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