The BWC Library

By Sheila Hewitt, Librarian

If you are new to the Club, you may not be aware that there is a well-stocked library on the first floor.  The books are primarily fiction, though there are a few non-fiction and reference books.  We have a great variety of genres, ranging from chick-lit to thrillers by well-known authors.  There are even a few classics by authors such as Jane Austen.

It is run on a self-service honesty basis, so you do not need a member of the library team to check out your books.  Borrowers must sign them out in the blue exercise book on the desk, giving the details required, and indicating that they have paid (cash box on the desk).  Please write legibly.

Charges are very reasonable:

     new books cost €2 for 2 weeks (these are on a separate shelf)

Emoji 📚 Books / Notebooks to copy paste | wpRock     other books are €1.50 for up to 4 weeks

📀      DVDs are €2.50 for 2 weeks and there is a separate book on the desk to sign them out.

Donated books that we already have are put out for purchase on the downstairs windowsills, as well as on the shelves in the library entrance (by the toilet) when there is sufficient space.  These cost €1 and again, there is an honesty box on the windowsill, or you can use the library box upstairs.

Please do not put donations on the windowsill yourself; there is a box for them in the library.

For members who cannot manage the stairs, there is a link to a simplified version of the library catalogue on the website so that you can ask your more mobile friends to collect books on your behalf.  Link:

The library is a wonderful resource so I encourage you to make full use of it.  It is a very economical way of keeping up to date with some of the latest novels.

December 2022 Charity News

Charity News

Gill B and Andrea F

It’s time to vote for the charities that BWC will support in 2023.  We know our support makes such a difference to them, even more so during these difficult times.

Link: BWC Charity Voting Form for 2023

Supporting information on the nominated charities can be found in the weekly emails!  The closing date for the vote is 22:00, 10 December 2022.

It is also time for us to say thank you for all the support you have given us over the last two years, as the time has come for us to pass the baton on to new Charity Coordinators with fresh ideas and energy to delight you all.  We have had a blast and it really wouldn’t have happened without all the volunteers who joined in and made it happen.

Who could forget the beautiful Châteaux to Shelters walks and the 10,000K Brussels to Cairo exercise challenge right in the middle of a Covid lockdown; the wonderful Picnics in the Park with the delicious food plus the themed takeaways, all in year one?

Our second year had another series of walks with a water theme; plus an even more adventurous exercise challenge, 11000 Kms to Malawi and the unforgettable Limerick Competition and singsong on St Patrick’s Day?  If that wasn’t enough, a group of us completed the Brussels 20K for the charities, Molly’s watercolour group hand-painted cards for us to sell, the Craft Group made a BWC banner that Club members were invited to decorate with little wooden spring animals for a very small sum, and the Golf Club went out and raised a lot of money from their Invitational Charity Fun Golf Competition.  The year has ended with a fantastic garage book sale that brought in an amazing amount of money and was good fun too.

After all this hard work, we decided to have a party and because all BWC members are young at heart, we had a kid’s party and yes, it did include Pass-the-Parcel, musical statues and party food.  I think it is fair to say we all had a great time.

If you want to see the fun we’ve had, pop over to the gallery and you will see photos of all our events. Click here 

So, if you fancy taking over the mantle and having a lot of fun doing it, the Committee would love to hear from you.  Your Club and the charities need you!

Merry Christmas to all!

November 2022 Charity News

Don’t know whether you knew, but November is an important month in the BWC Charities calendar; it is the month when BWC starts the process of selecting a Belgium-based charity and a developing country charity to raise money for in the coming year.  To date, BWC members have chosen some fantastic charities, so if you know of a worthwhile charity that would greatly benefit from some additional funds, do nominate them.  If they win the vote, you will have the pleasure of letting them know BWC members will be working hard to raise as much money as possible for their cause.


This year the “BWC Raise the Roof Appeal” has been nominated in the Belgium – based category and will be included in the vote, but there is still room for you to nominate other charities.  Please do nominate your favourite charities, so we give a wide variety of charities the opportunity to receive some much-needed funding.


Nominations close at midnight on the 4 November.  Here is the link to the nomination form:


Once all nominations are in, the voting form will be sent to all Club members with a closing date of 2 December.  The winners will be announced in January’s Passport.  Thanks for your participation in this important event.



Final Charity fund Raising Event for 2022.


3 November, 6 pm to 10 pm. We are having a Party!!!


As the year is coming to a close and December will be full of Christmas activities, we decided to have a Charity party early in November to brighten up a month that can seem to go on forever.

Our aim is to celebrate the last two years raising money for BWC charities, thanking all our wonderful donors and volunteers and acknowledging those who have gone the extra mile (quite literally) for charity.

The theme for the party is “Parties When We Were Kids”!  There will be party food, Fizz, Wine, party games, competitions, awards, a little bit of theatre, prizes, dancing, good company, and good music.

