With regular meetings, activities and events, the British Womenâs Club is a welcoming, friendly, non-profit social club that aims to support newcomers and long-stayers â with British backgrounds â in Moscow. Our members are based all over the city and we get together weekly to make new friends, help each other out, organise group activities and just to provide a familiar and supportive voice in this sometimes challenging city.
Most of new our members find us via our website. We meet weekly for coffee, and are very welcoming to new faces. We organise regular activity groups, including mosaics, writing, mahjong and a book group, and we also set up one-off events. In the last couple of months weâve organised trips to try out dog-sledding, ice skating, jewellery making and several museum tours. Weâve also celebrated the Queenâs 90th birthday with a rather fabulous high tea!
Our new chair is Nova Dudley-Gough, who is fairly new to Moscow but very experienced in expat life, having lived outside the UK for twelve years in locations ranging from Borneo to the Netherlands. âMoscow can feel overwhelming, but I felt like I hit the ground running with the support of BWC. I was invited to join the committee and was soon setting up events and clubs. It is an honour to become Chair after such a short time here, and I intend to do the BWC proud. Iâve never before encountered such a supportive expat group on a posting â and we have fun too. Whatâs not to love?â
Wendy Soucy is the new vice-chair of BWC. A long term resident of Moscow and fluent Russian speaker, she is the perfect foil to the new Chair: âI have been in Moscow for nearly 4 years and the BWC has been a real lifeline. Itâs a very informal but warm and welcoming club. In this time I have seen many lovely ladies come and go but the warm atmosphere always remains the same. We like people to bring suggestions for activities and as we all pull together we are always busy with our various activities. Itâs fascinating to get together with other women who have experienced so many cultures and different lifestyles and to share the trials and tribulations of managing family life from afar.â
Membership of the club is fairly static at the moment, but we did see a drop off about a year ago as postings came to an end for quite a few people. Remarkably, since then our members have stepped up and members have got more involved as a result. As the saying goes; birds of a feather flock together! Coffee mornings are well attended, new groups have been created and been a success, and we continue to hold major events such as our Christmas Bazaar, and summer cocktails. We encourage our members to get involved with our one-off activities and most end up being over-subscribed, which is a very flattering position to be in. We are trying to choose events â and their timings and locations â on what is most suitable for our members rather than letting tradition dictate the kind of things we do. Weâve held food market mornings to show some of the wonderful organic and local food available here in Moscow, as well as beauty bar events to encourage our members to try locally owned salons and products.
While the majority of our members have British passports, we do welcome associate members who have a close link to Britain. We meet every Tuesday morning at Shokoladnitsa on Old Arbat (next to the Government souvenir shop) and there is always a committee member around to assist with any questions or queries. Some of our forthcoming events include a silver workshop, a tour of Moscow State University botanic garden, and of course our regular nights out at Chicago Prime.