The initiative to link Clubs to support each other during the covid crisis came for our Region. We were very pleased that SI Weston-super-Mare (W-s-M) agreed to pair with us as we have a long history of working together. A small working party have been gathering information on projects and activities and both Clubs have already been sharing Speaker Meetings via Zoom. This was the first “face to face” event that we have been able to organise keeping within the Covid Guidelines where all members from both Clubs could attend. On 20th May where we met in Weston (W-s-M) Woods and Worlebury Camp Iron Age Hillfort – where burials dated back to 385-197BC. Nick, a Soroptimister led the walk and his knowledge of the woods was amazing. We entered the woods from Worlebury Hill and walked through to the hillside overlooking the Old Pier –
Due to Covid restrictions and no in-person Soroptimist meetings, it has not possible to collect any of the items needed for the Mary’s Meals backpack project over the past year. Usually club members collect and donate serviceable children’s backpacks together with an assortment of items to go inside: School uniform, flip flops or sandals, stationery materials, a tennis ball, a spoon and some toiletries and a towel. However, a young student, Ella, has taken up supporting the project on Bristol Soroptimists behalf as part of her voluntary work for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. This was going to last for three months but she so enjoyed encouraging family and friends to donate items for this good cause that she decided to continue collecting for a bit longer! The filled backpacks will bolster the number Bristol Soroptimists will be able to send to Mary’s Meals
We were pleased to welcome Esther Hall who is the community fundraiser for St Peter’s Hospice which is our Club Charity of the year for 2021/22. St Peter’s Hospice is a Bristol based charity. It was established over 40 years ago originally in South Bristol by a group of people led by the Bourne family. It provides care and support to adults who are living with a progressive life-limiting illness in the Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset area. Much of the support is provided in people’s homes. Their newly refurbished inpatient facilities in Westbury-on–Trym look amazing. The Hospice supports over 500 people at any one time and their approach “Live well, die well” was self-evident as Esther’s enthusiasm rubbed off on us all. She told us of the volunteering opportunities and explored suggestions that we made. Esther will work with us to ensure we make
Congratulations to President Marion and Jen and together we celebrated the end of their fundraising walking challenges. To meet their targets Jen walked for six months and Marion a full year. To give perspective, Marion’s mileage (1,526 miles) was farther than walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats – and back again (1,206 miles as the crow flies)! Jen’s mileage was over 700 miles. The money which is still coming in will be divided between our two club charities both of which we have supported over the last two years: The National Centre for Integrative Medicine and Lifeskills-Learning for Living. The afternoon was a substitute for our “Centenary Celebration Friendship Weekend” which we had to cancel due to the covid restrictions. It was a beautiful sunny day and keeping to the rule of six we walked around Bristol’s Durdham downs, which is one of our regular
The Two Presidents spanned the last two years! Immediate Past President Denise 2019-2020 and President Marion2020-2021. We were joined by a prospective new member and also members from SI Weston-super-Mare. Denise and Marion entertained us describing their careers and the exciting things they have done during their lives. We often hear about our members careers and it never ceases to amaze us what these women who we know so well have done. Thank you both for sharing your lives with us.
As part of our centenary celebrations we have had various tree projects during the year mainly led by Ivete and a further tree project led by Maureen. The first tree was planted following a television documentary “The Queen’s Green Planet”. The Queen and David Attenborough invited the public to plant a tree to contribute to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy https://queenscommonwealthcanopy.org/ Ivete and her husband Reg, donated an English Oak tree to contribute to this venture and also as part of our centenary activities. The tree was planted in the autumn in the Muller Road Recreational Grounds, a relatively deprived area of Bristol. The second planting was organised by Maureen through the Forest of Avon Trust. SI Bristol dedicated 32 native trees to community woodlands. One tree for each of our members and to celebrate our 100th anniversary. In March President Marion, President Elect Sue P
Chris started by telling us a bit about the history of the Tyntesfield Estate. The house was built for William Gibbs and completed in 1884. The estate was purchased by the National Trust in 2002. There are 37 labels from the original trees planted in the late 1800s. There is a huge selection of trees with beautiful foliage and flowers and look stunning when they are at their best. Some parts of the estate are the same as they were originally including some of the tree walks. A few of the trees in the laurel walk have been replaced by taking cuttings from the original trees. The holly walk is 140 years old and some of the hollies have also been replaced. He told us about ancient, veteran and champion trees. They have an oak which is an ancient tree. Ancient trees are very old
International Women’s Day 8th March 2021 Once again Soroptimist International of Bristol join Bristol Women’s Voice to mark International Women’s Day. Across the world thousands of Soroptimists will mark International Women’s Day with hundreds of activities and events on and around 8th March. In some countries just gathering puts women’s lives at risk. Events highlight the economic, political and social achievements of women, and raise awareness of work still to be done to build a better world for women and girls. Due to the pandemic members of Soroptimist International of Bristol are marking this very special day in a different way to that originally planned. Below is the link to a short video (1.35 minutes) we have made to support the rights of women to equal treatment, their right to respected and their achievements in society with the theme “We Choose to Challenge”. If you can’t open the
The Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) is a registered charity providing the Critical Care and air ambulance service across Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset, Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire. Joe opened by telling us that the air ambulance brings the patient to the hospital and the hospital to the patient – a flying emergency department. He captured our interest and told us of “Chris’s Story” in two parts. This is a simplified version. In the first part when Chris had a cardiac arrest his wife Sue performed cardiac massage in the first instance and then a number of emergency services attended but unfortunately Chris did not survive. Later he gave the second part – the real story. This started the same way but in this scenario the air ambulance took over Chris’s care from Sue and he made a full recovery and
We reached our ambitious target and raised £1,590. Donations were made by Club members, but read on! This included their participation in a virtual event (in place of a porridge fundraising event on the Downs) as part of International Porridge Day (10th October) and the Christmas ‘lay a spare place’ appeal. By sending the money before January 31st 2021, the £1,590 was matched through the UK Government’s ‘double the love’ funding programme. Thus, SI Bristol’s donation instead of only supporting 100 children supported 200 children for a school year. Well done indeed.