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
Soroptimists from Swindon, Tiverton, Bristol and Yeovil Sherborne and District clubs join together to rail
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
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.
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
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
For many years Swindon Soroptimists have volunteered at the Big Breakfast Plus Charity in Broad Street, serving hot meals to the homeless. We were very pleased to join the charity on 26th June to celebrate 25 years existence and also to congratulate Angela Davidson for her service to the charity in all those years. Also present was the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire Mrs Sarah Troughton, Cllr Junab Ali, Mayor of Swindon, and Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire together with the trustees and clients and volunteers. We had a fantastic time.
Swindon Soroptimists visited Drove Road School recently to present books donated by members of Swindon and other Regional Clubs and friends to the Reception Classes. We were entertained to a reading of a Pirates book by teacher Bryony followed by a dance and sing-a-long by the children and teachers.
Valerie and Lydia with our display that we paid to put in the Swindon Central Library for two weeks to celebrate International Women’s Day
Wiltshire Air Ambulance is one of the Club’s charities this year.. We have held a number of Fundraisers and our President Georgina has raised money by a dramatic attempt to lose weight for which she has obtained sponsors.. Watch this space in April to see how much she has raised and the total she and the Club have donated. Well, in total, we raised £1400 for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance. Nearly half of the money came from President Georgina’s sponsors. The balance was from various Swindon Club money-raising activities. We had a brilliant time at Devizes looking inside the Helicopter . Paramedic James told us in detail what happens from the time the red telephone rings calling the Air Ambulance out. He explained everything about the helicopter eg to land in daylight they need a square of land that is twice the size of