Dallam Community Primary School has recently created a new garden with raised beds for vegetable planting. They have also set aside a space for a small orchard, and we are delighted to report that one of the first trees was donated by SI Warrington – a plum tree to mark our Soroptimist Centenary. President Rhona seen here with our Dr Margaret Emsley, who is also one of Dallam’s school governors. Photo by Rhona Kettle This new development will allow the school to teach children where food comes from, alongside a nature project with a newly renovated pond. Funds are scarce in this more deprived area of Warrington and consequently outdoor areas are often not developed. SI Warrington has also donated outdoor play toys for this area and will be continuing to support the school in future. Photo by Rhona Kettle
Today has been designated a Day of Action in support of the population of Afghanistan, and in particular of its women and girls who face an uncertain future under the new regime. The Soroptimist organisation worldwide works to support women and girls everywhere. Its action programmes help them reach their full potential through Education, Empowerment and Enablement initiatives. Contact us to find out about our work, and in particular what we are doing to ensure that Afghani women do not lose the hard-won freedoms they have gained.
As we couldn’t meet for coffee and cake this year, we decided to hold a virtual raffle event instead – and raised £170 pounds! Well done team!!
Getting hold of face masks may be difficult or unaffordable for some, and impossible to make without access to materials or sewing facilities. Member Julia Blair has made +500 masks for the charity “Masks for Refugees”, together with more than 50 ear savers, and is still sewing more! Fantastic work Julia!! Photo courtesy of Julia Blair
We provide ongoing support to CARE UK, a charity which supports Greece-based refugee camps for Syrians fleeing conflict at home. One of our members, Julia Blair – our crafter par excellence! – has made sure they aren’t forgotten during the pandemic – she used the lockdown to produce 5 cot blankets, 10 baby hats, two teddy bears, 8 pairs of children’s shorts and 4 girls’ dresses!
SI Warrington members have been very active in helping mitigate the shortages of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in hospitals, care homes, GP surgeries and dentist practices. One member, Rhona Kettle, worked as a Transportation Coordinator for the Mid-Cheshire “For the Love of Scrubs” initiative – her garage became Collection HQ for collating and delivering materials to individuals to produce the scrubs. Around 2000 pairs of scrubs, 500 mask extenders/head bands, 500 laundry bags and 1200 masks were produced! Rhona Kettle with a car load of supplies ready for delivery Another member, Julia Blair, has been a one-woman scrubs producer for Warrington hospital and care homes – she sourced the materials, made the patterns and sewed 16 tops and 12 pairs of trousers, together with 45 laundry wash bags. Freshly-laundered scrubs produced by Julia Blair Well done Rhona and Julia!
It is no secret that the COVID19 Emergency has hit the charity sector particularly hard. Warrington Women’s Aid which supports families fleeing domestic abuse is a case in point. We’ve been providing practical support to this independent charity for many years. To help mitigate the impact of the pandemic, Club members rallied round and donated £250 and food, hygiene and household goods to the Women’s Refuge.
More than 200 extenders already delivered to the NHS in Warrington to help relieve ear chafing!!! The idea is that instead of hooking the mask loops over your ears, you wind them around the buttons at each end of the mask extender which you place on the back of your head. We’re still knitting – apparently the demand at the hospital continues unabated!
Thanks to Annette Maudsley of SI Liverpool, a Border Control Officer and Lead for “Stop the Traffik” campaign in Liverpool, for her talk about how to spot signs of MDS in the local community. Annette’s presentation provided a shocking insight into both this insidious aspect of today’s society and the work of the Police, Border Control officers at ports and airports, and local social services all over the country, to identify victims and support them in reintegrating back into society. Also, the enormous challenges of tracking down the gang masters behind human trafficking in its various forms and the types of exploitation involved, such as prostitution, forced labour, domestic servitude, organ harvesting, forced crime, forced marriage and the drugs trade. A very difficult subject, and raising awareness is a major focus for Soroptimists everywhere.
Following on our successful crafting activities with the Dress a Girl projects, members get together monthly at the home of Past President Liz Smith to produce a wide range of items for local charities. The latest hoard of goodies included: More than 20 sets of “Traffic Light Hats” (colour-coded woolly hats for newborns whose condition needs close watching in hospital, i.e. “red” “amber” or “green”) – in support of the Royal Mail/NHS project Two dozen “Twiddle Muffs” – both knitted and sewn – for dementia sufferers at the Forget-Me-Not ward in Warrington Hospital 30 crotcheted cot blankets with matching hats for the local baby unit A variety of toddler jumpers Other items such as re-usable sanitary towels and breast pads, toy bags, teddy bear hand puppets “Cocoons” for babies “born asleep” Crafting is alive and well at SI Warrington and Liz’s coffee, tea and biscuits