New Women`s Institute to spread wine drinking and knitting across Croydon


THREE young mums are hoping to provide an “outlet for women in the community” by setting up a Croydon branch of the Women’s Institute (WI).

Amy Le Pelley, Florence Hallett and Abi Lynn, in their mid-thirties, say the institute is no longer seen as “jam and Jerusalem” and is having a revival.

Amy, the group’s president, said: “The three of us have young children and although we value the support and friendship we get from the vast number of parenting groups in Croydon, especially Croydon NCT, we felt we wanted something that was about us.

“Somewhere we could meet once a month and have a little ‘me time’.”

Set up in 1915, the WI now comprises 6,600 groups across the UK, but there is currently no central Croydon branch.

Ms Le Pelley added: “Some people envisage the Women’s Institute as being all about Jam and Jerusalem, its members being mainly older women and that they are mainly set up in rural communities.

“However, this is no longer the case.

“It is enjoying a revival, with membership increasing by a quarter in the past three years.

“More women are interested in learning skills such as crafting and baking thanks to television shows such as The Great British Bake Off and Kirstie’s Handmade Britain.”


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