Each club identifies the needs of its community, then establishes specific projects to address these needs. All SI projects relate to one or more of the six Programme Focus Areas: Economic Empowerment, Environmental Sustainability, Food Security and Healthcare, Learning Opportunities and Violence and Conflict Resolution. The projects listed below include some of the local and international issues we research and support in SI Gosport, Fareham and District:
Current project work:
- Mary’s Meals, to fill backpacks with basic educational materials to send to children who have suffered war, poverty, famine, or natural disaster;
- Bookmarks, to distribute into secondary schools, showing on one side the characteristics of a loving relationship and on the other the indicators of abuse. The sides are labelled: Loves me…, Loves me not;
- Basics Bank, coordinating regular donations of food staples from the club (check the stock levels here);
- Quilts, being made for Project Linus UK, a volunteer organisation that aims to provide a sense of security and comfort to sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers through the provision of new home made patchwork quilts and knitted/crocheted blankets – with 7 of the target 11 now completed;
- other minor donations, for such as Tools for Self Reliance.
We support the local Women’s Refuges, including collecting toiletries for new arrivals and arranging a summer outing for the families to a local country park. Several members are on the Fareham and Gosport Family Aid (FGFA) Management Committee. This has been an on-going project for a number of years, but in 2003 we gave them £5,000 towards providing an all-weather play area for the children.
Contact the Elderly
A tea party for the local (Fareham and Southampton) Contact the Elderly groups is held each summer, usually at Hill Head. We also buy Christmas presents for them. One club member is the local organiser for the Fareham and Gosport group: if anyone would like to know more or help as a driver once a month or act as an hostess once a year then please make contact through this site.
Collections / recycling
Various members of the club collect different items, for recycling, charities or other uses. These are:
- Books … Pat, for Oxfam, or for troops in Afghanistan (not Mills&Boon and under 2kg)
- Milk bottle tops … Alison, for Naomi House Children’s Hospice near Winchester
- Unwanted/broken jewellery … via SI South Wales, to recycle metals etc
- Fabric, 100% cotton to back quilts….Alison
- Towels and/or single bedding … for the Refuge
Lean Lunch for SI Quadrennial Project
We held the first Lean Lunch event in 2004 as a joint venture with other local Soroptimist clubs and raised £300. Successive events were held in support of Project Independence at the same venue, but run by SI Southampton and SI Chichester. The event was again organised by SI Gosport and Fareham in 2008 and by SI Winchester in 2011 when the speaker, Fergus Lyons, gave a good talk on the history of WOW (Wonders of Waste) bags, made in the Philippines from discarded juice containers.
The four clubs had tables selling their wares and Gosport and Fareham members ran a book stall that raised £28. This money was spent on producing a bookmark raising awareness of domestic abuse that was distributed to pupils at Bay House, Gosport. This is an ongoing project and several other schools in Gosport have now received bookmarks and they will be extended to schools in Fareham. In 2012-13 we spent £336 on printing the laminated bookmarks.
We hold other fund-raising events such as a coffee morning, a BBQ lunch and quiz night . A patchwork quilt made by around a dozen club members was raffled at our Federation Conference in Brighton in October 2011 and raised about £600 that was donated to the local Alzheimer’s Society.
Each year we support a chosen charity, which in 2008-09 was the Hampshire Air Ambulance. In the club year 2009-10 it was the Alzheimers Society, in addition to supporting the SI quadrennial appeal, Project SIerra. In 2010-11 Macmillan Cancer Support was chosen, as well as Project SIerra. In 2011-12 we continued supporting the Alzheimers Society and other local charities including Girl Guides, Haslar Radio and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. During 2012-13 we donated £500 each to The Stroke Association and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as well as £100 to Rowan’s Hospice and £50 to the International President’s Appeal. In addition we gave donations of £50 each to six speakers who came to the club. Abbeyfield and Macmillan were among the beneficiaries.
The club makes a valuable contribution to the regional efforts on such projects as conducting a rail safety survey, lobbying for landmine action and collating statistics on the number of volunteer hours done by our members. In June 2011 the club donated £300 to support one house for 11 children in Mamelodi village for orphaned and abused children in our regional Friendship Link of SI South Africa – other regional projects are also being considered, which we would play our part in supporting.
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