SI Programme Action continues despite COVID.
Soroptimists International of Beverley, as have many voluntary organisations, struggled through the last few months to maintain their usual informative and social activities. Their monthly business meetings have moved to the Zoom platform and many of the summer social and fund-raising events have been cancelled.
But not all the activities have ceased. Programme Action is the Soroptimist activity that is aimed at improving the lives of women and girls, both locally, nationally and internationally. Reports that during the pandemic, the incidence of domestic violence has increased, has prompted the Club to seek ways to support the affected families and their mentors in our area.
COVID and the lockdown has impacted victims and survivors of domestic abuse with perpetrators behaviour becoming more violent and victims experiencing additional isolation.
At the same time, many people assumed that services like refuge accommodation was not available due to COVID. But refuges quickly became full as onward housing was difficult to organise. At one point in June, there were just two refuge spaces across the whole of the UK.
These families need to know that they are not forgotten and that they deserve some luxuries too. A number of pretty storage bags have been made and members have contributed many items to fill them. Soaps, shampoo, shower gel, deodorant, toothpaste and brushes, flannels and combs have been donated, and with funds raised at a socially distanced garden tea party, extra necessities have been bought to fill the bags to overflowing.
More than thirty bags have been delivered to the local Women’s Refuge to be distributed to the families who find themselves in difficult circumstances at this time.