We are actively involved in a variety of issues affecting the local community :
1) Community Support
We continue our support of St. Luke’s Church Hoylake Community lunch at the end of each month with regular volunteers, both for kitchen duties and front of house service. Support for the Wirral Foodbank has been kept going by members who help hand out shopping lists at supermarket collections.
2) Environmental Sustainability
We continue with our monthly litter-pick in Sandlea Park, West Kirby, and are moving forward with our project to prepare the park for a Green Flag status application in conjunction with other local stakeholders (residents, businesses, Incredible Edible, Wirral Council). Meetings were held in March and April 2016 those attending were from our Soroptimists Club, Wirral Council, Friends of Ashton Park, Residents of Sandlea House, The WRO Lounge and Crosville Social Club. Our aim was also to help address the lack of safety of local women walking through the park as it was not well maintained with many of the bushes and trees overgrown. The outcome of the meeting was the appointment of a Chair, a Treasurer and three action points:-
- Establish a constituted organization: Friends of Sandlea Park.
- Do a baseline assessment of the Park finding out the work involved to get Green Flag status.
- Draw up plans for the adopted beds opposite Sandlea House for gardening and planting together with costs and maintenance.
This is a very worthwhile and high profile project for us to be involved in and we would now like our efforts to have a more sustainable impact which will benefit the local community.
3) Support for women
One of our local charities is Wirral Women and Children’s Aid who provide a refuge for vulnerable women and children. We continue to provide support with financial donations and in addition for Christmas 2017 we donated presents of twelve gift bags containing nightwear and toiletries.
Recently we contributed sponsorship money to a young woman undertaking a project abroad, both to help a community and build her own development, which is the very essence of Soroptimism. Eve Barratt from North Birkenhead Development Association went to Uganda to teach about sexual health and HIV prevention. On her return she gave us a very interesting presentation during her time there.
Other programme work has not been direct service (which proves difficult owing to the small size of our group), but through successful fund-raising we have continued support Mary’s Meals and the SIGBI charity Meru Women’s Garden Project which supports some of the poorest women-led households in Kenya, and is entirely focused on providing opportunities to women and girls who may never otherwise be given the chance to earn an income, giving them status within their community. It fully embraces the three key areas at the heart of SIGBI’s Programme Focus Goals – Educate, Empower and Enable.
For International Women’s Day on 7 March 2016 we all signed the on-line Pledge for Parity to support all women in the demand for equal economic and social treatment with men, wherever they may be in the world. Recent headlines have shown that this is still a long way from being achieved, both in UK and elsewhere. Our President, Jane Kennedy, was successful in getting an article on this subject published in a prominent position in the Wirral News.
The survey on Modern Day Slavery/Trafficking was held on 6th October 2017 at the Concourse West Kirby and 50 questionnaires were completed. We found that men, women, young and old were generally interested and willing to stop and talk. All the Clubs in this Region helped with the survey and overall performed exceptionally well. On 24 October 2017 the government issued a report on modern slavery which can be accessed via www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfis/publications/stolen-freedom-the-policing-response-to-modern-slavery
In recent years we have actively supported the following:
- Women & Children’s Aid
- Hoylake Cottage
- The Ark
- Claire House
- Clatterbridge Cancer Charity
- Wednesday Special Needs Club, Hoylake
- Stick & Step
- Wirral Food Bank
- Mary’s Meals
- Alder Hey Children’s Hospital
- See Solar Cook Solar
- A Project Trust Volunteer in Japan