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Swindon Soroptimists Bring Christmas Cheer for 5th year

Swindon Soroptimists Bring Christmas Cheer for 5th year

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For the 5th year running, Swindon Soroptimists have presented Christmas gift shoe boxes to the Swindon Nelson Trust Women’s Centre. The 25 boxes go to the vulnerable women who use the Centre, many of whom have difficult lives and often don’t get any Christmas gifts. The Club also donated clothes and household items well as Christmas chocolates for the hardworking, dedicated staff! The Club have few members but have had great support from Marlborough Ladies Who Latte and Live Laugh Love clubs and all are inventive in finding unwanted and freebie items that can be included! Member Gillian Reed generously hosted our wrapping and filling event, joined by members Lydia Cardew and Valerie Nuttall. Each box contained over 25 different items collected over the year by members and friends. Swindon President Valerie Nuttall, members Lydia Cardew and Gillian Reed with the 25 boxes As Lydia

Soroptimists Easter gifts to Women’s Centre

Soroptimists Easter gifts to Women’s Centre

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For the 3rd year running Swindon Soroptimists have brought Easter cheer to the Swindon Nelson Trust Women’s Centre by presenting 25 individual Easter eggs for the women who use the Centre and its services, as well as boxes of chocolates for the hardworking staff. Team Leader Kate thanked the Soroptimists on behalf of the women and children who access the centre, saying “ it will make another holiday special for those who unable to share this time with loved ones”.   Swindon Club support the centre with practical donations of food, clothing, toiletries and kitchen items, but as with the Christmas Gift shoe boxes they do, feel it is just as important to give nice treats too! Vee from the Centre later updated “The eggs have all gone and we have some really happy and thankful women and children.  So, thank you very much for

Soroptimist Jenny celebrates 25 years service

Soroptimist Jenny celebrates 25 years service

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Swindon Soroptimists were delighted to present a Certificate of 25 years service to Jenny King at our Club meeting on 11th April.  Club President Valerie Nuttall praised her contribution to many of the club’s programme action projects, including the Prison Reform Trust project, the recent 3 month Court Observation project monitoring Domestic Violence cases and the Club stall at Faringdon Library’s 100 women exhibition.

Swindon donate £100 to Save The Children

Swindon donate £100 to Save The Children

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Swindon Soroptimists have helped Save The Children celebrate their centenary in 2019 by donating £100.  As a key Soroptimist aim is to help women and children, our Federation President Sue Williams had asked all Clubs to help STC celebrate by donating £100.  By coincidence we had already asked Fidelma Meehan, the local fundraising manager, to talk at our Soroptimist Dinner in March so were delighted to present her with a cheque for £100. Fidelma is a delightful and funny lady and impressed us with her enthusiasm and drive.  She gave a very informative talk and we were surprised to learn new facts about STC and how well established they are in so many countries, which gives them the ability to ‘hit the ground running’ when disasters strike.  There was so much more to find out we have invited her back to talk to us in

Swindon Club’s 5th year donating books to Drove School

Swindon Club’s 5th year donating books to Drove School

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Happy World Book Day!  Swindon Soroptimists were delighted to kick off a week of WBD events at Drove School with a donation of an amazing 132 books, at a school assembly last Friday.  This is our 5th year of donations and we are grateful to Soroptimist Club members and Marlborough Ladies Who Latte for giving them.   We were very impressed by the quiet and orderly fashion the many children from Reception up to Year 3 entered the hall and sat attentively whilst Club President Valerie Nuttall explained who we were and why we were helping children like them. Assistant Principal Bryony Bardwell then read the story of “We’re Going On a Bear Hunt” and we were greatly entertained by the children reading along too, including actions!  The school are hoping one day to have a proper library but for now a crate of our

Fairtrade Fortnight, Bananas and Swindon Big Breakfast

Fairtrade Fortnight, Bananas and Swindon Big Breakfast

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  Swindon Soroptimists carried out a double celebration this week.   They celebrated Fairtrade Fortnight by donating Fairtrade bananas, cocoa and chocolate to clients of the BIG Breakfast +.  This coincides with the 10 year anniversary since the local Soroptimist Club first started volunteering at the BIG Breakfast in Broad Street, when we also celebrated Fairtrade Fortnight by giving fair trade bananas. Fairtrade Fortnight runs from 25 February – 10 March and each year Soroptimists across the world use the event to highlight the people who grow our food, living in some of the poorest countries in the world and who are often exploited and badly paid.  This year the focus is on the people, in particular the women, who grow the cocoa in the chocolate we all love. The Swindon Club felt it was doubly important to remember those in our society who may also

Thanks to Swindon from the Enrych charity

Thanks to Swindon from the Enrych charity

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President Valerie and Lydia from Swindon Club spent a very pleasant afternoon recently with the trustees and staff of Enrych Swindon to celebrate Enrych’s 7 years of service in the town. Swindon Soroptimists have been involved with the charity for the last year, attending coffee mornings and hosting lunch at a pub and the trustees thanked them for the support. Once again food and especially cake was involved!  A celebration cake was beautifully made by Enrych Project coordinator Lauren.  Unfortunately the charity will not be continuing locally but still operates in other areas. President Valerie in turn thanked the trustees for their hard work and for allowing us to help.    

