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Norfolk couple are the first lesbians to ever feature on cover of WI magazine

PUBLISHED: 15:45 05 March 2019 | UPDATED: 07:53 06 March 2019

Screen shot of front cover of March edition of WI Life. Picture: WI Life

Screen shot of front cover of March edition of WI Life. Picture: WI Life

Archant

A lesbian couple from north Norfolk has featured on the cover of the Women’s Institute magazine for the first time.

Becky and Cathy Townsend, from Felmingham, front the March edition of the publication which is sent to all 215,000 members.

The issue focuses on how the WI has played a role in five love stories - including the couple.

Becky, a personal tutor at Specialist Education Services, said: “I met Cathy at a women’s dance class and we got together five years ago.

“It only took six months after that for us to decide we were solid enough to get married.

“We didn’t announce it until a weekend trip to Cambridge in 2015 where we got properly engaged on a punt on the River Cam.”

That same weekend, they watched a play about the WI centenary, and later joined Aylsham WI, Norfolk Federation.

The pair got married on August 11 and their WI chairman and one of the committee members were guests.

They enlisted the help of their fellow WI members to help knit and crochet 600 bunting flags for their big day.

NFWI general secretary Melissa Green said: “We are delighted with this feature in WI Life, which showcases how the WI played a part in five love stories, including our cover stars Becky and Cathy who enlisted the help of their fellow WI members to handcraft their wedding decorations!

“This is the first time that WI Life has featured a same-sex couple on the front cover, and we are incredibly proud of what it represents and how positive the feedback has been from WI members.

“The WI is an inclusive, supportive and progressive organisation for all women, and anyone living their life as a woman, with a diverse and incredible membership of approximately 215,000 members in 6,300 WIs.

“The WI welcomes and celebrates all women, as well as offering a space where they can be themselves surrounded by other supportive women.

“The WI today truly represents a cross-section of women in society, and one of the aspects that WI members cherish is the opportunity to meet a diverse range of women.

“The WI was founded on democratic ideals over 100 years ago, and this commitment to equality is still central to our ethos today.

“We are committed to ensuring that every person who comes to the WI feels a part of it and a sense of belonging, with equal access to all opportunities on a local and national level.”

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