Celebration Lunch 2017
At the Celebration Lunch on Sunday 14th May, we celebrated all the wonderful work we have carried out over the past year. Here is a flavour of what our clubs have achieved and goals for the future:
During the year focused on
- worked to support Elimination of Violence & Domestic Abuse
- distributed and collected responses to Birmingham City Council’s consultation questionnaire supporting new city-wide Domestic Abuse Strategy.
- developed a ‘Talents’ project where members were given £10 to ‘grow’ produce to raise funds for Birmingham & Solihull Women’s Aid.
- an inherited donation to the Club was used to fund a new VSO project for two years in Cambodia, focusing on capacity mapping.
Next year will develop locally the “Love Me, Love Me Not campaign”.
Bromsgrove and Redditch
During the past year
- celebrated 50th anniversary with friendship link clubs and Friends from the Region and beyond.
- supported Night Stop, Home-Start, the Alzheimer’s support group, Cherish, and the Meru Project.
- Members enjoyed theatre visits, book club and a walking group.
- Two members joined during the year.
During the forthcoming year
- will continue to support International plans including Mary’s Meals, Bonnets for premature babies in Malawi and Blankets for the Fistula Hospital.
- Locally, at a time of financial constraints, are working with Home Start to improve the lives of families struggling to cope with young children.
Locally, last year supported
- the women’s refuge and food bank.
- participated in the city-wide history tapestry project
- decorated a Christmas tree in city-centre church
- distributed leaflets in Memorial Park
- held a Book giveaway in the shopping centre
- raised over a £1000 for Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre
- gave donations to the Benevolent Fund, International President’s Appeal for Nepal, WaterAid, and Meru Women’s Garden project.
- partnered with two Soroptimist sister clubs at the Leamington Peace Festival
Plans for the coming year include:
- a murder mystery event
- extending the distribution of quarterly newsletter
- furthering joint working partnerships with other local clubs
- Fostering the current 8 interested women re Soroptimism
Kenilworth and District
- Last year donated £6045 to club charities made possible by collective effort of all members at various events.
- held a very successful stall at the Leamington Peace Festival assisted by SI’s Leamington and Coventry, collecting over a thousand signatures for the Purple Teardrop Campaign.
- were nominated for two Programme Action awards at the Malta Conference, in recognition of work with Malawi and the Peace Festival stall.
- Georgie Larsen – Archer showcased young people’s Public Speaking talents at the annual contest
- recruited two new members.
Future plans for programme action
- to review charities supported, and service projects, as well as raising Soroptimists profile locally
Kidderminster and District Club theme was …“Time, Talent and Treasure
- donated over £4000 to 20 different local, national and International charities. This year £600 already raised for the Alzheimer’s Society.
- Supported Birchen Coppice School by governorship, funding Mum’s DIY classes, and providing books for children to take home. The school has one of the 10 most deprived catchments in the country,
- volunteering at the local Food Bank, and joining this up with the school by preparing school holiday meals for activities.
- have supported other local charities, Homestart via bag packing, Nightstop through trusteeship by a member and providing toiletries.
This coming year
- some members involved in the local refugee programme plan to help with homelessness in the area through the provision of washing facilities.
- have signed up to local “dementia friendly” town initiative.
- theme for coming year builds on last year, and will reflect at speaker meetings on “stewardship” – why people do what they do through giving of time, talent and treasure.
Leamington and Warwick
- 26th June 2016 celebrated 80th birthday with a lunch attended by Federation PresidentAnn Hodgson.
- 30th October held final Swimathon. In 19 years have raised £174,000 for good causes
- acts of service include remedial reading with the children at Shrublands School, preparing meals for homeless people, working to support a group of elderly Asian women and maintaining the planters on Leamington railway station,
- publicised Soroptimism and Women’s issues by setting up a stall at local venues, most notably at the Sydni Centre in Leamington as part of their International Women’s Day celebrations.
Future plans to continue Community service and raising the profile of Soroptimism and Women’s issues . Major fundraising event will be an Antiques Valuation afternoon hosted by Charles Hanson at Leek Wootton village hall on 21st October in aid of Kids Cancer Charity
Solihull and District Club
Last year contributed to three major events-
- annual Fun in the Park community day organised by the club to raise awareness and £10,000 for local charities- Fast Aid; Solihull Young Carers and Birmingham & Solihull Womens Aid
- Skirting Science. Workshops for local Secondary schoolgirls to encourage considering careers in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths.
- Organised annual Borough Schools Public Speaking competition for 11 to 13 yrs and 14 to 17 yrs of age, with the winner of the 14 -17 yrs representing the club at the Regional competition where he came third.
- other groups provide service, knit items for local care homes, plant and maintain the planters at Widney Manor railway station and support the local women’s refuge.
Incoming President Elaine Stephens motto “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone”, is looking forward to using service and fundraising to promote Soroptimism in the area. Charities for the year are Birmingham & Solihull Women’s Aid, Breast Friends Solihull and Vision Aid Overseas.
Held 3 major fund raising events and raised over £3000 during the year hosting;
- a garden party –to provide a laptop for the local refuge so women can complete CVs and seek work opportunities, and children can do their homework
- a Valentine themed Quiz and fish and chip supper attended by 110 people- the funds raised supported the summer school programme at Hill Street Community Centre giving local disadvantaged children purposeful and enjoyable activities and heralded by Warwickshire Constabulary
- assisted by Seven Trent Water organised third annual sponsored walk for Water Aid around Draycote Reservoir. Contribution helped to build a well and sanitation for a village in Malawi
- final year sponsoring the education of a Gambian girl as she finishes school in July.
- Club knitters still producing blankets, baby clothes and hats for the Fistula Clinic.
- Club rota to make and deliver weekly cakes for 48 young carers.
- support the food bank
- in partnership with the 3 Rugby Rotary clubs, help to supervise activities during annual disabled sports day.
- received a £3000 legacy from Soroptimist Rosemary Jean Carter which will beneﬁt Top Church Training; a weekly women’s group; the education of a school age child; a musical composition for performance by school children in perpetuity
- Membership Evening raised £1036 for Mary Stevens Hospice, Stourbridge,
- International Women’s day tea, combined with raffles and a beetle drive, raised over £600 for the Meru Women’s Garden Project
- Sri Lankan tea party, combined with the proceeds from selling 2nd edition of ‘Women’s Global Health Awareness’ Quiz across the region and nationally, raised £700 to support SI Kenilworth’s Malawi Paediatric Nurse Training
- supported the education of a partially sighted girl in Uganda, in partnership with (Farmers Overseas Action Group)
- annual Literary Dinner, and quiz night, raised nearly £2000 for the International President’s Appeal …… Educate to Lead NEPAL’
- donated to beneﬁt refugees via Care4Calais 2017
Stratford upon Avon and District
- at a successful membership evening 25 backpacks for Mary’s Meals were packed with more this year.
- Locally each month maintain the Hospital gardens
- earned £400 running a water station at the Stratford marathon, which has been donated to the Shakespeare Hospice.
- Plans to hold a concert for both these causes.
- donated money to the Meru Project, The International President’s Appeal and support the Kori Project with knitting and sanitary towels.
Worcester and District
- 2017 members shared responsibility for leading the club each month.
- club reduced the meetings to once a month.
- supported Mary’s Meals, Snoezelen, the Meru Project and funded a girls school fees in Uganda.
- continue to forge friendship with linked clubs and recently linked with S.I. Timisoara in Romania
Next year will continue to support the above charities and also a charity to help disabled children in Peru.