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Soroptimist International - Weybridge and District

Soroptimist International of Weybridge and District is part of a worldwide organisation of women, which is linked to the United Nations.

A big welcome to SI Weybridge & District the Soroptimist (Southern Region) Women’s Club covering Elmbridge Borough

Here you will find Club News and our support for the wider national, global Soroptimist and UN initiatives. More news can be found on the Facebook Page and in Soroptimist News (https://sigbi.org/news/magazines/) the online magazine for members.

Soroptimist International is a global volunteer movement working together to transform the lives of women and girls with nearly 72,000 Members in 121 countries. Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) has 6000 Members in 270 Clubs in 18 countries including Great Britain, Ireland and countries in Asia, the Caribbean and Malta, who work at a local, national and international level to educate, empower and enable opportunities for women and girls.

2022 -23 Club Activities

December 16th Club Members and Guests Festive Lunch at Burhill Golf Club, 12.30pm for 1pm

Kindly notify Margaret of your attendance and menu choices by November 30th latest.  

Here we go..

November 17th Club Meeting at The Fairmile, 7pm 

Kindly advise Margaret of your meal options asap. There is no speaker this month, do join us to celebrate the #ovariancancer result and plans for #Orangetheworld campaign later this month.

We welcome guests to observe our meetings and hear about our program action, we are always keen to hear from women with an interest in joining a club for friendship and community based action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#16days – 25th November 2022 – 10th December 2022 Human Rights Day

#Weybridgeanddistrict soroptimists will #orangetheworld in Cobham,  Weybridge and Molesey with posters, orange ribbons, garlands and a coffee morning. Soroptimists are distributing posters and balloons, shops are supporting the awareness campaign and  local #soroptimists will be seen handing out bookmarks in the towns to build understanding of the impact of domestic violence.

Join them if you can, wear orange during the #16daysofactivism until December 10th, tie orange ribbons to fences and railings, put up a poster, light your porch orange. From small steps we can achieve big strides for women and educate everyone about the terrible and increasingly prevalent issues faced by those adults and children in abusive relationships. In this period Soroptimists are collecting donations for #NorthSurreyDomesticAbuse Services #NSDAS.org. For giving details get in touch. https://www.facebook.com/SoroptimistsElmbridge or https://sigbi.org/weybridge/

 

 

#Orangetheworld to help North Surrey Domestic Abuse Services – Come for a cuppa!

Weybridge and District #Soroptimists are hosting a Coffee Morning on 25th November to #Orangetheworld at the start of the annual United Nations #16days of activism which highlight the violence, discrimination, health damage and ethnic issues women face around the globe.

North Surrey Domestic Abuse Service part of Citizens Advice Elmbridge West (#NSDAS.org) are delighted to have the welcome financial help, the funding supplements income allowing Services, Outreach and wider initiatives in the community in #Elmbridge.  Soroptimists already have a generous donor who is matching every £ raised, additional donors are expected, we hope to raise £3000 and invite guests to attend, sponsorship, donations  and items we can sell.The Coffee Morning will be held in Molesey from 11am to 1.30pm on 25th November the 2022 UN Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. There is a Bring & Buy table organised by a member, a raffle and a collection for cash or credit card donations, guests will be made very welcome with hot and soft drinks and delicious cakes and biscuits  All proceeds will be matched up to £1000 and by month end the entire proceeds will be donated to NSDAS.

All are welcome, the event is ticketed as numbers are limited please email annmaloneyuk@gmail.com to book places. ‘Good as New’ and ‘New’ items are very welcome and these can be collected from you for pricing. You can also pass them to a soroptimist local to you in Elmbridge they can be collected at our meeting on November 17th in Cobham, Ann can supply full details for all direct bank donations to the NSDAS fund,  a JustGiving Page and the coffee morning venue.

October 21st

#targetovariancancer benefitted from  sponsorship sums in excess of £1600 this month as a result of #ElmbridgeSoroptimists from #SIWeybridgeanddistrict walking 10km to support the women’s charity annual walk. Organiser Brenda an Elmbridge member plans to showcase the final sums raised with a cheque handover on November 17th at the Club meeting in Cobham. Congratulations to the walkers and huge thanks tgo the family, soroptimists, friends and colleagues who gave so very generously.

October 2nd 2022

Soroptimists to walk 10km in support of Ovarian Cancer – will you help donate?

Soroptimists in #Elmbridge will join hundreds of supporters in London and Belfast by walking to support the 10th annual fundraising event organised by the charity #TargetOvarianCancer. #’Soroptiimnsts from SI Weybridge & District will be joined by friends and family during #gynaecologicalcancerawareness month on the walk. The walkers will start in Bushy Park by the Diana Fountain walk through Teddington crossing the river at the lock, pass by Canbury Gardens in Kingston and cross back by Kingston Bridge then walk through Home Park to finish at Hampton Court Palace. Watch out for the women, donate on line to add to the funds raised and share the news to increase awareness of the disease and charity. Thank you to the supporters and for donations thus far.

You can read about the achievements the charity has succeeded with since the annual event started here 

https://targetovariancancer.org.uk/news/celebrating-10-years-ovarian-cancer-walkrun?utm_medium=email&utm_source=TOCWRLondon&utm_campaign=TOCWR_London22_fun_05.09.22&utm_content=IT-OtherAchievements

Learn about the walk or enrol to join it here

https://join.targetovariancancer.org.uk/event/the-ovarian-cancer-walk-run-22-london/home?utm_medium=email&utm_source=TOCWRLondon&utm_campaign=TOCWR_London22_fun_27.09.22&utm_content=IT-WalkRun

Help us by donating the cost of a coffee for each day this week.. https://join.targetovariancancer.org.uk/fundraisers/weybridgeanddistrictsoroptimists

September 15th 2022

Supper, Speaker & Business Meeting at The Fairmile Hotel, Cobham, Surrey. Fancy coming along to learn about Soroptimists? Ring Ann 07712 654231 or email Alexis.neville@btinternet.com for more information

 

July 27th 2022
Share the good news please..“We have changed lives for the better”
A rip roaring success.. soroptimists at #SIWeybridge and #SIWoking held the biannual Tea & Temptations event in Mayford in June. This amazing fundraiser event was planned by both clubs, with models, waitresses and bakers all contributing a delicious afternoon tea and a chic fashion show. We must acknowledge the enormous help and support of local boutiques including @bettyandclaudechobham, @Phase8weybridge and @madjakshere who very generously provided the fashion for the event. We were also able to invite local Muslim women who modelled their own brand fashion and traders who promoted gifts to our audience of some 60 guests. The amazing funds raised are now counted and available to fund our joint regional project The Barbara Watts Volunteering in Pretoria/Tshwane (VIP) effort, enabling 2 young South African female students to gain intensive work experience in teaching and opportunity for a higher education.
This event raised over £1700 in one afternoon thanks to the generosity of local boutiques, the team who planned it with diligence, model members, bakers, waitresses, our star compere Suzette and the local Muslim women and the venue which hosts the event biannually for us.
BIG THANKS to ALL. This means we have generated a solid sum to support our VIP Project in the year ahead.

