A letter of thanks has been received from Mental Health Matters Wales for the generous donation of £1500. The monies were raised during President Sharon’s period as Club President. Sharon explains, “The theme for my period as President of SI Bridgend was Mental Health Awareness and Wellbeing and I am delighted that we have been able to support local services with this donation. Our donation is to be used to provide support for older people who are struggling with their mental health.”
Members of Bridgend Soroptimists have continued to meet throughout the pandemic, albeit virtually. At the end of June, we were delighted to welcome Heddwen Cadwallader as our guest speaker. Heddwen is no stranger to Soroptimists – as the daughter of one of our members, Cherry, she has fond memories of, as a youngster, serving coffee at committee meetings when Cherry was Club President. Heddwen is now National Trust Collections and House Manager (Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion portfolio) based a Llanerchaeron in West Wales. Together with colleagues, she developed an exhibition called “Petticoats of Power” – a celebration of the women who have shaped the Llanerchaeron estate over the years. As she explained, “For generations, women played a critical part in the social and cultural life of Wales’ landed estates. Through their familial roles and networks, and as landowners in their own right, heiresses, cultural patrons, domestic
Eurwen Richards is a long-standing member of Soroptimist International Bridgend. A former dairymaid, Eurwen first became a member of SI Central London and has never regretted it for one moment. Find out more about why Eurwen joined Soroptimist International and what it has meant to her over the years.
It has been a long 16 months since Bridgend Soroptimists hosted a ReEngage afternoon tea, but at last, we were able to welcome our lovely ladies. It was a wonderful afternoon catching up with the ladies we’ve hosted teas for over many years. All live alone and they were happy to come along and see familiar faces and chat and share experiences. Thank you to our hostess Joyce – such a beautiful garden. Thanks also to our club members who picked up, drove, baked cakes and made coffees. A great team effort. Staying connected. Well done SI Bridgend
President Sharon was very pleased to present the following long service certificates to members of Soroptimist International Bridgend. 25 years Eileen Bayley 25 years Christine Phillips 30 years Jean Davies 30 years Helen Murdoch 35 years Joyce Chatterton 35 years Ann Hughes 35 years Lily Laesser 35 years Anne Morgan 35 years Frances Rees 35 years Jean Thomas 40 years Felicity Ladbroke 45 years Lynda Edwards 45 years Jean Roderick 45 years Shan Walsh 50 years Eurwen Richards President Sharon thanked all the ladies for the service they had given to the club – between the 15 ladies, they have accrued a phenomenal 545 years service to the community!. They all commented that they had been involved in many interesting projects, made wonderful friends and had lots of fun. They all agreed that they couldn’t believe where all the time had gone! Eurwen received a
Bridgend Soroptimists held a virtual AGM last night and welcomed their new President, Gaynor Hoare. Outgoing president Sharon Dixon expressed her thanks to members for their support and efforts throughout her two years as President of the Club. She said that although it had been the most difficult of circumstances, Club members had pulled together and thrived over that time. Our last face-to-face meeting had been in March 2020 and by the beginning of April we were already dipping our toes in the electronic world and started meeting via Zoom. Sharon was delighted to say that the Club had met every two weeks since April 2020, with a range of speakers, discussion sessions and interactive meetings. We had shared fun and friendship with virtual morning coffee, afternoon tea and cakes, and the occasional gin! Several members had also joined in a Saturday morning Well-being session.
Whilst all of our members have remained very active over the last year, for many the pandemic has meant adjusting to working from home. In April, President Sharon led a discussion in which members shared their experiences of working from home during a pandemic. Everyone agreed that the pandemic has had a major impact on the way in which we undertook our business roles and at the start of the lockdown in March 2020, there was a very sudden change from the usual face-to-face operation to a mix of telephone and online meetings. This brought with it a number of challenges, primarily around the technology – this included having to get to grips with new software and programmes very quickly and often manage multiple screens simultaneously. There was also the concern over having a reliable and adequate internet connection. On the whole, our members were
A big well done to Joyce and the team for delivering Easter Boxes to the Re-engage ladies. President Sharon said, “What a thoughtful gesture – I’m sure the recipients were delighted to have such a wonderful Easter Treat.”
Bridgend Soroptimists were delighted to welcome members of SI Uusikaupunki, their Finnish Friendship link club, to an Easter Bonnet Parade over Zoom. Bridgend President Sharon and 25 members from Bridgend welcomed 8 Finnish members – all adorned with impressive Easter bonnets. Uusikaupunki President Paula explained that SI Uusikaupunki was formed in 1955 and now has 15 members. The friendship link was initiated in the 1950s and has been particularly active in recent years with visits in both directions of members of both clubs. President Paula expressed how much their members had been looking forward to this meeting and hoped that this could become a twice a year event. The meeting opened with the reading of the Soroptimist International Vision and Mission – in English by Lynda Edwards, in Welsh by Eurwen Richards and in Finnish by Susanna Rosendahl. President Sharon lit the candle of friendship
UPDATE: Our Virtual Dog Show is now closed. A huge thank-you to everyone who took part and supported us. With over 100 entries and many individual donations, we raised over £800 for local mental health and Sorotpimist charities. Here are the winners – all entrants can be viewed here. A key theme for Bridgend Soroptimists, even before the pandemic, was Mental Health Awareness and Wellbeing. Club President, Sharon Dixon, explains, “This is an area that has always interested me and I wanted us as a Club to understand more about it. When I say wellbeing, it’s not just the wellbeing of others, it’s also about self-care and looking after ourselves. We need to take care of ourselves so that we can help others.” During this pandemic, being mindful of our mental health and wellbeing has been more important than ever. “Walking has been a key part