1 May 2021


2021 Programme









December 16th - CHRISTMAS MAKE


3 Apr 2021


*** STOP PRESS ***
MEMBERSHIP CLOSED - as at 9/4/21


Our new membership year has just begun, which will in future continue to be April to March.  

Membership is now open for new members too, fees for 2021/22 are £44.
Anybody interested in becoming a member needs to email us please at brislington.womens.institute@gmail.com.  

Membership is on a first come, first served basis, we were oversubscribed after 2 meetings in 2020. For H&S reasons and the comfort and enjoyment of members, we have a maximum room capacity, once this is reached the membership will be closed.

Our next zooms are Chat & Catch up on 6th April and 20th April Face Yoga Workshop.

We are having twice monthly zoom meetings up to and including 6th July and we anticipate we will return to face-to-face meetings on 20th July, and monthly thereafter. The majority of the programme is complete and is subject to change and is dependent on what restrictions are in place and what we are allowed to do.

We love to learn, listen, bake and eat cake, create and craft; go on walks; trips and help others. There are lots of benefits outside of meetings, newsletters; socials; a Christmas meal; book and garden swaps to name a few.

Briz WI meets at Arnos Manor Hotel, on the third Tuesday of the month (in normal times) no August meeting.

If you would like to know more or have any questions please get in contact.

NB: This website will be updated Spring/Summer 2021, please visit our Brislington Women's Institute Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BrislingtonWomensInstitute

9 Apr 2020

Brislington WI Loves and Supports the NHS 💖

Hello Everyone

April began with a request from one of our members for us create drawstring bags. She’s a nurse on a mental health ward and as non-uniformed staff, the bag would mean they would be able to put the (scrub) bags containing clothes straight into their machine(s). The word got out, we have and are fulfilling requests for over 1,600 drawstring scrub bags from ICU BRI; Maternity ICU; Children’s Hospital; Community and Mental Health; Rapid Response and South Western Ambulance Service and others in Bristol and beyond. The list is growing daily.

A call went out, we needed sewers, pillowcases, duvet covers, material and cord to our members, families, friends and neighbours and the local community. An exercise train is one method being used to deliver materials and get bags to and from our sewers. We have drop off points in Knowle, Brislington and Stockwood. My house has become the HQ, I have been organising but not sewing. Keeping track, and co-ordinating requests and deliveries, everyone else is doing the hard work. 

A Facebook Page Brislington and Beyond Scrubs Bags has been set up.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/309373940030089/?hc_ref=ARR4l1D3pNFfX9P27H0ShKHDHMSajuTdUN8iltL8oYbsBHEvbElPi5tnlYJPihSza1kThis is a group where we can all be and see what an amazing group of people we all are.

I am humbled and proud of the power of the collective energy and support in this endeavour. 

Alison Thiru, President of Brislington WI

4 Sept 2019



We are  extremely sorry to announce that meetings will be cancelled until we receive the go ahead from the NFWI and Government guidance. Our status will be updated as and when we can.


As the days slowly get lighter & longer, Briz WI continues to blossom & bloom! We want our WI to be a place where any woman can come and expect to be welcomed, included, laugh, learn and make friends, at each of our 11 meetings. No meeting for Briz WI in August.

S T O P   P R E S S: We've had an amazing start to 2020 with membership in the first two months at its highest ever.  We're committed to delivering the best WI experience possible for our members, and this is why we've had to make the difficult decision to close membership for the rest of 2020. To ensure the safety and enjoyment of members all meetings will be members-only, apart from May, June and July where we will have limited pre-booked guests. 

There are limited guest places for May, June and July’s meetings (£5 each), Should you wish to attend please email brislington.womens.institute@gmail.com. Booking for these meeting opens 1 day after the previous meeting (22 April, 20 May and 17 June). 


We know we have members that join WIs seeking new friendships with like-minded, local women. Some are new to this wonderful city, some regaining their social life after starting families and others just craving new and stimulating female company. Whatever the reason, coming along without knowing any other members (as we know many do) takes courage, and we acknowledge that.

