Club Events and Fund Raisers

Knit and Natter for People with Dementia October 2019

Have you ever seen a twiddle muff? They are lovely to hold, keep your hands warm and have lot’s of textures to twiddle with! people with dementia find them particularly comforting, but to be honest, they are gorgeous for anyone to play with! A group of us enjoyed our time at a member’s home the other evening busy making twiddle muffs for people with dementia living at Clarendon House and other care homes in the area.






Murder Mystery Walk September 2019

On Sunday 29th of September, despite the appalling weather, sixteen intrepid members of Nantwich SI put on their thinking caps, walking shoes, waterproof coats and carried huge umbrellas, to walk round Nantwich town centre hunting down murder mystery clues. They were split into teams and provided with directions plus numerous clues. Once they’d solved each clue they could eliminate a suspect or a murder weapon from their list. Many of them found that they were looking at buildings they’d never noticed before, as well as walking down a narrow ginnell which they didn’t know existed. As with all successful SI events the detectives met up at the end in Nantwich Bookshop for a well deserved cup of tea and the odd cake! The murderer and murder weapon were correctly deduced.

Chester Dinner September 2019

Two of our members attended a special dinner meeting hosted by SI Chester with a very interesting speaker telling us about the Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa. Fistula is an all too common experience for women in Ethiopia, ruining their lives, causing pain and exile from their communities.  The hospital was set up by two Australian doctors, Reg and Catherine Hamlin over 30 years ago – they have made a huge impact for women, treating them and giving them back their lives, as well as training midwifes to offer better support to women in their villages. The speaker, Hilary Price, had visited with her husband Mike and her talk was extremely illuminating. To find out more about the Fistula Hospital their website address is:


Regional Meeting September 2019

Five members attended the Regional Meeting at Deeside College. There was a theme of climate action for peace and all Clubs brought their bottle tops for recycling – see the picture of us all together with our plastic fish Poly de la mer! Members who had been to the International Convention in Kuala Lumpur also gave a presentation of the highlights of their visit – here is our club member Jacquie Weatherill making a strong point about her very positive experience.


Recycling milk bottle tops September 2019

We have been collecting milk bottle tops for up-cycling by Lush – we have been well supported in the by Nantwich Bookshop and Cafe as well as our local members. They say “We’ll whisk them away to our Green Hub in Poole where they’re broken down into pellets ready to be sent to Storm Board – a company in Somerset that builds boards from the plastic pellets. Bottle Boards can then be made into waterproof furniture – from wall claddings to chairs and benches. They’ve been used to make a play area at a refugee camp in France, and you might even spot them adorning the units and table tops in our stores!”

For more information about this have a look at what Lush are doing here: Lush explains what to do with plastic bottle tops


President Helen (L) with Nancy (C) and Sue (R) showing our bounty of milk bottle caps for up-cycling


We have published our first club Newsletter to give a bird’s eye view of what we have been up to, and what’s coming up. This is for our members, supporters and Friendship Clubs. Please share with anyone who may be interested and let us have feedback on how you like it. You can download a printable version here: SI Nantwich Newsletter Sep 2019

Samaritans Awareness Day 24th July 2019

Our club is championing the theme of mental health this year, and our President, Helen Piddock-Jones, and our Programme Action Lead, Sue Piddock-Jones were supporting the Crewe Samaritans branch on Samaritans Awareness Day on 24th July at Crewe Station. Helen is a volunteer with Samaritans, and Sue is also a support volunteer. We have written an article on this day which you can read here:
Here they are with the Mayor of Cheshire east Council Barry Burkhill and his consort Sue Boswell

Societies Spectacular 20th July 2019

On Saturday 28th members of Nantwich Soroptimists braved appalling weather to support their stall at the local Society Spectacular. We take part in this event to raise awareness of Soroptimism as well as to see if there are any local women who would like to join us. Despite the wind blowing the display boards off the table and repeated downpours that saturated unsuspecting passers by, it was generally felt that the day was a success. The event was organised by Nantwich Town Council who provide free gazebos and tables in the centre of Nantwich’s pedestrianised area for all the societies in Nantwich to show their wares and attract new members. From the local am-dram to tennis, from organisers of the town food festival to the volunteer gardeners who keep the flower beds looking so good, every local society you could possibly want to join were on display. Nantwich SI’s display boards showed pictures of local, national and International projects with which the club has been involved but with a bigger emphasis on all the current events that are taking place now and over the next few months. As well as our anti trafficking initiative and our work with CWA the local women’s refuge, our members talked to interested passers by about our plans to work towards making Crewe and Nantwich Dementia Friendly towns. Despite the fierce competition from other women’s organisations, between the gusts and showers our team managed to enthuse six women into giving their contact details as they expressed a serious interest in finding out more about Soroptimism. They will be contacted very soon and invited to attend one of our meetings. They were all given one of our promotional pens which must be a clincher!

