King’s Lynn Festival 2021
We were excited to announce our sponsorship of a recital by Ben Horden at the prestigious King’s Lynn Festival this year. The recital took place at 11am on Saturday 24th July 2021 at St Nicholas’ Chapel in King’s Lynn. We attended this event, enjoying music including Bach Prelude & Fugue C major, SS Wesley Holsworthy church bells and Bach/Durufle Cantata 22.
Please look at our Club History leaflet for details of some of the projects we have been involved with over the years Club history September 2020
The club is always interested in hearing about new ideas for projects as well as welcoming new members.
The President’s and Programme pages give you an idea of some of the speakers and projects we have for the current year.
Support for local projects
The club continues to support local projects such as West Norfolk Carers and King’s Lynn Winter Night Shelter see our news page. Club members have donated the the local Food Bank, and took part in the Autumn 2020 Half Term scheme to ensure school children had access to food supplies.
Club Sponsor 100th Fruit Tree
The club has supported former King’s Lynn Soroptimist Josephine Reynolds on a project that she founded in Cambodia in 2013 – Sponsor a Fruit Tree for Families in Poverty. The project has had over 90 fruit saplings sponsored by October 2020 – roughly one a day since its resurrection earlier in the year.
The tree planting project supports the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO). Build Your Future Today Center in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The centre was formally established in April 2006, and grew from the personal desire of its founder, Sedtha Long, a survivor of the brutal years of the Khmer Rouge, to help give back to his country. Jo’s Fruit Tree for Families in Poverty Facebook page
Jo told members how the scheme has unexpectedly evolved into a really special project that has great meaning for the sponsors, as the fruit trees with their personal messages are used to celebrate life, love, and memorialise lost ones, as well as providing the obvious and expected benefits to the community where the saplings are planted. Each tree costs £10 to sponsor, and SI King’s Lynn are honoured to be sponsoring the 100th tree. In fact, the club has pledged to sponsor 10 trees, which will be planted in villages in the poorest parts of Cambodia.
Club President Julie Williams commented: “We are thrilled to be part of this project. 2021 is the centenary of Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland – our club is celebrating the 100th year with Soroptimists from across the word and we felt that sponsoring the 100th tree in this project would be a very special way to mark this landmark year.
As the trees grow it will enable the villagers to be more self-sufficient, the trees will provide precious fruit to eat and surplus to sell – as well as wood to build shelters and furniture. The branches will provide shade, and the leaves will eventually drop and put nutrients back into the soil. Many people sponsor a tree as a memorial – for us the trees will mark a bright past and a brilliant future for Soroptimists across the world”.
Soroptimist International of King’s Lynn are keen to plant trees in the local area to celebrate within the local community and would be delighted to hear from any local organisation that can help with this. Please contact the club via the website at https://sigbi.org/kings-lynn/contact-us/ or facebook https://www.facebook.com/SIKingsLynn/
16 Days of Activism 2020
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender based Violence take place between 25 November and 10 December each year. The theme for 2020 is “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”
As the world retreated inside homes due to the lockdown measures introduced to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, reports showed an alarming increase in the already existing pandemic of violence against women.
“Accompanying the crisis has been a spike in domestic violence reporting, at exactly the time that services, including rule of law, health and shelters, are being diverted to address the pandemic,” stated the UN Secretary-General’s report, “Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19“.
Lend With Care
The club began supporting Lend With Care in 2017. Since then we have invested money to support women around the world, including Equador, Pakistan, Zambia, Peru, Cambodia, The Palestinian Territories, and Zimbabwe, to name but some of them.
- we have contributed to 23 loans
- we have supported 81 entrepreneurs as some loans have been to groups
- we have helped 329 family members
- we have helped in the creation of 85 jobs
The women have been involved in businesses such as farming, tailoring and market trading. Many of these women are aiming to provide for their families and there is often a mention of earning money to ensure that their children can get an education. To date, all recipients have repaid the loans given – an amazing achievement. Currently, due to the Covid 19 pandemic there has been a cessation of work in some areas and some of the repayments have been paused.
SI King’s Lynn is very proud of our work in this field. We will continue to re-invest to help our sisters overseas to thrive.
Federation Project 2020 – The Big Story
During those early COVID-19 lock-down days, Soroptimists across the UK were set a challenge to record The Big Story This was a chance to be creative and positive while the world was shutting down, while supporting a great cause, the registered charity ChoraChori as they work with the most vulnerable children in Nepal. King’s Lynn member Corinne entered the competition. Corinne’s fascinating story can be read here
Mental Health Awareness Week – 18-24 May 2020
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week took place from 18-24 May 2020. The theme was kindness.
Online surveys were conducted by the Mental Health Foundation with YouGov in March 2019 of 4,505 UK adults 18+ and 1,118 GB teenagers (aged 13-19). The results highlighted that:
- One in five adults (20%) felt shame, just over one third (34%) felt down or low, and 19% felt disgusted because of their body image in the last year.
- Among teenagers, 37% felt upset, and 31% felt ashamed in relation to their body image.
- Just over one third of adults said they had ever felt anxious (34%) or depressed (35%) because of their body image.
- Just over one in five adults (21%) said images used in advertising had caused them to worry about their body image.
- Just over one in five adults (22%) and 40% of teenagers said images on social media caused them to worry about their body image.
Please visit for more information :-
West Norfolk MIND
International Women’s Day 2020
To find out more, visit our recent events
International Women’s Day 2019
The event was kindly supported by the Audrey Muriel Stratford Charitable Trust, a local trust that offers grants towards selected projects that will benefit the people of King’s Lynn and the Mayor of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.
Women Aloud was an event that brought together a host of women’s organisations to celebrate International Women’s Day. This exciting event took place on Friday 8th March and Saturday 9th March 2019 in the beautiful Assembly Rooms of King’s Lynn Town Hall, and was held with the kind permission of the Mayor of King’s Lynn.
Soroptimist International of King’s Lynn has been fortunate as an organisation to have worked with many excellent charities and women’s organisations over the past years, and wanted to expand on that by hosting this event, which gave those attending a chance to network and get to know each other better.
Soroptimist International of Kings Lynn members are very grateful for all the support we have received for the event and wish to express our thanks to everyone and in particular The Mayor of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Nick Daubney, for giving us the use of the public rooms of the Town Hall and for his presence during the two days of the event together with the Trustees of Audrey Muriel Stratford Charitable Trust for their financial support for the event.
International Women’s Day 2018
The IWD event was a great success thanks to everyone who supported a pop up shop based in King’s Lynn town centre. Visitors were encouraged to help stop exploitation in the Fashion Industry by supporting the Global Blanket Campaign by decorating a square for the blanket. Over 60 squares were created, which we could not have achieved without the support from the Vancouver Quarter, the local newspapers and radio, not to forget everyone who called into the shop to make a square
As well as creating squares for the Global Blanket we celebrated 100 years of votes for Women, collecting sanitary items and old jewellery.
There was a jewellery collection for the Diamond Education Grant charity and sanitary items were collected for the Tricky Period Campaign – please see the Tricky Period Poster
Club members are very pleased to continue their support of the maintenance of a flower bed in Tower Gardens, King’s Lynn, a project that has been supported for several years.
In the past, a certificate of recognition of the contribution towards the Anglia in Bloom Campaign was received by the club.
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 and has benefitted our club. 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.
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 encouraged 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.