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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 From Enrych charity

Thanks From 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.  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. Member Lydia talking to Enrych client Trevor at the farewell tea party     Enrych Farewell tea party cake, made by Enrych project coordinator Lauren
Bringing Christmas Cheer

Bringing Christmas Cheer

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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

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

Swindon Club invited to join in the Big Breakfast 25 year Celebration 26.6.2018

Swindon Club invited to join in the Big Breakfast 25 year Celebration 26.6.2018

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      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.  

A message from President Valerie

A message from President Valerie

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I feel privileged to be the President of Soroptimist International of Swindon and District for this year. I have been a Soroptimist since March 1995 and joined the Swindon Club in 2005. Since then I have made many friends, held several officer posts in Swindon and was honoured to be elected President of the South West and Channel Islands Region for 2007 to 2008. I admire the dedication and commitment of all members of this organisation. We are women making a difference. We exist to improve the lives of women and children both locally, nationally and internationally. Swindon Club can be proud of its continuing support for the Women’s Centre run by the Nelson Trust, and for the nine years we have supported the Big Breakfast Club for the homeless in Swindon. I was also pleased to initiate the annual gift of books to Drove