Here are some pictures of us in action!

Goodbye and good luck to Helen Morris

We are sorry that Helen Morris is leaving the club and moving to Lincoln very shortly. Helen joined just over a year ago and has refreshed and maintained our website over the last year, and hasn’t she done a brilliant job! She has been an active energetic member and was also a key member of the 70th Anniversary Conference team. She has made a great contribution to the club, as well as being good company and we will certainly miss her.  We wish her all the best for the new chapter in her life in Lincoln.


Visit to The Pankhurst Museum 2nd July 2019

A group of us went with some friends from Motherwell Women’s Charity to visit the Pankhurst Museum and hear from Manchester Women’s Aid which is also based there. Beforehand we had a lovely lunch at The Whitworth Art Gallery. The museum itself stands incongruously as a victorian house in the middle of the modern buildings of Central Manchester Hospital, and was where Emmeline Pankhurst lived and started the suffragette movement from her parlour there. We learned a lot about the birth of the suffragette movement and Emmeline’s role in this, which was very interesting. It was also very useful to hear about Manchester Women’s Aid, supporting 5 refuges and a range of outreach services for women subject to domestic abuse. we were pleased to hear that they are in contact with, and learning from our local service Cheshire Without Abuse, which is considered a model of good practice. At the end we walked round the lovely suffragette garden, planted past year for  the centenary of some women getting the vote in beautiful suffragette colours of purple white and green. It was a great visit, and we will definitely return! Here are some pics of our visit:

Lunch at The Whitworth

Vi and Caroline in Emmeline’s parlour!

In the garden, behind bars!


Summer (?) Walk- 9 June 2019

Members braved heavy showers to enjoy another walk to ‘Tea at the Tower’ on Sunday 9th June…

Sunshine and Showers!

A nice cuppa at Acton Church

70 Anniversary Charter Dinner-1 June 2019

After a very busy day at our Conference (Nantwich and District Soroptimists’ 70th Anniversary Conference: 1 June 2019. ) members and guests gathered for a celebratory dinner at the Hunters Lodge Hotel.

Visitors from SI Bern Arcadia

Visitors from Szeged

Dinner is served!


Catching up on news



After a lovely dinner we were entertained by Cathie Sabine, former President of the Lawn Tennis Association.

Before the Conference….

Carole hosted a fish and chip supper for our visitors!

On the morning after the dinner…

members entertained our visitors at the Nantwich Bookshop before they left for home.




May 2019: A walk to Tea at the Tower, Acton

On Sunday May 5th members of SI Nantwich & District spent a very enjoyable afternoon walking along a stretch of the Shropshire Union Canal. Although it was a bit blustery and cool there was bright sunshine for their walk. They passed the marina and all its moored boats before leaving the canal at bridge number 93 to make their way to Acton’s St Mary’s Church. Every Sunday between 2 and 4pm church members provide tea and wonderful home made cakes to any lucky visitor. Most of the Soroptimists went back for a second piece of cake before climbing up to the bell tower to hear all about the bells.

This walk is going to take place at least three more time this year and all members and their families – and dogs – are welcome to come along.

The dates are Sunday 9th June, 28th July and August 18th.

Sunday Lunch at The Clink, Styal: March 2019

A group of Soroptimists and friends had Sunday lunch at The Clink.  The food was delicious and all prepared from scratch.  The service also was excellent.  We had the concept of The Clink Restaurant explained to us and told of its success in helping to reduce reoffending.
It is certainly an outing to be repeated!

Raising Funds For Ovarian Cancer Research

Approximately 25 members and their friends gathered on Friday 15th February for a coffee morning to raise money for Target Ovarian Cancer. We enjoyed good company, delicious cake, beautiful sunshine and a super raffle.

