Visitors from Stampersgat

The Mayor of Cheltenham and CheltenhamTwinning Association were delighted to welcome a group of 20 visitors from Cheltenham’s Friendship town of Stampersgat from 26-29 May 2022. The visit marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the link and the group were the first overseas visitors post pandemic. The Dutch visitors layed tulips at the war memorial and took part in a short service of remembrance.

The visitors enjoyed a visit to Goucester Quays and The Gloucestershire Regimental Museum, as well as a social evening for visitors and their host families, where the Cheltenham team regained the Boat Race Trophy.

Cheltenham Charity supports Schoolgirls in Kisumu County

Cheltenham based charity Global Footsteps has supported the Aniga Women’s Community Based Organisation in Kisumu since the 1990’s with several initiatives. This year saw the latest one when Benter Ndeda, the CEO of the Aniga Women helped Kenyan girl pupils by successfully delivering sanitary pads to local schools in Kisumu County.

Ethical Giving, a charitable organisation, provided £2,000 that was transferred directly to the Aniga Women to support a “period poverty” project.

The successful provision of sanitary pads has helped girls between the ages of 10 and 17 years old to increase their self-esteem, with improved school attendance and information on menstrual hygiene management and awareness of HIV & AIDS.

In Kenya, there are significant cultural taboos around menstruation, which pose a serious challenge to access to sanitary towels. Many girls in Kenya can miss an average of four days of school every month, due to embarrassment and lack of guidance. This means a high likelihood of falling behind or even dropping out. The dropout rate among female students in primary and secondary schools is already a problem in Kenya.

As well as affecting their education, the girls’ health is also endangered by the absence of support and guidance on menstruation. Problems such as unhygienic ways to dry menstrual materials or dispose of them appropriately are commonplace. Girls also worry about leakage and lack of resources (e.g. soap, clean water). Consequently, many girls grow up in isolation with low self-esteem, afraid of prejudices and negative attitudes.

Global Footsteps was able to transfer funds direct to the Aniga Women CBO and then our contact Benter Ndeda travelled from the rural county of Kisumu to Nairobi to purchase the bulk quantity of sanitary pads needed. Weather and road conditions made the trip challenging but she bought a total of 2,050 pieces of sanitary pads, enough to provide 670 pupils, with three months’ supply each and guidance on their use.

A final health concern is that schools cannot effectively dispose of sanitary pads. They use pit latrines as toilets, which quickly fill up. Ideally schools should use an incinerator to dispose of the pads and reduce the risk of disease. Possibly a future project.

Visit to Annecy – DEADLINE extended

Fancy visiting Cheltenham’s beautiful twin town of Annecy? The Twinning Association is organising a seven day trip in October this year with stops enroute in Ypres and Bruges. Spend five full days in this delightful town by the lake in the foothills of the Alps and explore the Old Town, known as Little Venice, with its canals, rivers and floral displays.

The trip will coincide with the Descente des Alpages, a traditional folklore day when the animals parade through the old town and local produce, traditional costumes and folklore are in abundance. Other trips and excursions will also be organised.

Expressions of interest and deposits are required by the end of April. NOW EXTENDED until the end of May. However we do have sufficient interest to run the trip.

For more information, download the accommodation, cost and other trip details and the visit to Annecy booking form or view them below.

Statement from the Cheltenham Twinning Association on the situation in Ukraine

Councillor Diggory Seacome, chair of Cheltenham Twinning Association has issued a statement on Cheltenham’s link with Sochi in relation to the situation in Ukraine.

“Fostering links through Twinning was borne out of a desire after the Second World War to encourage greater co-operation and understanding between towns and cities. Cheltenham’s Twinning Association has a proud history of following that post-war tradition. We are both saddened and dismayed that peace in the Ukraine has given way to military action which has potential to create significant destruction, loss of life and unimaginable damage to the Ukraine and its people. As a result of the distressing events that continue to develop, we have taken the decision to temporarily suspend all twinning activities with Sochi.”