REPORT AGM Bournemouth- June 2019

REPORT AGM Bournemouth- June 2019

(Attended by Treasurer)

Wednesday 5th June 2019

Hello. I am the Treasurer of Brislington Women's Institute, and I was lucky enough to be the link delegate for this year’s annual meeting in Bournemouth.
On Tuesday 4th June  I met a group of lovely Avon WI delegates on a very comfortable coach!
I had a great dinner out that evening, and had a impressive hotel room in the Hilton Bournemouth with a lovely room mate whom I had never met before!

Bournemouth International  Centre

10.30am a prompt start. Firstly a rendition of Jerusalem. – WOW! 4000+ women singing together is quite a sight and it was filmed! 
Next came the business bit.

First they touched on last years resolutions-
Make time for mental health and Plastic soup.
They spoke about how they have MP's involved and have been actively promoting both causes with national appearances on breakfast TV and in the newspapers amongst other things.
For the plastic soup campaign there is a mass lobby organised about climate change. It is on 26th June.

They are taking a scarf ( like a temperature blanket) knitted by a WI group that shows 100 years of climate change by having a coloured stripe for each year recording its average temperature. It is 5 metres long!
The treasurer ( Julia Roberts-not the American actress!) then spoke about finances within our organisation and outlined various figures of donations, WI Subs, investments etc.

After the official bit we then got onto this year’s resolutions.

We started with 'Call against the decline in local bus services.'
There were speakers both for and and against,the first being the lady who originally put the idea forward as a resolution, then experts.
A couple of her reasons for...
It supports our previous campaign alleviating loneliness and is good for the environment. She stated that over the last 10 years over 134 MILLION miles of bus routes have been taken away from rural areas this leaving those without a car, the elderly or young, plus non drivers without a way out of their village.

Next we heard from the expert a few of his for points were..
Some areas have no buses due to council cuts. This has increased pressure on other organisations such as the NHS and local schools as they have had to find money in their budgets to fund transport for patients / pupils to get to school, appointments etc when these funds could be used more effectively elsewhere.
The council budgets are very low for buses and at present it is not discussed in Parliament....The WI can change this by bringing to a national level and lobbying for change.
Also, the lack of buses to a village/town has other long  term effects. No footfall for local businesses meaning these will close which will give a knock on effect for doctors surgeries and other much needed amenities within a community.

Next we had a speaker against. His views were down to evolving  technology. He used horses and boats as examples, stating we moved away from these, and onto modern transport such as  trains, buses and cars, to name a few.
The rural areas have much less demand. Buses these days are run by private companies. The main age groups using them are under 25s and over 65s.
In rural areas the demand is not high enough so with rising costs of fuel / insurance / free travel for certain areas for young people and the older generations free bus passes the companies make less money and its not cost effective to run them as a business.
They would need at least 10 people on every bus to make it worthwhile yet this would be unlikely in a rural location. If it was then the services wouldn’t have been cut in the first place and got taken away.
He suggested instead of buses perhaps a shared taxi or local area app could be implemented so people could cut the cost and effectively car share.

Once he had spoken, the floor was opened up to speakers. You could only speak (optional) if you were a delegate or an official at the meeting. There were 5 microphones dotted around.
I didn’t speak but several others did with many different views mainly highlighting points already made by both for and against professionals.
Once everyone had had their say all delegates were asked to hand in the voting cards.
Your WI chose... and I didn’t change this.
There was a bit of a kerfuffle as one group didn’t have their voting cards but after around 10 minutes this was sorted!

Once everyone was sat down and ready to continue we had another speaker the right honourable Lord Bradley from care not custody.
He was there 10 years ago when a resolution was passed ‘Care not custody’ and he has worked with the WI on this since the beginning.
He said that the mental and physical health budget is very different 15% / 85% respectively.
He spoke for quite some time about that resolution and the changes made within the justice system for those individuals whom find themselves in legal trouble but perhaps have a learning disability or similar and instead of a custodial sentence, they work with other ways to rehabilitate them.