July 21st 2022 ~~~STOP PRESS~~~SHARE IN OUR SUCCESS, SHARE THE POST!

After 4 years of sterling effort our club realised its dream to fund a Pink Tuk Tuk in Sri Lanka to help alleviate women’s poverty and enable transport of girls and women in safety. On July 21st the club welcomed guests from the #RosieMayFundation to accept a cheque for £4000 from #Soroptimists in Elmbridge. We are looking forward to hearing about the #pinktuktuk named appropriately “Dorothy”. This huge ‘#WeybridgeandDistrict impetus was started by founder member Dorothy Clarke MBE after she heard about the harrowing loss of a child and the family’s initiatives which followed.
Come to a Soroptimist monthly meeting to hear how we challenge the norms, enable, empower and educate girls and women around the globe. For details contact alexis.neville@btinternet.com, love to hear from women who’d like to know more in the Elmbridge area. SI also has clubs in Epsom, Godalming, Woking and across the country.

August 7th 2022 in Weybridge 2-5pm – SI Weybridge & District Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea – Tickets £15

Share the event please everyone, invite friends, neighbours and family so our summer party and celebration ensures we continue to sparkle in our community. All regional club members and friends most welcome to join #SIWeybridge, get in touch for tickets. Siwoking, #siepsom, #sisurreyhills, #siwinchester, #sisalisbury

July 16th SIGBI Day of Action 2022

0830-1030am, Litter Pick on Thames Path – Contact Ann for details

SIGBI Day of Action – 16th July 2022 follows UN World Environment Day on June 5th
This year, the SIGBI Day of Action will focus on Climate Change and reducing the use of Single-use plastics. Activities that take place during the month of July will be marked on a SIGBI map, to be published in August. The UN is supporting this effort this year in September. Let #Soroptimists get ahead of that..
July 7th ZOOM Speaker, Rachel Williams 

#siweybridge Soroptimists and friends were so very fortunate to welcome author, broadcaster and activist Rachel Williams to our club session on July 7th. Survivor of the worst domestic terrorism you can imagine, both the near loss of life and the loss of her son she has spent the years since enabling, empowering, changing and assisting others faced with abuse, violence and risk. Rachel’s videos are a worthwhile and urgent watch for anyone dealing with situations of coercive control. More at www.sutda.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walk & Talk to do good? July Club Meeting Agenda Item

Following our recent talk by #Targetovariancancer  Soroptimists note the charity Target Ovarian Cancer have a fundraising walk/run in October. Is this a matter close to your own heart? Could we Soroptimists walk 10K and make a difference? I’m game if you are… small steps can lead to change. Soroptimists love to change the future for women.

https://targetovariancancer.org.uk/get-involved/events-challenges/ovarian-cancer-walkrun-london?utm_medium=email&utm_source=TOCWRLondon&utm_campaign=TOCWR_London22_fun_14.06.22&utm_content=IT-TOCWR1

An agenda topic for July’s club meeting.

DIARY DATE – July 7th 1930hrs GMT – ZOOM Talk on Domestic Abuse – Open Invitation to all #Soroptimists

There is no speaker this month during the meeting, instead we are very fortunate indeed to be able to host a one hour talk with Q&A on July 7th over Zoom at 1930hrs GMT. Session open to all #Soroptimist #SIclubs, please notify annmaloneyuk@gmail.com if you would like the zoom link by email ahead of the session.

Rachel Williams – Author and Humanitarian Activist
#thedevilathome
In 2011, Rachel Williams was shot at her place of work by her abusive partner. Barely escaping with her life, she decided to fight back and in 2020 she received a St David Award in the Humanitarian category for the work she has done, and continues to do, on behalf of domestic abuse victims. This work includes hosting the first survivor-led abuse conference in South Wales (#StandUpToDomesticAbuse), being an ambassador for The Freedom Programme (runs courses to help victims understand what is happening to them), working with #SaveLives (a charity working to transform the response to domestic abuse), campaigning to push bills through UK Parliament.
Rachel’s presentation will begin with a 25 minute video, followed by a description of projects she is currently engaged in and time for Q&A. You may be interested in reading her book:

https://safelives.org.uk/about-us

 

SIGBI Day of Action – 16th July 2022 follows UN World Environment Day on June 5th
Can our Club pledge to Do Plastic Free July in our households?
Watch this video from 2019 to get started
it’s under 12 minutes long.
Write about what you plan to do and why and share it with friends & family, widen awareness of the need for change?
Record 3 things you did and feel you could sustainably continue to do, send them to Ann who will summate end July?
This year, the SIGBI Day of Action will focus on Climate Change and reducing the use of Single-use plastics. Activities that take place during the month of July will be marked on a SIGBI map, to be published in August. The UN is supporting this effort this year in September. Let #Soroptimists get ahead of that..
Why Care?
Plastic pollution is harming life on land and below water around the world, and plastic production is contributing to climate change and global warming. Addressing the plastic crisis demands high-level global action and policy, but efforts to reduce plastic waste can start with a few small steps.
Unless we take major steps to reduce plastic pollution from production to consumption, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. Trash islands are already occupying large swaths of sea in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean. That is just one reason why it is so important to reduce single-use plastic use, and to use eco-friendly alternatives whenever we can. Producing single-use plastics requires massive amounts of fossil fuels, which pollute the atmosphere and fuel climate change. After their use, plastics continue to wreak havoc on the environment, posing a serious threat to ecosystems, marine creatures, and human livelihoods.
Take Action: Take the Pledge: #SayNoToPlastic …..    #BeatPlasticPollution
Shopping bags – Reusable shopping bags – establish a routine of replacing them—either in your car or your backpack, if you take public transportation— as soon as you put away your groceries.
Water bottles – The average plastic water bottle takes 450 years to decompose if littered? Remember that glass and aluminium bottles are more eco-friendly than “good” plastics that may still leech. Consider utilising reusable straws. Contrary to common conception, plastic straws cannot be recycled and thus contribute to the plastic flowing into the ocean every year. If you need to use a straw, metal and reusable plastic straws are both great options.
Drinks on the go.. – Commit to cutting out your disposable K-cups and single-use coffee filters, and introduce reusable filters into your routine. Many baristas are more than happy to make your daily latte with the reusable mug or thermos you bring in. This easy swap is a highly effective way to reduce your plastic consumption, especially if you can’t start the morning without caffeine.
Sandwich bags and cling wrap – Summer is here! All it takes is a few simple steps to make your picnic or lunch sustainable. Swap out single-use plastic sandwich bags for reusable containers that come in plastic, glass, and stainless steel. You can also eliminate cling wrap by switching to beeswax wrap, which is washable and wraps up food just as well.
Soap – This tip applies to both bathing and dishwashing! Instead of buying body washes and dish soaps that come in disposable plastic containers, make the switch to bar soap, ideally soap which is often packaged in recyclable paper.
Detergents – Search for Eco detergents and examine packaging and test new products during July. Look at brand packaging before buying, ensure containers are recyclable before buying. Look at reusable products and sources online for washing powder, bleach,

Fashion Show, GU22 2NN

June 25th Tea & Temptations Fashion Show, Mayford, Surrey

Join friends at this Joint biannual Fashion Show organised by SI Weybridge and SI Woking. Tickets available. Enjoy a splendid tea, see stock from local boutiques modelled, buy goods, and enjoy an afternoon of friendship. All proceeds to support our VIP Pretoria Project, South Africa.

