Programme Action is what we do. Educate, Empower, Enable. This should be at the heart of all our service and awareness raising.
We have continued to make a contribution to our community by supporting other organisations and groups in their work and to raise awareness of issues of concern.
Eden Mencap the main focus of our fundraising this year. We had a presentation at the beginning of the year from Chief Officer, Jacqui Taylor and had the opportunity to meet with some of the charity’s supporters at the Afternoon Tea, at Roundthorn, which proved to be a very successful event. 2016 was Eden Mencap’s 30th Anniversary and they launched their “Help Us Buy Our Home” campaign. A cheque for £1300 will be presented to Jacqui at the AGM. This amount primarily came from our three fundraising events, the Afternoon Tea, Cheese & Wine and the Quiz.
Eden District Talking Newspaper every 6 weeks we meet at the Edington Centre to record articles from the C&W Herald. The £50 is our contribution to the prizes for the raffle held at the Lions Coffee Morning which was reported last year. We have to call on non Soroptimists for help on occasions. Please give consideration to coming along to see what is involved, there is always a tale to tell after the recording and refreshments are provided!
Calvert Trust bed making in July and August, together with SI Cockermouth. A comment from Facebook “Your support makes an amazing difference, not only to our visitors with disabilities but to the staff here at Calvert too”. We supported SI Cockermouth by attending a supper at a member’s home to raise money for new bed linen. That event raised £300+ and a total of £900 was presented by SI Cockermouth to the Centre.
Relationship Education Project not a great deal of progress has been made with The Forge, despite meeting up a couple of times. Whilst waiting for them to get back to us, we have been making enquiries as to what is happening in schools. We have agreed to re-focus, to see if there is a need to undertake the type of project we are proposing. We now also have better access to the relevant organisations through the Eden Forum, so it should be easier to make contact.
Eden Forum Against Domestic Violence we have had representation on the forum since its inception, nearly 20 years ago. In recent years, the forum has been less active and our involvement has been more in a networking capacity, attending meetings etc. At the recent AGM, there was a good turnout and it was agreed there was a need for the forum to continue and we would have a re-launch. I was elected as the new Chair, standing down as Treasurer and Pat Newsham volunteered to take on the Treasurer’s role. I hope club members will consider helping with the forum’s awareness raising initiatives.
The £60 the club gave to Community Reach was for the Survivors of DV Group in Carlisle. This group is run by Kath Queen who we hope to work with on a project in Penrith.
Other DV Events attended two church services. The first was organised by Penrith Deanery Mothers’ Union for the start of the16 days of Activism against Domestic Violence and the second was organised by Churches Together in Cumbria, in partnership with LetGo, to show solidarity to those who have suffered Domestic Abuse. Both proved to be good networking opportunities. We attended a training session run by LetGo, with the aim of encouraging voluntary group members to become advocates for Domestic Abuse within their community. We travelled over to Darlington to attend an InterClub Meeting. The speaker was Nicole Westmarland, Professor of Criminology at Durham University, who spoke about her life and her book, “Violence against Women”. An enjoyable night out!
Ullswater Community College ongoing sponsorship at the Prize Day for a Year 12 girl student for Attitude and Service to the School and other pupils. A group of students came to talk to us about their trip to Tanzania and the time they spent helping at the Bathsaida Girls Orphanage. We were very impressed with their presentation and enthusiasm. As agreed last year, £200 was given to sponsor a girl doing her A Levels in Tanzania for 2 years. The girl, Celina Lusajo, hopes to become a heart surgeon. We made a contribution of £50 to two female A Level students who were planning to travel to Warsaw, Poland, to take part in a medics placement, with Gap Medics, for 2 weeks during the summer.
International Day of Peace we held our Peace Service at the United Reformed Church. Under Jennifer Heaton’s leadership and with the warmth and friendship of the congregation and the support of members from other organisations, the service felt very special.
Soroptimist Friendship Links stronger link with SI Dhaka now, we are receiving detailed information about the Literacy Centre project we support and this year we increased the amount to £150. Members met with Najma Hasin, Programme Action Officer, at Conference. Greetings are exchanged with SI Voss on an annual basis. Our link with SI Bournemouth is maintained by Carol Rudd and members meet at Conference. We do need to discuss Correspondents for our Friendship Links.
Donations the Christmas meal produced £57 for the International President’s Appeal, EEE women and girls in Nepal and £51.30 for the Salvation Army.
Speakers Jacqui Taylor, Eden Mencap, the two young women we sponsored over the last two years, Hannah Hartley in Peru with Project Trust and Laura Cole in Uganda with ICS. Water Aid and Blood Bikes. Michelle Skeer, Deputy Chief Constable, about her career in Cumbria Constabulary.
Members have also shared information on the Success Regime consultation and other NHS matters and raised awareness of Mental Health issues.
Visits Lakeland Gold Compost.
Litter Pick followed by an enjoyable supper.
Regional Meetings our Club hosted the Regional Meeting in September and Hilary Snell spoke about Dogs For Good. Everyone fell in love with Hilary’s dog, Whiskey, she was the star of the show! Purely a coincidence, but the Regional President’s Charity for her Afternoon Tea at Lumley Castle was also Dogs For Good. A cheque for £526 was presented to Hilary for the charity. We made squares for the Regional Blanket, a different way to sign a petition and to raise awareness of the Make Fashion Traffik Free campaign. Regional Meetings give you the opportunity to broaden your knowledge of SI, there are interesting speakers and you can make new friends. Please consider attending at least one of the three Regional meetings in the coming year.
Other Meetings UK Parliament workshop at Scotch Corner arranged by Margaret Clark, ADP Advocacy. Surprisingly interesting! We were encouraged and empowered to take our issues further and progress i.e. lobbying/petitions!!
Programme Action Consultation executive members considered a discussion paper and proposals on Federation Programme Committees and the Future, a possible restructuring of the current PA Committees. This was a lengthy exercise and a response was finally received in January. I am not sure that the structure will change dramatically but we will see! If anyone would like more information on this, please let me know.
Federation/Regional Projects as agreed, £100 has been sent to Federation in support of the Meru Garden Project. We deferred support for the Regional Project, New Start Bags (for women victims of human trafficking), being run in partnership with Northumbria Police. There may be opportunities for us to help in a similar way, in our own area, in the coming year.
Other Events laid a wreath at the Remembrance Service, always a privilege and attended the Women’s World Day of Prayer church service. Attended a meeting regarding Penrith and Refugees, information to follow. Helped members of the United Reformed Church to entertain 14 adults and16 children, refugees and asylum seekers and their 2 leaders, who came from Newcastle to Glenridding for the day last summer. Have been asked by the URC (Sylvia K) to help with an Afternoon Tea on the 8 July, proceeds from which will go towards this years visit.
Partnership helped Penrith Rotary with car parking at their Trail Run and Fun Run and attended one of the Braziers at the Winter Droving.
Petitions/Information are you happy with what I send out? Do you consider the petitions and sign sometimes? Please let me know.
It’s good that we have specific Programme Action meetings now. I am hoping to introduce speakers to the first half of some of these meetings and then have time for discussion and friendship. I want these meetings to be interesting and inspiring, meetings we can invite friends and prospective members to.
With the loss of two Clubs in our region recently, we are acutely aware that we must attract new members to survive and move forward. We are looking at ways of attracting new members, surely, there must be women in our community who will be inspired by what we do? Let’s look for real solutions that we all can be a part of, have fun and make new friends along the way! Women working together to get things done!!
Moira Rogers PAO