Soroptimist International (SI) with Soroptimists from across the world have joined together to celebrate 100 years of "Soroptimism" and celebrate a "Bright Past" and a "Brilliant Future". What better way to celebrate the first centenary of Soroptimism and to help the environment, than to plant trees for a Brilliant Future, echoing the ‘Saving Trees’ campaign, which was the first action taken by Soroptimists in 1921. Clubs around the world from Aberdeen to Jamaica and Sri Lanka to Indonesia have taken part in the challenge and to date an incredible 71,870 trees have been planted, with many more planned in 2022. The Swindon Soroptimist Club members are delighted to announce that, in partnership with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, they celebrated 100 years of Soroptimist International by recently planting 100 trees in Swindon.
Swindon Soroptimists were once again delighted to present their Christmas gift bags to the Swindon Nelson Trust Women’s Centre recently, for the 7th year running. The 25 bags are for the vulnerable women who use the Centre, many of whom face hardship and in some cases this may be the only Christmas gift they receive. The Club also donated Christmas chocolates for the hardworking, dedicated staff. We are indebted once again to all our members, plus many friends from Ladies Who Latte, Nordic Walking and Swindon WI Book Club for buying and donating items to enable us to continue to give these Christmas gifts. This year several members were able to get together and sort and pack the 1000 plus items received, so each box had an amazing 38 different items. The items ranged from useful things like gloves, hats, mini toiletries to treats such
Continuing our ongoing support, club members Jackie and Lydia recently delivered a huge amount of underwear, T-shirts, leggings and toiletries to the Nelson Trust Swindon Women’s Centre. This was a result of previously asking them how the club could best support the Centre. They said this is what they needed as they run an Outreach service for street sex workers in Swindon. The Centre provides holistic one-to-one support to help the women overcome addictions, be protected against sexual violence, find safe and stable homes, and ultimately exit sex working altogether. Support worker Bethany was astounded at the size of the donation and said “the women will be so delighted and appreciative; the items are just perfect, especially now the weather is getting colder”.
Each year November 25th is the start of 16 Days of Activism against gender based violence. Swindon Soroptimists met on that date dressed in orange in response to a call for a global effort on UN International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women. Since Covid a Shadow Pandemic of domestic violence is growing and there is an urgent need to stem the tide. 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the Global Campaign. In 2021 the Campaign will focus on the issue of “femicide or the gender-related killing of women.” Soroptimists around the world stand up for women and girls.
After a successful campaign on Facebook and asking friends and family, Swindon Soroptimists once again made a delivery to the 'Survivor' charity shop, which helps fund the amazing work done by Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service. Asking how we could help support them during the difficult times of the pandemic, the charity had requested toys and bric-a-brac to sell in the charity shop. With donations from Club members and our friends at Ladies Who Latte, Live Laugh Love and Nordic Walking groups, Swindon Soroptimist members Jackie Webb and Lydia Cardew delivered a staggering amount of household items, toys, clothes, bedding and linens to Carol Gibbon, Manager of the 'Survivor' charity shop. As Lydia, Project officer of Swindon Soroptimists says, “We made a reasonable delivery in August but this time, our friends have astounded us with their generosity and we filled half a cage!! Carol thanked
Despite Lockdown the Nelson Trust are working hard to support women. Swindon Soroptimists have continued to donate food and kitchen items for their Lunch Club as well as food parcels. Soroptimists members Jackie and Lydia dropped off £25 worth of pasta, rice, sauces and tinned fish as well as kitchen items on 30th Sept. Team Lead Vee commented “Thank you so much, I really do appreciate your support for the Trust and for the women.” Further similar deliveries were made in late Oct 2020 and Feb 2021, with Natalie at the Centre commenting “Thank you so much for thinking of us here at Nelson yet again! It is very much appreciated. We are desperate for things to make proper substantial meals. Some of our women don’t have much access to cooking facilities so things that can be put into the microwave or even eaten cold
Here we are delivering much needed items to the 'Survivor' charity shop, which helps fund the amazing work done by Swindon Women's Aid. Manager Carol & Sue came out with their trusty trolleys, which we filled to the brim! MANY thanks to Club members and our friends at Marlborough Ladies Who Latte for contributing toys, clothes, bedding, jigsaws and linens. See more of their work at https://swadomesticabuse.org/https://swadomesticabuse.org/ QUOTE from Swindon Women's Aid ‘Survivor’ shop Manager, Carol Gibbon” Dear Soroptimists, Thank you so much, we really appreciate your support and the great quality of donations you always bring to us”.
On 5th June and 9th July Swindon Soroptimists continued with their regular donations of food and household items to the Nelson Trust Swindon Women’s Centre With the current crisis the Center wanted quick snacks for the women they support on the streets at night. Well done to the Centre for also achieving a grant from the local Coronavirus fund to help continue their support of vulnerable women. Veronica Cooper, manager of Nelson Trust Women’s Centre thanked Swindon Soroptimists for their on-going support. Additionally, a bag of clothes was also donated by Swindon Soroptimist members Gillian & Jackie.
Swindon Soroptimists know the value of ensuring vulnerable women are supported, despite lockdown. Members Jackie Webb and Lydia Cardew therefore visited the Swindon Nelson Trust Women’s Centre to present 25 individual Easter eggs for the women who use the Centre and its services. They also delivered bags of mini eggs for the hardworking staff! Swindon Soroptimists annual Easter visits began in 2017. Rae and Mia from the Centre were delighted to meet Jackie and Lydia in the Centre’s courtyard garden. Senior Keyworker Rae later wrote to thank the Soroptimists on behalf of the women and children who access the centre, saying “Another year has passed, and we have been chosen for a donation of Easter Eggs from the lovely Soroptimist ladies. The women and children will be extremely grateful! A huge thank you for your continuous support and making lockdown that little bit easier”. SWINDON
Despite having to miss World Book Day itself due to lockdown, Swindon Soroptimists were determined to ensure they maintained their annual donation of books to Drove Primary School in Swindon. Even with restrictions we managed to accumulate an outstanding 264 fiction and activity books, as once again we had wonderful support from Club members, friends and especially Marlborough Ladies Who Latte. As Project Officer Lydia Cardew said “with home schooling and missing their friends we felt it was even more important for children to be able to enjoy being immersed in a good story”. It was a great shame not to be able to join the children and teachers at a World Book Day assembly as in the past, when we have been entertained by singing and dancing and as they are in a ‘bubble’ two members Lydia Cardew and Jackie Webb had arranged to
Even more important after the issues of Lockdown, Swindon Soroptimists maintained their support of the Swindon Nelson Trust Women’s Centre by presenting their Christmas gift boxes / bags for the 6th year running. The Club have few members but have had great support from friends and also Marlborough Ladies Who Latte club in donating unwanted and freebie items that can be included! Fortunately two members are in a bubble so were able to do the mammoth task of sorting and filling all the boxes, each containing 28 different items collected over the year. As Lydia Cardew, Club Project Officer says “These women have challenging lives, often made worse by the lockdown situation so we want them to know that people do care. We always make the boxes useful and fun, with items such as scarves, toiletries, and pads / pens as well as a Christmas