Our ‘knicker line’ is certainly one with a difference! It is helping women and girls in the Kori Chiefdom of Sierra Leone, to keep their washable sanitary towels in place. Last year the Soroptimist clubs in the London Anglia Region held a ‘sew in’ to make the sanitary towels. Each girl and woman is given three together with the knickers. For the girls it means that they do not miss out on schooling one week a month, which can only help them for their future. We have just donated 60 pairs of knickers for the Kori Project, together with toiletry items (soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, moisturiser). In addition, we have provided four older heavier suitcases, which serve a double purpose – to transport items in a container to Sierra Leone and then to act as storage or wardrobes for families. The main aim of the
Our speaker, Kat Gosling on Wednesday was excellent – committed to The Teapot Project, set up in 2015. They are now the largest growing food waste interception service in Suffolk. Their task is to stop edible food waste going into landfill simply because it is past its ‘best before’ or ‘display until’ date., to phrases Kat dislikes intensely. Supermarkets and restaurants will not use/sell these products, most of which are perfectly healthy and edible when they are ‘thrown out’. So The Teapot Project, staffed mainly by volunteers, collect this food and deliver it to organisations who are struggling to fund the food they serve to their clients. This includes The Salvation Army, Turning Point, YMCA and many others all of whom are seeing more and more demand for their help but fewer funds and other resources to enable them to provide what is required. Kat
Our event held to celebrate the work of Lighthouse Women’s Aid, held at the University of Suffolk on 10th February, was a real success, thanks to the collaboration of all parties including the Students’ Union who did so much to plan and ensure that all went smoothly on the day. Many thanks to all involved. Matthew Bland, Head of Strategic Analysis for Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies told us about his quantitative study involving 36,000 police records of domestic abuse between 2009 and 2014 recorded by Suffolk Constabulary. It provided very helpful data that now assists with police training on this subject and also to predict those most at risk. However, it also suggested there was a lot that police did not know about Domestic Abuse – the soft data. Come in Emma Bond, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Arts, Business and Applied Social Science at University
Across our Club membership we have 4 MPs – good for lobbying! We were delighted to meet with Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds, on Friday 21st October after she had been visiting the University of Suffolk. What an inspirational lady – values similar to those of Soroptimism – and a determined attitude to ensure equal opportunities for all. Education is at the heart of her philosophy and she champions those in rural communities, many of whom are isolated, as well as those in our towns. Thanks Jo for your time – great fun and instructive being with you!
We supported Zoe Newson, Paralympian Powerlifter, at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. We were delighted when she won a bronze medal, which she let us all hold. She was selected for the Rio Paralympics and matched her achievement of London by winning her second bronze medal in the -45kg category. Not only that but she achieved her personal best. Well done, Zoe! We are all proud of you.
Every 3 months we meet up with members of the Soroptimist Clubs in the London Anglia Region and exchange ideas and plan events. As well as Ipswich that includes Kings Lynn, Norwich, Gt Yarmouth, Colchester, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Southend-on-Sea Enfield and East London. One of our Cambridge members works at Newnham College and we are very fortunate that our Regional meetings are held in this excellent facility. Our meetings often fall on UN Days including International Women’s Day, International Literacy Day, Human Rights Day. We find out about the different projects the Clubs are involved with in addition to the Regional and International projects. Many of us work with our local Women’s Aid and other organisations that assist vulnerable women be it in the area of trafficking, cyber crime, domestic violence, prison reform for women, FGM etc. On Saturday 10th September it was our Regional AGM and a Council
Ipswich Soroptimists are delighted that UCS Campus, Ipswich, which has been a collaboration between the universities of Essex and East Anglia since 2007, will become the University of Suffolk from 1 August. It has successfully met the criteria for becoming a University in its own right. The Independent said ‘For the first time, the university will receive direct government funding, enabling it to expand its teaching and give more young people in the region the “life-changing opportunity” of a university education’. Universities Minister Jo Johnson described how those in Suffolk have had to turn to other parts of the UK for higher education “for too long.” He said: “I’m enormously pleased UCS has demonstrated its ability to meet the needs of students and can now be called a university in its own right.” The University and Ipswich Soroptimists have been co-operating on a number of initiatives
“Awareness of local and global issues is one thing. Doing something about it is something else. That’s why I’m a Soroptimist”. We work locally and internationally with a focus on Education, Enabling and Empowerment – working towards a world where every women and girl can achieve her full potential. In Suffolk we work with Lighthouse Women’s Aid and Suffolk Refugee Support, trying to make that little bit of difference to their client’s lives – A Bursary scheme to help them gain qualifications to enable them to enter the world of work – Provision of toiletries bags for women who arrive at the Refuge with nothing – Fundraising for specific projects. Internationally we are proud to be involved with: – Toilet Twinning for a School – The eradication of the parasite Jiggers in part of Kenya (simple procedure) enabling children to go to school – A Market Garden
Zoe Many congratulations that you have been selected for We are delighted and will follow your successes in Rio. With very best wishes from all the members of Soroptimist International Ipswich & District. (We supported Zoe in her preparations for the 2012 London Paralymics with a grant and she went on to achieve a Bronze Medal).
We continue to learn and pick up new information every time we go to a conference or event. A Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) is a local, multi agency victim-focussed meeting where information is shared on the highest risk cases of domestic violence and abuse between different statutory and voluntary sector agencies. Typically Migrant/Refugee focus has largely been on those from outside the EU/EEA who are seeking asylum having fled from wars, persecution, etc. Whilst this conference had some reference to these migrants the emphasis was on helping EU migrants. Ipswich is both a dispersal centre for non-EU migrants and has seen significant numbers of people arriving from Poland, Rumania, Lithuania and Portugal. Speakers from INTRAN, the Police, the Home Office and GYROS gave us a good insight into what is and is not available in the way of support. Norfolk have developed and introduced