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Club News 2021

16 Days of Activism – Abolition of Violence Against Women and Girls

SI Perth are proud to be taking part in the following 16 Days of Activism Programme, raising awareness of Gender Based Violence.  One of our members, Avril Duncan, is a speaker at an event on 6th December in Perth Theatre, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.   Avril is speaking on Human Trafficking.  Tickets – free – can be downloaded from the Eventbrite website. If you have any problems obtaining tickets, please text Avril on 07913017142

On 23rd November, 8 of our members enjoyed a delicious Afternoon Tea at Olivio’s, West Mains Avenue, Burghmuir.  The ladies had a lovely afternoon tea, with great company, great food and great value for money!  Roll on the next one!

Perth Soroptimists, in November, handed over 462 garments to Buttons & Bows.  Buttons & Bows is a local clothes bank for children 0 to 4 years old, where parents can visit and select clothing, toys, toiletries etc.

SI PERTH DONATIONS TO BLYTHSWOOD CHRISTMAS APPEAL 2021

On 16th Nov. SI Perth members delivered 58 items for Blythswood – the items had to be quarantined prior to being packed in the appropriate shoeboxes.  There were 19 hats, 14 scarves/snoods, and 25 pairs of gloves/mitts – some handknitted by members and some shop bought.

In October, SI Perth members visited the Glasgow Women’s Library.  A wonderful and inspiring museum dedicated to Women’s lives, histories and experiences.

29th September 2021   Visit to ESOLperth

SI Perth members recently had the good fortune to visit the premises of charity, ESOLperth based in Scott Street, Perth.  ESOL is a newish charity who opened their doors to provide English tuition to anyone from toddler age right up to senior citizens who need to learn or improve their English.   The main aim of ESOLperth is to improve the quality of life for people from other countries, by teaching them how to speak, read and write in English.  SI Perth members were donating children’s and adult’s books and stayed to learn about the work of ESOL. 

Under the capable hands of Linda (pictured front right), the centre offers a wide variety of courses and other services
including an After-School Club, a Toddlers’ Club, Craft Classes, workshops in Chess, Art, Kids’ Art, Coding, T’Ai Chi, Piano, Singing, supporting both High School and Primary School students. On top of this, they run a Bike
Station to learn how to ride and how to look after your bike, and many different academic classes.
We are very pleased to be supporting the hardworking volunteers that work with Linda.

29th September 2021   Donating our Knitted Knee Blankets

SI Perth Members have been busy knitting cosy knee blankets which were handed over to 
residents of Ochil Nursing Home in Ettrick Drive, Perth.  

21st September 2021 – International Day of Peace

 Members of SI Perth met recently to celebrate two important events at the same time.  To mark International Day of Peace, we each lit a candle to highlight the plight of  those suffering the effects of war, or conflict of any kind in their lives (picture above)

SIGBI CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

After a delicious lunch, we enjoyed a slice of cake, brought by one of our members, to celebrate 100 years of Soroptimist International of Great Britain & Ireland Federation (picture below)

COP 26    1st to 12th November 2021

COP26 is the 2021 United Nations Climate Change conference

For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits – called COPs – which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’. In that time climate change has gone from being a fringe issue to a global priority.

This year will be the 26th annual summit – giving it the name COP26. With the UK as President, COP26 takes place in Glasgow.

In the run up to COP26 the UK is working with every nation to reach agreement on how to tackle climate change. World leaders will arrive in Scotland, alongside tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens for twelve days of talks.

Soroptimists from all over Scotland are crafting 1.5 miles of climate messages for the negotiators to urge them to take bold and binding action. The length of the scarf represents the 1.5 degrees C in the Paris agreement.
We will then be sending our pieces onto Stitches 4 Survival who will be displaying it near the SECC conference centre where the talks are taking place.
All panels are created in green and blue representing the land and seas. Perth Soroptimists have knitted four panels to be included in “the scarf”.

September 2021 AFGHAN APPEAL – PERTH & KINROSS

On 1st September, the Declared Day of Action in Afghanistan and following an appeal by Perth & Kinross Association of Voluntary Services (PKAVS), Gameeda Barnard and Lilian Murchison were delighted to drop off donated items from members of Soroptimist International of Perth as well as members of Blairgowrie community. Toiletries, toys and stationery items were handed over to be distributed to migrants arriving in Perth and Kinross area.  The photos below show some of our donated items.

