New WI group set for town to meet demand

Members of Harrogate's Spa Sweethearts Women's Institute celebrating the group's 100th anniversary last year.
Members of Harrogate's Spa Sweethearts Women's Institute celebrating the group's 100th anniversary last year.

A new Women’s Institute (WI) is set to be established in Harrogate after a surge in popularity has led to the town’s existing groups becoming oversubscribed.

The WI became increasingly popular among young women during the organisation’s centenary year in 2015, so local members have decided to set up a new group to meet the growing demand.

Bex Hartley, who founded Spa Sweethearts WI in Harrogate 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.”

Members of Spa Sweethearts will help the new WI to set up a varied programme for its first year, with activities including everything from wine tasting to belly dancing. An initial meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 27 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 interested in joining the committee to help establish the new WI should email spasweetheartswi@hotmail.co.uk. The WI is open to all women aged 18 or over, and annual membership is £37.50.