About us

The Women's Institute is the largest Women's Educational Charity in the country, but we began in Stoney Creek, Canada in 1897, founded by Adelaide Hoodless. The first British WI was formed in 1915 in Llanfairpwll on Anglesey in North Wales. Many Federations across the country were formed including the Yorkshire Federation in 1920. During that time the aim of the Women's Institute was to encourage women to produce food and other items along with revitalising the communities during the War.

The West Yorkshire Federation of Women's Institutes was formed in April 1983 after it was confirmed at the National Annual General Meeting of 1982 that the Yorkshire Federation was too large to have just one office so it would be split into 5 new Federations named North Yorkshire West, North Yorkshire East, East Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and of course West Yorkshire. In the West Yorkshire Federation of Women's Institutes there are 75 institutes based in and around Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds and Wakefield. The institutes include women of all ages and interests, so there is room for everyone, as the established and new institutes are always bringing ideas to the table. The aims of the modern day WI are very similar to the aims the women had back in 1915 when the first British WI opened. Our aims are to encourage women to learn new skills, join in with various types of activities and to campaign for issues that matter to them.

West Yorkshire display

West Yorkshire logo