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Raising Awareness about Programme Action

 Using Social Media and our Website

The Club website is constantly being updated with the latest news on our Programme Action (projects). Simultaneously, social media has been used to to promote this as well as Club events and special meetings where guest speakers have been invited. We use four social media platforms to promote ourselves i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.  The majority of posts and adverts on social media lead people directly to SI Epsom’s website where they can find out about the various projects we are involved with.  

Working with organisations 

We work with many different organisations and charities and in May 2017, we invited representatives from some of them to talk about their work and share experiences. Michelle from ESDAS (East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services),  DCI Clive with Sarbjit from True Honour(right photo), Cathy from My Time for Young Carers and Lorraine from African Vision Malawi (centre photo) all gave us insights into their work and expressed their gratitude for our support and encouragement. Since then, we have continued to work with True Honour in supporting their trustees and their funding bids.  Our involvement with African Vision Malawi grew into supporting a young girl, Grace, through school and then into university. You can read about our support of Grace here: Sponsoring a young woman’s education in Malawi     Amazing Grace!

Charlotte Kneer, CEO, I Choose Freedom, (formally Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid ) ( left photo) is an honorary member of our Club. We have supported the charity for several years with donations of money, Trauma Teddies and other toys as well planting trees at one of the refuges. 

Where in the World?

SI Epsom members do their best to raise awareness of Soroptimist International.  We don’t want it to be a well kept secret!  Few people realise that we belong to a worldwide organisation.  Founded in 1921, Soroptimist International is a global volunteer movement with a network of over 75,000 club members in 122 countries. Advocating for human rights and gender equality, at the heart of Soroptimist International’s advocacy is its work across six UN Centres, where our UN representatives ensure that the voices of women and girls are heard. Our membership work on grassroots projects that help women and girls achieve their individual and collective potential, realise aspirations and have an equal voice in communities worldwide.

We have worked around the world. Below are some examples of our support for communities over the years.

In 2011, we supported flood victims in Pakistan by providing solar lighting We Lit up a Village

In June 2017,  we set up our promotional stall at Ashtead Rotary Village Day and were able to show people a map of the world and highlight where Soroptimists Clubs existed.

In Sept 2019,  we ran a stall at Polesden Lacy Donkey Derby  and raised awareness  about our toilet twinning project for two schools in Malawi. Toilet Twinning

In June 2022, at Ashtead Rotary Village Day we sold badges and flowers with funding going towards supporting families from Lviv.  Ukraine – Supporting Lviv 

 A stitch in time

This isn’t something that is usually associated with Soroptimists, but we raised funds for My Time for Young Carers by selling our knitted creations at craft fairs and events.  Handmade toys and baby clothes fit beautifully with the ethos of the charity, which is to support children whose home lives are really stressful because of family illness and disability.  Diana is a champion at producing toys for carers! My Time for Young Carers 

In 2022,  we began knitting Trauma Teddies for children involved in traumatic incidents. Teddies have been knitted by friends of Soroptimists as well. Teddies have been distributed to Surrey Police ( left photo) for their patrol cars and video suites when dealing with abused children. They have been included in I Choose Freedom ( a Refuge) Welcome Packs for families and Epsom and Ewell Foodbank Christmas packages.  Other points of distribution will be found soon. Trauma Teddies Supporting Children

Trafficking Conference: Raising awareness of the vulnerability of young people

In September 2010,  Soroptimists up and down the country remember this conference well.  The event attracted 140 delegates and a long list of high-profile speakers.  It was just one example of how members raise awareness about issues that affect women and girls around the world.  The Purple Teardrop Campaign had been set up by fellow Soroptimists some time before our event and highlighted the needs of women trafficked around the world but the SI Epsom conference made people aware of the vulnerability of young boys and girls in this trade.  It is heartening to know that an event such as this, that  the commitment of others has made people so much more aware of trafficking.  It has brought a change of legislation, so that traffickers are much more likely to be arrested and punished for their crimes and it has brought a greater understanding of the plight of the victims of trafficking, who are now shown more empathy. The Club were later presented by Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) with a certificate for delivering the conference.