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Club Activities

January 2021

 

  • International President’s appeal £100 donated
  • Region President’s Appeal for K&S Air Ambulance ‘coffee fund’ – £100 sent

May 2019

Ann, Angela and Louise spent an enjoyable weekend in France fundraising, exploring, and bench spotting for our Benchmark project, with a little food and wine and lots of fun.

And of course, the postcard went as well!

 

We rather like these benches with their serpent frames.

March 2019

 

International Women’s Day, March 8th, we joined with women from various groups across Tunbridge Wells to celebrate the day with drinks and cake.Tea/Coffee and cakes were funded by the Gov. Equalities Unit to the group. Speeches and poetry readings from our recent Barbara Bradford award were enjoyed during the evening at Javabean.

We then put up our stand at the International Women’s Day event at Tunbridge Wells Forum. We heard about menstrual cups and listended to a call for women to accept their bodies, hair and all from members of LoveCycle.

Saturday of Service

We had a great Saturday with Fairtrade Tunbridge Wells on The Pantiles at the market. Mandy, who is one of the organisers promoting Fairtrade in the Town is also a Soroptimist. We were very happy to help her talk about #SheDeserves a #LivingIncome in relation to women cocoa farmers. The Mayor of Tunbridge Wells was presented with a certificate to display in the Town Hall recognising that Tunbridge Wells is a Fairtrade Town. Plus the local Co-op donated Fairtrade items for shoppers to try whilst answering a quiz and collecting a petition postcard to send to the prime Minister . As Fairtrade states: ‘Chocolate is a treat for us. A living income is a human right for farmers.’ You can find out more here- fairtrade.org.uk/shedeserves

January 2019

Soroptimist Tunbridge Wells took part in The Tunbridge Wells Mayor’s Quiz raising money for MHR Tunbridge Wells Mental Health Resource. We came 36th!!!! But had great fun. The team name was The Quizzer Sisters and it was held in the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells.

November 2018

 

We were delighted to be part of The People’s Picture – here is what they say- ‘HIP HIP HOORAY !! We are thrilled to announce that the ‘Face of Suffrage’ is Hilda Burkitt, a leading face from the suffrage movement in the West Midlands. Evaline Hilda Burkitt was born in Wolverhampton in 1876 and died in 1955. She was the first suffragette to be forcibly fed a total of 292 times and had a job at the Birmingham WSPU (Women’s Social and Political Union) headquarters, in Ethel Street, near New Street station. Hilda threw a stone at Prime Minister Herbert Asquith’s train as it pulled out of Birmingham New Street after he attended a male-only budget meeting and she was imprisoned at Winson Green prison.’

Our Image is part of the hat! Next to the word-Sisters- how appropriate.

You can read more about the project here: https://thepeoplespicture.com/thefaceofsuffrage/

November 11, 2018 ‘We Will Remember Them’ , we took part in the 100 Years’ Commemoration Remembrance, Thanksgiving and dedication Service at The War Memorial,Tunbridge Wells and placed a wreath alongside the war memorial. Thank you to D.Jackson-Harlin from The Royal British Legion for making our wreath. Royal British Legion

October 2018

Poppies have been knitted and donated to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council ready for the Remembrance Event in November

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Tunbridge Wells Soroptimist Claire Archbold hosted a coffee morning and reported-‘Thank you all so much for coming this morning. We have raised a fantastic £110 for Macmillan!’ . Well done Claire.

July 2018

We had a lovely evening with Tunbridge Wells Mount Ephraim Division Girl Guides at their Summer Social, BBQ & Awards. Great team spirit with Tunbridge Wells Trefoil Guild reminding us of our own Guiding days & there was cake! Even though our structure built out of pipe-cleaners and straws was a little wonky.

Thank you for inviting us, we love what you do supporting girls and their leaders to give them greater opportunities personally and development of leadership skills. Here is the winning construction in development.

June 2018

Saturday 2 June 2018


We took part in Tunbridge Wells Yard sale with a prominent position on the busy London Road junction. This was the first time we had taken part in this event which is in it’s second year. We successfully raised  £129.70 for DAVSS – Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services 

We had great fun and aim to take part again should the event run in 2019, we will focus on plants and flowers next time as these seemed to be the most popular products.