June 16th Business Meeting is at The Wheatsheaf Esher at 7pm

We hope to welcome prospective new members and to discuss program action items in detail including (in no particular order…)

  • July 2022 (specifically the 16th) –  SIGBI Day of Action about Single Use Plastics – action plan
  • Soroptimist STEM Award project discussion to achieve progress and as applicable Voting
  • How to #Orangetheworld to highlight domestic violence aspects from November
  • SIGBI Ballots Due

Please get in contact if you’d like to join the meeting for supper and or just the meeting which follows at 8pm. T:07712 654231

In July the Business Meeting venue may change so we can welcome the Rosie May Foundation representatives to update us on the #Soroptimist #PinkTUKTUK  ‘Dorothy’ purchase in person.

The August meeting is of course Our Tiara Tea on August 7th in Weybridge.

STEM Study University Award Feasibility

Sue had a wonderful meeting and secured plenty of facts, information and  data from one university in April. Dee and Ann visited another and had a superb meeting. It’s clear our plan for a Soroptimist STEM Study Award/Bursary is entirely feasible, now the hard work begins to formulate the funding for 5 years, develop a subject list and select a university next month. Giving access to others on a JustGiving Page, co-operation between clubs and region and of course fundraising to enable regular payments are all subjects for the future. So very exciting to have this initiative proposed by Dee.

May 19th Business Meeting 7pm, The Wheatsheaf, Esher

Huge welcome to our new member Caroline who joined the club this month. We hosted another prospective member Jan and anticipate enrolling Mary very soon too. We have 7 other enquiries  on the go now a potential sparkling  recruitment period in May.

http://https://www.saheliya.co.uk/

Sincere thanks to Pervin a representative of #Saheliya, a specialist mental health and well-being support organisation for black,  minority ethnic, asylum seeker, refugee and migrant women and girls (12+) in the Edinburgh and Glasgow area. We welcomed her on zoom.

We also welcomed Caroline and Jan women expressing an interest in our club. This month’s meeting focused on  program action on the Jubilee Tiara Tea planning, progress for the planning and ticket sales for the Tea & Temptations Fashion Show in June and a plan for voting on the STEM university Scholarship funding and student course selection. This major initiative requires a working party to start work so do come along to have your say this and next month as we pursue this 3 year commitment.  We have no speaker in June to allow a full presentation of options and agenda discussion.

May 14th Soroptimists were at Oatlands Village Fair, Weybridge

We were there! Soroptimists in Weybridge and Elmbridge have supported this excellent community fair for many years and we were delighted to be “back” at a wonderful in person event held on such a sunny day. Danny and Jeannie set up early to get a spot near the arena, they were supported by many club members and wore the new SI sashes which drew a lot of questions as we walked about the fair. Sue provided a good variety of beautiful handmade cushion covers and bags from the South African club Maripula women’s project and these were quickly  ‘reserved’ bringing in welcome income to the project. Five women asked for more information, we engaged with many more. We had the opportunity to host #DrBenSpencer local MP and #CharuSood,  Charu serves on the Runnymede & Weybridge South Area Planning Sub Committee, Climate advisory board and Licensing. She is also the Shadow Cabinet Member for Environment. Invitations to speak at club meetings were extended. Lovely club day with a chance to socialise and catch up over a glass of Pimms but also fly the flag high!

April 22nd

Jeannie issued this month newsletter to all members and the Friendship Link reps. She also agreed to submit information to Thames Ditton magazine, giving easier access to information about local Soroptimists and the Elmbridge based club SIWAD.

“Join the Soroptimists and help make the world a better place for women and girls. Soroptimist International is a worldwide organisation for women and for over 100 years the volunteer run charity has been raising money for projects that empower women and girls around the world. The local Weybridge branch is looking for new members to join its ranks. From its new base in Esher the team are keen to find women to help with projects as diverse as funding a female driven tuk tuk taxi to safely transport women and girls in Sri Lanka to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) bursaries for girls at Royal Holloway University. Donations are given to local food banks, including 100 Easter eggs for children, and in the past, support to a woman’s refuge. Recently members asked local shop owners to display posters in their windows in support of International Women’s Day. The club recently donated £1,000 to the charity’s Ukraine fund and this money has been distributed to clubs in the Ukraine to help supply food and medicines.

The club also lobbies local MPs on women’s issues such as the Domestic Abuse Bill – Non-fatal Strangulation and others although the club is not politically allied in any way.

During the monthly meetings at the Wheatsheaf Pub in Esher there are speakers on a wide variety of subjects, mostly female related, such as ovarian cancer, domestic violence and other more light-hearted subjects and there are also social get-togethers hosted by members at their homes. The club also runs a fashion show with afternoon tea in conjunction with another local club as a fundraiser. The club has friendship links with clubs in Europe and arranges visits to each other’s countries from time to time. To find out more please visit sigbi.org/Weybridge and/or call Alexis on 07785 363868″

May 1st Ukraine Effort with Elmbridge CAN

Members were able to provide new kitchen equipment to a Ukrainian family housed with Elmbridge CAN’s support in Walton. The new Ukraine Hubs in Walton and Weybridge are providing a fantastic and critical resource for placed families to meet up and exchange information. The mayor, charities, local support services and access to language training and education is available. Our members are attending to support Elmbridge CAN where possible.

April 19th – 44th AGM SI Weybridge & District

We welcomed two new prospective members Caroline from Kingswood and Mary from Cobham at this meeting at The Wheatsheaf, Esher. Our speaker Peter introduced us to the National Memorial Arboretum via a great slideshow and talk on Zoom. We anticipate a rescheduled club visit to this amazing park in the fall. The 44th AGM took place with nomination of all officers, agreement of annual accounts; all officer  reports were issued ahead summarising the year’s club outcomes. The Club continues to to be led by an Executive Committee of women with experience and those new to officer roles.

Both our guests asked to join the club following the meeting and we look forward to seeing them welcomed at the July meeting when we have a special guests Mary Storrie of the Rosie May Foundation coming to update us on the Sri Lankan Tuk Tuk ‘Dorothy’ which the club has helped bring to fruition.

Food & Egg donation at Easter

April 6th – Easter Egg Donation to #Walton&Hersham Foodbank

Jeannie and Ann visited the foodbank warehouse to deliver 70 eggs and other grocery items today. Members donated eggs or cash to enable this donation part of our 2022 community action. Interested to hear more?? In March we welcomed a prospective new member to the monthly meeting. In April we have two more new potential members attending on April 21st in Esher. Women interested in joining are invited to join the supper and/or the business meetings over a few months to learn about our projects, meet local soroptimists and see if they enjoy the focus of enabling women and girls, lobbying,  sustainability and climate aspects.

April’s meeting in primarily an AGM but we have a speaker from the National Memorial Arboretum joining us on Zoom ahead of a visit to the  arboretum in 2022.

