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New WI to launch in Harrogate

A new Women’s Institute is set to be established in Harrogate following the growing popularity of the organisation among the town’s young women.

After other groups became over-subscribed during the WI’s centenary year in 2015, they decided to set up a new group to enable even more local women to join the organisation.


Bex Hartley, who founded Spa Sweethearts WI in 2011, said:

In the four years since we set up Spa Sweethearts, it has become increasingly popular, and in the centenary year we reached more than 100 members.

Although we initially opened the group to cater for younger women, our membership covers all ages from early 20s to ladies in their 70s, but they all want to try new things, learn new skills and meet new people. We’re now at full capacity, so it’s time for a new WI to be formed to allow more people to become members and see what the WI can offer in 2016.

In our first four years, we’ve tried all kinds of activities including wine tasting, belly dancing, archery and photography, and we will be helping the new WI to set up a similarly varied programme for its first year too. As a WI member, you are not only part of your own group but also in a large national organisation with a strong history of campaigning for social justice and equality.


An initial meeting will be held on Wednesday, 27 January 2015 at 7.30pm at the Elim Pentecostal Church in Park View, Harrogate. If the women present agree to establish the new group, it will meet once a month from then onwards.




No booking is required, but anyone who would be interested in joining the committee to help establish the new WI should email

The WI is open to all women aged 18 or over, and annual membership for 2016 is £37.50.


  • The North Yorkshire West Federation of Women’s Institutes (NYWFI) is based at Alma House in Ripon, North Yorkshire. For more information, visit
  • The Women’s Institute first arrived in the UK in 1915 and celebrated its centenary with a series of events in 2015. For details, visit
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