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Big donations towards Norwich charity’s work for women with learning disabilities

PUBLISHED: 22:57 03 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:26 04 April 2019



Carol Barber (left), trustee of Opening Doors and Jill Ward, Norwich Soroptimists. Photo: Opening Doors

Opening Doors, a Norfolk charity run by and for people with learning disabilities, has received a donation of £2,000 towards their work with women.

Carol Barber, a trustee for Opening Doors received the cheque from the Soroptimists of Norwich at a fundraising event held at Norwich High School for Girls.

The Soroptimists is an international women’s organisation with a special focus on empowering and supporting women and girls.

Jill Ward, speaking on behalf of the Soroptimists, said that they had supported Opening Doors because the charity’s work fitted well with their mission to transform the lives and status of women and girls through, education, empowerment and enabling opportunities.

Miss Barber, who has a learning disability, thanked the Soroptimists and said: “At Opening Doors we give women information about their health in a way that makes it easier for them to understand.”

Women with learning disabilities have lower health outcomes than the general population.

Through projects focussed on bringing easy-to-understand information to women with learning disabilities Opening Doors aims to support women to explore and feel more confident about health issues that may affect them.

Members also train health professionals about the best way to support people with learning disabilities through the telling of their own stories and experiences within healthcare settings.

The Soroptimists of Norwich has a full programme of events and meets on the first and third Mondays of each month.

For more information about Opening Doors visit or call 01603 631433.

For more information about Soroptimists email




Soroptimists know how to eat!

Birthday Tea – Jean and Frances






Ist April- A Night with the Paston Family of Norfolk

It was a full house  for Dr Rob Knee’s   fascinating account of the history of a great Norfolk Family

and in costume !

Dr Rob Knee



We also presented a cheque for £2,000 to our current Charity “Opening Doors”

Jill with  Carol from “Opening Doors”


Jill, Sue and Carol and our faulty Banner!

International Women’s Day Friday 8th March 2019

Soroptimist International of Norwich  celebrated by sponsoring and hosting

 a Coffee Morning  in the centre of Norwich  with theme of  social isolation.

Organisations such as AgeUK, Voluntary Norfolk , Victim Support, Mothers’ Union

plus several charities and Norwich’s own charities Opening Doors,

Hamara Sahaas and  Freedom were represented.

  GATE:Gambian Aid through Education 


Anita Walter : Extra Hands







Sam Apev , Age UK and Verity Gibson NOPF







Clive Lewis MP Norwich South







Bevy of Councillors !

L-R   Karen Davis (Norwich City Council cabinet member for Social Inclusion and Labour PPC for Norwich North) ,

Emma Corlett (Labour County Cllr for Town Close), Jo Smith (Labour City Cllr for Mancroft) ,

Rachel Everett (Labour City Council candidate for Thorpe Hamlet).


Jill Bennett , BBC Radio Norfolk , rounding off the morning















4thMarch : Talk on the Wherry Maud

Linda Pargeter gave a fascinating talk on the history of

and the life long work of restoring this part of Norfolk’s heritage.


Fund raising Auction in February 2019 at the Club raised £160……

bidding for unwanted Christmas presents …

 Tea cosy and Shower cap  : very  fetching ! 


















SI Norwich welcomes new Member  in 2019

Savita is welcomed to the Club by Past President Jill







SIGBI Conference 2018

Speaker :Terry Waites











October in Norway: intrepid Soroptimists









Saturday 30th June  :   Concert for our Charity “Opening Doors” 

                                       St Giles Church, Norwich

Over £400 raised for our charity .

Sine Nomine Choir



Raffle Prizes















International Women’s Day  2018  and Mothering Sunday 11th March.

Every year Gressenhall Workhouse Museum, Norfolk

hosts a Mothering Sunday to open its season.

There are free cream teas for Mothers and this year an exhibition in a marquee of

the work of 20 women’s organisations celebrating International Women’s Day.

SI Norwich joined in, networked with the other groups AND had cream teas!



February 2018


A successful evening at the Norwich High School for Girls
with Caroline Jarrold ‘s  very comprehensive history of her family’s company in Norwich,
coffee, cake and a prize draw all to raise funds for our charity “Opening Doors”.






November 2017

Fund Raising at a Christmas Fair organised by the charity Respect Yourself
 who  support for young people via  the social media.

Frances Selling jewellery for Soroptimist charities









Janice with  the Hethersett Dementia Friendly team members

4Women –  Norwich
The Club gave 10 personal alarms for women

Personal alarms hand over










The organisation’s funds have been drastically cut so the team

are grateful for such donations


October 2017

Soroptimist Federation Conference in Cardiff 

Norwich members arriving at the Millenium Centre     ^







This year the Conference had outstanding keynote speakers starting with Michael Kaufman
the co-founder of the White Ribbon campaign – men working to end violence against women.


