When Chideock WI was first formed it encouraged women to become more involved in producing food to feed their families and taught them new skills. During meetings members entertained each other with poetry readings, singalongs and dancing. 100 years on we still teach our members new skills but we have a far wider range of speakers and entertainers and we have a number of special interest groups who meet between meetings.
Chideock WI draws its members from the parish of Chideock as well as surrounding villages such as Ryall, Morecombelake, Whitchurch Canonicorum, Charmouth, Eype and Bridport.
We meet monthly on the first Tuesday at 2.00 pm in Chideock Village Hall. Meetings usually take the form of a speaker, followed by tea served by two members and then WI business. At the meeting we will also have a competition for the Flower of the Month when members vote for the favourite flower brought in by members. They do this by putting small coins beside each flower and the winner is the flower with the most coins (not the highest value) and all the money goes towards an annual donation to the Associated Country Women of the World 'Pennies for Friendship' project. We also have a raffle run by a member and a competition which is usually relevant to our speaker's theme. Most months we will have a Trading Stall where people can bring produce, sewing, spare books, etc. to be sold to members.
In July a member will organise the meeting which often takes the form of a cream tea somewhere interesting such as Forde Abbey or a local open garden. Later in the summer we join with partners for a summer dinner, taking a coach to a hotel or restaurant out of our area. Early in December we visit Exeter, Sherborne or Wells for shopping and to attend a WI Carol Concert and later in December we gather together for a Christmas lunch in a local restaurant.
In between meetings we have a number of interest groups who meet separately. Members are free to join all of these groups or just those that are of interest to them. Please see our section on Groups.
A number of events are held during the year to raise funds for local causes. We hold a Christmas Fayre, an Easter Bake Sale and often an evening entertainment with a meal. Over the years we have been able to donate towards a defibrillator for Chideock, chairs and tables in the Village Hall, benches in the cemetery and playground and money to Chideock News and Cupboard Love, our local foodbank.
The membership subscription for Chideock WI is £43.00 per year, payable in April (from 2021). If you join later in the year you pay pro-rata. Part of this is retained by Chideock WI with a proportion going to Dorset Federation of Womens' Institutes and National Federation of Womens' Institutes.
We welcome new members from Chideock and surrounding villages.
Make contact and we will ensure that you are given a warm welcome.