At last this little plaque has been mounted alongside the mosaic in Nepal in memory of Bridgend Soroptimist Carys Brown. Read all about the mosaic here. Philip Holmes said that he will always remember Carys fondly and it was an honour to have been able to do this in her memory and as a small token of thanks for her support for Pipal Tree.
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
Llamau collected this fantastic haul of Easter eggs, kindly donated by members and friends of Bridgend Soroptimists. The eggs are making their way to the mothers and children who are spending Easter in the refuge in Bridgend. Thank you to everyone for their fabulous generosity to those in need.
A number of Bridgend Soroptimists attended the 2022 Women in Wales in Cardiff today. The event was originally planned for April 2020, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bridgend Soroptimist, Felicity Ladbrooke was the chair of the organising committee and said, “It was a relief to finally see the event go ahead after 2 years of delays and was fantastic to see so many ladies supporting three great causes – 2 Wish, Noah’s Ark Children’s hospital, Dylan Thomas school.”
A sunny afternoon, delicious food and a wealth of friendship and chatter contributed to a very successful afternoon tea hosted by Bridgend Soroptimists. Held in the recently refurbished Laleston Church Hall, members and guests enjoyed an excellent array of sandwiches and cakes, supplied by Southerndown Golf Club and served most graciously by local Scouts. The Maesteg Ukulele Band provided the entertainment. The event raised almost £500 which is to be donated to Young Carers Bridgend to enable youngsters to participate in a Young Carers Festival later in the year.
Bridgend Soroptimists hosted a very successful Fashion Show at the Heronston Hotel. A range of beautiful outfits from Samantha B in Ewenny were shown at their very best by our glamorous models, all members of SI Bridgend. As well as a raffle, there was an auction of three amazing lots generously donated by Southerndown Golf Club, Felicity’s of Bridgend and Ruth Davies-Kemp’s parents. The event raised over £1500 which will be split between The Rosa Foundation, President Gaynor’s charity for 2021-2022, and Young Carers Bridgend. Thank you to everyone who contributed to a wonderful evening.
At the Club meeting last week, we were joined by Rebecca Stones, Project Manager for Llamau Bridgend and Merthyr. Rebecca gave a general overview of Llamau’s work with victims of domestic abuse and extended her grateful thanks for our support both financially and, of course, with the gift bags, pamper bags and selection boxes at Christmas. Club members have also donated clothes, shoes and bags for the ladies in the refuge. Rebecca was also keen to explore other ways in which members could offer hands-on support and a discussion ensued outlining the areas in which we could help. This included providing craft and chat sessions, confidence building and interviews skills, as well as many other areas. Rebecca will now ask her clients which activities would interest them and will come back to us to take this project forward. SI Bridgend has supported Domestic Violence services
President Gaynor and members of SI Bridgend supported Cruse Bereavement Support, Morgannwg on International Women’s Day at a lunch hosted by SI Neath. This is the third event in the collaboration between SI Neath, SI Swansea, SI Port Talbot and SI Bridgend to support this worthwhile charity. The guest speaker was Sue Poole and members enjoyed food and fellowship, whilst raising funds for the charity which offers grief counselling to children. President Gaynor was delighted that Bridgend members are continuing to participate in this joint venture. She said, “It is a very worthwhile charity and an excellent way to encourage collaboration and friendship between the clubs.”
Today is International Women’s Day. On this special day, Soroptimists are celebrating women’s achievements and raising awareness against gender bias. They are also taking action for equality and making a positive difference for women. Many of our Bridgend Soroptimists attended a high profile virtual event at the Senedd in Cardiff focusing on Soroptimists in Wales Taking Action. It was good to welcome Joyce Watson MS and Hannah Blythyn MS to the event and to acknowledge their support of the action Soroptimists are taking across Wales. We also heard about some of the projects we are involved in to tackle domestic violence and modern day slavery, as well as how micro-finance is empowering women to rebuild their lives. We look forward to opportunities to raise our profile at future events like this and to continuing our work to support the lives of women and girls everywhere.
Bridgend Soroptimists were delighted to receive St David’s Day greetings from two of our Friendship Link Clubs – SI Courtenay in Western Canada and SI Williamsburg in Virginia, USA. Margaret Wootton from SI Courtenay sent greetings for happy celebrations and a world safer from Covid. She also included this screen shot of their club members at their zoom meeting. Margaret had suggested members of her club might like to bring something Welsh to show. Barbara, a member who we met on our joint Zoom meeting in December 2020 and whose late husband was from Wales, is holding a Welsh Lamp and another member, Karen, is wearing her Welsh shirt with red dragon that she bought on a trip to Wales. Margaret herself is wearing a Canadian Cancer Society daffodil pin and a harp necklace, as well as the daffodil brooch that she received from SI