Members enjoyed food, fun and friendship at Fiona’s home on 13th December. We lit candles for our nine Friendship Link Clubs – S I Johannesburg, S I St Petersburg, S I Wichita, S I Grosse Pointe, S I Fort-de-France Alizes Sud, S I Essen Victoria, S I Kathmandu, S I Gdansk and S I Madurai. Thank you to Alison and Rosemary, Social Committee chair and deputy, for organising the party and Fiona for hosting.
MANCHESTER WOMEN’S AID On 6th December members enjoyed another successful evening packing over 100 mugs for Manchester Women’s Aid. Every women arriving at a refuge, after escaping domestic violence, is given her own mug carefully wrapped in biodegradeable paper and containing sachets of tea, coffee, chocolate and a biscuit. These are greatly appreciated and members are delighted to be able to help in this way. It was appropriate that we were able to do this during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Thanks to Rose for hosting the evening. WOMENMATTA On 7th December President Sue and Programme Action Committee Chair Sophie delivered 250 diaries, vouchers and toiletries. Diaries were requested by the organisation (part of Women in Prison) to help women leaving the criminal justice system to organise their lives. Sophie found that they were desperately in need of warm clothes and shoes
During National Tree Week thousands of trees are planted to mark the start of the tree planting season and to help offset climate change. Manchester Soroptimists, with the help of Friends of Didsbury Park, planted a Wedding Cake tree and enjoyed coffee and a chat in the Pavilion Cafe afterwards.
This campaign is run annually from November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to December 10 (International Human Rights Day). This year’s theme is End Femicide.
Members from SI Manchester attended the 88th Federation Conference of Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland. The 2 day conference took place in Belfast and was attended by up to 500 Soroptimists. Members enjoyed listening to excellent speakers talking about empowering women and girls, developing technology to be more proactive in health care, creating an environment fit for the future, working towards gender equality and learning about the current work of the British Red Cross. The excellent project work improving the lot of women and girls was recognised and celebrated. There was much fun and friendship in evidence as members met up with friends made at previous conferences. Conversations were shared over coffee or meals often late into the night. Time was made for visits to Northern Ireland’s special places like the Giant’s Causeway and the Titanic Quarter. Despite the cold weather several hardy Soroptimists took the open
Members, family, friends and supporters of the club enjoyed a most successful fund raising lunch on Sunday 16th October. It took the form of a horse race meeting. Everybody dressed as if going to the races so there were some wonderful outfits and splendid hats. There were 8 horses running in each of the 6 races which were run using pre-recorded videos of actual races. There was a Tote so punters could bet on their favourite horse or on a horse which they had sponsored. Betting was fast and furious and there was great excitement and cheering when the race was being run. Winners counted their winnings! The race meeting took place in a very comfortable hotel. Club members had decorated the dining room in a horse racing theme. A delicious lunch was served. There was a continual buzz of conversation of people catching up as this was the first big event the club
African Unite Against Child Abuse (AFRUCA) Afruca works with black and ethnic communities to protect and safeguard children from abuse, modern slavery and exploitation, and tackles cultural and religious practices that harm children. Fabiola, one of our members who works for the charity, spoke at our August meeting with particular reference to county lines – where illegal drugs are transported from one area to another, often by children who are coerced by gangs. We were please to be able to give a donation to Afruca. Manchester Action on Street Health (MASH) Our Club has a long standing relationship with MASH – see our Local Projects page for more information. Janelle Hardacre spoke at our September meeting and brought us up to date with the charity’s work. This enabled us to develop a comprehensive Programme Action plan for the year which includes donating a variety of
Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution … by choosing to refuse single use plastics. At our July Club meeting Elaine led a discussion on avoiding single use plastic. There are many different types of plastic making it difficult to identify, separate and recycle successfully resulting in most plastic waste going to landfill. Simple tips from SIGBI for the Soroptimist Day of Action Carry reusable shopping bags Drink coffee from a reusable cup Avoid pre-packaged foods by choosing bulk or loose food Avoid bottled water Avoid single-use dental products Try alternatives to single-use tampons and pads Swap liquid soap for bar soaps Members added to these by suggesting toothpaste in metal tubes, butter in blocks rather than tubs, washing powder in cardboard cartons, unpackaged fruit and veg, milk in glass bottles, food
Two capital sums bequeathed to the club were donated to the Royal Northern College of Music for investment, with the interest gained to be used annually to bestow a prize to a student. In the graduate school the prize is the Soroptimist Prize for Composing or Conducting and in the junior school it is the Helen Latto Prize for singing. Helen was President of S I Manchester in 1980-81. Susan Hollick represented President Sue this year – The concert showcased ten very accomplished performances on trumpet, horn, violin, flute, clarinet, piano and voice and the works as varied as Chopin, Samuel Barber, Gabriel Faure and Fritz Kreisler, played and sung by amazing young people between 11 and 16 years old. Susan presented the Helen Latto prize to soprano Alex Wilkinson – Alex said … being awarded the prize truly made my heart sing.
President Sue was delighted to meet Mamta Bajaj from S I Bangkok when she visited Manchester in August. They strolled around the Quays exchanging stories and experiences, then Mamta joined us for our Club meeting. S I Bangkok recently celebrated their 45 years by publishing a book made up of the memories of Presidents and contributions from Presidents’ families. Mamta presented the Club with a copy – Sue suggested that should be our goal for our centenary in 2026.