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President’s message

President Ruth Davies-Kemp 2024-2025
President Ruth

What an honour it is to be President for the coming year.
When I agreed to be President 2 years ago it seemed a very long way off and I cannot believe how quickly those 2 years have flown by and so here I am!

I became a Soroptimist in 2011.  I was inducted by our much-missed Carys Brown nearly 13 years ago and I hope that she would have approved of this moment tonight. It has taken me a long time to agree to be President because of work commitments.  Unfortunately I am still working and will continue to work throughout my year.  It will mean that I will be limited in terms of the external events that I will be able to attend but I can assure you that in terms of this club you will have my total commitment throughout my year.

So, we have a fun year planned.  With the help of my fantastic group leaders Cecilia, Sue and Pam and all their group members as well as Margaret, our secretary, we have tried to get ahead of the game and have put together an exciting programme of events for the year ahead.  Everyone has put in so much work already hopefully to make this year a success and I am grateful to every one of you. Click here for details SI Bridgend Programme 2024-2025.

You will see from the programme that we are having a garden party in the summer, kindly hosted by Anne Morgan, a summer outing possibly with a tour of the BBC studios, a murder mystery evening, a crafting session with Sue and Sue, a Christmas lunch, a New Year dinner, a St David’s Day lunch and a concert at Ewenny Priory along with many interesting speakers.

However, as we know being a Soroptimist is not just about socialising and having fun although that is a big part of it!  We have a serious goal in terms of programme action and I hope you will read our Programme Action report for 2023 – 2024.
My theme for the year which is Homelessness and my charity is Emmaus.  Many thanks to Helen with her marketing hat on for coining the phrase “Homelessness – a Crisis on our Doorstep” which fits in with Emmaus South Wales being based in Bridgend.

They are a wonderful charity doing excellent work, supporting homeless people by providing accommodation and meals in return for them working full-time for the charity.  This helps their people whom they refer to as “companions” to integrate back into society and move on to getting employment and a home of their own.  I like Emmaus’s ethos which is a very positive one of supporting people to stand on their own two feet again as opposed to just giving out handouts.  Margaret and I have visited their community house in Bridgend and met with the Chair, Julie Raikes and she will be our first speaker at our meeting at the end of May along with their CEO Del Jones.  Both will be coming to tell us more about the charity and I hope in September they will come back and speak to us again with one of their companions who will be able to tell us their story and give first hand testimony of how Emmaus has helped them.

The mission statement of Emmaus is this:
“We are all responsible together; responsible for ourselves and responsible for one another and herein lies the greatness of being human.”
I thought that fitted in exactly with us as Soroptimists.

So, here’s hoping for a very good year!
Thank you,
Ruth Davies-Kemp
President 2024-2025