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What We Do – Programme Action: Events and Campaigns

Orange the World – Say NO to Violence Against Women & Girls

On the 25th of each month Soroptimists wear something Orange, a badge, a piece of jewellery, an article of clothing.  We want it to become a recognised event each month to draw attention to the need to eliminate violence against women & girls in all its different forms.


Women’s Safety Project

We had a meeting with Suffolk Police & Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore last year to discuss the safety of women & girls in Central Ipswich.  Our research into crime statistics has shown that recorded crime has that is has fallen overall due to initiatives taken by Suffolk Constabulary in conjunction with Ipswich Borough council and the PCC but almost half of  that which occurs is classified as violent crime and sexual assault.  Taxi Marshalls, Street Rangers, additional CCTV and lighhting on vulnerable areas have all had a positive effect but there is much more to do.

Soroptimist Programme Action Committee has produced 2 different by complimentary Safety Cards for Women & Girls and we hope to have help in distributing them by those mentioned above and with advice from Central Ipswich constabulary on where & when they are most needed.  This will be the first in a number of initiatives we take, working with other organisations in our town.


This card gives information on where to make contact to find out about keeping yourself safe and who to contact should you be attacked





This card is to write down personal contact information should you be attacked, traumatised, or your phone is down.






We hope to be starting distribution in the near future but if you are an organisation and are interested in having a supply of the cards please let us know via this website.

Providing Quilts to Patients in East Anglia Children’s Hospice (EACH) in Ipswich

In the past we have given beautiful, unique, handmade quilts to clients of Lighthouse Women’s Aid who have suffered domestic abuse.  We also give these quilts to children of clients of Suffolk Refugee Support, another amazing organisation that helps families to integrate into the community and become independent.

Today we added EACH to our list of recipients, an organisation that we have great respect for.  Initially taking in 5 quilts made by ‘Julia and her quilting friends’ for the 5 children currently in the hospice, which we hope will be well received, we plan to deliver more in the future as new children come into the hospice.  They are personal gifts and hopefully demonstrate that we really care for those who receive them and give joy to them during a difficult time in their lives.

In the photo, our president, Pat Dowding (2nd in from the right) is displaying the first delivery of quilts, ably assisted by EACH personnel.


Red Chair Project

The poster reads: 

A Place for Them: Standing against domestic violence and abuse.  Globally, every 11 minutes, a woman or girl dies at the hands of an intimate partner or family member.

These women and girls should still be with us.
This seat is reserved to highlight the void left
behind by each and every one of them.

25th November marks 16 days of activism to bring awareness of the UN Day to Eliminate Violence again Women & Girls

Modern Day Slavery

Modern Day Slavery is rife across the world and the UK is one of the main countries that has the problem.  Do you know how to detect someone who has a is a slave? You might like to watch:

Modern Slavery: hidden in plain sight – Kate Garbers – TEDxExeter

It is a crime that is hidden in plain sight as Kate Garbers rightly says.

We also suggest that you go to this link which enables you to see the signs to looks out for.  Go to:

Don’t be afraid to report your suspicions, even if they are not founded no one will be  upset or annoyed. 

To report your concerns use one of the following options:

  • Call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or fill out an online form.
  • Contact the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority to report concerns about the mistreatment of workers on 0800 432 0804, or by email 
  • Contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
  • Contact the Police
  • Contact Anti-Slavery International or other specialist anti-slavery organisations

We decided to find out more about the strategies employed in our own area:

  • what steps are taking place within our County’s authorities, such as Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council, Town and Parish Councils, Suffolk Constabulary and we received responses from all of them .
  • We now plan to ask businesses how they check their supply chains to  ensure that slave labour is not being used – a social audit carried out by a 3rd party is not sufficient.  So members will be following up to obtain a better picture of how this crime against humanity is being investigated and what success is being achieved.
  • We know there are no easy solutions to eliminate all forms of slavery and slavery like practices throughout the world but want to play our part and encourage others to do likewise.

Family Carer Award

As part of our 70th birthday celebrations in 2022 we partnered with Suffolk Family Carers and launched a Carer Award for unpaid carers  who live in Suffolk and look after a member(s) of their family, neighbours or friends, seeing to their needs, be they basic or complex.  During Covid, and subsequently, Carers and those they look after were significantly affected by lockdowns.  Some Carers would have had to give up their career in order to look after a loved one.

Those being cared for by a ‘Family’ Carer or knew someone who was and wished to nominate them for this Award were asked to complete the nomination form online 

The winner of received a Trophy and retail vouchers of their choice to the value of £250 and the runner up  retail vouchers to the value of £100.

Our aim was to recognise and reward carers who had shown exceptional kindness and compassion when caring for their family or friends, who have really made a difference.  A panel of Ipswich Soroptimist members decided who would receive the Awards. 