March 30th – Soroptimist Southern Region (SISE) Ukraine Donation

Today Weybridge & District Soroptimists generously donated £1010 to Soroptimist Southern Region (SISE)  Ukraine Fund. All southern regional clubs donated before March 30th. The sums collected will now be distributed to SI local Clubs in  Lviv in Ukraine and Chisinau in Moldova where soroptimists are actively helping local displaced Ukrainan families in Ukraine and nearby locations with food and medicines. A SISE club member has recently visited these clubs to see the valuable work soroptimists have been and continue to do on the ground since the war started.

Generous individual club members have been helping with incredible neighbourly support, food donation and assistance with job search to a local family in Weybridge who are housing a significant number of Ukraine family members. Others are helping with organised community shipments from Walton on Thames with cash, food and sundries as direct action. The Club agreed to use club charity funds for authenticated charity organisations only at this stage on the Treasurer’s request pending any SIGBI or SISE directives.  Members are able to best judge best use of their time, assistance and donations.

Elmbridge CAN a local refugee charity selected for SIWAD community support in 2022 have also been supported by some members in aiding a housed family with kitchen items.

Members have been fast to act and agree their preferred action and will continue to monitor needs. All are at liberty to support any of these or other projects tabled.

March 17th – Monthly Club Meeting & Foodbank Easter Donation

Susan Booth of the leading UK charity Target Ovarian Cancer spoke to the club on Zoom. This talk was scheduled to coincide with Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, March. Club members had over 150 posters, symptom diaries and information booklets to distribute during March to GP surgeries, local clinics, shops and notice boards.

Soroptimists collected 70 Easter Eggs for the @Walton&hershamfoodbank for distribution as part of local community program action. Contact Sally via https://sigbi.org/contact-us/ to get in touch.

March 13th – STEM Student Bursary 2023 – Wine Tasting – £900 Raised towards a 2022 Target of £1000

Over 40 kind people supported SI Weybridge & District with donations of funds, raffle prizes, gifts and help. Today the club hosted 30 guests at a Wine tasting in Molesey and raised £900. Guests enjoyed hearing Sue Cope @elvigilantedelvino talk about the wine, heads & tails, a raffle and a delicious supper followed.  This brings the Elmbridge based SI Club close to the first £1000 needed p.a. to offer a 3 year annual Bursary to a less advantaged female STEM subject student identified in liaison with local schools and the nominated university.

March 12th – Watch out around Elmbridge for posters showing the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. Soroptimists are handing out and delivering symptom diaries and information at stations and GP/maternity clinics in Elmbridge. This month March we welcome a speaker from Target Ovarian Cancer at our monthly meeting on 17th. We support all cancer charities but specifically #TargetOvarianCancer make women aware of the symptoms, support access to diagnosis and early treatment.

Bloated tummy, Always feeling full? Pelvic or abdominal pain? Need to wee more? Occasionally other symptoms can be present e.g. changes in bowel habit i.e. diarrhoea or constipation, extreme fatigue, unexplained weight loss. Symptoms are Frequent happening more than 12 times a month, Persistent they don’t go away, New – they are not normal for you.

Target Ovarian Cancer have symptom diaries so you can track your symptoms ahead of seeing your GP. Check with family if they have suffered with ovarian or breast cancer, be persistent, seek blood tests and scans. Don’t be put off if you know now what is normal/abnormal for your body. Be symptom aware, share info and watch out for your friends too, visit your GP to get checked out full. You can make a difference at work, in the community in your family by talking about this cancer.

Important:

  • Cervical screening smear tests will not detect ovarian cancer.
  • Most cases are diagnosed in women who have had the menopause but younger women can also get it
  • The sooner its detected the easier it is to treat. Survival is up to 90% at the earliest stage.
  • Irritable bowel symptoms are similar to ovarian cancer but new cases of IBS are very unlikely in women over age 50.
  • Target Ovarian Cancer is the UK’s leading ovarian cancer charity, working to improve early diagnosis, fund life saving research and provide much needed support to women with the cancer. Their nurse led support line provides confidential information, support and signposting for anyone concerned about ovarian cancer.

Source:targetovariancancer.org.uk – Phone: 020 7923 5475

March 8th – #IWD2022

SIGBI posters are up and visible we were so delighted with the positive response of shop keepers, stations, libraries and supermarkets to helping #Soroptimists make the community more aware. One Czech woman we spoke to in #Mercado in Molesey explain that in her country flowers are distributed to all women on IWD, its a far more important date then Mother’s Day as it recognises that ALL women need support to obtain equality and alleviate poverty. SI clubs around the world are challenging bias and highlighting how we can make the world a fairer place.

The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all.

March 6th – #IWD2022 March 8th. Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field. Are you in? Will you actively call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping each time you see it? Will you help break the bias? Cross your arms to show solidarity.

  • Strike the IWD 2022 pose and share your #BreakTheBias image, video, resources, presentation or articles on social media using #IWD2022 #BreakTheBias to encourage further people to commit to helping forge an inclusive world.
Local shops in #ThamesDitton, #Molesey, #Hamptoncourtvillage are doing their part with local #Soroptimists. Share this post to raise more awareness and support.#breakthebias2022; #alleviatepoverty,#westandupforwomen,#IWD2022

March 5th – IWD 2022 campaign theme: #BreakTheBias

Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

March 4th – International Women’s Day is coming on Tuesday March 8th. Today we shout out for our local rail station at #hamptoncourtpalace, #electricalsupplies retailer on the Broadway and #Smilessencedentists in #Molesey who all kindly displayed a Soroptimist IWD2022 poster to raise awareness and support this annual UN initiative.

There’s still time to help raise awareness? Pop up the IWD22 official poster in your car window, on your fence, on your social media profiles, one small step at a time… International Women’s Day (March is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

SIGBI #IWD Posters are all up and around big  thanks to Brenda and Cathy, Jeannie and Ann  – It’s International Women’s Day #IWD2022 on March 8th.

Today we shout out for our local amazing shops in #ThamesDitton and #Molesey specifically today our Thames Ditton grocer #Paulls and the #GeorgeAndDragon Pub and Molesey’s top stationers #ekaservices who all very kindly displayed a Soroptimist #IWD2022 poster to raise awareness and support this annual UN initiative.
Not all women get acknowledgement, gender equality and respect can you help raise awareness? Pop up the IWD2022 official poster in your car window, on your fence, on your social media profile, one small step at a time…
International Women’s Day on March 8 is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

March 2nd – SIGBI’s Emergency Relief Fund has donated £5,000 to the British Red Cross, Ukrainian Appeal to help the Ukrainian refugees who are fleeing the war with Russia. The latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees show that more than 600,000 people have left the country and many more thousands are displaced from their homes within Ukraine. Ukrainian Red Cross volunteers are reaching as many people as possible, distributing 30,000 food and hygiene parcels so far, and helping evacuate people with disabilities. Teams have also provided first aid training to 1,000 people in metro stations and bomb shelters, and are supporting fire fighters, medical and civil protection units.

