President Sue welcomed 4 new members to the Club at beginning of April. “I am delighted to welcome these lovely ladies to join us. They are all active in the community and, I am sure, will be an asset to the Club. It is a particular pleasure to be doing this as we embark on our Club’s 70th anniversary, demonstrating that the spirit of Soroptimist service continues to thrive in Bridgend and the area.” The new members are Sandra Shelly, a retired teacher, Sharon Dixon, a management consultant, Christine E Phillips, a retired NHS Administrator, and Sue Bennett, a hair stylist and beautician. Well ladies, we look forward to getting to know you.
Members congratulated Anne Morgan on receiving her MBE for services to the community of South Wales in the New Year’s Honours. Many congratulations Anne.
On March 22, Bridgend Soroptimists held an afternoon tea celebration at Coed-y-Mwstwr Hotel, when president Sue presented a cheque for £1,400 to Mags Griffiths, general manager of Y Bont. The children’s charity based in Bridgend providing a day nursery for pre-school children who have disabilities and complex medical needs. Members raised the funds throughout the year with raffles, tombola events and a fashion show. On behalf of Y Bont, Ms Griffiths expressed her delight in accepting the cheque which represents a much needed helping hand in the continuing operation of the nursery, which depends heavily on public support. Bridgend Soroptimists have pledged their ongoing support in the coming year with a further donation of funds and fundraising events staged periodically at Y Bont. The Club also congratulated Anne Morgan on receiving her MBE for services to the community of South Wales in the New Year’s
On March 11, Bridgend Soroptimists marked International Women’s Day with a group walk on the seafront at Porthcawl. They were joined by members of the public who had seen the advance publicity in the press, and were keen to give their support and showed an interest in the Soroptimist movement. All participants enjoyed refreshments afterwards at The Atlantic Hotel.
Three Bridgend Soroptimists celebrated St David’s Day in style. President Sue was joined by Christine and Carys at SI Pontypridd’s St David’s Day breakfast at Llancaiach Fawr. The ladies then headed off to visit SI Aberdare’s Daffodil Festival – arriving just minutes before it closed! President Sue enjoyed the day, “It was a delightful day – a bit of a scramble to get to both events, but very worthwhile. The fun and friendship at the St David’s Day breakfast, to say nothing of the delicious food!, was great. And the spectacular daffodils in Aberdare were a sight to behold! Many congratulations to both Clubs – a day to remember.”
Bridgend Soroptimist Club has continued fundraising for the family visitor centre at Parc Prison, Bridgend. Karen Rees, Barnardo’s children’s services manager and Sarah Crawley, director of Barnardo’s Cymru, were delighted to receive the sum of £1,200 from immediate past president Bethan on February 22 at the Heronston Hotel, Bridgend. The family visitor centre is helping prisoners maintain contact with their children in congenial surroundings. More than 8,000 families are supported in Wales every year and 2,000 are using the facilities each month at Parc. The service offers children’s activities in the centre, there is also a swap shop, where pre-loved clothing, equipment and toys are on offer for families to take away. Multi-faith and cultural events take place regularly and family theatre trips are organised. Funds provided by the Soroptimists launched a short story writing competition for the children; the closing date is February 28
In keeping with tradition, members of SI Bridgend enjoyed a New Year’s Dinner to kick off the programme for 2017. Excitement is building as 2017 is the Club’s 70th anniversary and these ladies certainly know how to celebrate!
On Wednesday, December 8, Bridgend Soroptimists held their annual Christmas Service at the Princess of Wales Hospital chapel. The service was conducted by Hospital Chaplain Rev Hilary Jardin. Club members Sue Davies, Lily Laesser, Eurwen Richards and Dr April May Kitchener gave seasonal readings, and carols were sung by all attending. Thanks are due to Lynda Edwards who played the organ. Afterwards members and friends enjoyed refreshments and Christmas good wishes at the home of member Eurwen Richards.
Four members of Bridgend Soroptimists attended the Federation Conference in Malta. The conference programme was interesting, varied and full of fun. World-class speakers, Dave Coplin of Microsoft and Helen Sharman, Britain’s first astronaut, set the scene and were joined on stage by Soroptimists and project partners for updates on achievements and successes. It wasn’t all work. Members had time to savour the delights of Malta, including a reception at the President’s Palace, a visit to Gozo and exploring the delights of the old-town of Medina. Bridgend Soroptimist, Carys Brown, led the way in her pink wig for “Pink by the Pool”, in support of Breast Cancer Research. The conference closed on a high note, with Bridgend member and Conference Chair 2017, Helen Murdoch, accepting the Soroptimist International flag on behalf of Federation President Ann Hodgson in readiness for the 2017 Conference which is to be
On October 26, Bridgend Soroptimists held a sell-out fashion show at the Heronston Hotel, Bridgend. Fashions from Samantha B Boutique in Ewenny were featured and club members took to the catwalk in great style modelling garments ranging from casual right through to occasion wear and glamour with bling. The evening included a raffle. Refreshments, as well as a glass of bubbly, were served to all. President Sue, pictured here with the lovely ladies, was delighted to learn that the event realised a sum in excess of £700 for her nominated charity for her year, Y Bont, Bridgend. Additional fund raising is taking throughout the year.