Women in Travel Retail logo 600Women in Travel Retail (WiTR) has revealed it will launch its own website in September. The announcement follows the charity recently being registered as a formal entity with Companies House.

The website is being designed by travel retail marketing and design agency FILTR and will include a general and ‘super members’ section. Running costs of the website and company will be covered by an annual, ‘modest’ membership fee. Any surplus funds will be donated to the chosen charity, said WiTR.

WiTR Founder Sarah Branquinho said: “When we started this group ten years ago, we never for one minute thought it would grow to this size and have been responsible for changing so many lives through its fundraising.

“It’s come to the point now where we really feel it’s necessary to put WiTR on a formal basis in order to enable us to expand WiTR to a wider audience and deliver a live forum for information, discussion, ideas and debate through the new website.”

Branquinho added: “We’re very grateful to FILTR for putting the website together for us. Before it goes live in September, we are inviting the current WiTR network to give us input via a survey link on the format and content of the website which will have a members-only section. We have a very enthusiastic networking group already and welcome feedback on the sort of information that women in travel retail would like to see included.”

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Over 60 women gathered at the IAADFS WiTR event, which saw over US$2,000 raised through a raffle

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Further information on the new website will be available at the next WiTR meeting, which takes place in Singapore on Monday 8 May at the TFWA Asia Pacific Bar straight after the opening conference.

Since its inception in 2006, WiTR has raised over €100,000 (US$107,500) for charities globally. At last year’s TFWA World Exhibition, WiTR raised funds to build two classrooms at the Sunrise orphanage in Siem Reap, a charity nominated by Lacoste Travel Retail Director Erin Lillis-Arrowsmith. The classrooms are primarily used for teaching English, which is the key to many young people being able to find a job. Gerry Munday visited the orphanage in November and shared her experience with the WiTR members who met at MEADFA in Dubai. The vote was unanimous to fund a second tranche of development this year.

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A number of IAADFS delegates braved the early start to take part in Essence Corp’s fun walk/run; all proceeds will go towards the sponsorship of a child at the Lycée Jean Baptiste school in Haiti

Gerry Munday commented: “The classrooms funded by WiTR in 2016 are complete, and members who met during MEADFA voted unanimously to continue fundraising to build further classrooms at the Sunrise Siem Reap Learning Centre in Cambodia in 2017. I’m delighted to say that founder Geraldine Cox will be attending to let us know more about the work of Sunrise Cambodia.”

The first WiTR meeting of 2017 took place at the IAADFS Duty Free Show of the Americas, sponsored by Travel Markets Insider’s Lois Pasternak. Edrington WEBB kindly provided the cocktails. A raffle, which raised nearly US$2,000, combined with proceeds from Essence Corp’s fun run/walk at IAADFS will enable WiTR to continue the longstanding sponsorship of a child at the Lycée Jean Baptiste school in Haiti, built and run by Hand in Hand for Haiti.