SI Perth members, Gameeda Barnard and Lilian Murchison, Programme Action Officers, 
with a member of staff from PKAVS.

Saturday 17th July 2021

On 17th July, in recognition of International Day of Service, President Jean had the privilege of presenting Long Service Awards to four members of SI Perth.

Jay Telfer – 40 years,  Alison Harrison – 25 years,  Margaret Smith and Anne Gray – both 20 years.  Well done to all.

The presentation took place in glorious sunshine in the beautiful garden of Mary Wallace.  Members enjoyed afternoon tea and friendship.

President Jean also presented a cheque to Bill Duncan of Perth Rotary Club.  The cheque was for £2,000 and is being added to a fund which is destined for India, to assist at Seema’s Children’s Home in Pune, a project belonging to The Free to Live Trust.  The money will be used to buy a small tractor for farmland at the home, as well as doubling the size of their water reservoir, much needed now that the Children’s Home houses over sixty children, rescued victims of  human trafficking.

21st June 2021  Donations to RASAC and Starter Packs

A number of SI Perth members met recently to fill around eighty toilet bags with toiletries donated by members.  Some of the eighty bags are being gifted to RASAC, to be given out to women arriving traumatised at their Centre in Perth.  Other bags will be given to Starter Packs customers, people in need who have been given a place to live and have very little to equip their new home.  A good number of the toilet bags had been sewn by SI Perth members and were filled with essential toiletries and sanitary items, a very welcome gift for those receiving them.

June 2021 – SUMMER OUTING 

Members of Soroptimist International of Perth enjoyed their Summer Outing to the beautiful Parkhead Gardens in Perth, courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Tinson, on an ideal cloud free day. The ladies then enjoyed afternoon tea at Olivio’s on West Mains Avenue, walking distance from the gardens.

29th May to 5th June 2021 – GRAND CHARITY SHOP 

Here at Soroptimists Perth, we never rest on our laurels.  On Friday, 29th May, we opened a
pop-up Charity Shop which ran until Sat. 5th June. We were raising funds for Soroptimist Projects and
for The Free to Live Trust (See our Programme Action for more details of this project)

Below are some pictures from our shop and thanks to everyone who helped in any way whatsoever, we raised a vast amount of money for our charities.

CONGRATULATIONS TO SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL ON ATTAINING OUR CENTENNIAL YEAR THIS YEAR.

A number of tree-planting events will be taking place this year to commemorate our Centennial year.  We will be showcasing these events below as they happen.  We will be working in partnership with a number of other organisations for our tree-planting activities, namely: The Woodland Trust,  The Be Yourself Group,  Soroptimists of Pune Metro East, India,  CDP Project Mombasa, Africa,  Perth & Kinross Council (SI Perth Silver Birch tree planted on South Inch in March 2021).   If you are interested in helping us in these projects, please get in touch with us.  We would welcome your help.

8th MARCH 2021

The women of the “Be Yourself Group” have organised Perth and Kinross’s International Women’s Day celebrations since 1997. In recent years they have co-ordinated Perth and Kinross’s Women’s Festival alongside their many partners (including Soroptimists of Perth) who are interested in celebrating the achievements of women and creating opportunities for them to achieve more. The festival coincides with International Women’s Day on the 8th of March celebrated by women throughout the world.

Unfortunately, like many other events, this year’s festival 2021 did not take place but the Be Yourself Group and its partners celebrated on the 8th of March by planting a tree. With the kind support of the Gannochy Trust, representatives from the group and SI Perth planted a rowan tree in Quarrymill Woodland Park Perth.

It is hoped that the festival will return in 2022 and that partners including Soroptimists International Perth, Gender Equality Perth, Menopause Café, PKAVS and Onestop Women’s Learning Service(OWLS)  will offer an even bigger programme of practical workshops, physical activities, drama, music, films and exhibitions for all to enjoy.

