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New Members, Cambodia Volunteering, Refuge Gifts, Toilets, Coats and Bras!

Wow – what a busy Club Meeting we had on Mon 13 Nov! It was our  last regular meeting before the New Year – and just about all our Members were there – making the evening really buzz with activity!

First on the agenda was the introduction of two delightful new Members to our Club – Elly Donachie and Vathsala Ramamurthy pictured here between (L to R) Amanda Brown the Club’s Membership Officer and Rita Andrews the Club’s President. The welcoming of new Members is one of the nicest things we get to do as a Club it is always a real joy to know that as a Club we are growing and going from strength to strength!


We were delighted to welcome Hazel Duffell back from volunteering for three months in partnership with the charity Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) as a participant on  International Citizen Service (ICS) where she has been working on development projects in Cambodia, focused on health, education and livelihoods. We sponsored Hazel back in May her to help a little in paying for the trip – please click here to see the news item from before she went 

Hazel showed us photos and talked us through her experiences working in this country, which receives International Development support from the UK Government following the Cambodian genocide between 1975 and 1979 in which an estimated 1.5 to 3 million Cambodians died or were killed by the regime. Please scroll through these photos for a taste of Hazel’s valuable vonteering work – plus the “before” pics from May.

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Members brought their Christmas gifts along for the women at the St Albans and Herstmere and the Welwyn Hatfield Women’s Refuges – plus tea and coffee donations for the refuges too. See this photo of  President Rita Andrews proudly displaying the goodies (Sally Bear the Club’s Mascot is sitting on one of the presents so we had to make sure she didn’t become a gift herself!).

Members also brought along masses of coats joining up with the Harpenden Lions group to support Wrap Up London which aims to keep vulnerable people in London warm this winter.

On the evening we held a bottle sale raising money for Toilet Twinning as we did last year. On the evening we raised an amazing £90 and Members also took away the collecting boxes  to “spend a penny” between now and November and February see who’s in the thick of it again – that bear gets everywhere!).


More good news was that we have now collected 1300 “gently worn bras” – 

We also had a lovely report back from the recent Soroptimist Conference in Cardiff from our “Conference virgins” (6 of our 11 attendees were first-timers!) led by Sarah Lichman  – for more see the web page