We were pleased to welcome Rosa Russell from the Great Yarmouth club.
Rosa Russell gave a very interesting talk on the Neat Feet, Happy Hands project, set up initially by a SI Gt Yarmouth member, which has been the Regional project for 2015-17.
Rosa thanked the King’s Lynn club for their donation and explained the project focusses on relieving the effects of the jigger parasite in children in Kenya. It has been very successful.
The Region has raised £2,500; starter treatment kits have been sent out for 5 schools; and 500 children have been treated so far. Now that a long-term funder has been found, the Soroptimist funds will be used for treatment and transport. Long term funding means the project aims to treat a further 20,000 children.
Congratulations to Andrea
The club have been delighted in supporting member Andrea for the King’s Lynn Mayor’s Civic Award for Voluntary Service in 2016 which was presented at the annual Ceremony at the Town Hall.
President Corinne and member Elizabeth attended the evening with Andrea.
Alison went on to explain that her view included succession planning and wanting to appeal to younger women. To this end, she had commissioned feedback from a group of university students. Feedback was given on Club meetings, and Club websites – needing to be more visual and interactive.
Alison listened to what Club members had to say about what we are already doing, and agreed King’s Lynn club was a showcase for what works” and urged the Club to share what we have learnt at Regional level.
Alison also clarified that there is now much less formality over who can apply for Regional roles and invited those interested to do so. Alison led a discussion on her aim for the year – Growing the Future. The Club felt this covered a number of issues, including sustainability – increasing and maintaining membership, especially of younger members; Programme Action issues in terms of not losing ground already gained; and creating a sense of belonging.
Holocaust Memorial Service
On Sunday, 22 January, President Corinne attended the Holocaust Memorial Day service at the Town Hall on behalf of SI King’s ynn and took part with a reading of “No man is an Island” by John Donne. This was a multi faith, multi cultural service to remember the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau on 27 January 1945. Over 6 million people were “exterminated ” by the Nazis in World War 2, mainly Jewish people but also the disabled, Roma, homosexuals, communists and any opposing the regime. There were readings, prayers and a song from St Martha’s RC school which was both sung and signed. Candles were lit in remembrance and a wreath was to be laid at the HMD tree in Priory park.
Christmas Tree Festival
The St Faiths Christmas Tree Festival was supported by the club with home made decorations.
Crafty club members met the week before the Festival to make decorations for the tree. The decorations made showed the work undertaken by the club so are informative as well as being very decorative.
The club hosted their annual Literary Lunch on the 20 November at the Le strange Arms Hotel in Hunstanton. The lunch has become a feature of the club’s events when family and friends are invited to join members for a meal with an author.
The event proved very successful with over 60 guests enjoying a delicious traditional lunch, followed by an enlightening talk given by Jackie Bennett who is a former editor of The Garden Design Journal, the English Garden Magazine and Gardening with the National Trust.
Jackie began her career in television, producing gardening and natural history programmes before becoming a full time writer. She has recently produced a booked entitled Shakespeare’s Gardens and explained how her research led her to the gardens associated with the playwright in Stratford-upon-Avon. Jackie talked about the gardens as they would have been then and as they are now detailing the plants, shrubs and flowers Shakespeare would have known and how he used them in his writing.
During the talk Jackie was most ably assisted with anthologies from “Three’s Company” (Leah, Irma and Lesley) using Shakespeare’s works and contemporary sources to his times. These were very entertaining.
What an excellent way to spend a Sunday afternoon! Good company, good food, wonderful speakers and the knowledge that the club made over £500.00 to support its 2016/7 charities, being Lend with Care and supporting local girl guides.
Guest speaker was Lord Petre, Lord-Lieutenant of Essex. Other guests included The Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Patricia Hughes, The Right Honourable Sir Simon Burns Local MP, Ann Garvey, Immediate Past President Soroptimist International and Alison Charles, London Anglia Regional President, and members of other clubs from across London Anglia Region.
Federation Conference 2016
The club was well represented at the annual Federation Conference which was held in Malta.
In total seven members attended with friends and partners.
We met up with members from the other Norfolk clubs for a county photo.
The conference enabled members to meet up with old friends as well as making new ones. It was a great opportunity to meet with Soroptimist throughout the Federation.
The Conference was very well organised with inspirational speakers and events.
Not to forget the social events and sightseeing around Malta after the Conference which were enjoyable as ever.
Reports of each day are at the 2016 Conference webpage.
On Sunday 13 November 2016 Vice President Kim Bramham together with club member Carol Beveridge represented the club at the Remembrance Day Ceremony held in Greyfriars Tower Gardens.
A wreath was laid on behalf of the club.
London Anglia Region Programme Action Award 2016
Members attended the London Anglia Regional SI meeting on 10th September. The club was delighted to come joint first in the London Anglia Region Programme Action Award 2016 for their work on the Norfolk Says No project.
