Your Federation Team

Federation Trustees provide the link between the NFWI and the WIs in their federation. Trustees are jointly responsible for running the federation, although they can delegate certain responsibilities. They must also make sure the WIs in their region follow the guidelines of the Charity Commission.

Trustees are responsible for:

  • passing on information from the NFWI to members
  • setting the federation’s budget and overseeing its finances
  • attending meetings (such as Board meetings, sub-committee meetings etc.) and engaging in discussion, debate and voting
  • issuing an annual report and accounts
  • organising events and activities for members
Phyllis Brooks – Federation Chairman, WI Adviser

I’m Phyllis Brooks (Phyl), I live in Hemingford Grey and am a member of Hemingford Grey WI. I moved to the village with my family 41 years ago, but as I say to people I have nearly come back home as I was born in Hemingford Abbots (the next village).

My first WI after I got married was Holywell-cum-Needingworth which was in 1962/63. When we moved to St Ives for my husband’s work, I joined St Ives WI and was with St Ives for a few years before joining Hemingford.

My other interest and hobbies are:  craft, especially patchwork and embroidery. When I was a bit younger, I loved playing sport, especially badminton and bowls, but my and husband’s great love was ballroom dancing.

Karen Prestage – Vice Chairman, Public Affairs Chairman, Property

My name is Karen Prestage, and I am a member of Abbey W.I. that meets in the afternoon in Bury village hall, the village in which I live. I have been a member of the W.I. for over 30 years.

I was elected to the Board of Trustees 12 years ago and for all this time I have been responsible for the overall maintenance of our Federation headquarters at 6A, Walden Road, Huntingdon. Having been a Victorian school, it keeps me, and often my husband, busy with numerous ongoing problems from patches of damp to irritable boilers! I am the chair of Public Affairs team, an area of the W.I. dear to my heart. I have been honoured to have been voted as vice-chair of the Federation for several years and do my utmost to support our hardworking chairman.

When not dealing with all things W.I. I am a hands-on grandma to 5 beautiful children ranging from 1 year to 8 years. I am a keen quilter, an avid gardener and enjoy singing in the Ripton’s choir and my own church choir. I am a parish councillor for my village, a trustee for the charity which manages our village hall and when time allows enjoy the theatre, cinema, travelling and as a retired Home Economics teacher pursuing all things “foodie”.

Carole Lovell – Vice-Chairman, MCS Coordinator

I first joined Ramsey WI in 2009 when we moved back to England from Wales, where I had a small holding with sheep, goats, rabbits, pigs chickens and horses. I became a WI Adviser in 2011 with Hunts and Peterborough Fed, and was on the Board of Trustees, and Membership and Craft committees. In 2017 we moved back to Wales this time with only a dog. I joined my local WI and continued to be a WI adviser until 2019. We moved back to Peterborough area in 2022 and now live in Yarwell. I have started a new WI in Yarwell and membership is steadily growing.
My hobbies include spinning, weaving, knitting and crocheting and sewing. I also play the ukulele with the Wansford Ukulele Folk.
WI gives me a buzz, so I thought it was time to rejoin the Trustees and do what I can to assist with the running of Huntingdon and Peterborough Federation.

Zena Betts – Federation Treasurer

Jean Jefferies – Activities Chairman, Climate Ambassador

Hi, my name is Jean Jeffries and I have belonged to Eye WI for nearly 10 years, ever since I retired and moved away from North London where I lived and worked as a Care Home Manager for adults with Learning Difficulties. 

I have been on the Board of Trustees for 4 years and I am also Chair of the Activities Committee, serve on the Public Affairs Committee and one of the three Climate Ambassadors for the Federation.

I am married and have one married son and two teenage grandchildren.  I am a practising Christian and my hobbies include walking, swimming, travelling and exploring new places.   I also enjoy crochet and cooking.

