The WIGs is part of the Essex Federation of Women's Institutes, a registered charity, and as such is a not for profit organisation. Running costs are funded from membership subscriptions and monthly fundraising activities.
As well as our own fundraising we also raise funds for other charities – chosen by our members on an annual basis. In the past we have raised money for: Colchester Foodbank, Autism Anglia, Colchester MIND, Centre for Action on Rape & Abuse (CARA); Essex Air Ambulance, Marie Curie Cancer Care and Colchester General Hospital Breast Care & Cardiac Units.
During 2023 we will be raising funds for the Colchester Blanketeers and St Helena Hospice. St Helena is our local hospice providing palliative support across North East Essex, a lot of our members have received support from this organisation. The Colchester Blanketeers knit and crochet beautiful blankets that are used to make the hospital setting more homely and less sterile in the patient's last days. The nursing staff spray the blankets with the patients perfume/aftershave which also gives a more personal touch. When the patient passes away, the relatives can, if they wish keep the blanket. The Blanketeers have also started making bereavement bears for younger relatives.
We will be donating the proceeds of our monthly raffles as well as hosting some special events to raise funds for these very worthwhile causes.
In 2022 we raised over £2000 for The Medical Detection Dogs. They are a fantastic charity who train dogs to detect medical conditions such as cancer and more recently Covid. They also train dogs to work with individuals who have conditions such as POTs, where by having a dog to alert them that they are about to black out, means that they are able to live a more independent life. This year we managed to donate our largest ever amount to a charity through our monthly raffles, a special event hosted by one of our members and a Christmas crafting workshop.