Westhoughton Community Network

group for and run by community groups in Westhoughton

Women of Westhoughton - new group established in 2013 Women of Westhoughton (WOW)

Formed in 2013, the new community group - Women of Westhoughton (WOW) - the local branch of the National Association of Women's Clubs now meets each Thursday at 7:00pm at The John Holt Centre on Birch Avenue. The club is open to all women of any age or culture and from all areas of Bolton to come along and take part in various activities, listen to speakers on a wide variety of subjects and make new friends.

The National Association of Women's Clubs is a national, non-political, social organisation for all women, creating opportunities to build new skills by taking part in a wide variety of activities in an atmosphere of friendship and fun and campaigning on issues that matter to members and their communities. It has some 5000 members in 130 clubs across the country where members enjoy demonstrations, talks and visits to places of interest, theatres and exhibitions. It holds weekends away, puts on summer garden parties and lunches and has an annual conference.

WOW - Women of Westhoughton get together for meeting Since its beginnings in 2013 the Westhoughton group is now well-established with an interesting programme of events and activities from craft and social games evenings, speakers and occasional special events (theatre outings, meals at local restuarants, days out). A welcoming group of mixed ages; always happy to see new faces and have new members join. Informal and good social fun. Usually the group will have a local charity that will have a personal connection with members that it supports with fundraising each year.

The group will occasionally have joint events with other NAWC clubs in the North West, such as luncheons at Haydock Park Golf Club or group-wide social evenings at the Padgate Community Centre for a meal and entertainment.

Programme | Get in touch

News & Activities

Women of Westhoughton (WOW) continues to go from strength to strength… from a standing start at the being of the summer 2013, the group organised many meetings and outings including arts and crafts evenings, games nights, talks on subjects such as 'History of Haigh Hall', 'The Homeless in Bolton' and 'Betsy the Maid', as well as have group meals out and theatre trips, and even special visits such as to Greenhalgh's Bakery. It is a programme that members find both interesting and entertaining. The established format being the weekly events or outings, with a break over Christmas.

In 2014 there were 46 WOW events including talks and presentations, craft sessions and outings - this included a celebratory event for our '1st birthday' (8th May). The group has been able to build and put on a full programme with over 50 events and activities a year.

Of course, 2020 (and most of 2021) was hit by the Covid Lockdown, affecting all of the community sector and stopping social activity. So, after a promising start - boosted by a grant award of £500 from the joint Bolton CVS/Bolton GP Federation 'Keeping Well in Winter' initiative, which enabled WOW to have regular 'Postural & Stability' exercise, and 'Tai Chi' sessions, as well as to purchase therapy bands and other equipment for members' personal use - the 2020 programme was put on hold, then cancelled. During this hiatus, with the closure of the original base at the Hope Centre, it became necessary to find a new meeting venue; the John Holt Centre becoming the new base for WOW as it re-launched from September 2021. On a sad note Treasurer, Sheena Pennington, died suddenly in June necessitating some reorganisation. The group intends to make the third week in the month an 'away-day' leaving this free for theatre visits, meals, etc. WOW! celebrated its 10th anniversary in May 2023 with a trip to Morecambe, and is now back to its full schedule of meetings and activities.

Charitable Support

WOW - Senior Solutions (2022 chosen charity) presented with a cheque for £500 (25/5/23)

Over the years the charities WOW has supported include: Fortalice women's refuge (2014); Bolton Community Kitchen (2015); the Zak Vali Foundation (2016), which raises funds to help pay for funeral costs when a child passes after cancer treatment; Target Ovarian Cancer (2017), in memory of the National Association of Women's Clubs founder member Chris Martin who passed away in November 2016 - the group making a donation of £450 for this worthy cause. Bury Cancer Support Centre, a drop-in centre for anyone whose life is touched by cancer in the Bolton and Bury area, was supported 2018/19 WOW (we raised £375). Bolton Newstalk was the charity chosen for 2019/20; based at the Sensory Centre, Thicketford, it produces audio materials for the blind or visually impaired - specifically a free, weekly digest of local news on a USB memory stick for some 200 clients. Local charity Senior Solutions were supported in 2022, receiving a donantion £500 (pictured). The charity chosen to be supported in 2023/24 is Endeavour - a community domestic abuse charity supporting people and their pets to live a life free from domestic abuse.

