Each Soroptimist International club identifies the needs of its community, then establishes specific projects to address these needs. All our projects relate to one or more of the six Programme Focus Areas: Economic and Social Development, Education, Environment, Health, Human Rights and the Status of Women, and International Goodwill and Understanding.
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The projects listed below include some of the local and international issues we research and support in SI Cannock and District:
More than 137,700 girls have missed school in the last year because they couldn’t afford sanitary products. A report of 500 girls aged 10 to 18, showed 7 per cent have been forced to skip school during their period. Of those girls, the average has missed five days of school during the last year. 25% of all school girls have at some point been forced to use tissues or cotton wool, or double up on underwear, as they have not had the appropriate protection.13 % of girls throw underwear away due to lack of supplies. 11 % of girls put their health at risk by using products such as tampons for far longer periods than recommended because they did not have a replacement.
And nine in 10 girls know they’re not alone – as they have been asked by a friend for a pad or tampon because she couldn’t afford to buy her own. Cannock & District Soroptimists are asking the government to provide free sanitary products to young women receiving free school meals.
Please sign and share our petition: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/215628/
Loves Me, Loves Me Not Bookmarks
As part of their ongoing work within the issue of Violence Against Women, Cannock Soroptimists have launched a project which is part of The Purple Teardrop Campaign, initiated and run by SI Poole. SI Cannock have funded and produced posters and bookmarks with details of local places where help can be obtained. Up to now they have distributed almost 3,000 bookmarks. They have been distributed to
Wolverhampton & Staffordshire Police
Staffordshire Police Cadets
High Schools & South Staffs College
Post 16 training establishments,
Substance misuse groups
SI Cannock has also included a feedback form to enable an evaluation of their effectiveness to take place. The bookmarks highlight behaviours which are – or are not – appropriate within a relationship. One side of the bookmark shows what demonstrates that the other person ‘Loves Me’ whilst the opposite side shows things which indicate the person ‘Loves Me Not’.
The aim is for the bookmarks to be given to young people – teenagers – as part of a project or within the curriculum to enable them to consider how they should be treated and how they should treat others. Young people in particular can easily become targets for the unscrupulous who see their vulnerability as a means to exploit them. The intention of providing the bookmarks is to question what makes an appropriate relationship.
The Loves Me/Loves Me Not bookmarks are a positive step in allowing people to assess the quality of new or developing relationships and provide warning signs to look for when they become the focus of special attention. The bookmarks contain information of how to contact Women’s Aid; Pathway, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline and the number for Non Emergency Police.
The club has also produced some posters which show Loves Me and Loves Me Not side by side. These are being distributed and it is hoped they will be used on the inside of girl’s toilet doors.
Your Body, Your Rules
There have been more than 4,000 cases since 2013 where children have taken explicit images of themselves & sent them to others
The most common age of children involved in sexting is 13 or 14 and nearly 400 Children under the age of 14 have been spoken to by the police in last 3 years. SI Cannock & District, with financial support from SI Midland Chase Region, is funding the training of two pupils going into year 12/13 pupils & one member of staff per school in the Cannock Chase area to be ambassadors, who will be able to educate and support their peers around the issues and consequences of sexting, signposting them towards appropriate help and advice.
The bespoke training, which will raise awareness of the dangers and consequences of sexting, is being delivered on Friday 6th July at Cannock Civic Centre, Beecroft Road. 7 schools have signed up and there is still room for 2 more.
As well as providing training for students and staff members, a police representative and two Soroptimists will also be trained; they will all be part of a forum where ambassadors can receive updates and support from each other.
The aims of the project are:
Children receive support from their peers
Raises awareness of the consequences of texting
Ambassadors learn a portable skill
Schools receive training and support for free
Profile of Soroptimist International is raised.
The Pathway Project
SI Cannock has been supporting The Pathway project for many years. Pathway has been supporting victims of domestic and sexual violence in Staffordshire for over 35 years. The charity provides refuge accommodation in Lichfield and Tamworth. It supports local women experiencing domestic violence. Members provide donations, Christmas gifts, easter eggs, toiletries and donate household goods.