We urge all parties involved in Ukraine to swiftly work for an agreed peaceful outcome. https://sigbi.org/…/soroptimist-international-great…/

 

March 1st – International Women’s Day – March 8th – The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all. Look put for the posters around Molesey, Walton, Weybridge those created by Soroptimists to raise awareness of this UN led focus on why promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment can help deliver better environmental outcomes, and to figure out how it can be done. The Generation Equality campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve. Visit the UN Women’s website for more information about the theme. Multimedia content is coming soon to help you spread the message of gender equality by sharing on your social media accounts. https://www.unwomen.org/…/international-womens-day-2022…

 

International Women’s Day – March 8th
The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all. Look put for the posters created by Soroptimists to raise awareness of this UN led focus on why promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment can help deliver better environmental outcomes, and to figure out how it can be done.
The Generation Equality campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve. Visit the UN Women’s website for more information about the theme. Multimedia content is coming soon to help you spread the message of gender equality by sharing on your social media accounts.

February 17th – Monthly meeting at The Wheatsheaf at 7pm. Nina from Walton & Hersham Foodbank is speaking at 7.30pm.  We will once again gather Easter Eggs for the Foodbank in March in readiness for Easter.

February 11th – Calling all members The next PR and Marketing Facebook Live session for members takes place on Saturday 19th February 2022, 14.00 – 14.30 GMT. Join Binita Sen and Gail Sinha for 30 minutes of top tips for building your club’s brand.
February
Soroptimist News Magazine features ‘Dorothy’ in the Poverty Action category
https://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&edid=7e9f3424-121a-4141-8c2e-71e1f963eca6
February 8th – PRESS RELEASE

Weybridge & District Soroptimist group is pleased to announce our newest member: ‘Dorothy’ the pink Tuk Tuk. Since 2018, we’ve been working hard to raise £4,000 to buy Dorothy, who will operate as a female-only taxi service – creating a sustainable source of income for single parent mums and creating safe travel for women and girls in Sri Lanka. The Tuk Tuk is on order and local mums will soon be identified and trained as drivers, as well as in the necessary business skills to transport women and girls to school, work and social events in safety.

A big thank you to all of the local members who have supported this big effort, especially club member Dorothy Clarke MBE, for bringing this unique project to the group. Covid didn’t stop us – and as we celebrate our Centennial year this is proof of how much more we can achieve!
Would you like to achieve more for women and girls? Get in touch to talk about coming to a meeting or joining us via Zoom to learn about our local work in Elmbridge.
Help us succeed…share our posts widely!

February 1st – Today is International Day of Human Fraternity.Read our latest blog all about this day by #Soroptimist Carol Infanti. “It makes me thankful that I am a Soroptimist, part of a sisterhood where we all work together to support all women, whatever age, race or religion, where-ever we are in the world. Do encourage other women to join us. Happy and peaceful International Day of Human Fraternity.” Grab a cuppa and read it now https://bit.ly/34vTr3a. #HumanFraternityDay

 

January 24th – Over 70 refugees are living locally in Elmbridge in hotel accommodation and two families have been housed in our midst. A speaker from Elmbridge CAN a small local charity spoke at our meeting last Thursday to highlight how the community can help settle and familiarise children and adults during their settlement and after. Sue has written a nice summary. The speaker gave us a reading list which is worth publicising to widen perceptions and learning about life experiences refugees have faced.
To receive the charity newsletter or learn more link http://www.elmbridgecan.org.uk/get-involved.html
Sea Prayer by Khalid Hosseini (author of Kite Runner) ISBN 978-1526602718
Shatila Stories published by Pierene Now!, nine refugees were commissioned to tell their stories in this collaborative fiction. ISBN 978-1908670496
No Friend but the mountains by Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist ISBN 978-1525287077
In the Wars by Dr Wahid Arian ISBN 978-0552177641
Hope not fears by Hassan Akkad, an inspiring Syrian who is well known to Elmbridge CAN and has spoken at their events ISBN 978-1529059830 and finally,
England – poems from a school some incredibly moving short poems from a refugee experience. ISBN 978-1509886609
Today is #InternationalDayofEducation
Read all about the day and what #Soroptimists are doing in our latest blog written by Yvonne Gibbon. https://bit.ly/33YxuJX.

January 21st – Well done for all the lobbying friends  – news from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust – Thrilled that the Taxi & PHV Bill passed through the Commons today. Thank you to all who have worked tirelessly on this issue. “Our constituents can have more peace of mind knowing that steps have moved forward today to make their taxi use safer”. Now on to the Lords. Peter Gibson MP – #RightToBeSafe

January 18th – Last Saturday Anne G hosted a 2nd amazing #SIWeybridgeandDistrict fundraiser luncheon for ‘#Soroptimist members locally. The lunch and raffle raised a very significant sum towards the project to buy a Pink Tuk Tuk for the #RosieMayFoundation in Sri Lanka. On Thursday Dee will sum up the final total raised since project inception in 2018 to now. Here we luncheon members are.. enjoying the moment! Share our SI news, bring a friend to a meeting, ask a colleague to join in with our projects this year and come to the meeting on Thursday inspired full of ideas for the local charities we could support his year 2022.
January 17th – This months meeting in Molesey is on Thursday 20th this week, look out for the Agenda. Next months meeting on 17th February is in Esher. Save the date. The speakers this week are from Elmbridge CAN. Elmbridge CAN is a small charity, based in Elmbridge, Surrey, UK. They aim to build a culture of welcome to refugees within the local community, and work to achieve the settlement of more refugees in the Borough of Elmbridge. Elmbridge CAN is a member of the ​City of Sanctuary Movement. Read more about their work and immediate resource and housing needs at http://www.elmbridgecan.org.uk/

January 6th – “As we enter the new year, the spectre of the pandemic still hangs over us, but I am confident that, as Soroptimists, you will rise to the challenges presented, as you have done so magnificently throughout last two years.” Read our January message by #Soroptimist President Cathy Cottridge in full, now on the website, click below to read.

Happy New Year dear Friends and families. Meeting date 19 January. 7pm. Looking forward to welcoming a young speaker from Elmbridge CAN. This meeting is at Ann M’s house as she is very young. Refreshments only.

2021

Constrained for 6 months by lockdowns/safety, Soroptimists at SI Weybridge and District met on Zoom and once again undertook to donate part or all of their supper meeting meal cost to central funds to enable our support work continued.

Activities in the year

17 December 2021 – Festive social at Burhill Golf Club, meeting members and their partners and friends in Covid safe conditions. It was a spectacular day of friendship, fun and celebration of the club’s success and afforded a chance to think of those members who were unable to be with us due to vulnerability and health decline. Most significant off all we were able to plan final arrangements for two Pink Tuk Tuk spring lunches to raise the final £1000 for the Sri Lanka Women’s Rosie May charity.

SIGBI News was issued online with full details of the successful virtual global conference held from Llandudno.

10th December –  SI Weybridge & District delivered £300 of Aldi vouchers to Walton & Hersham Foodbank to enable 30 festive food parcels to contain a £10 voucher enabling families to choose something special to include with their shopping for Xmas courtesy of our members.

23rd November –  for 16 days consecutive Soroptimists around the World posted information, coloured buildings orange and publicised the #16daysofactivism, our club elected to buy £300 of ‘orange’ Aldi food vouchers for the local foodbank.

