Ruth started her presentation telling us about the history of Vision Aid Overseas. It was founded in 1985 and the first country to benefit was Tanzania. It has now, for over 30 years, been helping some of the world’s poorest people in African countries to see clearly. Interestingly most people in these countries need glasses from the age of 30 where as in the UK they need them from the age of 40. Ruth told us that the spectacles we donate are of a very high quality. They are washed, prepared and sent to the countries needing them. On a practical note it is important that children who require glasses get them early or they fall behind with their work. Volunteers (4-6) go to the country where they are needed for two weeks at a time and they contribute to the cost. They set up
Members of SI Bristol met on Durdham Downs on Saturday, ensuring social distancing, to say good bye to some of our Trauma Teddies. President Marion welcomed the Lord Lieutenant of the City and County of Bristol Peaches Golding and the Lord Mayor of Bristol Jos Clark who both gave talks about the event. Three hundred (of our 900) teddy bears, knitted by members of SI Bristol, family, Regional members and friends, were given to representatives from the Air Ambulance, the Fire Brigade and the Police. The representatives expressed their appreciation. The 100 bears given to each emergency service was another way we marked SI Bristol’s centenary. The soroptimists present were delighted to know the teddy bears will help to comfort children.
Once again we collected items for backpacks for girls and for boys and we were able to fill 15 packs in total! Three sacks contained 5 completed backpacks each and a fourth sack was full up with “extras”: Pens, pencils, other stationery, children’s t-shirts and some large flip-flops. Each of the completed backpack contains: Notepad, pencils, pens, crayons, eraser, ruler, sharpener, pencil case, towel, shorts or skirt, t-shirt or dress, flip-flops or sandals, small ball, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste and spoon. The sacks go to a collection point in Glasgow (free pick up from a delivery company) where they are sorted and despatched to various destinations in Africa, Asia etc. where there is a need. Schools and children in these places all lack the basic items needed for an education. Each backpack is labelled for a boy or girl and with an age range. SI
Mr Brewton quickly explained that although Brunel had submitted several designs for the bridge and his final design in 1831 was accepted, the Bristol Riots in that year meant that building never really got started. It was not until after Brunel’s death in 1859 that two engineers John Hawkshaw and William Henry Barlow came along with extra knowledge and know how. They took over Brunel’s earlier designs and completed the building of the bridge in 1864. Although they changed the design they retained the two towers originally built by Brunel and 2 of the 3 sets of the original chains. The bridge is now owned by a charity and fees for crossing the bridge go towards maintenance. The vaults below consist of 12 caves. For those visiting the caves you will see two of them and emphasis was placed on wearing warm clothes and stout