Programme Action is at the heart of what it means to be a Soroptimist. Through projects Club Members work to improve the lives of women and girls locally, nationally and internationally. Projects can take many forms, such as Service, Education, Awareness Raising or Empowerment, and are linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals of People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace and Partnership.
In recent years our Club has locally supported the Sandycroft Centre, the Alzheimer’s Society, refugees from Afghanistan and families fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. Nationally, we support the Buddy Bag Foundation, the Campaign Against Violence Against Women – Orange the World. Members have also taken part in the National Big Plastic Count, and contributed to the Queen’s Green Canopy by planting trees in both Bromsgrove and Redditch. Internationally, Club members support the Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa, the premature baby ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Malawi, and the Meru Garden Project in Kenya. The above is not an exhaustive list of the Club’s various areas of involvement, but it is hoped will give a flavour of the type of projects that our members are involved in.
Last year Club established three Programme Action Groups to look in detail at the critically important areas of:
- Single Use Plastic
- Help for Struggling Families
- Mental Health
and identify ways in which the Club can work to make a difference.
Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts (SDAC) – How Special Are They?
Some of our members contributed to this project, starting in 2017. The aim was to provide an independent review across England of how Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts should be improved for victims of abuse, the majority of whom are women.
The project has been carried out by Soroptimists across England and involved c4,000 hours of volunteer time in observations and in excess of 1,000 questionnaires were submitted in relation to observations made at over 30 courts. The final report (of four) has now been published in 2023 and the collective reports together come very close to being a comprehensive report on the way in which the Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts are working on a national basis.
Soroptimists stand up as advocates for all women, especially for those who have no voice. We have worked as independent observers to give the public confidence in our courts, but we also want to drive improvement and our recommendations seek to help build public trust in our justice system.
A full copy of the report is available at https://sigbi.org/2023/specialist-domestic-abuse-courts/
- In December 2022 we were raising awareness of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. See our orange tree here: ORANGE THE WORLD
- We collected Christmas treats for the Redditch foodbank Christmas foodbank