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On our 55th anniversary, which women inspire us?

First have to be the ones whose vision brought us here!

Kenilworth folk are familiar with ‘The Old Bakery’ on High Street in the Old Town (incidentally Warwickshire’s ‘Pub of the Year’). Until 1979, this was the long-established ‘Fancott’s Bakery’. Joan Fancott was, in 1969, the founder President of Soroptimist International Kenilworth & District.

Here’s Joan wearing the Presidential insignia our current President Amanda wears today.



Next must be the countless women throughout history who paved the way for us.

Women like Mary Wollstonecraft(1759-1797), the British writer and philosopher who is arguably one of the first women to advocate a feminist view of gender equality: one of the cornerstones of our own work and advocacy.

 And Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), the English writer and mathematician whose work pioneered computer science: a role model to encourage more girls to take their own place in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

And next, the women of today, whose courage speaks to us in our support of the empowerment of women and girls.

Women like Malala Yousafzai, shot by the Pakistani Taliban to discourage all girls from receiving an education.

And Purity Soinato Oiyie, the first girl in her village to say no to FGM and who is now a voice at the UN in its campaign to end FGM by 2030.

And most recently, at our Charter Dinner we celebrated our own inspirational women.

We celebrated Presidents over the years who have inspired and encouraged our Club to achieve amazing things in the empowerment of women and girls.

Such things as:

The training of midwives in Malawi, enabling huge improvements in the survival and health rates of mothers and babies. And a lasting connection with the charity supporting sick children there. You can read about the charity here:

We’ve maintained a strong and lasting support for our local women’s refuge since one of our Presidents initiated the link several years ago. Read more about Warwickshire Refuge Support Services here:

Our current President Amanda inspired us to support a whole raft of women’s enabling agencies in our 16 Days of Activism. Read about one of them here:

How Many Handbags? 54!

And we celebrated the inspiration each member brings to our Club.

Because of the inspirational enthusiasm of members, we’ve learned about new ways in which to support healthier, stronger communities to allow women and girls to flourish. Here are just a few of them. Have a look!

How do we make our town feel flushed with success?

Our 55th Charter Celebration Dinner was homage to the inspiration of women everywhere and in every time.



 Here’s to the next 55 years!