May 2018

Sponsored by Si Tunbridge Wells and TW Women 100 to celebrate 100 years of women over 30 obtaining the Vote we were delighted to welcome Dr Helen Pankhurst to Manna Cafe in Christ Church, Tunbridge Wells High Street to hear a talk about women’s rights and the Suffragette Legacy. Great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, Dr Helen had a few family stories to convey of differences within the family in attitudes to campaigning and she highlighted how her relatives were buried in different continents.Discussing issues around agency, sense of self, Dr Pankhurst moved onto a very interesting discussion in relation to the media and its trivialisation and sexualisation of women. The presentation was opened into a question and answer session (Buzz Group) to allow the audience of nearly 100 women and men to debate and vote on how much change we felt had actually taken place in the last 100 years.

Some of the examples of changes in social norms were found to have been surprising recent. We also discussed the #METOO movement and how social media whilst having its downside, exposing women to online abuse is also a medium we need to embrace in order to take part in the digital conversation.

Charlotte Bartholomew sang You are the Voice to open the event and This is Me to close the event.

Dr Pankhurst’s book Deeds Not Words was available for purchase with a personal signature and the books were provided by Waterstones of Tunbridge Wells .

We had a fun evening at Clarins Fenwick – with a serious side. Hearing about Prix Clarins: A prestigious award for the next inspirational woman lending a helping hand to the younger generation today to help change the futures of tomorrow & Feed Clarins: as they partner with FEED, the social charity founded by Lauren Bush to fight hunger around the world and here at home. So a serious side to the beauty world which is not millions of miles away from our own Soroptimist ethos! Here are some of us at the start of the evening- with Jazz  and Prosecco.

 

April 2018

A few of us joined Soroptimist International Lewis & District for their Bluebell Walk & Tea in the beautiful home and woodland garden belonging to Anne & Andrew Hudson. Proceeds went to Pestalozzi International Village Trust and Bloom Nepal School.

Thank you for inviting Si Tunbridge Wells- we had a lovely afternoon and it was good to meet up with other Soroptimists over tea, sandwiches and scones and discuss future plans.

March 2018

Sunday March 10

We took a stall at the Tunbridge Wells Farmers market  to raise our profile and spread the news about Soroptimist issues and canvas for new members. Plus we linked with our partners Fair Trade Tunbridge Wells and Girl Guides and Rainbows.

A joint recruitment drive. Here we are sharing our news about our Toilet Twinning project as we have twinned with two, one in Malawi and one in Uganda. Alongside is one of the lovely local Guides who joined us for our recruitment session.

Fairtrade breakfast March 9 2018

We attended the Fairtrade Breakfast in the Town Hall on Friday March 9 to find out about Fairtrade gold and the difference it has made to the lives of gold miners. We also had a delicious continental breakfast of Fairtrade and local produce.We heard a short talk by Greg Valerio MBE, pioneer of Fairtrade Gold and met members of the local Fairtrade Town group. 

 

International Women’s Day March 8, 2018

A joyous International Women’s Day (IWD) was celebrated in Tunbridge Wells on March 8, 2018 to recognize the centenary of the vote for those women over 30. Months of planning by women from various organisations across the community including Si Tunbridge Wells resulted in a thirteen and a half hour journey through history with a nod to the future as women and girls produced a variety of events to mark the day. Backed by a government Women’s Vote Centenary Grant awarded to Tunbridge Wells Soroptimists the day was a roller-coaster of noise, costume and singing.

Councillor Jane March joined the Friends of Tunbridge Wells Cemetery as they paid tribute to eight extraordinary women from the late 19th and early 20th century. These women included Dame Bertha Philpotts (Mistress of Girton College), Ethel Newbold ((Statistician), Rachel Beer ( Newspaper Editor), Olive Walton (Suffragette) and Matron Ada Smith. Rosemary tributes were laid. Tied with suffragette and suffragist ribbons made by Guides and Rangers from Mount Ephraim Division which were especially fitting as the penultimate grave visited was that of Pauline Gower (Pilot) who had been a Guide District Commissioner.

Below is a photograph of Tunbridge Wells Soroptimists, June Bridgeman, Caroline Auckland, Lorna Blackmore and Ann Greenfield with Guide Leader Brenda Howes.

 

A close up of three Soroptimists shows Lorna wearing our Club President’s badge which was designed and enamelled by Ernestine Mills an important Suffrage Artist and member of the Women’s Social and Political union (WSPU).

Si Tunbridge Wells were joined by Carol Infanti from South East England Region for the main IWD march from the Pantiles to the Town Hall with many participants in Suffragette costume. A rousing performance by CREATE players and marchers of the ‘Women Voters’ hymn Jerusalem on the steps of the Town Hall was heartily embraced by all. The bunting, some 125 metres made by the local Soroptimist women fluttered in the breeze as various declamations were made. Si Tunbridge Wells, Carol and other members of the public entered the Town Hall to take tea and cake with Mayor Councillor Julia Soyke. The programme reflected the past, the present and the future and a musical performance of ‘This is Me’ by our newest Soroptimist Charlotte Bartholomew.

