To mark the start of #16Days of activism and the United Nations’ UNiTE campaign to #OrangeTheWorld, SI Bristol members Ruth and Ivete delivered 29 orange bags of essential toiletries and treats to be given out to survivors as they arrive at Next Link Domestic Abuse Services in Bristol. The majority of survivors flee without possessions, over the last few months our members collected these items to support them. The reality is that women and children will often arrive at Next Link with no personal belongings. This is because they may see a fleeting chance to leave their abusive situation, and they take it, without having a chance to pack anything. For women leaving a domestic abuse situation, packing their children’s favourite comforters, toys, clothing and toiletries – let alone a Christmas gift – is often the last thing on their minds. Soroptimist Bristol will
Each wearing orange, six members of SI Bristol caught the train to Weston-super- Mare. On the journey from Worle Councillor Wendy Griggs, Chairman of North Somerset Council, spotted our banners and introduced herself. She remained with us until we joined the rest of the Soroptimists and others outside the station. Where she met up with the Mayor of Weston super Mare for the March. We marched through the shopping area, handing out bookmarks, to Grove Park where we tied ribbons on the railings round the pond. Each of the 110 ribbons represented a death from domestic violence over a year. Other Soroptimists joined us there and there were seven from SI Bristol in total. From there we gathered at the bandstand for speeches about domestic violence and the importance of eliminating it. Two statistics stand out: only one quarter of instances
Thanks to all our efforts today we raised £243 for Mary’s Meals. Not a bad morning’s work! There was hardly anything left, so we could say we sold out! All Mary’s Meals donations between now and the end of January will be doubled in their “Double the Love” campaign so that will make £486 from today’s fundraising which will feed 25 children for a whole school year with a nourishing breakfast. That is a wonderful feeling! Thank you to everyone who helped at the hall today and also to all who contributed with items for the Soroptimist Bristol stall at Westbury-on-Trym Methodist Church Hall in Bristol
Rebecca came to talk to us about the Hunger Project which is part of a global charity founded in the 70’s. Rebecca said that it will take another 132 years for women to reach gender parity and that 60% of the world population feeling hunger are women and girls. This is not helped by the fact that 12 million girls are married as children under the age of 15. The Hunger Project works with communities to realise their own future, free from hunger and poverty. They have 13 Programmes across Africa, South Asia and Latin America. All adapted to meet local challenges and opportunities, focusing on empowering people to lift themselves out of hunger. To date 11.9m people have been helped. Hunger is caused by various things such as gender issues. The charity has three essential pillars: Start with Women Mobilise
Late last year Yuko our Friendship Link from SI Aquamarine Kure in Japan made a donation in memory of Lynn E. Lynn had close links with Yuko but sadly Lynn died during the Covid pandemic. Lynn had been a very well-respected teacher at a primary school in North Somerset and as teaching was so important to her, we decided to give the donation to a local primary school. On 14th July, Dee G handed over the money to the Head Teacher at Kings Forest Primary School. The school has created a garden in which the children grow vegetables, have meaningful lessons about nature, and have an outside ‘pizza’ oven on which to cook. They have a thriving ‘bug hotel’ and compost heap. The donation will be used to support these activities.
This year, between 7th and 14th July over 500 volunteers collected water samples from rivers in different parts of the Bristol catchment, tested them for nitrates and phosphates and submitted the results to the BART online database. Seven Soroptimists (LB, LBB, MD, BJ, LN, MR and SS) signed up and attended a training session at River Land Yeo on Watercress Farm near Tyntesfield. Each Soroptimist collected a sample from a river that was convenient for them to access: Coombe Dingle, the Floating Harbour (by the Arnolfini and by the SS Great Britain) the River Avon (near the Create Centre, near Spike Island and near the Bedminster Bridge), Snuff Mills and Winterhead (near Shipham). This RiverBlitz helps BART gain a snapshot of water quality across the catchment.
The Soroptimist Bristol Orange Café Meeting a local volunteer-driven group of women aiming to raise awareness of violence against women and the work Soroptimists have done for the last 100 years in Bristol. These meetings are being held by Soroptimist Clubs around the world – a membership of 72,000 women worldwide. You would find us easily, as we will be dressed in orange! Why orange, you ask? Well, the colour orange symbolises a bright, fresh future, as designated by the United Nations, and it’s used around the world for that purpose. The Orange Café meeting is held regularly on or near the 25th of the month in various coffee shops in the city. The 25th of the month is significant, as it is the UN designated #OrangeDay, a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the prevalence of violence against women and the devastating
SI Bristol supported SI Weston-super-Mare in their ‘Railing Against Abuse’ project. The bookmarks clearly explain the difference between a good, loving relationship and a bad, abusive relationship. A letter; signed by the Programme Action Officer, was posted to the Head of each Secondary School, asking if the Safe Guarding Officer would like to receive some free relationship bookmarks for use in their Safe Guarding classes. Based on responses, 1,388 bookmarks have been delivered to five facilities.
On 18th June 2023, Marion joined 24 other volunteers near the Arnolfini for a 2-hour litter pick. The 25 volunteers were guided by three staff members. All necessary equipment was provided (branded hi viz jackets, gloves, litter pickers, bags with hoops and nets). By the end of the session, 31 bags of litter had been collected and the contents was sorted into glass, metal, plastic and other. The first three were recycled and the latter burnt, so nothing went to landfill. We even rescued an electric scooter. The volunteers were enthusiastic and everyone enjoyed the event. The next litter pick date is 23rd July. The website address is http://cleanupbristolharbour.weeble.com/ Following this Again on 23rd July 2023, Liz N, Marion and Sally joined 18 other volunteers for another 2-hour litter pick. All necessary equipment was provided by the organisers (branded jackets, gloves, litter pickers,
At our Speaker Meeting last night, we had a talk by Amy Wade from Bristol and Avon Rivers Trust. The Trust encourages and provides opportunities for volunteering to help with monitoring rivers and taking action to prevent their further degradation among other things. She began by illustrating the problems involved and then provided ideas for ways we could help including citizens’ science projects, joining the Riverblitz project between the 7th and 14th July and putting political pressure on our MPs by writing letters. Also our warmest congratulations to Anne, our longest serving member who was presented at the meeting with a Certificate for 55 Years of service as a Soroptimist. We were also delighted to be joined by three visitors who are considering joining our club