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July update on what we have been up to

What a great July branch meeting.  We were very fortunate to have Sarah Flain to speak to us about the charity Mummy’s Star.  Mummy’s Star is the only UK and Ireland charity helping women, partners and families diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy and/or within 12 months of giving birth.

They provide a holistic approach with support and advice working with all professionals from medical to local authorities to ensure their clients are able to access the right help, the right support and that the support they give is personalised to meet their needs.  They do this totally relying on donations from individuals.

This year the charity is celebrating their 10th anniversary and were set up by Peter Wallroth in memory of his wife Mair in 2013.  To find out more about this fantastic charity click here

Click here to view Mummy’s Star Youtube link with a number of stories of women and families they have helped.

In the same week of our branch meeting, it was lovely to attend the Ukraine Appeals “Thank you, Britain!” event.    on the 22 July at Summerfield school.    On their last school day before the holidays the rain did not put the children off from enjoying the bouncy castle, writing the longest thank you letter, taking part in a quiz and just letting off steam.  There was also a competition where they wrote individual letters/postcards of thank you and the best 5, picked out by yours truly, will be delivered to 10 Downing Street along with the longest thank you letter.   A couple of the letters were very humbling but all were most grateful for the support and friendship people in the UK have given.

A quick update on where we are with the report on Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts (SDAC) which we as a group are proud to have taken part in.  We have sent this to both MP’s who have responded back to us and are meeting Ben Everitt on 30 August.

Dame Ann Limb is organizing a conference called: Report to Court: unseen journeys of victims of violence through the law enforcement agencies and criminal justice systems: a strategic conversation.  This will take place on Friday 24th November 2023, 10am-1pm at The Gateway and the list of invitees includes the Police, Law makers and support services.  The conference will hear the voices of 3 women who have experienced the Domestic Abuse Courts and will be presented with the Soroptimist report.  Please keep this date in your diaries and we will let you know how many places are available for us to attend.  To read the Executive summary and the full report click here.

How we are getting on with collecting 350 tins for our 25 meter section supporting the MK Foodbank attempt to break the record for making the longest continuous line of tinned cans of food at 10km on Monday 16 October.

Thank you everyone for rallying round family and friends.  And a thank you to our neighbouring Soroptimist clubs who have also said they will try and help.  As at 27 July I think we are up to 200.

This is fantastic but we still have only 80 days to get to our 350.  So please keep up the good work.   Just a reminder all food tins need a long sell by date, should be 395 to 400g and MK Foodbank need the following:

Tinned Meat Tinned Veg
Tinned Fish Rice Pudding
Tinned Pulses Soup
Tinned Tomatoes Custard
Tinned Pasta (Hoops/Ravioli etc) Baked Beans


Volunteers are still needed on Monday 16 October, in the morning to help set up and in the afternoon, the public will be allowed to walk the line and that will be the time when we have the opportunity to tell people about Soroptimists and what we do and maybe get some new members.  Please do let Sue or me know what times on the 16th you can volunteer.  Many thanks.

This 2023 World Ribbon Day theme is #ChangetheStory.  Culture change doesn’t happen overnight, but we can all end violence against women and girls in our life time.  White Ribbon UK are encouraging individuals and organisations to make daily choices and actions so that we can #ChangetheStory for women and girls to live their lives free from the fear of violence now and always.

The Facts:

  • Nearly 1 in 4 girls in mixed sex schools have had experiences of unwanted sexual touching in school. (EVAW)
  • 6 in 10 women have felt harassed in the gym by a man. (The Gym-timidation Report)
  • 3 in 5 young women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. (Trade Unions Congress)
  • 7 million women experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2022. (ONS)

The sad reality is, that the majority of violence against women is perpetrated by men. Whether that is a partner, ex-partner, colleague, or stranger.  White Ribbon recognises not all men are violent but All men can end violence against women and girls by challenging harmful attitudes and behaviours.

We are meeting with Milton Keynes City Council and Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Town Council in August to look at what our campaign can be this year to raise awareness within our community.  One possible way will be at Xmas time in Newport Pagnell Church.  They have a weekend around 10 Dec time where charities set up a Xmas tree to promote their causes.  We are hopeful we have an opportunity to display a white xmas tree with orange hearts and postcards to promote Orange the World and White Ribbon campaigns.  Watch this space for future updates.

And after July, what have we got coming up.  Really looking forward to our summer fundraising event, Fish and Chip Quiz on 19 August at Simpson Church.   Should be a great evening and all funds raised will go to our linked charities.  Our summer party is on Tuesday 22 August, kindly being hosted by Jean at her house at 6pm. Thank you Jean.  Dress in Orange and bring food or drink.  We must not forget that we also have the YMCA Community Lunch at 12 on Thursday 24 August at the YMCA.  We have sponsored the purchasing of the food and the residents are to treat us to an Around the World theme.  It’s going to be a great August.  Soroptimists in friendship having a great time.