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IWD 2022 event raising funds for our Charities & the Ukraine Crisis

Kay Smith, MK Community Foundation at our IWD 2022 Afternoon Tea event

Our first fund raising event of the year.  This event was to be a celebration of International Women’s Day 2022 and the opportunity to raise much needed funds for our linked charities MK Act (Domestic Abuse Service) MK YMCA (Homeless service), Winter Night Shelter MK (Homeless service) and the British Red Cross.  But since we had advertised the event the Ukraine crisis had started.  And so, we asked our guests if they would help us raise funds to go to the Ukraine appeal by giving generously to our raffle and our craft stall.

Floral display made by MK Snap learners for our 2022 Afternoon Tea event celebrating IWD 2022Angie Novel, Soroptimist member and CEO of MK Snap, a charity providing work and life skills training for adults with learning and physical difficulties in Milton Keynes, kindly let us use her facilities.  And the learners got involved by making us lovely floral decorations for our tables. We raffled these off at the end of the afternoon to the delight of the guests who much admired them.


What a wonderful time we had at for our Afternoon Tea event.  We sold all our tickets and the sun was shining for us at MK Snap.  Our members had been busy and we had lots of lovely scones and cakes for our guests.  We set up our craft stall with items made by our own members and had a raffle table with lots of lovely prizes.

2022 IWD Afternoon Tea event, Kay Smith MK Community Foundation giving a speech

Our Chair, Sue Key opened the event.  She started by saying “who are we for those of you new here?  We are a global charitable organisation working to improve the lives of women and girls.  We were very privileged to be asked to take part in the Look East Sunday Politics show that was aired on Sun 6 March.  This was to celebrate and promote women as part of this year’s International Women’s Day.  We told them Soroptimists are dedicated to educating, enabling and empowering women and girls to see them achieve their potential.  Soroptimists don’t seek the limelight we are about shining the light on others.  We are doer’s.”

Sue then said a big thank you to those guests who are always there for us and help us to support others, whether it’s helping us collect items for the Afghan Refugees, providing lots of chocolate bars as xmas surprises for the families at MK Act and for the homeless at the Winter Night Shelter or for whatever emergency or project we undertake.

We then celebrated International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.  It’s hard to pinpoint the exact day International Women’s Day started.  The first National Women’s Day was in the US in 1909 and was spurred on by a Ukraine born suffragist Clara Lemlich calling for better pay, shorter working hours and improved working conditions.  The day was formalised in 1910 when Clara Zetkin leader of the women’s office for the Socialist Democratic Party in Germany tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day so that every country could celebrate women’s achievements and highlight women’s issues.  In 1911 on 19 March, it was celebrated for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.  And by 1913 March 8 became the annual date for us to celebrate International Women’s Day.

2022 theme is Break the Bias.  You are asked to:

Imagine a gender equal world.

A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

Together we can forge women’s equality.

Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

After our Chair, Kay Smith, Philanthropy Manager from MK Community Foundation spoke about the MK Community Foundation Women’s Fund work here in Milton Keynes, helping to improve women’s lives and to provide opportunities.  One example was the help this fund gave for the small MK based charity Girl Pack to set up and distribute sanitary care packs to primary/secondary schools, community/family centres etc.  Just one example of helping to improve girls’ lives.

After Kay’s speech the serious business of enjoying the scones, sandwiches and cakes started.  It gave us the opportunity to catch up after the pandemic and have a good chat and renew friendships in person.

And wow what an event we had.  As a result, we raised £400 for the Ukraine Crisis and just over £350 for our charities.  We thank everyone for coming and making it such a great day, a great celebration for International Women’s Day and a great day for our charities.  And we are humbled by the donations given for the Ukraine Crisis.  Thank you everyone.