Bristol Soroptimists and friends enjoyed a drinks reception last week at the Clifton Art Studio in Clifton Village. Guests were offered glasses of bubbly together with delicious canapés whilst viewing the incredible art surrounding them. The evening was held in aid of Mary’s Meals and over £350 was collected.
The annual Regional AGM and Conference held on the last Saturday of June was a lively and friendly occasion. It was attended by Ann Hodgson, our Federation President Elect, and provided an opportunity to meet up with friends from around our large geographical region. A very good video about the charity, Unseen, about trafficking was shown – though unfortunately the speaker was ill and unable to join us. But for me the highlight of the conference was an inspiring and moving talk by Helen Young, a member of Bath Club about the charity ACROSS which runs Jumbulances. These are specially extended and equipped coaches with full facilities to take sick and disabled passengers on 10 day trips to Lourdes and the South of France where they stay in a specially selected hotel near the Grotto. We had the opportunity to have a guided tour round
At our meeting on June 27th Bristol Soroptimists were delighted to be able to present representatives from the Charity ‘Special Friends’ with a cheque for £4415.00 raised by our many events in 2015-16. Special Friends Trustee Jo Davies and the Treasurer Maya Vaitilingam gave us the news that their Charity is expanding their Club to continue giving support to young people up to the age of 25 . One of their special social events is to visit Bristol Hippodrome for the ‘informal’ Pantomime performance each year and Jo and Maya thanked the Soroptimists for their generosity which will help them enable these plans in the coming year.
On Tuesday 10th May I had the privilege of attending a garden party at Buckingham Palace. I had been invited to represent SI Bristol with Jo Davies from Special Friends Club (our charity last year when I was President) and our husbands. We queued outside the front entrance and, when the front gates opened, we walked through the entrance hall of the Palace along the red carpet and entered the gardens. Tea was served from a marquee, cucumber and mint sandwiches, of course!, and dainty cakes and scones and cream. Shortly before 4 pm the Yeoman of the guard organised the crowd so that there were clear lines for the Queen and Prince Philip to walk along. The Queen stopped about ten feet away from us to talk to someone and we had a good view in spite of the umbrellas. We were delighted to
Andrea Ryan is presented with her award for 35 years as a Soroptomist at one of the clubs regular lunches for retired and current members. Many thanks to Susan Greenwood for organising these lovely occasions.
Bristol Soroptimists celebrated its 96th charter (10th May) last evening by welcoming its youngest member to the club. Megan Grace with her mother Laura and husband Rowan attended her first meeting and enjoyed all the attention she received. President Pauline said she was delighted to welcome such a young member to the club especially on this occasion when it was celebrating its 96th year.
On the afternoon of December 8th Gish Hobbs and Denise Matthews visited Eden House to oversee a Christmas themed craft session. We had prepared a variety of activities including card making, a table decoration using fresh foliage, and a handmade tree decoration which involved a lot of glueing. We provided all the necessary materials and some simple advice on methods. Eight ladies attended ( as well as a member of Eden House staff) and all showed enthusiasm and interest in the ideas we presented.Most of the ladies completed two activities, seemed pleased with their efforts and in some cases showed remarkable ingenuity in problem solving ways of making the tree decorations stick together! There was constant conversation amongst everyone during the couple of hours we were there and it was generally an enjoyable afternoon.
July saw the return of Sylva Von Bomsdorff for a short holiday from her home in Peru and we were delighted to hear news of the latest happenings at her small School in Lima. Due to the fact that Lima has been experiencing an unusual level of heavy, fine rain which the original flat roof was not designed to manage, it has been necessary to improve the slope and drainage for the roof, something outside their planned budget. However, a small increase to the salary has enabled the School to continue to employ the dedicated teaching team and pupil levels are almost at the maximum for the classrooms available, although only around 30% are able to pay their full fees. Income continues to be juggled by Sylva and her team to ensure education is available wherever possible for those with little income. An additional expense
Sky Ride Bristol … Members of SI Bristol joined Bristol Rotary Club to help marshal Sky Ride Bristol on Sunday 21 June. Cycling fever hit Bristol as all types of riders and abilities rode through traffic-free city centre streets to raise funds for their favourite charities. A formidable pair of Soroptimists made sure that the route they were responsible for was kept clear for the cyclists! Induction of new Rotary President … The annual changeover of Presidents for Bristol Rotary took place on Monday 29 June. SI Bristol, who have a special relationship with Rotary, were represented at this annual event which began with a short church service in The Lord Mayor’s Chapel opposite College Green – a beautiful setting and building. The Revd Harold Clarke who conducted the service had been a Bristol Rotarian. He spoke of his recent trip to Sri Lanka where
Members of SI Bristol at the Regional AGM held in St Austell on Saturday 20th June. We were invited to display our Programme Action activities. One of Bristol club’s members volunteered to take part in a Self Defence Demonstration, by James Turner, Regional Kick Boxing Champion Afternoon Tea SI Bristol celebrated our 95th anniversary at the Marriott Royal Hotel with a sumptuous afternoon tea. We were delighted to host visiting dignitaries and members from across the region as well as members’ friends and relatives. The first meeting in 1920 was hosted in the same hotel. It was then known as the Royal Hotel. SI Bristol have been working on a garden project with Eden House see Programme Action page for more information Soroptimists and Rotarians joined forces to marshal Sky Ride Bristol