On Tuesday 28th of February, the three founding members of the Sotonettes – Emma, Marli and Cat – gathered in the upstairs bar of The Slug and Lettuce in Southampton city centre, and waited to see if any other ladies shared their interest in forming a new, modern Women’s Institute. They had no idea how many people would come, but the 90+ ladies who showed up to find out what the Sotonettes were all about, definitely surpassed all their expectations!
The evening was a pretty informal affair, for interested ladies to come along, find out more about WI, what the Sotonettes were all about and get to meet some new people!
There was a group of Official WI Advisor’s – long standing WI members who know all about starting up new groups – on hand to answer questions about the WI, how to join and what WI’s do. Emma , Somali and Cat also made their way through the crowds, chatting with as many people as they could as well as making a few short speeches about themselves and their vision for the Sotonettes.
The main activity of the night was Social Bingo! If you’re not familiar with it – Social Bingo is a great ice breaking activity, encouraging people to get out of their comfort zone and meet new people. We were all given ‘bingo card’ with nine boxes, each containing a different description, with the aim being to find people meeting those descriptions. A room filled with more than 90 ladies each trying to complete their own social bingo card is a seriously chaotic place, but also amazingly good fun! Some boxes weren’t too difficult – Find someone who can knit or Find someone who was born in Hampshire. Some were a bit trickier – Find a member of the committee (there were only 3 of them and they were all running around making sure the night went well) or Find someone who has done a skydive. And some were down right intimate (and cause for many giggles) – Find someone with a tattoo or Find someone wearing party knickers! Once the time was up, names were drawn from a hat, with prizes for the first lady to match one line, two lines and then a full house. Everyone got really involved and it seemed like everyone had a great time with it.
There was also a great raffle, with a huge range of prizes donated by local businesses, inlcuding; vouchers for Hepwright’s Vintage, Asgard Tattoo and Body Piercing, October Books and Mango Thai, veg boxes from Riverford Organics, and a gift box from Lush amongst many other things!
The whole event was great fun and a huge success – more than 30 ladies signed up to become full members of Sotonettes there and then, more than enough for the group to be declared an official new WI!
See the slideshow below or the events pictures in the sidebar for pictures from the night.
Thank you so much to everyone who came along on the night and to all of you who signed up.