Day of Service 2023 with the Big Dog Art Trail Day of Service Here at the Soroptimists, we have an international Day of Service, as befits an international organisation! Each year women from clubs all over the world mark the day, either by taking part in activities related to a specific theme chosen for the year, or by performing other acts of service that advance the SIGBI mission goals. This year’s Day of Action fell on July the 15th, the same day as UN Youth Skills Day, so we particularly wanted a local project that supported children. We found it in the form of the Big Dog Art Trail 2023 run in aid of Julia’s House, a children’s hospice that supports children and their families across Dorset and Wiltshire. Aptly enough, the Big Dog Art Trail even launched on the same day as our day
Easter Joy! You can never have too much chocolate at Easter! In what is now an annual tradition, Swindon Soroptimists wished ‘HAPPY EASTER!’ to the clients and staff at Swindon Nelson Trust Women’s Centre. Our members Jackie Webb, Gillian Reed and Alison Millin visited the Swindon Nelson Trust Women’s Centre to present 25 individual Easter eggs for the women who use the Centre and its services, as well as four bags of mini eggs for the hardworking staff! The Soroptimists know the value of ensuring vulnerable women are remembered and can enjoy the same annual festivities as everyone else. We first began making these Easter visits in 2017; as ever our donation is added to gifts the Trust has already received to ensure that all the women and children are able to receive an Easter egg. We’re happy to say the Centre staff also believe their
Embracing Equity This year the theme is #EmbraceEquity and ladies at both Ladies Who Latte networking groups joined members in showing support and solidarity by making the #IWD2023 theme pose. Each one of us can actively support and #EmbraceEquity within our own sphere of influence. We can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion. Club members held their own pose on a Zoom call! Afternoon Tea On the actual International Women’s Day 2023 how better to celebrate than by holding an Afternoon Tea party! Swindon Club were delighted to support the Swindon Nelson Trust Women’s Centre, who planned the Afternoon Tea to celebrate the event, by bringing homemade cakes to contribute and add to their Bake Off cake competition! As Tracey, Partnership and Development Coordinator said, “we wanted to celebrate and honour all the amazing women we
Swindon Soroptimists Celebrate World Book Day Swindon Soroptimists joined the children at Drove Primary School, Swindon, face to face at last, at their World Book Day assemblies. We donated a huge 262 books, filling an enormous table at the front of the hall, amazing the children as they filed in. Staff at the school dressed in ‘Where’s Wally’ theme outfits, joining the array of colourful character costumes of the children and members Lydia, Jackie and Corrine joined in the fun at two assemblies, where the children had to identify the voices of teachers in a ‘Masked Reader’ competition. Principal Bryony Bardwell received the biggest cheer from the children, after reading from ‘Aliens Love Underpants’! English teacher Abby Picton led the assemblies and introduced us, with Lydia explaining who we were and the children delightedly thanking them for the books. Swindon Club are grateful for all
With the current cold and hardship that so many are facing, Swindon Soroptimists were again pleased to continue their support of the Nelson Trust with Christmas gift bags. The 25 bags are for the vulnerable women who use the Centre, for many of whom this may be the only Christmas gift they receive. Following previous requests from Centre staff, the Soroptimists also donated underwear, leggings and gloves to help the Sex workers the staff support. The Club are now known for the Christmas bags and once again had had great support from friends and also local Ladies Who Latte, Nordic Walking and WI Book Clubs in buying, sorting and collecting items that can be included. Members Gillian, Valerie and Jackie got together to sort and pack the 800 plus items received, so each box had an amazing 31 different items. The items ranged from useful
Once again Swindon Soroptimists joined the South West Region clubs to ‘rail’ against violence against women. Resplendent in orange, the UN nominated colour for 25th Nov, Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women, Swindon member & Regional President Valerie & member Lydia joined the others at Weston-Super-Mare rail station. The group then marched through the town, holding banners and handing out Love Is… bookmarks, giving examples of good and bad relationship traits to passers by and ending in Grove Park, where ribbons were tied on ‘railings’ to commemorate all the women killed in a year by someone they know. Local MP John Penrose and Mayor Sonia Russe joined the nearly 70 people gathered and thanked all for attending on such a cold day! The group then moved to the Soroptimist statue to hear poems from local support organisations.
As Soroptimists each year we have a Day of Action! Across the world we all take part in a common themed activity or local community service, on 16th July. Covid and lack of members has made this difficult recently, but this year, as the theme is Climate Change, Swindon Soroptimists decided to help out TWIGS Community Gardens in Swindon. Despite the heat 5 Club members and 2 friends met at 10am on Saturday 16th and spent over 2 hours watering, weeding, deadheading and tidying! Member Jackie Webb armed herself with a wheel barrow and collected armfuls of weeds and our chief ‘deadheader’ was Gillian Reed who commented, “everything looks tidier and re-flowers if you deadhead the faded blooms!” TWIGS (www.twigscommunitygardens.org.uk) is a garden used to give to give people who experience mental health problems the chance to regain confidence, self-esteem and to
Swindon Soroptimists once again wished ‘HAPPY EASTER!’ to the clients and staff at Swindon Nelson Trust Women’s Centre. Delivering on Maundy Thursday, members Jackie Webb and Gillian Reed visited the Swindon Nelson Trust Women’s Centre to present 25 individual Easter eggs for the women who use the Centre and its services, as well as three bags of mini eggs for the hardworking staff! Just as in lockdown, the Soroptimists know the value of ensuring vulnerable women were remembered and can enjoy the same annual festivities as everyone else. This annual Easter visit was started in 2017 by Swindon Soroptimists and their donation added to ones the Trust had already received and ensured that all the women and children were able to receive an Easter egg. This year as restrictions have eased three of the staff, Carrie, Kerry and Ella were able to welcome Gillian and
Echoing the yellow of the Ukrainian flag, Swindon Soroptimists purchased bright daffodils and gave them free to women yesterday to highlight and celebrate International Women’s Day, held each year on 8th March . With kind permission of the Swindon Women’s Aid, five members gathered outside their Survivor shop. Holding banners displaying some of the IWD #BreakTheBias statements, the ladies approached women passing by and offered them a free flower, handing a leaflet explaining this year’s theme as well as information on the Soroptimist organisation. As Club Secretary Jackie Webb commented to one passer by, “We do something every year to mark IWD, usually a display, but this year felt that we needed to do something kind to help others feel better after these difficult times”. Despite the 5 members and probably over 150 blooms it took less than an hour to distribute them all. The
The Swindon Soroptimists continued their support of Swindon Women’s Aid by donating some much needed bed linen, as they requested, to aid women setting up in new accommodation. In addition we provided bras for the women and rucksacks / bags that the children could use for school.