We have all sorts of events for fundraising and also just for having fun!
Links with Girlguiding UK
In recent years Soroptimist International of Great Britain have formed links with Girlguiding UK and SI High Wycombe have followed up with local Girlguiding groups.
Two members of SI High Wycombe went to receive boxes and bowls made by the Chalfont St. Giles Guides Senior group for Wycombe Women’s Aid. The boxes contain toys and Christmas presents for children and the washing up bowls are for when the adults move into their own accommodation.
High Wycombe and District Soroptimists Join 10th Anniversary Celebrations
On a glorious summer’s day members of SIHW were delighted to be invited to support the 10th anniversary of Dosti, an Asian women’s group. Dosti means “friendship” in both Hindu and Punjabi, and the group meets to spread friendship throughout the Asian community and to widen their contact with local organisations. SIHW has helped the group in the past and continues to support them.
The women are keen on handicrafts and have learned how to crochet. They made a lovely banner for the occasion in which every member had crocheted a square and these were assembled to form a very impressive anniversary wall hanging (see photo above).
There was a huge amount of food for the women and their guests, which was rapidly devoured. Our contribution of cakes went down well. We heard from High Wycombe’s Mayor and the event was also supported by several councillors. All who attended enjoyed a friendly and happy celebration.
Summer Lunch and Activities
Our summer lunch was held in Bianca’s beautiful garden. After the food and wine we (and our guests) made up washing up bowls for the Wycombe Women’s Refuge.
SI London Chilterns Summer Meeting
On 10th June, our Club hosted the Regional Conference at Beaconsfield Golf Club on a gloriously sunny day. We had a great turn-out with over 70 members from the regional clubs and excellent speakers, including Margaret Clark from SI Middlesbrough who spoke on the 17 SI Sustainable Development Goals. She emphasised the need for us all to lobby, influence and petition to raise awareness of our projects.
Our past President Jan Still then presented a cheque for over £1400 to our local Rape Crisis team to help them continue their excellent work.
We also heard from Phil Goodall, a Probation officer with the Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company. Our Club assisted Phil to set up a Women’s Health and Lifestyle programme. This is a structured programme for women released from prison, which helps them in practical ways, for example in losing weight, improving self-image, developing wellbeing and setting and achieving lifetime goals. We were delighted to hear that of the 8 women we sponsored on the programme, 6 had completed successfully and gone on to employment, education and improved lifestyles. Sadly of the two who did not complete, one was returned to prison and the other is now in secure mental accommodation. We hope to continue supporting this project in future.
Kate Moore, a Soroptimist who has travelled the world and into some very scary places, spoke of her campaign to ban Cluster Bombs. She showed us some horrifying little green balls, which look very attractive to a child, and which kill and maim thousands each year. We were urged to petition to ban these weapons and were photographed for the campaign, holding up petition cards.
Dinner with Speaker at Flackwell Heath Golf Club
Our speaker Brian Higgins J.P. presents a cheque to a member of RapeCrisis staff while Regional President Jen Simpson (left) and SI High Wycombe President Jan Still (right) look on.
On Saturday 8th April we held a fund-raising dinner with speaker at Flackwell Heath Golf Club in aid of Wycombe, Chilterns and South Buck branch of Rape Crisis. Our speaker was Brian Higgins J.P. who is a cyber-crime expert and advisor to the Ministry of Justice. His entertaining and highly informative talk and quiz kept us gripped, and we all learned a lot and went home promptly to change passwords and install security on our mobiles and laptops. A very successful raffle and an excellent meal made for a most enjoyable evening. Brian very kindly donated a sum from the Women’s Security Society, where he is a token male board member, taking our total for the evening to just under £1000. We will be presenting Rape Crisis with a cheque for the total amount which we have raised during the year at our Regional meeting on 17th June.
Members were recently invited to join together for a “hygge” evening. If you have not encountered this before it means friendship, sharing, and enjoyment which is something our members are very good at! We all met at our kind hostess Jane Herrick’s home and enjoyed a laughter filled evening with quite a lot of chocolate comestibles, pancakes, and a gin and tonic cake made by President Jan Still that definitely packed a punch. We played a hilarious game of “consequences” which broke the ice and our free-ranging discussions covered disastrous driving tests and other unfortunate incidents, and we all enjoyed ourselves hugely (or should that be hyggely?)
