July 2017 Newsletter








In addition to the usual reports from regions this meeting covered:

  • the Anti-human trafficking survey we will be undertaking across the UK on 1-7 October;
  • the ongoing work of Handicap International
  • school in a box and a bag from UNICEF UK.


modern slavery logo

I sit on the UK Modern Slavery Training Delivery Group (UKMSTDG) on behalf of the UKPAC. The Delivery Group will provide leadership and be the strategic ‘influencing’ voice for anti-slavery training in the UK. It will report  to the Building Capabilities Sub-Group within the governance arrangements for the strategic management of the UK’s response to the threat from Modern Slavery and is part of the UK Government’s strategy. It includes civil servants from across the UK, representatives of statutory bodies, NGOs and CSOs. Any local groups on which soroptimists sit are part of the whole network. The survey will assist all to know where to direct more awareness and training. This has the potential to help make us known more widely across the UK and to recruit new members.

Following popular appeal from some clubs both .pdf and online versions of the questionnaire will be available. Clubs can use both or either. Since the online version will be analysed as responses are received (automatically) this will give us rapid answers to the questions posed and means that we will be able to report to FPAC and conference in October.

Clubs using the paper format will need to enter the data collected into a standard spreadsheet (supplied by UKPAC) and send it to me for addition to the online data.

The data will be analysed by devolved nation and English region so that location is easily understood by respondents to the online survey and be coterminous with authorities involved in training.

A pack will be sent to RPACs this month, for onward distribution to all clubs. It will contain:

  • the pdf version;
  • a link to the online version, with a survey email for those not wishing to use their own, for clubs and members to use on social media, web sites and by email;
  • a map of devolved nations and English regions;
  • an infographic with information about the current state of slavery in the UK for sharing with respondents after they have completed the paper questionnaire; it is on our web site for those using the online version at https://sigbi.org/ukpac/our-work/trafficking/ as a downloadable pdf and as a visual.
  • a draft letter for you to use where you need to seek permission to ask people to take part, e.g. shopping centres;
  • a draft press release;
  • a template for ‘business cards’ with the web link; these can be used in lieu of the paper version;
  • and the standardised spreadsheet for paper-based data entry.

The survey will aid delivery of the UK strategy to combat trafficking and slavery. I do hope all clubs will agree to take part.

Some UKPAC partner organisations and those on the UKMSTDG  may join us in disseminating the survey link on their social media.


Handicap International


Soroptimists are Handicap International UK’s biggest community partnership. From the Ban Cluster Bombs campaign and Pyramid of Shoes to the Forgotten 10 Challenge; it’s been 14 years since we first worked together in the fight to protect civilians from explosive weapons. When bombings take place in populated areas 92% of the victims are civilians and around 32 people are killed every day. The displacement caused by bombings and the destruction of reproductive health infrastructure are just two ways in which bombings have a particular effect on women.

Handicap International’s Stop Bombing Civilians campaign is calling on States worldwide to publicly commit to ending the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas. By raising awareness about the campaign as part of the annual Forgotten 10 Challenge Soroptimists have a really important role to play. The Forgotten 10 Challenge takes place from 1st to 10th December and we would love clubs that we know well and clubs that we haven’t worked with before to get involved. An Action Pack for clubs can be ordered at https://www.handicap-international.org.uk/forgotten-10-challenge-order-your-action-pack

Learning to walk again is a life-changing element of the rehabilitation journey that injured and disabled people working with our physiotherapists go on. We hope Soroptimist clubs will organise fundraising walks over the summer. Please email John (campaigns@hi-uk.org ) for a guide. We’re also doing some research on how we can best work with Soroptimists in the future so please email John (John.McGeachy@hi-uk.org) if you would like to take part.





school in a backpack school in a box

Every child has the right to an education, whatever their background, gender or ethnicity. Like the Soroptimists, UNICEF wants to see a world where all children enjoy this right.

Currently 263 million children from primary to upper secondary are out of school. Of those in education, 250 million are failing to learn basic numeracy and literacy in the early grades. UNICEF supports innovative programmes that give all children, including the most vulnerable children the chance to learn.

Every year we help millions of children get an education and we are doing everything we can to get all children affected by emergencies back to learning. UNICEF is working with partners to create safe spaces to learn, providing water and sanitation and psychosocial support. We work with teachers, parents and the community to ensure that children get the care and love they need in these circumstances. We train teachers and equip them with teaching materials, and we provide vital school supplies in the form of school in a box kits and school backpacks that support children’s learning. We work to make sure that children are realising their right to a good quality education, despite their difficult circumstances.

UNICEF supports children to go back to school and aims to produce and distribute schools supplies locally or regionally to create a sustainable and lasting economic impact for communities.


More needs to be done to help more children, please help.  By the end of 2017 UNICEF aims to help get 28 million children access to primary education, which will have lifelong implications for the health, wellbeing and development of these young people.

UNICEF UK needs vital funds for School in a Box kits and school backpacks to support children in accessing and continuing their education. Together we can prevent a generation of children losing the chance to move towards a brighter future.





The National Referral Mechanism (NRM):

Last month I co-signed a letter with four fellow members of 6’O’ – Business & Professional Women UK, National Council of Women GB, Townswomen’s Guild and the WI to the Rt Hon Sarah Newton MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Vulnerability, Safeguarding & Countering Extremism at the Home Office about the National Referral Mechanism. Our letter was based on the opinions of Kevin Hyland OBE and the review undertaken by the Works and Pensions Select Committee (to which we submitted a view) as well as other experts. Your RPAC has a copy of the letter if you wish to see it. Since then we have heard that Scotland has introduced a 90 day period of recovery & reflection in contrast to that in England and Wales which have 45 days. NI has a more flexible approach than England and Wales. I will let your RPACs know the outcome of this letter when I receive a reply.


Our next Study Day will be held in Belfast

7th July at The Europa Hotel


Changes of UKPAC officers:

Jan Doyle will be finishing as our secretary in October after 6 years dedicated service. Many thanks for all your hard work and support Jan. She will be replaced by Maureen Maguire from Northern Ireland. Many of you will remember Maureen as a SIGBI President.

I will be relinquishing my ‘temporary’ role as Treasurer at the same time. June Muir from SI King’s Lynn will be taking over.

I look forward to working with both of them and being able to concentrate on my role as Chairman for my last year in post.

Please do get in touch with any comments or questions you might have.


Kay Richmond



July 2017 newsletter PDF for download