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Some of our entertaining and inspiring speakers this year:

Life Coach, Tereza Groth-Andersen of kick started the New Year by helping us to cultivate some self-compassion and care, most needed during these challenging times.

In February, Past President, Fatima told us all about her trip to Sierra Leone last year (her parents’ country of birth) and on the work she is doing out there.

In March, we had the privilege of 2 speakers at one meeting. Margaret Barnard Jones, President of SI Freetown, Sierra Leone. She spoke of the work her club was doing such as providing uniforms to school girls.

And retired teacher, Catherine Emaru, who told us about 4GROW (4Generating Real Opportunities for Women) in Uganda – her place of birth. Through ‘cassava multiplication’, women (mainly widows) can feed their families, earn a living enabling them to be financially literate, build homes and become leaders.

That same month, we also had Sandra Willans and ‘Singing for the Brain’, a support service provided by the Alzheimer’s Society . We learned about the huge benefits of music to those living with dementia, from reducing medication and agitation to releasing feel good hormones and lowering depression.

In May, Akshya, a Speech and Language Therapist, working in Charing Cross Hospital, educated us on the therapy she provides to adults with communication and swallowing difficulties, her role within healthcare and the types of patients she works with. She also shared her personal journey into the profession and the immense satisfaction she gains from helping and working with people.

Tracy Sickel, the director of ID Prison Ministry spoke to our club on the 10th June. Their organisation seeks to “help women in prison to address their personal issues, and the reasons for their past offending behaviour – with a view to becoming healed, whole, and living in their true potential.”

Last night’s entertaining and informative speaker, John Miles, Trustee of Rotary International’s Global Sight Solutions programme strives to enable free eye care and surgery to the very poor across the world.

Yoga and wellness teacher Anu Gupta speaking to us on the 23rd September on the healing power of yoga in particular breathwork. She had us try the ‘humming bee’ breath exercise; this stimulates the ‘vagus nerve’ which helps to maintain health in the body and the brain by bringing about a state of calm.

Croydon Club invited Brian Reilly of the National Centre for Domestic Violence  to explain how victims are identified and contacted, and how a restraining order is issued and enforced within 24 hours of the initial referral. We’re wearing orange for the SIGBI 16 days of activism to end violence against women.