Category: sheffield food festival

Jam, Gin and Jerusalem: WI teams up with local companies to make charity jam for Sheffield Food Festival

South Yorkshire’s largest WI group have teamed up with local food and drink companies to create a boozy jam.

Seven Hills WI’s raspberry and gin jam features ingredients from Catherine’s Choice jam and Locksley Distilling Company, who produce Sheffield’s Robin of Locksley gin.

The limited edition jam will be sold at the WI’s cake stall in the Peace Gardens at Sheffield Food Festival on 27th and 28th May 2017.

The jam costs £3.50 and all the money raised will go to local charity, Mental Health Action Group Sheffield.

Grace Escott-Tebbutt, President of Seven Hills WI, said: “We are very grateful to Catherine’s Choice and Locksley Distilling Company for donating their time and their ingredients to help us make this quality jam. Jam is a massive part of WI history and I can’t wait for people to taste our boozy version!”

Victoria and Di with our jam
Shaun Bamford, Owner of Catherine’s Choice, said: “It was great to work with Seven Hills WI to make this special jam and hopefully raise lots of money for a great cause.”

John Cherry, from Locksley Distilling Company said: “A raspberry and gin jam sounds delicious so we were pleased to be able to help Seven Hills WI create this jam and raise money too.”

All the money raised will go to Mental Health Action Group Sheffield, a local charity who help people with mental health issues.  

We raised over £1000 at Sheffield Food Festival

We’ve raised over £1000 selling homemade cake for a local charity at this year’s Sheffield Food Festival.
For the fifth year in a row, our city centre WI group have been at the festival by baking and selling cakes. This year’s stall in the Peace Gardens was extremely popular with the stall selling out of cakes every day. We raised £1024 in total.

Kirsty Bowen, President of Seven Hills WI said “Our stall was a massive hit once again at Sheffield Food Festival. Thank you to everyone who came down and bought cake or entered our raffle and a big thank you to all our members who worked hard to volunteer or bake.”
All the money raised will go to Light Sheffield, a local charity run providing support across Sheffield to families affected by perinatal mental health illnesses, including post natal depression and anxiety. Our members voted to support Light Sheffield as their charity for 2016.
Jess Rennie from Light Sheffield said: “It’s fantastic that Seven Hills WI have raised so much money from cake! We want to thank all the members who volunteered or baked cake. The Money will go to helping mums and their families who are affected by perinatal mental illnesses in Sheffield and the surrounding areas, to access valuable support provided by Light Sheffield.
Seven Hills WI have been invited to take part in Eroica Britannia family festival in June, bringing our popular charity cake stall to Bakewell Showground. We will be at the festival on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June 2016.

Seven Hills WI return to Sheffield Food Festival

South Yorkshire’s largest Women’s Institute group, Seven Hills WI will be selling cakes once again for a local charity at this year’s Sheffield Food Festival.

The group have taken part in the festival since it began in 2011, selling homemade baked treats by women from the group. 

Members at Sheffield Food Festival 2015

This year, the Seven Hills WI stall will be in the Peace Gardens on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 May 2016. All money raised will go to local charity, Light Sheffield.

Light Sheffield is a small local charity run by volunteers providing support across Sheffield to families affected by perinatal mental health illnesses, including post natal depression and anxiety. Seven Hills WI’s members voted to support Light Sheffield as it’s charity for 2016.

Kirsty Bowen, President of Seven Hills WI said: “Every year, our members pull out all the stops to bake some impressive cakes for visitors at Sheffield Food Festival.

“We hope to beat last year’s amount raised and help Sheffield Light who provide a really important service to women and families in our community.”

Jess Rennie from Light Sheffield said: “We are absolutely delighted that Light Sheffield were chosen as Seven Hills WI’s charity of the year.

“We are a small charity so the money raised at Sheffield Food Festival will really make a difference to our work supporting women and families who are affected by perinatal mental health illnesses.”

Sheffield Food Festival is an annual event in the city centre, celebrating the quality and diversity of food and drink produced within the region.

President’s blog: Thoughts on 2015

It’s been another fantastic year for Seven Hills WI. We’re still at maximum capacity for members and we’ve had a brilliant programme to keep us entertained. Personal highlights for me include Cheerleading and Dr Nate Adams

Cheerleading in 2015
Fundraising has become such a huge part of our group and I’m happy to say we’ve continued to raise massive amounts of money for our charity of the year, Sayit. Our total this year is £1055.69 so well done to everyone who baked for Sheffield Food Festival or came along to our Centenary event. Next year I would like to organise an extra fundraising event or challenge for our charity so if anyone has any ideas, please let me know. 

Sheffield Food Festival 2015

One of my personal goals as President is to make members feel welcome and more included in the group. It can be hard when we have such a large group and when I’m personally very busy trying to get things ready at the start and end of meetings. I think we have got better at making members feel more included. We’ve had more and more newbies get involved, join spin-off groups and even feel like they want to join the committee after one year. I’d like to thank Lucy and Kat for organising a record number of meals out for SHWI Eats. Events like these really help people get to know each other and I think we’ve had much more than the usual faces come to events other than meetings. There is more to do and I hope we can build on this next year. 