Below is a photograph of Si Tunbridge Wells, Carol Infanti and Tunbridge Wells Mayor, Cllr Julia Soyke in the Town Hall Council Chamber at the end of the IWD Mayor’s Event.

 

We have applied for a Government Funding project for International Women’s Day 2018 International Women’s Day Grants for this community event in Tunbridge Wells on March 8, 2018 and are waiting to hear if we have been successful. We will be taking part in the many activities throughout the day.

February 2018

We had a fun evening at The Mayor’s Charity Quiz Night – Saturday 24 February 2018 – The Assembly Hall Theatre, Royal Tunbridge Wells in aid of the Mayor’s Charity, DAVSS (Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Service).

We came THIRD from the bottom- but better than last year! All for a good cause.

A Literary Supper in support of SITWD charities. Friday 16th February 2018 7.30pm This event  has been postponed

Two-course supper including wine/soft drinks/coffee.

Quiz, games, general book chat…

5 Rosehill Walk, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1HL

£12 per head (Maximum 10 places)

To book, please contact Louise lt5rosehill@gmail.com or see her at the next club meeting.

November 2017

2 members represented Soroptimist Tunbridge Wells at the service of Remembrance Thanksgiving and Dedication at The War Memorial, Tunbridge Wells on Sunday 12 November 2017. We were also delighted to meet a member of Maidstone Soroptimist as we made our way to our positions. We just love the knitted poppy display made by members of the local community.

 

July 2017

Members of Soroptimist Tunbridge Wells attended the Girl Guide Thank You Evening on the 5th July, held in Speldhurst. It was a lovely evening with a good opportunity for sharing.

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July 2017

School writing competition

 

Local school girl Josie Van Zyl from Kent College school was the winner of our Tunbridge Wells Club prize for her essay ‘Are men and women equal?’

Local school girl Ana Tabares from Four Elms was our runner up and here she is being presented with her certificate and prize.

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Soroptimist International of South East England ran the Jacque Emery writing competition.  Soroptimist International is an organisation for women who work to transform the lives of women and girls through education and empowerment.

The Jacque Emery writing competition has been run this year for the first time in honour of Past Regional President Jacque Emery. Jacque sadly died in 2015 at the age of 65 of cancer. Jacque was a Senior Examiner at LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) and was passionate about effective communication. This competition will be run every 2 years to encourage and inspire young people to take an interest in writing and communication.

The writing competition was open to year 6 girls and boys. They were asked to answer the question ‘Are men and women equal’.  Carol Infanti, current President of the South East Region and one of the judges said ‘ I have enjoyed reading the essays. It has been a pleasure and privilege running this competition’.

Jacque edited 2 books Tellers of Tales and Voices in Verse. These are the writings of women from around the world.

March 2017

We had a stand to talk to female delegates at Women Work an event held at the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells.An amazing day organized by Ania Jeffries and her Committee. The vision was ‘ Be Bold, Be You, Be Heard.’ Aspects covered were Health& Well-being: Mind & body, Creating a Confident You: Appearance, parenting & volunteering, Do Something You Love: Setting up & running your business,& apprenticeships and Preparing to Find Work: Networking,CV’s, & preparing for interviews.

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President, Lorna Blackmore was interviewed by Business Radio

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We also used this event to introduce our new postcard invitation to become a Soroptimist.

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February 2016

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Club Secretary Ann Greenfield kindly hosted a Fairtrade Breakfast for club members & friends on Monday 29th February

December 2015

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Club Social & Christmas Dinner at Willicombe Park

21st

Paddy Day is 90!
On 21st December 2015 – a wild, wet & windy day! – current and past SITWD members & friends celebrated Paddy’s 90th birthday with afternoon tea at Barnsgate Manor.

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Birthday photos

Three SISEE clubs were represented at Paddy Day’s birthday tea:
Jan Doyle of SE East Grinstead (Jan is also Paddy’s niece!) and Ann Hudson of SI Lewes.

October 2015

 

 Five SITWD members – and two intrepid Soroptimisters! – traveled to Holland to join SI Benenden Maas’ Friendship Weekend. A wonderful weekend – very warm welcome from our hosts, friendships created and renewed – and glorious autumn weather!

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June 2015

 

SI Tunbridge Wells recently enjoyed a Pamper Evening at Neal’s Yard in Tunbridge Wells. Thanks to Paula and her colleagues at Neal’s Yard for their warm welcome.