Next there was a quick prize presentation, where 3 trophies were handed out.
One was for a digital story ‘the impact of my WI in my local area.’
You may have seen it advertised in the WI magazine.
The winner was presented with her trophy although what she wrote is a mystery as wasn’t read out! I’m sure it’s online somewhere! ( I cannot find it!)
There were 2 other trophies, it was unclear what they were for!

Next lunch time... 4000 women ventured out onto Bournemouths streets and beach.
I grabbed a lunch nearby and chatted with other WI ladies. I now have loads of new friends although the names escape me I’m sure we will meet at other again!
Lunchtime over and back into the hall. A bit more official business to get through then onto campaign 2.

‘Don't fear the smear’

There were 2 speakers for and no official against but to keep a balanced view ones of the ladies from the top tanel on stage read out some facts and figures against.

So starting with arguments for.
The HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine for 13 to 18 year olds... If all girls have it there is a high and very real chance that cervical cancer can be eradicated in our daughter's lifetimes. Also there are home testing kits to become available in the not to distant future. WI can work to make people much more aware and take away some of the embarrassment.
Under 29s and over 50s are less likely to attend an appointment for a smear test – The WI can change this. Our organisation has over 220 thousand members if we all speak to our daughter friends any female that is a lot of voices. On a local and national scale, every member can be actively involved in this campaign.
A couple of facts to consider
2 women a day die from cervical cancer. 8 more are diagnosed.
The UK is at a 21 year low screening rate yet this cancer IS curable within just a few generations... Imagine that one less cancer in the world!
The most likely women not to attend a smear are domestic violence sufferers and survivors, certain cultures it is still a taboo subject and the LGBT community.  The over 50s are also less likely to attend as they don’t feel it applies yet 70% of over 50s will die from cervical cancer.
The screening age currently stops at 64 they would like the WI to lobby and get it raised to all women no matter how old they are.
Our first wi campaign for this was to promote cervical screening in 1964 now its time to revisit it.

The against the smear was fact based.

What can the WI actually add to the campaigns? The NHS already has a massive campaign at the moment... Should our funds be spent on it?
After the speakers the floor was again opened up to delegates and officials the publics opinion.
Many spoke on this topic majority were for including an older lady who had lost many friends to the disease. She said they had all had smear tests until they were no longer eligible but were then diagnosed later in life by which time it was sadly to late.
Another delegate may surprise you... She was firmly against supporting this campaign. She herself went for a smear just weeks ago and she got diagnosed with high CIN cells...so why would she go against it? She felt its already massively in the public domain and WI money would be better spent elsewhere.

After all the speakers were done we again handed our voting cards in.
Your WI's vote was handed in.
Our final speaker was Maggie Philbin.. Ladies of a certain age will know who she is... I did, but for the benefit of those who may not she was a female presenter on SWAPSHOP and TOMORROWS WORLD.
She gave a very interesting talk on her life on TV and radio and spoke about the project she does now called TEENTECH.
She inspires young teens interested in the science, technology and engineering professions. The idea to remind females that although this is a male dominated field it’s equally accessible to all. She goes into schools and engages with the next generation. She was a wonderful speaker!

So onto the results

Local buses

There were 5729 votes for the campaign and 262 against so the resolution was passed with a 96% majority

Don’t fear the smear

There were 5788 for the campaign and 194 against so this was passed with a 97% majority

Now we can start to think about what we can do to support these resolutions!

Once all the votes were given and the resolutions officially passed the Chair Lynne Stubbings spoke for a few moments and there was slide show of WI events across the country and music which everyone got up and danced to. Here come the girls by Ernie K. Doe-it was great fun!
Seeing this giant room filled with women laughing and dancing, made me really proud to be a member of th WI!

It was a long day but I recommend attending if you get the opportunity. I had a great time!

11 Feb 2019

Our Charity of The Year 2020

Our Charity of The Year 2020

Jessie May Children’s Hospice at Home

Jessie May was established in 1994 and is a Bristol-based charity providing hospice home care for children and young people with life limiting conditions who are not expected to live beyond the age of 19 in Bristol and the surrounding area. Jessie May has a team of dedicated nurses who provide care to children and families during a child’s life and after their death

For reasons of safety and security, all Jessie May Care Team personnel are employed through University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UHBristol), and these posts are fully funded by Jessie May. 

