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Planning homes with a heart

Planning homes with a heart

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Guest speaker at the September meeting was Sarah Ward, from Fareham Borough Council, speaking about the plans for Welborne Garden Village. The idea is to make sure the development has character and is a community that people want to live within, rather than just a housing estate. The start of the building work has been delayed a few years already, but is progressing through the planning process and will begin with the improvements to Junction 10 of the M27. The 6,000 new homes will then be built in phases over the next twenty years, along with amenities and green spaces. There were plenty of questions from the club members, as you’d expect.  On the way out of the presentation one member said: “She did a good job; I quite fancy living there myself now!”

Discovering a hidden gem

Discovering a hidden gem

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Nine members were treated to a hidden gem when they set out to walk through Warsash Common on a mild but cloudy July evening. Led by Tracy Gardiner they learned about twelve native English trees, their botanical details, myths and legends and uses during a walk lasting about 45 minutes. The evening ended with a delicious meal at the Nook and Cranny restaurant.

All about our international charity project

All about our international charity project

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It has been said that women hold up half the sky – in Kenya they seem to hold up 99.9%, being the main providers for themselves and their families (including their men). This was the backdrop to Tracy Gardiner’s introduction of the current International charity Meru Women’s Garden Project in a talk to club members. Meru County in Kenya is the focus of Soroptimist International’s mission to transform the lives of women and girls by raising funds to educate them to enable them to improve their agricultural skills, so raising their family’s living standards and empowering them to challenge the traditional practices that have held them back for so long. In Kenya and so in Meru County, tradition governs everything.  Boys, after circumcision go into the bush for a few months and come back men, relieved of all domestic duties spending the time talking or

Courses galore at college cocktail evening

Courses galore at college cocktail evening

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Half a dozen members enjoyed a six-course cocktail themed meal at Avenue 141, the silver service training restaurant at Fareham college that is staffed by students. Pictured left is chocolate marquise with a kir royal drizzle, one of the six imaginative dishes on the dinner menu that included such items as crispy duck tempura with a vodka and orange dipping sauce and smoked salmon salad with a gin and tonic dressing. The meal was a real feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.  

Celebrating women’s achievements

Celebrating women’s achievements

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SI Gosport, Fareham and District celebrated International Women’s Day with a coffee morning. Local women’s organisations were invited to come and display information about their activities. Townswomen’s Guild, Inner Wheel, WRNS and Solent Stitchers were among those who took up the challenge. There was also information about SI Poole’s Purple Teardrop campaign and the Soroptimist International Project, Meru Women’s Garden Project as well as a display about the SI club’s activities. The Fareham MP, Suella Fernandes and two Soroptimists, Wendie Douglas and Rosalinda Hardiman talked about their experiences as women in the workplace. Suella had worked for ten years to become an MP and finally achieved her goal at the General Election in May 2015. When elected she was the 385th ever woman MP. Wendie talked about her work as a police officer and of the increasing numbers of women in the Force. She noted

Harrowing truth about human trafficking

Harrowing truth about human trafficking

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Julie Shanley and Sam Henderson of The Medaille Trust spoke to the club about the work of the Trust in supporting victims of human trafficking and modern slavery. The Trust provides safe, supported housing for victims and is also involved in raising awareness and preventative work. In total the Trust has ten safe houses across the country three of which are in Southampton. First some definitions. Human trafficking is the act of recruitment or transportation of persons by means of deception or coercion for the purpose of exploitation. Modern slavery is when a person owns or controls another person and deprives that person of their freedom with the intention of exploiting them. These activities are going on all around us and we may even have used the services of trafficked people without even realising it. For example, victims have been found in car washes and

A historical tour of Gunwharf Quays

A historical tour of Gunwharf Quays

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Michael Underwood was a conservation architect who worked on Gunwharf Quays, and has written a book about the history of the site.  He is shown with club member Celia Veal, who arranged the talk, and president for the month Tracy Gardiner (holding his book). Historically a gun wharf was a place with a deep water harbour, space to remove and store guns, areas for storehouses, workshops and accommodation, and strong security. The first such specific area was built in Portsmouth by the Board of Ordnance for the navy in the late 17th century. It was on a prominence into the boggy “Ooze”, reclaimed and built as the largest of its kind at the time. Years passed, and by the time of Napoleon, with an expanding naval force, a further adjacent area was required. This included moving the Storekeeper, responsible for the whole operation of the

Remembering a talented, energetic woman

Remembering a talented, energetic woman

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FIFTEEN club members attended a memorial service at St Peter’s Church, Bishop’s Waltham, for a former member and president Pam Simcock who died, aged 77, on September 11. Many Soroptimists. their families and friends, will remember the summer barbecues held in her beautiful garden. Pam designed the garden, which was for her a continuing source of delight. She and her husband Ken liked other people to be able to share their enjoyment. Pam was a person of enormous energy, enthusiasm and talent. She was a floral artist who won gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show in both floral art and garden design and later acted as a judge. She originally trained as a midwife and when she was club president she chose the Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa as her charity. The club supported it for many years with blankets,shawls and other knitted items

Group reveals its can-do attitude

Group reveals its can-do attitude

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Headway is a charity which provides support to people who have suffered a brain injury and their carers. It is one of the local charities which SI Gosport, Fareham and district elected to support this year, so four members of the club went to see what exactly it does. We spent a most enjoyable morning chatting with the group over coffee, shown in the pictures below. Some had been injured in road accidents, others had had strokes or other medical problems. What was very clear to us was that they found it really helpful to talk to each other about ways of coping with their disabilities and to share experiences. What we perhaps hadn’t expected was the amount of fun they had and their enjoyment of shared activities. It was a really inspiring visit: one lady had abseiled down Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower the previous week