Held in the beautiful and intriguing Mayflower Place, Hertingfordbury the meeting started as always with the lighting of candles, accompanied by various beautiful and inspiring readings to mark the anniversary of the signing of the UN Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948.
The speaker for the day was Jan Dalrymple CEO of Safer Places, an independent charity which provides a comprehensive range of services to adults and children affected by domestic and sexual abuse who live in west and mid Essex, north and east Hertfordshire and Southend – www.saferplaces.co.uk
Engaging the audience from the outset, Jan told us about their work not only with refuges but also how they were extending their work into the Community. Hospital staff and GPs are being trained to look for signs of frequent visitors who may be suffering abuse, adverts are being placed in the community especially GP and hospital waiting rooms and toilets. Highly trained support workers are based in Essex Police stations and can move in immediately an incidence is reported, a necessity when some three hundred thousand children are living in High Risk Family homes.
During an excellent lunch it was time to catch up with old friends and meet Soroptimist Members from the other 12 Clubs in the London Chilterns Region. A great opportunity to find out how other Clubs are run but also a chance to put the world to rights with like-minded people!
After lunch there was a very lively question and answer session and judging by the number of questions from the audience Jan had certainly made an impact and given us all food for thought.
Tea and mince pies gave us sustenance for our journey home and we all left having learnt a lot, having been inspired to look out for friends, family and neighbours who may be a victim of domestic abuse and maybe taking a long hard look at our own cosy existence compared to others.
I leave you with a quote from Jan Dalrymple: ‘A better tomorrow for women today’.
Ed: Thanks to Jennie Redford for this excellent report – especially interesting for Members who were unable to attend.
Please note the next Regional meeting is on Sat 27 Feb – and Club Members need to let Jennie know if they wish to attend.