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AGM – April 2019

We held our 63rd Annual general Meeting on Monday, 15th April 2019 and it was a really busy evening.

We reviewed the year’s activities; elected the club officers; agreed the disposal of the charity collections between the club’s chosen charities and signed off all the above.

Then President Catriona had completed her term of office so the club presented her with a certificate marking her service and a beautiful Orchid.

which was received with great pleasure.

Now ready for a break we paused for refreshment then moved on to the best part of the evening where we inducted two new members.

Always good to have the opportunity to endorse what is being done by the club with a review – and to end on such a positive note – no wonder we are such a happy group of women.

Fairtrade and IWD – combined event with Bring and Share Supper

This year we decided to mark Fair trade fortnight with a Bring and Share supper, highlighting fair trade goods.

The supper was held at President Catriona’s home and 14 of us squeezed into her dining room for a very convivial evening.  The food brought was delicious (even if it did highlight the difficulty in being truly supportive of Fair trade) but was particularly pleasing in that it gave club members an opportunity to emphasise the strong friendships which exist in our group.


We ended the evening wth Fairtrade coffee and and a two part quiz – the first part was to test our knowledge of Fairtrade (pretty abysmal!) and the second was more to mark IWD with a test of our knowledge of Influential Women and their achievements.  We all did exceptionally well on this part and each won a (Fairtrade) Freddo chocolate.


Thanks to Judith who set this up for us.






Worcester SI celebrates the 80th Anniversary of the club

Cheltenham club has close links with the Worcester club and we have a nice tradition of mutual support, so when we were invited to attend the 80th Anniversary celebrations we were delighted to accept.


The club arranged a PAC meeting in the morning where we had the pleasure of meeting our International President, Mariet Verhoef-Cohen and hearing a presentation from her on her project.

Mariet is a regular visitor to Worcester through their friendship links. This was followed by a session on Programme Action Report forms which was both informative and thought provoking – we must do better!

In the evening we had a party of nine past and present Cheltenham club members attending the Gala Dinner at Worcester Cricket club.  We were warmly welcomed by President Ann McLucas and our other friends at Worcester and had a thoroughly enjoyable evening.  Many congratulations Worcester on both achieving 80 years of service to Soroptimist International and for organising such an event.

Speaker Meeting September 2018


The UN days to mark both Literacy and Peace days fall in September so our meeting included a presentation on “Libraries and what is the future for them” given by Maxine Melling.  Maxine had a distinguished career in the field of Academic Libraries, culminating in becoming the Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire.

The talk was extremely interesting and we had a lively discussion followed by an opportunity to meet and get to know our visitors. We also held a small book sale and raffled a Peace Lily, the funds from which are added to our Charity account.

Raffle tickets, anyone?



President Catriona thanking Maxine Melling

Regional AGM – Tiverton June 2018

This year Regional President Daphne and her Tiverton SI club arranged another excellent event.  The business meeting was efficiently dealt with and we had some inspirational speakers.  When this concluded we entered into the Friendship element of the weekend with a beautifully presented dinner with the keynote speaker being a fellow Soroptimist, Caroline Chugg.  Caroline has recently been elected as Chair of Devon County Council and gave us a lively description of what it takes to get into public life.

President Catriona at the AGM dinner


Speaker Meeting June 2018

Regina is one of the newer members of the club but has already been invited to be our speaker twice.  The first time was to tell us more about her enterprise “Edufun” and this time it was to share with us the findings from the research she has been doing for her Masters dissertation on mental health issues in schools.  It was a very interesting and thought provoking  subject and Regina had us all engaged.

Thank you, Regina – we want to know more!

Regina being thanked by Catriona

Membership Month – our May 2018 Information evening with guests

In Cheltenham we like to think that we are making new contacts throughout the year – but we do lay aside one meeting a year to bring together women who have expressed an interest in Soroptimism.

During the evening we have presentations on the history, structure and project work of SI; and our club in particular, then have some drinks and canapes.

No 63 Lunch at the House of Lords

Yet another reason to support the Soroptimist Hotel at No. 63 – Mrs Kathleen Phillips MBE has been a staunch supporter of the hotel and is keeping the club updated on the changes taking place on the management and so on.

She had the opportunity to attend a lunch party at the House of Lords and managed to bid for two extra tickets so three members from Cheltenham were able to enjoy this event.  With the Houses of Parliament likely to be decanting soon for the building works we were so delighted to have the chance to go now and enjoyed a lovely lunch followed by a most interesting talk from the event’s sponsor, Baroness Blood Blood.

