At the club meeting on 20th March, the President was very pleased to be able to present cheques for the money raised at our Christmas Swim. Along with the money that went directly to the charities the amounts were:- Sole Bay Care Fund £1,095; RNLI £1,889; Guides £785; with a total of £3,769. A big thank you to all who made this possible.
In addition we were pleased to be able to send £250 towards the flood relief efforts in the West Country. We also had great delight in welcoming our newest member Ellie Hambling to the club.
In early April Southwold’s First “Women Who Inspire Supper” proved to be a great success and our local women’s refuge, will benefit from the proceeds. Ladies attending the sell-out event heard from Erin Pizzey, Lady Jill Freud, Sharon O’Brian and Suku Bailey. Prior to the event, Erin Pizzey, who started the first ever refuge visited our refuge to meet staff and mothers, who are currently being supported. The evening was arranged by our member Cathy Ryan. At a subsequent meeting of the club Cathy, along with the President, had the pleasure of presenting a Cheque for £1000 to Caroline Bellis of the Liberty Project in Lowestoft. We hope to continue our association with the refuge in the future.
More recently, St. George’s Day was celebrated in style at the Randolph Hotel with readings and poetry. Shakespeares 450th Birthday was also remembered the same night turning it into a truly “English” event.
Southwold ‘s First Women Who Inspire Supper was a great success and our local women’s refuge, will benefit from the proceeds. Prior to the event, Erin Pizzey, who started the first ever refuge visited our refuge to meet staff and mothers, who were currently being supported
Dr Jayne Taylor PhD. MBA. attended the supper and this is her report of the event.
Over eighty people attended a fantastic women-only evening held to celebrate the vision of International Women’s Day, marking women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. The event was held in the stunning setting of The Boardwalk Restaurant on Southwold pier on Monday 7 April – the rain and sound of the waves crashing onto the beach added to the emotional energy that filled the room. The evening marked the launch of a new project – ‘Women who Inspire’ – organized by Cathy Ryan, Southwold’s Community Matron and member of the Southwold and District Rotary Club.
The event certainly lived up to expectations – we all left feeling humbled by the outstanding energy, passion and tenacity of the speakers who had achieved so much in very different spheres of life. The first speaker, Erin Pizzey, had been the driving force of the women’s refuge movement which began in Chiswick in 1971. Erin has written over twenty books and spoke with passion about how she was able to make a difference to the lives of women and children and overcome so many barriers put in her way.
The second speaker Lady Jill Freud, who is a well known actress and producer, gave a superb account of how she had been involved in the theatre in Southwold whilst bringing up her children and being the wife of a busy MP. Although Jill and Erin work in very different professions, they share a common bond of never giving up! Jill spoke about how she had managed to furnish the theatre, become compliant with health and safety rules and getting permission to put on a play that she had been told would be ‘impossible’. Jill had the audience enthralled by her passion and her wonderful sense of humour.
After a delicious supper two more local women took to the floor. First was Sharon O’Brien, politician, writer and one-time nun to name but a few of the many things Sharon has experienced shared her incredible life-journey. She has overcome adversity to achieve the extraordinary and there are eighty members of the audience who can’t wait for her to complete her next book – ‘Nuns with Guns’! Sharon was a difficult act to follow but the final speaker, Suku Bailey, had the audience spellbound. She spoke of her early life in Zimbabwe, of how she was exiled for being involved in the freedom struggle where she risked her life smuggling documents across the borders strapped to her abdomen as if she were pregnant, and of how she came to England where she works as a social worker. Suku knows that her life could have been very different if she had not been able to escape. She talked about how many young women in Zimbabwe are destined to a life of poverty and pain and that education is the key to helping children break this cycle of deprivation. She gave examples of young people who had been educated who are able to return to their villages as teachers, how a bicycle can change the lives of people and how important it is that we support these children and young people.
The evening was rounded off by local choir Music Vox – a women’s choir started by two young women experiencing post natal depression who found the camaraderie of singing in the choir immensely therapeutic.
Monday evening’s event in Southwold was truly inspirational. We heard about extraordinary lives, told by extraordinary women who never gave up their dreams and who have achieved outstanding things which have touched the lives of countless other people whether they be people in fear or living in poverty, or people who have had their lives enhanced through the theatre, arts, politics and literature. We heard four women speak and heard the excellent choir organized by a person described by Lady Freud as the most truly inspirational woman in the room – Cathy Ryan – who changes the lives of many, many people every day – on our own doorsteps.
March has been a busy month. Club members, family, friends and colleagues enjoyed a very pleasant night at the Halesworth Golf Club on Saturday 8th celebrating our 54th Charter Night. Derek Adkinson read fascinating excerpts from the diary of a World War One soldier and Gordon Turbervill received a surprise when he was presented with his certificate of 25 years as a Rotarian.
£238 was raised by a raffle held at the end of the evening. This will go to Pancreatic Cancer Action, our President’s chosen charity. More pictures of Charter Night can be seen on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/southwoldrotary
At the club meeting on 20th the President was very pleased to be able to present cheques for the money raised at our Christmas Swim. Along with the money that went directly to the charities the amounts were:-
Sole Bay Care Fund £1,095 -; RNLI £1,889; – Guides £785 TOTAL £3,769
Once again, a big thank you to all who made this possible.
In other news this month; we were pleased to be able to send £250 towards the flood relief efforts in the West Country.
We now look forward to welcoming our new member Ellie Hambling and to our sell-out event “Women Who Inspire” at the Pier next month.
The response to this event has been fantastic. All tickets have now been sold. A big thank you to you all. If you are still interested please contact us at [email protected] and we will let you know if there are any cancellations. Visit http://womenwhoinspire.co.uk/ to find out more.
The Christmas collection outside the Co-op Rainbow store in Halesworth by the Rotary Club of Southwold & District raised £356. Rotarian David Rich is seen here presenting the Halesworth Carers’ Fund Chairman, Paddy Cox, with the cheque and thanked the people of Halesworth for their generosity contributing to charity for helping people in the locality.
A huge thank you to all who took part in and helped at our Christmas Day swim. We are pleased to announce that you raised over £2700 for our chosen charities. A presentation to the RNLI, Sole Bay Care Fund and the Guide Centre will take place soon. Don’t forget to check out the pictures from the big day here.