We raised £231!!
Thanks to all who came to support this very worthy cause. Thanks to everyone who helped, with the biggest thank you to Carole for hosting the event.

Club members hit the town!

A cold and frosty Saturday morning in February saw a party of 10 members heading to London for the weekend organised by Gill- Cheers Gill!
We stayed at 63 (the Soroptimist hotel.) On Saturday we went to see the Book of Mormon which was very irreverent and rather rude but hilarious.
Later we went for a meal at an Italian restaurant near the hotel. On Sunday we walked through Kensington gardens (opposite the hotel) to Kensington palace to see the exhibition of Princess Diana’s dresses. Anne and Jean attempted to look suitably regal in a Queen Anne number!
                                                                                                 Stunningly beautiful.
Then on to Kensington High Street for some retail therapy. We said goodbye to three of our number and the rest of us went for an Indian meal. On Monday – the Science museum before heading back home.  Great weekend full of fun and laughter.
The verdict on the show?
It was brilliant. Funniest show many of us have ever seen. So much so that when it goes on tour in a few months time we would like to go and see it again and invite all our other friends.



Bridge Drive in aid of of Water Aid and the Trussell Trust (Foodbank)

January 2019 saw a very successful Bridge Drive held in aid of President Nancy’s 2 charities: Water Aid and the Food Bank (Trussell Trust). Held at Crewe Alex’s hospitality suite, the competitors enjoyed an afternoon of Bridge and a tea, served by members of the Club. Over £800 was raised for the Charities from entry fees and a raffle.


Soroptimists support Museum exhibition on Empowering Women: 2 November 2018

President Nancy was guest at the opening of the Nantwich Museum’s new Exhibition celebrating 100 years since some women were able to vote. The photo shows her with (L-R) David Morgan, Research Group, David Marren, Mayor of Nantwich, Laura Smith MP and Helen Cooke, Vice Chair of Museum

The display focussed on three women with local connections: Helen Macfarlane (1818-1860), Ada Nield Chew (1870-1945) and Gwyneth Dunwoody (1930-2008). The exhibition also included material on Nantwich’s contribution to the struggle for women’s suffrage and the role of the First World War.

The exhibition also had some interesting “Suffragette” Jewellery, that women had made for themselves with purple, green and white semi-precious stones – each piece was unique and was a sign to others of the cause she espoused.

The opening evening, attended by our President and our local MP, amongst others, was a great way to show our Soroptimist Club support for the exhibition, and was very enjoyable .

President Nancy meets a suffragette


September 2018 Theatre Trip to see Queens of the Coal Age by Maxine Peake
at the New Vic Theatre Directed by Bryony Shanahan


So starts the description from the production of this play we saw at The New Vic on Wednesday. Fun and friendship is one of our themes for this year, and this evening was a real opportunity to bring this to life. Originally a radio dramatization, it is based on the true story of four extraordinary ordinary women who protested against pit closures in the ‘90s. Here is what else the New Vic says:

“Anne, Elaine, Dot and Lesley. Four ordinary women, facing the closure of their community. It’s 1993 and the Parkside Colliery pit may be winding down, but they’re not giving up.

Their bras stuffed with contraband, they take a tour of the pit and refuse to come up. Settling into the depths of the mine, making tissue roses and walking imaginary dogs, they face bribery and threats. But as they dig in, those up top start to realise these ladies are not for turning.

This powerful play full of Northern wit by Maxine Peake follows on from the critically-acclaimed Beryl, and tells the true story of four women taking a stand in the face of a changing world.”

The play was laugh out loud funny at times, especially in the first half, whilst the women were getting themselves settled down the mine. The second half was more lively and inevitably more powerful as the women faced 4 days down on the cold and dark, with only coal sacks to wrap round them. It must have been a challenge to create the set as a convincing mine, and some of us found it a bit gloomy, and one-dimensional, and we wondered what the wandering miners’ role was as they appeared at various points, some with modern kit, others with Davy lamps from a previous age. Despite some clichés towards the end, the dialogue and drama of the story made it a powerful play, and reminded us that it is passion that drives courage and comradeship when a stand needs to be taken.

We certainly enjoyed ourselves and made an evening of it with supper at the theatre beforehand.