Soroptimists Orange the World on the 25th of each month raising awareness of issues.
When SI Edinburgh shared their idea at a Scotland South Programme Action meeting, none of us realised just how this would take off.
It is a simple, cost-effective way of raising our profile, while socialising. As the Clubs in Scotland South have each developed their approach to the orange cafes, there are a few things we have discovered.
Choose your venue(s) carefully!
Will you always go to the same venue, or will you vary where you meet?
Will you always meet at the same time, or vary times to target different audiences, eg after the school run?
Consider the type of women who go to the venue(s) – are they likely to be interested in Soroptimism?
Will the owner allow you to display Soroptimist literature?
The venue doesn’t have to be a standalone café, it could be part of a bigger venue, for example a garden centre, or supermarket.
Think about what you do at the Orange Café.
Rather than just sit and chat, do an ‘activity’ that will attract interest and allow you to start a conversation about Soroptimism.
Have handouts available, for example if you are knitting a trauma teddy or prem baby hat, have copies of the patterns that you can give to interested women, and tell them how to contact you to get the finished items back.
Tackle different topics at different cafes – not every woman is interested in all we do but may be attracted more by one specific topic.
Could you ask organisations to let you participate in their activity before or after your orange café, eg volunteering at the café in a hospital?
Have Soroptimist literature available.
The aim is to raise our profile, so have items that give contact details for SIGBI as well as for your own Club. UKPAC are developing some specific items.