Former Programme Action Officer, Kim Bramham, presented on the work that had gone into this project – activities such as raising awareness of the issue of Domestic Abuse across Norfolk. This included lobbying organisations so that West Norfolk was involved in Norfolk Says No each year. The club also hosted stands in supermarkets – support was provided by partners such as Leeway and Victim Support so that useful information could be handed out. The club also attended the Borough Council sponsored ‘No More’ Play twice, speaking about the wider issues that Soroptimist focus on, as well as attending King’s Lynn Football Club to raise awareness of the White Ribbon campaign for the initiative.
Kim Bramham together with the club’s current Programme Action Officer Gill Bond were delighted to show club members the award.
Anglia in Bloom Award
Club members, did a spot of gardening over the Summer.
To support, ‘Anglia in Bloom,’ club members weeded and pruned the flowerbed in Tower Gardens King’s Lynn which is dedicated to Soroptomist International. They were presented by Anglia in Bloom with a certificate in recognition for their contribution to the garden receiving a nomination for, ‘The Best Garden for Special Needs Award 2016.’
The award covered a wide range of gardens being judged across the whole Eastern Region including; Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.
Finding the Treasure in Ely
Soroptimists from King’s Lynn enjoyed an excellent day out in Ely on Saturday 24 September. Club members, their friends and family met at the Almonry before embarking on a walking treasure trail around the city, following clues and directions to various points of interest.
There was a small prize for the winners and proceeds went towards club charities.
September Business Meeting
Before the September Business started President Corinne had the pleasure of handing the cheque for the funds raised at the Strawberry Tea to the representatives from Tools for Self Reliance. The cheque was for over £300.
The charity appealed for donations of tailor’s shears and scissors. They will spend the donation on these items as well as black and white cotton for the haberdashery packs.
Speaker Ian Sturgess (Norfolk PCC)
Ian Sturgess from Norfolk PCC was the speaker for the meeting who then gave an overview of his current role as Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Reduction Officer, having previously had a career in as a senior officer in CID.
Ian spoke about his work supporting women and girls, dealing with the aftermath of rapes and murders. We were told about the importance PCC Lorne Green has put on the Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence agenda. Ian highlighted the value of the input of organisations such as SIGBI, and in particular the clubs contribution to Norfolk Says No. The input made by the King’s Lynn club within schools was also valued, especially in light of the misconceptions that now seem prevalent, with some young girls considering that unhealthy relationships, sexting and controlling behavior were ‘normal’ parts of a relationship.
We were asked to work on the issue of ‘no recourse to public funds’ which can leave females without accommodation, which directly impacts on the options open to them and their children in times of duress, putting them at further significant risk.
Teddy Bears Love Hunny
Our stall at the Hunstanton Kite Festival on Sunday 21st August was very well placed to attract attention from visitors – either to win a teddy or to enquire about the organisation – situated at the entrance to the Craft Fair (and to the Ladies’ Loos!). It was a beautiful sunny day and the organisation of the event was excellent.
Several club members manned the stall – some staying the whole day – the perk being a good view of all the kite displays and aerobatic manoeuvres. The tombola raised funds for club charities and funds will be used to help micro-financing ventures in the developing world (through Lend With Care) plus the sponsorship of 2 Girl Guides on voluntary placements overseas.
Sandringham Flower Show 27 July 2016
When we arrived on the day of the show we were glad that the gazebo had been set up the day before as it was pouring with rain.But the rain eased and we were able to complete setting up.
The pitch was on a corner near the royal walkabout lane which was roped off for 2 hours – we became an island in the midst of visitors desperate to get to the other side of the showground and looking for devious routes around the back of the stalls (with little success). By now the sun was starting to shine and we were able to engage a number of these in conversation.
During the day various members joined the team on the stand, which enabled some of the members to look around (and enjoy a ride on the carousel). We were wearing our ‘Ask me why I’m a Soroptimist’ T shirts so hoped that this would help publicity (although no-one did ask us – perhaps they were just too polite).
Plenty of leaflets were handed out – several enquirers came from the Norwich area and were signposted to the Norwich club. A few were local and were warmly invited to attend a club meeting with supper. Many were from other parts of the country. Some had seen our name in the programme and were curious to know who we were.
By the time it came to pack up we hoped that we had spread the word a little.
Visit from Mission with a Vision charity Director Patrick
Immediate Past President presented the Kenyan charity Mission with a Vision with a cheque for £1300 after a number of members met with Patrick Ngigi for supper. The charity has worked for many years to assist girls escaping FGM and early marriage in Kenya, providing support and accommodation at their safe house located near the Masai Mara national reserve. The charity also ensures that the girls receive an education – this has resulted in many girls becoming nurses, teachers and lawyers in Kenya.
The club raised funds to assist with the charity’s goals by holding a Fashion Show (supported by Artichoke, Ely) where tickets were purchased to attend, and a percentage of the taking were donated to the charity. In addition, the then President Andrea held a ceilidh during which donations were collected. Fundraising also took place during a Literary Lunch.
Patrick Ngigi, Founder and Director of the charity, travelled from Kenya to meet and thank sponsors in the UK, as well as working to attract further sponsorship that will enable more girls to be educated and supported. On his visit to King’s Lynn he thanked SI King’s Lynn club members for their contributions over the past few years and spoke about the difference their support has made.