A hilarious time was had by all attendees at the Beetle Drive. Some teams had honed their dice throwing and beetle drawing to a fine art by the end of the evening and our ‘grey cells’ were exercised by the quiz which we completed while eating the supper prepared by our team of chefs. In all we raised £324 for this year’s charities.
Bag Packing for Rape Crisis 19th December 2016.
This year our President’s charity is the High Wycombe branch of Rape Crisis. An organisation dedicated to helping women and girls who have suffered rape. Members of SI High Wycombe helped staff and volunteers from Rape Crisis to pack customers’ bags at Waitrose High Wycombe. We wore Rape Crisis sashes and collected with buckets at the store entrance. We also gave out leaflets for Rape Crisis. We helped customers place items on the conveyor, bag up their shopping, and then helped them steer trolleys to their cars (sometimes quite tricky given the load in some trolleys!).
We each did hourly sessions, and took it in turns to collect outside and help in store, to avoid getting too cold. Shoppers were jolly, kind and generous. We raised £305 to help improve facilities at the Crisis Centre. More importantly, two victims felt able to speak to us and gain referral to advice and help.
Supporting The Friends of Milton’s Cottage and learning from the past
‘Good, the more communicated, more abundant grows.’ John Milton. Paradise Lost. Book V.
Milton’s Cottage, Chalfont St Giles, is the only surviving home of the visionary poet and political writer, John Milton. It was in this 16th century cottage that he completed his epic masterpiece, Paradise Lost and was inspired to write its sequel, Paradise Regained. Today, Milton’s Cottage is open to the public as a museum housing one of the world’s most important collections relating to the writer on open display. The three museum rooms contain rare books, paintings and prints that give a unique insight into Milton’s life, work and influence.
John Milton’s poetry and prose reflect a passionate defence of freedom and self-determination. Milton is best known for writing the poems ‘Paradise Lost’ and ‘Paradise Regained’. In 1644 he wrote a tract, Areopagitica, still regarded as one of the most inspiring defences of press freedom ever published. It forms the basis of many of today’s views on freedom of speech.
We held a lunch for members and guests on 7th August 2016 to network, to learn about Milton, and to raise funds for this local charity which is totally reliant on donations. We raised £160.
For more information visit http://www.miltonscottage.org/
Members and guests enjoy the sunshine
Gifts for Wycombe Women’s Aid
Wycombe Women’s Aid is a registered charity working in the Wycombe, South Bucks and Chiltern Districts of Buckinghamshire. They work with women and children who are experiencing or trying to escape domestic violence, and who are dealing with its effects and consequences.
Over the past seven years we have been putting together gifts for the ladies.At Christmas we fill brightly wrapped boxes with beauty products. So far we have donated at least 20 Christmas boxes every year.
In 2014 we started donating kitchen starter packs as well – a moving-in present for ladies entering temporary accommodation. We fill washing up bowls with washing and cleaning products, and a few fun items and wrap them attractively. On 13 July 2016 we donated a further 13 bowls, bringing our total to 32.
Wycombe Women’s Aid said: ‘On behalf of WWA thank you very much for the 13 washing up bowls gift parcels that you kindly dropped off to us earlier this week. Can you please thank all concerned at the Soroptimists for their kindness and generosity and for choosing yet again to support our charity. The parcels are still very much appreciated and we really enjoy being able to give them to the women. They are always so beautifully presented and it is clear that a lot of time and thought has gone into each one.
We really appreciate the continued, year round support from the Soroptimists – please be assured that your contributions are directly benefiting the women and children we work with.’
Our 2016 Charter Tea at Smith and Kittle, Beaconsfield
President Jan with members of DOSHTI Charity that helps isolated Asian women in High Wycombe
Kathleen and Anne present a cheque to their charity Community Rehabilitation Project
In November 2015 we met at a member’s home to make Christmas boxes for Wycombe Women’s Aid
Some of our clubs members and friends enjoying SIGBI conference, Glasgow 2015
In July 2015 we spent a lovely day visiting Roy Strong’s garden near Hereford with our friendship club SI Worcester.
Our Charter Afternoon tea on the Thames 2015
Making up kitchen bowls for Wycombe Women’s Aid
Enjoying a charity dinner event at the wonderful Caldesi in Campagna in Bray
Helping SI Bath celebrate their 90th Charter Anniversary