Recently, we went to our Winners home and met an amazing lady who cares for her husband, her young daughter  and also her mother.  We learned a lot about the issues they face, navigating their way around Social Services and the NHS for example, ensuring they have the appropriate medication and most up-to-date equipment.  










We also met up with our runner up Silver Award winner who looks after her disabled son and helps him to live more independently in his own home.  She was nominated by her husband for all she does, her spirit and determination.  She too has had to do a lot of organising to be able to meet her son’s needs.












ith a great Programme Action Officer within our team we have every reason to contribute in so many ways, large and small, to keep ACTION at the heart of what we do throughout the year.  



Syringe Driver Bags for Ipswich Hospital Patients

Currently one of our members and a supporter is making Syringe Driver Bags for Cancer patients at Ipswich Hospital.  We have been delighted by the response to our request for material to make these – instead of boring plain white we have received from the public some very snazzy, quality materials that are much appreciated by the patients.  To date we have supplied a total of over 1,200 and there are 80+ ready to be delivered to the hospital and more in the pipeline.

But we now need more colourful material to keep up the supply.  Do you have some that is surplus to requirement that you can donate.

Each bag requires the following amount of material: For the bag itself is 24″ x 16″ (but this can be either one piece or two measuring 24″ x 8″ each) with the fabric for the strap being a minimum of 36″ long x 4″.  We can pick up from anywhere in East suffolk or Ipswich.  Please get in touch if you can help.


Why not come along to one of our meetings to find out what a difference you could make too.


Our Bursary

For the last 10 years we have offered a small Bursary to clients of Lighthouse Women’s Aid, Suffolk Refugee Support clients and certain students at The University of Suffolk.  These payments can make a real difference to the women’s lives as they enable them to go on courses to improve their skills and obtain qualifications so they can gain employment and become more financially independent. 

Suffolk Refugee Support

We always support International Women’s Day on 25th March

This year we had a great time at Suffolk Refugee Support’s International Women’s Day in Ipswich.  Women from more than 20 different countries were present.  Some were in National dress, most brought wonderful food for a buffet (home-made for the most part), there were a few speeches to remind us of why this day is so important, of organisations that could help.  There was music & dancing, it was fun and chaotic, so enjoyable for us to be privileged to participate again.

We are fortunate to have access to a quilting group who make wonderful examples and donate them to us to raise money, give to Lighthouse Women’s Aid clients and their children and on this occasion 12 for children of Suffolk Refugee Support’s clients.  They are beautiful.  They will be well loved and used, we’re sure.



Lighthouse Women’s Aid

Lighthouse is one of the organisations we support on a regular basis, providing toiletries bags full of essential products for women arriving at their Refuges who have not been able to bring anything with them. 

Prior to Christmas 2022 (also in 2021) we gave £200 of our funds to them so they could put this with other money received to buy Christmas presents for the children of women who sadly are their clients, due mainly to having suffered domestic abuse and having to leave their home.  We did it again for Christmas 2023 and recently have donated £50 towards the cost of buying Easter Eggs for children, plus donated some yummy eggs  aimed at kids.


Paralympics – London 2012, Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020 (held in 2021)


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Powerlifter Zoe Newson (45kg – Women) from Colchester, Essex, wins a bronze medal competing for ParalympicsGB at the Rio Paralympic Games 2016.
ParalympicsGB is the name for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Paralympic Team that competes at the summer and winter Paralympic Games. The Team is selected and managed by the British Paralympic Association, in conjunction with the national governing bodies, and is made up of the best sportsmen and women who compete in the 22 summer and 4 winter sports on the Paralympic Programme.

Back in 2011 we set off on a mission to find a new project to celebrate our Club’s 60th anniversary. We knew we wanted to support the London 2012 Games and an inspiring female athlete, all we had to do was find one! Lucky for us we found Zoe Newson just down the road in East Bergholt.

Zoe is a Powerlifter and was ranked 4th in the world at the time.  You can find out more about Zoe and Powerlifting on the London 2012 Paralympics Games site. We had an amazing time supporting Zoe on her journey to London 2012. Since meeting her we followed her compete in trials in both Cardiff and Dubai then found out the incredible news that she would be member of Team GB for the London 2012 Paralympics.

Training for the Paralympics is immensely challenging and we wanted to support Zoe on the way.  We held a Silent Auction in November 2011 which was incredible successful thanks to the amazing work of all the Soroptimists and our guest star auctioneer Mark Murphy, Radio Suffolk. Lots included everything from an Introduction to Bee Keeping to a week’s stay in a Southwold holiday cottage. The final total was topped up by Avanti Networking, who donated their Christmas Raffle Collection. We successfully raised over £3000 to help Zoe on the road to London2012.



AND ZOE TOOK HOME THE BRONZE MEDAL. NOT ONLY IN 2012 BUT ALSO IN 2016.  She won the silver medal in her event at the 2021 World Para Powerlifting Championships. WHAT A STAR.


For more information on our Past Events and Other Information page.  They are all activities that we are very proud of.