Spin-off SHWI eats event at Bhaji Shop

On to the committee. We’ve had a few people stand down this year so I’d like to thank them for their hard work. Caryl Carson, Chella Quint, Leanne Sunter and Carly Sunter – thank you for everything you have done for SHWI and I hope you to see you at meetings in the future.

Our committee for 2016 is:
President – Kirsty Bowen
Secretary – Laura Bainbridge
Treasurer – Vicky Porteous-Medley
Vice President & Programme Co-ordinator – Jennifer Marsden
Assistant Secretary – Grace Tebbutt
Assistant Treasurer – Bex Lissaman
Meeting Attendance Secretary – Jodie Winters
Newsletter Editor – Sam Foster
Programme Co-ordinator – Rachel White
Meeting Co-ordinator – Liz Needes
SHWI Ambassadors – Anna Pilson, Alice Bullas, Sarah Willougby, Karin Safwenberg-Barnes, Chelle Cook

Next year we have a fantastic programme of events – more details to be announced soon!

Finally I’d like to say it’s been an honour to be President in the Centenary year. I’ve been lucky enough to have some fantastic opportunities and represent you in this year including appearing on the Great British Menu

BBC/Optomen Television Ltd/Andrew Hayes-Watkin

I will be stepping down at our AM in 2016 and I hope then, I will be able to look back at another successful year where the WI has enriched our lives and helped people where we can. 

The WI has been a force for good and for change for 100 years. I’d like to finish with a saying inspired by our WI friend, Joanne Croxford’s own motto – “Deeds not Words”:

‘Fine words butter no parsnips’

I hope to our WI can continue to make positive change for our lives and our wider community in 2016. 

Kirsty Bowen

We raised £1024 at Sheffield Food Festival 2015

Anna, Jen, Kirsty, Grace and Chelle help on the stall

We’re very happy to say that our stall at this year’s Sheffield Food Festival raised an amazing £1024 for our charity of the year. Our members worked really hard to bake some delicious treats and volunteer on the stall all weekend. Committee member Sam made two beautiful rainbow pinata cakes for us to raffle on both days. Thank you to everyone who helped, bought a cake or raffle ticket from us!

All the money we raised will go to SAYiT Sheffield. They provide support for young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) or who are affected by HIV.

One of Sam’s incredible pinata cakes

Sheffield Food Festival this weekend

Last year’s volunteers on our stall

It’s Sheffield Food Festival this weekend (Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th May) and once again, Seven Hills WI will be peddling our wares! We have a stall in the Peace Gardens (close to Browns Restaurant) selling homemade cakes and baked goods from 10am – 5pm on Saturday and 11am – 5pm Sunday. All the money raised goes to our charity of the year, SAYit.

The Sheena Amos Youth Trust (SAYiT) is an independent charity which has been running in Sheffield since 1999. A sexual health charity, they work with young people up to the age of 25, particularly those who are most vulnerable or marginalised including LGBT people or those affected by HIV.

Please come down and help support our charity of the year!

We choose SAYiT as our charity of the year

At our February meeting, Seven Hills WI members voted SAYiT as our charity for 2015. A local independent organisation, SAYiT (Sheena Amos Youth Trust) supports young people who are LGBT or who are affected by HIV.

Fundraising events planned include Seven Hills WI’s annual baking stall at Sheffield Food Festival. Last year, we raised £1170 over two days by selling cakes and organising a best in show competition.

Sally Carr, Strategic Manager of SAYiT said “In the on-going quest to address homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in our society we know that we still have a long way to go, and the support of the WI will help to address this outdated and hurtful prejudice. We will use the money raised to continue our educational and awareness raising work which aims to make society a better place for everybody.”

Kirsty Bowen, President of Seven Hills WI said “I am very pleased that we have chosen SAYiT to be our charity in 2015, the WI’s centenary year. The WI has never shied away from important issues and we hope that we can make a real difference to young people affected in our local area.”

For more information on Seven Hills WI and our fundraising, email us at

We baked our way to £1,170 at Sheffield Food Festival!

Members at this year’s Food Festival
We are celebrating after raising £1,170 for the Young Women’s Housing Project through our stall and competition at this year’s Sheffield Food Festival.

We raised the sum by selling cakes, biscuits and buns made by SHWI members on their traditional stall and through entry fees for their Best in Show competition at the Festival held last month. It is the fourth year running that SHWI has taken part in the event.

Seven Hills WI President, Lindsay Garfitt, said: “We’re thrilled to have raised such a lot of money for the Young Women’s Housing Project. Last year, we made just over £1,000 at the Food Festival and really wanted to beat that total this year so we are very happy to have done so. We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came along and bought cakes from us or entered our competition.”

Jo Meagher from YWHP added: “It really motivates the team knowing that people want to support the project, and the young women are really grateful that Seven Hills WI wants to raise money to help them get back on their feet.

