AWARENESS – raising our own awareness, and others’, of the issues women and girls face both locally and globally
ADVOCACY – speaking out about these issues, to decision makers and politicians as well as the general public
ACTION – giving practical help, through organisations we know and trust.
We call this ‘Programme Action‘.
Our members support a number of charities and good causes, sometimes by fund raising, but often by providing help where it’s needed. Recently, our main projects have been:
Violence against Women
Since 1992 we have supported the work of Staffordshire Women’s Aid (link) by fund raising, rattling collection tins, taking a petition as far as No. 10 Downing St, (with the help of our MPs), written numerous letters to MPs about topics such as trafficking, women who have ‘no resort to public funds’, and the improvement of services to women victims of domestic abuse.
With the help of Dame Vera Baird (a Newcastle Soroptimist), the Victims Commissioner, we are currently working with other Clubs in our Region to observe what goes on in Domestic Abuse courts and help improve practice.
We actively support the UN’s campaign: 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence. In 2019 we ran a wide-ranging campaign to bring this to people’s attention locally… (Read more)
One of the few prisons for women in the UK is in our area: Drake Hall HMP. We have had a long-term interest in women’s imprisonment, knowing that when a mother is imprisoned it often means her children’s welfare may be seriously affected. They may be taken into care, or have to leave their home to be looked after by other family members. It is well documented that women are imprisoned for offences that would be dealt with more leniently for a man. While of course women should be imprisoned for serious offences, we believe there are better and more effective alternatives to imprisonment and we have worked on the Soroptimist / Prison Reform Trust research into this topic.
We also provide more practical support to the women in Drake Hall prison, relating to their mental health, and enhancing contact with their families… (Read More)
Vulnerable Young Parents – YPSS
Young People’s Support Service (YPSS) – a small unit in the NHS in Stoke on Trent that gave targeted support to young and very vulnerable parents and parents-to-be. We worked with this wonderful unit and their young people over a number of years, giving them ‘goody bags’ with essentials for the coming baby, some of which had been made by our own members. We also gave the staff retail vouchers that they could use to help the young mums provide clothing and other necessities for themselves and their babies. Our vouchers didn’t cost a lot, but they were very welcome to the young mums! Then, in 2018/9 we raised £1000 for the project… (Read more)
Swim to Save a Life: Aquatic Survival project – RNLI
Drowning is the third leading cause of death by unintentional injury worldwide. Many of the victims are women and girls because in some cultures girls are not encouraged to learn to swim – they are told they have much more important things to do. Yet women and girls are usually the ones who fetch water from open water sources, or have to travel by water.
Zanzibar has many small islands and peoples’ livelihoods are based on the sea. Dhows (small boats) are the main means of transport. The dhows are often overcrowded and they regularly capsize. With no life jackets many drown – mainly the women and girls because they can’t swim.