How It Began

The original group met at the International Tots & Teas toddler group founded by Sophie Kollewijn-Hopkins in 2015 and still meeting weekly today.

Through this group we heard reoccurring stories of isolation, career stagnation and general frustrations about not understanding how things worked. Many women also faced a change in their identity and needed help forming a new pathway. We believed that there is no point reinventing the wheel, so instead we looked for different ways to keep the wheel turning.

In March 2017, a group of 7 women launched Arnhem Together to a fantastic warm welcome. Since then it has been going from strength to strength as women for all backgrounds and ages join Arnhem Together to share their experiences and to support one another.

We wanted to create a space where women can connect and support one another – both socially and professional. Whilst many of the original founding members have moved on, Sophie and Ghanaan Edwards remain at the helm of Arnhem Together and ensure that the original philosophy of supporting one another is upheld. They were overwhelmed with the support they received and the clear need for such an empathetic and empowering group.

After seeing Arnhem Together not one survive, but thrive during the pandemic, Sophie and Ghanaan took their own advice and put out a call for help in 2022. From this, many enthusiastic volunteers came forward and the sub-groups were formed allowing Arnhem Together to continue to flourish and shine.

The Founders

Sophie Kollewijn-Hopkins

I am living in The Netherlands with my Dutch husband, 2 active boys, 2 cats and endless ‘to-do’ lists everywhere.

I had an exciting and wonderful career in the UK before I moved to NL for love. I have been a stay-at-home mum with its ups and downs and now I have itchy feet to do something to justify all those years spent in education.

I love writing, eating, wine and biscuits. After spending my first 21 years as a veggie, I am now very particular about animal welfare and prefer to spend more and eat less meat. I wish I could identify plants, but my weeding attempts come-accidental-harvesting-the-beetroots proves otherwise.

I am an avid fan of community networking and believe every person has a story that is worth sharing. I also love watching films!

Ghanaan Edwards

My life’s tapestry is quite an eclectic one.
I started my career in the fashion industry in Cape Town, South Africa and landed up as a Marketer in Arnhem, The Netherlands 7 years ago. A 180-degree transformation to say the least.

Above all else, I value authenticity, kindness, and leading a life that is led with integrity. I lead a non-profit organisation for women which I co-founded 4 years ago. I often share my story of un-belonging and integration. How to get comfortable in an uncomfortable place has serendipitously become my signature skill, and one which I willingly shares within my network.

Life is a constant process of re-creation and re-invention, and I believe that this is what makes it so messy and absolutely glorious.