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June 2015

May 2015

President Lorna Blackmore’s theme for the year is The Brain, under the slogan Let’s Make Headway, and the program of club meetings and events – some serious, some more light-hearted! – will be based around this theme.

Club Activities

At the Club Meeting Lisa Rye and Louise Packham talked to the club about the work and valuable services provided by Headway West Kent. Headway is our chosen charity for the year 2015-16, so we will be planning various fundraising initiatives to support their work.

February 2015

The BIG Banana Day organised with our partners, Fair-trade Town Committee and the Girl Guides

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February 2015

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November 2014

 

We met Meenakshi from SI Calcutta at the Federation Conference in Harrogate

November 2014

September 2014

 

A talk about Nourish and a collection of items for the local foodbank

September 2014

A visit to Wiesbaden for a Friendship Weekend

September 2014

SI Wiesbaden held a Friendship Weekend. It was attended by members of SI Tunbridge Wells, SI Montreux, SI Brussels and SI Bratislava

May 2014

Club Meeting at Crabtree and Evelyn

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April – May 2014

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Carolyn and Louise took part in the Live Below the Line Challenge (spending just £1 per day for all food and drink for 5 days) to raise awareness of global extreme poverty.

Eating and drinking on so little gives a glimpse into the challenges faced by the 1.2 billion people who have no choice but to live below the line everyday for everything: food, medical care, transport, education

They both made it through to the end and together they raised the magnificent sum of

£761.50

This money will be used by Oxfam to help fight extreme poverty and support some of the poorest people and communities worldwide.

April 2014

SIGBI April 1

We began our new club year by welcoming Mary as a new member.

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After the business of the AGM, we enjoyed a Social Evening.

March 2014

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Michael Holman takes part in the blind water tasting competition after giving an illustrated talk on ‘Water in the Wells’

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As part of their Fairtrade Challenge, one Guide group enjoyed a brilliant evening with the girls looking at the fair trade items bought, doing a ready steady cook selection and coming up with their own dishes of food.

This is the latest partnership challenge to mark Fairtrade Fortnight.

February 2014

Members and friends enjoyed a social evening to mark Fairtrade Fortnight.

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The evening included a talk by Mandy Flashman-Wells about Fairtrade, bananas and the story behind
Tunbridge Wells becoming a Fairtrade Town.
 
Cakes and other goodies made as far as possible from Fairtrade ingredients were sampled and recipes shared.
 
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January 2014

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Club members met Vivien, a Soroptimist visiting from Australia and her sister for coffee.

November 2013

Members spent an enjoyable evening helping local Brownies improve their sewing skills

September 2013

Chiara Crates, one of the recipients of our Diamond Jubilee Award, returned to the club to tell members about her amazing experiences in Zambia working with The Book Bus.

July 2013

Members past and present enjoyed a Social gathering on a sunny Sunday afternoon in a member’s garden.

June 2013

5th – World Environment Day

 The club has a thriving link with the local Girl Guide Divisions. We arranged a special event to mark World Environment Day on 5th June. Over 250 Rainbows Brownies and Guides enjoyed an evening of activities including a mini-beast safari, pond dipping, tree and nature trails, sketching and most popular of all – boating on the lake.

May 2013

Members of the club met Soroptimists from Germany who were on their Annual Garden Tour.

March 2013

World Water Day

Over 50 club members, friends, members from neighbouring clubs attended a special fund raising event which raised £700 for Water Aid.

 

 

 

The evening included a speaker from Water Aid talking about “Women and Water’ Money was raised by the sale of tickets which included a drink on arrival, an H2O Tombola and a Grand Raffle, both with water and wine themed prizes. There was also a bookstall and a water tasting competition.

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September 2012

Rainbows, Brownies and Guides from local units were asked to choose, read & review a book of their choice. Representatives from each participating group attended an event at Waterstones when author Mara Bergman to read to the girls and explain how books are produced. All girls who took part were awarded a badge.

 Members visited some groups to assist with their related reading Challenge activities.

Soroptimists and Trefoil members also chose books to read and then shared their reviews.

June 2012

Friendship Weekend in the Netherlands

Three club members travelled to Schiedam to spend a weekend with members of SI Beneden Maas. We were treated to a special trip to the Keukenhof Gardens.

March 2012

8th – International Women’s Day

We took part in the London “Meet Me On The Bridge’ Event in London on International Women’s Day.

November 2011

The club celebrated its 65th Anniversary. Soroptimists from our Friendship Link Clubs in Germany and The Netherlands joined us for a Friendship Weekend. A celebratory luncheon was arranged for the Sunday.

July 2011

Lorna and Ann travelled to Canada for the International Convention in Montreal.