Thank you for taking time to visit our site. Your contact is especially welcome, as very soon we will be celebrating our 60th birthday!
We’re a small group of like-minded women at SI Epsom who believe that through practical means and by raising awareness of issues that effect women and their families around the world, we can make a difference. We cover a large area and although we are based in the Borough of Epsom and Ewell, the London Borough of Sutton and Mole Valley are in our ‘patch’.
We endeavour to make our meetings ‘user friendly’ and keep business to a minimum. We enjoy presentations by speakers from various local and international organisations and talks by specialists in a wide range of occupations. But we go back to the statement made at a recent SIGBI conference, “Programme Action (the ‘doing’ part of our programme) is not just an item on the agenda, it IS the agenda!”.
Our continued financial support for ‘our Grace’ in Malawi is something of which we are justifiably proud. Sponsoring this youngster through secondary education is what we Soroptimists believe in and we know that every scrap of learning that she can benefit from, will give her a better chance in the future. We will continue to help the work of African Vision Malawi through fundraising activities, as well as East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services (ESDAS), True Honour and My Time for Young Carers. Members have been really generous with their support for Stripey Stork, a local charity that collects ‘pre-loved’ babies’ and childrens’ wear, toys and equipment for families in need.
We have always cared about carers. In 1998 we set up Mid-Surrey Young Carers, because young people with caring responsibilities were largely ignored. In 2012, when that initiative was taken over by another charity, members rallied around to replace the regular club and holiday activities that had been lost. ‘My Time for Young Carers’ was born – a practical example of how we can make a difference. In 2013, My Time achieved charitable status and are working closely with other statutory and voluntary sector organisations that support young people. The project has grown! In 2012, 8 young carers attended the first meeting in Ewell, with 10 volunteer drivers and helpers. The charity now runs 11 sessions per month in 5 locations. Approximately 100 young people are members and over 40 volunteers help deliver activities and provide transport. At first, the project worked with children in the 8 to 12 age range in Ewell and Dorking, but as they grew older, so did the age limit. Now secondary school carers are catered for in My Time+ groups in Ewell, Dorking and Fetcham. A more recent devlopment is the launch of a weekly after-school club at Trinity School, Leatherhead.
With the last twelve months bringing a greater awareness of equality and the need to end violence against women and girls, members have been pro-active in their support for ESDAS and True Honour. We are in the middle of a campaign that targets local companies, asking that they make available to their staff contact details for ESDAS and leaflets that make clear the indicators of an abusive relationship. The charity True Honour strives to expunge violence within various clutures – Female Genital Mutilation, ‘Honour Killings’, Forced Marriage and Modern-day Slavery. We fund-raise for the organisation and aim to bring about a greater understanding of the these crimes within the general public and especially amongst politicians and lawmakers.
All Soroptimist clubs have Friendship Links around the world. We value the opportunity to engage with them. Our Volunteering In Pretoria project links us with SI Pretoria Tshwane and we work together to deliver a volunteering project. VIP offers an opportunity to two young women to spend six months as interns in that area, working in schools and a support centre for vunerable girls and women. We have also helped at an event in London that raised funds for an orphanage supported by SI Lviv. Epsom members attended a dinner in aid of the children’s home and were able to explain our connection with Lviv and what Soroptimism is all about. Funds raised have been transferred to our friends in the Ukraine to support their work with the orphanage.
If you wish, you can view our programme on this site and if you are tempted to visit, we promise that you will be made very welcome. See you soon, we hope.