Long Service Award
Congratulations to our member Rachel Seakins on her long service award to mark 45 years of membership of SI King’s Lynn. Thank you also to our member Marion Coleman for a beautiful arrangement of 45 roses for Rachel.
We have continued to fundraise and engage with organisations that work in and around King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, rising to the challenges that the COVID pandemic continues to present.
Donation to West Norfolk Carers
Early in 2021, our club donated £250 to West Norfolk Carers, a small local charity that is currently supporting just over 4,000 carers. Approximately 200 of these are young carers. The donation has been used to fund the cost of a much-needed laptop which will allow the Young Carers Team Leader to deliver spontaneous accessible support to young carers, using audio and video. The Covid19 pandemic has necessitated a change in the way the charity works, and this donation from the Soroptimists has enabled the Young Carers Team Leader to stay in touch with the children, and plan and deliver online catch-up sessions, one to one support and regular zoom activities. Keeping in touch is so important in maintaining the mental health and wellbeing of children caring for a family member.
Jane Evans, CEO at West Norfolk Carers commented: “we are very grateful for the thoughtful donation from the Soroptimists. The need for alternative equipment was unforeseen and was an unbudgeted expense. This donation has been great, because it means that we can improve our contact with young carers and help minimise the distress caused by the pandemic, and the isolation that many of the young carers are feeling”. Jackie Haverson, Young Carers Team Leader said: “I can’t thank the Soroptimists enough. Having a laptop that helps me keep in touch with the young carers has made a massive difference to the way I can help contribute to maintaining the mental health and resilience of the young carers we are supporting.”
Club President Julie Williams commented: “We are so pleased to be able to continue our approach of supporting local causes through the pandemic. West Norfolk Carers was selected as a club charity last year – members recognise the great contribution that this organisation makes in our area, and were keen to help them continue this work. So many of us have really seen the benefit that technology can provide at the moment, and are pleased that our donation has enhanced the work that West Norfolk Carers does to keeping in touch with young people in our area.”
If you are a carer and have been affected by any of the issues mentioned, you can contact West Norfolk Carers on 01553 768155 or visit the website at westnorfolkcarers.org.uk
Donation to King’s Lynn Winter Night Shelter
At a zoom meeting on Thursday, 14th January 2021 (pictured above), Club President Julie Williams presented Lucy McKitterick, the Co-ordinator of King’s Lynn Winter Night Shelter with a donation of £250.
Lucy thanked the club for its generosity, advising that the donation will be used to purchase a tablet so that those in the Night Shelter can access information over the internet more readily. Lucy gave a very interesting talk about the work that the Night Shelter is undertaking.
Lucy gave the club a very informative account of the work and history of the Night Shelter in King’s Lynn, which is in its 4th year. We heard how they are coping with the current pandemic. Lucy addressed several myths relating to homelessness, such as it being a ‘life choice’ as well as the work they have had to do to ensure residents and the Night Shelter team are kept safe and well.
We heard that due to changing rules relating to COVID, the Shelter now houses 6 people at a time in their own rooms at the Shelter in St John’s Vicarage, in the heart of King’s Lynn. In the winter of 2019-2020 the Shelter was able to help 104 people on a night-by-night basis. Lucy informed us about the work the council and other organisations have done to alleviate some of the issues around homelessness in and around King’s Lynn and West Norfolk but there is always so much more to be done, and the demand on rooms is constant.
Lucy McKitterick has commented: “It was lovely to have the chance to share with the Soroptimists news of our work this winter and to hear their questions and reflections. Their generous gift has made it possible to purchase a tablet for our guests’ use which will be a big help to them in these weeks of lockdown: for videocalls with support workers not currently able to meet in person, accessing online English language learning, and for the essential online tasks which will help them towards finding a home. Thank you very much to them for this most timely and practical gift!”
Club President Julie Williams commented: “It has been a tough year for everyone, and we were in awe of the work that Lucy, and her team of workers and volunteers involved, have been able to do to help during this particularly challenging winter. Lucy talked a lot about working positively with other organisations, and Soroptimist International of King’s Lynn are delighted to have been able to make a donation that will make a real difference to the people staying in the Shelter. We plan to build on this for the future and will hopefully be able to make some plans with Lucy in the coming months.”
Soroptimist International Centenary 2021
Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) together with Soroptimists from across the world join together to celebrate 100 years of Soroptimist International (SI) and celebrate a ‘Bright Past’ and a ‘Brilliant Future’.
As part of the celebrations, our member Dr Elizabeth Harrison is being celebrated as one of some hundred women who have made a difference to women and girls in their lives. We are so proud of her and what she has achieved.
Read her story here: https://sigbi.org/…/whoisshe-soroptimists-for-the…/ #Whoisshe?
45 for 45
In 2020, SI King’s Lynn are celebrating 45 years since the club was chartered. We have created a photobook to mark this event click here
The first member to mark the celebration was Corinne, who presented the club with a virtual bouquet of 45 flowers from her garden. There might be more than 45 – feel free to count them all at: 45 flowers by Corinne
Kim has made a visual record of her 7 years as a Soroptimist, using 45 photographs. Take a look to get a taste of what it is like to be a Soroptimist in King’s Lynn: 45 pictures by Kim
Carolyn has made 45 face masks for friends and family. Recipients have donated to UNICEF, Chora Chori, QEH, King’s Lynn food bank and Macmillan Cancer Support. Masks were also made and donated to Pandora Project in King’s Lynn.
President Julie walked 45 kilometres during the week that marked 45 years; Mary walked 45 miles, and Lindsay has been busy reading 45 books!
Our friends from across the London Anglia Region and Friendship Links have joined in too, with a member from Ipswich Club who has also walked 45km and the club has delivered 45+ syringe driver bags. Colchester Club recently making up bags for their local hospice.
The club was instrumental in setting up the Colchester St Helena hospice and until COVID they volunteered by running the Sunday reception desk. Members have knitted 45 items – jumpers, hats and animals. The photo below includes 8 jumpers with 8 matching hats, 15 baby vests, 1 pair of mittens, 13 hats and some animals, and poppies for Remembrance – 45 altogether!