  • Mandy Hickson,  one of the first women to fly Tornado jets was magnetic and
  • Dame Katherine Grainger Britain’s most successful rower and athlete medal winners.
  • We were inspired by reports on the work going on against Slavery in Wales  and a panel of very young Soroptimists
  • gave us ideas and advice on  encouraging new AND young members.
  • one of the stars was a member from SI Selby  Lindsay Green.
  • Look at her poem on recruitment : go to Facebook, Soroptimist Selby  recorded in her hotel room  … hilarious

as Always Conference is a time for meeting friends

Dinner with Yarmouth members

Cardiff Bay -Meeting Evelyn










September 2017


Four members of the club had a very enjoyable  long weekend in Germany  with other  Soroptimists  from  Germany and Denmark .  Our  hosts  form SI Cuxhaven  were very hospitable  and  generous. we stayed with  club members for two nights   and visited the local area.. On the Friday  two cars  with members of both club  were driven to  the Isle of  Rugen , in the Baltic coast   where we  stayed in a castle hotel , Schloss Ralswiek  owned by one of the  members of SI Rugen who also joined us.  At a wonderful afternoon tea  we met the members of  SI Tonder  from Denmark. The whole weekend  was the customary  mix of  talking , eating, and  drinking!     On the Saturday we had  a boat trip to see the white cliffs of Rugen and then a visit to  a  splendid  hunting lodge. As a surprise we were welcomed by hunting  horns.    Some of us climbed  the  tower  to see wonderful  views of the surrounding area!.   In the evening we had dinner in the hotel and  given 3 jars of local homemade jam. This gave our contingent a problem as we only had hand luggage.  Problem solved by  reorganising our luggage and  putting one case , with the jams  in the hold.  Our Cuxhaven hosts drove us to Bremen  where we  had to stay an extra night as Ryanair  had  cancelled our  original flight!  We made the most of our  extra day by  looking round the  city and shopping!

The white cliffs of Rugen

Hunting welcome

Schloss Ralswiek

Bremen Rathaus

Afternoon tea

Imrgard and Rita from SI Cuxhaven


July 2017

This year, the International Day of Peace will focus on engaging and mobilizing people throughout the world to show support for refugees and migrants. Its messages will be shared with communities hosting refugees and migrants as well as people concerned that refugees and migrants may bring physical and economic insecurity to their lives.

At the micro level the seeds of peace are sown by Soroptimists when they gather Easter Eggs, or Christmas gifts for the hundreds of war displaced refugees. Knitting for children torn from their homes is a comforting service but also an act of peace. Organizing small events to raise funds for asylum seekers to keep their dignity intact, is a peaceful gesture. Soroptimists in Clubs have extended their concern to ensure that respect, safety and dignity is assured while the displaced walk on the road to recovery.

June 2017


Charity Presentation

Last  year( 2016/2017)   we raised   £1200   for  “Blood Bikers” –Local volunteers who transport
blood , plasma,donor breast milk and any urgent medical items to hospitals at night,daytime weekends and Bank Holidays…all free of charge.

They visited us  on 19th June to receive the  cheque and show us the gazebo they purchased with our donation




Audrey Told

Audrey at 90 1

Audrey at 90 in 2012

Sadly Audrey our Honorary oldest and longest serving member died on 10th June 2017
The Club will miss her.

May 2017

Several members of the club  helped  at the Norwich’ Flintspiration’  weekend  run  by the Norfolk Historic Churches Trust  . They led walks on Anchorite trail, which showed the sites where Anchoresses, including Julian of Norwich lived in the 14th Century ,

April  2017

Two members of the club celebrated their  80th birthdays  which gave members a  great  reason to get together for a  buffet meal  at a member’s house.

March 2017  International Women’s Day

Several  members  enjoyed the talks and visiting the stands at the  Norfolk  Women Reaching Women event   event held at Norwich Cathedral

IWD 2017 4 IWD 2017 2 IWD 2017 IWD 2017 3

January  2017

Image result for la befana   Several of the club members  visited  Olwen’s for a La Befana   lunch to raise money for Blood Bikes . A wide variety of Italian food  and wine was consumed!

November   2016

 White Ribbon Day  – ‘Norfolk  Says No’  to Domestic Violence  

Totem of quotations  from Women’s organisations   displayed at the Forum in Norwich
White Ribbon Day- raising awareness


8 members  of the club  visited  Malta  for the  Conference Malta 2016

View of Valletta  harbour


Breast Cancer Awareness demo ]

Pink by the Pool  for  Breast Cancer Awareness


What Sorops do best!

What  Soroptimists do best !!

Change of Insignia Outgoing President of London Anglia Region , SIGBI ,President Dilly and Incoming President   Alison


Gardeners’s Question Time -Saturday 19th November 2016 at St Andrews Parish Church Eaton
We raised £190 for “Blood Bikers ”
A panel of  four experts

Panelists                           The Wilsons





Shelagh Ashe  and Esther Jury                                                  Mr and Mrs  .. of the Hardy Plant Society


October 2016

 On 17th October 2016 Presidents Jill and Lynda presented Jason Beatty of
YMCA with a cheque for £1,100 for stronger beds for the Norwich Hostel.

£1,100 raised for YMCA