WI running.
We voted for our charity to support next year and we are pleased to announce in 2019-2020 we will be supporting Wood Street Mission, who help children living in poverty in Manchester and Salford. All our raffle money through the year goes towards our charity. Our charity last year was The Pankhurst Centre/Manchester Women's Aid, and we presented them with a cheque at the meeting and they updated us on how the money raised will help the vital work they do to assist women fleeing domestic abuse.
Next held the all important vote for our new President and are very excited that Sophie Gordon is President for 2019-2020. Well done Sophie!
Finally, our bursary winners were announced. Throughout the year we've raised funds from selling merchandise and our collaboration with Runaway brewery to offer our members the chance of applying for a bursary. This money can be used to fund a course to learn anything! The WI traditionally provides women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, so this is one way Manchester WI contributes to our members' learning.
After 7 happy years meeting in the wonderful Baronial Hall at Chethams, we are going to need to find a new home. From September we'll meet in a new venue and we need to figure out where that will be. We have visited a number of city centre venues and will announce the new venue soon at the June meeting and on the mailing list so keep your eyes peeled!