Who We Are
Inspiring women, inspiring others, then and now.
The Women’s Institute (WI) was formed in 1915 to give women a voice and to be a force for good in the community.
Today, the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) is the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK with almost 220,000 members in approximately 6,300 institutes across the country. We pride ourselves on being a trusted place for women of all generations to meet like-minded women, have fun, share experiences, learn new things and campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities.
Formed in 2013, Stone Rangers is Leytonstone’s WI. We are one of around 50 institutes overseen by Middlesex Federation (MFWI).
We currently have about 40 Stone Rangers members. We’re a mix of all ages and backgrounds and come from Leytonstone, Leyton and the surrounding areas.
Women’s Institutes are run by and for their members. They survive and thrive as long as there are enough people willing to join in and help out. Every WI committee must have a president, a treasurer and a secretary. Besides these essential “officer” roles, committees are able to create additional roles to suit their needs, although you do not need a specific role to be on the committee at SRWI.
We also always welcome additional support which can be anything from helping to welcome new guests at meetings, selling raffle tickets or joining the baking rota to helping clear up at the end of the night!
Any member can join the committee, we actively encourage it! If you’d like to get in touch with any member of the committee please email us or come and chat to us at a monthly meeting.
Jane Ramsell & Christine Lee – Co-Presidents
Hello, I closed my company in 2019 after 18 years of offering Leadership and Management Coaching to individuals and teams in the public sector. Before that I worked in London local government for 30 years providing development, training and employee relations services. I now spend my time as a volunteer gardening ‘teacher’ at a local primary school, looking after my lovely 10 year old granddaughter Jasmine, and working in my own garden which is my passion and therapy!
I joined the Stone Rangers because I wanted to meet new people and find out more about the WI. I discovered a friendly, diverse group of women who wanted to contribute to the community as well as have fun and we do lots of both! I was Treasurer for 2 years and became Joint President with Jane in January 2018. I look forward to welcoming you to the Stone Rangers.
Hello, I’m an Events Organiser with a passion for cats, baking and singing!
I joined the WI when the Stow Roses formed in Walthamstow in 2012, as I’d always fancied joining the WI to be able to meet local friendly women and to contribute to my local community.
When Michel started The Stone Rangers in 2013, which was even more local to me, I moved to join straight away and joined the committee a year later. I became Co-President with Christine in January 2018 and really enjoy the challenges and opportunities this presents. I look forward to welcoming you to the Stone Rangers.
Emma Hayward – Treasurer
I am married with two grown-up children. I have degrees in Town Planning and Applied Arts. My hobbies include crafts, knitting, crochet, singing, cooking, reading, Pilates and visiting art galleries and National Trust premises. You can’t get much more WI than that!
I joined WI following my appearance in the WI choir at the Royal Variety Performance in 2016 as an honorary member and decided I should join for real. The fact that the meetings are held in a pub are purely coincidental!
Maria Savva – Secretary
I’m a teacher and have been a member of the WI since 2011.
I joined because I wanted to do more for local charities and have fun with like-minded women.
I joined the WI in September 2016, when I decided I needed to stop watching telly every night and get out to meet new people. I’ve since made new friends and I look forward to our monthly meetings. I’ve heard various and varied talks – local history, Air Ambulance, Pearly Kings and Queens; I’ve taken part in theatre trips; been to the WI Fair; tried to learn how to crochet; and have taken up knitting after a 30 year ‘lapse’.
We are a friendly bunch – join us – I look forward to meeting you.
Hello. I am moving towards retirement after a career working in Local Government, mainly on Housing and Urban Regeneration. Hobbies include my allotment, gardening, theatre and reading.
I joined the Stone Rangers in 2019 to meet local women and to get more involved in my local community. It’s been great and the variety of talks and activities are both fun and interesting.
Although I’ve lived in Leyton a long time the majority of my friends didn’t live nearby. When I retired from the job I loved (Learning and Development Manager for a charity) in 2019 I looked around for a local group to make new friends, enjoy socialising and join in interesting activities. Stone Rangers ticked all the right boxes!
I’ve become a WI Climate Ambassador and have found ways to follow some of my other interests. I really enjoyed the meetings and variety of speakers and was frustrated when lockdown put a stop to the face-to-face meetings. I wanted more involvement than the general Zoom meetings gave me so took the plunge and joined the Committee at the end of 2020 and am still finding my feet but enjoying it.