The global pandemic of 2020 brought many challenges for people. In response to this Leigh Soroptimists wanted to maintain our commitment to help where we can to support the women, girls and families in our community.
In partnership with The Bridge at Leigh we collected and delivered a car boot full of Easter Eggs for the children in a local Women’s Refuge. We were able to ensure that they were able to enjoy and celebrate Easter in the traditional way that children do.
Supporting the women’s refuge:
Our long standing link with the Refuge to provide ‘Dignity Bags’ for the women when they arrive has also been maintained throughout the pandemic, and through our Kindness Project we have provided extra toiletries and period products.
The Basic Kindness Project:
Our support for local women and families through the local Start Well Centres, to provide basic hygiene essentials was compromised at the start of the pandemic when, for safety reasons, we had to stop collecting donations, however we made a very large delivery to keep them going until normal service could be resumed. With the relaxation of restrictions we have been able to set up our regular donation point in Morrison’s supermarket in Leigh which has been overwhelmed with kindness.
With social distancing in place, we responded to World Environment Day by organising a litter pick at a local beauty spot, Pennington Flash Country Park. Several members arrived at Pennington Flash to undertake the task of picking up small pieces of plastic, metal and discarded cigarette butts, straws and food wrapping. This type of litter is a danger to the many birds and wildlife that make the flash their home so the project meets the environmental goals of Soroptimists worldwide.
What about the carer home workers?:
We were all standing on our doorsteps each Thursday evening to clap and bang our pans for ‘Key Workers’ but we wanted to do more. Many of our members responded to the call for scrub bags and mask extenders for staff on the frontline. We thought of the staff working tirelessly in care homes and decided to provide a thank you treat in the form of pamper hampers containing a selection of toiletries and biscuits or chocolates. A list was made and 16 care homes were found to be in our locality and each one received a hamper from Leigh Soroptimists to thank them for their unstinting efforts
Following the success and appreciation for the pamper hampers in the care homes we looked next to recognise ‘Carers Week’. Our focus was on young carers and again in partnership with The Bridge we put together treat bags containing a selection of craft items, puzzles, games, sweets etc. These were given to the Wigan and Leigh Young Carers group for them to distribute to their 6 – 11 year old group.
Pictures of many happy faces were seen on their Facebook page.
Leigh Soroptimist Club would like to recognise the contribution of The Bridge at Leigh in helping us, by providing items and facilities to enable these projects to be undertaken. Thanks must go particularly to club member Dorothy Bowker a trustee at The Bridge and Programme Action Officer Margaret Molyneux for her drive and enthusiasm to keep going under unusual circumstances.