So, if you are up for a bit of fun, laughter, and a touch of nostalgia, come and join us on 3 November and don’t forget your party dress!


Open to Members & Guests,

Cost: 25 euro, including all food and drink

Sign up through BWC website:




What happened in October?


4 October, Charity Tea and Talk with Emma Gooding, Director of Oasis Belgium.

Twenty BWC members and guests had a lovely talk with Emma Gooding who explained the fantastic work that Oasis is doing in Belgium.  As usual, the tea was magnificent! Thanks to all our wonderful volunteers for the delicious cakes!

15 October, Charity Water Walk No. 10:

The tenth and final walk of the Charity Water Walks series took place in Sint-Agatha-Rode, Agathakerk, Huldenberg.  The weather was kind and 10 intrepid walkers, led by the indomitable Jenny T, ventured forth.  This was a wonderful walk to finish off the series for the year and congratulations to all who completed the whole series.

That’s all for this month and don’t forget to nominate your charities and please join us for the party on the 3rd.  It should be a lot of fun!

See you soon,

Gill & Andrea

Your Charity Coordinators & fund raisers


BWC Charity Update for October 2022

Gill & Andrea, Your Charity Coordinators & fund raisers


Up-Coming Charity Events for October


Tuesday, 4 October, 14:00, Charity Tea and Talk with Emma Gooding, Director of Oasis Belgium.


Oasis is an NGO based in Brussels that supports migrant women who are victims of domestic abuse and exploitation through trafficking.  The women are mainly from Southeast Asia but also from many other countries around the world.

Emma, or a colleague, will share the vital work of this local charity which includes: accompanying the women to the police station, social services, commune, CPAS, the courts, and to meetings with lawyers.  They also organise activity days for the women and children and run support groups.  Oasis is hoping to start a new English-speaking support group.

Come along and hear about the work of this important charity and indulge in one of BWC famous afternoon teas.  Cost: €12   Sign-up on BWC website


Saturday, 15 October, Charity Water Walk No. 10: Sint-Agatha-Rode


The tenth and final walk in our series of Charity Water Walks will take place in Sint-Agatha-Rode.  We hope as many walkers as possible will participate in this Grand Finale.  Details will be announced nearer the time but meanwhile, please note the date in your diary.

Free but €5 minimum donation welcome.  Register through BWC website.


Thursday, 3 November 18:00 to 22:00.  We are going to have a Party!!!


As the year is coming to a close and December will be full of Christmas activities, we decided to have a Charity party early in November to brighten up what can be a month that seems to go on forever and celebrate our year, with prize-giving for those who went the extra KM (quite literally) for charity.

The theme for the party is “Parties When We Were Kids”!  There will be party food, games, competitions and prizes, dancing, good company, and good music.  So, if you are up for a bit of fun, laughter and a touch of nostalgia, come and join us on Thursday 3 November. Final details will be announced shortly



What happened in September?


The first ever “Kaffeeklatsch” hosted by Constanze S-K was a great success, with fabulous food, tea, coffee and bubbles.  Seven BWC members participated and all were in agreement that they had a lovely afternoon and that Constanze was a brilliant hostess.  We hope that this will be the first of many similar events.  Jenny H wrote the following account. “What a wonderful way to start September!  On the 1st of the month, Constanze S-K hosted a Kaffeeklatsch (a German tradition of a chat over coffee and cakes) in her house, in aid of the Club’s charities.  Six members were delighted to join her for champagne to begin with, and then the most delicious array of German cakes, helped down with numerous cups of coffee.  There were all kinds of cakes to die for – an almond and chocolate gateau, a carrot cake, beautifully decorated with marzipan carrots, an enormous cheesecake, blueberry muffins and slices of apple tart with red currants.  These delights had all been baked by Constanze and we were happy to tuck in and forget any summer beach body diet!!  We gave donations at the end and I’m sure they reflected the enjoyment we had had that afternoon! Thank you Constanze!”


Water Walks:

Saturday, 10 September, 8th Charity Water walk around Lasne

Wendy H and Kathy W-C led a large group of us on a lovely walk around Lasne.  The countryside was beautiful, the weather was good and the walk was nice and easy, we couldn’t ask for more.  Thanks to Wendy and Kathy for their excellent leading.


Friday, 23 September, 9th Charity Water Walk around the canals of Vilvoorde

Pat G led a group of intrepid walkers including, Carol H, Muriel L, Viviane L and Judi L, on a fascinating walk around the canals of Vilvoorde.  The walk took them through the lovely green Domein Drie Fontenein, across the grand Europa bridge, along the canal to the beautiful Buda bridge, and up, through and back into the Domein.  Everyone had a lovely time, with warm weather, seeing for themselves how the area is thriving, and in some areas even chic.  Thanks to Pat for finding this fascinating walk, which we are sure will be a perennial favourite.


