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New Members Coffee Morning March 2022

New Members Coffee Morning March 2022

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SI Sevenoaks held an informal coffee morning for prospective new members at the delightful Cornflower Café, which is tucked away in the corner of a huge greenhouse at the Coblands Garden Centre near Riverhead.  In the end five club members met up  with one guest, and cheese scones and assorted coffees were the order or the day!  It was fun to meet there on a lovely, sunny day, and some members bought plants, so a successful morning!  Grateful thanks to Amy, our club North Kent College Design student, who prepared a great flyer for us to send to our guests.   Some of our guests were unable to come at the last minute, so hopefully we can repeat the event with more guests in the near future! Sandie Higgs SI Sevenoaks Membership Officer  

SI Sevenoaks Presidents Lunch March 2022

SI Sevenoaks Presidents Lunch March 2022

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SI Sevenoaks Annual President’s Lunch – Wednesday March 16th President Pat Downing MBE & Members  were delighted to be able to hold their annual lunch at St Julian’s, after 2 years Covid postponement……and the wisteria was in all its glory! The 40 guests included Regional President Yvonne Freeman, Town Mayor Cllr Dr Merilyn Canet, members from SI Bromley, SI Croydon & SI Tunbridge Wells & prospective & former members, friends and family. Past President Penelope Robbins had fully briefed the Mayor on all the clubs Charity Fundraising, Programme Action and Advocacy work through the past 3 years. The Mayor proposed the toast to SI Sevenoaks & Yvonne responded. Ann Greenfield SI Tunbridge Wells responded on behalf of the guests. Guests stayed on chatting for a long time & many thank you letters received indicated that it was a very happy & successful occasion.

International Women’s Day 2022 in Sevenoaks

International Women’s Day 2022 in Sevenoaks

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International Women’s Day 2022 in Sevenoaks SI Sevenoaks President Pat Downing and Isobel Groves Programme Action Officer joined a hundred attenders at the Mayor of Sevenoaks Merilyn Canet’s International Women’s Day lunch at the Bat and Ball Centre. It was a joyous occasion planned carefully and hosted by the Mayor and Linda Larter, town clerk who is a Sevenoaks Soroptimist. The aim of the lunch was to invite sixth form pupils from local schools and young women starting out on their careers together with professional and business women in the hope that by thoughtful mixing at lunch the opportunity of mentoring was offered.  The event was enhanced by having three speakers from different walks of life: Jennifer Godfrey spoke about her book The Suffragettes of Kent, Councillor Suzanne Clerk spoke about Women and their Impact on the High Street, and Juliette Cheveley spoke about her

International Women’s Day 8th March #Break the Bias at SI Sevenoaks

International Women’s Day 8th March #Break the Bias at SI Sevenoaks

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International Women’s Day at SI Sevenoaks Members and guests of SI Sevenoaks met and mingled at their club meeting to celebrate International Women’s Day. A powerful talk was given to the club by Gillian Bishop, solicitor on Gender Bias in Family Law?  Gillian’s greatest achievement was setting up her Family Law firm in London in 1995 specialising in divorce. Her law firm’s aim is to keep the family unit as amiably cohesive as possible always looking for a holistic approach to divorce.  Gilly’s talk ended with a lively question and answer session. Following the reading of the Soroptimist Vision, Mission and Values at the beginning of the business meeting members and guests remained standing in remembrance of the atrocities in Ukraine followed by President Pat Downing lighting a candle in remembrance of the Women of Ukraine. Isobel Groves,  Programme Action Officer

100 year Trauma Bear Challenge February Club Meeting 2022

100 year Trauma Bear Challenge February Club Meeting 2022

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Soroptimist International Launched the 100 year Trauma Bear challenge. These Teddies are given to the Police, women’s refuges and schools to comfort children who have been subjected to abuse or have suffered other trauma such as bereavement. The knitters in the Sevenoaks club took on this challenge with vigour making over 300 bears. Through this initiative the club has forged close partnership links with Kent Police and also with other Soroptimist clubs throughout the South and South East region. February club meeting - Detective Inspector Richard Pringle Child Protection Team West Division, Kent Police spoke about his work in child abuse and child protection and how the trauma bears play an important role in helping relax children who have to be interviewed in distressing circumstances following abuse. Richard was presented with more bears and his own monogrammed de stressor muff knitted in police colours for his
Ancient Tree Walk – Knole Park Jan 2022

