Alison Bourne of DASH – Domestic Abuse Stops Here – sent the club a letter following our donation Dear Judy Can I extend my heartfelt thanks to you and your Soroptomist colleagues who so kindly donated to us at your AGM? It is so helpful to have support such as this; so much of our income is ‘restricted’ which means we don’t have any choice on how we spend it as it’s been granted for a specific purpose. When we receive ‘unrestricted’ monies it gives us the freedom to provide the specific things our current clients need, whether in the community or in our refuges (we have three). Since the lockdown, we have been the busiest we have been in our 42 year history, with domestic abuse incidents increasing exponentially, so your support is more critical than ever. Please pass on our thanks to
Each year members support DASH (Domestic Abuse Stops Here) by providing a bag of presents for each of the residents of the local Refuges. Often women fleeing from domestic abuse do not have the opportunity to take possessions with them so it is hoped that the items in these Christmas bags will not only be useful but will add a little bit of sparkle to their lives. This year there are 15 bags ready to go though sadly the COVID19 pandemic has meant that there has been a considerable increase in the number of victims not just locally but worldwide. This year Phyllis Sigsworth also handed over a cheque to DASH relating to the royalties received from her recent autobiography covering her life in the police force, ‘A Beat from the Heart to the Heart of Power’. The photos show Phyllis presenting
On Saturday club members linked up with their Friendship Link clubs in Amsterdam Amstel and Georgetown Tasmania in a very special three-way chat. The meeting was held to highlight the Fight to Eliminate Violence Against Women by wearing orange. Participants discussed the various activities that were under way to combat this scourge. All three clubs support local Refuges and also plan to provide Christmas presents for the women currently living in a local Refuge. Despite the difficulty of fundraising whilst in lockdown, all clubs have succeeded in raising funds for this incredibly important work. items have been sold via ~EBay and surplus fruit has been made into jam and sold to friends and neighbours. Club member Phyllis Sigsworth is donating the royalties on her book to DASH (Domestic Abuse Stops Here). It was splendid to be able to see our Soroptimist sisters via video and
For many years, members have donated items that are needed by our local Centre for the Homeless. This year Slough Homeless Our Concern highlighted men’s pants and socks and razors as high on their list of priorities. A bootful of these necessities and some other clothes were taken to their premises in Ragstone Road, Slough, last week and were gratefully received.
Soroptimist International is working to improve the lives of girls worldwide, the video below shows just some of the work that our members in all five Federations have been doing in this area, from Trafficking and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to Education and improving their life opportunities. SI Slough Windsor & Maidenhead fund a student in Nepal who is now part way through her three year course to become a lawyer. The club has committed to £4000 to enable her to live in Katmandu whilst she studies. Of course at present she is having to study online due to Covid19 but she is making very good progress towards fulfilling her dream.
Club members linked up with another Friendship Link club on Saturday 12th September. As Tasmania is on the other side of the world the most appropriate time was 10.30 am which gave the members of SI George Town an excuse to have a glass of wine whilst our members were still on a coffee break! Jane Zimmerman is the middle of the three members shown – she visited us about twenty years ago.
Phyllis Sigsworth is a member of SI Slough Windsor and Maidenhead. She is very sprightly at 90 years old and has been a Soroptimist for over 50 years. She had a very distinguished career in the Police Service and was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished Police Service. She has worked tirelessly on issues affecting women and children including domestic violence, human trafficking, and child protection, in both her working life in the Service and Soroptimist life. A book has been written covering her thirty years of service and shows social changes and changes in women’s role in law enforcement since 1950. The book is called “A Beat From The Heart To The Heart Of Power”. The proceeds from the sale of this book will be given to our local women’s refuge organisation DASH – Domestic Abuse Stops Here. The book was published on 27th August and
Thanks to the wonders of technology SI Slough had a delightful meeting with their Friendship Link club in Amsterdam on Wednesday 5th August. Five members of the Amsterdam Amstel club were able to join SI Slough members to discuss a range of topics from the problems arising from the Covid19 lockdown to current club activities and hopes for the future. All the members introduced themselves and talked about their time as Soroptimists and the various projects in which they were involved. Interestingly both clubs are very involved with Domestic Abuse issues. The clubs plan to meet up again via Zoom.
The June meeting fell in Ascot week this year so although we could only meet via Zoom we did our best to dress up with members wearing hats. On a more serious note, Tracy and Janice joined us to talk about Windsor Family Friends, a local charity which helps families through difficult times. Like many charities it is suffering financial problems at present but also needs volunteers to work with families and their children. The club is considering ways to assist in the future. Not only were all the members participating from their homes but Janice was on line from France where she is spending lockdown. Future events including the Centenary of Soroptimist International and our own Diamond Anniversary in 2022 were discussed together with ongoing activities. Two prospective members joined the meeting.
As our monthly meeting on 17th June falls during Ascot week, members are planning to don their best hat for the meeting which will be held via Zoom. A speaker from Family Friends Windsor & Maidenhead will be talking to the club members about the work of this charity and the possibilities of becoming volunteers.