Annual General Meeting – April 2018


The AGM was held on 16th April 2018 and was well attended by members.  The executive was elected with Judith Dawtrey stepping back from the position of Secretary tot eh club after a marathon 7 years!  We were all very sad to lose the services of such a dedicated and efficient secretary who has kept us up to date and running so smoothly – the newsletter will never be the same again.


Catriona Murray was re-elected as President and Alison kaye was elected to join the Executive.


After the AGM was concluded the normal business meeting was held and charities to support for the coming year chosen.

We also had the pleasure of presenting Dr. Sue Cole with a certificate to mark her 35 years of membership of Soroptimist International

President Catriona and Sue Cole with the certificate


It has been an amazing year for us here in the Cheltenham Club – in the 6 months from August to February we have welcomed  SEVEN new members and the February club meeting saw our latest colleagues being inducted.  We could not be more delighted to have Regina and Sheelagh join us in Cheltenham.


Yvonne receives her new members pack

We were delighted to welcome two more members in October.  Immediate Past President Catriona has taken back the Presidency of the club as Barbara had to step down, due to unexpected family commitments – so it was her pleasure to induct Gill and Yvonne.

Gill and Catriona


In August we were joined by Sheila Hoeman, who was inducted by President Barbara during the fundraising Cava and Strawberries event.

Sheila and Barbara


Then we had the pleasure of welcoming Cherry Chappel and Maggie Stewart to the club in September. This was the meeting where we marked both the UN day of Peace and UN day of Literacy. New member Sheila gave a presentation on her work as a writer.

Maggie and Barbara





The AGM in May was well attended and Catriona Murrray handed over the Presidency to Barbara Marsh.

Catriona was presented with garden planters by the club to mark her year as President – she told the club it had been a great pleasure and privilege and thanked all the members for their support, plus the very kind words and gifts.

MARGARET HEAVEN – 9th February 1926 to 19th May 2017


It is with great sadness that the Cheltenham Soroptimists mark the death of founder member Margaret Heaven.

The Cheltenham Club received its Charter in 1957 and this was a time when women were only eligible to join if they were at the top of their profession in their area.  Margaret was warmly welcomed as her work in Speech and Language Therapy had brought her to Cheltenham as the only speech therapist in the area and led to her developing the service for Gloucestershire.  Margaret was highly regarded in her profession – she was awarded the Honours by the Royal College of Speech and Language, only given to those who have made an outstanding contribution to the profession.

Margaret was an active member of Soroptimists from 1957 to 2008, following which her long and  outstanding service to the club was recognised with an Honorary membership. Margaret was very proud of this and displayed the certificate prominently in her home.

Margaret at eh 60th Anniversary lunch with RP Daphne and Catriona
Margaret at the 60th Anniversary lunch with RP Daphne and Catriona


Margaret continued to take a great interest in the Cheltenham Club, attending social events whenever possible.  The last event at which she was present was the Anniversary Lunch held in February, when we welcomed Margaret at a guest of honour.  Fittingly, the day marked 60 years of Soroptimism for both our club in Cheltenham and Margaret herself.

January meeting 2017

We have started the year with a really positive meeting – planning the next two events on our calendar and, best of all, welcoming 3 new members to the Cheltenham Club.

Freda Burton, Sue Hamer and Carol Sandiford were introduced by Membership Executive Kathleen Phillips and inducted by President Catriona Murray.

Sue and Catriona
Sue and Catriona
Carol receives her welcome pack
Freda welcomed by Catriona



Our club has had 5 new members to date this year and we are all delighted to welcome new faces with new ideas and interests.

The rest of the meeting was taken up with a lively discussion about and the planning of our next two big events – the Annual Quiz on 6th February and the Anniversary Lunch on the 26th February.

Please go to the events page to find details.



Ali is a born and bred Cheltonian and, having newly taken early retirement, is able to turn her talents and energies towards SI.  Ali is a keen foodie and wine lover so is ideally suited to join our team.  Welcome Ali – we are looking forward to your company and support.

AGM marked by introducing a new President, welcoming a new member and making a presentation.

The AGM was held in April 2016 and it was a happy event – after the reports had been officially signed off a new President was installed

We then welcomed new member, Mo.

Welcoming new member Mo

And were able to present a cheque to Florence for her charity – Nowans Community Trust

Presentation of cheque to Florence of Nowans Community TrustWe are looking forward to working together over the next twelve months.