SI Heswall & District recently held the club’s AGM and change of insignia. Retiring presidents Cynthia Duggan and Jenny Wilson welcomed new presidents Iris Batman and Sandra Morris. For the forthcoming year Iris and Sandra have chosen two charities which the club will support. The Wirral Fund for Children with Special Needs (WFCSN) works locally to improve the daily lives of local children. Bees for Development, a UK charity which helps some of the world’s poorest people become self sufficient through beekeeping.
At this year’s Charity Dinner members welcomed guests from the three charities which the Club has supported during the past year. Members have held fundraising events in aid of Health Help International hhi.org.uk Parkinson’s www.parkinsons.org.uk and Tomorrow’s Women Wirral www.tomorrowswomen.org.uk Molly and Chrissy from Tomorrow’s Women Wirral gave a talk and presentation on TYW – Tomorrow’s Young Women – a project offering support and guidance to young women aged 14 – 17.
International Women’s Day is a global day when Soroptimists celebrate women’s achievements and raising awareness against bias. Also taking action for equality and making a positive difference for women. It was founded more than a century ago after more than 15,000 women marched in New York City to demand better working conditions and voting rights. This year the focus is on ‘Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’ with the theme of Break The Bias. SI Heswall members wore purple at their recent meeting – the official colour of International Women’s Day. The guest speaker at the meeting was Murray Dale from Water Aid who spoke about the range of projects which Water Aid is currently supporting and which focus on improving opportunities and benefits for women and girls. From Water Aid on International Women’s Day 2022 ‘This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the women that
Members of SI Heswall hosted a concert for their families and friends with a programme of popular music by the SingMe Merseyside choir directed by Billy Hui, the choir’s Musical Director. The entertainment was followed by tea and home-made cakes. A very enjoyable gathering was a welcome chance to chat and catch up with friends as well as raising funds for the club Presidents’ charities.
Gayton Park was selected for a small community project as part of Wirral Council’s planting program this year within the Tree, Hedgerow and Woodland Strategy to improve Wirral’s tree canopy. A hedgerow and orchard with future community use in mind were recently planted at the park. Several Soroptimists represented the club and took part in planting fruit trees to establish an orchard.
Think of Spring and snowdrops come to mind. Members recently took advantage of fine weather to visit Ness Botanic Gardens to see the spectacular displays of snowdrops around the gardens. Carpets of many of the varieties in the collection held by Ness were a highlight of the woodland areas. Witch hazels, camellias, rhododendrons and hellebores showing colour were a promise of Spring too. “Snowdrops: Theirs is a fragile but hardy celebration…in the very teeth of winter.” Louise Beebe Wilder (1878-1938)
An afternoon of packing back packs in a member’s garage achieved a splendid total of 55 packs to be send out by Mary’s Meals. Over recent months members of SI Heswall have been collecting the rucksacks and items to fill them ranging from soap, toothpaste and toothbrush to writing materials and shoes and clothes. The backpack project supports the charity’s work to provide life-changing meals to some of the world’s poorest children every school day in their place of education.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is 25th November and marks the start of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls initiated in 1991. This year’s theme is ‘Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now’. At their meeting on 25th November SI Heswall members wore orange and donated a wide range of orange foods and toiletries for the Food Bank recognising its support for women who have been victims of gender-based violence.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and Heswall Soroptimists marked this with a pink themed evening. Members wore pink and held a pink raffle to raise funds for Breast Cancer Now. A light-hearted quiz with a pink theme followed an excellent talk by Maureen Sayer on the current statistics and research findings on breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Awareness message was spread locally with posters and collection points for bras which have been sent to Smalls for All Home
SI Heswall held a candle lighting ceremony to celebrate 100 years of Soroptimist International. Candles were lit to remember Soroptimist International, SIGBI Federation, Cheshire, North Wales and Wirral Region, and SI Heswall. Through a play several members took the meeting along the timeline of the past one hundred years and introduced a few of women who have made great contributions to the evolving organisation.