World Water Day Social Evening on 22 March

Please join us on World Water day as we end our appeal for a water well at a school in Kisumu. Hear how the appeal is going, as well as our other twinning projects, over a glass of wine and nibbles.

Tuesday 22 March 2022, 7.00pm to 9.30pm at St. Andrew’s Church (Garden Room), Montpellier Street, Cheltenham GL50 1SP.

Tickets are £10 per person, please send payments in advance by BACS to Cheltenham Twinning Association – Sort code: 23 05 80 Account: 37075221.
RSVP by email to

We look forward to seeing as many of our twinning friends and supporters as possible.

Sochi International Film Festival

Cheltenham Twinning Association is delighted to be hosting a series of events this month (February 2022) to celebrate our cultural links with the Sochi International Film Festival and to mark 60 years of friendship with Sochi.

Events include an art exhibition, film screenings and musical recitals all held at Chapel Arts Centre. Find out more and buy tickets.

Our sincere thanks go to sponsors, the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce and Paul Baker Insurance Services as well as many individuals, to enable these events to happen.

70th anniversary photo competition ‘Celebrating My Town’


Cheltenham and Göttingen 70 year anniversary logo

To celebrate 70 years of twinning between Cheltenham, UK and Göttingen in Germany, Cheltenham Borough Council and Cheltenham Twinning Association, in conjunction with Cheltenham Camera Club and Stadt Göttingen (Göttingen Town Council) are organising an amateur photo competition.

Competition details

The competition will run from Sunday 14 November to Sunday 12 December 2021 inclusive.

Cheltenham and Göttingen have been twin towns since 1951 and during this time there have been many opportunities to experience the life and culture of the twin town through visits and exchanges and close friendships have been made. With this joint photo competition, we want to celebrate our towns and show how close the friendships between Cheltenham and Göttingen have become over the years.

We suggest images relate to the theme of ‘Celebrating My Town’ and that they highlight a special image of Cheltenham town – friendships, its people, architecture, environment, culture and entertainment, to show an aspect of Cheltenham to the people of Göttingen. Göttingen Town Council are holding a similar competition.

35 images will be selected by a panel of judges. Göttingen will also select 35 images totalling 70 photos, representing every year of the twinning link.

First, second and third prize winners will be chosen from the 35 selected photographs.

The prizes are:-

  • First prize – £100 cash
  • Second prize – £75 cash
  • Third prize – £50 cash
  • 3 ‘Highly Commended’ certificates will also be awarded

The selected images will be displayed on the websites of Cheltenham Twinning Association and Göttingen Town Council in the new year and printed for display in each of the towns in Summer 2022.

How to enter

The competition is open to everyone, with the exception of professional photographers and those organising the competition and judging. Up to two photographs can be entered per participant in either Colour or Monochrome.

Images should be uploaded onto the entry system:

You will be asked to provide your name, email and contact phone number.

Image files uploaded must be in JPEG format.

Each image must have a title. Titles must be 35 characters or fewer. ‘No title’ or ‘Untitled’ are not allowed.

By submitting a competition entry, you are agreeing to be bound by the terms and conditions.

Full terms and conditions

Online Bridge with Annecy

Playing card - Wikipedia

Annecy bridge clubs invited Cheltenham Bridge Club to participate in a teams’ match online on 28 October 2021.

The event was a huge success and each town entered 14 teams of four into the competition.  112 bridge players enjoyed a friendly and fun evening.  We were lucky that the online platform RealBridge gave us the use of the facilities for free.  RealBridge enables video and sound so we were able to see and chat to our French friends.  Cheltenham Bridge Club has had regular contact with the Annecy players over the years and we have enjoyed mutual hospitality, it was therefore an added pleasure to renew old friendships.

Cheltenham and Annecy have arranged a return match on 18th November.  This will be a pair’s game.

We congratulate Annecy on winning the teams’ match and we will try to do better in the pairs!

Report from Judith Sanis, Bridge Director for Cheltenham Bridge Club