We Want to Hear Your Story! Sharpen your pencils all you budding authors, because the new deadline for submitting your story is now July 31st. Donating and submitting your story has also been made easier. Don’t forget to put “Soroptimist “ with your name to make sure your hard-earned sponsorship money goes to Empowering Girls in Nepal. Several Club Members have written and submitted their stories already. It is not too late to have a go if you haven’t already. https://www.thebigstory.org.uk/ There is also an Easy Steps Flow Chart for you to follow to help you through the process, including helping you to Sponsor a Story and Writer after it has been submitted. Read the latest update from Liz Every
Dame Vera Baird QC – Victims Commissioner for England and Wales At our March meeting, Dame Vera gave feedback on our recent work on DA court observations. Our reports have now all been submitted, and the debrief by Police is due on 22nd June 2020. Soroptimists completed 200 questionnaires, representing 225 manhours worked. Our region mustered 40 volunteers and carried out 70 observations. Other regions are now becoming involved in the project. Dame Vera then told us about developments in the Northumbria region. As Victims Commissioner, her aim is to put the victim centre stage in what is an adversarial criminal justice system. At present, the focus is on prosecuting or defending the defendant. Victims of violent crime are often deeply traumatised by their role as a witness, but neglected once the trial is over. Dame Vera sees her role as empowering victims to get
SIGBI Growth Plan Ambassador Dishi Attwood (SI Lichfield) has been working hard with her team to develop clear, practical materials and strategies to help Clubs recruit and retain new members. She is available to visit and help any Club to accentuate their own unique brand by helping to develop their websites, social media presence, and programme action impact. During her presentation we learned how to identify our Connector, Mavens, and Salespersons! She also gave us some tips on how to motivate ourselves and other members. More Information about The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell It is all about how to establish key partnerships and increase our profile! Our strapline for worldwide membership is ‘One million Women and Girls’. ‘Only the person not rowing has time to rock the boat.’
Let’s Celebrate! Regional President-Elect Elaine Clarke gave us a sneak preview of various events that are planned for the 100 years of Soroptimism celebrations in 2021. She also asked for ideas and contributions from clubs to mark the occasion. Bright Past, Brilliant Future! Ann Keepax gave us the exciting news that we have commissioned a sculpture to be erected in our plot at the National Memorial Arboretum. http://www.thenma.org.uk/ The Sculptor is Graeme Mitcheson MRSS. read more about Graeme Mitcheson here The cost will be £10,000 for this large scale, public piece of artwork. It’s over to Clubs to start the sponsorship ball rolling!
At the March Regional Meeting, Liz Every of SI Bromsgrove gave us an update on the progress of the Nepal Project:- Girls at risk of trafficking in the remote rural East Nepal area are developing sewing skills and learning English. Part of their training includes designing and sewing reusable sanitary pads. The British School in Nepal is helping them. Girls from the ‘Untouchable’ communities in South Nepal are putting their weaving, basket making, and pottery skills to good use. By selling their wares they have raised £1600 so far. The training hostel is partly funded by Soroptimists. We are on track to achieve our aim of educating and training 45 girls each year. Moreover, we will be providing them with a 30 bed halfway house. Empowering Girls in Nepal https://sigbi.org/what-we-do/our-projects/girlsinnepal/
We celebrated International Women’s Day (8th March) at our March Regional Meeting by wearing purple. We posed for a group photo with the #EachforEqual International Women’s Day 2020 Campaign sign. Even better, every speaker at the meeting was a Soroptimists! We welcomed three new Soroptimists to their first Regional Meeting. Sadly, our In Memoria commemorated two long-standing members who have passed away. International Women’s Day During the meeting, President Rose extended a warm invitation to all Associate members to attend Regional Meetings, so please pass this message on to any Associate members that your Club is aware of!
We are thrilled to announce that national treasure Joanna Lumley OBE is the new Ambassador for our project ‘Empowering Girls In Nepal’. Here she is on the front page of the February 2020 Soroptimist magazine, which you can view online at www.sigbi.org. Read all about the project here: Empowering Girls in Nepal Congratulations go to SIGBI President Isobel Smith on her fantastic initiative of enrolling Joanna to be our Ambassador.
Working together with Midland Chase Region, ladies from our clubs are undertaking an independent survey on Specialist Domestic Violence Courts. In 2006 Specialist Domestic Violence Courts were set up around the country and the role of Independent Domestic Violence Adviser.