November 17th – On Remembrance Sunday Dorothy Clarke MBE a club member represented SI Weybridge at the memorial placing a wreath on Weybridge memorial as we have for 45 consecutive years.

November 21st – Six club members joined with over 50 from the Southern Region to celebrate the Centennial Year and hear Hampshire MP Caroline Noakes and other clubs speak. The annual AGM was held in Alton and Southern  Region were delighted to be crowned runners up nationally for their successful enrolment of new members partly due to the success of the new club in Salisbury. A new club is also coming together in the region, watch the space for news.

November 2nd – The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) began in Glasgow and ran until 12 November 2021.
#Soroptimists are excited to be taking part in #COP26 – they had a stand in the Green Room, Green Zone to raise awareness of the global SI organisation, it’s seat on the UN and impact.
October 6th – SIGBI hosted a Centennial Reception of Club members to celebrate at The House of Lords, London.
October 18th – SIGBI region countries noted  that over 64,000 trees had now been reported on the SIGBI Tree Planting Map, what an amazing effort for the region region. SI Weybridge were able to report that a new copse of trees had been planted at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey following site redevelopment works.  Working with the NHS and a tree donator we now await a plaque installation to mark the global SI Centennial year.

 

September 17th – Yippee! #siweybridge met for the first time since lockdown last Thursday, and what a delight it was to see members in person and online. We were able to greet our speakers from Cook4Care a worthy local charity founded in 2020 and now flourishing. Maria and Davina two founders explained how their experience in teaching and life had brought them into contact with young carers specific challenges; the charity now provides hundreds of free fresh nutritious meals to enable young carers to free up time instead of cooking two nights a week.. A recent survey of outcomes highlighted how the extra money saved is a hidden advantage allowing families to save a little more for luxuries like days out. Supermarkets locally including #Waitrose and #Morrisons enable their work alongside the dozens of volunteer cooks, drivers and delivery folk.

We also held our #Soroptimist100 candle ceremony to mark the Soroptimist International 100th Birthday? Starting 21 September, Clubs and Soroptimists around the world are taking part in candle ceremonies, making wishes for the lives of women and girls! In Elmbridge we made our our candle wishes for women and girls:-

For WW SI Clubs old and newly incorporated to grow and succeed to meet the ever more evolving global and geopolitical demands of international poverty, education and discrimination as we emerge from this pandemic

For Soroptimists within the SIGBI region to enable changes in values, attitudes, awareness and freedoms through lobbying, a UN presence and better visibility for the next generation to maintain freedom of speech and expression
For clubs in our Southern England region to attract and motivate local community action by involving more women and young people, foster relations with partner organisations and one another sharing expertise, knowledge and skills and using technology to enhance our impact.
September 25th – 100 for 100 families https://waltonhersham.foodbank.org.uk/
#Soroptimist100 .. as part of our Centennial year celebrations our club in Elmbridge (covering Weybridge and district including Walton and Molesey) donated 100 bottles of children’s sun lotion to Walton and Hersham foodbank during July ahead of the holidays. It may not be food but is just as essential an item and much welcomed by the team of volunteers at the foodbank and the outreach support scheme members. Sincere thanks to our club members who donated the cost of a meal to the club to enable this purchase and donation. Good Work a small but valued part of over £3000 of local donations in kind this last 12 months.
September 18th – National Memorial Arboretum—unveiling of SI statue and afternoon tea. An event was arranged to unveil the superb new statue at the SIGBI plot, and celebrate Soroptimist International’s Centenary at an afternoon tea.
August 6th - SIGBI News online articles covering 
  • how Soroptimists are tackling Climate Change, which is the focus of reports by both our Assistant Programme Directors for Planet and Partnerships;
  • the final three interviews in our Meet the Board Up Close series;
  • full details of the Llandudno Virtual Conference 2021 unveiled;
  • what SI clubs have been doing to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Soroptimist International as well as an update on SIGBI’s celebrations

July 17th – Soroptimist Day of Action on Climate Change…This year action, awareness raising and advocacy are of great significance. We all as Soroptimists need to raise our own profile but, more importantly, the issues around addressing climate change for succeeding generations as well as ourselves. Although climate change is often on the news at present there seems to be little awareness that we, as individuals, can do a lot ourselves. This ranges from raising awareness of what we CAN do, to lobbying governments from local to national and to international and, of course taking action personally. “Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”, but we need to help the pounds too.  Let’s start with ourselves – have you taken a look at the UN’s Carbon Footprint Calculator. I really need to do better – not travelling to New York each March for CSW might help since flying is 40% of my footprint (not during Covid of course), with electricity at 38%, food 15% and car 7%. This makes my annual emissions equal 17 tonnes whereas the UK average is 6t and the world at 5t. Less time on the computer would help with electricity! Removing the long haul flight to New York reduces my total consumption to 11t with electricity now being 58% of my total. The UN also provides a carbon offset scheme – these can be filtered for continent and country and covers Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. Alternatively you could do so by supporting our programmes to address climate change – for trees see https://sigbi.org/…/planting-trees-for-a…/4773-2/. Clearly our tree and mangrove planting, supporting Fairtrade, installing solar panels and using the UN campaign for individuals all – ACT NOW – will all contribute to our own commitments.

June 10th Call for Action – I hope we can get every woman and Soroptimist in England to respond to this evidence gathering exercise. I know I have not been listened to because I am a woman. How about you? “We are seeking your views to help inform the development of the government’s Women’s Health Strategy. This call for evidence is seeking to collect views on women’s health. It will run for a period of 14 weeks and is open to everyone aged 16 and over. The easiest way to participate in the call for evidence as an individual is by completing the public survey.

June 9th – Meeting – We heard how refugees are handled in Britain. Our speaker in May was Professor Monojit Chatterji, Fellow in Economics, Trinity Hall (Retd), Professor New College of Humanities, London, Professor, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh.

April 28th – Today is World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Read our latest blog by #Soroptimist Carol Infanti and find out all about the day and what you can do sigbi.org/2021/world-day-for-safety-and-health-at-work. #SafetyAndHealthAtWork #SoroptimistsStandUpForWomen