2023 Programme
(John Holt Centre - Thursdays 7:00 - 9:00pm unless stated)

  • 12th January - Welcome Back!
  • 19th January - Meal (China Room)
  • 26th January - Games / Film
  • 2nd February - Belly Dancing
  • 9th February - Strength & Balance
  • 16th February - Theatre / Meal (TBC)
  • 23rd February - Busy Bee Embroidery
  • 2nd March - Fish & Chips Supper / Quiz
  • 9th March - Strength & Balance
  • 16th March - Meal / Outing
  • 23rd March - Easter Craft
  • 30th March - Easter Buffet and Hat
  • 6th April - No Meeting
  • 13th April - Strength & Balance
  • 20th April - Meal / Outing
  • 27th April - 'Keep Taking The Tablets' - Steve Freeborn
  • 4th May - No Meeting - Local Elections
  • 11th May - Coronation Party
  • 18th May - 10th Anniversary! Dewlay Cheese & Afternoon Tea, Midland Hotel, Morecambe
  • 25th May - AGM
  • 1st June - Betsy 3 - Joanne Halliwell
  • 8th June - Strength & Balance - Sue Bardsley
  • 15th June - Meal - La Cava
  • 22nd June - Endeavour - this year's WOW! chosen charity
  • 29th June - 'The Lady Killers' - Bolton Little Theatre
  • 6th July - Other Black Beauty - Jack Morris
  • 13th July - Trip to Gladstone Pottery
  • 20th July - NAWC Luncheon, Haydock Park Golf Club
  • 27th July - Medical Detection Dogs
  • 1st August - Crafts
  • 10th August - Strength & Balance
  • 17th August - Damhouse, Astley for Afternoon Tea
  • 27th August - Hulton Estate - Elaine Taylor
  • 7th September - Film Night
  • 14th September - TBA
  • 21st September - Meal - Mangrove
  • 28th September - Sweet Memories - Jackie Mafi
  • 6th October - Strength & Balance
  • 7th October - School-Crafts, Lunch & Entertainment - Cross Lane United Church, Newton-le-Willows
  • 12th October - Harvest Home Charity Night
  • 19th October - Jeeves & Wooster' - Octagon, Bolton
  • 26th October - Games/Quiz
  • 2nd November - Film Night
  • 9th November - Speaker
  • 16th November - 'Lovely Bones' - Farnworth Little Theatre
  • 23rd November - Line Dancing
  • 30th November - Christmas Craft
  • 7th December - Carols and Lunch - Adelphi, Liverpool (afternoon)
  • 7th December - Strength & Balance
  • 14th December - Quiz and Food
  • 21st December - Christmas Outing (TBC)

Christmas Break - WOW resumes activities on Thursday, 11th January 2024.

Details of previous years events and activities: Download.

Summer 2019 Report on Activities by Janice Bayliss (9/2/20)

At our AGM we chose Bolton Newstalk as our charity for the year, holding a sale of 'previously owned' jewellery, handbags and clothes, in addition to the ongoing sale of second-hand books and Janice's Jam to raise funds.

WOW - Women of Westhoughton celebrating group's 6th Birthday. During the year we have had a variety of events and outings. We've tried our hand at CPR, Tai Chi, Clog, Bollywood and Belly Dancing, had demonstrations of beauty products, aromatherapy and cheese making. We have had several 'in house' parties, Chinese New Year, USA 4th July, a Pasty & Peas evening, and a Charity BBQ held at our chairman's home, in addition to meals out at local Italian, Chinese and Indian restaurants.

Speakers have included return visits from Peter Watson and Betsy (Joanne Halliwell) and from various charities - 'Mission Aviation Fellowship', 'Talk Listen Change' about domestic abuse, 'Mhist', and the adorable 'Assist Dog Dillon'.

