Sadly our friend and fellow Soroptimist, Anthea Parnell, has lost her battle with ovarian cancer. A few of our members share their memories of Anthea; Liz, “Anthea was our Club President from 1998 to 1999. I’ve had a look back through our activities that year and Anthea brought her usual mix of fun and thoughtfulness to the programme. We had some really interesting speakers and our activities focused on raising awareness of various issues, especially street children, landmines, domestic abuse and young carers. We supported the Jaipur Limb Scheme, and Anthea’s particular passion was the National Meningitis Trust, for which Anthea encouraged us to raise a substantial donation. I especially remember Anthea’s Presidential Lunch, which was held on the Kent and East Sussex Steam Railway and a great day out!”. Lillian “One of my first duties when I was president was to go with the
Medway Towns Soroptimists are hosting a charity fashion show by Travelling Trends on Thursday 17th May 2018. Join us at 7pm at The Franklin Rooms, 65 Franklin Road, Gillingham. ME7 4DG. Price £8 which includes a welcome drink. To book or for further information please contact Angela Howe email email@example.com. Raffle prizes gratefully received. Proceeds towards Cancer Research in memory of Anthea Parnell.
A woman dies from ovarian cancer every two hours, yet the diagnosis and treatment lags behind high profile diseases like prostate or breast cancer. Ovarian Cancer Action – a UK charity dedicated to beating the sixth most common cancer in women aims to empower women, to give them a voice, and to create a better future for the thousands of mothers, partners, sisters, daughters and friends affected by this disease. Ross Little from Ovarian Cancer Action will be coming to the Medway Soroptimist meeting on 8th March giving a talk to raise awareness. With no national screening programme and a low survival rate it’s vital that everyone is educated about the disease and its symptoms so cases can be identified early. Women diagnosed at stage 1 have a 90% survival rate compared to 19% at stage 3. Find out more at 7.30pm Thursday 8th March
Seven members of SI Medway Towns enjoyed a lunch in aid of The Meru Garden Project at the London Beach Hotel in Tenterden last Sunday. It was a really good event and the London Beach donated £1825 which is £25 per person to Federation President Sue Biggs and Regional President Jane Webb. Sue Biggs acknowledged the work done by South East Region towards the target which is currently £105k and means have been able to deliver twice as much support to date. SI Medway Towns did very well in the raffle, Wanda won first prize of tickets to Visit Great Dixter and Janice a signed book.
This January Medway Soroptimists attended MLT’s production of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency based on the book by Douglas Adams. Ticket sales and a raffle resulted in a donation of £160 for the Meru Garden Project. Meru County has a largely rural population with HIV/AIDs prevalent in the region. Meru Women’s Garden Project will support some of the poorest women-led households in Kenya, and is entirely focussed on providing opportunities to women and girls who may never otherwise be given the chance to earn an income, and gives them status within their community. The project fully embraces the three key areas at the heart of SIGBI’s Programme Focus Goals – Educate, Empower and Enable. Improved food production and education will support women and girls to transform their lives and those of others through a process of cascade learning and mentoring thereby reducing poverty, improving health
Medway Soroptimist social committee organised a tour of the local distillery the Copper Rivet. Meeting at McQuires café, we enjoyed a light lunch before heading next door to see the distillery process in action. Housed inside a listed building, Pumphouse No.5 was built in 1873 and used to play a big role in the history of Chatham Dockyard until it closed in 1984. Our guide explained the ‘grain to glass’ process with a botanicals masterclass and an introduction to the large stills all named after members of the owners family. The distillery will produce Masthouse, a single malt whisky, Dockyard Gin, Vela Vodka and Son of a Gun – an unaged grain. We tasted a sample of each before enjoying a large G&T with a grapefruit garnish in the bar.
Save the date…. coming soon… SI Medway Towns are hosting an event on 1 June 2017 to raise funds & awareness for Meru Garden Project Tickets on sale soon For more details about the project see the page here
S.I Medway Towns took advantage of an International Women’s Day event in Chatham Dockyard to publicize Soroptimists and to further raise awareness of Modern Slavery or Human Trafficking locally. Although people are more aware of the crime of Human Trafficking generally, most are still surprised that it goes on right under our noses and that they have the power to do something about it by keeping their eyes and ears open. The information given out will help people to spot the signs of Human trafficking and, by reporting their suspicions, help the police rescue the victims and bring the traffickers to justice.
Inspired by the UN Day of the Toilet on 19 November Medway Soroptimists decided to raise money to provide toilets for a school in Sierra Leone. With each member “spending a penny” in the true sense of the word we raised £240 which will not only provide latrines for an entire school but also provide clean water, basic sanitation and most importantly, hygiene education. It seems that much of the world still do not understand the link between sanitation and health and these toilets not only save lives but provide healthier communities which gradually lift them out of poverty because the adults are well enough to work and the children are well enough to go to school. In many cases the water and the education is all that is needed to empower them to build their own latrine. Kancha, from Nepal, has had his life
Blytheswood Trust distributed approximately 17,500 boxes from Medway last year and in honour of Blytheswood Trust’s centenary this year, Medway Soroptimists aimed to fill 100 boxes. The club met on two evenings to wrap and fill the boxes, and also to do what Soroptimists do best, to eat, drink and chat. The boxes are filled with winter essentials like hats; gloves; scarves etc, toiletries; stationery; toys and sweets for all ages in order to provide a Christmas present for those who have little chance of getting one this year. The boxes are all wrapped in Christmas paper and distributed by Blythswood Trust who say that the recipients are often overwhelmed that someone cared enough to prepare a gift for them. If you would like to find out more about Medway Soroptimists use the ‘Contact Us’ form http://www.blythswood.org/shoebox-appeal