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21 to 23 December ~ We collected money for the Food Bank at Canterbury West Station

2 December ~ Helping at the coffee morning for Save the Children




25 November ~ Film festival at the Gulbenkian for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence


29 October ~ UN Service of World Peace at the Cathedral





18 October ~ Human Trafficking Awareness Event in Canterbury


9 October ~ SISEE Grant of Friendship Supper for Jennifer from Australia





Partnership with Save the Children in Canterbury


Our President organised a trip to the Houses of Parliament on 14 August



Amanda and Miranda from Medaille Trust gave an enthusiastic and informative overview of the charity which has been running for 10 years and has 9 ‘Safe Houses’ in the UK and answered questions as they arose. They explained where the charity fits into the victim support process and how they look after women who arrive at a safe house. The Thanet Safe House has 21 rooms and provides access to a solicitor, the Home Office, GP, Midwifery, Police investigation, Counsellors, English lessons, Interpreters and art therapy.


JW & CT Versailles

Jane Webb and Carol Townsend visited our Friendship Link Club in Versailles to celebrate their 80th Anniversary.






imageSI Canterbury club members enjoyed lovely weather on the day they worked in the Women’s Refuge garden.

They were joined by mothers and their children as they planted up hanging baskets and smartened up the garden table and benches.

The club would like to thank everyone who donated plants and gave up their time to support the women’s refuge.






JAne and tomatoe plantsDuring May, club member Jane Webb, and her husband David, sold tomato plants that they had grown from seeds in aid of the Meru Women Garden Project.

This SIGBI Federation Project  was proposed by SI Canterbury at our conference in 2015. It supports women in one of the poorest regions of rural Kenyan to establish their own sustainable food gardens, enabling them to feed their families and even earn a small income by selling excess produce at market.

The plants were bought by members and friends and raised a total of £70 for the project. A very worthwhile effort which will make a great contribution towards the project.






Our Club meeting on May 25th saw Michelle Owens, Women’s Right’s Leader, at Amnesty International, Canterbury visiting as the guest speaker for the evening.

SI Canterbury and Amnesty Canterbury have formed a partnership to help protect and further the rights of women and girls and to enable our two local organisations to better support each other’s work.

Our members were therefore delighted to welcome her to our club and hear about the work of Amnesty.













Michelle explained that the Canterbury group are part of the organisation Amnesty International UK, standing up for human rights across the world – wherever justice, freedom, fairness and truth are denied. 

In a stimulating talk she told us a little about the history of Amnesty International as well as the Canterbury branch, which is currently focusing on the Philippines and what they are doing to help protect and defend Human Rights.

In a stimulating talk she told us a little about the history of Amnesty International as well as the Canterbury branch, which is currently focusing on the Philippines and what they are doing to help protect and defend Human Rights.

Michelle then told us more about the work of the Women’s Rights team, which SI Canterbury supports with monthly letter writing campaigns. We then discussed how we can further support the group and work together to advance women’s rights.


Mary's inductionAt this May meeting SI Canterbury new member, Mary Adams, was formally welcomed to our club. Mary has been attending meetings for several months after hearing about the organisation and our club online.

She was introduced by club secretary and former membership officer Carol Reed then formally inducted into Soroptimist International by club President Carol Townsend. Mary has already made significant contributions to club discussions and we have no doubt that she will be an effective and supportive club member.




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The finale to this month’s activities was being selected as one of Canterbury Cathedral’s chosen charities to benefit from their Open Garden event on May 27th and 28th.

Visitors to this event helped to raise nearly £13,000 for charitable causes.





Cathedral open GardensTwo cheques, each for £4,500, were presented by Events Manager Emma Clarke and Senior Gardener Luke Matlock.

These were given to Carol Townsend and Carol Reed from Soroptomist International on behalf of the Meru Women’s Garden Project in Kenya and to Jessica Maddocks from the Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN) .

The remainder of the money raised during the May weekend has been given to the National Garden Scheme (NGS) to be distributed between their chosen charities.







Our share of £4,500 will go such a long way towards supporting  women of Meru County to establish their own sustainable kitchen garden, feed their families and even earn a small income by selling excess produce at market.





565AB25A-5BD4-4554-A11C-618B628C3EE5SIGBI clubs are currently supporting 194 women through the project, in which they receive training, seeds, plants, tools and equipment, including access to a water tank. The year long project, costing around £300 per family, also provides a mentor (for two years) and education on eco issues and health and nutrition.

multi storey garden












IMG_3026In addition we are supporting CIFORD (Community Initatives for Rural development) to run seminars on ‘Alternative Rites of Passage to FGM’ for girls to discourage this harmful practice which is prevalent in the area.

The weekend or week long seminars provide girls with the education they need to make informed choices and discuss the issues knowledgably with their families. A similar seminar is planned for boys in December 2017 which will include FGM issues as well as education on drug and alcohol abuse.





oresidents dinner group2SI Canterbury celebrated President Yvonne’s successful year with a dinner at Howfield Manor Hotel.

Members and partners enjoyed good food and great conversation and friendship.

Yvonne thanked members for celebrating with her at her President’s Dinner and for their support over the last year.

