Projects and forthcoming events

International Women’s Day 2018

IWD Squares
Boxes for IWD


STOP THE TRAFFIK – Global Blanket Campaign – IWD-2018-Poster


Join us on 10 March 2018


Help stop exploitation in the Fashion Industry by supporting the Global Blanket Campaign. It is really easy – you just have to decorate a square for the blanket.

On Saturday 10 March we will be at 12 Broad Street, next to Double Dragon, opposite Deichmann in the Vancouver Quarter, King’s Lynn. We will provide the cloth and crafts for you to create a square or if you prefer bring along some cloth or an already decorated square.

As well as creating squares for the Global Blanket we will be celebrating 100 years of votes for Women, collecting sanitary items and old jewellery.

For more details on the Global Blanket Campaign

Instructions for squares for blanket – GlobalBlanketC Instruction Poster

The sanitary items are for the Tricky Period Campaign – please see the  Tricky Period Poster

The jewellery collection if for the Diamond Education Grant charity.

For more details on International Women’s Day

We look forward to seeing you anytime between 10 pm and 4pm.



Speaker Meeting Monday 4th December 2017 – Prison and families

Ian Wells, a retired Addiction Counsellor from the Prison Service, came to speak to us about the impact of imprisonment on prisoners’ mental health and the emotional impact on their partners and families. His aim was to get us to consider how our club could get involved in helping the families. Ian started at HMP Wayland, and then at HMP Whitemoor High Security prison for 12 years.

Ian began by giving us some statistics about the prison population as a whole, and Whitemoor in particular. There are currently over 86,000 prisoners nationally – 80,000 male – and almost one third of these are in the 30-39 age group with partners and children. At Whitemoor, there are over 600 prisoners, many of whom are serving sentences of 20+ years, usually for violent, dangerous offences. Ian commented on the prevalence of hard drugs in prison, in particular heroin abuse. Despite constant vigilant searches, prisoners are still able to get drugs into prisons. Prisoners may also suffer alcoholic addiction and it may have been their addiction which led to their, sometimes terrible, crimes and subsequent long-term sentences. Such prisoners are lonely, and often suffering from mental illness. As a consequence, there is a high level of suicide and self-harm in prisons.


Ian gave examples of the situations prisoners face. Many are excluded from seeing their families, or limited to infrequent contact. He related anecdotes about prisoners who had jealously murdered their partners, or addicts who had killed in order to get money for drugs. These prisoners have to be helped, through a lengthy multi-team counselling service, to understand the effect of their crimes and to make progress in stopping their addiction. A Sentence Planning Meeting might involve the prisoner, the addiction counsellor, a psychologist, Wing Support, family, and a probation officer. All are involved in supporting the prisoner to make progress but, Ian asked us to consider, who was supporting the families outside of prison life?

The conduit for support, both inside and out, is the Chaplaincy Service. An example was given of a very successful project, ‘Fathers Inside’, involving prisoners recording themselves reading bedtime stories for their children. This kind of support helps prisoners to connect with their families, who may live great distances away, and thus gives them hope. According to Ian, a sense of hope is the greatest need of the prisoners and the families, if they are to make any kind of progress.

Ian concluded with explaining how the club might help in supporting the families. He suggested we work with societies such as ADFAM, which has branches in all the Eastern region prisons or collect presents that prisoners can distribute to their families at Christmas. This needs to start in August. Ian will supply us with further contacts but he suggested, initially, that we contact the Chaplaincy Service at HMP Whitemoor.

The very interesting and involving talk ended with a vote of thanks from Janet Porter who pointed out that society not only punishes the prisoner but their families also, and commented that it was very important we get involved in supporting them.


Women in The Archaeology and History of West Norfolk Conference Saturday 25th November 2017



King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Archaeological Society celebrated 50 years of Archaeology society in West Norfolk by running a conference. The conference focused on 50 years of Women in local archaeology and History. The theme was, ‘Women’s Voices Across Time.’

The event was attended by the local Mayor and councillor Carol Bower and organised by Dr Clive Bond, Chairperson of the West Norfolk and King’s Lynn Archaeological Society.


Club members from Soroptimist International King’s Lynn, Gill Bond and Liz Pye wrote an article and presented a paper on one of the clubs founder members Audrey Muriel Stratford who help found the club in 1975.

There was also a book launch of the conference presenters’ papers and many other authors also contributed to the book.

The conference ran on 25th November, the United Nations Day which champions, the elimination of violence against women. Soroptimist members put up a stall and used orange as a theme to highlight worldwide campaigns involved in eliminating, reducing and preventing violence against women.

