Covid-19 shock effects
Covid-19 has had a massive effect on us all individually and as clubs. We are all desperately sorry for those whose lives have been affected or brought to a close
How has Covid-19 changed us?
Our normal way of working as clubs and Wales South Region has changed and many of the the service actions we have been involved in have been brought abruptly to an end and the events to raise our profile and to support our charities have had to cease. Clubs are using Zoom for meetings and coffee mornings as well as Raffles and watching and listening to speakers who can Zoom in from further afield with no transport costs. Eating out as a club is more difficult but perhaps sharing a meal and talking together may lift the spirits as we near Christmas. Some clubs are meeting outdoors before the weather changes in local parks and Botanical gardens and enjoying socially distancing get togethers. All you need is imagination!
What have we done to help those women and girls near us?
Appeals went out soon after our hospitals and nursing homes were hit and working practices had to change.
An army of volunteers including Soroptimists across the Region rose to the challenge. Cottons were recycled and old sewing machines and overlockers were brought back into use and thousands of scrubs from areas like Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot were made.
What has SI Swansea been doing?
Scrubs and facemasks as well as head bands, caps and bags for dirty scrub were requested by Swansea and Neath Port Talbot Health Board through the “We love Scrubs” and now the Swansea and NPT Community Group Facebook page. 4 members responded and between them have made nearly 600 facemasks, head bands, caps and bags for dirty scrub. The list includes knitted red hearts to thank all the doctors, nurses and health care workers who found accessing disposable items difficult and sometimes impossible at the start of the pandemic.
These hearts are being beautifully We are now making facemasks for children in schools who cannot afford to buy them.
SI Swansea are now asking for donations for masks to raise money for their charities that they are committed to fund.
Now that supplies of disposable goods are now more available is there still a reason to continue?
Yes, because the millions if not billions of facemasks will go to landfill. More and more reports are coming in that disposable masks are being thrown away on the streets outside shops causing a public nuisance and a health hazard. Reusable masks can be washed and dried overnight and used time and again.
More news is coming in all the time
What has Si Abergavenny been doing?
Abergavenny Club has been supporting a number of organisations in the town during this difficult period and in addition some members have been tirelessly knitting Twiddle Muffs, Trauma Teddies and Christmas items for Velindre Cancer Hospital, Cardiff.
SCRUBS/LAUNDRY BAGS for NHS
The Wool Croft shop were collecting materials mainly for making laundry bags and some members donated material. Lesley donated material to the collection point in her village.
CYFANNOL (Women’s Aid)
Club helped to provide a range of baby items for a young mother setting up a new home in the area having fled her perpetrator.
As well as a money donation, Club contributed packs of toiletries, clothes for women and children and 8 Trauma Teddies.
This is a small Community Enterprise recently set up in the town which is helping families in need with food parcels, clothes and household items. In August they held a School Uniform Day, providing good quality second hand uniform for children soon to re-start the school year at local schools. Club contributed packs of new socks and underwear. 60 families (90 children) were helped.
Club responded to a request for pyjamas/nighties and unwanted toiletries for patients in Nevill Hall who were unable to access these items from relatives during the pandemic.
Many Club members made individual donations (both food and money) to meet the increased need the Foodbank has been experiencing during this period. This included one member who set up a monthly direct debit.
EMPOWERING GIRLS IN NEPAL – The Big Story
Three members sponsored Lynn Tedik (SI Pontypridd) who submitted a delightful story for the Big Story competition. The aim of the competition being to raise much needed funds during the fallow period of lockdown as SI Clubs had been forced to suspend their fund raising events.
CHEFS in SCHOOLS Charity
An opportunity to donate a Fiver online through #Flip2Feed towards those volunteers providing free school meals.
One member undertook a sponsored walk up the Sugarloaf in support of this small charity. Several Club members sponsored her.
KNITTING GALORE (Mostly thanks to Valerie)
What a busy lady! (Administrator comment)
This charity sends books – mainly educational, including textbooks – to countries in Africa all year round to meet the needs of colleges and schools and individuals. Over the lockdown, books were collected in a member’s garage and the Club were able to send two boxes each containing 20kg of educational books.
What has Si Fishguard and District been doing?
Every September Fishguard Soroptimists (like other Soroptimist clubs) complete a Beach Clean.
Pwllgwaelod beach on Cardigan Bay is quite small, but the Marine Conservation Society use our results for comparison year on year. Differences in type or quantity of different items help with data analysis to show growth or decline of different types of rubbish washed up by the sea or left behind by visitors.
We log every bit of debris found, no matter how small, especially tiny pieces of coloured plastic, fragments of fishermens’ nets and always cotton wool buds which seem more prolific now.
The “Sewing Sisters” of SI Barry and District, have been sewing for the NHS and health workers since March. Two members, who have overlockers as well as sewing machines, sewed scrubs for both medical and care workers. Other members responded to a plea for washable laundry bags and these were distributed between local hospitals and care homes, Small bags for personal possessions were also made and delivered, as well as sewn and knitted “ear savers”.
The sewers then began receiving requests for face masks and, although it was always intended as a “Service” project, so far over £1,000 has been received in donations. After deducting essential expenses (the cost of elastic soared at one stage) this money and any future donations will be given to local health based charities. A further £400 has been raised by one Sewing Sister and her library colleagues for a local community library.
Members are now making masks which are being distributed in a local shop and the community library.
Items of nightwear and clothes have been donated to local hospitals for patients who haven’t been able to receive visitors. Members also donated money to buy essential items for patients at a local hospital.
What has SI Cwmbran been doing? This is hot off the press!
SI Cwmbran Covid-19 Pandemic News
Club members we have been able to practically support NHS staff and key workers by making scrub bags and mask extenders. We have needed to be resourceful using oddments of fabric and wools as we cannot just go to the shops to buy items. Comfort teddies have been delivered to Monmouth and Abergavenny Ambulance teams to help patients in these stressful times.
One member, Lynne, has become a volunteer in her local area and another, Clare , has continued her voluntary work with patients at Panteg Hospital.
Llanyravon Church knitters continued with their Lent knitting project. We had asked if they would like to knit items for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital. Marilyn has said the total to date is 100 jackets, 33 bobble hats, 22 scarves, 2 bonnets and 12 teddies. This is a great effort by the knitters. Our member, Mary, will deliver these to the hospital when rules allow.
SIGBI asked clubs to complete the MASKS for Equality campaign survey to enable them to collate what contribution clubs had made practically during the Coronvirus. Members Jen, Marian, Mary and Rosemary have made 140 Face Masks, 36 Scrub Bags and 65 Mask Extenders going to Child Care Provision, NHS workers, Volunteers, Club members, friends and family.
We have been making face coverings for members, family, friends, a nursery and some members of Llanyravon Church over the last few months. People have generously donated £465 to date for the masks which will be divided between the NHS charity and St. David’s Hospice. Mary Croke has made 90 face coverings which are being sold at St. David’s Charity shop in Old Cwmbran for £2.50 each raising a total of £225 for St. David’s to date. She has also made masks for the ladies who work in the shop. Well done Mary on all your hard work.
A number of members have been making and selling cakes for charity under lockdown.