We've enjoyed a number of Film nights with popcorn and ice-cream; games and quiz nights and craft evenings making jewellery, quilling and bottle lights.

Outings have included a Ghost Walk at Smithills, theatre visits as diverse as 'My Fair Lady' and 'Rocky Horror', plus trips to Farnworth and Bolton Little Theatres, and the NAWC Festival of Carols at Huyton.

We had lovely days out at Trentham Gardens to celebrate our birthday, and to the NAWC Summer Luncheon at Haydock Park Golf Club.

Summer 2015 Report on Activities by Janice Bayliss (25/8/15)

WOW - Women of Westhoughton enjoy a meal togetherWomen of Westhoughton (WOW), the local branch of the National Association of Women's Clubs, have continued to meet each week and had a variety of activities including: Zumba and craft sessions, talks and outings including our Birthday meal at Momentum.

At our AGM in July we chose Bolton Community Kitchen as our charity for the year. Some of our guest speakers have already donated their 'fees' and, as we have a number of very talented ladies, we hope to raise funds from our 'Homemade Sale' in December. There will be a Pasty 'n' Peas Supper and all are invited.

WOW - Women of Westhoughton -  2015 trip to mosqueOn July 25th, members had the opportunity to learn more about our varied community by visiting Bolton's oldest Hindu Temple and Mosque in a 'Taste of Asia' outing which was organised through Bolton Tourism. The outing was financed by a successful bid to the Big Bolton Fund.

"The Taste of Asia Trip was an excellent day. From the outset we were made to feel welcome wherever we went. The mini-bus was well appointed, very clean and comfortable with a most courteous and helpful driver. We were welcomed at the Hindu Temple and care and concern for our comfort and well-being. Information about the Hindu religion was given to us in an appropriate, considered manner by a delightful young man. He answered questions and invited us to browse round and 'explore'."

WOW - Women of Westhoughton visit a Hindu Temple during their Taste of Asia event We had lunch at Olympus before visiting House of Raja's and going on to the mosque.

"We were again made to feel welcome at the Mosque, taken to various parts where some rituals were explained to us. Again, nothing was too much trouble and all questions and queries were answered in a very pleasant manner."

WOW - Women of Westhoughton prepare a display for the 2015 Westhoughton Yarn Bombing FestivalWe contributed to the recent Yarn Bombing event by creating a knitted and crocheted replica of our badge which was made in to a banner to be paraded at this year's NAWC Conference in December in Altrincham. 2015 is the 80th Anniversary of the NAWC and there have been a number of events held around the country including a luncheon at Haydock Park Golf Club which was enjoyed by members of WOW.

There is also to be a Festival of Carols and Christmas Music in the Crypt at Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral in the afternoon on December 11th. In recognition of the work done by and for the Association, a number of members including WOW Chairman, Janice Bayliss, were invited to the Royal Garden Party in July, which was fantastic!

Summer 2013 Update and Progress by Janice Bayliss (2/9/13)

WOW - Women of Westhoughton crafts evening Women of Westhoughton or 'WOW' has now been going for three months. Currently there are around 25 members aged 40-80 from in and around Westhoughton who meet on Thursdays at 7:30 pm in the Communiversity (now Hope Centre) in Central Drive, Westhoughton, BL5 3DS The group have made many new friends and have enjoyed a wide variety of activities and talks. Members have tried their hand at Silk Painting, making Felt Brooches and decorating plant pots; they have listened to a number of speakers on a range of subjects - the benefits of Aloe Vera and Aromatherapy, a talk by a local JP and enjoyed meals out including a Ladies Luncheon at Haydock Park Golf Club where they met up with other NAWC members from the North West… Download full update.

Meeting Report (9/5/13)

First meeting of the Westhoughton branch of the National Association of Women's Groups - July 2013 Janice Bayliss, National Vice Chairman of the NAWC welcomed ladies to the well-attended first meeting of a new club for Women of Westhoughton. In his last civic duty before relinquishing his chain of office, the Julyor, Councillor Ryan Battersby and the Julyoress Miss Amy Longthorn came to give their support, taking part in a quiz about Westhoughton past and present and proving that they, especially the Julyor, as you would expect, were very knowledgeable about their locality.

