The international freight forwarder John Shirley Ltd has joined forces with anti-slavery charity Unseen, Canterbury Soroptimists and the UN to launch a new campaign this May raising awareness of modern slavery and human trafficking in the UK and across Europe. Stickers plastered on around 200 freight vehicles will call people to action, asking for those who suspect human trafficking or modern slavery to report it. Jane Webb, of Canterbury Soroptimists, said “Slavery continues to harm people in every country of the world. Canterbury Soroptimists campaign to improve the lives of women and girls. We want vulnerable people to know where to go for help and the public to know where to report slavery. We are grateful to our partners for their help to raise awareness throughout the UK and Europe.”
A beautiful Choral Evensong, at Canterbury Cathedral, was dedicated to the Centenary of Save the Children by the Dean on Sunday 19th May. Members of SI Canterbury and Save the Children Canterbury board attended alongside members of the public. Carol Reed, an active member of SI Canterbury since 2000, joined Save the Children Canterbury in 1985 and has been chairman for twenty five years. Save the Children was founded on 19th May 1919 and has played an invaluable role in supporting children around the world since then. Carol planned the centenary celebration at the Cathedral plus a Gala lunch to be held in June to celebrate this impressive hundredth anniversary. Carol with members of the Save the Chlidren Canterbury board.
On two Wednesdays in May members of SI Canterbury’s Anti-Trafficking group organised film nights for club members to highlight this tragic issue and facilitate discussion. Members agreed that watching this very moving story together was a useful and enjoyable way to learn more about the story behind the statistics.
Millie Brierley became the new President of Canterbury Soroptimists at their AGM on 25th April 2019. Millie, who has been a member of the club since 2014, said she was honoured and proud and that she hoped she would be a ‘good enough’ President. Members are delighted with her programme and excited about the coming year.
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.