For more information go to:
V Festival Clear-Up
Every year SI Cannock aids the V Festival clear-up so that all the items left by the festival visitors do not end up in land-fill. (see more under club news) The items recovered go to the two local women’s refuges except for the tents which are kept to be used in disaster areas wherever they occur. Here are a few photos from this year’s clear-up and from previous years.
Staffordshire Women’s Aid
SI Cannock continues to support their work in Cannock and surrounding areas. In March SI Cannock had a one-off collection of sanitary towels, tampons and babies nappies for Women’s Aid after hearing that the refuge was in desperate need of these goods to help women in through their outreach project.
About Staffordshire Women’s Aid:
Through specialist support, we empower victims/survivors to change their lives and plan for safer, healthier and independent futures.As a specialist, grass roots organisation, we place the views and experiences of the individuals and families we support at the heart of our work.
Our Service operates in Stafford Borough, Cannock Chase District, South Staffordshire and Staffordshire Moorlands. It is delivered locally in each district through our Support and Recovery Centres, in Local Satellite Bases and in our Refuges.
Our Service is accessed through our 24-Hour Helpline which operates 365 days a year and accepts agency and self referrals.
Our Service is committed to equality and diversity and aims to provide a service for all regardless of ethnicity, sexuality, disability, religion or class.
Our Service is delivered in each area by a team of highly skilled professional practitioners.
All our staff are trained to meet the the National Occupational Standards for Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence. All IDVAs are CAADA trained.
We Deliver a range of multi-agency training, awareness-raising, and preventative educational programmes, aiming to change attitudes in our local communities. We contribute to research on domestic violence at local, national and international levels. Our work is based in partnership, and we have a track record for developing innovative, responsive local services.
FIND OUT MORE FROM: http://www.staffordshirewomensaid.org
Purple Teardrop Campaign
In 2011-12 SI Cannock began to support the Purple Teardrop Campaign http://www.purpleteardrop.org.uk
The main aims of which are to:
- Raise awareness among the general public of the plight of women and children who are trafficked
- Try to suppress the demand for trafficked women by making men who use prostitutes aware that they could be contributing to this trade
- Promote the Crimestoppers number, 0800 555 111, so that members of the public can give confidential information on locations where they think trafficked women are being exploited
- Support the safe houses which provide holistic care for victims who have been freed from trafficking
SI Poole was the first SI club to actively work on this campaign and they have produced a brilliant youtube video showing their work which can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpjquelGIFM . They also have information on how to help the campaign here: https://sigbi.org/poole/teardrop-campaign-how-you-can-help/ .
For the last two years Cannock Soroptimists have been promoting this campaign, its main aim being to raise awareness among the general public of the plight of women and children who are trafficked. They have done this by approaching local businesses, taxi firms and churches, many of whom now display Purple Teardrop materials. Through a link with the local College their work has developed into concentrating on the street trafficking of teenage girls, and the club has given presentations to groups of students, using the DVD My Dangerous Loverboy’ as a focus. As a result of this link SI Cannock has taken the work of SI Poole forward with the use of their Loves Me, Loves Me Not Bookmarks and now Posters too.
S.N.A.P- Special Needs Adventure Playground
S.I. Cannock supports the Special Needs Adventure Playground in Pye Green Road, Cannock. It is one of very few Adventure Playgrounds designed specifically for children with Special Needs.
The Special Needs Adventure Playground has been running successfully in Cannock, Staffordshire since June 2003. Complete with outdoors adventure play equipment, including an aerial runway, cycle track with specially adapted bikes, a sand pit (with diggers), a sensory garden, a trampoline, an indoors soft play area, craft room and a multi-sensory room it is the only one of its kind in the Chase and West Midlands areas.
SI Cannock donated over £500 to support the work of this charity in 2016.
In addition SI Cannock continues to support the work of:
St Giles Hospice at www.stgileshospice.com
AND OF THE:
Warming Welcome Soup Kitchen, Mill St. Cannock