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
Kenyan singing and dancing was a key feature of an inspiring study tour to Meru attended by five members of Soroptimist International Canterbury in early April. They were part of a group of twenty four Soroptimists who took part in a five day visit to see the impact of the Meru Women’s Garden Project supported by the national federation. The project was originally developed by Seeds for Africa, a charity which grew out of the 2008 Lambeth Conference in Canterbury. SI Canterbury has supported it since 2014 and members were delighted when it was selected as the Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland Federation Project in 2015. Since that time £110,000 has been raised to empower, education and enable women in one of the poorest regions of rural Kenya to establish their own sustainable food garden, achieve food security and rise out of poverty. The
SI Canterbury celebrated International Women’s Day with a fabulous Dinner and Dance for 80 guests at Howfield Manor Hotel, Canterbury. The evening began with a pre-dinner drinks reception which was followed by a wonderful three course dinner. Rosie Duffield MP (Canterbury’s first female MP) then gave an interesting after dinner speech which was very well received by guests. In her talk she provided insights into her journey to Westminster and her first impressions of her life as an MP. She also highlighted the need for more women in political life and her work within the Women’s Equality Group. Soroptimists we’re delighted that she also highlighted the work of SI Canterbury and and thanked them for the good work that they do. Following her talk Rosie mingled with guests answering questions and talking about local issues.
On Thursday March 8th President Carol Townsend from SI Canterbury and Jan Tebbett from SI Thanet introduced a POW audience (Power of Women Festival) to the work of Soroptimist International at the Royal Temple Yacht Club, Ramsgate. Jan talked about the movement, some local and national projects and Carol told the audience how the Meru Women’s Garden Project is benefiting some of the poorest women-led households in Kenya. Carol also explained that the MWGP focussed entirely on providing opportunities for women and girls and fully embraced SIGBI’s Programme Focus Goals – to Educate, Empower and Enable. The Talk was well received and lots of questions opened up interesting discussion.
Canterbury Soroptimists supported ‘Save the Children Canterbury’ at their annual Christmas coffee morning on December 2nd 2017. A festive atmosphere prevailed and the morning included home-made cakes and biscuits, cards/gifts to buy and a raffle and tombola.The money raised will support much needed funds for Save the Children’s important work both in the UK and overseas. Having supported Save the Children for many years, SI Canterbury and Save the Children Canterbury agreed a formal partnership earlier this year. Supporting their events is an important part of this agreement and so we were delighted that members were able to, not only attend but help out at the Coffee Morning. Congratulations go to the Save the Children board who organized the event and many thanks to those Soroptimists who were able to support it.
Canterbury Soroptimists joined thousands of others across the world to support the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women. SI Canterbury joined with the Guilbenkian Theatre, Canterbury to organize an event throughout the 16 days. This included a showing of a short film before each main feature shown between 26th November and 9th December, a showing of ‘Tyrannosar’ and a panel discussion. A display of leaflets, photos and information about the Rising Sun Domestic Violence Unit and SI Canterbury’s banner was also displayed in the foyer of the theatre/cinema for the length of the 16 days. In addition, we proudly posted an ‘Orange’ photo on our facebook page on each of the 16 days to raise awareness amongst our friends, supporters and followers. The ’16 Days’ was also recognised