Read about our Past Events


Take a look below to see some of the exciting events we’ve hosted or attended…


Human Rights Day and Regional Meeting

December 12th 2015

Five members of the Club attended the London Chilterns Regional Human Rights Day Celebration and Region Meeting held at the beautiful venue Mayflower Place in Hertingfordbury.
Jan Dalrymple, CEO of Safer Places, lead the day and spoke about the range of much needed services the charity provides for adults and children affected by domestic and sexual abuse. This was a most inspiring and informative day.

Human Rights Day, December 10th, also marked the launch of the Soroptimist International President’s Appeal ‘Educate to Lead: Nepal’ which ‘seeks to empower and enable women and girls to overcome adversity and develop leadership skills that will benefit entire communities.


81st SIGBI Federation Conference

Glasgow, November 2015

SIGBI President Jenny Vince ( an Oxford club member) giving her address at the General Meeting.

SIGBI President Jenny Vince ( an Oxford club member) giving her address at the General Meeting.


Glasgow was the venue for this year’s conference at which around 1200 delegates attended including 10 from our own club.This year’s conference was truly outstanding with an array of excellent key note speakers.


On Friday, Dame Stella Rimmington who needs no introduction, Radio 4’s Sarah Montague and Green and Black chocolate founder Jo Fairley all spoke about what ‘Delivering the Difference’, the theme of Conference, meant to them.


Club members Barbara, Carolyn and Moira having fun at the Glasgow Science Centre, the venue for Friday evening's Conference Reception.

Club members Barbara, Carolyn and Moira having fun at the Glasgow Science Centre, the venue for Friday evening’s Conference Reception.

On Saturday, Justice Rowan Downing QC, who recently spent nearly 9 years as a judge on the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia dealing with war crimes hearings arising from the Khmer Rouge period, gave another excellent presentation. As you can imagine we heard harrowing accounts of some of the horrific atrocities carried out during that time but he stressed that the voices of the victims must be heard. It is our humanitarian duty to the people who are left.

Club members Carolyn, Ann, Helena, Barbara, June and Ros enjoying a meal out on the final evening at Conference.

Club members Carolyn, Ann, Helena, Barbara, June and Ros enjoying a meal out on the final evening at Conference.


Andrew Bevan from the International Justice Mission spoke about how the organisation as a global justice movement is trying to draw the world’s attention to everyday violence and endeavouring to influence leaders to become champions for protecting the poor.


We were also able to enjoy excellent entertainment and have fun at Glasgow Science Centre where the Conference evening Reception was held.


Next year we shall look forward to Malta and the 82nd SIGBI Conference and perhaps some fine and sunny weather!


Fundraising For Our Club International Project in Nepal

September 2015

Yeti meal 1 Yeti meal 2 Yeti meal 3

The Nepalese restaurant, Yeti, in East Oxford was the venue for a fun evening. Around 50 Soroptimists and friends enjoyed an excellent meal and in so doing raised around £500 for our ActionAid project in Sudap village in Eastern Nepal. We are helping to build a child care centre so that children can be looked after in a safe environment whilst parents are able to earn an income outside the home.













Commission On The Status of Women 59, United Nations Headquarters, New York

March 2015

Jenny and Ann_2015Club members Jenny Vince, SIGBI President and Ann Hawken attended CSW59 in New York as part of the 16 strong SIGBI delegation. Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland achieved ECOSOC status in 2013 at the UN for the work that it does for women and girls worldwide and at this year’s CSW Soroptimist International both sponsored and lead a number of events. Ann writes,

As a first timer I reflect on how exhilarating and informative being a delegate has been. Attending Soroptimist International events reinforced both what an amazing and effective organisation I belong to and also how important our project work and consequently the data collected is in helping to maintain our ECOSOC status. I am proud to say I am a Soroptimist. From the many events I attended it was apparent that the Nordic countries really are in the forefront of gender equality. As the Minister for Gender Equality for Sweden stated ‘feminist thinking goes into the budget so the Minister of Finance has to be onboard’.

Perhaps this is telling us something!



80th SIGBI (Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland) Federation Conference

Harrogate November 6th 2014


Photo of Jenny Vince at 80th SIGBI Federation Conference

Our very own Jenny Vince giving her inaugural address having been installed as Federation President. Congratulations Jenny!

Harrogate welcomed around 1,300 delegates of which 8 attended from SI Pxford, from most countries of our Federation to the 80th Conference. It is the place where the first Federation Council Meeting was held in 1934!

We were informed and entertained by three excellent key note speakers. Sahar Hashemi (OBE), co-founder of the UK’s first coffee bar chain certainly lived up to her reputation as one of ‘UK’s most inspirational female entrepreneurs and a powerful speaker on innovation and entrepreneurial mindset’. Professor Susan Vinnicombe (CBE), whose Research Centre is unique in Europe, spoke of gender diversity on corporate boards, women’s leadership styles and the issues involved in women developing managerial careers. A most informative and interesting talk.

Dame Jenni Murray (OBE) entertained us through recalling many of her experiences whilst interviewing on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. Evening entertainment by the Harrogate Band and the award winning White Rosettes culminated in an excellent conference.

We can now look forward to Glasgow which will be the venue of the 81st Federation Conference in November of next year and where our very own Jenny Vince will be in the Chair as Federation President.




London Chilterns Regional Meeting


London Chilterns Regional Meeting at the Medieval Abbey Building in Abingdon was attended by 70 Soroptimists from groups across the region.

DSC_1188Regional President, Penny Dmoch, Introduced the speaker Fiona McTaggart MP for Slough and also Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking/Modern Day Slavery.

Read the press release from the day





Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict – 10-13 June 2014 London

The Foreign Secretary and Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the UN High Commission for Refugees, co-chaired The Global Summit.
Global Summit_AnnGlobal Summit_TableStanding by the SIGBI stand is club member, Ann Hawken, who attended a day of The Summit Fringe. ‘The Fringe was an excellent event and great to experience. One of the events I attended was the Ministerial launch of the UK’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. Speakers included the UK Foreign Secretary, Defence Secretary and International Development Secretary along with key women’s advocates from Syria, Uganda, The Philippines sharing their experiences’.



Friendship Lunch for Steppin Stones


Held in the beautiful Long Gallery of Abingdon Abbey. Our members organised a delicious three course buffet and raffle for our Soroptimists, members of Steppin Stones and friends. All profits went to Steppin Stones.


Christmas Party


Much festive fun had by all! Food, mulled wine, games and singing…. Thanks to Chris for the beautiful real holly and ivy decorations.


Mediaeval Banquet


Held in the beautiful Unicorn Theatre of Abingdon. A total of £2000 was raised and shared equally between the Fabric Fund of St. Nicolas Church Abingdon and our Presidents Project “Cementing Futures”.






Aziz Dinner


Mr Aziz kindly let us use his restaurant for a fund raising event for Cementing Futures. 90 people attended and enjoyed fantastic food, traditional dancing and a raffle. Over £1000 was raised for Cementing Futures.











International Christmas Party


The theme for our Christmas was “international” to reflect the diversity of our members and our President’s charity, Cementing Futures – raising money to build an education and health centre for the children in the slums of Dhaka. Members brought along food (and guests from as far away as Venezuela) to express the international theme. Our guest speaker, Mr Aziz of Aziz Restaurant on Cowley Road, kindly donated a huge quantity of Bangladeshi food. He gave a powerful speech about the importance of the work Cementing Futures is doing.

Apart from the wonderful food, there was a raffle and members brought along photos of themselves in a different country. There was a prize for the person who could name the most countries correctly. We also used the event to advertise our bra collecting scheme…