SI Perth President Jean Black with SI Perth member Christine Macfarlane and a member of the Be Yourself Group

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8th MARCH 2021

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, Perth’s Smeaton Bridge was illuminated in the festival’s chosen colour for this year, purple.  SI Perth members wore purple at their club Zoom meeting that week.

Perth’s Smeaton Bridge on 8th March 2021, for International Women’s Day

FEBRUARY 2021

RECYCLING NEWS FOR EVERYONE

EMPTY BLISTER PACKS

We learned recently that Superdrug Stores throughout the UK are having a fundraising drive to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care,  with special collection boxes in their shops for customers to recycle blister packs from tablets.

Collect your empty blister packs from any medicine you are taking, and recycle them with SI Perth, or direct to a Superdrug store.

SI Perth members think this is an excellent way to raise money and also to help the environment so we will be supporting this cause.  Please tell your families and friends about this very worthwhile project and ask them to save their empty blister packs.  If you can, please give the blister packs to any SI Perth member you know and we will add them to our collection and count them.  We aim to collect hundreds of packs and will hand them over to our local Superdrug Store, publishing the numbers we collect as we go.

If you don’t know any of our members, please contact us through this website and we will be in touch to arrange collection if this is possible.  If not, your own local Superdrug will be very happy to receive your blister packs.  Thank you for your support.

FEBRUARY 2021

Soroptimists of Perth began the year with two very successful virtual meetings.  Our first meeting on 12th Jan. introduced us to speaker Diana McMicking from Firefly International, an organisation who help provide safe spaces for children affected by war.  Founded in Bosnia by Ellie Maxwell, a student at Edinburgh University, the charity currently works in Syria, Turkey and Bosnia.  Sadly Ellie passed away in 2009 but the work she began continues with a dedicated team of workers doing a wonderful job in dangerous circumstances.

Following our inspiring speaker, SI Perth members discussed our programme action work – the projects we are running at the present time – under the headings of:

Climate Change (working with Woodland Trust on tree planting), Domestic Violence, Gender Inequality, Recycling, and Supporting Local Organisations e.g. providing goods for RASAC, donating to Salvation Army to ease poverty, supporting P & K Music Foundation, making blankets/rugs for Murray Royal, knitting premature baby items for Ninewells, providing toiletries to Women’s Aid, and much more.

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Our second meeting, on 26th Jan. highlighted the work of The Free to Live Trust (FTLT), with speaker Pam Cairns, Co-Founder of the Trust, bringing us up to date with their 2 Children’s Homes in Pune, India.  SI Perth have supported the building of these two homes and the upkeep and support of the children in the homes.  The children are the offspring of trafficked girls, caught up in modern day slavery and being forced to work in the red light are of India.  The FTLT helped in the rescue of around 60 children, and are giving them security, freedom and love in the countryside of Maharashtra where they attend local schools and are looking forward to a brighter future than previously.  Back in the red light area of Pune, the FTLT provides hot food daily for a good number of the children still trapped there, in very dangerous circumstances.

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Our next Club meeting, on Zoom, will be on Tues. 9th Feb., when Jen Stewart from RASAC is our speaker.  If you’d like to attend one of our meetings as a guest, to hear one of our speakers please contact us.  (Our full syllabus is on the front page of our Website.)  We’d be delighted to welcome you.

JANUARY 2021

During January, a number of Soroptimist Webinars took place throughout the world, and SI Perth members attended, to learn what our Soroptimist sisters are doing in their own countries.  SI Dundee ran one of these Webinars, where the speaker was Aratrika Bhattacharya from SI South Kolkata, addressing the problems of domestic violence and gender inequality in India.

On 29th January, SI Pune Metro East in India, one of SI Perth Friendship Links, organised a Webinar with speakers discussing the problems of climate change, and the tree planting our clubs are doing in various parts of the world.  One such tree is the Moringa, grown in Asia and Africa, also called the Miracle Tree, the Tree of Life and the Drumstick Tree.    In India these trees are used for many purposes, e.g. medicinal, culinary, and every part of the tree – the leaves, stems and flowers – are all important benefits to the Indian people.  SI PME hope to plant 100 of these essential trees over the coming months and SI Perth will be supporting a project in Mombasa to plant Moringa trees there.