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Celebrating International Women’s Day

Celebrating International Women’s Day

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Today we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) and the achievements of women everywhere. It is also a day to raise awareness about women’s equality and to take stock of what still needs to be done to enable us to reach true gender equality. Soroptimists Stand Up For Women As Soroptimists We Stand Up For Women – we are a vibrant and dynamic organisation of almost 72,000 women across the world working together to transform the lives of women and girls. I joined the Chepstow Soroptimists just over 30 years ago having heard about some of the projects they were involved with. There were some quite formidable ladies there, but I was warmly welcomed to their meetings and encouraged to participate in local, national and international activities. I was particularly fascinated by the fact that Soroptimist International had (and still has) consultative status at the Economic

How are Bridgend Soroptimists looking after their mental wellbeing during the pandemic?

How are Bridgend Soroptimists looking after their mental wellbeing during the pandemic?

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The coronavirus pandemic is having a significant impact on people’s mental and emotional health. Many of us are worried about coronavirus and are struggling with feelings of anxiety, worry, fear and depression. Recent Study Results According to a recent study carried out into the mental health of people across Wales during the pandemic, as many as 50% of us could be suffering from some sort of mental distress. The study, led by Cardiff University’s Professor Robert Snowden and Swansea University’s Professor Nicola Gray, looked at the effect of the pandemic on mental health with a view to understanding the issues affecting communities and informing us on how to shape support services for the future. Club Theme Even before the pandemic, mental health awareness and wellbeing was a key theme for Bridgend Soroptimists. Club President, Sharon Dixon, explains, “This is an area that has always interested

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas!

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We were delighted to provide 24 Christmas selection boxes for the children of parents in the Refuge in Bridgend. We also gave six Christmas presents to teh mothers in the refuge over Christmas. Nadolig Llawen from members of Soroptimist International Bridgend and District.

Enjoying International Fun and Friendship

Enjoying International Fun and Friendship

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Members of SI Bridgend were joined by friends both near and far in their celebrations for International Night. “We usually have a celebration evening on or around 10th December which is UN Human Rights Day.” explains Bridgend Soroptimist President Sharon.  “As well as sharing fun and friendship, we use the evening to focus on the Soroptimist International President’s Appeal. The restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic were not going to stop us, and although we acknowledged that it would be a bit different this year, little did we realise how amazing it would be!” Invitations were sent out to join us in our virtual celebrations. Alongside Bridgend members, we welcomed our Regional President Heidi, members from SI Haverfordwest, Cardiff, Swansea and Pontypridd, as well as from our long-standing Friendship link SI Courtenay in British Columbia, Canada. How fantastic it was to see so many smiling

Obituary for Marjorie Page, Member of SI Bridgend

Obituary for Marjorie Page, Member of SI Bridgend

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We are sorry to announce that our dear friend Marjorie Page passed away on 18th November after several years of a debilitating illness. Marjorie’s full life ended gently and peacefully, at home surrounded by her family. Marjorie became a Soroptimist in 1988 and although busy as Head of English in a local Comprehensive school immediately took the lead in the education essay writing competition run by Bridgend Soroptimists. She took on the task of getting schools to become involved and then judged the entries – a phenomenal task that Marjorie undertook with great enthusiasm. Marjorie was a very active member of the club, participating in many hands-on projects, as well as debating and taking forward new ideas. Club members and guests enjoyed many happy events at her home as she hosted all manner of events from garden parties to Clarice Cliff talks! The chatter, enjoyment

Bridgend Soroptimists Believe to Achieve Gender Equality

Bridgend Soroptimists Believe to Achieve Gender Equality

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For 16 Days of Activism starting 25th November to 10th December, Soroptimists everywhere will #OrangetheWorld. Each of the 16 Days that we celebrate marks a step towards women’s rights and a safe space for them. Soroptimist International believes that women’s rights are human rights and through our work in the communities we work with that objective. Beginning with the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25th November, Soroptimists follow UN Days to transform lives of women and girls. We rally against Child Marriages, Human Trafficking, Modern Day Slavery, Rape, Sexual Exploitation, Female Genital Mutilation, Human Rights Defenders and Sexual Harassment at Workplace. On 10th Dec the last day, we honour the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.   Each day is a call for action and provides a focus for our projects Commemorating these days are opportunities to create public awareness about what needs

What Does International Friendship Mean To Bridgend Soroptimists?

What Does International Friendship Mean To Bridgend Soroptimists?

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Friendship is at the core of being a Soroptimist and today Bridgend Soroptimists showed what international friendship means to them. Soroptimist International Club Friendship Day is celebrated today because it was on the 3rd October 1921 that the first Soroptimist club was founded in California. Alongside the many personal friendships that our members have forged through being part of this amazing International organisation, Soroptimist International Bridgend also has formal friendship links with clubs in Australia, Finland, Pakistan, Canada and the USA. Greetings have been sent to all our friendship links and we are thinking of them all at this difficult time. We were particularly pleased to receive greetings from our Finnish friends in Uusikaupunki. Whilst they too have been suffering the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, they were excited to tell us that they had been able to have a face-to-face meeting in September –

How Bridgend Soroptimists feel in lockdown
How Are Bridgend Soroptimists Feeling During Lockdown?

How Are Bridgend Soroptimists Feeling During Lockdown?

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What a strange world we’re living in at the moment! With the Coronavirus crisis and associated restrictions, we are all experiencing an incredible amount of change. We’re having to think differently, do things differently and behave differently. We are all learning to adapt to a new normal. For many the adaptation is easy and for others not so. Bridgend Soroptimists have been adapting too. Our President, Sharon Dixon, has adopted the theme of Mental Awareness and Well-being for 2020-2021. Sharon explains, “When I say well-being, it’s not just the well-being of others, it’s also about self-care and looking after ourselves. Self-care is doing what makes you happy, being with friends, catching up on the telephone, taking a long walk or a glass of wine on the beach. We need to take care of ourselves so that we can help others.” “Little did I realise how

Bridgend Soroptimists in Lockdown
What Are Bridgend Soroptimists Doing During Lockdown?

What Are Bridgend Soroptimists Doing During Lockdown?

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What a strange world we’re living in at the moment! Many of us around the world are living under Covid-19 restrictions and, as a result, several people have been asking us ‘What Are Bridgend Soroptimists Doing During Lockdown?’ As I write this blog post, at the end of May 2020, I’m currently in my 10th week of lockdown, thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic that has swept the world. In that time, I have only left the house to go out for a walk each day and food shopping once a week. Fortunately, we are some of the lucky ones. Although my husband and I are ‘over 60’, we are not as ‘at risk’ as many other people, and we also live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, Porthcawl. It is only a few minutes’ walk from our house to the sand dunes, Newton Burrows and onto

How Are Soroptimists Supporting Local Women’s Refuges?

How Are Soroptimists Supporting Local Women’s Refuges?

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The Coronavirus crisis has meant massive changes to everyone in the world, but naturally those changes have hit women and girls especially hard. The pandemic has also led to a horrifying increase in violence against women. A recent Women’s Hour programme did a feature on how victims of domestic violence – the largest proportion of whom are female – are now more at risk than ever. This is thanks to a perfect storm of being stuck at home on lockdown with their perpetrator, a loss of the usual support services, and added pressures such as lost household income and home-schooling. In short, women who were in a difficult situation before the Covid-19 crisis struck are now experiencing a whole new level of abuse, often with little way out. At this time, the local women’s refuge is often the only port of call, and then it is