'WI must be modern to survive'

.

.

First published in News
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys. Call me on 01865 425403

WOMEN’S Institute members are traditionally seen as enjoying a spot of jam-making and sewing.

But a more modern approach is needed to represent the 21st century member, according to Clare Mackintosh, who is in charge of social media at the WI’s Denman College in Marcham near Abingdon.

The college has ditched some of its more obscure courses including Folk Songs of Britain and Dance Through the Musicals, to broaden its appeal.

Instead the college is increasing more popular options such as Pilates, Jane Austen’s World and history lessons.

It comes after the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) said it was forced to bring in independent consultants – Counterculture Partnership – to look at how to make the college more profitable.

Ms Mackintosh, 37, from Chipping Norton, has been a member of the West Oxfordshire town's WI branch since 2012.

She said: “The WI is a wonderful organisation, but it needs to represent its members.

“Although there are still a huge number of members who are interested in traditional skills, we need to recognise the new skills that women want to learn and need to learn.

“It’s not about age. We’re not replacing the older interests with younger. Most of my students are older ladies.”

Related links

College chairwoman Anne Harrison said Counterculture Partnership recommended the facility, which has been running since 1948, should close the obscure courses to attract students.

Last year, Denman saw more than 8,200 students attend its 700 courses, and it hopes to increase numbers this year.

Ms Harrison said it had taken on board the advice given and were making other changes, including the structure of courses so it runs three times a year rather than annually. She said it would also be advertising to hold weddings at the college.

She said: “Trustees and staff have been working hard to promote the unique educational opportunities at the college wherever possible, and the future is looking up for Denman.

“Residential bookings for this and next year show the college is reaching targets.”

According to the NFWI’s 2013 annual report, the college’s financial standing has improved. Its total income was £2.35m, while the total expenditure was £2.29m, meaning there was a profit of £60,000.

Counterculture Partnership refused to comment.

Our top stories:

Derek Measor's wife says his death tore her world apart as killer driver avoids jail

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014

A WIDOW whose husband was killed while cycling yesterday told a court it was the worst day of her life.

Motorcyclist seriously injured in crash with car near Dorchester

Oxford Mail: Ambulance stock image

11:44am Tuesday 30th September 2014

A MOTORCYCLIST has been taken to hospital with serious injuries after a crash with a BMW.

Dismal start troubles Appleton

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014

Oxford United’s position in the table is now a concern for head coach Michael Appleton, who has acknow-ledged it is taking longer than expected to improve results.

Girls get some coaching from a top GB runner

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 30th September 2014

PUPILS at d’Overbroecks College pulled on their running shoes yesterday as 2002 Commonwealth Games 400m relay silver medallist Lesley Owusu gave them advice on how to succeed in both sport and life.

Rethink on late-night drink levy

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 30th September 2014

BARS and clubs in Oxford could soon be charged for serving alcohol after midnight.

Russell’s taste of honey is the bees Leys

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 30th September 2014

THERE are some unusual visitors in Blackbird Leys creating a bit of a buzz.

West Way scheme could help boost house prices

Oxford Mail: Parish councillor Chris Church outside the Elms Parade shops

8:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014

The £100m West Way redevelopment scheme will see house prices in West Oxford rise to rival areas like Headington and Summertown, an estate agent report has said.

Man fights for his life after falling from bridge

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014

A MAN was last night fighting for his life after falling from a bridge and then colliding with a vehicle.

Charity rider appeals for return of her bikes

Oxford Mail:

6:40am Tuesday 30th September 2014

A charity champion has appealed for information after two bikes were stolen from her shed.

City friendliest place

Oxford Mail: A library photograph of a mobile phone similar to the one stolen

6:30am Tuesday 30th September 2014

Fewer people in the city pretend to be on their smartphones to avoid striking up a conversation with a stranger, according to the latest research.

TB man given Asbo to stop him spitting

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Tuesday 30th September 2014

A HOMELESS man with tuberculosis (TB) has been given an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) to stop him from coughing and spitting at people.

Survey puts spotlight city’s on city’s grubby roads

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Tuesday 30th September 2014

SIXTEEN streets have been branded the grubbiest in Oxford in a city-wide cleanliness survey.

Youth bailed over broken jaw attack

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

6:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014

A teenager from Oxford has been arrested on suspicion of GBH after a 32-year-old was attacked and left with a broken jaw.

Pair jailed for dealing drugs from their car

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

6:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014

A pensioner drug dealer with a criminal record stretching back 52 years has been jailed along with his addict accomplice.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree