Our work in the community
Hospital Garden: Creation of a Hospital Garden for the Rehabilitation Ward at Loughborough General Hospital. This was initiated in 2000 to celebrate the club’s 50th anniversary. It ‘s a practical project serving our local hospital. Members volunteer to look after the garden attached to a ward of elderly people, to help aid their recovery. Regular tidy up sessions involve digging and pruning along with planting up with spring bulbs and winter and summer bedding plants. Volunteers from a local conmpany 3M Healthcare helped with a revamp in 2010. Less physically able members donate plants.
Women’s Refuge: Supporting the local Women’s Refuge for victims of domestic violence. We supply Toiletry Packs for when they first arrive, Easter Eggs and toys for the children and household goods for when they are re-housed. A past member who is a landscape architect designed a new garden for the refuge and members planted it up.
Carers’ Tea Parties: This is an opportunity for carers to meet people in similar situations and have a bit of a break and be pampered for a while. The word seems to have got round and we have been asked to provide this service for other groups in the local area. Members provide their time and food to give them a good lunch at a local meeting place.
Charnwood Talking News: Our club is one of several groups in Charnwood providing a service to the visually impaired in the area. Every six weeks members get together to record articles from the local newspaper Loughborough Echo on to memory sticks. We also download magazines from the internet. Copies are made at Loughborough University and sent to nearly a hundred people of which 75% are women. For further information about the Talking News Federation, visit www.tnf.org.uk
Toiletry Packs: We collect and purchase toiletries for women and babies for distribution by the British Red Cross. Twice a year we provide packs to “The Bridge” project who are involved in helping local homeless people. Many people made suddenly homeless are without any personal belongings. The Bridge provides showers and other facilities and the users are extremely grateful for the packs. We make them look attractive and individual packs are prepared for males and females.
Rainbows Children’s Hospice: We have supported the Hospice for several years. We have provided help serving refreshments at the annual Rainbows Spectacular Show, stuffed envelopes, ‘bought’ bricks for the new extension for teenagers. In 2003-2005 the club worked on a project to raise public awareness of the disparity in funding between adult and children’s hospices. We collected over 1000 signatures on local petitions which were sent to the Health Minister, worked with our local MP, and urged members of other clubs to sign an Early Day Motion to be presented in Parliament.
Girl Guides. Several members visited the group at Loughborough High School and talked to them about Soroptimism and they told us about the work they are doing. They helped us fill an Aquabox, which are sent to disaster areas all over the world. They also helped plant bedding plants in the hospital garden and we hope to work with them on further projects.
Open Gardens Directory. One of our members produces a directory of villages in the area that open their gardens to the public. The directory was started 12 years ago and has grown from a single folded sheet of A5 to an eight-page leaflet containing adverts from several garden centres in the area. The directory is free of charge. About 1200 copies are printed and distributed to garden centres, shops and libraries in the area. Fees for entries and adverts in the directory raises around £300 a year.
In the past the club has also provided computer software for Glebe House, worked with the local Muslim community providing baby clothing & head scarves for women refugees, supplied a wheelchair to John Storer House, worked with the British Waterways Board in a canal clean-up, planted daffodils along the A512 for Marie Curie Cancer Care, and provided financial support to the Charnwood Toy Appeal, LOROS, Leicestershire Air Ambulance and Wishes for Kids amongst others.
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