Several members of the club have been working with Club President Margaret Lenton to improve the Heritage Garden near to Windsor Guildhall in time for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The garden had become sadly overgrown and weedy but is now looking smart and attractive again.
SI Slough Windsor & Maidenhead held a very successful lunch at Stirrups Hotel on Sunday 10th October. This event had been postponed twice due to Covid restrictions so it was particularly enjoyed by almost fifty members and guests. A reception with glasses of Pimms provided a good opportunity for mingling and chatting prior to a three course lunch. After toasts to Soroptimist International and ‘Our Guests’, Richard Goss who is a trustee of Thames Hospicecare talked about the amazing work which is undertaken by the Hospice. He explained how the new site was enabling more patients to be treated and how the facilities were also available to members of the public who just wanted to drop in to have a cup of coffee. He paid tribute to the huge number of volunteers including members of our club. President Margaret presented Richard with a cheque from
London Chilterns President Helen Byrne zoomed into the club’s meeting on Wednesday 21st July and gave an update about her rather unusual year in office whilst dealing with a pandemic. Despite the problems in being restricted to virtual meetings, she was enjoying meeting many clubs and was also making progress in linking up the London based clubs in both London Chilterns and London Anglia together with clubs on the fringes of London in Southern Region. She hopes that creating a London oriented group will make it more straightforward to attract more members in the London area.
Fifteen members of the club got together in a member’s garden on Wednesday 23rd June for a fund raising coffee morning. Around £300 was raised for the Thames Hospice whilst enjoying meeting up again and making the most of a wide selection of cakes and scones. It was also a great pleasure to welcome Alison Sutherland – a previous Regional President.
The June meeting started on a somber note as members held a One Minute Silence for Federation President Johanna Raffen who died on 14th June. The club welcomed a visiting Soroptimist, Maureen Thompson , who is moving into the area. Baiju McGubbins then provided a most fascinating talk illustrated with videos regarding the work of Medical Detection Dogs. Medical Detection Dogs use the amazing power of the dog’s nose to detect human diseases and research is based on the dog’s ability to detect minute odour traces created by diseases. Dogs are trained to recognise specific illnesses such as prostate cancer but amazingly they can also be trained to know for instance when a human with type 1 diabetes might lapse into a coma whilst sleeping and take action. Whilst in the past there was anecdotal evidence of the ability of animals to be alert to
Even the constraints of a hospital bed didn’t deter our speaker this evening! Clive Driscoll works with victims of Forced Marriages, FGM and True Honour. He is a retired Detective Chief Inspector for the Metropolitan Police who successfully investigated high profile cases concerning sexual offences, domestic abuse and child protection. He secured prosecutions in the murder of Stephen Lawrence, and in the first honour-based murder. Tonight he gave us a fascinating, in-depth talk about FGM.
We were delighted to see this reference to Maidenhead Child Contact Centre in Theresa May’s recent comments to the House. Soroptimists from our club helped set up the Centre and a number of members have been volunteers at the Centre ever since in several cases for over 25 years. It was gratifying to have this work recognised. Extract from Hansard – Mrs May – Thursday 15th April – Domestic Abuse Bill (approx. 1.30pm) I wanted to discuss Lords amendment 9, because I have a question for the Government in relation to it. I recognise that in the private law family cases the judiciary and Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service have protocols. May I say to the Minister that from my experience of more than 20 years as a constituency MP, telling me that CAFCASS has an involvement in something does not
Charlotte Spear joined us via Zoom for our March monthly meeting just in time to tell us all about the Census taking place on 21st March. Charlotte discussed the various changes that are made for every census with the aim of coping with changes in the population and attitudes. It is possible that 2021 will be last formal census as much of the data which is collected is available in other forms such as tax returns and health and educational records. The first census in the UK was undertaken in 1801 but the records are more complete from 1851 onwards. The actual records are kept under wraps for 100 years but the data is extracted in order to provide information on where housing, schools and hospitals are most needed. The data also provides important information regarding the age, gender and racial breakdown of the population.
Alison Bourne, Chief Executive of the DASH Charity – Domestic Abuse Stops Here – was the speaker at our February meeting. Alison started off with a quiz to bring alive the huge problem of domestic abuse which has only been worsened during the lockdown for the pandemic. The police force receive telephone calls for help every 30 seconds. Each week two women are killed by their partners – the figures are shocking. DASH has three refuges and a programme currently online which aims to provide assistance to anyone suffering from domestic abuse. It is a problem that cuts across class and background. It is calculated that one in four women will be affected in their lifetime. DASH is organising an International Women’s Day Conference on Friday 5th March on Zoom – more details on their website: https://thedashcharity.org.uk/