Our Soroptimist year ended on a real high with President Eurwen’s presentation of a cheque to Emma Anthony of Ty Hafan, our chosen President’s charity for the year. Ty Hafan is one of the UK’s leading paediatric palliative care charities and offers care to children and support to their families throughout Wales. Emma did a wonderful job telling the story of Ty Hafan and explained that the cheque of £825 would cover the medication used there for a month. We were even more delighted when the presentation made front page news in the media – an unexpected bonus to a very uplifting 70th anniversary year.
On 10 March, Bridgend Soroptimists marked International Women’s Day with a group walk along the seafront at Porthcawl. A rather wild and windy day meant that numbers were not as buoyant as they could have been. Nonetheless, members walked from Coney Beach to Rest Bay. 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. Following a blustery walk, all participants enjoyed refreshments at The Atlantic Hotel.
SI Bridgend kicked off 2018 with a New Year’s Lunch at The Heronston Hotel. The speaker, Mel Bastier, gave an interesting talk on willow weaving – with a number of members deciding that they would like to consider having a willow coffin! These photos show, in spite of a rather macabre discussion, a great time was had by all.
Bridgend Soroptimists’ 70th anniversary year with a difference continues with the third of our three Presidents! President Lily Laesser handed over the chain of office to Eurwen Richards for her to start her 4 months as the Club’s President. As this is a special year for the Club, three of our long-serving members are sharing the Presidential chain. Eurwen, who was Club President in 2002-2003 is picking up the “Future” part of our “Past, Present and Future” theme and has an exciting programme planned looking forward to our next 70 years! We thank Lily for her service to the Club and wish Eurwen well for this next few months.
Once again SI Bridgend participated in the Bridgend Christmas Tree Festival held in Nolton Church. The decision was taken to decorate the tree with felt fruit and vegetables – beautifully made by one of our talented members – to create awareness of the SIGBI project, the Meru Women’s Garden Project. Material promoting and explaining the project sat around the base of the tree, together with SIGBI information, informing visitors that to date memebers of SIGBI have raised over £100,000 to support the project. The Christmas Tree festival was successfully featured throughout Bridgend and though we didn’t win, the Meru theme caught the eye of many, including our MP Madeline Moon.
Bridgend Soroptimists have been recognised for the work they are doing with Barnardo’s at Parc Prison Family Centre. The notice of thanks appears on the display screens at the entrance to the Family Centre. Thank you Barnardo’s – we look forward to continuing to work with you and expand the project.
One of our long-standing members celebrated her 80th birthday recently. Unfortunately Lynda has not been able to attend many Club meetings recently due to ill health, so Eileen visited Lynda at home to present her with her celebration cake.
This month members of SI Bridgend joined Soroptimists from across the UK to take part in the UK Programme Action Committee (UKPAC) survey on Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking. Members completed the questionnaires themselves and also handed them out to family and friends, as well as distributing them widely to organisations including WI, Girlguiding Cymru, Girlguiding Central Glamorgan and young people in schools across the Bridgend Borough. Questionnaires were then collated and returned to UKPAC. Initial findings from the survey will be presented at the SIGBI 2018 Conference in Cardiff and will be posted on the SIGBI website. This information will be used to inform future Soroptimist projects on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.
There was great excitement when SI Bridgend were awarded first prize for this year’s SI Wales South Regional Programme Action Award. The Award recognises the work undertaken by the Club on the project with Barnardos in the family centre at Parc Prison. The certificate was presented to Club members by Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams AM. Club Programme Action Officer, Carys Brown, accepted the Award and explained that the project had evolved out of an initial reading project with children of those in Parc Prison. It had extended to the Literacy Competition and we were awaiting the results of this 2017 competition. Carys said that we were looking forward to extending our involvement with Barnardos and looking at ways we could support them in the Family Centre at Parc Prison. First prize for PA Award for SI Bridgend. Congratulations to all involve
Bridgend Soroptimists’ 70th anniversary year with a difference continues with the second of our three Presidents! President Frances Rees handed over the chain of office to Lily Laesser for her to start her 4 months as the Club’s President. As this is a special year for the Club, three of our long-serving members are sharing the Presidential chain. Lily, who was Club President in 2004-2005 is picking up the “Present” part of our “Past, Present and Future” theme and has an exciting programme planned, including the SIGBI Conference in Cardiff. We thank Frances for her service to the Club and wish Lily well for this next few months.