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On our 55th anniversary, which women inspire us?

On our 55th anniversary, which women inspire us?

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First have to be the ones whose vision brought us here! Kenilworth folk are familiar with ‘The Old Bakery’ on High Street in the Old Town (incidentally Warwickshire’s ‘Pub of the Year’). Until 1979, this was the long-established ‘Fancott’s Bakery’. Joan Fancott was, in 1969, the founder President of Soroptimist International Kenilworth & District. Here’s Joan wearing the Presidential insignia our current President Amanda wears today.                             Next must be the countless women throughout history who paved the way for us. Women like Mary Wollstonecraft(1759-1797), the British writer and philosopher who is arguably one of the first women to advocate a feminist view of gender equality: one of the cornerstones of our own work and advocacy.  And Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), the English writer and mathematician whose work pioneered computer science: a role model to encourage more girls to take

How did you celebrate International Women’s Day?

How did you celebrate International Women’s Day?

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We certainly celebrated in style!  We Purpled the Park benches in Abbey Fields with inspirational quotes.   And in the evening we carried on the celebrations with friends and Kenilworth Town Councillors at Milk and Mocha. Councillor Mark Stevens shared these as his favourite quotes - Jane got the evening to a great start by reading this poem by Becky Hemsley She drives just like a girl you know And throws just like one too She fights just like a girl as well She’s just no match for you She also runs just like a girl And that’s the way she plays But when they say “just like a girl” Jane reading her poem I think they mean to say Worse And somehow less Somehow slower, somehow weaker They think that if she’s ‘like a girl’ They’ll easily defeat her But girls will go to battle
Poster for International Women's Day with outline of to hands making a heart outline
What’s Purple and Inspiring? International Women’s Day of course!

What’s Purple and Inspiring? International Women’s Day of course!

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We might not be able to light Kenilworth up in purple as per the London Eye this year for International Women’s Day.   But we’ll do our best to follow this year’s theme of #InspireInclusion with our decorations on the benches in Abbey Fields. So why purple for International Women’s Day? Bit of history here, it all started with the Suffragette movement who chose Purple to represent the colour of Royal blood flowing through their veins – surely very dramatic!   These days it is associated with dignity and justice. So why the theme #InspireInclusion ? The emphasis this year is for us to inspire women and support them to feel more included in what ever part of the world they live in.   The more groups that stand up for this, the sooner women can reach their full potential.   You can read more about this by clicking

How Did We Finish Our 16 Days of Activism?

How Did We Finish Our 16 Days of Activism?

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With coffee and cake, of course! Our culmination event was an ‘Orange Cafe’ where we celebrated and reflected on the activities of the 16 Days. And we kept our orange theme with the cakes baked by members; chocolate orange cake, orange drizzle cake and orange cupcakes – to name but a few! Donations for the cakes made a delicious £250 for our local women’s refuge.   Members were on hand to explain more about each display showing an activity from the 16 Days of Activism. There were six pairs of shoes from the display of 108 pairs – each pair representing one woman killed by a man in 2021/22. There were three filled handbags from our ‘Love Grace’ appeal. A smaller scale Christmas Tree showed some of our orange decorations and lights which began our campaign. And of course, examples of the yarn bombing; crocheted

How Many Handbags? 54!

How Many Handbags? 54!

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We Honoured the Life of Grace Millane in One of Our Events for the 16 Days. Grace Millane was tragically murdered whilst travelling in New Zealand in December 2018. Her mother was determined to make Grace’s life more impactful than her death. In Grace’s name, her mother, Gillian launched the “Love Grace” appeal – collecting and filling handbags with essentials for women in need.                                              And that’s exactly what we did! In just over an hour, we filled 54 good quality, smart handbags with toiletries, cosmetics, purses, scarves and jewellery. We’d already raised money to buy brand new items by taking part in a car boot sale a month earlier and members donated small luxuries to add to the handbags.   Once the bags

In Their Shoes

In Their Shoes

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During our 16 Days of Activism, the preparation of one event has shocked and moved us more than any other. It is at the heart of our campaign to end violence against women and girls and it’s a display of shoes. Each pair of shoes, tied with orange ribbon, represents one woman killed by a man in the year 2021/22. There are 108 pairs.                             Here are six of the women represented.            Zara, Clair and Lauren, Yasmin, Ashley and Ramona are just six of the 108 women killed by men in 2021/22. You can read their stories here: https://sigbi.org/kenilworth-and-district/un-16-days-of-activism-25th-november-10th-december/their-stories/ We hope, that by raising awareness of this shocking and tragic waste of women’s lives – so common that it rarely makes news – we can all unite to end

Would you, could you – step in to stop harassment?

Would you, could you – step in to stop harassment?

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80% of women in the UK report experiencing harassment in public places (Suzy Lamplugh Trust) If we want to end violence against women and girls, we have to stop behaviours that underlie it –  harassment is one of those behaviours. But is that easier said than done? As part of our 16 Days of Activism to end Gender Based Violence, lots of us have been taking part in a free, one hour, on-line training session provided by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust. We’ve found out how to intervene to stop harassment without putting ourselves at risk or escalating the situation.                We’ve learned how we could step in to help a woman being harassed on public transport     And what we could do to stop a lone woman being harassed in a bar We’ve learned that any one of

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree – how lovely are thy branches!

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree – how lovely are thy branches!

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We entered our local church’s Christmas Tree Festival and, of course, our theme was orange. Orange is the colour which symbolises the international campaign of the ‘16 Days of Activism‘ to end gender based violence. The campaign runs from 25th November till 10th December. Soroptimists throughout the world  are joining in activities to raise awareness of violence against women and girls in order to end it. The first decoration to be made was our tree topper – an angel with our Soroptimist International logo. Then a whole host of orange angels followed!   Club members crocheted spiralled orange icicles – lots of them!And gradually, our Christmas Tree took shape.           President Amanda made sure her outfit was colour-coordinated for our photo of the finished tree! And did we win? Not this time, but we were thrilled when our Town Mayor and

Are you wondering where all the orange is coming from?

Are you wondering where all the orange is coming from?

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              We’ve been out and about in Kenilworth, yarn bombing Talisman Square and Kenilworth’s Old Town with beautiful orange hearts, flowers and spirals made by club members. The optimistic colour of orange symbolises our hopes that, by working together, we can put an end to violence against women and girls. From 25th November until 10th December, we’re taking part in the international campaign to end gender-based violence – the 16 Days of Activism. To find out more about our campaign, go to our Club Menu and have a look at our pages on ‘UN 16 Days of Activism 25th November – 10th December.’ And keep a look out for more oranging!