Soroptimists have a history of community service, working with local charities and organisations. Several of our members are associated with these local groups and our club is happy to support them with fundraising and practical help.
Our club has been involved with the Shakespeare Hospice in some way ever since the idea of building a hospice in Stratford-upon-Avon was first mooted over 20 years ago. We have provided practical assistance in many of their fund raising activities such as participation in their annual moonlit walks and summer fetes, as well as organising our own events such as coffee mornings with plant sales at the Town Hall, lunches and garden parties. All raise money for the specialist services that the hospice provides.
Manning’ a drinks station at the annual Rotary Shakespeare Marathon is great fun, and much appreciated by the hundreds of runners who participate. By the time they reach us they still have seven miles to go and are glad to see our smiling crew. The event also earns us money for one of our charities – a happy combination.
Springfield Mind is a registered charity based in South Warwickshire affiliated to Mind helping people who are experiencing or recovering from long term and enduring mental health problems. Some club members help with their annual summer garden party and with providing refreshments following their lovely Christmas Carol Service held every year in the Guild Chapel in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Operation Christmas Child
This is an international project organised by the charity Samaritan’s Purse. The aim is to provide shoe boxes packed with Christmas gifts to be distributed to children in some of the most impoverished countries of the world. Stratford Soroptimists have been supporting this project for many years. Items are collected to fill the boxes and enough money raised to pay the cost of transporting their boxes overseas. Every November the boxes are filled and sealed, volunteers stopping finishing to enjoy a fish and chip supper. About 50 boxes, each covered in bright Christmas wrapping paper, are sent off by the club each year. It is estimated that the value of each box is about £10.00.
This project provides people with a small plastic pot in which to keep important personal and medical details for use by the emergency services if the need should arise. The pot is stored in the fridge and a green cross sticker alerts the services (ambulance in particular) to look for the pot which provides instant information on, for example, allergies, medication, doctor, etc. and people and pets who rely on everyday help. We now work with the local Lions group in distributing the pots that we have bought together with the necessary printed paper slips to record information.
Stratford in Bloom