New WI branch for Black Country - with video

By Luke Bartlett | Latest videos | Published:

For its members it offers a chance to socialise and try something new. But for its president the launch of the Black Country Women’s Institute is all about inspiring women and learning.

Attending the first meeting of the Black Country Wenches WI, founder members (left-right) Kelly Hadley, of Wombourne, and Donna Haddock, of Gornal, at Zoar Church Centre, Gornal.

Treasurer Donna Haddock, 35, and president Kelly Hadley, 30, formed the group a month ago after meeting at another group.

The pair had been attending Wombourne Women’s Institute for a year before deciding to form their own branch – and it’s just been given federation approval.

New WI group for the Black Country

President Kelly Hadley, 30, from Lower Gornal, said: “We came up with the idea about a month ago. Me and Donna were members at Wombourne Women’s Institute but they’re a little less active in the community.

“We saw a massive hole and potential in the respect in what we we saw other groups doing. It’s all about inspiring women – mostly as a mum myself you get caught up just being called mum.

“As you get older you’re less likely to make new friends – as a working parent myself I have to give one night to myself. We meet once a month and it’s the second Thursday of every month – we’ve got around 25 members.

“We’re amazed how many people did want this group to go ahead.

“It gives women some kind of independence, you’re not somebody’s employee or you’re not somebody’s mother, you get to be somebody else.”

The group were given federation approval on Thursday night – making their institute official.

A subscription service of £41 a year allows the group to fund themselves and hold their gatherings at Zoar Methodist Church.

Luke Bartlett

By Luke Bartlett
Trainee Reporter - @lbartlett_star

Trainee Express & Star reporter covering Dudley and Sandwell. Get in touch on 01902 319445 or via


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