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Projects

Our Work

We believe that through our projects we can make a difference to the lives of women and girls.

 

Programme Action 

2020/2021

Coronavirus halted all physical club meetings but this did not stop members from working out a way forward. After the initial phase of lock-down Soroptimist Tunbridge Wells rallied and communicated by Zoom. We also set up a social bubble and transferred our sewing skills from bags and bunting to making masks.

Mask Making

 

Members of the club have been busy making face masks, over 3,000 to date. Some members cut and sew in isolation others meet on a regular basis working together to construct and insert the masks into individual packs including soroptimist information leaflets.

#Masks4All
#Masks4All

Using the hashtag #Masks4All the project quickly became a production line producing masks in small, medium and large sizes in a variety of fabrics for all sexes and ages including children.

Masks for Men and Children

Many of these we have donated to local organisations, charities and residential care facilities including Chamberlain Court Care Home and other care homes, Aspens, The Women’s Refuge, Nourish and Mbedza. Some have been purchased further afield by those who have heard of our fundraising activities .

Happy Mask supporter

 

SITWD masks have also been made available to the community of Tunbridge Wells, in return for modest donations, through social media and from outside one of our members home’s. As people moved out of lock-down and ventured outside to buy food and everyday essentials we diversified and approached a town centre newsagent and coffee shop.

Heart of the Community
Pick up your mask for a donation at Monson News Tunbridge Wells.

This has meant we have increased our profile and the public can now select a mask along with their newspapers and lottery tickets. We have been delighted at the response from members of the community.

Masks at the till point
Buy your newspaper, select a mask and read about the work soroptimists undertake.

Funds raised allow us to continue to support local, national and international charities.

So far we have donated £800 to the Empowering Girls in Nepal Project. https://sigbi.org/what-we-do/our-projects/girlsinnepal/

£500 to Nourish Foodbank    https://www.nourishcommunityfoodbank.org.uk/

£600 to West Kent Refuge to fund new sofas.

£1,000 to Mental Health Resource Reachout Youth project which gives young people a safe space to connect in these difficult times  .https://www.mentalhealthresource.org.uk/reach-out-youth

Penryn & Falmouth Food Bank, This donation made in respect of a percentage of income from sales of face masks produced by members of Soroptimist International of Tunbridge Wells & District, and sold at The Seafood Bar in Quay Street, Falmouth.

£700 to Arts without Boundaries to fund filming during the pandemic  Here it is! – AwB’s Virtual Band Without Boundaries Lockdown Track.

Soroptimist Tunbridge Wells & District also supported World Homeless Day on 10 October.
Tunbridge Wells Mayor’s Cllr Joy Podbury has chosen Porchlight as her charity for her year.
‘Wear Purple for Porchlight’ A strong message from Porchlight:
‘All our lives have been affected by coronavirus. The people we support – those who are on low wages, struggling with their mental health or living in insecure housing – are being hit hard. We predict that thousands of households in Kent will be at risk of homelessness because of this pandemic.’ ‘Wear Purple for Porchlight’
We donated £200 in October 2020.
£500 has been donated to The Pickering Cancer Drop in Centre  https://www.pickeringcancercentre.org.uk/

£200 to Kent Surrey Sussex Air Ambulance https://www.aakss.org.uk/contact-us/

£100 to the Soroptimist International President’s Appeal

£500 to the Fire Engine Appeal for Poland

In January 2021 we gave a donation of £500 to DAVSS, Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services in West Kent, supporting women & men experiencing Domestic Abuse. This is to contribute towards their new training programme for support volunteers. https://www.davss.org.uk/

All of these donations fully support our programme action with emphasis on People; Good health and Well-being, ensuring healthy lives, ending poverty in all its forms and Gender Equality.

This report demonstrates that despite the difficulties caused by Covid19, we are active and working in our community. The mask activity has raised much needed funds and the list of donations will grow as we have more funds to allocate particularly amongst local charities. An added bonus has been that our local profile has been raised considerably, as the masks have sold in their thousands, and each one has had a small label giving details about the Soroptimists. Potentially, therefore, some 3,000 people who selected our masks were reminded of us or learnt about us for the first time.

 

2019/2020

Bunting for Chamberlain Court Residential Home to help with celebrations for VE Day

Decorating Chamberlain Court in style

Chamberlain Court Bunting
VE Day bunting for the residents celebration . Red and white theme.

2018/ 2019

Benchmark

We have produced a report called Benchmark based on a survey of the condition of benches in Tunbridge Wells with recomendations for their repair and or replacement. This has been part of the Wellbeing Group which in turn is part of the Tunbridge Wells Town Forum.

Here is a link to the project report : http://www.townforum.org.uk/community/rtwbenches-sorop.may2019.pdf

Our Club Charity for 2018/2019 is YouCan Youth Cancer Support here is a link to their website:https://www.youcan.org.uk/

Wellbeing services to support young people up to the age of 35 impacted by cancer

July 2019

June 2019

Nourish Donation for June 2019.

May 2019

March 2019 

February 2019

Nourish Donation with lots of bags for life. Tins are heavy!

January 

Club donation on its way to Nourish for January.

