Mem­ber Faye Gibb tells us about her ex­pe­ri­ence with the SWI.

The People's Friend - - Her­itage -

Q Why did you join?

I grew up in a farm­ing com­mu­nity near Kin­ross, so the “Ru­ral” was al­ways part of lo­cal life. I came back to Scot­land in 1997 af­ter some time down south and moved back to my home town. My mother, a long­time mem­ber of Cleish SWRI, had al­ready per­suaded my sis­ter to join, and I went to my first meet­ing “just to see” and got in­volved right away, “vol­un­teer­ing” to dec­o­rate the vil­lage hall for one of the In­sti­tute’s big birth­days!

Q Would you rec­om­mend it to other peo­ple? Def­i­nitely. Quite apart from the amaz­ing home bak­ing we get to sam­ple at ev­ery meet­ing, we’ve had some fas­ci­nat­ing speak­ers and bril­liant out­ings over the time I’ve been in­volved – ev­ery­thing from learn­ing about the work of the Guide Dogs with adorable trainee guide dog Waf­fle, to trea­sure hunts, games nights and even wine tast­ing. There’s al­ways a very friendly and in­clu­sive at­mos­phere; ev­ery­one is very gen­er­ous with their time and happy to share their skills and ex­pe­ri­ence.

Q What’s been your favourite mem­ory from your time in the In­sti­tute? I’ve got loads of fan­tas­tic mem­o­ries. I par­tic­u­larly en­joy get­ting in­volved with en­ter­tain­ing other In­sti­tutes, and had a great time last year per­form­ing in a mur­der mys­tery play as Franc, the French chef – com­plete with wooden spoon, Ru­ral cook­book and a ter­ri­ble ac­cent!

Q Do you think the In­sti­tute has a strong fu­ture ahead?

Ab­so­lutely. I know from our ex­pe­ri­ence in Cleish that more and more younger women are be­com­ing in­ter­ested in com­ing to­gether and learn­ing new skills, or just en­joy­ing be­ing part of a friendly group. Over­all, I think the or­gan­i­sa­tion has proved it can move with the times and has lots to of­fer women of all ages and back­grounds, and gives a voice to women in the wider com­mu­nity.

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