Book Sale – Saturday, 24 and Sunday 25 September, Charity Book Sale with extras!:

We have just finished the Charity Book Sale and it was a massive success.  We managed to raise €1149!  Who knew that selling second-hand books, DVDs and CDs could be so much fun?  There was a great atmosphere and wonderful food, and drinks donated by BWC members and also by Tamarind Foods, who supplied us with a gorgeous array of sandwiches.


BWC members donated more excellent, books, DVD’s and CD’s than we ever imagined – so thank you all.  A big thank you to Carol H whose idea this initially was and who worked tirelessly to make this event a massive success.  Another thanks to all who helped sort out Andrea’s garage and organise the books for sale; to Jane for her help and for volunteering to be the cashier on the day.  Thanks to Jenny T for her hand-made book, Kindle and tablet covers, and to her and Constance S-K, for making wonderful bookmarks.  Last but not least thanks to all who volunteered to help out on Saturday and Sunday, particularly Constanze S-K who stayed to the bitter end.  I think it is fair to say that once again we were overawed by the support we received from BWC members.


Volunteering for Holy Trinity Community Kitchen

Following Marguerite’s report last month on the wool and knitting needle collection for the women’s prison, we are delighted to share Marguerite’s account of volunteering for one of our charities – Holy Trinity Community Kitchen.

“Top-tail-peel-chop, repeat

The Brussels Women’s Club voted to support Community Kitchen this year. The BWC’s Charity Coordinators have come up with a wide variety of events to raise funds.  In July and August, when family and friends were away, I joined the volunteers.  To be honest, I had to mention that 1) I have no kitchen confidence 2) do not like to cook 3) cannot transport food and 4) cannot lift heavy boxes.  The ideal slot was definitely on Mondays 13:30-16.30.  The mission?  Rinse, top-tail-peel-chop donated fruit and veg ready to be cooked later by other volunteers.  One Monday, there was only fruit, so delicious smells of spiced chutney floated through from the kitchen.  Another Monday, mountains of tomatoes had to be rinsed then sorted into: firm enough for salad, slightly mushy for soup, very mushy or oven-ready for the compost.


The hundreds of vegetarian dishes cooked by Community Kitchen are not eaten on the spot.  Virtually all of them are distributed at the Red Cross Food Distribution Centre at Tours & Taxis, where the Community Kitchen provides meals for around 500 people every day except Thursday – so approx 3,000 meals a week!  To keep up with ever-increasing demand, Community Kitchen is currently adding an evening shift and inviting volunteers to come forward.  If you wish to donate ingredients or food, it is wise to contact beforehand to check what is welcome, so that the strict hygiene rules set out by AFSCA-Agence Fédérale pour la Sécurité de la Chaîne Alimentaire are respected.


On Monday afternoons, ideally eight volunteers are required.  A few of us, we call ourselves oldies, are there most Mondays.  In July and August, youngsters will arrive, having pledged to Serve the City, to volunteer either half a day each week or one week a year, all year.  We have therefore had the privilege to chat with two ladies from Nigeria, with a retired gentleman from the States, who has volunteered for Serve the City in about 30 countries, with a gentleman from San Francisco, with an American student who explained how a sorority works, .. Some weeks, we all sit together and do apologise if the volunteers passing through felt that they were being interviewed!  There is so much to learn from one another.  Sometimes the youngsters go off to the other end of the table and it amuses us to see some of them taking selfies galore in a “been there, done that” mode.


Cook Akarra, always smiling and never flustered, deserves special praise.  After a volunteer mentioned that it was her birthday, Cook and our Monday afternoon leader CdL produced a tray of oven-hot muffins and hot drinks.  This unexpected birthday celebration brought the birthday girl, who lives alone, to happy tears. A magical moment.


Community Kitchen is doing an amazing job, relying very day on food donations and volunteers.  The insider joke refers to 25kg bags of onions that always appear when we think that we are finished.  We start peeling onions, tears begin to flow, amid a lot of laughter and teasing.


I’ll continue to show up every Monday afternoon and encourage you all to support this wonderful initiative.

Marguerite J, Brussels Women’s Club – Fruit and vegetable chopper at Community Kitchen”


Thank you, Marguerite, for all your wonderful work and being such a great ambassador for BWC!

Finally this month, we received a thank you from the Mbedza, Songani project, for the mobile phones, IPads, and sanitary products donated by BWC and delivered to Songani by Sue Bird, Director Songani Project, Mbedza, Malawi.


“Dear Lilian,

My name is Peatry and I am the Malawi Director for Mbedza.  On behalf of staff, beneficiaries and myself, I would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to you for organising the collection of the electronic gadgets and pants delivered to us by Sue Bird.  The electronic gadgets will assist in communication and collection of photos for various case studies.  The pants will be used in the sanitary project whose main aim is to help girls stay in school during menstruation.  Most of the girls are poor and cannot afford sanitary kits and pants.  The sanitary project also provides sex education to girls.  We are very grateful and we do not take this for granted.  From Peatry Ntodwa”


That’s all folks, see you next month!