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Supporting Ukraine

Supporting Ukraine

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SI Bridgend joins with SIGBI in recognising the distress of all women and girls in Ukraine. We wish to express our sympathy and our hope that the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 will be put into play by the UN. Read the full SIGBI statement at https://sigbi.org/2022/sigbi-statement-on-women-in-the-ukraine/ Bridgend Soroptimists have also been supporting the people of Ukraine initially through the humanitarian aid convoys, collecting toiletries, clothing, blankets and other essential items for onward distribution to people in Ukraine. As a club, SI Bridgend has also donated £500 through the Disaster Emergency Committee which is co-ordinating financial assistance to ensure the right provision of goods and services reaches those who need it as quickly as possible. This donation was increased to £750 by a generous donation from Immediate Past President  Sharon’s son, Liam’s company. Further funds are being raised by selling  yellow and blue sunflowers and hearts

Support from Local Councillor

Support from Local Councillor

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Bridgend Soroptimists had a very informative talk from Tom Gifford MS, a Member of the Senedd for South West Wales and a Bridgend Councillor. Members found him to be passionate and committed to being able to make a positive difference. Mr Gifford has given up his salary as a Bridgend Councillor to set up a Community Action Fund to support local charities and organisations. He very kindly donated £250 to support Bridgend Soroptimist Charities – a gesture that was very much appreciated. He has also offered assistance on any issues in the future, including tree planting.

A Lasting Memory in Nepal for Carys

A Lasting Memory in Nepal for Carys

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Today a beautiful Kingfisher mosaic was sited at the fledgling “Dhanushadham Bird Park” in memory of Carys Brown, a much-loved member of SI Bridgend. The glass mosaic of a White-Throated Kingfisher was made by Philip Holmes, CEO of Pipal Tree, in his studio in Devon.   Philip explains, “One of the projects being led by Pipal Tree involves creating the “Dhanushadham Bird Park” in south east Nepal by reforesting a barren public space in a village area. The concept has been embraced by all stakeholders, attracting a lot of curiosity. That curiosity was heightened today when I sited the first mosaic (hopefully in time, one of twelve!) These will add to the visitor experience for folk who want to enjoy a walk in the park (once mature) and look at birds both feathered and in mosaic. The mosaics also acknowledge the support of our donors.

Supporting Young Carers

Supporting Young Carers

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Over the years, Bridgend Soroptimists have supported Young Carers in Bridgend and was keen to renew the link and find out more. We welcomed Victoria Bailey of Young Carers as a speaker at our zoom meeting on 9th February. Victoria outlined the work that the organisation does with young carers in the Bridgend area – explaining that many children from as young as 7 years of age find themselves having to care for siblings or parents whilst still going to school. The session generated a great deal of discussion about ways in which we could help and a small donation has kick-started our renewed contact.

Staying Connected!

Staying Connected!

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Bridgend Soroptimists enjoyed their annual New Year dinner at the Heronston Hotel on 26 January. In spite of the reduced numbers this year, a great time was safely had by all. Good food, good company, and good fun – it was so nice to be able to spend time together!  Everyone is looking forward to more face-to-face events during 2022. Staying connected!!

Opening Doors to a Bright Future

Opening Doors to a Bright Future

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On 8th December, Bridgend Soroptimists celebrated International Night on zoom. Leslie D., Cecilia, Rayner and Joyce gave an interesting insight into the differing Christmas customs/traditions past and present within the four nations of the United Kingdom. We were also joined by Soroptimist friends from across the UK, as well as some of our Friendship Link clubs. Donations for the evening were sent on to the International President’s Appeal – Opening Doors to a Bright Future. The appeal, spear-headed by SI President-Elect Maureen Maguire, who takes up her role as President in January 2022, unites Soroptimists, Clubs and Unions across all five Federations. It aims to deliver tangible benefits to some of the world’s most marginalised women, girls, and their communities,  cementing the Soroptimist belief and commitment to Education. Find out more at https://www.soroptimistinternational.org/openingdoors/

Fun, Laughter and Christmas Cheer!

Fun, Laughter and Christmas Cheer!

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A wonderful afternoon filled with Soroptimist friendship and fun. Immediate Past President Sharon hosted a very successful fundraiser at her home which raised over £300 for the fight against domestic violence, with donations being made to Llamau and SUTDA (Stand Up To Domestic Abuse). Members also donated hundreds of pounds of toiletries and 30 selection boxes for the local women’s refuge. Our contributions will certainly help those in refuge over the festive period. Amidst a great deal of fun and laughter and lots of Christmas Spirit (especially during pass the parcel!), President Gaynor was proud to present the Christmas gifts to Rebecca Stones from Llamau!! Thank you to everyone who so kindly donated, as well as to our Glynderw school friends for their fabulous raffle prizes, and to Cardiff Tennis Club and Liam Dixon for their generous donations. Merry Christmas to you all!

Improving Livelihoods Through Renovated Tools

Improving Livelihoods Through Renovated Tools

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Members enjoyed an interesting talk on zoom from Phil Pope from the charity Tools for Self-Reliance Cymru. This is an independent charity based in Crickhowell which collects old or unwanted tools from Wales, refurbishes them and sends them to Tanzania. The tools vastly improve the livelihoods of carpenters, tailors, blacksmiths, mechanics, builders, shoe repairers, plumbers and many more. Sewing machines are most welcome at all times as they enable women to produce clothing and household furnishings for their families and also to sell on at markets. The women also work in the field with the equipment Tools for Self-Reliance provide. The organisation was started 35 years ago when a British student visited Tanzania. One evening, by chance, she encountered the Minister for the Interior for Tanzania, got chatting and between her love of the country and the Minister’s keenness to develop the lives of the