Seven members of a world-wide women’s organisation from Cambridgeshire joined more than a thousand delegates at our conference attended by HRH Princess Anne in Glasgow in November.
They belong to Soroptimist International which has more than 80 thousand members volunteering in 134 countries. They also help shape policies advancing the progress of women at the United Nations.
The elimination of all kinds of violence to women, the education of women and girls and the provision of clean water and sanitation are among the organisation’s chief concerns.
Princess Anne received a £4,000 cheque towards the work of Save the Children which is currently appealing for funds to support refugee children in camps around Syria. Soroptimist clubs around the UK have donated food, tents, blankets and toiletries to families fleeing into Europe and some are preparing packs of clothes and toys for women and children who will be arriving in Britain in the coming months.
“We’ve filled one car-boot load of food so far which was taken to Calais “says the club’s President-Elect, Margaret Hyde.
At the three day conference, Soroptimists heard from the first woman to head MI5, Dame Stella Rimington; one of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs, Jo Fairley who launched the internationally successful Green and Black’s Organic chocolate, and BBC broadcaster and journalist Sarah Montague who presents Radio 4’s breakfast programme.
Soroptimist International of Cambridge was formed nearly 70 years ago its members work to improve the lives of women and girls locally and around the world. “We’ve supported the valuable work carried out by Women’s Aid for many years with donations of clothes, toys and packs of cleaning materials, “ explains Margaret. “We also persuaded the City Council to put 100 posters in ladies lavatories to raise awareness of sexual exploitation and taxi –drivers to put stickers in their cabs highlighting Modern Day Slavery.