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/
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.
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.
The Annual General Meeting scheduled for Wednesday 15th April has been postponed until 20th May. This will be a virtual meeting using Zoom. Hopefully a majority of the members will be able to participate.
Our International Women’s Day event will take place on Sunday 8th March 2020, 2 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. in the Desborough Suite,Maidenhead Town Hall, St Ives Road, Maidenhead, SL6 1RF Theme: “Helping Us Achieve Our Potential” Speakers include: Dame Vera Baird, Victims Commissioner for England and Wales Katie Wright, Bethany Admans, Hannah Wright, Catie Holden – schoolgirls from the Girls Policy Forum Fiona Mactaggart, Chair of the Fawcett Society Maria Evans, Volunteer on the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s Climate Emergency Committee Adults £5, Students £2, (includes light refreshments) To book your place, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01753 868785
Over 70 participants keenly contested the Quiz on 1st November held for the first time at the Spencer Denny Centre in Windsor. The Vauxhall Vivas amassed a great score of 122 and were duly crowned the winners. The participants all enjoyed a fish and chips supper to aid concentration. Over £400 was raised for Age Concern (Spencer Denny Centre) and £140 for local charities supported by SI Slough Windsor & Maidenhead. Club member Sally Radford set the questions and Michele Bennett compered the evening with great aplomb.
Lynne Townley is a Barrister and is currently a Lecturer on the Bar professional Training Course at City Law School, University of London. She specialises in Criminal Law and has been National Lead Adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions in a number of areas, including homicide, honour-based violence, forced marriage and FGM. Last year Lynne was elected as Chair of the Association of Women Barristers, which represents and monitors the interests of women at the English Bar.
Members were delighted to welcome Fiona MacTaggart to the supper meeting on 18th September as she was previously the MP for Slough.
Members enjoyed a very informative talk about the problems of Period Poverty for girls and women in many parts of India. The combination of ignorance of their own biology combined with poor sanitation and poverty means that girls suffer many problems when their periods start. Many miss considerable days of education and suffer from many unnecessary medical problems. Kathryn told us about the charity which she helped to set up which has found suitable sanitary products for use in countries without clean water. There are two products available (Saafkins and Safepads) which both incorporate bio technology which enables the products to be washed in dirty water yet remain hygienic. The charity not only distributes these products but ensures that girls understand how to use them and how to look after themselves more effectively. The charity claims that £5 will provide this anti-bacterial protection for a
Alison Sutherland visited our club on 18th July to tell us about the various elections she has worked on around the world in her capacity as an Observer. There are two types of observer: short term which involves being in the country for three to four weeks and long term which requires four months and total immersion in the area of the country designated. Alison has recently been a short term observer in Turkey and a long term observer in Sierra Leone so she concentrated on these events although she has also covered elections in other parts of the world. Each observer works with a partner from a different country and also employs a driver and an interpreter. Once allocated to an area – in Alison’s last case this was a remote part of Northern Sierra Leone – the observers cannot leave without agreement until