Members were joined by friends and family to start their Christmas shopping (on Zoom of course) with Antonia’s Handbags. Hats, scarves, purses and umbrellas were available too – and over £150 was raised for our charities
Members donated 30 pairs of pyjamas to Emmeline’s Pantry – a foodbank with a difference. They will be given at Christmas to some of the women who get support, food and other help from there .
The 16 days between 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and 10th December, Human Rights Day, are known as the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence – a UNESCO campaign. Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today and is a threat to millions of girls regardless of age, background or level of education, The colour orange symbolises a brighter future, free of violence and is, therefore, used as the colour of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. We started the 16 days with a virtual social meeting and confirmed donations to be made to four of our charities – Manchester Women’s Aid, Manchester Action on Street Health, Women MATTA and Act4Africa.
Our Annual General Meeting – delayed because of the pandemic – was held on Zoom on 15th October. Rosemarie Marginson was installed as President. New President Rose’s address included the induction of three members – Lori, Yemi and Sarah – who joined during lockdown.
Our members took part in The Brilliant Breakfast on 13th October as part of our regular Tuesday Zoom Social meeting We enjoyed coffee, cakes, fruit, bacon sandwiches, and a good chat, all whilst raising funds for The Prince’s Trust’s Women Supporting Women campaign, for young women in the UK who have been hardest hit by Covid-19.
Barbara, our Programme Action Officer, gave a presentation to a conference entitled ‘There is no Planet B’ organised by S I Madurai, one of our Friendship Link clubs. The conference was attended by over 100 members from all five Federations. ‘S I Manchester hasn’t really focussed on environmental projects in recent years, but we have started to challenge each other to make individual changes – to reduce, reuse and recycle. However, there are bigger challenges in our area. Like many great cities around the world Greater Manchester has a strong industrial and commercial heritage, from the early days of the cotton industry, through the development of major engineering industries to the current focus on service industries and the media. But this does come at a cost – there are not enough homes close to where people work, and not enough public transport or other infrastructure
Our Programme Action Officer , Barbara, has created a scarecrow on behalf of the Club for this competition organised by Act4Africa, one of our charities, and Sale and District Lions. The proceeds will go towards helping the response to coronavirus in impoverished rural communities in Uganda through Act4Africa and in local communities through Sale and District Lions. Our scarecrow is wearing the ‘Ask me why I’m a Soroptimist’ T shirt.
When Trafford Domestic Abuse Services posted their urgent appeal for toiletries, members of SI Manchester truly rose to the challenge! Today, Programme Action Officer Barbara and Treasurer Elaine delivered our donations of essential toiletries, hand made toiletry bags and £200 of shopping vouchers. In addition, the Club donated £50 towards necessities for TDAS’s new refuge. We are looking forward to hearing more about the organisation once club meetings resume.
It is disappointing that our projects have had to be curtailed during the lockdown but we are still finding ways to help where we can, both as a club and as individuals. Manchester Women’s Aid (MWA) With families spending more time at home, the risk of domestic abuse is greatly increased – so our support for MWA is even more important now. On a positive note, three of the women that we know from the sewing project are moving into their own accommodation – a big step from the security of the refuge to an independent life. We were delighted to be able to make a donation to provide some of the furnishings needed – and a couple of members have donated curtains. We were also able to buy activity materials and gift cards for the children in the refuges. Other donations Our
As part of 16 Days of Action and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence towards Women, we took part in Dead Women Walking in Manchester city centre. We commemorated the many women who have been murdered by men that were known to them, since last year’s march. About 50 women attended and dressed in bright red, we walked in silent, single file, threading through the busy Christmas Markets, whilst the names of the women were read out. We found the experience to be extremely moving. Fortunately, it was less eventful than last year, where one of the participants was assaulted. We received a little heckling but also received many messages of support and expressions of interest. Elaine Loader As part of the 16 Days of Action against Domestic Violence, the Pankhurst Centre held an event at which 173 handbags were displayed to represent