The conference was insightful and thought provoking and looked at women in archaeology and history, working in the field locally in heritage and preservation and also key women in West Norfolk’s history and archaeology and their roles in society.


Audrey Muriel Stratford 1907-2000: A Well Known Local Woman 

A well known local woman who managed Stratfords clothing store and who was in involved local issues. Little is known about her and her impact on society. She left a legacy in the formation of the Audrey Muriel Stratford Charitable Trust, which supports the recording and reporting of local history and within the Lynn archives, she left a selection of memoirs, personal effects, papers and publications reflecting her life over time. Audrey was born in a time where changes were occurring for women, she secured a place at University in London, studying physiology and she went on to work in Australia. She returned to Lynn to manage her father’s business and she, published books on knitting and business. She campaigned locally on town planning and transport issues and committed her time to supporting the rights of women and girls through her membership of Soroptimist International. This presentation will focus on her work and her place in the history of Lynn.

The presentation will be made by Gill Bond Programme Action Officer and Elizabeth Pye Programme Action Member.


Soroptimists undertake a UK wide survey.


Soroptimists from all over the UK are working to establish the public’s knowledge of Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery.


From 1st to 7th October 2017 Soroptimist members from SI King’s Lynn as part of their mission to inspire action and transform the lives of women and girls world-wide are encouraging members of the public to complete the UK wide survey undertaken by the Soroptimist United Kingdom Programme Action Committee. Working with UK Modern Slavery Training Delivery Group, which is part of the Government’s strategy to combat trafficking/slavery, the intention is to find out the extent of public knowledge of Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery. The results will help to inform and direct their work.

Soroptimist member Sue Renwick says for many years S.I. King’s Lynn have gone into local schools to raise awareness of the issue of Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery.  The students are generally shocked and amazed that anyone could be involved in buying and selling human beings in this day and age.  The more adept we become at spotting the signs, hopefully, the easier it will be to root out this dreadful crime.

Gill Bond Programme Action Officer for S I King’s Lynn concern is that quite often people can be held as slaves in a number of ways in our community and how essential it is to recognise the signs of this so that we can support and protect people.


Nelson’s Journey Speaker



At our meeting on the 2 October Dave Cole from Nelson’s Journey spoke to us about the important work the charity does to support bereaved children across Norfolk.

Full details are included on the 2017/18 Events page.




Tower Gardens




Club members were very pleased  again to support the maintenance of a flower bed in Tower Gardens, King’s Lynn.

A certificate of recognition of the contributions towards the Anglia in Bloom  Campaign was received by the club.




Public Speaking Competition


Primary Schools from across the King’s Lynn area met at King Edward VII Academy on Thursday 15th June 2017 to battle it out in the annual Public Speaking Competition run by Soroptimist International of King’s Lynn.

Groups of three Year 6 pupils from each of the six participating schools presented their arguments – wowing the judges with their eloquent and confident presentations

DSCN6492 (2)North Wootton Community School triumphed this year. In a well-argued presentation on Bullying, they told the audience that bullies are made not born. The school was represented by Saniya Sarda, Willian Hindmarsh and Finley Meehan. A cheque for £100 and the Benita Haynes Shield, in memory of a former member of the Soroptimist International King’s Lynn was presented by Catherine Booth and Tim Haynes, Benita Haynes’ daughter and son.

Headteacher James Grimsby said after the competition: Speaking in public is such an important skill. Before the competition, our Year 6 pupils are encouraged to audition to show us what they can do. I am really pleased the team did so well. North Wootton Community School will be back again next year!

DSCN6484 (2)Local Author and Actor, Gareth Calway, speaking on behalf of the judging panel told the children that had all done very well in a tough competition.

The team from Whitefriars Church of England Primary Academy was presented with the second prize by Alderman Paul Brandon, also speaking about Bullying. Last year’s winners, St Martha’s RC Primary School were placed third, speaking about Environmental Issues. Soroptimist International King’s Lynn President, Ghyslaine Clarke presented their prize and medals.



Kori Project


The club supports the Kori Women’s Development Project.Jumpers

The main aim of this organisation is to empower, enable and educate women and girls in Kori Chiefdom Sierra Leone. They aim to transform the lives of women and girls by encouraging them to take part in agriculture and education relating to health and welfare.

Africa can be surprisingly cold at times and these pretty jumpers and hats provide toddlers with much needed warmth.  They are really easy to knit too!

Why not use a bit of spare time and spare wool to help our Kori project. Pattern for jumpers and hats – Kori project jumpers and hats . Contact us on

Visit their website for more information.



Klimate Concern




The club attended the Klimate Concern event in 2017. Please see the events page for 2017/18 for details