At the business meeting at the beginning of April, Soroptimist International of Bridgend was delighted to welcome Claire Williams and Ceri Hill, family support workers from Barnardo’s. Claire and Ceri are based at the Susan Ellis visitor centre at HMP Parc and the Young Offenders’ Institute, and Bridgend Soroptimists have forged strong links through Barnardo’s with the visitor centre. In addition to helping out in the café and supplying refreshments to families there for visits, the club has now donated money to furnish the new conservatory on site. The conservatory will offer organisations such as St John’s Ambulance Cymru, The Fire Service, South Wales Police and various health professionals a place to give talks and demonstrations to visiting families, who will also be able to enjoy the very comfortable facilities. Claire and Ceri expressed their deep gratitude to the Soroptimists for the funding to make
Several members of Bridgend Soroptimists joined Bridgend Lions and other local organisations at Bridgend Rotary President’s Dinner at the Heronston Hotel. Bridgend AM Carwyn Jones was the keynote speaker and joined an illustrious panel including current President Rotarian Hopkin Joseph, President Elect for Rotary Great Britain and Ireland, Donna Wallbank, and the popular broadcaster Phil Steele. Other guests included the Mayor of Bridgend County Borough Council and Consort, Bridgend Town Mayor and Consort and the Mayor of Pencoed and Consort. The MC for the evening was Rotarian Alan Reeks who did a fine job presiding over the evening’s activities. Mr Jones said it was a lovely event and great to see so many people supporting Rotary of Bridgend. “I was honoured to be the keynote speaker and to be able to share some stories about my time as First Minister of Wales.” At the end
Members of Soroptimist International Bridgend send greetings to our friendship link Soroptimist International of Courtenay, British Columbia on the occasion of their 75th anniversary. The club celebrated their 75 years in 1940s style with a Wine, Women & Chocolate event! SI Bridgend have sent a cheque for $75 to SI Courtenay for them to use on one of their projects.
Congratulations to Felicity Ladbroke, a long-standing member of SI Bridgend, for her work on the organizing committee for the 27th Save the Children Women in Wales Annual Charity Luncheon. The prestigious event was held at the Sophia Gardens Cricket Stadium in Cardiff where over 400 guests had a wonderful afternoon with a champagne reception, a delicious 3-course lunch, fundraising activities and entertainment. The guest speaker was Kathryn Austin, People and Marketing Director of Pizza Hut UK. Recognised for her leadership in the hospitality and leisure industry, Kath lives in Cardigan where she mentors local women in business and encourages them with her attitude of give it a go! Chair of the event, Jayne James, said, “The Women in Wales lunch has become a firm fixture in the social calendar of so many women in business. The event’s success is down to a hardworking committee and
Bridgend Soroptimists welcomed 100 guests to a Charity Fashion Show held at the Heronston Hotel in Bridgend. With something for everyone, from casual to formal, several Bridgend Soroptimists were models for the evening and treated the audience to a feast of elegance and sophistication. The fashion show, which was to raise funds for Ty Hafan Children’s Hospice in Wales and ChoraChori, a charity supporting vulnerable and trafficked girls in Nepal, was supported by Samantha B Ladies Fashions in Ewenny, Bridgend. As well as bringing along some fabulous fashions and compering the evening with great humour, Samantha generously offered a significant donation on clothes bought in the 2 weeks after the event. There was also entertainment during a short interlude from Rhiannon Skilton (the daughter of one of our members) who shared her beautiful voice with some popular operatic songs. to sing during interludes; raffle to
Bridgend Soroptimist Rayner Rees hosted a breakfast at her home on 7th March to support Fairtrade Fortnight. Rayner explains, “I am a keen supporter of the Fairtrade Campaign and this was a great way to gather Soroptimists and friends together and spread the word. This year’s theme was She Deserves a Living Income and focuses on the chocolate farmers. Everything we have at the breakfast is Fairtrade which shows that we can be responsible about the food we eat and drink.”
Bridgend Soroptimists marked International Women’s Day with a brisk walk along the Wales Coast Path in Porthcawl. Starting at Coney Beach, the ladies braved the blustery conditions to walk as far as Rest Bay, returning to the Atlantic Hotel for a very welcome cup of tea.
A fundamental part of being a Soroptimist is giving service to others. Bridgend President Helen Murdoch chose this as the theme for a Service of Thanksgiving held in the chapel at the Princess of Wales Hospital. The service was led by the Reverend Hilary Jardine, Acting Head of Spiritual Care at the hospital and a good friend of the Bridgend Soroptimist Club. President Helen opened the service by lighting our Soroptimist Candle – this was given to the Bridgend Club by their friendship link club SI Uusikaupunki in Finland and is lit at the start of all business and action meetings. This was followed by short prayers, readings and some very joyful hymns. President Elect Sharon closed the service with a reading entitled ‘Serving Others’ which reminds us that we are making a difference, even if sometimes we don’t think we are! Members returned to
Following a request from Chris Knight, a member of our Friendship Link club, Soroptimist International of Moreton North in Queensland, Australia, Bridgend members have agreed to provide books for a new school in Papua New Guinea. This project aims to put books on the shelves of a school for 6 to 16 years olds. Bridgend member Carys Brown explains, “We selected several books that we felt would be of interest to children in Papua New Guinea and that also reflected the importance of women in society. We also included a book about Wales, with lovely pictures and simple descriptions.
Members enjoyed an evening of food and friendship at our New Year’s Dinner in St Mary’s Golf Club on Wednesday.