Read about our Recent Events
This page tells you a bit about our recent meetings and events. For upcoming dates please take a look at our Meetings and Events and About our Club page.
If you would like more information about Soroptimist International, please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.
Maggie’s Centre, Oxford
The beautiful Maggie’s Oxford ‘Treehouse’
Pip Dingle, Fundraising
Pip Dingle, Maggie’s Oxford
Manager from Maggie’s Oxford, gave a most interesting talk on all the work that the Centre does. It offers free, practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer, and to their families and friends.
The beautiful building has been specially designed so that it feels more like a home than a hospital with a big kitchen table at its heart.
On average about 50 a day visit the Centre for support with all this work carried out entirely through voluntary donations. No Government or NHS funding. Just amazing!
The Dorcas Dress Project
Maria with club member Ann and her model for the evening Melissa
At February’s Programme Action Evening, Maria Skoyles told us all about her amazing Dress Project. In 2016 Maria designed a dress ‘that would empower the voiceless in the fashion supply chain’. The design has been patented and developed so that it can be made in remote parts of the world. It comes in one size which fits all including pregnant and breast feeding women. Each garment is made using fair trade fabric and Maria stressed the importance of providing the dress maker with a fair price of 30% of the selling price.
To find our more about The Project and the work Maria does visit www.mariaskoyles.co.uk
Regional Meeting – Celebration of International Human Rights Day
Club members from around the region were treated to an excellent day at Bedford in celebration of such an important international day. Barbara Conridge and Angela Huddart, trustees from Yarl’s Wood Befrienders, gave an inspiring presentation on the work that is done by befrienders to support women at the immigrant removal centre.
In the afternoon Professor Helen Atkinson, Pro Vice Chancellor at Cranfield University, whose talk with the intriguing title of ‘Cornflour, Ketchup and Parts of Cars, was excellent. She not only informed us of the work done at the university but also about the engineering opportunities available to young women in our world today. She reinforced the fact that engineering is NOT about males and spanners!
Dementia Friends and Project Shoebox
Senhoa, which is part of the Senhoa Foundation, is a social business that creates lovely jewellery made by women who are vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation in Cambodia. Club members supported the organisation at our recent meeting by buying items of jewellery which will help to support the women who made the pieces while also helping to fund education and empowerment programmes for vulnerable communities. (Source – senhoa.co.uk
Fiona Joines joined our November club evening to run a Dementia Friends
Workshop so that we would all be better informed about the disease but also hopefully become a Dementia Friend. The organisation has gained 2.3 million friends since it started and after the workshop even more! The workshop was really fun and also informed us of a number of key messages, for example – dementia is not a natural part of ageing and it is possible to live well with dementia. Workshop activities helped to increase our understanding or how challenging simple tasks like making a cup of tea can be for those living with the disease.
Fiona Joines from Dementia Friends
Items donated to Project Shoebox Oxford
Rebecca Lewin gave a really interesting and informative presentation on her role as Director of Logistics and Procurement at PLAN International. Although the organisation is not as well known as, for example, Oxfam, it is much bigger. PLAN has many roles including focusing on economic security and disaster risk. As part of their global strategy they are aiming to transform the lives of 100 million girls.
Rebecca remarked on the problems that can arise if too many aid groups arrive at the same crisis and also the essential role that a very large fleet of motor bikes play in their work!
Club members were tasked with some scenarios to decide upon action needed. This really highlighted to us the complexity of e.g. identifying suitable suppliers to purchase goods from to provide help during a crisis, or what sort of emergency supplies are most important to get to people in need when time and transport options are limited.
For more information on PLAN International go to https://plan-international.org
Meru Women’s Garden Project – Kenya
Pam Robertson, London Chilterns Region ambassador for the project gave a most interesting talk on our current Federation project. The Meru Garden Project in collaboration with child.org ‘is supporting some of the poorest women-led households in Kenya and is entirely focused on providing opportunities to women and girls who may never otherwise be given the chance to earn an income. Improved food production and education is supporting women and girls to transform their lives’. ( SIGBI.org)
Pam updated us on the latest developments and the money raised by clubs so far of around £48,000 is making a huge difference to the lives of women and girls.
15th March 2017
Eden at the Women on the Move Awards 2017
Club members were treated to a very moving and informative talk by Eden Habtemichael, Women’s Services Co-ordination at the Oxford charity Refugee Resource www.refugeeresource.org
. Eden came to the UK in 2001 from Eritrea and since then she has worked tirelessly for other migrant and refugee women in Oxford.
This year Eden has won the prestigious Women on the Move Award, Woman of the Year 2017. This award is organised by Migrant Organise and UNHCR to recognise and celebrate inspirational leadership and contribution from migrant and refugee women to U.K. Society. Congratulations to Eden!
[Source: Refugee Resource Press Release]
15th February 2017
Clare Roche gave members a most informative and engaging talk on domestic abuse at this month’s meeting. She started her work with young victims through volunteering with a charity which deals with sexual abuse but now works with victims of domestic abuse. She outlined the five different types of domestic abuse and informed us that 2 – 3 women each week in the UK are killed in instances of domestic abuse. Clare reminded members of the new law introduced by Theresa May which has made coercive control illegal. This covers for example, isolation, humiliation, exhaustion and fear. To conclude her talk Clare showed members two short videos and recommended the You Tube video ‘Love You To Death’.
Take a look at our Meetings & Events page to see what’s coming up for our monthly meetings this year!
To see what other topics we’ve heard talks on, causes we’ve supported, and activities we’ve enjoyed in the past, visit our Our Archive page.