Swindon Soroptimists Bring Christmas Cheer for 4th year

Swindon Soroptimists Bring Christmas Cheer for 4th year

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For the 4th year running, Swindon Soroptimists have presented Christmas gift shoe boxes to the Swindon Nelson Trust Women’s Centre.  The 25 boxes are for the vulnerable women who use the Centre, many of whom face hardship and are unlikely to get many Christmas gifts.  The Club also donated clothes and winter coats for the clients and Christmas chocolates for the hardworking, dedicated staff! Using items collected by the members of the Swindon Soroptimist Club, plus donations from Marlborough Ladies Who Latte and Live Laugh Love groups, 25 boxes were wrapped and filled at member Gillian Reed’s house recently. As Lydia Cardew, Club PAO says “These women have tough challenges. We want them to know someone was thinking of them.  We try to make the boxes useful and fun, with items such as scarves, toiletries, and pads / pens as well as a Christmas gift,

Soroptimist Railing Against Abuse

Soroptimist Railing Against Abuse

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Saying NO! to domestic abuse, Swindon Soroptimist President Valerie and member Lydia, plus 40 Soroptimists from Tiverton, Bristol and Yeovil Sherborne and District clubs took the train to join the ‘Railing against abuse’ event arranged by Weston super Mare Club.  We marched to Grove Park handing out our Relationship bookmarks to the public and once there watched the Mayor unveil a statue to commemorate 102 women killed by men they knew, during the past year.  Members of Victim Support and Citizens Advice joined us as well as Tara Arkle and helped put orange ribbons on the fountain, in honour of the women and the UN Day for the Elimination Violence Against Women.    

Court Observations of Domestic Abuse cases

Court Observations of Domestic Abuse cases

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Wiltshire Police and Crime commissioner, Angus Macpherson recently sent personal letters of thanks to member of Swindon Soroptimist Club, after the completion of a 3 month project observing  Domestic Abuse cases in Swindon and Chippenham courts. In the letter Angus stated “thanks for your work on the DA Court Observation project. I very much look forward to reading the final report and working with my colleague Vera Baird…to improve the experience of those suffering from domestic Abuse”. The project followed one instigated by Dame Vera Baird QC in Northumbria, who concerned at treatment of victims in rape trials, ran a similar period of court observations of Domestic Abuse cases and was keen to get another area in England to do the same so that results could be compared. As they were already known to him for their work on violence against women, Swindon Soroptimists were

Suffragette Victory Breakfast in aid of Swindon Women’s Aid held 5th July 2018

Suffragette Victory Breakfast in aid of Swindon Women’s Aid held 5th July 2018

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Swindon Club President Valerie and Treasurer Jackie attended a celebratory reconstruction in Swindon of the Victory Breakfast. held at The Cecil Hotel London on 5th July 1928 by the Suffragettes, after full women’s suffrage was finally attained. (In 1918 only women over 30 who owned property obtained the vote)   For more information see  http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/16226741.marking-90th-anniversary-of-votes-for-women/    and   https://www.theguardian.com/politics/1928/jul/06/women.gender   The menu and speeches were copied from the original London Victory Breakfast.     The proceeds were donated to Swindon Women’s Aid who do brilliant work supporting women and children who have suffered Domestic Abuse.  

Freedom Kit Bags demonstrated by Rosa Matheson

Freedom Kit Bags demonstrated by Rosa Matheson

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At our dinner meeting on June 27th the Speaker was Rosa Matheson who works tirelesly raising money to improve the lives of Women and Children in Nepal.  She has set up various projects in Nepal which she visits as often as she can.  We handed over a cheque for £100 to fund four of her Kit Bags which enable women and girls in the villages to manage their periods hygenically to avoid being considered ‘unclean’ every month and excluded from family and society. She gave a fascinating presentation and even managed to inject a bit of humour into her talk.  She demonstrated the way the women and men are educated about menstruation and shown how to use the pads and all the other equipment included in the colourful Kit Bags. For more information on this project see www.freedomkitbags.org    and for details and photos of the

Soroptimists visit to Horizon finding out about help for victims of crime and witnesses

Soroptimists visit to Horizon finding out about help for victims of crime and witnesses

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On 22nd June  we went to Devizes Police HQ to find out about the work done by Horizon.  The groundbreaking help offered to all vulnerable victims and witnesses of crime was set up by the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office three years ago.  Led by Julia Gay, Horizon employees contact everyone first by telephone offering help.  Victims can be referred to other agencies if they wish or simply chat about what has happened to them. Initial contact is followed up with a letter explaining what is available through Horizon to help victims and witnesses. Ongoing telephone contact is available with the same designated person at Horizon whenever possible for as long as necessary. We were joined by members from Cheltenham and Cirencester Soroptimist Clubs on the visit, who are helping Swindon Club with a project for the Swindon & Wiltshire Police and Crime  Commissioner observing