VIDEO: Village women’s group marks 10 year anniversary

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A group of Ashington women joined together this week to celebrate 10 years of fundraising that amounts to £20,000 for local causes.

The Independent Women of Ashington is a club of 28 members who come together to organise events and raise money for charities like children’s hospice Chestnut Tree House based in Arundel.

JPCT 040613  Independent Women of Ashington - 10th anniversary. photo by Derek Martin

JPCT 040613 Independent Women of Ashington - 10th anniversary. photo by Derek Martin

To mark the centenary, the villagers gathered on Tuesday June 4 for a celebratory tea party, including a raffle and discussed the next six months of fund raising events.

Treasurer Annette Huddlestone said: “Our aims are to have fun, look after each other and do various activities to raise money for charity.

“We’ve raised about £12,000 for our main beneficiary, Chestnut Tree House, and the rest has gone to causes that are special to each individual member, like the Ashington First Responders.

“We’re quite proud that we’ve raised so much and it’s just purely on a few ladies having a bit of fun.”

Meeting regularly in each other’s homes for talks, demonstrations and coffee mornings, the group was not always known as The Independent Women of Ashington.

Annette explained: “In 2000 we started at Women’s Institute (WI), but after three years we didn’t want to do everything that the WI told us.

“As good as they are, we wanted to raise money for charity and you just can’t do that specifically in the WI. So we became the IW.”

Ranging between their 50s and 80s, the members are all retired and each get the opportunity to organise their own activities.

If you would like to join then contact Annette at