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Soroptimist Showcase

South Lancashire’s Soroptimists shared their favourite projects at a recent regional meeting.

Given just five minutes, each club had to tell everyone the what? why? and how? of their particular choice.

Several clubs homed-in on support for women. SI Leigh & District Soroptimists, for example, highlighted violence against women. Their project on the 16 Days of Activism involved the local community, including the town hall – plus 2,495 orange flowers.

SI Manchester told the story of their work with local charity WomenMATTA, which provides holistic support to women affected by the criminal justice system and to those at risk. Club members supply over 250 diaries each year plus items for the clothing bank.

Both SI Widnes and SI Warrington provide dignity packs. In Widnes the focus is on supporting women at after pregnancy loss or other emergencies. Warrington Soroptimists create packs of life’s essentials for people on admission at the local hospital’s A&E Department, or without visitors to support them.

SI Southport partnered with The Arts Society in the town and the charity Compassion Acts, which aims to reduce poverty and foster wellbeing. The club organised a successful art competition for children. SI Stockport & District also focussed on creativity – the work of local charity Arc in developing programmes to improve people’s mental health.

Bingo? SI Wigan turned to human rights bingo to raise awareness. Ramsbottom Soroptimists spoke of their sponsorship of a young woman, a Paralympic skier. The St Helens club gave an overview of several projects including their practical ‘fresh start’ help for vulnerable women, and breast cancer awareness-raising.

The origins of SI Liverpool’s “Soroptibooks” project are in lockdown – the challenges of home learning, particularly for families where money is tight. No spare cash for books! Using donated books members set up a readers’ club for children at a local food pantry. From small beginnings, the project has now donated over 1,000 books.

The most ‘active’ presentation was from SI Crosby whose members demonstrated – with the help of a little ditty – the transformation of ‘one stitch’ into a patchwork blanket.

All agreed the opportunity to showcase successful projects sparked interest and fostered exchange of ideas. Soroptimists really do transform lives in so many ways.