White Ribbon Campaign at Football Match
Members of SI King’s Lynn were welcomed to The Walks Stadium at King’s Lynn on Saturday 9th April 2016 during their home match against Weymouth. We attended in order to raise awareness of the White Ribbon Campaign, which works across the world to end men’s violence against women.
Wearing a white ribbon is a personal pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and we gave out around 100. The crowd of over 500 people at the Walks were welcoming, interested and concerned to hear our messages and generous in their support for the campaign. We would like to thank King’s Lynn Town Football Club (and especially Clare Clifford and manager Gary Setchell) for their support.
Norfolk Says No to Domestic Violence
As part of a Norfolk-wide campaign, Norfolk Says No to Domestic Violence, members of SI King’s Lynn joined other agencies at Downham Market Town Hall to support the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk at the staging of the ‘No More’ Play which highlights the direct impact domestic violence has on families.
SI King’s Lynn Programme Action Officer Kim Bramham and Club President Andrea Pearson thanked the council for hosting the event before updating the audience on why this issue is so important to Soroptimists world-wide. Andrea pointed out that whilst the Play is powerful, so are the statistics around Domestic Violence. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in the UK are victims of domestic abuse at some stage in their life – anyone can suffer from domestic abuse or sexual violence, but help is only a phone call away.
Programme Action Officer Kim Bramham, SI King’s Lynn Club President Andrea Pearson are joined by 2015-2016 Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Colin Manning and Mayoress Julie Manning before the No More Play at Downham Market Town Hall.
Membership Officer Elizabeth Harrison chats to Mayoress Julie Manning about the club. An added success has been in signing up Julie as a new member – Julie has been so inspired by her experiences when meeting members of SI King’s Lynn during her mayoral year that she has decided to become a member of the club early in April.
Public Speaking Competition
Primary Schools from across King’s Lynn met at Springwood High School on Thursday 10th March 2016 to battle it out in the annual Public Speaking Competition run by Soroptimist International of King’s Lynn.
Choosing from a diverse range of subjects such as ‘Should we aim to re-use rather than replace gadgets and items?’ and ‘Should advertisers be allowed to use airbrushed images?’ groups of three Year 6 pupils from each of the six participating schools presented their arguments.
St Martha’s Catholic Primary School took the honours with a well-argued talk explaining how their school welcomes children from other cultures. The school won £100 in prize money and the Benita Haynes Shield, in memory of a former member of the Soroptimist club in King ’s Lynn.
One of the judges, Mayoress Julie Manning, spoke afterwards about the difficulty of selecting the winners in such a well-fought contest, and commended all the pupils on their confidence.
Bras to free the girls
The club responded enthusiastically to the current Purple Teardrop request for gently used bras that will be used to help trafficking victims begin a new life making a living by selling bras.
The club sent four boxes of pre-loved bras – enough to set two women up in business, and well on the way to helping a third.
The Purple Teardrop campaign certainly captured our imagination. Lots of ladies have one or two bras that they can part with, and to know that they will benefit ladies and help them to move on in such a positive way meant it was easy to get friends and family to donate. We asked a local business to pay for the postage, so this hasn’t cost the club anything. It is great to know that we have made a contribution to helping women to become free of the traffickers”
A Trustee of the Purple Teardrop Campaign, told SI King’s Lynn “I am absolutely overwhelmed at the number of bras that you have sent; what a fantastic job you have all done. Please pass on our thanks to everyone who has contributed to the collection. This is going to make so much difference to them and I hope that you are proud of what you have all done. These women will now be independent and free of the traffickers. Having a successful business of their own is going to do wonders for their self esteem, which after being trafficked is bound to be very low.”
On the 7th of February 4 members plus a husband attended the London Anglia Region fundraising lunch for our regional project of ‘Neat Feet, Happy Hands’.
The Wivenhoe House Hotel at the University of Essex was impressive and set in beautiful grounds. The hotel is run by students studying a degree in hotel management and both the food and the hospitality did them proud.
The main fundraising event was the silent auction of eleven lots from theatre tickets to Edwardian water jugs. There were also Kenyan crafts such as purses and notebooks available to buy. The overall sum raised was in the region of an impressive £800.
Everyone was thanked for their attendance and support of the project especially considering the substantial difference that the simple and cost-effective treatment can have on the lives of the individuals and the community as a whole. It costs just under £1 to treat each person. Given the amount raised it is worth reflecting on the number of lives that will be profoundly changed as a result of this event and indeed the project as a whole. Thanks to Dilly, London Anglia Region president, for organising the event.
Another splendid literary lunch took place in November at Le Strange Arms Hotel. This year we were pleased to welcome Vanessa Scott and Mary Kemp who gave us a lively talk on Norfolk’s Own Cookery Book – Everything Stops for Tea. The book has so far this year raised £75,000 for Marie Curie Nurses and they hope to sell out by Christmas.
We then heard from Rachel Hore on her journey to become an author. Rachel was not new to the publishing world when she started writing but still had to find a publisher for her first novel. Now an established writer with books on the Sunday Times Bestseller list.
Our President Andrea celebrated a special birthday in September with a Ceilidh. Members enjoyed a lively evening together with friends of the President learning new steps and making new friends whilst having a great time on the dance floor.
In August 2 members took part in the 10k Sandringham Walk to remember to support Marie Curie. The evening was warm and perfect for the walk and entertaining. A night to remember. The members were supported by generous donation from other club members.
Celebrating 40 years since SI King’s Lynn was chartered in 1975, we held our Friendship Weekend on 3-5 July. We were very pleased that our Soroptimist friends from SI Amber Valley, SI Solihull, SI Waterland and SI Pune were able to join us for all or part of the weekend The Friday saw us gathered for a welcome supper at members home. On the Saturday there was a day in Wisbech including a visit to Peckover House and its lovely gardens, Octavia Hill’s house and an opportunity to watch the parade of floats for the annual Rose Fair. The weather was wonderful and everyone had a very enjoyable time. On the Saturday evening we enjoyed a barbecue at another members home and were then up in good time on Sunday morning for the cutting of the celebration cake prior to lunch. The Charter Lunch was held in the historic setting of King’s Lynn Town Hall with its mediaeval Stone Hall and Georgian Assembly Room. The guest speaker was Baroness Gillian Shepherd, former Cabinet Minister and MP for South West Norfolk. A good time was had by all and our friendships are alive and well.
Lions Fun Day
Once again in June 2015 we set up our stall at the King’s Lynn Lions Fun Day, in the local park. We were lucky with the weather and the sun shone on our efforts – selling cakes and jewellery plus a ‘Guess the Teddy’s birthday’ competition. We were very pleased with our stall presentation, having recently purchased a new banner and scroll boards.
As the first official event of President Andrea’s year, it couldn’t be much better than the May Ball and Auction of Promises. The atmosphere for the whole night was full of laughter, along with the serious matter of raising money for Home-Start. Our members enjoyed dressing up for the evening as well as bidding on the auction with some amazing lots including a holiday villa for a week and flights around Norfolk. Joint working with another service organisation was a definite success and we can foresee more projects in the future.