April 15th – #Soroptimists our SIGBI charity, the Emergency Relief Fund, has made a payment of £1,000 to St Vincent and the Grenadines, in the wake of the devastating volcano eruption. If members wish to make a personal donation, they can do so through the Emergency Relief Fund, by sending any monies for St Vincent to Joanne Voller at Head Qffice.
Our SI SVG sisters in Kingstown are cooking meals for evacuees.
The St Vincent volcano: UN warns humanitarian crisis will last months. The humanitarian crisis caused by volcanic eruptions on the Caribbean island of St Vincent will last for months, a UN official has warned. Didier Trebucq said nearby islands including Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda could also be badly affected. He said the UN was setting up an international funding appeal. About 20,000 people have been evacuated from their homes since La Soufrière volcano began erupting last Friday. It had not previously erupted since 1979.
April 15 – Johanna Raffin Federation President has kindly sent a letter of condolences to HM The Queen on SIGBI’s behalf. Clubs should feel free to add condolences to the online memorial.
March 8th – #IWD2021 success! Donations made for Q1 to 2 charities
Soroptimists Celebrate 100 Years buying Chocolate!
Buying chocolate produced by companies who support sustainable methods of cocoa bean farming and enable women to work under fair conditions is key to our principle of promoting equality and prevention of poverty.
SI Weybridge & District are supporting #IWD in several ways as part of the #soroptimistinternational Centennial effort. Women struggling to feed their families have been supported by the Club this year with significant donations to the local food bank. We’re also ready to donate 100 eggs this week to Walton & Hersham Foodbank in response to their plea for chocolate donations in the run up to Easter. Working together we can WIN for another 100 Years! Like to join us? Message me to hear about our next meeting date or meet for a socially distanced coffee…
Hoping the 100 Easter Eggs make a difference to the local community in this our SI Centenary Year. Thank you SI Weybridge & District members for your generosity. Dee & Ann were delighted to meet Nina, Fiona and Paul of #waltonandhershamfoodbank today at St. John’s Church, Walton one of the foodbank distribution points.
Also supporting #NorthSurreyDomesticAbuse  Centre with a £600 donation for further outreach support.
March 1st – Commission on the Status of Women 65
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 65 is scheduled to take place 15-26 March 2021 in New York. For the first time this will be a virtual event. You can join for free. Please be reminded that if you want to register for CSW 65 (and receive updates) then you need to do so by the Indico
website by 22 February 2021. Registration with the UN opens from 28 December 2020 until 22 February 2021. Registration for CSW 65 is completed on the UN Indico platform https://indico.un.org/event/35605/registration/ which will enable participants to receive information about preparation activities as well as information about virtual formal and informal meetings and opportunities for interaction, including social media mobilisation directly to your registered email address. You do need to register separately with NGO CSW65 for the parallel events (outside the UN). These sessions are free but you do need to register as an Advocate). Registration for the NGO parallel events needs to be done
separately on the NGO CSW65 website.
Give as you Spend – Advent Competition
  • Don’t forget anyone can support your Club funds & initiatives by registering with Easyfundraising and nominating SI Weybridge as your charity, if you are buying items/presents at most major retailers a small percentage is donated from the cost to our account. It’s really EASY and allows us to build a fund for a project. Here’s a bit of festive fun – easyfundraising are running an Advent Calendar competition with a £250 donation to be won every day in December, plus a Christmas Day Grand Prize of a £2000 donation and a £2000 John Lewis & Partners gift card! It’s free and open to all easyfundraising causes so if your group isn’t using easyfundraising yet, sign up here so you can enter too: http://efraising.org/2fppkVuJo4.

 