Mission with a Vision – http://missionwithavision.net/
On Sunday 10th July, members of Soroptimist International Club of King’s Lynn, held their forty-first Charter Lunch at Congham Hall, Grimston. President Corinne welcomed club members and guests from clubs across the region, including Regional President Dilly Meyer and from their Friendship Link clubs in Solihull and Amber Valley.
The after dinner speaker was Eleanor Milburn, who spoke about her time working for the Open University and linked it into the Soroptimist Vision of helping women and girls to achieve their potential through education and empowerment.
After lunch, members and guests were treated to a guided tour of Congham Hall’s Herb and Kitchen garden by their Head Chef. He described how he used the produce in the menu and outlined their plan to expand the Kitchen garden, to increase their self-sufficiency.
The afternoon concluded with the chance to relax in the grounds with tea and homemade biscuits.
Strawberry Tea for Tools
President Corinne held a strawberry tea on Sunday 26th June in Ingoldisthorpe in aid of Tools for Self Reliance, one of her chosen charities for this year. The charity specialises in helping people in Africa to start up their own business by donating refurbished items for haberdashery, wood work, metal work and mechanical businesses. Their motto is, ‘Practical help for practical people.’ It enables people to work their way out of poverty by providing people with tools and training to start up and earn a living, working in and building up their communities.
A sum of over £70 was raised with donations of plants from members and Ward’s Nursery, Ringstead for a plant stall with over £270 raised from the afternoon. A raffle was held and members baked cakes for the occasion. All were treated to a strawberry cream tea with Prosecco and the weather held out. Local contacts for the charity; Lorna and John Bowden and John Miles attended. A presentation on the work of Tools for Self-Reliance was given by John Miles.
ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION AT WATERLAND – A GREAT SUCCESS
Val Rout and President Corinne (together with her husband, Stas) travelled to Holland at the invitation of SI Waterland to celebrate the anniversary of 40 years of the Friendship Link with SI King‘s Lynn. They were joined by 14 members from SI Baden Baden (together with some more husbands!) for whom it was the inauguration of the friendship link between their club and Waterland.
Please see the Friendship Link page for the full report.
On Saturday evening, we met in the Art Hotel Spaander in Volendam for a gala supper. The hotel was full of paintings (many by well know artists) and we were in a room overlooking the Ijssel Meer. Before we ate, however, we were taken off for a surprise… a photo opportunity with the sisters dressed in Dutch costume!
We all said how much we had enjoyed the weekend and how well organised it had been and we hoped to build on the friendship links to help & support each other
Friendship Weekend in Krakow 20 – 21 May 2016
The weekend was celebrating the 20th anniversary for the First Krakow club and President Corinne together with club member Mary were very pleased to attend the weekend. Visitors from a number of clubs and countries attended the weekend.
The weekend started on the Friday evening at the Town Hall. The evening included local dignitaries praising the Krakow Club for its work and achievements as well as the President of SI Krakow welcoming guests. Music entertainment was provided by the young musicians supported by the club and was excellent.
The Gala Dinner was held at the Holiday Inn in Krakow. The visiting guests presented gifts to the President of the Krakow Club with our President Corinne starting in Polish with a clap of applause from everyone. During the evening we were very pleased to have the Friendship certificate signed to commemorate our latest Friendship Link club SI Krakow.
It was a very enjoyable weekend, making new friendship as well as President Corrine meeting up with some old friends.
Please see the full report on the Friendship Link page
Norfolk Hospice Tapping House
Members visited the Norfolk Hospice Tapping House on the 10 May for a guided tour of the new premises. Jessica, the events co-ordinator gave us a very informative tour including the day therapy unit, bereavement support as well as the splendid garden. The building had been carefully planned to try and accommodate all those who would need help.
The hospice provides support with home hospice and respite care but is not able to open the unit for people to stay at the moment.
The percentage of funding for the hospice which comes from the NHS, 10%, and is well below the 35% national average, so the services depend on donations and legacies, and from volunteering, something club members could consider.
At the meeting held on 9 May 2016 President Corinne was delighted to welcomed 17 guests to the meeting. The guests included members friends and potential members who had been met at recent events including the Earth Day Event.
Before the business part of the meeting presentations were made to give the guests a background to Soroptimist International and the club. These included talks on the Fundraising & Events Committee’s role within the club, focusing on the President’s Strawberry Tea next month which aims to raise funds for Tools for Self Reliance.
The Friendship Links were also explained. Two new members then described their journeys to joining SIKL, which were followed by a talk about the Club’s Programme Action over the past year in the context of the UN Sustainable Goals for 2015-19, explaining that projects within SIGBI happen at international, national, regional & local levels. The club works at both action and raising awareness, giving examples such as Public Speaking for Schools, Norfolk Says No and Purple Teardrop projects.
The presentations were completed by talk on Soroptimism including the work of Soroptimist International, and our connections with worldwide organisation such as the United Nations.
The meeting was a great success.
Earth Day Event