It is that time of year again when it is good to give to those less fortunate. And, that is just what we have done! The Club has given donations to our International President’s Appeal of ‘Women, Water and Leadership’; to our Federation Project ‘Meru Garden Project’ and to our Regional Project ‘Pelandaba Orphan Project’. Nearer to home we have given a car boot full of sanitary products (tampons, towels and panty liners) – 65 packets in all – to FIND (Families in Need) in Ipswich to help support those women and girls who find themselves unable to afford such essential items. Our Christmas present to you all with our good wishes.
We’re very fortunate to have Jane Riley, current Mayor of Ipswich, coming to visit us on 14th November 2018, to speak about her role, charities, women in public life. Do join us if you are interested – let us know if you wish to come along. Starts 7.30pm at the Ipswich & Suffolk Club, Northgate Street, Ipswich.
We’re so proud to be part of the group of women that came together, decided on mounting a Festival, planned it and made Women’s Voices, Women’s Votes a great success. Described as awesome by some of those who came and all seem to have found it of interest and liked the mix of serious talks, mentoring, workshops, Market Place and entertainment. The unveiling of the Bus by our Mayor, Jane Riley, was a brilliant start to the day. Our very own member Anne Walton, recently named as one of the top scientists in the UK, was one of the 100 famous women featured on the bus We were involved in running the Short Story Competition and were delighted that Amanda Hodgkinson and Gill Lowe, visiting Professors at University of Suffolk, were the judges.
Tomorrow evening we have our Autumn supper at the Ipswich and Suffolk Club. Members have recently read the book ‘A Song of Their Own’ by Joy Bounds, a record of what women in and around Ipswich did to increase the pressure on the Government to allow them the vote. It starts with the local signatories to the first petition in 1866 which was instigated by Aldeburgh’s Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and her friends. It tracks the development of women’s suffrage societies in the town towards the more radical protest after 1909 and the 1911 Census evasion protest (No Vote, No Census), and of the prosecutions for non-payment of taxes (No Vote, No Tax), and many other varied protests. The women often had to operate in a hostile atmosphere, suffering verbal and physical violence. We should have an interesting discussion about this book. Each member makes a
On 13th June, the date of our next meeting at the Ipswich and Suffolk Club, our speaker will be Elizabeth Welbourn who will be talking about the work of the Ipswich Town Pastors, giving us an insight into the women and men they assist – why they need help, the problems they are facing, what type of support they need. If you would like to come along as a guest contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. And you can see us at the Sproughton Fete on 24th June where we will have a stall, with a tombola to raise funds for our new Regional Project – Pelandaba Orphans School in Zimbabwe. This school has helped orphaned children achieve amazing results in the equivalent of GCSE’s and A levels, many of whom want to carry on to University. Virtually every penny raised goes towards the education of the children.
Our 65th anniversary dinner following our latest AGM. We had a good year – the bra collection to assist women who have survived modern day slavery in a number of overseas countries was especially successful, the generous women of Ipswich and East Suffolk donating 1,560 bras of all shapes, sizes and colours. We supported the Neat Feet, Happy Hands project in Kenya, helping to eradicate ‘Jiggers’ , a painful parasite that stops them walking. The treatment we and other Clubs in East Anglia paid for enabled children to go to school within a short period of time at a cost of £1 per patient. Over 8,000 treatments were carried out. And we’ve provided funds to the Meru Garden Project which has helped a community of women become self sufficient in food production and retailing. They have gained the respect of the Elders in their Community.
Today we had the privilege of celebrating International Women’s Day with Suffolk Refugee Support. Their International Women’s Group were stunning in their amazing dress and they represented 40 different countries. A lot of fun, entertainment from Samia Malik and a talk by Rachel Walton from African Families in the UK. Plus some amazing food for all cooked by those who attended. Ipswich Soroptimists offer a busary to Suffolk Refugee Support clients.
See our Ipswich Soroptimists campaign for White Ribbon, originally posted last year, but just as relevant to 2017 (excuse the date on the opening slide!). White Ribbon is an organisation set up by men to stop domestic violence against women, to change attitudes.
With the help of so many people we have reached our target of collecting more than 1500 bras (actually it is in the region of 1600). So a very big thank you to all of you who have donated bras to help women who have been trafficked into sex slavery and have escaped. Women helping women in this way touched so many people. In addition to the bras we collected at Sailmakers on 7th October we were given some before and after our collection. People saw our posters, heard us on BBC Radio Suffolk, Ipswich Community Radio and Town Radio, read the article in the Ipswich Star and various free magazines, saw our website or our post on our Facebook page. Individuals and their relatives and friends (from near and far), church, WI and Trefoil groups, offices, exercise and pilates groups to name but a
We regularly get together with our sister Clubs in East London, Essex, Cambridge and Norfolk. The aim is to share ideas/learn from each other, build something better than we would alone. Some of these meetings celebrate particular UN Days such as Human Rights, International Women’s Day and others focus on our Project Work taking action to help vulnerable girls and women and raising funds to enable them to fulfill their potential. At these meetings, as at most Club meetings, we have good speakers. In December we are delighted to be joined by acclaimed biographer, Clare Mulley, who will talk to us about her book The Women Who Flew for Hitler. The Holocaust is one of the most horrific breaches of Human Rights in human history, and this book tells us about two women who fought convention to make their names in the male-dominated field of flight in