Forget jam and Jerusalem, Hayley’s WI is pretty cool

PUBLISHED: 13:54 12 June 2014 | UPDATED: 13:54 12 June 2014

Hayley Kurt is the president of the new WI formed King's Lynn. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Hayley Kurt is the president of the new WI formed King's Lynn. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

Women’s Institutes perhaps conjure up images of older ladies making delicious jam whilst joyfully singing Jerusalem.

The Women’s Institute

It was formed in the UK in 1915 to encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War.

It is the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK.

The WI will celebrate turning 100 next year.

There are currently 6,600 WI’s with 212,000 members.

The Sandringham Branch was founded by Queen Mary in 1919.

The Queen has been a WI member since 1943 and has been the president of Sandringham’s WI since 2003 after she took over the role from the late Queen Mother.

The Duchess of Cornwall became a member of her local branch near Highgrove in 2006.

But Hayley Kurt, 33, has just opened the doors of a new WI in the heart of King’s Lynn and is keen to show that by meeting new people and having fun can only be a cool thing.

Whilst keeping with traditions such as baking and flower arranging, there is also a modern twist with activities like cocktail making and belly dancing.

Miss Kurt, president of the Providence Street WI, which is held in the King’s Lynn Youth and Community Centre said they had around 20 women turn up for the first meeting.

She said: “I was really chuffed. I think more people will come to the next one. It’s an excuse to get together, meet new people and most importantly have a laugh.

“We welcome any lady that would like to come along and join a group of women that want to have a fun night out, with the benefit of finding out something new.

She added: “Each month there will be a different speaker and ideas for have been suggested by the women who came along to the meeting.”

The idea of starting a new, more modern WI came to Miss Kurt after chatting to friends and realising that there was no where locally to meet and share interests.

She said: “I’ve got a group of friends who I have known for years, and recently discovered that we’ve got shared interests like baking, sewing and knitting that

we never talked about because we didn’t think it was cool.

“So I started a W.I. to celebrate them. I’m really excited that we’ll all be able to get together to learn new things and enjoy hobbies, while spending time over a glass of wine.”

Miss Kurt has set up a Facebook page, Providence Street WI, and holds the meetings on the second Monday of each month.

Hayley Kurt can also be contacted by email on or by calling 07828 087612.

Are you setting up a new social club? Email

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