A group of mums say they are ditching “jam and Jerusalem” to set up a Women’s Institute branch for a younger generation.
Friends Niamh McEnery, 38, Lynne Fearn, 38, and Kay Dcruz, 35, decided they wanted to set up a regular group for women in Pinner where they could meet friends and learn new skills away from their young children.
And despite the old-fashioned image of the Women’s Institute, they said that their project to bring the 97-year-old organisation into the 21st Century had been more successful than they imagined, with 138 people liking their Facebook page.
Ms McEnery said: “We’re not going to be singing Jerusalem or stripping off and doing calendars – but there’s a wave of young women who have moved to Pinner wanting this kind of friendship group.
“When we first started telling friends what we were planning they thought we were mad but now they’re wanting to get into it – we’ve created a lot of hype about the place.
“Yes, the WI has got this old image of jam and Jerusalem but it’s becoming a lot younger and there are groups like this forming across the country, and we wanted to be part of it.”
The trio, who each have two children under five, have been working to set up their branch – named HAWI to encourage people from Harrow postcodes to join – for six months and will hold a launch party at The Pinner Arms in Whittington Way on October 1.
Quirky events lined up include a class on the science of flirting, tips on blogging and guerrilla gardening – which involves sprucing up abandoned land.
Ms Fearn said: “The three of us are very excited about the launch of HAWI. It doesn't matter what age you are or what you are interested in, there's likely to be something on offer for you.
“The response has been overwhelming – we have over 130 members on our Facebook page and this is increasing daily.”