Page last updated at 12:54 GMT, Monday, 13 October 2008 13:54 UK

Great-grandmother crowned WI icon

Valerie Wood-Gaiger with Cerys Matthew
Valerie Wood-Gaiger with Cerys Matthews, one of the celebrity judges

A great-grandmother from Carmarthenshire has been crowned an "ultimate" Women's Institute member.

Valerie Wood-Gaiger, 67, from Myddfai WI near Llandovery, will now host a series of practical learning video guides on the internet.

Mrs Wood-Gaiger, who writes educational books for children, wins 10,000 to donate to a local community project.

Singer Cerys Matthews was among the celebrity judges who selected her and Emma Cunningham from Hampshire.

Mrs Wood-Gaiger, who first joined the WI in 1969 rejoined the organisation when she went moved to west Wales, 10 years ago.

She has three grown-up children, seven grandchildren and a great-grandson.

Both are extraordinary women with the true spirit of the WI running through their veins
Fay Mansell, NWFI chair

Mrs Wood-Gaiger, writes educational books and helps run a website called Grandma's Stories.

She received the MBE for innovation in education.

In an interview with BBC Radio Wales last month she explained she loves the WI and making jam, but is also a user of Facebook.

She said she was conscious that if she did not get out meeting people then she could easily spend days not talking to anyone.

The search for the W-Icons was launched in June at the National Federation of Women's Institutes (NWFI) AGM in Liverpool.

Fay Mansell, NWFI chair said: "On behalf of everyone involved with the Women''s Institute, I'd like to congratulate Emma and Valerie on their achievement.

"Both are extraordinary women with the true spirit of the WI running through their veins."


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific