Today was Rosemary Hampton’s 90th birthday – which she celebrated despite lockdown, having a party on the walkway outside her flat with the other residents, and visitors at appropriate social distance. Club member Alison had made her a quilt as a birthday present, and other club members had sent cards and best wishes for a very special birthday.
At our January supper meeting we hosted Kate from Hampshire Police as our guest speaker. Kate, who works as part of the team that deals with Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, explained what the most common terms that are used actually mean. Smuggling – the person is free at the end Trafficking – is movement and exploitation (for children). For adults some form of control needs to be shown as well (eg debt bondage). The movement could be within the same area or further afield (including across the world). Exploitation can mean forced labour, forced marriage or criminal or sexual exploitation. Statistics indicate that 403 million people in the world are living in slavery (136,000 in the UK). She gave some examples of cases she has been involved and highlighted the gaps in the support given to victims. In Hampshire, sexually exploitation is happening by
A small group from the club spent a practical evening making floral crackers for Christmas. Pauline has a horticultural background, and has married this with providing stimulating activities in care homes that she designed whilst visiting her aunt with dementia. She and 2 other volunteers are part of a Community Interest Company called Hortic Therapy. The idea is to provide enjoyable tasks that challenge fine motor skills, engage cognitive areas and bring horticulture indoors. Seasonal activities of planting and tending plants, such as herb troughs, bring out stories of rosemary and mint uses, and over time make those herbs available for cooking in the care home. We struggled with folding our paper into concertinas, tying the ribbons and decorating the crackers, but had such fun doing it! The room was by turns quiet, from sheer concentration, and noisy, as we shared jokes about our creations.
This year the annual Contact the Elderly tea party was attended by nineteen members from the Gosport and Fareham group and seventeen members from the Southampton branch. It was a lovely sunny breezy afternoon overlooking the Solent from the Wheel House at Hill Head. Once again club members excelled themselves and provided an afternoon tea consisting of a variety of sandwiches, sausage rolls and mini quiches, along with scones full of jam and cream, and a wonderful variety of homemade cakes, served with numerous cups of tea. The event organiser Alison Jenkins said: “A big thank you to all members who contributed by providing food and to those who spent their afternoon helping.” Bridget, who has taken on the mantle of leader for the Gosport and Fareham group, asked everyone to raise their cups in memory of Stella Astbury, a club member, who started and
The speaker for our June supper meeting was Ella Murphy, the granddaughter of one of our members. Last year Ella was one of a group of 36 students who did a sponsored climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, and she raised over £3,000, half of which paid her expenses. (We learned that there are 150 support staff involved in a climb like this). The rest was raised for a charity which provides clean water in Kenya. The climb took four and a half days. Kilimanjaro is just under 6,000 metres high so it was a steady upward slog from day one. Ella suffered from altitude sickness from the second day which meant that she didn’t sleep well and didn’t want to eat the food she badly needed to keep her strength up. She was full of praise for the support she got from the group (who applauded
The Red Box Project was started in the Portsmouth area and aims to provide sanitary protection for girls at school. Investigation in both primary and secondary schools uncovered a huge unmet need. The project has now spread to other areas of the country, and perhaps as a result of the publicity it has attracted, the government has agreed to provide funding from early next year. S I Solent East was inspired by a talk from one of the local co-ordinators Roxanne Martin to make a contribution to the project which the club decided was right up their Soroptimist street! Members are pictured with some of the items they collected.