About Ash WI

Ash-with-Westmarsh Women’s Institute   

History of Ash-with-Westmarsh                                                           

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Ash WI was formed in February 1946 in the aftermath of World War II when both food & clothing plus other staples were still rationed, and life was generally rather grim. Horizons for rural based women were limited and there was NO TELEVISION for entertainment! So they made their own with country dancing, short plays and singing, as well as learning new skills and widening their horizons with interesting speakers at the monthly meeting. Over the past 73 years, Ash WI has become fully embedded in village life, as well as looking at the bigger national picture by getting involved when possible with campaigns run by the National Federation of WIs – every little helps!

Over those 73 years many newcomers to our village have turned up to a meeting and joined in order to “get to know people” - some stay, some move on - but all say if one needs support and friendship, you will find it at the WI.

The Monthly Meeting

Ash WI meets on the second Thursday of every month at Ash Village Hall, Queens Road, Ash, Canterbury, CT3 2BG starting at 7.30. pm. Each month we have a different speaker or demonstrator on a wide range of subjects, which hopefully leave us all better educated on current/up-to-date happenings, and then a short business meeting. This is followed by our social time with tea or coffee and a great deal of chat; we also organise all our other activities during the forthcoming month until we meet again. And we finish off the evening with the famous WI raffle.

Programme for 2020  Click to go to our programme page

Extra Events Click to go to our Events page

Additional Activities

The Craft Group meets monthly to work on specific projects to a very high standard.

Monthly Walking Group – mostly using the local footpaths in Ash and further afield with a pit stop for coffee.

Monthly Scrabble Group who enjoy endless games of spelling esoteric words!

We organise occasional pub lunches and theatre trips.

We get involved with local community events whenever possible eg supporting Deal Area Foodbank collection, our local East Kent Pilgrims Hospices, & Ash Parish Council litter picks.

We support Associated Country Women of the World by raising money to help women in third world countries to start up small businesses to support and feed their children.

Campaigns both local & national


In the past Ash WI has been involved locally with the campaign to get the Ash Bypass and more recently, to prevent Kent CC closing our small but well used branch Library sited at Ash Village Hall.

Every year, members discuss and vote on resolutions to go forward to the Annual National Meeting where every WI in England and Wales gets a vote, and if passed, the National Federation takes the campaign forward on our behalf. In 2019 we discussed and voted on “The decline in rural bus services” and “Don't fear the smear” concerning the lack of uptake amongst younger women of the cervical cancer smear test.

Contacting Ash WI

email:      ashwithwestmarshwi@gmail.com                                     or the Federation Office:

or come along to a monthly meeting and make yourself known to the Hostess for the evening.

You will be most welcome and your first visit is quite free.

or search on Facebook for "WI Ash"

If you do decide to join us, the annual subscription for 2019 was £42 - this gives you access to numerous events organised by the East Kent Federation of WIs throughout the year, in addition to Ash WI's local doings. You would also receive a monthly copy of WI Life, published by the National Federation of WIs, packed full of interesting information on the progress of current campaigns, what other WIs are involved in, crafts, cookery, gardening and special WI offers on travel/cruises. There would also be opportunities to take up a course at the NFWI's Adult Education College – Denman in Abingdon, Oxfordshire which offers a wide range of learning opportunities with subjects ranging from baking, crochet, public speaking and historical walks to computing, world street food, silver jewellery and T'ai Chi. www.thewi.org.uk/about-the-wi/denman

There is a new WI Training area within MyWI

Here you can find short courses, accredited course materials and portfolios as well as areas for federation and NFWI roles.

Mission statement - The WI inspiring women

The ideals of the Women's Institute of truth, justice, tolerance and fellowship are as strong and important now in the 21st century as they were at the birth of the WI in 1915. The WI is the largest voluntary women's organisation in the UK. It exists to educate women to enable them to provide an effective role in the community, to expand their horizons and to develop and pass on important skills.

The WI campaigns on a wide range of social and environmental justice issues concerning women both at home and abroad. Ending violence against women, environmental sustainability and food and farming are some of the issues on the WI's campaign agenda.

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