The Chair of the National Federation of WIs (NFWI) announced with great sadness the proposal to close Denman, the WI’s centre for learning permanently.
Lynne Stubbings wrote in a letter to all WI members that, “for a number of years, Denman has been operating without unrestricted reserves and operating a
cash-flow model reliant on future bookings. This has always made Denman vulnerable to any economic changes and particularly so during this period of complete lockdown”.
Lynne added that, “throughout lockdown, the NFWI Board of Trustees have been carefully examining the financial position of Denman and considering all possible options. As the proposed reopening date of 1 July approached, it became clear that Denman would be unable to open and operate its full range of services, and that participants and visitors were uncomfortable visiting, which meant the scheduled courses were no longer viable.”
The closure of Denman is currently only proposed, as the Board of Trustees have formally entered a consultation period with all Denman staff facing redundancy. The consultation period is an opportunity for staff to make representations on the proposal; therefore no decision can be made until the consultation period has ended.
The NFWI also state that, In the short term we will continue to deliver and grow our ‘Denman at Home’ offer so that members can continue to access the high quality Denman activities that we always prided ourselves in. In the longer-term our proposal is to develop a new educational model to be delivered to members and funded by the proceeds of the sale of the Denman estate”.
For more details of the proposals please follow the link to the NFWI website www.thewi.org.uk/denman. WI members can read a list of FAQs on the MyWI website.