Christmas Appeal Project 2018– Tunbridge Wells Red Box Project:

Collection from our Christmas Party- plus financial donation- all on its way to Red Box Project Tunbridge Wells.

‘The project is called The Red Box Project. It is really quite simple. It is estimated that 1 in 10 girls miss time from school due to having no access to sanitary products. Our aim is to collect donations either financial or pads, underwear or tights from the community.  These will then will be distributed into our local schools for the girls to access.’

December 2018

Nourish

November 2018

Nourish Part of the collection going to Nourish Community Foodbank bags of bags. They need strong bags to distribute their bags of supplies. Message on the bag as well!

Nourish Donation. Responding to requests for items to tackle hygiene poverty, this is our donation to Nourish Community Foodbank for October 2018.

September 2018

Nourish Donation 

August 2018

Donation :Also following our fabulous Yard Sale Tunbridge Wells Yard Sale in June we made the decision at our last club meeting to donate £30 to Tree of Hope

Here is a reminder of the day in June

Donation: We have continued to offer the suffrage ribbons in exchange for donations and are pleased to report that we have handed over £36 to Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services in August .

July 2018

Nourish Donation

June 2018

Nourish Donation for June

Soroptimist International of Tunbridge Wells are taking part in Tunbridge Wells Yard Sale on Saturday 2 June 2018.
We will be in front of the old Vale Royal Methodist Church in Vale Road, Tunbridge Wells selling Books, bric-a-brac, TW memorabilia, handicrafts raising money for DAVSS because we support women & girls, locally, nationally and around the world. Come and say hi, buy and find out more about us.
You can find us on this map- www.twyardsale.co.uk

 To find out more about DAVSS visit- https://www.facebook.com/DAVSSWestKent/ 

May 2018

At Club we had another collection for Nourish Community Foodbank http://www.nourishcommunityfoodbank.org.uk/

A small amount from us each month, which we don’t really notice as we have more than enough, can make a difference to other people in our community.

April 2018-The club voted to make a donation of £50 to Bloody Good Period an organisation who give menstrual supplies to asylum seekers, refugees & those who can’t afford them within the UK.

This is the text from their homepage- their attitude inspired us:

‘Menstrual supplies are not cheap, but for anyone with a period, they are, of course, an absolute necessity. It is absurd that they are not free for those who need them. Many living in poverty resort to using toilet paper, old scraps of fabric or nothing at all. We want to take the financial burden out of the most annoying time of the month by providing supplies to those who need them. We supply 15 asylum seeker drop in centres based in London and Leeds.Our ambition is to supply many more food banks and drop-in centres across the UK so that bloody good periods can be had by all!’

April 2018 -Following the recent Regional Meeting where  South-East Region heard a speaker from the Trussell Trust https://www.trusselltrust.org/ As a Club we have decided to donate regularly to http://www.nourishcommunityfoodbank.org.uk/  which is our local foodbank so the first drop was left at the YMCA Furniture Shop, Tunbridge Wells. Just a few items each month can make a difference and yet for us it may only be the cost of a cup of coffee.

Toilet Twinning : we have twinned with two toilets, one in Malawi and one in Uganda as a result of a recent fundraising project!

  • Chapter One
  • May 2018, our programme action for 2017/2018 came to a close as Soroptimists Lorna Blackmore (pictured) and Louise Taylor, representing Tunbridge Wells Club, handed over £200 worth of Boots Vouchers to Fretha Biggs (pictured) at SAHA (formerly Chapter 1) Tunbridge Wells for their clients use.
  • Calverley Hill is a supported housing service in Tunbridge Wells for teenage parents, couples and families and single males and females. The service offers low to medium support with 24 hour staff cover to 17 young people for a maximum of 2 years.
    You can read more about what SAHA offer to the community here:https://saha.org.uk/

    And here is their Facebook page: /www.facebook.com/SalvationArmyHousingAssociation

£200 sent to the Emergency Relief Fund for United Nations

 

Previous Programme Action

  • Fegans :https://www.fegans.org.uk/ This was our club charity for 2016/17 and we have raised £300. Fegans exists to bring hope to the lives of children, families and communities in towns across the UK.

Education and learning opportunities:

  • We have a partnership with the local Guides. We visit units to help with their sewing projects. For World Environment Day we arranged an evening of activities in a local park.
  •  We have embarked on a research project regarding teenage girls’ perception of themselves

 

Economic empowerment:

  • Reducing Women’s imprisonment. The club is researching this issue locally as part of a national project in partnership with the Prison Reform trust.

 

Conflict resolution:

  • We are supporting the Purple Teardrop campaign by collecting signatures for the Ban Sex for Sale Adverts and by fundraising to support safe houses for trafficked women and girls.
  • We support the local Women’s Refuge.

 

Food security and Healthcare:

  • We are raising funds for The BIG Project, a SIGBI project to increase Maternal Health in the Gambia.
  • We are raising money to support Dr Oxana Mutalak at the West London Clinic in the work with women who have suffered FGM.
  • We support projects providing safe water supplies and sanitation in developing countries.

 

Environmental sustainability:

  • We are producing a leaflet on bees and other pollinators