On 5th October 2021, Soroptimist International of Bristol were delighted to celebrate the planting of an English Oak tree donated to our Club to commemorate our Centenary and part of The Queen’s Green Canopy for her platinum jubilee. This was a delayed celebration due to the Covid pandemic. An Oak tree was chosen specifically because of its long life representing the long life of Soroptimism and the support it offers to others. The tree was planted at Muller Road Recreational Ground in Bristol through Bristol City Council’s tree planting program. Our Club’s Centenary was in 2020, but due to the pandemic we were unable to meet as a group to see the tree and the commemorative plaque. Club members present were President Sue, Past President Marion (in whose year the tree was planted), Ivete, Pauline, Lizzie, Yvonne, Liz and Lynda.
On 11th September Yvonne, Liz N and Sally represented SI Bristol on the St Peter’s Hospice Midnight Walk. They had an enjoyable time and were up bright and early the next day for our 100 years celebratory tea. Donations are still coming in and so please let us know if you’d like to make a donation.
The Just so Stories: Another visit to The Watermill Theatre, Newbury On the 2nd September Ruth organised another successful outing. We returned to the Watermill theatre, where we have been before, in time for lunch. This was very well organised outside in their lovely garden. The stage had been brought outside too and so we enjoyed the performance on a lovely sunny day shaded by the trees. It was so enjoyable that we hope Ruth will take us there again in the foreseeable future. Tyntesfield: Guided Walk On August 24th, SI Bristol members visited Tyntesfield, for a guided tree walk of magnificent British Isles and County Champion tree specimens with Chris Watts. Chris had introduced us to the trees earlier in the yea via Zoom. It was lovely seeing them at the lovely estate so near to our homes. Thank you Pauline H for organising
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.
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.
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
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
International Women’s Day 8th March 2021 Once again Soroptimist International of Bristol join Bristol Women’s Voice to mark International Women’s Day. Across the world thousands of Soroptimists will mark International Women’s Day with hundreds of activities and events on and around 8th March. In some countries just gathering puts women’s lives at risk. Events highlight the economic, political and social achievements of women, and raise awareness of work still to be done to build a better world for women and girls. Due to the pandemic members of Soroptimist International of Bristol are marking this very special day in a different way to that originally planned. Below is the link to a short video (1.35 minutes) we have made to support the rights of women to equal treatment, their right to respected and their achievements in society with the theme “We Choose to Challenge”. If you can’t open the
We reached our ambitious target and raised £1,590. Donations were made by Club members, but read on! This included their participation in a virtual event (in place of a porridge fundraising event on the Downs) as part of International Porridge Day (10th October) and the Christmas ‘lay a spare place’ appeal. By sending the money before January 31st 2021, the £1,590 was matched through the UK Government’s ‘double the love’ funding programme. Thus, SI Bristol’s donation instead of only supporting 100 children supported 200 children for a school year. Well done indeed.
This is the third year that SI Bristol has participated in the St Mary Redcliffe Treefest. Until this year, it has been a spectacular festive display of Christmas trees in the gothic church of St Mary Redcliffe. This year, due to the restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic, it was an online event. The Treefest Gallery consists of 35 trees decorated by resourceful people in local charities, schools, businesses and other organisations. SI Bristol’s entry is the first one in the Gallery. Thanks go to Denise, Ivete, Jen, Sally and Yvonne for decorating the crab apple tree and to Ivete for taking and submitting the photographs. As of 15th December, SI Bristol’s tree had secured 5% of votes. Check it out and vote. There is an opportunity to donate to this year’s charities: Treeaid (www.treeaid.org.uk) and St Mary Redcliffe Community projects.