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New Year, New Faces

Bridgend Soroptimists held their Club AGM last night with high hopes of a year of re-connecting, face-to-face meetings and a welcome return to Soroptimist activity. Gaynor Hoare is continuing for a second year as Club President. In welcoming Lesley Davies as President Elect and Ruth Davies-Kemp as Vice President, President Gaynor was delighted to declare that the Club is truly set fair for the future.

President Gaynor expressed her thanks to members for their support and efforts throughout the last year. Although we continued to be disrupted by Covid restrictions, the Club met regularly throughout the year both virtually on Zoom as well as on a number of occasions face-to-face. We have enjoyed a wide range of speakers, discussion sessions and gatherings with members of our Friendship Links across the world – and the Saturday morning Well-being sessions have become a permanent fixture in the calendar.

Whilst activities may not have been as extensive as in previous years, President Gaynor congratulated members on the support and service we have given to charities and causes locally and further afield. During the year we have supported Young Carers Bridgend, Pipal Tree in Nepal, The Samaritans, Y Bont Special School in Bridgend, Cruse Bereavement Support, Tools for Self-Reliance for Africa, the Cape Verde education project, the SIGBI Diamond Education Grant and the Soroptimist International President’s Appeal. We have also made our voices heard regarding violence against women and domestic abuse through our support of SUTDA (Stand Up To Domestic Abuse) as well as extending and deepening our connection with Llamau.

President Gaynor thanked Rayner, Sharon and Helen for taking on Programme Action following Cary’s untimely death. She wished Sue Davies well as she takes up the baton to lead us in our future Programme Action activities. She also thanked Christine for her service as Club secretary, stepping in to the position when Marjorie’s ill-health forced her to relinquish the role. Gaynor said she was extremely grateful to Chris for her friendship, support and advice and for keeping her on track!
Long service awards were presented to Anne Hughes – for 40 years’ Soroptimist service – and Sylvia Scarf – for 30 years’ Soroptimist service, initially with SI Llantrisant and more recently with SI Bridgend. President Gaynor congratulated Anne and Sylvia on all that they had achieved and for their incredible support for Soroptimist International and in particular, SI Bridgend.

President Gaynor’s theme for the coming year is Empowering Girls and Women. Within this theme, we will continue our campaigning on domestic abuse, supporting Llamau and Barnardos locally. We will also be working with Pipal Tree in Nepal to improve the education and skills of the most vulnerable women and girls and exploring ways in which we can provide practical support for the school project that Pipal Tree is embarking on in South East Nepal.

In closing the formal part of the meeting, President Gaynor said that, in this our 75th anniversary year, she was particularly looking forward to the opportunities to meet together and to sharing fun and friendship alongside our work on projects and partnerships – and to celebrating this special milestone early in 2023.

Find out more about President Gaynor here.