The region meeting on 19 March was awash with information from our marvellous speakers. They spoke on topics both local, federation and globally. Keynote speaker was Natasha Fletcher, Senior Research officer from the Hampshire OPCC, who work closely with the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, local community safety partnerships and third sector providers to keep our communities safer. Natasha’s team partners with local universities Southampton, Solent, Portsmouth and Winchester in a collaboration where students gain work experience and research opportunities. This works both ways for student and the OPCC and something which we will endeavour to maximize. She spoke about the involvement in a recent call for evidence survey, in their Violence Against Women and Girls project, an opportunity to voice concerns in relation to VAWG. That the OPCC is seeking to tackle the root causes of VAWG and prevent such offences from occurring in
As the warmth of spring sunshine bathes the South Downs, thousands of new life-giving trees are sprouting up from the soil. It’s been a busy few months because well over 11,000 trees have been planted across the region – on top of 10,000 trees planted during the previous winter. Now the inspiring initiative, called “Trees for The Downs”, is putting out the call for new applications for even more tree planting in 2022. SI Southern England was successful in fulfilling one of those applications by donating £900 to plant 100 trees for the SI centenary. SISE President Julie Blackwell and SI Salisbury member Liz Batten went along to the planting………. ……………A hundred trees were planted at Longmoor Military Training Estate, near Liss, as part of a joint initiative with Soroptimist International, a global women’s organization celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2021. Tree planting mirrors the
March is Women’s History Month, so is the perfect occasion to celebrate a local trailblazer who broke into the male dominated world of architecture…………….and was also a Soroptimist! Read all about Elisabeth Scott here – Elisabeth Whitworth Scott (R.I.B.A. 1898-1972) – Dorset History Centre blog (dorsetcouncil.gov.uk)
SI Epsom were joined at their club Zoom meeting recently by Jo Sherring, coordinator from Epsom Refugee Network (ERN) this week. She told them how refugees are people who have been forced to flee because of persecution, war or violence in their own country and that they would go home if they felt it safe to do so. She described how ERN was formed in 2015 and grew out of the Epsom and Ewell Foodbank as there were many refugees and asylum seekers who went there. ERN work with many people from Syria and are expecting 5 families from Afghanistan soon to arrive in the Epsom and Ewell Borough for resettlement. As a result, ERN are one of the largest refugee charities in the area. Help is offered to refugees in the form of access to translators, doctors, dentists, legal help and other
Saturday evening was a great success and hopefully enjoyed by all. Alexandra, our Quiz Mistress, led us through eight rounds of interesting and sometimes challenging questions! Participants included Soroptimists from our Club, Winchester and Salisbury, as well as friends and family. Well done to our winner Sally! Approximately £205 was raised in donations which will go towards supporting the following domestic abuse charities: Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid, True Honour and East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services. Alexandra works for Parkinson’s UK and she donated £40 to them for the quiz she used. You can view a short clip of the evening on the SI Epsom webpage here.
Soroptimist International of Winchester & District recently took advantage of a charity offer from the Rick Stein restaurant in Winchester. This offer was an opportunity for charities to invite volunteers and supporters to enjoy coffee and cake in a friendly atmosphere. Treasurer, Julie Blackwell explained, ‘It’s a great opportunity for the club members to talk to visitors about our projects and create awareness of what we do, the more members we have, the more good we can do.’ The club took the opportunity to promote its awareness and advertised locally for ladies to visit and meet the members to show their projects, e.g. supporting the women’s Refuge in Winchester and Trinity Centre, lobbying Government for women’s rights and improvements to the Domestic Abuse Bill, not to mention many other projects in the UK and overseas with the aim of transforming the lives of women and
Cleaning up the planet……….where better to start than on our beautiful coast. On a beautiful Friday in July three SI Bournemouth members and two husbands joined the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) organized beach clean at Hengistbury Head on the Dorset coast. Alongside collecting litter from the beach, the MCS is collecting data on the type of litter to be found around our coast in order to inform policy planning. Therefore we were juggling gloves, bags, litter pickers, paper and pens so we could record our finds. The most frequently found items were packets (crisps, sweets, sandwiches) and nurdles (those little round balls of plastic that seem to be everywhere these days). More exceptional were two large beach towels half buried and very ingrained with sand, a sock, a comb and a small metal bell. We filled three bags and enjoyed the company, the views and
Soroptimist International of Winchester took part in the Hat Fair from 2nd – 4th July which took place at the North Walls Recreation ground and the School of Art in Winchester. As part of a recruitment and membership strategy it was good to raise awareness of what the club does and to strengthen our role in the Winchester community. The club was delighted to receive a development grant from SI Southern England region which enabled its participation in this prestigious event. SI Winchester member, Julie Blackwell, said, “We were able to talk to several interested ladies and pass on information about Soroptimist International. Most people had not heard of the organisation so we want to address this going forward especially in this the organisations centennial year. We felt it would be good to be part of this fun community and in doing so talking to
As Regional President of Southern England, having taken over only at the end of October 2020 from Barbara. I was looking forward to working with Barbara as my Immediate Past President. In light of the sad events of this week this will not be possible. We heard that just a month after stepping down from two inspiring years as Regional President, Barbara passed away in her sleep. It is with much sadness that we heard this news. Barbara joined Soroptimist International Epsom club in 2000 and throughout her twenty years as a member held several roles including President twice, Programme Action Officer, Secretary and Communications/Website co-ordinator. She became Region President in 2018, and due to no-one being President Elect she continued for two years. She finally transferred to SI Woking and District in March 2020. Barbara has been a committed Soroptimist and will be greatly
Soroptimists Believe to Achieve a collective global effort on International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women. This is the first day of #16DaysofActivism. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis, violence against women has intensified. A Shadow Pandemic of domestic violence is growing and we need to stem the tide. Everyone has a role to play in this -What’s Yours? We will #OrangetheWorld: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect in support of #GenerationEquality. Soroptimists Believe to Achieve Zero Tolerance against Gender Based Violence. See what some of our clubs are doing… SI Epsom, SI Woking, SI Salisbury.