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Zimbabwe Educational Trust.

We were very pleased to link up with Leeds Soroptimists recently on Zoom. The meeting started with each club giving a report on their Programme Action activities and then we had 2 speakers from the Zimbabwe Educational Trust. This organisation helps to educate 240 girls each year and I particularly noted two quotes the organisation is about empowering women through education so they can shape their  own futures and provide for others. They also try to address the gender equality problem by delivering the message to communities that women are worthy of education and can contribute to the workforce.


Soroptimists walk 500 miles for carers in East Sussex

by | Jul 28, 2020 | Carer News

The Eastbourne and District club of Soroptimist International has pledged to collectively walk 500 miles between 1st and 30th September 2020 to raise funds for Care for the Carers. Club members will walk with family members or in small, socially-distanced groups, and are seeking sponsorship for this epic challenge!

The club has selected Care for the Carers as it’s charity of the year, and kick-started it’s fundraising for the charity by holding a virtual ‘Food to Make You Feel Good’ event early during the coronavirus pandemic.

Club President, Lynne Chiswick, says: “As well as raising funds for Care for the Carers by selecting them as our charity of the year, I’m hopeful that as a club we’ll also be able to raise awareness of carers and the support available to them, as many carers just don’t know that there is help out there, and just struggle on alone.”

“The plight of unpaid carers is of particular interest to us as a club focusing on improving the life chances of women and girls because research shows that gender is an important factor in the distribution of informal caring responsibilities in the UK. Roughly 58% of carers are female and in the two age brackets with the largest number of informal carers – 24 to 49 and 50 to 64 – women are more likely than men to be providing unpaid care.”

“500 miles won’t be easy to achieve, as we’re only a small group, and some of us have mobility problems, so it will be quite a task!”

Further information is available at;







Dementia Twiddle Muffs

Members of the club have been busy knitting and have made 33 muffs so far.  Below is Past President Julie who initiated the project in her year presenting the muffs to Hannah.

Hannah, the daughter of Lotte, a Soroptimist,  works on the frailty ward at the Eastbourne District General  Hospital and the patients can be given a muff that has buttons, ribbon, braid and different kinds of material attached for the patients to fiddle with and twiddle – hence the name:-  Twiddle muffs. The project will continue as at this covid time. These are individual and the patients can take them home. So a new set is required for new patients.

Dementia Blankets

Members have been knitting during Covid. The small knee blankets of bright colours are for the dementia patients who know their own blanket and it is hoped this will help them to find their way back to their bed or chair. So far the club members have made forty blankets.  Pictured below several of the knitters.

This picture shows President Lynne handing over the blankets to Hannah.




Eastbourne & District Soroptimists help with beach clean

A group of members with the help of some family members took part in the first day of the Eastbourne Community Beach clean organised by Plastic Free Eastbourne. 3 groups of 4-5 people collected any litter, debris and general detritus along 3 beaches per group ( beaches divided by groynes), taking care to abide by Covid 19 guidelines for social distancing.

Our club had booked the Chair of Plastic Free Eastbourne as a speaker in order to heighten our awareness of a critical issue that we wished to be part of our awareness raising within our Programme Action focus. The cleanliness of our beaches is crucial to the health of the planet, our local economy and peoples well being. The Eastbourne and District Club is always keen to work in partnership with other organisations in our community

3 groups of club members spent 2 hours scouring identified beaches, collecting any rubbish that they found and completing a Marine Conservation Society Survey sheet. This data identified many categories of detritus found on  beaches from small pieces of plastic and bottle tops to abandoned lobster pots.

At first glance the beaches seemed rubbish free, but after careful inspection, each of the 3 groups collected approximately one and half to two kilos of rubbish in 2 hours. The rubbish was made up many small pieces of plastic, cigarette ends, bottle tops and individual sauce/condiment sachets. The final tally from the whole two days is not yet known.

Plastic Free Eastbourne arranged media coverage of the event, for which one of our club members and her children were interviewed and featured on the local TV news, thus raising awareness of the project.  We also shared photos and narrative about the project on our social media page, raising awareness of the organisation.

Club member Jo was on Meridian TV to explain the importance of caring for the environment.


Key workers and Volunteers during Covid 19

Members of our club are key workers or volunteers, working in the NHS, directing services for carers, delivering and collecting tests for the ONS, helping at the food bank, offering telephone support, delivering items to people who are shielding and working in a supermarket.


Virtual “Coffee and Cake” morning

We also recently held a successful virtual “Coffee and Cake” morning in support of the Women’s Refuge and are planning a “Food to Feel Good” day in support of Care for the Carers.  


Some photos of ‘Food to Make You Feel Good’ made by members.


2.6 Challenge

Club members took part in a variety of sponsored activities the 2.6 challenge to successfully raise funds for our local hospice (St Wilfrid’s) and St John’s Ambulance.