SI Canterbury celebrated International women’s Day with a dinner and dancing for over fifty guests on March 8th. The event included a three course meal followed by an inspiring talk by Susannah Townsend, Canterbury’s Olympic hockey gold medallist 2016. Susannah entertained diners, young and old, with the story of her journey to the medal and her many realisations along the way. We were then entertained by the fabulous Hotsy Totsy, an all women singing group renowned in East Kent and beyond. A lively range of songs from the 40s to the present day got our audience to their feet and the dance floor was full until the end of the final set as we all danced the night away. This was another fabulous night and in addition to all the fun and inspiration we raised nearly £500 for the Meru Women’s Garden Project. What
Canterbury Soroptimists, friends, family and members of the public enjoyed a Sing a Long version of the old favourite film ‘Grease’ at the Guilbenkian Theatre Cinema on Friday February 23rd. The film was certainly nostalgic and the audience surpassed themselves with their lively singing and laughter. The event was organised to raise money for the Meru Women’s Garden Project with the cinema donating their profits to the project. They also allowed us to ‘shake a bucket’ at the end of the showing to encourage the audience to give a small donation themselves. Many thanks go to the Guilbenkain and to our supporters who helped us support the wonderful women of Meru.
Canterbury Soroptimists were invited to talk to students of CATs College Canterbury in February 2019. Over 40 students, several teachers and the college principal attended the evening and listened to a review of Soroptimist international and the work of SI Canterbury. The students asked searching questions about our work in particular in relation to Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery as many of them had attended our conference on this issue in October. Members encouraged the students to start their own College Club and many showed a keen interest in doing so. We look forward to working with the students and college staff in the future.
Canterbury Soroptimists held a Bring and Share Supper to raise much needed finds for Water Aid in January 2019. Members enjoyed great food and company raising £75 whilst having lots of fun and laughter. In respect of World Book Day the group also shared and discussed a selection of book reading inspired by favourite children’s books which falls in the same month as World Water day. All in all a worthy and great social event!
Soroptimist International Canterbury held a conference for 150 delegates to raise awareness about Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking. Guest speakers included visitors from Kent Police, the Salvation Army, the Sophie Hayes Trust and Stop the Traffik. . The conference was a huge success with a range of delegates attending from all walks of life and organisations. Issues were raised and discussed which informed delegates of the issues, statistics involved and how to support organisations to fight this battle. Many thanks to SI Canterbury’s Trafficking team for their excellent planning organisation and management. If you think someone may be a victim of this terrible crime please contact the National helpline on 0800 121 700.
Canterbury and Folkestone Soroptimists joined a silent walk through Canterbury on October 16th to raise awareness of the issue of modern day slavery and human trafficking. The walk, organised by Stop the Trafik Kent, was undertaken in silence to highlight that victims are without a voice and aimed to raise public awareness of the issue. The Modern Day Slavery Helpline number is, 0800 0121 70 if anyone has concerns.
Four members of SI Canterbury and partners walked six miles from Canterbury to Whitstable to raise funds for Target Ovarian Cancer in October 2018. The walk followed the Crab and winkle Way and members enjoyed good company and scenery as they raised much needed funds. Thanks go to all who walked and to those who supported during and after the walk. .
Canterbury Soroptimists took part in the 35th United Nations Peace Service at Canterbury Cathedral on Saturday October 6th. This is the second year the club has been invited to take part in the procession and we were honoured to be the first organisation to be invited to talk at the service. SI Canterbury member and South East Region President Jane Webb told the congregation about the Soroptimist goal to improve the lives of women and girls, raising awareness of our club and organisation.
Former President Carol, formally welcomed new member Jane Mennell at the club’s May meeting. Jane has been attending meetings for several months after making contact via the website. She has already joined the Domestic Violence Programme Action and the Meru Women’s Garden Project programme action teams. She has also volunteered at the club’s monthly coffee mornings at Canterbury Refuge. Jane was presented to the meeting by secretary Carol Reed and the induction was then carried out by Carol Townsend who expressed her delight that Jane had decided to join and was already taking such an active role within the club. Members look forward to getting to know Jane better and working with her over the next year.
SI Canterbury presented a cheque for £600 to Susan Booth, former club member and a representative of the charity Target Ovarian Cancer at the April club meeting. The money was raised at the club’s annual International Women’s Day Dinner and came from profits from ticket sales and a raffle held on the night. Susan thanked President Carol Townsend and expressed how grateful she was for the substantial donation. The club continues to support this important charity by supporting their annual sponsored walk and other fundraising events. For more information go to: www.targetovariancancer.org.uk