As part of the celebration of the first centenary of Soroptimist International in 2021, more than 100 Soroptimists have been selected to be commemorated as part of the #WhoIsShe? Campaign. These #WhoIsShe? campaign members have all been nominated by Soroptimist Clubs for their noteworthy contribution to society in the furtherance of the aims and objects of the organisation. Anne MacDonald OBE was Director of Nursing in a Children’s Hospital, and later an Independent Consultant in Children’s Nursing. She won a Health Service Journal award and was joint winner of a Calouste-Gulbenkian award, both for introducing innovative ways of improving quality of hospital child care. She has written and lectured extensively about raising standards of care, and spoke at home and abroad about her work on the Allitt Inquiry Team. She was awarded an OBE in the 1995 New Year’s Honours for services to Paediatric Nursing. For more
A number of club members got together on Zoom to discuss the latest book Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owen. The prose and descriptions of the wildlife were beautiful. Although it could have been a harrowing read, considering the storyline, it didn’t feel too grim. It was an easy read, with some twists and turns. and we all gave it a thumbs up. Club members continue to get together for socials and project work. See out Events page for more details of upcoming activities and events. Our next book club read is I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban, by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb. We will meet on Monday 21 September 2020 at 8pm. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join in on Zoom.
Soroptimists are all about actions – we are ‘Women inspiring action, transforming lives”, and each year we celebrate with a Day of Action, where we reflect on what we are doing to help and transform the lives of women and girls. This year we are reflecting on how Soroptimists are staying connected with each other and with our communities during this global pandemic. Here are some examples: Staying Connected with each other: We have been staying connected with each other through video calls – meeting socially and to discuss ongoing projects. We use Zoom, and we also made sure we had the facility to allow telephone dial-in for people who didn’t want to use a video-calling service. Staying Connected with our partners: Many of the charities and projects we support have been significantly impacted by the global pandemic, with fundraising opportunities disappearing. We have continued to
SI Chester raises awareness of Modern Day Slavery (MDS) and Human Trafficking. We have given talks: Chester U3A University of Chester Healthcare Students Several local WI groups University Diversity & Inclusion Day Storyhouse Women’s Weekend Ali Ussery (Haven of Light) gave a talk at a Club Dinner to members from our club and other clubs in the region. We have lobbied the Police & Crime Commissioner about the lack of funding for the Cheshire Anti-Slavery Network, and we are hopeful that meetings will recommence in 2020. It is known that hotels can be used to provide a venue for sex slaves. We are checking the MDS Statements Re: Ethical Supply Chains on the websites of Chester Hotels. Our work comes under the umbrella of UN Sustainable Development Goals: 5 – Gender Equality. This seeks to end all forms of discrimination against women and to eliminate
If you are wondering if you can join this wonderful women’s organisation Soroptimist International during lockdown, the answer is: Yes you can! A new member joined Soroptimist International – Chester recently. SI Chester moved our meetings online, and that didn’t stop us welcoming a new member to the club. Pat (middle row, second from left) recently moved to the Chester area and was looking for friendship and community and was interested in joining our women’s organisation. We were pleased that our new member joined SI Chester at our monthly meeting in April despite the fact that we are Soroptimists In Lockdown. If you are interested in joining contact us here or email email@example.com
On the 12th June several club members made a visit to Stockport for a tour of Smartworks. This is a charity with six UK offices that aims to help long term unemployed women to get a job. Assistance may be offered to any woman who has a confirmed job interview for a paid position. Women are often referred via a Job Centre or a charity that supports women trying to get back into employment. The Charity offers not only clothes but confidence building in the run up to the interview. SI Chester members have agreed to adopt this as one of their projects for 2019 – 2020 and will be donating suitable clothes, as well as organising collections of clothes locally.
Storyhouse Women Weekend is a celebration of what it means to be a women or a girl in the world today, and a chance to explore and discuss topics that affect anyone who identifies as a woman or a girl. A safe space to discuss and tackle these issues together. There was a line-up of incredible women who shared their stories and experiences with Chester, and events to inspire and enable everyone to create change. On Friday, 26th April, Club Member, Jane, gave a short presentation on the Purple Community Fund (PCF) to 70 children from three local High Schools. Jane described how the schools could assist us by collecting ring pulls from drinks cans and Anne modelled some of the fabulous handbags made by the women in the Philippines. For more information about the clubs involvement click here. On Saturday Wendy gave another talk
Friends, family and fellow Soroptimists gathered together in Chester to celebrate the 4th anniversary for chartering the club. We held a successful quiz night at Westminster Park Community Centre with 20 tables competing for the main prize – a hamper of goodies. Quizzers were also able to buy raffle tickets and we raised a magnificent £671 for Classrooms in the Clouds. SI Chester have been supporting @CitCNepal over the last 3 years, and we were more than happy to raise extra funds for new projects and a proposed teacher exchange program to build on the Educate to Lead grant that they successfully bid for in 2017.
During the weekend of the 15th & 16th December members spent their time gift wrapping books in the City branch of Waterstone’s Book Shop. Customers were able to have their books beautifully wrapped whilst making a donation to one of our main Charities – Classrooms in the Clouds. We are currently trying to raise enough money to enable a teacher exchange programme between one of our local schools and a school in a very remote area of Nepal.
On Saturday, 15th December Chester: Suffragette City was held at the University to celebrate 100 years since women first voted in Chester. It was an interesting day with speakers including Emma Rees, Director of Chester’s Institute of Gender Studies, as well as Helen Pankhurst, granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst. There was also an interesting session in conversation with former City MP, Christine Russell and current Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Samantha Dixon. During the day the Chester Centenary Banner was unveiled as well as an amazing plaque which recognises the first female Mayor of Chester (Phyllis Brown) and the first female Sheriff of the City (Kate Clarke). This will eventually be situated on the front of the Town Hall.