Welcome to this page, which will give you a brief overview of our organisation. It is intended to be helpful to both visitors and members alike.
The work we accomplish and the close friendship we gain is so important that we must make every effort to share our enthusiasm and safeguard our future.
In order to understand Inner Wheel today it is important to give a brief history. Many people will have heard about Rotary which has recently celebrated its centenary. During WW1 the Rotarian wives helped their husbands in raising charitable funds to alleviate the suffering of those around them. The ladies started doing similar things and set up a ladies club to run along Rotary lines. Unknown to each other this was happening all over our country. They enjoyed getting together, meeting, having social events and speakers.
The Manchester ladies formed a Club – The Inner Wheel Club of Manchester, (UK) under the leadership of Mrs Golding in January 1924. By May of that year other neighbouring Clubs had been approached and District 5 was formed following the lines of Rotary. Other Clubs and Districts were formed and by May of 1934, at the Rotary Conference, the ladies held their own meeting and The Association of Inner Wheel Clubs in Great Britain and Ireland was formed. Clubs started springing up abroad and in 1967, embracing the object of International Understanding, International Inner Wheel was born.
You can see from the history that only Rotarian wives were involved for a long time – which is probably why very few people were informed about the amazing work carried out. Maybe we were a little too modest. Our rules have changed and membership is open to all women. We now need to “advertise” ourselves and let the wider community know just who we are and what we do.
Our members meet regularly, usually 11 times a year - work together, make new friendships, spend leisure time, offer voluntary service and organise cultural activities. We enjoy working together to help charities, locally, nationally and internationally.
We are proud to have a positive impact on the lives of millions of people. National and District charities are chosen every year, these are listed on the website. Each club is entirely free to choose its own charity and community involvement and to what extent it is carried out.
We have a Constitution which gives established levels of administration – i.e. a club belongs to a District. There are 29 Districts in our Country forming our Association and we have representation at International level. This gives a direct link between Clubs, Districts, etc. We have an opportunity to change the Constitution both internationally and nationally; internationally at Convention every 3 years and nationally at Conference every year. Clubs can put forward proposals to change the constitution which gives every member a voice.
We are not sectarian nor party political
We are devoted to helping others and offering friendship, service and support – so our Mission is to promote action, service and good practice, intended to improve the lives of men, women and children around the world – in this country we are all inclusive and so we believe in helping men, women and children.
We have representation at the United Nations. We have 6 members who sit on NGO committees.
Our members make firm and lasting friendships with like-minded women. There is no other group like it – we do make friends for life.
Why choose an all women organisation? What about gender laws in some countries? In our country we rely on an exception in the Equality Act relating to single characteristic associations. It’s good to have a female pal. We all need to get small rather unimportant things off our chest and have a good laugh, and when a big blow strikes and a member, say, becomes bereaved, very often the first outing she takes is to an IW meeting, where she knows she will have no pressure, because there is someone there who knows exactly how she feels. We have to remember and accept that in some communities women are not allowed out into mixed company – Inner Wheel meetings should be a safe environment for those ladies.
We work on exciting and fun projects that leave us with a sense of satisfaction – we are involved in a huge range of initiatives that are truly life changing.
We can say that our values are Friendship, Service, Culture, International Understanding, Human Rights, Status of Women, Protection of Children, Education, Integrity and Environment.
Inner Wheel is continuously evolving – it unites IW members in service, because we do change lives, restore hopes and build futures. This may help explain the three objectives of Inner Wheel.
To Promote True Friendship
To Encourage the Ideals of Personal Service
To Foster International Understanding
There are lots of publications available through the link websites. You may find the following documents helpful:
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE OR WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A PRESENTATION PLEASE CONTACT US THROUGH THE contact page
The District 6 International Charity is the Lemon Tree Trust - transforming refugee camps, one garden at a time.
The National President, Enid Law, has chosen Riding for the Disabled for her charity.