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SI: MK celebrating 100 years of Soroptimism

Soroptimists around the world in 2021 celebrated our Centenary year.

Watch this video to find our more about Soroptimists and what we do.

SI Milton Keynes celebrated 2021 Centenary year in a number of ways.

Centenary Quilt

Soroptimists MK Centenary Quilt

One of the first ways we chose to celebrate our centenary year was to celebrate what we love about Soroptimism, what our club does and also what we love about Milton Keynes.  With that criteria, each of our members, those that are sewers and those that were not made a couple of patches.  These patches highlight the work we do with our linked charities to places we love around Milton Keynes, for example Christ the Cornerstone Church, the balancing lakes to our red paths.

We have completed our Centenary Quilt and were able to present it at our Regional Soroptimist event on 12 June.

We have also submitted a photo of our quilt to Milton Keynes Council in support of their bid for City Status.  It highlights what we love about Milton Keynes and we support the City Status Bid.

Soroptimist International:Milton Keynes love Milton Keynes for:

Its green and open spaces of nature

Its diversity of community

Its vitality go-getting, pioneering spirit

We hope this helps with the City Status bid.

Here are some of the patches depicting what they love about Soroptimism and about Milton Keynes.

Soroptimists Quilt PatchMK Concrete Cows quilt patchWillen Lake Quilt patchQuilts and masks patch

Violet Awards Sept 2021 – “Women in Action”

Violet Awards Sept 2021 celebrating and recognising the women working in our local charities
Violet Awards 2021 celebrating and recognising the women working in our local charities

As part of our centenary year  we piloted an Award dedicated to Violet Richardson Ward, our founder.  We wanted to celebrate the work of unsung female heroes in this city by presenting an award to a member of staff or volunteer from our linked charities or friends of Soroptimists who had gone above and beyond their normal roles during this past year when Covid has had such a big impact on how our local charities, their staff and volunteers have had to very quickly adapt to deliver a service for their clients.  And to also ensure the safety of their clients, their staff and volunteers too.

To read more click here

Classical Music event raising funds for Winter Night Shelter MK

2021 Oct Classical Music event raising funds for Winter Night Shelter MK         Handing cheque for £700 to Winter Night Shelter Oct 2021

From Music event in Oct 2021 were able to Hand cheque for £700 to Winter Night Shelter Oct 2021It’s been a tough couple of years for us in terms of fundraising for our linked charities but at last lockdown was lifted, and we were able to hold our first ever live classical concert fundraising event on 1 October to support the work of the Winter Night Shelter MK with helping homeless people in MK.

To read more click here.

As a result we were able at our 19 October branch meeting, hand a cheque of £700 to Kathy Howard of the Welfare Team at Winter Night Shelter MK.


Candlelight Celebration

On Tuesday 28 Sept at MK Rose we held our Candlelight Centenary celebration.  The Milton Keynes Rose is a public place in Central Milton Keynes, which is available to everyone for celebration, commemoration and contemplation.  Designed by internationally renowned artist Gordon Young, The Milton Keynes Rose is a vast and impressive open-air circle with markings based on the mathematical beauty of a flower. 106 granite pillars of varying heights emerge from the surface, many of which are inscribed with dates of events that have local, national or international significance.

The Milton Keynes Rose provides a place where citizens and visitors can gather to mark national, local or personal occasions, be they historical, in joy or in remembrance. It is a place where hundreds can gather to mark Armistice Day or one person can remember another in a personal moment. It is not a sombre place, but a place of coming together and celebration.

On Tuesday 28 Sept it was a rather wet and blustery day but a few of us made it to the The Milton Keynes Rose.  As you can see we stood by the column celebrating International Womens Day to show our support of womens issues.

2021 100 Candlelight celebration at MK Rose          2021 100 candlelight celebration at MK Rose       2021 100 candlelight celebration at MK Rose

And we made our celebration at the Rose by making 100 in candles and making some wishes:

Wishing a happy 100th to Soroptimist International and all clubs around the world

Wishing all women have the confidence to believe in themselves.

Wishing Soroptimist International MK a happy birthday and many more to come.

And Wishing Sorptimists have many more years of transforming the lives of women around the world.

Tree Planting

Tree Planting at MK Snap 9 Nov 2021

In Nov 2021 we are sponsoring the planting of a tree at MK Snap as a memorial to the learners MK Snap have sadly lost to the Covid Pandemic.

MK Snap is a charity that works with people who have learning disabilities.

NHS Hearts for Hope

        NHS Hearts for Hope for MKUH

In April 2021 during the first lockdown Milton Keynes Soroptimist Club acted as a coordinator in Milton Keynes for the NHS Hearts for Hope activity, national group set up to enable stitchers to come together in a supportive way in order to make textile hearts to give to NHS staff who work in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) wards.  It includes all staff from the cleaners and porters to the doctors, consultants, nurses and everybody in between.

We put an article on our website, on our Twitter page and asked all our members and friends if they could help us.

158 Hearts for Hope were made by members and friends which we donated to MK University Hospital Intensive Care Unit and MK Cancer Centre in May.

These Hearts were to say thank you for all their hard work, we are thinking of them and value their efforts.

“Celebrating Invisible Milton Keynes Women”. 

During our 100 birthday year, we will be “Celebrating Invisible MK Women”.  Women who have quietly made a difference to the community.  Each month we will post a biography.  Please read and let us know your views.

January – Zoe Raven, CEO of Acorn Early Years Foundation.  Click here to view the article on our website



February – we celebrate one of our newest members, Lois Hembadon Adura, a lawyer by profession and founder of “Save by Grace” Charitable Foundation and author of “Saved by Grace” a powerful book about the real-life ordeals of females living in a community with male preferences.  Click here to view her biography:

Chief Inspector Kelly Gardner – Deputy Commander for Milton Keynes Local Policing Area

March we celebrate Chief Inspector Kelly Gardner – Deputy Commander for Milton Keynes Local Policing Area.  Click here to view the article on our website



Valerie Williamson, Paraplegic archery medalist and British Empire Medal 2020lApril we celebrate  Valerie Williamson, 2 times Paraplegic archery medalist and awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020.  Click here to view the full article.


Margaret Sale, founding member of Save Bletchley Park campaign

May we celebrate  Margaret Sale (1932-2020).    Founding member of the Saving Bletchley Park campaign, board member of Bletchley Park Trust in 1994.

Click here to read full article

Aaliyha Aries founder member of the Youth Panel for Dilated Cardiomyopathy

June we celebrate  Aaliyah Aries

Living with Dilated Cardiomyopathy.

Click here to read full article



Margaret Durbridge OBEJuly we celebrate  Margaret Durbridge OBE – a grassroots voice amongst planners

Click here to read the full article


Mathilda Kessler


August we celebrate Matilda Kassler – founding member of the Citizens Advice Bureau in Bletchley and one of the  founders of the OU

Click here to read the full article



Christine Hayter - The Oasis Project , Gambia

September we celebrate  Chris Hayter, founder of The Oasis Project (The Gambia)

Click here to read full article



Amy Searle

October  we celebrate Amy Searle, Parish Councillor, Mum and worker in the Justice Service.  A Little about me

Click here to read full article