“With the funds raised we are hoping to take the young women and children on a family day out to the seaside, something many of them will not have done for many years, if at all. We will also be able to provide some specialist parent and child sessions to support these young families to build strong, trusting relationships and develop their strengths for coping with difficulties. The support from Seven Hills WI will make a real difference for these young women; we can’t thank the members enough.”

The winners of the Seven Hills WI Best in Show competition were as follows:

Strawberry Jam – Clare Savage
Victoria Sponge – Neil Askew
Bread – Clare Savage
Children’s Cupcakes – Lia Touhey and Frances Williamson (joint winners)

Ello, Ello, Ello!

In the club area before the meeting, there was a distinct buzz as members old and new filtered in, catching up after Christmas, tucking into homemade cake and poring over our snazzy new programmes! We’ve been at our venue Electric Works for a whole year now so it brought a smile to my face to see new members getting excited about their first ever go on the helter skelter!
Chella shows off her committee rosette and our new programme
Then it was into the conference room for the meeting, where SHWI president Lindsay gave an introduction to Seven Hills for those new to the group. There was lots of exciting news to share – spin-off group events, the Sheffield Food Festival in May and a welcome meeting arranged just for newbies on 4th February. Members were also reminded that they could nominate a charity for us to support this year which we’ll be voting on at February’s meeting.
Getting 2014 off to an arresting start (geddit?), our speakers for the evening were Chief Superintendent Rachel Barber and Chief Inspector Caroline Rollitt from South Yorkshire Police. Both have acquired their own notoriety locally, after taking part in charity stand-up challenge, Funny Business, in aid of Weston Park Cancer Charity. A few gags even made it into their talk, showing that they can crack jokes as well as crime. (Thankfully, their jokes were were better than mine).

Members listen intently
Both started in the police force in the late 1980s and shared how they had handled being a woman in a male-dominated environment. The indelible description of Rachel having to hitch her police-issue skirt up to her crotch so she could give chase showed just how far things have come. The comical spin showed a softer side of policing, but there were also glimpses of gallows humour. Insight into how it serves as a coping mechanism for the more challenging aspects of their work, perhaps? Prostitution, guns and erm, international football all featured as they gave us a potted history of their careers in the force, with a few life lessons shared along the way.
Caroline and Rachel seemed largely unphased by many of the challenges – both in their work and in the organisation – although I suspect that’s come with experience. It was inspiring to see how down-to-earth and pragmatic they both were without being jaded or cynical.

Members Sarah and Cat join Rachel and Caroline’s squad
As the meeting came to a close, Lindsay announced that we were now full for 2014 which means we’re now at 135 members. No doubt it’ll be a merry meeting next month, as we welcome Beer Central to Electric Works to give our members a taste of some of the best brews.
(Vice President)


SHWI in a flap

It’s October. The leaves have turned brown and there’s a distinct chill in the air, which can only mean one thing – it’s time to renew WI membership. At Seven Hills WI, members have both October and November meetings to bring their cheques or cash (exact money please!) before we open up the doors to the numerous ladies of Sheffield who’ve been on the waiting list to join South Yorkshire’s largest group. 

On Thursday, Treasurer Vicky P-M and Assistant Treasurer Leanne were ready and waiting to collect payment before the meeting began. They do a great job – just a glance at their incredibly detailed spreadsheet baffled me!

Women busied themselves making all-important cups of tea, catching up and having a slice of Di Coupe’s amazing SHWI pie – handmade sausage, chicken and stuffing pie. It was the star prize on the raffle at our Sheffield Food Festival stall and I was keen to have a slice (or two!) with picallili. Nom.

It was soon time to settle ourselves in the main room of Electric Works where Lindsay went through meeting business before we could kick off with the activity. We had the debrief on our visit to the Don Valley Rally (the Don Valley group of WI’s recent get-together) and Lindsay thanked those who had helped put together our brilliant yet unsuccessful entry into the seaside themed table competition. Zoe Loveday, organiser of our stall at Sheffield Food Festival was presented with a gorgeous bunch of flowers as a thank you for all her hardwork in raising £1,056 for PACT.

Our next fundraising effort for PACT is the SHWI calendar which is soon to be finished. Featuring famous landmarks of Sheffield, the limited edition run will go on sale soon so get yours quick!

We had a quick sneak preview of next year’s exciting programme and Lindsay also announced the new committee for 2014 who will take their position’s after next month’s AGM. After spin-off group updates, it was time for a quick break before our dance teacher Sue would start our Charleston lesson.

Charleston was very risqué at it’s time – Sue compared it almost to pole dancing! Flappers caused a bit of a stir so we had to keep that in mind with our movements. We would be learning the dance routine to Fat Sam’s from the musical ‘Bugsy Malone’. It sounded a bit ambitious to me but we rose to the challenge! Sue broke it down into chunks and we swapped places in the room to ensure she could see everyone – including those hiding at the back! After completing the first session, I nipped out for a quick drink of water which meant I missed the last bit of the routine. As a spectator, I was able to see the routine in full which looked amazing! Well done ladies!

It was soon time to pack away and say our goodbyes until next month’s meeting – flower arranging! How traditional!

Kirsty Bowen
SHWI Committee