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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Christmas with a difference!

Who would have thought it back in March that we would be so familiar with Zoom, tiers and social distancing?   This year has not been how we ever imagined life would be.   Birthdays this year have taken on a new meaning as when ever we sing ‘Happy Birthday’ now we all think about washing our hands!   And Christmas is certainly going to be very different for us all.

However, as ever, Club members have responded in their usual positive fashion.   Thinking of each other, and those women less fortunate as always.

Christmas greetings

Card with Kenilworth Castle and Christmas greetingsThanks to Marion, President Gill has sent out a lovely e-card to our sister Soroptimists in Midland Arden Region.

‘We at Soroptimist International Kenilworth and District hope that you will enjoy a peaceful Christmas and a healthy New Year with increasing optimism for the future.  Kindest regards from President Gill and all club members.”

It’s also been sent to the Kenilworth ‘Chain Gang’ e.g. Town Mayor Richard Dickson, Presidents of Lions, Rotary, and the WI.

We’ve also sent it to our Friendship Links and had some lovely messages back.   It’s great that despite Covid, our friendships are still just as strong.

Kenilworth Christmas Tree festival

As with so many things, this tradition at St Nicholas Church has been adapted to an outside event.   The theme this year was ‘Plastic Free Kenilworth’.   A theme we embraced whole heartedly!   It fits in so well with our link to the UN and the Sustainable Goals

With artistic direction from Julie P and Rachel, who also managed all the creative bits.   Willow weaving by Sharon, installation by Soroptimister Dave, and props added by Andrea and Elaine.   It was truly a team effort and one that has been much admired by passers by.   The best bit about it is that we can use the decorations again!   So proud of all the pledges we discussed back in July.



And we’re still supporting our local Women’s Refuge.

We fully appreciate that the pandemic and Lockdowns have had a massive impact on women and children in abusive relationships.   Our local Refuge last year were supporting 60 women in their outreach service.   This year it’s 300 🙁

Thankfully our members have donated their Christmas Dinner money and raised £1000 to send for the Wellbeing Fund’  Members have also given a fabulous range of winter goodies for a bit of cheer.    These are just a few of the gifts.

And our wonderful Kenilworth Lions have also donated £1000 to the ‘Well Being Fund’.   AND given a £500 voucher to be spent at the Lions Furniture Store so that the Refuge can refurbish their property.   It will also help women when they can move on to their own tenancies.   Thank you so much Lions 🙂

Making a difference in Malawi

Thanks to an afternoon tea held just before ‘Lockdown 1’ and donations during the year we were able to send £270 to Friends of Sick Children in Malawi.  With the magic of the elves at the workshop there, this was turned into two custom built wheelchairs and a home unit for a tot.

And last but not least

We had our last Zoom meeting of 2020.   President Gill, being the IT wizard she is, arranged for us to chat in ‘break out ‘ rooms.   Another term we weren’t familiar with until this year!   It worked brilliantly.   Especially as we were joined by Joke and Loes from SI Arnhem Oost, and Karen and Andrea from SI Remscheid.   It was so interesting hearing how things are in Holland and Germany.   It was also a lovely way to share our friendship and sisterhood with Club members and Friendship links alike.   Just wish our foreign language skills were as good!

Next year, hopefully we will be able to celebrate more traditionally.   There should definitely be a Christmas hairband competition, never mind a jumper one!

Zoom shot. Women wearing Christmas jumpers and hairbands