women cuts cake
Libby Haines and her mum, Margaret Harris, Henllys WI's oldest member, cut the 80th anniversary cake Credit: Cwmbran Life

Members of Henllys Women’s Institute (WI) held a party to celebrate their 80th anniversary

The group was formed on 19 April 1944.

Cwmbran Life attended the party on Monday 8 April in the White Hut in Coed Eva to chat to members and (of course) enjoy some cake. They presented two charities with a £500 cheque (more info further down) following their year of fundraising efforts.

The number of members fell from “nearly 40” after covid restrictions stopped them meeting in person. Now around 20 members get together each month.

Despite the fall in numbers what hasn’t changed is their dedication to learning new things and supporting good causes.

women at table in hall
Credit: Cwmbran Life

Libby Haines, Henllys WI’s president said: “We meet once a month, on the first Monday of the month, and we will always have a speaker. We try to vary that from demonstrations, speakers on a variety of different subjects, and then we finish with coffee and biscuits.

“We have a lot of parties. Every year we have a garden party at my home and we raise a lot of money for charity.

“We’re a group of ladies who are very generous, work hard and we make our money through raffles, through bring and buys, through our garden parties and through tutoring.

“We do our own workshops and have a lot of talented ladies in the group so we can give the tuition free. But then we charge the ladies to come. It all goes to charity.

“Over the last couple of years, we’ve given £1,000 to the RNLI, £1,000 to the Air Ambulance, £1,000 to Blood Bikes and £100 to All Creatures Great and Small.”

Click here to join the new Cwmbran Life WhatsApp channel and get news and updates direct to your app.

Representatives from The Associated Country Women of the World and the Severn Area Rescue Association were invited to the front of the room to each collect a £500 cheque from Henllys WI.

three people hold a large cheque
Credit: Cwmbran Life
two women holding a cheque
Credit: Cwmbran Life

Ten years ago, the members supported Mary’s Meals with the aim of feeding and educating a child for every year since their WI was formed. The members supported 70 children.

Libby said: “We do practical things like we collect for the food bank. Annually, we will make rugs and different things for charity. We collect handbags and fill them up with toiletries and give them to the ladies’ refuge.

“And just last month we made little, handmade miniature blankets and little tiny hearts and they will be going to the Royal Gwent Hospital for angel babies so we are doing something practical as well as financially.”

When and where do Henllys Women’s Institute meet?

The group meet in the White Hut Community Hall on the first Monday of every month from 7.15pm to 9.15pm. New members always welcome.

If you enjoy Cwmbran Life please think about showing your support to make it easier for me to spend time finding and writing stories. You can do this through a one-off or regular donation on Buy Me A Coffee. Thank you 🙂