Here is a quick overview of the projects we have been involved with during 2017 – 2018.
The Club supports financially, the education of a teenage girl in the Cape Verde Islands through the Cape Verde Education project. Other members also independently support girls under this project too.
The Club is sent a photograph and an update on the girl’s progress every year by Gill Delgado of SI Cardiff.
At one of our meetings last Autumn, we had 2 STEM ambassadors talk to us about women scientists through history and how they haven’t had the same recognition as men for their research and discoveries. They talked about the work they do going into schools to talk to girls about careers in STEM subjects.
Members continue to collect jewellery and take it to Regional meetings for recycling for the Diamond Education Grant.
Members also collect other items for recycling – , used ink cartridges, CDs and DVDs etc. and the money is saved in the SIWSHEHT charity account for future projects.
Bras are collected for the Glamorgan Gwent Marshes club who recycle them through Smalls For All.
Members donated handbags, scarves, ties and belts for the Save the Children branch in Anglesey who sold them for their Syrian refugee children’s charity at the National Eisteddfod in August. With an auction in September over £5000 was raised.
Calan DVS. (Originally Women’s Aid in Bridgend) – one of our members, Lily Laesser, continues to maintain contact with the Bridgend Office and this year, as well as delivering the usual toiletries, has collected sugar, towels and sheets. She will keep collecting from all members and keep us updated on progress and other requirements/items we can contribute.
Last year 2 representatives from Barnardos came to give us a slide presentation about the children’s story telling competition, as well as the party and presentations they held for competitors at the Family Centre at Parc Prison. This was all funded, together with writing packs for competitors, by money we had given to them in the previous year. At present several members have volunteered to help in the cafe at the Visitors’ Centre and we are hoping that this will start in the next couple of months once all the paperwork is completed. This project won us the Regional Programme Action award.
Meru Garden Project Although no money was sent to this project this last year, the Christmas tree at Nolton Church’s Christmas Tree Festival was decorated with felt fruit and vegetables, beautifully made by one of our members. Material promoting and explaining the project was around the tree, together with SIGBI information, to raise awareness. To date, SIGBI have raised over £100,000 to support the project.
Tombolas and President’s charity
Members have run these stalls at the Lion’s Club Summer Fair and at the English Speaking Union’s Summer Garden Party in Fonmon Castle to raise money for the President’s charities. Our Treasurer is always asking and collecting ‘prizes’ for the tombola stands. After Christmas is always a fruitful time! This year, this money along with funds raised from raffles etc, meant that a cheque for £825 was presented to Ty Hafan when their representative, Emma, came to talk to us in March.
International President’s December Appeal – Nepal
We raised money on International Night last December at a fish and chip supper at Lily’s home following a church service at the chapel in the Princess of Wales Hospital. The funds went to the International President’s Nepal Project.
ChoraChori project – this project has received money from the International President’s appeal. Rayner, as SIGBI representative on the appeal, promoted the excellent work that they do rescuing and educating trafficked children. The charity also supports girls affected by the earthquake and enables them to finish their education and gives them skills which enable them to be self supporting. In November, Philip Holmes, the CEO of the charity, came to speak to the club and was presented with a cheque for £160 to support the project. SI Bridgend is supporting the proposal that this be put forward to SIGBI as the Federation project when the Meru Garden project finishes at the end of 2018.
As well as Women’s Aid and Barnardo’s members organise and support the following:-
Contact the Elderly – Members continue to provide ‘Teas for the Elderly’ on Sundays once every 2 months at members’ homes. Members also provide transport for the participants and have a Christmas and summer outing with them.
Members of SI Bridgend continue to knit (and crochet) baby blankets and baby clothes for the charity ‘Life for African Mothers’, a maternal health charity aiming to make birth safer in sub Saharan Africa.
The Y Bont craft mornings are still very popular with a number of members who enjoy crafting and making various items to support fund raising for the charity.
‘Brownies Got Talent’
SI Bridgend supported and helped to organise this competition which as always was a great success.
The club took part in this UKPAC survey in October. Mostly the questionnaires were sent out to ‘online’ contacts but several paper copies were received, collated and returned to UKPAC. The results of the survey are on their website.
International Women’s Day
This March, Members of SI Bridgend again walked from Porthcawl Coney beach to Rest Bay and back to the Atlantic Hotel (or points along the way) for coffee to celebrate International Women’s Day. Members wore our sashes and were stopped a few times by people curious to know who we were and what we were doing. Spreading the word! The weather was not inviting this year so not as many took part and the Brownies who were going to join us were told that they needn’t but those Soroptimists who did turn out still had fun! The Brownies have promised that they will host us to a walk a little later in the year!
Last November, our President and other members took part in the Bridgend Town’s November 11th Remembrance Service and laid a wreath with the Soroptimist Logo on it at the town’s war memorial in the centre of the town.
Many thanks to everyone who has supported or been involved with Programme Action work this year helping with various projects, promoting Soroptimist International and having fun!
Programme Action Officer – SI Bridgend