Maria Pidoux – Climate Ambassador, Health and Safety Officer, Federation Safeguarding Officer, ACWW Representative

After getting married and moving a lot due to my husband being in the RAF we settled in Bury in 1995. I continued my career as a Geography teacher and retired as a Head of House 7 years ago. I continued doing some supply work, but hung up my gown four years ago.  I joined Abbey WI and became their President in 2018 and I am still their President today. I enjoy this role very much and have made some lovely friends.  I was invited onto the board of Trustees about year later having said I would like to get more involved in the WI. Presently I am on the Public affairs committee. I am one of the Climate Ambassadors and the new ACWW rep. I also have responsibility for Health and Safety and Safeguarding. I enjoy being part of the WI and look forward to seeing members at events.

Carol Gibbins– Federation Newsletter Editor

Following my husbands retirement we moved to Hartford in 2002, I joined the local WI where I was both President and secretary. I later changed to The Offords WI and have been there for a number of years. I have previously served on the Federation Board of Trustees and been Federation Vice Chairman, chairman of the Creative Craft and Cookery committee and represented the federation on the East of England Show committee.

I decided to “retire” 5 years ago but following the appeal for members to come forward and join the Board of Trustees decided that maybe I still has something to give to the federation.

Before moving here I spent 10 happy years in the Suffolk East Federation and was Federation Chairman there for 2 years. I first joined the WI in Northborough in 1966 and as my husbands  job involved moving around the country have previously been a member in Hertfordshire, Essex, Buckinghamshire. I was brought up in Peterborough so my WI life has gone full circle.

Patchwork and quilting has been my passion for more than 25 years, during that time I have completed a City and Guilds Diploma in Patchwork and Quilting with Art and Design and love passing on my knowledge to others.

Marie Archer

I joined the Somersham WI after retiring.  When attending the local  meetings,  I discovered it was a lot more to the WI than the local group, however interesting the speakers were.  So in order to further my knowledge of the nationwide organisation, and perhaps be of some assistance along the way, I joined the Trustees.

Ruth Nicholas

I am married with 3 sons and three grandsons. I was born in Birmingham and with my husbands RAF posting. I moved to Buckden in 1977, where I still live. My hobbies and interests include walking, wildlife, flower arranging,  gardening, crafts and oil or watercolour painting. I have served on several committees over these years, the most recent being President of Buckden WI. I am pleased to be invited to join the board of trustees and will continue to support the WI in this role

Judy Shrewsbury

I have been a member of the WI since 2007 when I joined Wistow WI. In 2011 we moved to Abbots Ripton and I was a dual member of The Riptons and Wistow WI’s but work commitments meant I had to leave Wistow.

I served on the committees at Wistow and The Riptons where I was also President for 3 years. I serve on the Federation Activities and Public Affairs sub-committees and recently I was invited to be on the Board of Trustees. I am married with three children and four grandchildren who are aged from 20 to 16. My working life was as a Registered Nurse working in Care Homes looking after older people until I became a Trainer working in the NHS and private sector. I now work part-time in the café at Hinchingbrooke Park. I enjoy walking our springer spaniel Finn, gardening, crafts, cooking and interacting with people. I am looking forward to learning more about the WI and supporting the Federation.

Emma Spencer

I am Emma Spencer and currently President of Buckden and Godmanchester WIs.  I first joined the WI in 2012 when Godmanchester WI was reformed, volunteering as President on my very first meeting because no-one else did!   

I was previously on the Board of Trustees but 2 young children meant I was struggling with availability.  Now they are older I thought I’d try again. 

When I am not involved with the WI, I am Chair of Governors at a local primary school, socialise Hearing Dog puppies and invigilate exams at two local secondary schools.  I also like to visit the theatre, play taxi driver for my 2 teenage sons and watch rugby, which they both play. 

Interested in becoming a trustee?

A Trustee must be a member of a WI in that Federation. WIs elect Trustees prior to their federation’s Annual Meeting. They can hold the position for two or sometimes three years at a time. Trustees can also be co-opted onto the Board at a later date.

If you would be interested in becoming a Trustee, please contact the office for further information. We would be delighted for you to join our Board of Trustees!