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The National Association of Women’s Clubs was started during the 1930’s, by the Social Services, initially to provide education and recreation for the wives of the unemployed. Whereas in the 1930’s they were mostly run by paid managers to teach women how to budget for, and feed their families, by the early 1940’s the members had gradually taken over the management of the clubs themselves on a voluntary basis.

Clubs evolved during the 1950’s to serve the needs of the many new housing estates springing up after the Second World War. In 1976 the NAWC became independent and received Charity Status. We had been getting an annual grant from The Dept. of Innovation and Skills which recognised the aims of informal education and citizenship, however, this grant has ceased. We are looking for alternative funding and therefore rely on our members’ ongoing support in the form of donations and fund raising activities.

There are approximately 130 clubs throughout the country with a membership of 5000.  Each club is a non-political non-sectarian group open to all women over the age of 18, whatever their age and interests. Each club is self-governing, choosing its own officers, meeting place and times to fit the needs of their particular neighbourhood. A wide range of activities caters for all tastes but as the NAWC is an educational charity, the emphasis should be on self-development.

Many activities are carried on within the clubs, from the practice of various crafts to taking part in choirs, drama, keep fit and listening to speakers on every subject imaginable. Outings are also arranged to theatres, exhibitions and local industries. Social events are also organised to suit all tastes.

There are regional associations of clubs in areas where 3 or more clubs can meet and the clubs within these regularly get together so providing each member with further social contacts.

An Annual Conference is held at which resolutions put by member Associations and Groups are debated. Resolutions are of national importance and many pieces of legislation have been passed over the years in which the clubs feel their voice has been instrumental.

Members have the opportunity to attend Weekend Schools or One Day Workshops held in various parts of the country.

Community and charity work is encouraged and there is a real growth of friendship between club members, which results in the development of community spirit.

These and many more activities make the NAWC a very special organisation.