Welcome to AWBS

On behalf of the Board and Members, welcome to AWBS International Women’s Club.

With a current membership of over 200 we are a diverse group of British and expat women who currently call Berkshire/Surrey home.

The fundamental reasons for the Club’s existence remain the same as they did when it first launched 36 years ago:  to make friends (who become like family), to establish a strong network in the area, learn about the host country, and share similar interests.

AWBS also plays an important role in welcoming home repatriating British citizens and allowing them to remain involved in an international community.

We start each month with our General Meeting where we have  welcomed great speakers like Lady Carnarvon of Highclere Castle (the REAL Downton Abby), to the entrepreneurial co-founder of Green & Blacks chocolate, Anton de Buc, Jean-Christophe Novelli, Princess Michael of Kent, and Grant Harold (The Royal Butler) to name but a few who have entertained us in recent times.

Our meetings are often held in grand surroundings like Great Fosters, Shepperton Studios, The Wentworth Club and Pinewood Studios.

Our General Meeting is also a time to shop with local businesses who support our Philanthropy efforts by participating in our Best of Britain shopping area. Each month, there are different businesses to choose from and always something to purchase!

Between General Meetings, there are no less than 20 activities and tours to be involved with. AWBS provides opportunities for our members to meet and engage in social, educational, and leisure activities. We are thankful to our Member Volunteers who organise tours, activities, talks and demonstrations to ensure our diaries overflow with diverse things to do. The best friendships are based on common interests, and the AWBS calendar of events is a great place to start filling your diary and meeting new friends.

An example of some of the fun things we share: mahjong, country walks, Art History lectures, English History lectures, book club, art lessons, tennis, crafting, and guided tours in and around London, Berkshire and Surrey. We also enjoy annual events such as Christmas Lunch, Hats and Handbags Spring Luncheon, as well as ever changing fundraising events to support our philanthropic work. We welcome suggestions for new ideas, and encourage members to participate in the planning and organising.

Our Club is an active member of FAWCO, Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas, and FIWAL, Federation of International Women’s Associations in London and as such, members benefit from the opportunity to apply for educational grants, participate in global conferences, and more.

As an Australian global nomad these past ten years, and with no sign of ‘going home’ I am a serial Club member and volunteer. As we embarked on our first international move all those years ago, a friend who had returned to Sydney after living in Tokyo for five years told me that getting involved was the best way to make friends and feel connected to your new home.  So I did, and continue to do so and encourage others to do the same.

I wonder if the founding 32 members had any idea of the impact their first few get togethers all those years ago would have on future expat lives? I hope so.

You are very welcome to be our guest at our next meeting to see what we are about before deciding to join, or just become a member straight away.  Please email membership [at] awbs.org.uk for more information.

To quote W.B.Yeats “There are no strangers, only friends you have not met yet”

We look forward to meeting you,

With Friendship

Shelley Fredman

President, 2017/18