Club News

Monday 4 June

We were delighted to welcome a number of visitors to our first Open Speaker Meeting of 2018/19.  Rachel Duffy, the Community Engagement Officer spoke to us about the work of the Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre in Guildford.  Her talk was both informative – whoever knew that 76% of women in prison have experienced domestic violence or sexual abuse – and awe inspiring as we heard of the 4,200 hours of counselling the Centre provided last year.   We will be sending a donation to the Centre made up of donations from the night and from the Club.


Saturday 2 June 2018  SI Surrey Hills hosted their stall at the Godalming Town Show & Carnival.  Open for businessWe were able to spread the word about the work of the Club and Soroptimism and a number of visitors to our stall supported our projects by:

donating mini size toiletries and new flannels that we will use for our packs for the emergency childrens’ ward and the End of Life ward at the Royal Surrey County Hospital;

and by buying books sold in aid of the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (Royal Surrey County Hospital).  We raised another £33 for the Unit.

It was a good day and we had a steady stream of visitors so thak you to all who came and spoke to us, gave us toiletries or bought our books!  Looking foward to next year!!


14 May 2018  We began work on a new project at our meeting by assembling 32 toiletry packs for the End of Life and Bereavement Team at the Royal Surrey County Hospital.  SI Surrey Hills have been asked to supply these packs because of our ongoing work with the Childrens’ ward (see below).  We are delighted to help the Hospital and those affected in this way and this is the first of our new projects for our 60th year.  Please do help us with this work by delivering unused mini size toiletries to Mark at The Model Shop in Farncombe or bring them along to our stall at the Godalming Show.



April 2018

Soroptimists RSCH 16.07.14 020

We held our second bookstall of 2018 at the Royal Surrey County Hospital and raised approximately £100.  We can be found near the Pharmacy and this year, we will be supporting the dedicated Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit which seeks to create a dedicated area for those who are experiencing problems and perhaps loss in their pregnancy.  The target is £600K and we hope we will help towards achieving that target.  So far, we have made over £400 on our bookstalls for this project and the next one is due in three months or so.

We were also delighted to receive a Certificate from the Royal Surrey Hospital thanking us for our work over the last 3 years or so and for raising over £1300 for the various projects.


8 March 2018

We celebrated International Women’s Day by holding the Finals and Prize-giving Ceremony of the STEM Challenge we organised for schoolgirls aged 12-14 years. This was the culmination of six months of hard work by the members of SI Surrey Hills, SI Weybridge and SI Woking – and the girls who took up the Challenge.  The STEM Challenge is designed to encourage more girls to follow careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by developing the skills they will need: finding potential solutions to a problem, selecting the best, working through the detail and presenting their results in writing and orally to an imposing panel of judges.

The event took place at Royal Holloway University of London in the presence of the High Sheriff of Surrey, Robert Napier, CBE and the Vice Principal of Royal Holloway, Paul Hogg.  The Panel judging the entries during the Finals comprised eight women who have all successfully followed STEM-based careers including Sandra Chinyere, a healthcare scientist at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who chaired the Panel.

We are delighted that both the Year 9 prize and the Highly Commended Prize went to teams of girls from Guildford County School in SI Surrey Hills area for their emergency lighting and emergency food projects respectively. Every girl who took part in the competition received a Soroptimist International certificate of achievement and two bags of gifts (donated by Farrans Construction and Thales Group). The winning schools each received £250 and each girl in the winning teams was awarded £50.

We are most grateful for the generous support of the Ken and Marjorie Robertson Trust (who donated the team prizes), Farrans Construction, Thales, Southern Co-op, Lillywhite & Co, L’Oreal and Royal Holloway, University of London and are already looking forward to next year’s competition.



January 2018

A big thank you to Mark at Modesco in Farncombe who is helping us by collecting toiletries for our Hospital Packs at his model shop based at 43 Farncombe Street, Farncombe.  Please help us with our work in this way and help us show our appreciation by visiting Mark.

December 2017

As part of our ongoing work with the local Womens’ Refuge we were pleased to donate several welcome packs of toiletries to the Refuge for those who might arrive without such items.  This is a continuation of the various work we have undertaken which includes furnishing a flat for a woman and child who had left the Refuge; fundraising to supply school uniforms for the children in the Refuge and supplying various household items to the Houses.

December 2017

In lieu of giving each other Christmas cards, members voted to donate the cost of the cards to the SI President’s appeal.  In this way £75 was donated to the appeal entitled “Women water and leadership”.   The first project to be supported is ‘Improving access to agricultural information, clean energy and water to achieve better food security for 500 women farmers in Kenya, Africa’. This will educate and train five hundred women farmers to manage their farms effectively and ensure food security, particularly as the water supply in their areas is scarce.

Through training, the women will be exposed to better and modern farming structures, helping them move on from subsistence farming – growing crops and raising livestock sufficient only for one’s own use – to commercial farming.  They will be supported throughout the transition.



October 2017 – emergency packs for the Royal Surrey Hospital

Hospital pack  Guildford Club was delighted to receive the following thank you recently for its work at the Hospital:

I was so touched by the wonderful care package I was given during very early hours of this morning on the Hascombe Children’s Ward at The Royal Surrey County Hospital.  Thank you so much.  It had everything I and my teenage son needed; so kind, thoughtful and helpful at a time of need.

Thank you
Other comments include: Just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for the toiletries you provided to Royal Surrey Hospital children’s ward. I brought my 6 yr old son to A&E this morning with vomiting bug, and ended up staying all day and overnight as he had to have IV fluids. The hospital shop seems to have disappeared, so we were stuck for overnight toiletry essentials as I couldn’t leave him alone to go out and buy some. It’s a small thing but a big thing… many many thanks!

The Club supplies packs of toiletries for use by parents accompanying their children to the emergency ward. Concerned about their children, these parents arrive at the Hospital without any provision for themselves but the Club provides emergency packs including flannels, shower gel, toothpaste and toothbrushes (razors and shaving foam if required). This work is organised by our founder member Pat and member Valerie.  All members, however, contribute to the contents.  Over 1,000 packs have been delivered over the years, most recently in September 2017. A typical pack is shown above.