SI Bristol members using candle light on the SIGBI Day of Action Saturday 17th July to raise awareness of Climate Change. On the Day of Action, our members switched off lights and standby appliances for 15 minutes in each household to save energy. Each small action we take individually to address Climate Change makes a difference. Energy efficiency is good for us and for the air we breathe, the water you drink, and the community in which you live. Saving energy reduces air and water pollution and conserves natural resources, which in turn creates a healthier living environment for people everywhere. Let’s keep up the good work.
During the 2020-2021 Club year, SI Bristol raised a total of £7,540 for its two charities, National Centre for Integrative Medicine (NCIM) and Lifeskills: Learning for Living. £1,700 was obtained from sponsors (Rathbones Bank, Kellands, Renshaw) for the cancelled Alice Roberts lectures. The remaining money was raised by two members, President Marion (above) and Jen (right) who, in this centenary year, challenged themselves to walk 100 miles a month for, respectively, 6 months and 12 months. Both exceeded their target and their Sponsors donated an impressive £5,840. Due to current restrictions, the money was paid directly to the charities. The money donated to NCIM was for their Access Fund and will allow 40 women on low incomes to take advantage of a series of three half price appointments. NCIM expressed their gratitude.
Our Litter Pick organised by our Programme Action Officer Yvonne, on Bristol’s Durdham Downs, on Saturday 19th June was another success. This time 11 of us were there and again we split up into small groups ensuring that we social distanced as we went around. As we are still not able to meet face to face it was lovely hearing what others are doing in preparation for the lifting of restrictions! It was interesting to see that there was less litter than our event last July (top left June 2021 and right July 2020). We look forward to our next Litter Pick to be together again and we especially enjoyed being thanked by people we passed.
Nikki started by telling us about her career in the police force having joined in 1987 and became Assistant Chief Constable, Avon Somerset Police Force in 2015. She is Head of Investigations and Operations – Support Directorate leading the Avon and Somerset Police response to the Covid 19 Pandemic. She described her career highlights and responsibilities some of which are: Giving evidence on stop and search to the McPhearson enquiry as part of the report on the death of Stephen Lawrence in 1999. She is responsible for a drugs intervention programme. She works with the Criminal Justice and Crown Prosecution Service helping to make the criminal justice process more efficient. She described how policing demands have changed due to: The arrival of the internet in 1991 Stephen Lawrence murder in 1993 Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman murders 2002 Suicide terrorist attacks (in the UK
The initiative to link Clubs to support each other during the covid crisis came for our Region. We were very pleased that SI Weston-super-Mare (W-s-M) agreed to pair with us as we have a long history of working together. A small working party have been gathering information on projects and activities and both Clubs have already been sharing Speaker Meetings via Zoom. This was the first “face to face” event that we have been able to organise keeping within the Covid Guidelines where all members from both Clubs could attend. On 20th May where we met in Weston (W-s-M) Woods and Worlebury Camp Iron Age Hillfort – where burials dated back to 385-197BC. Nick, a Soroptimister led the walk and his knowledge of the woods was amazing. We entered the woods from Worlebury Hill and walked through to the hillside overlooking the Old Pier –
Due to Covid restrictions and no in-person Soroptimist meetings, it has not possible to collect any of the items needed for the Mary’s Meals backpack project over the past year. Usually club members collect and donate serviceable children’s backpacks together with an assortment of items to go inside: School uniform, flip flops or sandals, stationery materials, a tennis ball, a spoon and some toiletries and a towel. However, a young student, Ella, has taken up supporting the project on Bristol Soroptimists behalf as part of her voluntary work for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. This was going to last for three months but she so enjoyed encouraging family and friends to donate items for this good cause that she decided to continue collecting for a bit longer! The filled backpacks will bolster the number Bristol Soroptimists will be able to send to Mary’s Meals
We were pleased to welcome Esther Hall who is the community fundraiser for St Peter’s Hospice which is our Club Charity of the year for 2021/22. St Peter’s Hospice is a Bristol based charity. It was established over 40 years ago originally in South Bristol by a group of people led by the Bourne family. It provides care and support to adults who are living with a progressive life-limiting illness in the Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset area. Much of the support is provided in people’s homes. Their newly refurbished inpatient facilities in Westbury-on–Trym look amazing. The Hospice supports over 500 people at any one time and their approach “Live well, die well” was self-evident as Esther’s enthusiasm rubbed off on us all. She told us of the volunteering opportunities and explored suggestions that we made. Esther will work with us to ensure we make
Congratulations to President Marion and Jen and together we celebrated the end of their fundraising walking challenges. To meet their targets Jen walked for six months and Marion a full year. To give perspective, Marion’s mileage (1,526 miles) was farther than walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats – and back again (1,206 miles as the crow flies)! Jen’s mileage was over 700 miles. The money which is still coming in will be divided between our two club charities both of which we have supported over the last two years: The National Centre for Integrative Medicine and Lifeskills-Learning for Living. The afternoon was a substitute for our “Centenary Celebration Friendship Weekend” which we had to cancel due to the covid restrictions. It was a beautiful sunny day and keeping to the rule of six we walked around Bristol’s Durdham downs, which is one of our regular
The Two Presidents spanned the last two years! Immediate Past President Denise 2019-2020 and President Marion2020-2021. We were joined by a prospective new member and also members from SI Weston-super-Mare. Denise and Marion entertained us describing their careers and the exciting things they have done during their lives. We often hear about our members careers and it never ceases to amaze us what these women who we know so well have done. Thank you both for sharing your lives with us.
As part of our centenary celebrations we have had various tree projects during the year mainly led by Ivete and a further tree project led by Maureen. The first tree was planted following a television documentary “The Queen’s Green Planet”. The Queen and David Attenborough invited the public to plant a tree to contribute to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy https://queenscommonwealthcanopy.org/ Ivete and her husband Reg, donated an English Oak tree to contribute to this venture and also as part of our centenary activities. The tree was planted in the autumn in the Muller Road Recreational Grounds, a relatively deprived area of Bristol. The second planting was organised by Maureen through the Forest of Avon Trust. SI Bristol dedicated 32 native trees to community woodlands. One tree for each of our members and to celebrate our 100th anniversary. In March President Marion, President Elect Sue P