A colourful way to raise awareness

Yarnbombing took place in Ashington town centre by members of North Seaton with Ashington WI to bring attention to the work of the WI in the movement for women's rights. All pictures by Roy Smith.
Yarnbombing took place in Ashington town centre by members of North Seaton with Ashington WI to bring attention to the work of the WI in the movement for women's rights. All pictures by Roy Smith.

North Seaton with Ashington WI celebrated International Women’s Day by yarnbombing Ashington town centre.

Brightly coloured knitted and crochet scarves were wrapped around trees and lampposts to bring attention to the work of the WI in the movement for women’s rights.

It is 100 years since the suffragette movement made a huge impact and won some women the right to vote with the passing of the Representation of the People Act 1918.

It is also 100 years since the WI (Women’s Institute) passed the first resolution to the Houses of Parliament.

Formed in 1915, the WI has a long history of campaigning. WI campaigns are about changing things for the better for everyone in their community, not just for women.

From equal pay to climate change and more midwives to the plight of the honey bee, the WI has embraced a diverse set of challenges and built a reputation for the WI as a practical and ambitious organisation that does not shy away from tricky issues.

All the campaigns from the past 100 years can be seen from bunting strewn through the trees in the centre of Ashington.

North Seaton with Ashington WI treasurer, Michelle Brannigan, said: “It is important for women to have a voice and for that voice to be heard.

“It is also important to inspire our younger generation to get involved in their community and to have their say.

“Ashington has had a tough time of late and we need to get organisations and members of the community involved in all local activities, to care about the town where they live to build a more vibrant town for our children.”

The Northumberland WI Federation is also celebrating its centenary – having been formed in 1918 – and there will be events and activities during 2018 across the county.

North Seaton with Ashington WI meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7pm in Trinity Church Hall.

The next knitting project the WI is getting involved in is knitting hats for innocent smoothie bottles. For every hat you knit, the company will donate 25p to Age UK organisations.

For more information, call Age UK Northumberland on 01670 784800.