As a service organisation, we identify the needs of our community and then establish specific projects to address these – this is our main purpose and is usually referred to as Programme Action.
We choose projects that relate to one or more of the five Programme Areas identified by Soroptimist International
- Economic Empowerment
- Environmental Sustainability
- Food Security and Healthcare
- Violence and Conflict Resolution
All our work is linked to the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations General Assembly to transform our world.
The Pankhurst Trust runs the Pankhurst Centre – the former home of Emmeline – and Manchester Women’s Aid which provides vital support services in refuges across Greater Manchester to those suffering from domestic violence and abuse.
Members volunteer at the Centre and help with events.
Each year we supply and and pack 100 mugs with tea, coffee and biscuits for new arrivals at the refuges as well as providing toiletries and other items as requested.
In 2019 we helped to provide a sewing machine for each of the five refuges and our members attend regularly to demonstrate sewing skills. This enables the women to learn skills which are useful to them on a personal basis and may also have the potential to provide a livelihood.
More recently we have donated furnishings for women moving out of refuges into their own properties, purchased a range of activities for children resident in the refuges, and provided face masks during the pandemic.
MODERN DAY SLAVERY (MDS)
S I Manchester has been a member of the Greater Manchester MDS Forum since 2017 after being asked to become involved by S I Poole following their involvement with the Purple Teardrop Campaign. It is a multi-agency group which brings organisations together to raise awareness and tackle the issues of modern day slavery. Members attend quarterly meetings of the forum as well as relevant conferences and exhibitions.
- helped, in conjunction with Border Force UK, to raise awareness of MDS at a stall airside at Manchester Airport
- supported the Purple Teardrop Campaign by writing to mobile phone providers asking about their compliance with the law regarding MDS
- joined Soroptimists from across the Region for a public event at Manchester Cathedral aimed at raising awareness of modern slavery and human trafficking
A women’s centre in Manchester run by the charity Women in Prison. It provides practical and emotional support to women affected by the criminal justice system – not only those in or leaving HMP Styal but also those at risk. We donate clothes, shoes, handbags, toiletries, craft and knitting items, and diaries.
MANCHESTER ACTION ON STREET HEALTH (MASH)
MASH offers advice and support to women working in the sex industry by running a drop-in centre as well as taking a mobile van out at night. We donate sanitary products, underwear, flip-flops, sun cream and umbrellas. The charity works in close association with the Modern Day Slavery team and offers support to the homeless women of Manchester who are increasingly subject to sexual harassment. Showering and laundry facilities are offered by Cornerstone, another charity we have supported.
A food bank with a difference, Emmeline’s Pantry ensures that women in need are provided with the best possible support and the things they need most – including food, toiletries, baby equipment and clothes. Our members regularly donate Easter Eggs, and warm pyjamas at Christmas.
SIGBI made Climate Change a priority for 2020 and our Club decided to establish a Planet committee to focus on this. Several projects are under way
For SIGBI’s Centenary ‘Plant Trees for a Brilliant Future‘ we planted a tree at Coppice Library in Sale. We are currently having a discussion with the Friends of Didsbury Park with a view to planting a tree there.
The Green Footprint Challenge was launched in April 2021 with the aim of reducing our collective carbon footprint. Members were asked to calculate their footprint and then implement one big change and two or three small changes. Suggestions for big changes included becoming vegetarian, avoiding cruises and flights, and using the TreeApp to plant a (free) tree every day. Suggestions for small changes included switching to glass milk bottles, using public transport rather than a car, buying local produce, using rechargeable batteries, covering pans when cooking on the hob, foraging for food.
The Sunflower Challenge invited members to plant at least one sunflower seed by World Bee Day on 20th May. The pollen and nectar are readily accessible to bees which are vital to both pollinate the food we need to survive and pollinate many of the trees and flowers that provide habitats for wildlife.
Members of our Programme Action Committee’s Climate Group have produced a Collections and Recycling Directory which can be seen by clicking on the link below
In recent years we have been able to make donations to the following charities
Cornerstone – provides support to prevent people becoming homeless, secures safe accommodation for those who are homeless, and provides support that people need to make a new home.
Dianne Oxberry Trust – focuses on raising awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms as speed of diagnosis is vital on securing a better outcome.
Trafford Domestic Abuse Services – offer support to individuals and families who are suffering or who have suffered domestic abuse working with other voluntary organisations to support families across Greater Manchester.
St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre – provides a comprehensive and co-ordinated service to men, women and children who have experienced rape or sexual assault, whether recently or in the past.
We also donate to SIGBI’s long term project, SIGBI’s Emergency Relief Fund and the SI President’s appeal.