Melanie R - President + Web & Social Media Mistress

What do you do for fun?/Hobbies and interests?

Am a nut for all things patchworky and quilty! Very un-traditional tho', a total fabric snob and addict! I flex my work hours so can go chill with my l'il ol'lady Crew for sewing days! Lately am defo enjoying getting out a lot with mates as, thank goodness, I have discovered in the last four years, that work is not the be all and end all! Ppppff to work when the pub (and crafts in the pub!) await!


How did you get involved in the WI?

I got chatting to an old WI member at a crafty event in 2014 and joined up! (I had a couple of years of being a regular member before becoming part of the 'Committee'!) Soon after I joined, I made super friends with the awesome ladies in the group and I was chomping at the bit to go camping! The first Tea & Tents (2014) was the first time I really ran about making new gurrrl buds in a middle of a Derbyshire field and getting an awesome vibe from the WI! Never looked backed, always running forward (yapping a lot)! I'm loving meeting all the lovely newbs that find their way to our WI! Hopefully they have as great an experience as I've had so far ;)


Why did you join the committee?

In all honesty, I was super buddy-buddy with a good few of the committee members anyway and felt part of the conversation hearing about what's going on a regular basis (I think I've been helpful/had a voice and contributed!)... I also love pubs and meetings in pubs is the dream!  I love to snap pics of how much we do in our meetings - so it felt right to volunteer to join and maybe take on some more stuff - and my 'normo' job lends itself well to web and social media - so BOOM!


What is your favourite thing about the WI?

Having a giggle, has to be said! Some girls have been hard to bond with outside of the WI (I have a few outside the WI that I could live with and that are super fun ;) but IN the WI I'm learning to be cool and hopefully build up the confidence of others (and genuinely my own) by just being a bit happier in the company of awesome gurrrls!


What is your worst habit?

I get stupid with money and spending - I'm always just saying 'why not?' (hence the insane fabric stash ;). Catch me on the wrong day I can be growly and territorial about my sewing ideas, but hey, at least I recognise it and am try to change that! Oh, and Crisps! ;)


Who would you most like to meet and why?

I think David Attenborough! I used to tell people 'he's my dad!' (Ahem!) - it would be nice to ask if he'd actually adopt me! (If you don't ask you don't get!)


What is your craft? 

Primarily, definitely patchwork and quilting! But I defo dabble about and go through phases of crochet, knitting, a bit of dressmaking (but not great at knowledge retention when it ones to those techniques!) oh but defo rubbish at ceramics! Except when I'm looking a bit special rolling vintage crochet into clay to cookie cut snowflakes! Like a bit of messiness.


What is/are your guilty pleasure(s)?

Urm, crisps! And Made in Chelsea - that's probably the one I should hang my head in shame for but I ruddy do love it.  I can't lie.


What are your committee responsibilities?

It;s all website, website, website, Facebook, Instagram and poking my nose into a bit of programme and social events organising! Totally championing the clubs too! In April 2019 I got promoted to President, but I feel I shall always do what I have done - just a few more talky bits ;)


What do you do?

I'm the Marketing Officer for a traded service of the County Council - we have the job of supporting schools in their use of technology and promoting computing in schools! A great cause, so worth the 'considerable effort' to bring some new ways of working to my hard working colleagues.  But trust me, I love the time I spend away from the office ;)


What is your poison?

Do they make a drink made of fabric? No? Prosecco it is then! Swiftly followed by Beer and Cake, obvs!