Kenilworth Soroptimists celebrate 50 years of helping people in the community
People from around the world gathered together for a friendship weekend to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Soroptimist International Kenilworth and District.
The club was formed in 1969, and the first president was Joan Fancott who ran the bakery and restaurant in High Street.
Fancott Drive off Fieldgate Lane is named after the family.
Sharon Maxted, a spokeswoman for the SI Kenilworth club said: “We are part of an international organisation with consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council. Our mission statement is to transform the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities.”
Currently the Kenilworth club has 36 members and meets at the Holiday Inn monthly for business and social meetings.
As part of the celebrations members from friendship Soroptimist clubs Arnhem Oost, The Netherlands, Remscheid in Germany and Cardiff joined Kenilworth members for an alfresco supper at a member’s house.
Members from regional and national organisations of SI joined local members on Saturday July 13 for a tour of Lord Leycester Hospital, which was followed by a lunch.
Some of the members from overseas enjoyed their first ever barn dance on the Saturday night. The celebrations concluded Sunday with guests attending a service at St Nicholas Church, which was followed by a lunch on Sunday at the Holiday Inn.
Gill Bauser, a 45-year member of SI Kenilworth, said: “We do things locally, nationally and internationally.
“It isn’t just a fundraising organisation. We have a voice as far the United Nations level because we try to influence governments.
“We’re doing what we can to give women a voice, a role and respect internationally.”
This year club members are supporting a ‘Well-Being’ fund at the local Women’s Refuge, and funding wheelchairs for Friends of Sick Children in Malawi.
SI Kenilworth President Sandra Young said, she was delighted that the special 50th Anniversary Friendship weekend gave the opportunity to meet old and new friends from both the UK and abroad.
“As Soroptimists we are all working to enhance the status of women, improve human rights for all, equality, development and peace through international relationships, understanding and goodwill.
“Soroptimist International like the brethren at Lord Leyster’s Hospital is a modern, living organisation. We look forward to giving service in Kenilworth and district over the next 50 years.”