Board of Trustees

Federation Trustees provide the link between the NFWI and the WIs in our federation. Trustees are jointly responsible for running the federation, although they can delegate certain responsibilities. They 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
Margaret Carter

Federation Chairman

As the head of the Federation Board of Trustees, Margaret manages all Federation business and provides support and guidance to WIs whilst working with the Trustees to oversee the running of the federation and pass on information from the NFWI to WIs in the region ensuring we comply with the guidelines in the Charity Commission.  Handling enquiries from members and the public, overseeing the organisation of events, activities and trips for WIs in the region is amongst many of her tasks.  Margaret works closely with Clare Espie, our treasurer to set the Federation’s budget and oversee its finances.

Judith Russell

Federation Vice Chairman

I have been a member of Bowes Belles WI since it’s commencement in 2013. I have been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2017 and Chair of the Food and Science Committee since 2016. I am at present joint vice chair of the Federation and treasurer at Bowes Belles.  When I was coming up to my retirement my daughters (who were both WI members) said that I should become a member as I would miss the company of working colleagues!! Joining the WI is like becoming part of a huge new family. I have made many friends and learned so many new skills. I look forward to help develop and expand the Tyne & Wear Federation as a board member

Elaine Wright

Federation Vice Chairman

I moved back to the North East following retirement in 2009 and joined Washington Station WI in the hope of meeting people. I can honestly say that it is one of the best things I have done. I was made to feel very welcome and quickly became involved in all the activities that the WI has to offer, forming many very close friendships that I know will last my lifetime. I joined the committee in 2010 and became Treasurer for the next seven years before becoming President in 2018. With so many opportunities open to members it is very true that the "WI is what you want it to be".

I have been a member of the Federation Board of Trustees for three years where I am one of the Vice Chair's. I also sit on the Events and Opportunities currently chair the Membership and Public Affairs Committee.  It is an honour to be part of a progressive federation with exciting times and opportunities ahead to look forward to.

Clare Espie

Federation Treasurer

Clare oversees the federation’s accounts and gives financial advice to the Board. She ensures that we comply with the charitable objects set out in its governing document and she must also make sure it follows legal and financial guidelines set out in current charity legislation.  Clare manages federation accounts – and prepares an annual report and accounts to present at the Annual Meeting

complete annual returns in accordance with the requirements of Charity Commission and, if incorporated, Companies House.  Together with Margaret Clare sets an annual budget and budgets for individual events for the board to approve.  She also monitors the spending of restricted grants and funds.

Debra Phippen

Board Member

I have been a member of Jarrow WI since 2013 and have been secretary on their committee for the past two years.   Although I still work full time as a Senior Science Technician in a local secondary school, I can fit in most of the events arranged; with consideration being given to women who work or have other commitments during the working day, attending meetings and training sessions is not a problem as they are now held in the evening.   I then joined the board of trustees in 2017 and this made me appreciate the scale of where our Federation is both geographically and membership wise.  There have been lots of positive changes recently and it is wonderful to work alongside such inspiring ladies!

Katherine Watson

Board Member

I'm Katherine Watson, member of the Board of Trustees since 2017, member of the Public Affairs and Membership Committee since 2019, and founding President of Bowes Belles WI since 2013.  I've always wanted to join the WI since I was a little girl; my great-grandma was a member of Kibblesworth WI, and my nanna was a member in Washington, and the WI was shrouded in mystery!  They'd get dressed up to the nines and off they'd go - to where and do what, I had no idea, but I wanted to be part of it!  And here I am years later, not only as President of Bowes Belles WI but helping shape the future of the WI as a Board and committee member with Tyne & Wear South Federation.

Joan Dodds Board Member

Joan has enjoyed many years being a member of Washington Station WI, aswell as a member of our Federation Membership committee.  Joan recently joined the Board to offer her valuable expertise on a wide range of subjects.  Joan also helps to compile our speakers list, as she is the first contact obtaining a wide range of information from prospective speakers.  Her cheerful and lively personality brings a great dimension to the Board.
Evelyn Clark

Board Member

First thing I wanted to do when I retired 2016 was to join the WI. I joined Washington Concord WI after meeting Elizabeth, our events secretary, at the local gym.  In December of that year I joined the committee and became Secretary. The following year I was invited as an observer to Organisation Committee. Not long after this I decided the next step was to be an adviser, which I’m currently training for.

I have made new friends, help raise money for local charities, taken part in the Christmas production and baked enough cakes and scones to feed an army. The WI is all I hoped it would be

Margaret Fullerton

Board Member

I'm Margaret Fullerton and a member of the Board of Trustees.  I joined Jarrow WI in 2008 and have recently taken on the role of treasurer.  I am thoroughly enjoying the role and finding I am learning great new skills all the time.

I am often in the Federation office helping Joanne with any tasks which I also enjoy immensely.  Why not call in and have a look around ? We would love to see you.

Karen English
Board Member

I'm Karen English, the newbie when it comes to Board members.  I am an active member of Sister of Shields WI but felt I could give a little bit more, so I joined the Board in October 2020.

I have a great group of 'sisters' whom I have met through the WI, these have become my support network and I have had great experiences with them.  

I work fulltime, study at Newcastle University and am fulltime mother.  I hope I can bring positive changes to the Federation.  I look forward to making a new circles of colleagues and friends.