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 10 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! Recently I was elected chair of Public Affairs sub-committee, an area of the W.I. dear to my heart and for which I feel immensely proud. 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 4 beautiful children ranging from 6 years to 3 months. I am a keen quilter, an avid gardener, enjoy singing in the Ripton’s choir, volunteer for “Dreamdrops” a children’s charity based in Hinchingbrooke hospital and “Save the Children”. I am a parish councillor for my village and when time allows enjoy the theatre, cinema and as a retired Home Economics teacher pursuing all things “foodie”.

Jean Jefferies – Vice-Chairman, 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.

Zena Betts – Federation Treasurer
Maria Pidoux – Climate Ambassador, Health and Safety Officer, Federation Safeguarding Officer

After getting married and moving a lot due to my husband being in the RAF we settled in Bury. I continued my career as a  Geography teacher and retired as a Head of House five years ago. I continued doing some supply work,  but hung up my gown three years ago.  I joined Abbey WI and became their President  some four years ago. I then was drafted onto the board of Trustees 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, the health and safety officer for the Federation and help with the newsletter. I enjoy being part of the WI and look forward to the future of the organisation.

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.

Jacqueline Svensson – Federation MCS Representative

I wanted to become part of the Trustee Team in order to contribute and learn more about our WIs and our Federation.  I am a president of Sawtry WI where we have our own WI Hall and a thriving WI over 100 years old.  I am also dual member with two successful WIs: Alconbury-cum-Weston WI and Filoxenia our new Virtual WI which meets via Zoom where I handle the Correspondence.  I have recently joined Federation’s Activities and Public Affairs Teams.

I have been fortunate to have lived and worked in USA and Sweden as well as the UK teaching language, dance, exercise and later teaching social work.  I have BSL to a high level, beginners Greek and am also fluent in Swedish.

I own my own business teaching Sewing, Patchwork, Quilting and Crafts which is also my main hobby.  I particularly like making quilts and gifts and very much enjoy the ‘flow’ that results from immersing myself in sewing and crafts which have been my interest since I was small.

I am proud to belong to such an interesting organisation.  I have found the WI experience a rewarding one and I have been fortunate to have been guided by some inspiring women in my life including those I have met at local WIs, Federation, National, my mother who was a WI member for many years and my youngest daughter who has recently joined WI and is the president of Filoxenia Virtual WI.

My family contains many nationalities and is strewn around the globe, I have a very supportive husband, three daughters, seven grandchildren and a golden retriever, all of whom I am immensely proud and we have a great grandchild on the way! 

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


Carole Lovell

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. I am also a dual member at Elton WI.
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.

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!