LAURA CARTLEDGE Life’s Like That...I’m ready for jam and Jerusalem with WI: The Next Generation

What do you think of when I say WI?

Making jam and singing Jerusalem are probably two things which pop to mind. Along with bunting, village fêtes, fund-raising and a few more jars of jam.

Okay, it might have a slightly old fashioned and dusty image from the outside. It’s a British institution – and that just adds to the appeal.

But as the WI has always seemed to be for the older generation I’ve looked on from afar – impatiently waiting for my outside to catch up with my inner OAP so I can join in the fun.

Making things and meeting people are two of my favourite things.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I heard a new generation of WI was coming to a village near me – much to the amusement of my workmates and friends.

The first meeting saw 164 people turn up. Which was amazing, if not a bit squashed.

However with so many people it was hard to take votes and form committees, which the WI requires, so the decision was made that we would continue as a social craft group.

And Monday just gone was the first proper class.

Leaving my granddad at home watching Britain’s Got Talent, my sister and I went along to find out more.

It was brilliant. The two hours flew by as we made recycled flowers from fabric scraps and paper.

Bonding over comparing creations and admiring each others button collections – I felt like I had found my home.

Surrounded by like minded people and sharing the simple pleasure that comes from making things.

Granted my petals were a bit wonky, the fabric a bit fat and my scissors nowhere near sharp enough.

But if you squint the end result of my labours certainly resembled a slightly bedraggled but beautiful bloom.

All I can say is – bring on the jam.

laura.cartledge@jpress.co.uk