Soroptimists in Flintshire Progress Report


Final Report to Region Meeting June 2019

The group began meeting in April 2017 with a final meeting in March 2019 – a total of 20 meetings

Active Committee members

Stella McKay-Moffat (Lead) SI Wallasey

Region Federation Councillor Hilary Laidler SI Ellesmere Port

Shirley Jones, Federation Exec. SI Rhyl

Region Development Officer Kathryn Lewis (following election in 2018) SI Nantwich

Attendance

21 potential members attended meetings. Five of these attended the following number of times:                 1 x 17*meetings

1 x 10……….1 x 9……….1 x 7……….1 x 5*

The remaining number attended mainly on just one occasion.  One lady attended the last meeting for the first time and seemed very interested.

An additional 22 ladies who had left their contact details at an event, or had been identified as possibly interested, were contacted and invited to a meeting. There was little or no response from any of them.

The 2 members highlighted by *above intend to become Associate Members.  They plan to continue to meet and undertake project work in the hope that others will join them. The new lady attending the last meeting wished to attend.

Events

Numerous opportunities to raise awareness and funds were taken during the two years e.g. summer and Christmas fayres, and events celebrating women’s achievements. An Equaliteas event was organised by the Group with good attendance, and an event to mark International Women’s Day, with stalls and speakers, elicited some interest, although disappointing for the work involved. It must be acknowledged, that the practical support of some existing Soroptimists from other Clubs enabled attendance at these events as only a very small number of the potential members felt able to staff a stall.

Projects

Despite small numbers, members of the Group achieved a considerable amount

Mary’s Meals charity

  • 38 backpacks were sent (including 6 from a local Brownies Group) and following a talk about the charity, a local primary school sent them funds

Domestic Abuse & Support Unit

  • 12 exit buckets were delivered to the Unit for the Women’s Refuge, along with a supply of ladies knickers and bedding that the Unit had identified as needed

Human Trafficking

  • Members raised awareness of human trafficking at events attended by collecting signatures for the Purple Teardrop Campaign
  • One member joined an existing Soroptimists raising awareness of ‘Pop-up brothels’ with hotels in part of North Wales

Programme Focus Report Forms were completed

Marketing

This included use of social media; distribution of flyers and information leaflets by hand and electronically via email; word of mouth; awareness-raising at events with collection of contact details of potential members; and even a slot on the local radio.

Meeting Venue

Initially the Council Offices in Connah’s Quay proved a very satisfactory venue with facilities for speakers’ presentations. Following negotiation on price by one of the potential members, a room at the Deeside Leisure Centre was used as a more cost effective venue as facilities for presentations were no longer needed.

 Finances

Costs for developing the Group was funded by Region until July 2018 onto self-funding from September. Members and visitors small fee for refreshments at each meeting contributed to the General Fund.  This was boosted by a generous donation from a Soroptimists to support development costs. Soroptimists travel costs to meetings and events were self-financed ensuring no financial burden.

Project work was funded by items given by Group members for direct donation e.g. content of the first batch of exit buckets and the backpacks, or for sale at events attended.  The Group’s Helping Fund was used to pay for some of the project work e.g. the knickers, bedding and second batch of exit buckets.

From the self-funding time, SI Rhyl’s Treasure banked funds for the Group and met financial claims from the funds.  This has enabled the funds to be audited as part of SI Rhyl’s annual audit process.

It is with great sadness and disappointment that viability of the Group has not been achieved, particularly after such a great deal of hard work.

Stella McKay-Moffat 8thApril 2019