Ancient Tree Walk – Knole Park Jan 2022

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Following the attendance of the Sevenoaks Climate Change Network meeting club members were invited to attend a walk and talk given by Richard Arnold, Director at Tree Craft Ltd and a member of The Ancient Tree Forum at NT Knole Park. The talk was aimed to educate club members and other like minded groups on the walk including Sevenoaks District Council – “to look at ancient, old and valuable trees and discuss some of the issues with their management, their long-term sustainability and their significance culturally, historically and for biodiversity, both individually and in the context of the wider landscape”. It was an opportunity for us all to chat informally as a group to develop ideas to achieve a common goal for the protection of these trees and adding solidarity to the need for Climate Change (UN SDG 13) and better understanding of Life on Land (UN

Hope The Lego Suffragette – Womens Suffrage & Commemorating the Centenary of Women receiving the Vote

Hope The Lego Suffragette – Womens Suffrage & Commemorating the Centenary of Women receiving the Vote

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Following our November club meeting where the focus was on The Suffragettes and acknowledging the UN Day Elimination of Violence Against Women.   Jenny Godfrey had given the club members an excellent talk on Suffragettes in Kent sharing their stories. Club members then visited The Stag Sevenoaks where Hope The Lego Suffragette was being displayed ( see details below)  and took “Selfies”.  A montage was created and North Kent College Design student Amy Allison very kindly designed the border in Suffragette colours with rosettes. Press Release Hope Lego Statue PRESS RELEASE Sevenoaks Town Council invited Hope the Suffragette made from Lego to visit Sevenoaks from 24th November – 15th December 2021 In 2018 Sevenoaks Town Council placed a request with the House of Commons for Hope, the Suffragette made from Lego to visit Sevenoaks to commemorate the centenary of women receiving the vote.  Unfortunately, due to

Our last batch of Trauma Teddies [or so we thought!]

Our last batch of Trauma Teddies [or so we thought!]

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Our last batch of Trauma Teddies [or so we thought!] DC James Hookway the Police member of the East Sussex MASH [Multi Agency Working and Information Sharing Project] safeguarding team collected the last batch of  70 Teddies [or so we thought] from Sevenoaks on 8th December and was greeted by Isobel Groves and Shirley Brigham, members of the Sevenoaks club and Maureen Clarke, a  friend of Sevenoaks Soroptimists who kindly joined in the knitting Teddies project  with gusto. James covers Hastings, Eastbourne and Brighton. Through his work he is able to distribute the Teddies to Social Workers working in Children’s Services in those towns. In his words ‘we can’t have too many Teddies’ please make more!!’ Shirley and Maureen together with Linda Larter, another club member, have knitted 190 bears and now, at the request of the police, with more to come. The bears went

Knitting Christmas Stars for Care Homes in Sevenoaks Dec 2021

Knitting Christmas Stars for Care Homes in Sevenoaks Dec 2021

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Knitting Christmas Stars for residents in Care Homes in Sevenoaks Knitting or making Christmas stars of hope for every resident in two care homes in Sevenoaks is the initiative of a Church of England Vicar who is now able to visit two care homes, Emily Jackson and Rockdale on a regular basis. Due to the pandemic and lockdowns it had not been possible to see residents on a regular basis. The resumption of this service encourages hope.Giving the residents a Christmas star is a symbol and a reminder of it. Club member Shirley Brigham has knitted 12 stars to add to the star collection and the Soroptimist contribution has been greatly appreciated. President Pat Downing adds that ‘this initiative is close to the hearts of Sevenoaks Soroptimists as the club holds their monthly club meetings at Rockdale which was started by a Sevenoaks Soroptimist Beatrice

The Suffragettes and UN Day Elimination of Violence Against Women November 2021

The Suffragettes and UN Day Elimination of Violence Against Women November 2021

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The Suffragettes were chosen as our November club meeting focus as we are acknowledging the UN Day Elimination of Violence Against Women. Thank you to Jenny Godfrey who gave club members an excellent talk on Suffragettes in Kent sharing their stories. Suffragettes played a pivotal role in assuring that women’s voices were heard & suffered violence achieving it. So wholly appropriate that the meeting was dedicated to all women who have suffered any form of violence and have died from acts of violence.