Discussion took place about what the women want from their club, what to call it and how it should be run. Referencing Westhoughton and local tradition, 'Cowbelles,' was suggested. We would soon settle on 'WOW - Women of Westhoughton.' Initial meetings showed the desire to get something going with talks on 'Painting on Silk' and 'guide Dogs.'

WOW - Women of Westhoughton 1st Birthday Party (Report by Janice)

Pat Blair JP, National Association of Women's Clubs Chairman- Maureen Harwood, Julyor of Westhoughton-Councillor Chris Peacock and Janice Bayliss-NAWC Vice Chairman and founder of WOW - July 2014

WOW, the local branch of the National Association of Women's Clubs, celebrated their 1st birthday with a Belgian chocolate demonstration given by the very versatile and amusing Andy Lloyd of Island Truffles & Treats, which was followed by a cream tea of sandwiches, homemade scones with jam and cream and birthday cake.

Andy entertains the ladies of WOW as we celebrate our first year - July 2014Later Andy entertained with his 'Cliff Richard Tribute Show' singing numbers made famous by many stars of the 60's.

The party, held to thank the committee and club members for their support in making WOW such a success in this first year, was made possible with a grant from Bolton CVS for which we are extremely grateful.

WOW continue to meet each Thursday at 7:30pm in the Community Centre in Central Drive, Westhoughton, BL5 3DS We have a varied programme of Speakers, Crafts and Social Evenings arranged for the summer months including a trip to Farfield Mill in Sedbergh and on the last Thursday of each month we have outings to the theatre or a restaurant.

Getting in Touch

For more information about the National Association of Women's Clubs, and in particular our new group in Westhoughton contact Janice on 01942 842487.

E-mail: WOW - Women of Westhoughton (NAWC)

The group is now on FacebookFacebook - Women of Westhoughton: Women of Westhoughton on Facebook.

National Association of Women's Clubs logo NAWC Website | NAWC on Facebook.

Registered Charity No. 273397

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  • Westhoughton Library
    Library now open for books, general reading and computer access. With current refurbishment complete, community activities on both ground and upper floor have resumed. Info | Community Plans.
  • Senior Solutions Christmas Fair
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    After two months Wingates Band Story exhibition came to a close 31/10 - a tremendous success from 'National Heritage Open Days' events (talks & entertainment) to fascinating displays. 16 Nov mtg sees talk on '153 Church Street' by Alison Whitaker. A Christmas meal early December in Bolton.
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  • Hub at Westhoughton
    The Hub at Westhoughton on Central Drive is home to a range of groups and activities serving the community. Information Leaflet.
  • WOW! Women of Westhoughton
    Thursdays from 7:00pm
    John Holt Centre (BL5 2NR)
    Est. 2013, women's group for shared interests, talks, outings & social networking. New meeting venue. Updated programme.
  • Rotary Christmas Float
    in December Rotary Club of Westhoughton were out and about visiting local estates and were at Sainsbury's ahead of Christmas. They are very grateful for public support and donations they raised raising £5,640, which will help local charities. Presentation evening took place 20/4/23 with 19 organisations receiving cheques.
  • Daisy Hill FC Fixtures (Home)
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    New Sirs (BL5 2EB)
    Cutters season in full flow. New management, new signings and clubhouse improvements. Support your local team. KO Sat 3pm or Mon 7:45pm. £5 adults / £3 concession / £2 U18s / U12s free w/ adult.
  • Lockdown information (Covid-19)
    For 16 months life and community was disrupted by measures to deal with the pandemic. It has been a long and impactful period, thankfully things are opening up again there is a return to normal. Watch for updates as community re-engages here and on
    Westhoughton.net Facebook Page.
  • Town Centre Masterplan
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  • Hope Community Centre
    The Central Drive church and community space is currently closed pending refurbishment discussions with Bolton Council. Hope Church services take place in the Hub.
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