SI Bridgend received a Thank you card from President Angela Ball, SI Swansea, for the gift of a candle and candle holder for their 85th anniversary. President Angela says they will light the candle at their Action meetings – A candle of Hope, a candle of Light, A candle of Peace. SI Swansea is SI Bridgend’s mother club and was responsible for helping Bridgend open a Soroptimist club in 1947.
Bridgend Soroptimists hosted a breakfast at the home of one of their members, Carys Brown on 23rd October. The event was to fundraise for the Purple Teardrop campaign which promotes human rights with a key focus on the infringement of human rights suffered by the victims of people trafficking. Carys explains, “I am a keen supporter of the Purple Teardrop campaign which was started by Soroptimist International of Poole following all the work Soroptimists were doing at the outset of our campaign against human trafficking in 2008. This breakfast which also marks Anti-Slavery Day on 18th October, is to raise awareness about the plight of women and children who are trafficked and to help us recognise the signs and notice suspected human trafficking activity. Sadly it is happening everywhere and it is important that we are more aware and know what to do if we
Bridgend Soroptimists have donated a bench to the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend to mark the 70th anniversary of the club’s charter date. To coincide with the 70th anniversary of the NHS, Soroptimist International of Bridgend decided to mark the Club’s 70th anniversary by giving something back to their local hospital. The club fundraises throughout the year to support local, national and international charities, but donated the bench personally to commemorate 70 years in Bridgend and to benefit local people. Club President Helen Murdoch said, “We wanted to do something special for our anniversary, so we thought what better way than to show our gratitude for the care and support that our local hospital provides to the community. We hope the bench will provide welcome relief and comfort for less mobile visitors and patients in the main corridor at the hospital.” President Helen and members
We were delighted to welcome Katie Davies as our guest speaker to the supper meeting on 26th September. Katie is the Regional Manager for Calan DVS which merged with Bridgend Women’s Aid in 2015. Katie gave a most interesting overview of the work currently being undertaken in Bridgend and across South Wales to support the victims of domestic abuse. Calan DVS merged with Bridgend Women’s Aid in 2015 taking on the services and support previously provided by Women’s Aid. Katie explained that there has been a marked increase in the need year on year to help individuals – male and female – experiencing domestic violence. Since the merger they have created a working partnership with South Wales Police, Bridgend County Borough Council, Calan DVS’ Integrated Domestic Abuse Service and other agencies to deliver the best support to those in need. The team is based int
Visitors to Parc Prison near Bridgend will have a warm welcome thanks to a new café opened by charity volunteers. Barnardo’s Cymru has opened the café at the G4S-run HMP Parc which will be run by members of Bridgend Soroptimists. Both professional visitors and prisoners’ relatives, some of whom have travelled long distances, will be able to get hot and cold drinks and snacks while they wait to enter the prison. Around 400 visitors a day pass through the Susan Ellis Visitor Centre which has been run by the children’s charity Barnardo’s Cymru on behalf of G4S for some time. The Barnardo’s team has an important role to play alongside prison staff in ensuring families have the right documents to enter the prison for a visit. Families have made positive comments about the experience of working with Barnardo’s staff who are easily identifiable in
When President Helen’s friend, Siobhan, suffered major brain trauma as a result of a winter sport’s accident, she was airlifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham where she received the best care possible. Siobhan, an Intelligence Officer in the RAF, was representing the RAF in the Tri-Services Winter Games and competing in the luge when the accident happened. Siobhan’s parents, who live in Porthcawl, rushed to be at her bedside and as well as dealing with the shock and trauma of the accident and Siobhan’s condition, had to find somewhere to stay in Birmingham as close to the hospital as possible. Siobhan’s parents weren’t aware that they could stay in Fisher House, the home away from home for military patients and their families, which has provided free accommodation for forces families since 2013. Helen explains, “Beryl and Jake, Siobhan’s parents, were amazed and incredibly grateful when