Members thanked Yvonne for her leadership, support, encouragement and hard work.






2017 AGM groupOn Thursday April 27th SI Canterbury held their annual AGM at the Kent and Canterbury Club.

DAwn R's inductionThe meeting began with new member Dawn Ryder being inducted into the club by President Yvonne.

Dawn has attended several meetings and club lunches and members were delighted to welcome her.

This induction brought the number of members in SI Canterbury to twenty two, a significant rise over the last club year.







My inductionFollowing the formal AGM and election of officers, Yvonne handed over the chain of office to new president Carol Townsend, who presented her programme and vision for the year.

Sue's PECarol’s first task was to welcome Suganya Smith as president elect before leading the club meeting that followed.











Yvonne and Carol ISI Canterbury held their second International Women’s Day Dinner on Wednesday March 8th to celebrate the social, economic and political achievements of women.

The day also marked a call to action for accelerating gender parity reminding us that each of us – men and women joining forces – can collectively help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies the world over.

The dinner hosted at Howfield Manor Hotel, Canterbury, was attended by 50 guests, including Soroptimist International South East England Region President Carol Infanti and Federation Councillors Susie Forbes and Angela Edwards.


DancingDuring the evening, guests enjoyed pre-dinner drinks and were entertained by the Maridadi Singers and Drummers, a local community choir and drum group.

This was followed by a delicious three course meal and an inspiring after dinner speech by Dame Heather Rabbatts (DBE) who spoke to us about her inspiring life and career.

Heather RabbattsHeather’s biography ranges across law, Government, sport and media. This is particularly impressive for someone who was written off at school, leaving with no qualifications and the advice that she would not amount to much ringing in her ears.

During her talk, Heather successfully demonstrated the International Women’s Day theme for 2017: ‘Be Bold For Change, and take ground-breaking action that truly drives the greatest change for women’.

HR talking


She was an excellent and inspiring speaker and was enthusiastically received by our members and guests.

In addition to celebrating International Women’s Day, we were delighted to raise £400 for the Meru Women’s Garden Project in Kenya, a project supported by SI Canterbury and Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI).



C176F6E9-53A1-404F-B0C9-CD7DEAB6350COn 12th March, SI Canterbury held a ‘Day of Reflection and Refreshment’ at Chartham village hall.

The aims  of the day were to help new members gain a wider knowledge of Soroptimist International, our federation and our club, to review the club’s achievements both past and present, to get to know each other better,  to develop a vision for SI Canterbury moving forwards  and to formulate a Club Development Plan.



The day was very well attended, with members sharing their skills and experience, reflecting on and discussing our practice and putting forward ideas for our Programme Action work. We also enjoyed a delicious bring and share lunch in true Soroptimist style.

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IMG_2481At our March Club Meeting, Club President, Yvonne, presented a cheque for £500 to Vicky Adley, Fundraising and Development Officer of East Kent Hospitals Charity.

The cheque was in aid of their Dementia Appeal which will support patients with dementia when they are admitted to hospital.

The appeal aims to raise £500,000 to spend across the five hospitals of East Kent. It aims to fund multiple projects to make the time spent in hospital by patients with dementia, more successful and enjoyable.

SI Canterbury raised the funds at our very successful Well-Being Day held at Kent and Canterbury hospital in February and members were delighted to support such a worthwhile appeal.




yogaSoroptimists of Canterbury held a very successful Well-Being Day in February, with the help of East Kent Hospital Trust. Members and friends joined together for fun, friendship and relaxation.

Treatments on offer included various massages, reflexology, Reiki, yoga and a healthy lunch.

A real air of well-being ensued with members assisting together with Vicky Adley, the Fundraising and Development Manager of the East Kent Hospital Charity.

massage£1000 was raised on the day which is a fantastic achievement. This will be split equally between the Dementia Appeal for the hospital charity and the Meru Women’s Garden Project supported by SI Canterbury and SIGBI.

We thank everyone for their support, especially our wonderful therapists who donated their time and talents for these good causes.




Tricia's inductionLater in the month, at our February club meeting SI Canterbury President Yvonne, formally welcomed a new member to our club.

Tricia Emlyn-Williams had attended meetings and social events over several months and this completed her induction as a Soroptimist.

Club members were looking forward to working with her and had no doubt that she would make a positive and enthusiastic contribution to our Programme Action work and to club activities.





Suganya well being meeting Feb 2017A very informative talk about Women’s Wellbeing was also presented  to our February club meeting by club member Suganya, a physiotherapist in the NHS.

Members found the talk interesting and useful, all agreeing that they had learnt many tips which would help them maintain their future well-being.







Three new members Jan 2017We were delighted to formally induct three new members into our club at our January 2017 meeting.

Lyn Quine, Jo Cope and Susan Booth had been attending meetings and social events for several months and we were thrilled that they had decided to join the club.

Lyn learned about Soroptimist International from our website, Jo learned about us from one of our members and Susan came to us as a guest speaker and stayed!

We were looking forward to working with all three on our various Programme Action activities and were sure that they would bring many talents and skills to the club.