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What we do?

‘What we do’ as Soroptimists is usually referred to as Programme Action. It is core to what we are about as Soroptimists that separates us out from other women’s organisations.

Regional Programme Action Officer

Yvonne Freeman is the Regional Programme Action Officer. She represents the Region on the UK Programme Action Committee (UKPAC). Information on programme action (PA) activities and best practice is shared with clubs.

Clubs are asked to share what they have been doing at our Regional meetings.  Here is an example of one of the presentations shown by SI Medway and Maidstone. 

She also ensures that clubs report what they do by completing a form on-line on the Programme database.

Consultative Status at the United Nations

Soroptimist International is the world’s largest women’s service organisation with consultative status at the United Nations.  Through our Consultative Status at the United Nations, we strive for equality, peace and international understanding. We are committed to a world where women and girls together achieve their individual and collective potential, realise aspirations and have an equal voice in creating strong and peaceful communities worldwide.

Sustainable Development Goals

Every Soroptimist Club across the Region devises, plans and carries out project work – known as Programme Action based on the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.


The 5 ‘P’s

All the project work that we undertake supports the  United Nations 5Ps (People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace, Partnerships). Through our programme action we aim to Educate, Enable and Empower women and girls through raising Awareness, Advocacy and Action. We aim to bring about significant improvements for all by 2030, opening up all sorts of opportunities for achievement of aims to help women and girls be the best they can be through inspiring action and transforming lives.

SIGBI President Cathy Cottridge at Region with UN SDG Flag – September 2022

Support to Foodbanks

Clubs across the Region are involved in range of activities supporting their local communities such as Foodbanks. Some make donations, others volunteer, and others do food collections.

Recycling and the Environment

All the clubs are committed to the environment and are involved in many ways to re-use and recycle to prevent unwanted items going into landfill. Here is a list of what and which clubs: –

Items Club
Plastic Milk Bottle Tops SI Eastbourne for the Friends of Eastbourne hospital
Blister Packs SI Croydon and SI Medway and Maidstone via Superdrug for TerraCycle
Tin Cans SI Tunbridge Wells for cash

Tinfoil SI Sevenoaks via local vets for Guide Dogs for the Blind
Stamps SI Sevenoaks for RNIB
Spectacles SI Sevenoaks via local opticians for Rotary Vision Aid
Tights SI East Grinstead
Clothes for male detainees at Gatwick Airport SI Sevenoaks

Examples of Recycling Activities

Orange the World and 16 Days of Activism

With the growing number of incidents of abuse especially during the pandemic, it has become more important to raise awareness to eliminate violence against women. As part of the UN ‘Orange the World’ 16 Days of Activism campaign, clubs have been active on social media to spread the word, Canterbury held a Silent March and Tunbridge Wells a candlelit vigil outside the Town Hall.

How the Region ‘Oranged the World’

Soroptimist Centenary Activities

UKPAC set clubs a challenge to knit 100 Trauma Bears that could be given to Police to use with children who are victims of trauma or those living with their mothers in a women’s refuge. Isobel Groves from SI Sevenoaks led the way and with support of other clubs a total of more than 300 bears have been made.

Trauma Bears

Plant Trees for a Brilliant Future

Tree planting is one of the ways as Soroptimists we have been celebrating the first centenary of Soroptimists that helps the environment. Our Region has taken part and you can see from the photos below: –

Tree Planting

International Womens Day

International Womens Day is on 8th March 2023 . This years theme is ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality’
International Women’s Day Webinar 4th March 2023 – Title: Embracing equity with digital dynamism: (how female digital innovation can change the world)

For International Women’s Day and beyond, let’s all fully #EmbraceEquity.

Equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have.

A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA.

And it’s critical to understand the difference between equity and equality.

Equality focuses on providing all genders with equal opportunities, such as a woman’s right to vote. Yet, women often require more than a level playing field. They need to belong in a global culture that actively promotes and supports them in all aspects of their life, from education to the workplace to health.

Gender is intersectional, and women as a group are truly diverse. Policies that benefit white women, for example, may not benefit women of color due to historical or current inequalities. A shift from gender equality to the process of gender equity is required for meaningful progress.

Clubs raise awareness of this important day at their March club meetings.

If you want to find out more about some of the activities referred to many appear as articles in our Regional Newsletter – SEE News (South East England). Follow the link to look at previous 2022 – 2024 editions.