Our vision is a world in which all children and young people with life limiting conditions are empowered and able to access the support they want for themselves and their families. We aim to ensure that they have the very best quality of life possible and can exercise their right to live and to be cared for in their own homes with their families.



Jessie May 35 Old School House, The Kingswood Estate, Britannia Road, Kingswood, Bristol BS15 8DB

5 Jan 2016

What a fantastic year Brislington WI has had!

What a fantastic year Brislington WI has had! 

We began the year with a fun shabby chic session,where you all brought along a piece of wooden furniture, which was transformed into a gorgeous new piece after getting to grips with the paint & sanding technique!

In February, we had a pirate join us, who regaled us with tales of the sea and Bristols maritime history.

In March, we had a health spring clean,  where we learned how small changes can have a huge effect on our health for the better.

In April, we had a real CSI Officer visit us. She provided an interesting talk, and showed us some gruesome photographs.

In May, we had a huge amount of fun making lampshades under the guidance of our craftiest member Kirsten Clarke.There were some beautiful examples made with carefully chosen fabrics.

In June, we had Andy Hamilton visit us and teach us how we can forage for food make alcohol out of the things growing in our neighbourhoods.

In July, we were taught how to weave with willow, which produced some lovely examples.

In August, a few us took a trip to a Winery in Wraxall near Shepton Mallet, we had a great time walking amongst the vines on a summers evening, and tasting the delicious wine!

In September,  we had our main event of the year-the Garden party! What a success! We raised £600 towards our charity of the year - the rainbow centre.It was beautiful hot day, and everyone was thrilled with their refreshments. Everyone had a fun day, especially the kids! Many thanks to Janice our events manager!

Later in September,  we were visited by Matthew Tosh, who showed us the amount of work it takes to execute a fireworks event & the physics of how fireworks work.

In October,  we had Fright night at the Arnos Manor Hotel where the manager spoke about the history of the hotel & showed us around the haunted bedroom!

In November we had quiz & cheese night! An entertaining & enjoyable night was had by all!

In December, we had our Brislington WI Christmas do! Lots of delicious nibbles were provided by everyone, they soon vanished & the dance floor was teeming with a lively bunch of ladies!

This year Brislington WI  raised £1000 for the rainbow centre, our chosen charity of the year- a massive accomplishment, especially as it is being matched by a local businessman totalling £2000!

We couldn't have done this without each and every one of you! 
Here's to 2016!

13 May 2015

Our Venue

Brislington WI is a diverse group of women with some amazing skills and experience. 
We formed in 2013 and have often grown to around 100 members per year, with regular guests.
We meet at 7:30pm on the third Tuesday of every month in the: 

Main Room
Arnos Manor Hotel
470 Bath Road, Brislington, Bristol BS4 3HQ.

Arnos Manor Hotel has excellent disabled access.


The Arnos has its own chapel, which used to be ran by nuns as a girls school. One of the nuns is reported to have fallen pregnant and she was then thought to commit suicide. The other nuns bricked her up in a wall to try and hide the scandal, and she was hidden until WWII.
The hotel was damaged by a bomb during the war and so work was carried out to repair the damage. During the work, the nun’s skeleton was discovered – and apparently, the workmen just hid the bones elsewhere.
Since then, a figure in brown has been spotted several times around the hotel, especially in room 160. Guests have reported being pinned down by an unknown person, feeling pressure on their chests and seeing a figure rise as if climbing stairs that don’t exist.
Poltergeist activity has also been reported in the hotel, including bathtubs filling on their own and toiletries being flung through the air!

Brief History

The Arnos Manor hotel was built in 1760 as the private home of business merchant William Reeve. The hotel boasts some stunning original features, including the decorated Chapel lounge, high ceilings, intricate cornicing and panelling on many of the walls. It’s only ten minutes away from the centre of the historic city of Bristol. Bristol has been occupied by settlers since the Iron Age and it was made into a city way back in 1542. Since then, it’s been home to a number of famous faces and historic events and is now a bustling, vibrant market city.