We believe that through our projects we can make a difference to the lives of women and girls.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
£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.
Bunting for Chamberlain Court Residential Home to help with celebrations for VE Day
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