Soroptimists Stay Connected
Saturday 18 July is the Soroptimist Day of Action. Members of Clubs in Soroptimist International of London Chilterns Region have been staying connected throughout the COVID19 crisis and continue to support and connect with their local, national and international projects.
SI St Albans and District Health Events on Zoom raised £700 during COVID19 lockdown SI St Albans and District organised a series of three events in June and July focused on health and wellbeing. The Club knows that as we come through the COVID-19 crisis it is really important for everyone to stay well, to enjoy life to the full when we move into the new normal… The three speakers each focused on a different ways to maintain our health. The first speaker was Dr Alka Patel a GP and lifestyle coach. The second speaker was Jen Tiller a Breathing Coach. The third speaker was Louise Caplin (with husband Adam) from Spice Way in Radlett who demonstrated using herbs and spices to enhance health and wellbeing. A bonus of holding the events online was that people could attend from all over the world! The events attracted audiences of up to 80 people. Attendees included Soroptimists and friends from California, Germany, Yorkshire and Merseyside as well as many attendees from the St Albans and wider London Chilterns area. The events were free but voluntary donations could be made on booking which raised more than £700 in total! £450 for the St Albans and Hertsmere Women’s Refuge, £133 for Herts Area Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre and £120 for the Haematology Cancer Care Unit at UCLH.
Some quotes from attendees were:
‘I would like to congratulate you and St Albans Club for an amazing meeting last night. I don’t think any other club has had quite such a successful evening.’ ‘Great event last night. Really interesting talk, lovely speaker, and how well it all went.’
Club President Katherine Clark said “I am proud of our Members who continue to help the community in these difficult times. I am also really proud that they have risen to the challenge of using new technology to support one another.”
Links to the three events, with more information, are on the Club’s website:
SI Thames Valley Members have been supporting their own Club during the COVID19 crisis by gardening for one of their own house bound members and had much enjoyment cleaning garden containers and planting new flowers to liven up these dreary times. Instead of their usual monthly meetings in Bourne End Library they held Zoom meetings and in doing so improved the technological skills of many of their colleagues.
Contacts with their regular link clubs in the UK and abroad have been strengthened by email and Zoom. Friendships, always a vital element of Soroptimism, were reinforced as news of projects was exchanged, help was offered and accounts of varying situations compared.
SI Thames Valley members have also carried on with their own club projects.
The photo shows Peggy Simson, a member of SI Thames Valley, collecting a cheque for £333 kindly donated by Waitrose from their Community Matters Programme. This money comes from a monthly fund of £1000 per month divided between local charities voted for by the community. It will be given to Wycombe Women’s Aid which is one of the charities regularly supported by SI Thames Valley and had been proposed by the club.
At international level SI Thames Valley is a long term supporter of the Kori Development Project in Sierra Leone. When news came through that the Covid-19 virus had reached Taiama where this project is based, the club rapidly arranged for funds to be sent to buy rice for the locked down residents of the village. When Ebola hit the region a few years ago residents ran the risk of starving to death because they had no food to feed themselves. The Kori Development Project, www.koridp.org., works to educate, empower and improve the health of women and girls in Taiama, in the KORI district of Sierra Leone.
“I am very proud of the Actions under taken by SI Thames Valley Club, similar Service is happening in all our clubs across 120 countries around the world” said Johanna M Raffan, a member of SI Thames Valley and President Elect for Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland Federation.
The Club also received coverage about the Soroptimists Day of Action in the Maidenhead Advertiser.