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Co-Housing, World Toilet Day, Refuge Gifts and more…

Wow – that was a busy evening! On Mon 11 Nov we had speakers from OWCH Older Women’s Co-Housing, reports back from the Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland Conference in Bournemouth and Soroptimist International London Chilterns Region, a bottle sale for Toilet Twinning to mark World Toilet Day, Christmas gifts for the St Albans and Hertsmere Women’s Refuge plus some Club business too!

First off we heard from Charlotte Balazs (in the pic right) and Vivien Sheehan (in the pic centre) about OWCH Older Womens Co-housing for over 50’s  They showed the excellent video on their website (13 mins) called Senior Co-housing The Way We Do It which explained how it works. Ann Beatty (in the pic left), one of our Members, invited Charlotte and Vivien to tell us about because they all live at the OWCH New Ground Co-housing in Barnet. Our Members asked lots of questions and were impressed by the responses. Co-housing sounds really supportive for women living on their own. It was wonderful to hear how it made the residents feel healthier (mentally and physically), and thus less dependent on social services. We have been invited to visit which we will organise for the new year.

Denise Powell (2nd left) Ann Beatty (3rd left) and Jane Slatter (far right) reported back on the SIGBI Bournemouth Conference  – please see the separate report on the Club Website to read all about it  We were all very proud to be there to support Denise Powell’s official installation as President of Soroptimist International London Chilterns Region Denise also reported back from the Region Meeting/Conference and AGM on 12 Oct – you can read more about the day here when Denise took over as Region President at the end of the AGM You can also read Denise’s message from her address for all Members of the Region on the website


World Toilet Day was marked with a bottle sale in aid of Toilet Twinning. Members brought bottles and jars of things no longer needed/wanted which raised a wonderful £61 on the night. We gave out some more collecting boxes to Members, the contents of which we will collect after Christmas. Jane Slatter showed the excellent video below from Toilet Twinning which was presented at the Bournemouth Conference and explains how important toilets are, especially for girls. 4.2 billion people live without safely managed sanitation – more than half the global population. Jane also shared what she had said on Radio Verulam the week before the meeting – we have now secured 19 twinned toilets in St Albans and need to get to 30 for St Albans to become a toilet twinned city. The Club already has some other donations for Toilet Twinning so we will be able to twin at least 3 more in the new year!

It is our tradition to provide Christmas presents for women in the St Albans and Hertsmere Women’s Refuge. Because this was the last meeting before Christmas Members brought lots of  wrapped gifts – see the picture here with Rita Andrews who will be playing Santa and delivering them – they will be greatly appreciated. There is also a good stash of tea, coffee and sugar at the back of the table for Rita to deliver from our Club Members to the Refuge too.