We'll be sharing a whole lot of cake this Norfolk Day

PUBLISHED: 10:00 26 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:00 26 July 2019

Every single member of the WI has a supportive friend. Sitting right next to her

Every single member of the WI has a supportive friend. Sitting right next to her


Mary Dorrell of the Norfolk Federation of WIs explains what the organisation will be doing to celebrate Norfolk Day

Some of the spoons which will be 'planted' on Norfolk DaySome of the spoons which will be 'planted' on Norfolk Day

Campaigning is a piece of cake to a WI member. Especially with an important birthday for Norfolk WIs to celebrate this year! 'Cake and campaigns', works just as well as 'Jam and Jerusalem' to summarise the unique blend of craft, caring and community that is the WI. Which is why Saturday sees us joining in with Norfolk Day, a date which WIs across the county have taken to their hearts. And why not? Here in Norfolk, there is a lot to be proud of.

Norfolk Federation of WIs will celebrate in style with events put on throughout the day, rising to the challenge of #100WIways with cake. You can read about your local WI on our website.

n Some of our 150 WIs will be out looking for you to give you cake: Rock Buns & Rolling Pins WI in North Walsham with 100 buns, Mundesley WI with lavender cupcakes each with a handwritten message, Cromer WI will be in a beach hut giving out cake.

n Other WIs are giving cake to those in need: Norwich All Saints WI with the Norwich Citadel Salvation Army Soup Run, Neatishead, Barton Turf & District to a local care home, Saham WI to two homes for the elderly.

n Meanwhile, Wroxham WI will be giving out 100 decorated bamboo spoons and Reedham WI are organising some celebratory bell ringing at St Mary the Virgin, Saxlingham Nethergate

n Or you can drop in on a WI: Hempnall WI are opening gardens and inviting you for Norfolk Cakes in support of Norfolk Admiral Nurses, Barford, Wramplingham & District WI are fundraising for church and village hall, Watton Evening WI are organising 'Norfolk Day, the WI Way' with refreshments and information sessions. Sutton WI, in their Village Hall, is giving away 100 cakes along with a competition for children to design posters around the theme of the decline in public transport ... our most current campaign.

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Because campaign we do! Every year, since 1918.

The WI has a proud history of taking action to protect the environment. Over the years we have cleaned up beaches, said no to plastic and stood up for the honey bee.

Next Saturday will see our federation office on All Saints Green open to the public and hosting the BBC Radio Norfolk Garden Party. All are welcome. 
You can join the radio audience, learn how to make a bug hotel, admire our bee-friendly garden and enjoy birthday cake. More than 250 WI members have decorated a wooden spoon to "plant" in the garden.

Our current campaigns, Link Together to Alleviate Loneliness, has 'cake and a cuppa' as a vital element. Our National Federation suggests "The first step on the way to wellbeing is to connect." and "speaking to someone in person or on the phone rather than sending an email. Try spending five minutes to ask and really listen to how someone is."

At our monthly meetings, we often find ourselves talking to someone we don't often speak to and as a result getting to know them better. And that's an important thing about the WI. It forms bonds and friendships, which are so necessary to a happy, healthy life. The WI really is a family, a friendship group. Not just in our own WI but in the wider WI. Countless members can attest to the support and love they received in times of trouble and continue to receive. Every single member has a supportive friend. Sitting right next to her.

Our campaign toolkit suggests making a cup of tea, sharing something that makes you smile and performing a random act of kindness. Which is exactly what many Norfolk WIs are doing on July 27, when they will be handing out cake to locals and visitors alike on Norfolk Day 2019. Not an entirely random act. WIs across Norfolk are rising to the challenge of #100WIwayswithcake, on this our centenary year.

We hope that Norfolk will be just one big birthday party. What a wonderful thought. Wherever you go in Norfolk on that day, you will be able to share a piece of cake with us.

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