17th December 2020

  • Join our Festive Bird Bingo evening, socialise online over Zoom with your friends and join in the fun. Wear a festive outfit/hat/glasses. Have your fizz or tipple at the ready to toast our Club and Region. Nominate a Festive Character for their attitude, tenacity or innovation this year. This is a nice opportunity to catch up over a more leisurely evening with friends and to hear how Margaret’s house move is going, news from Maggie, about Nadine’s visit to award Marion’s certificate and gifts.
  • 8th December 2020
  • This month our Club is thrilled to see our nomination for the Centenary WhoIsShe? recognition has been made to Marion Strehlow, a club member since 1975. SI Weybridge Member MARION  features as one of 100 Soroptimists commemorated in our Centennial Year – MANY CONGRATULATIONS
  • Marion has been a Soroptimist since 1975 – 45 years!
  • Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) together with Soroptimists from across the world join together to celebrate 100 years of Soroptimist International (SI) and celebrate a ‘Bright Past’ and a ‘Brilliant Future’. When Soroptimist International reaches a milestone in its history as now, the Celebration of 100 Years of Service, it is fitting that we should look back and pay tribute to those pioneers who established Soroptimist International on firm foundations and kept the flag flying through difficult times. Each month there will be a showcase celebrating some  ‘Soroptimist Pioneers
  • These #WhoIsShe? campaign members, both past and present, from Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland have all been nominated by Soroptimist Clubs for their noteworthy contribution to society in the furtherance of the aims and objects of the organisation.
  • Marion was born in Berlin on 15th April 1935 to a Jewish family. As a child during the Second World War she was transported to the Theresienstadt GheCo/Camp known as Terezin. Her father was also in the camp but she had very little contact with him and had been told he was dying. From spring 1944 until summer 1945 she was one of the children resident in ‘the villa’. The children were of mixed ages and nationalities and all of them were ill, there were no adults living there. At the age of nine Marion was the eldest girl and she tried to mother the younger ones. The children had been selected by a Czechoslovakian doctor, who wished to prove that exposure to fresh air and sunshine could cure illnesses. Marion, like many of the children, had tuberculosis. The children were very poorly fed, had few adult visitors and spent hours reclining on wooden chairs outside or sitting inside with windows open in all weathers. The villa was close to the railway line that served the camp and in the autumn of 1944 numerous trains arrived full of dead and dying people. The stench was horrendous, there were mass burials and the smell of decay permeated the garden but the children still had to do their stint outside.
  • Marion survived and although her father also survived, her mother who had been in Auschwitz, had died. As her father was unable to cope Marion was sent to her aunt in the UK. She came for 6 weeks and is still here. Despite having missed more than 4 years of school, having to learn another language and suffering from ill health and nightmares, Marion completed her education and qualified as a nurse. She worked for many years in the field of health visiting, always helping others. Later in life Marion worked in a multi-faith unit attached to the Surrey police and helped with inter-faith understanding and issues relating to the Jewish community. Despite her trauma and the difficulty of speaking about the past, Marion has in recent years spoken to school children on Holocaust Memorial Day about her experience as a child during the war. She is able to make real what they learn in history and make her own personal experience evidence of the truth of the Holocaust. The children are so affected by the talks they send her wonderful personal thank you letters. This keeps alive the terrible events of that time, lest no one forget. Marion has been a member of Soroptimist International since April 1975 and has been an enthusiastic supporter of her club, the organisation and its aims in helping women and girls throughout the world. She has also been a keen participant in our friendship link visits, making many friends internationally. After such terrible events in her childhood Marion has spent her adult life helping others, always cheerful and positive.
  • We at SI Weybridge & District cherish dear Marion, we’ve been privileged to hear her speak, witness her good humour and value her friendship. Hoping soon to welcome her and other members back to meetings post Covid-19.
  • 15 October 2020 Women in the Shadows
  • Suzette gave a fabulous oversight to the club on how modern slavery is so evident in British society and her role working for the Clewer Initiative. She noted data highlighting the fact that there are an estimated 136K women, men and children held in differing forms of servitude or being exploited in Britain now. 1/130 women in Britain are thought to be enslaved to organised crime be it in servitude, agriculture, fraud, sexual exploitation or businesses such as pop up brothels, car washes and nail bars. We should not forget that the nationality of those enslaved is not always as often thought people from developing countries, the ranking for slavery is topped by statistics showing British people are amongst the worst affected. Some are enslaved for years, in Surrey alone in the last 6 months from July 42 cases were under investigation and there are on average 5 new cases a week under investigation.  She explained why it’s hard for victims to raise the alarm (fear, shame) and the importance of vigilance and personal reporting on the part of each and every one of us. Moreover we should question our own motives when buying goods, using services that might be cheap because forced labour is used.
  • Suzette supplied the cascade of contacts individuals can report to even anonymously. The Clewer Nuns (Anglican) are enabling information sharing and action through churches throughout Lent starting January 21st) a 5 week course providing talks and resources and engaging with a team of practitioners. Apps are being developed to enable consumer reporting data collation and provision of guidance on service companies which are bona fide and not involved in slavery.   Crimestoppers, the police and helplines are available resources to report suspected cases. A topical report issued by Walk Free ( https://www.minderoo.org/walk-free/)  is a relevant resource if one wants to further understand the extent of slavery from infanticide, missing persons, educational impedance through to limitations on work and current recommendations. It’s possible to gain a better understanding by subscribing the Clewer Initiative newsletter or publicising the training run for the church of England parishes next year. (https://www.theclewerinitiative.org/news/2019/1/30/new-safeguarding-and-modern-slavery-course
  • Herewith the telephone numbers to put in your mobile regarding modern slavery
  • • Modern Slavery Helpline 08000121700.
    • The Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority 08004320804
    • Crimestoppers on 0800555111
    • Fearless www.fearless.org
    • In an emergency 999
  • When you see something, when you know the situation is not right, all you need to do is telephone, tell of your intuition – if it doesn’t feel right it, it
    probably isn’t. Go on The Clewer website www.theclewerinitiative.org and find out more, sign up for their newsletter
  • 15 July 2020
  • SI Weybridge & District present £500 to Weybridge Foodbank as Covid-19 causes shortfall of in kind donations
  • The Weybridge branch of Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland (SIGBI) has this month responded to donation shortages at the Weybridge Foodbank. A reduction in supermarket shopping, as locals shop online during lockdown, has meant the Foodbank has seen a donation shortfall during recent months. On Wednesday 2 July, Elmbridge resident and member Brenda Saunders from the Weybridge & District Soroptimists (SIWD) presented a cheque for £500 to Angela Miller, Weybridge Foodbank Team Leader. The money will be used to purchase food and household items and vouchers for distribution to those in need in the local area.
  • Run by local women, SIWD is passionate about supporting programmes that improve the lives of women and girls both in Elmbridge and around the world. The branch runs regular fundraisers and supporting community projects including donating women’s health products to the Foodbank in Walton on Thames, providing much needed items which were at that time seldom reaching local collection boxes. Under lockdown their regular ‘Business Meetings’ have been impossible, but the women have pressed on, with 20 local members meeting online each month via Zoom to continue their work.
  • Generally, donations of food and toiletries for the Runnymede & Weybridge Foodbank are collected in Waitrose, Tesco Addlestone, the Weybridge library and at St. James’ church, but COVID-19 and the associated lockdown has significantly reduced the level of retail ‘shopping’, whilst furloughs and job losses in lockdown have created even greater demand.
  • SIWD member Brenda Saunders raised the donation shortage to the Club, highlighting the Weybridge Foodbank COVID-19 appeal for donations. She herself had been popping a weekly ‘donation’ box in her front garden for neighbours to donate to. Club members stepped up and donated the cost of their usual club meal for 3 months (April-June), to raise funds for Foodbank.
  • The Foodbank’s Angela Miller explained that they are usually located at St James’ Church in Weybridge, but due to church closures all provisions are being ‘doorstep’ delivered by volunteers. In due course it’s hoped the church can once again provide a welcoming resource where those in crisis can have a ‘cuppa’ and chat about their situation. The emphasis is very much, Angela explained, “on looking out for local community and signposting the vulnerable and needy to where they can seek additional help and advice so people can break free from poverty.”
  • Dorothy Clark a Weybridge Soroptimist, awarded an MBE for services to children’s education in the community, was truly delighted to see families supported by Soroptimists. She commented: “A child needs nourishment to learn. Food poverty affects families in high cost areas quickly as parents have high fixed outgoings. In Weybridge, any economic change can impact poverty faster as a result; COVID-19 has caused distress and accelerated it.  It’s key we support families now over the summer holidays when schools out, we are glad to do what we can now.”
  • About SIW&D
    Soroptimist International Weybridge & District is an active women’s club with a membership of over 20 women. The club membership is drawn from Molesey, Hersham, Walton & Staines on Thames, Addlestone, Byfleet and Weybridge at present. The Club meets 10 times a year and supports local, national and international projects with a focus on improving the lives of women and girls. We welcome new women members; get in touch to find out more via: https://sigbi.org/weybridge/
  • About the Weybridge Foodbank
    Weybridge Foodbank opened in March 2019 as local requests for emergency help became apparent. Access is by referral with immediate provision of 3 days of emergency food, referrals come from a variety of sources including schools, DWP, Citizens Advice, health professionals and family centres. The Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust network which is currently working in collaboration with Runnymede council.  The Foodbank also runs other support projects including a 6 week “Eat Well Spend Less” cookery course to teach people how to use the tinned and dried foods and combine them with fresh foods they buy in a cost-effective way, budgeting information is also covered on the course to help with how to spend well. Another initiative ‘Food4Lunch’ regularly supplies a two course lunch provisions to local vulnerable families for each 2 weeks of the school holidays. For more information about The Trussell Trust and how you can help see more at https://www.trusselltrust.org/what-we-do/
  • 15 March 2020
  • SI Weybridge & District Murder Mystery Evening raises £1000 towards its #PinkTukTuk Appeal for The Rosie May Foundation
  • March 2020, who will ever forget it? The subtle but unbelievable news of Covid-19 infection cases in Europe grew steadily louder as our Club member Danny Sparkes and her team planned a Murder Mystery evening to raise funds for the 2020 Club goal to enable purchase of a Pink Tuk Tuk by the Rosie May Foundation.
  • In the final days of freedom, before lock down was even perceived, on March 7th the Club held a successful fundraiser.  Ottershaw Players organised the event performing an entertaining pantomime “The Mystery Murders”.  A show in two parts, the audience was spellbound as the characters and events unfurled and the producer was found dead in a dressing room. Over 50 participants followed the characters, the facts, the diversions and then debated the clues, circumstances and culprit over a tasty fish & chip supper. Finishing up with choc-ices and treats and washed down with a glass or two of wine conclusions were drawn and submitted. A masterful presentation of the secrets, surprises and solutions followed in Act II with each character assassinating another and slowly bringing the truths to light. After a fantastic dialogue, performed with panache, the killer was revealed. Only one table of six including a Soroptomister managed to deduce who the killer was!
  • A lively raffle followed, a few more drinks were consumed (after a quick Tesco run to top up the fast diminished bar!).   A ‘TukTuk Tastic’ night for sure. Approaching £1000 was raised on that wet damp evening, a fitting sum towards our 2020 goal. We must extend a huge club ’round of applause’ to Danny our extraordinary STAR performer for securing welcome donations for the raffle, the superb cast from Ottershaw Players and a tasteful venue.  This was most certainly a masterful occasion thanks to Danny’s hard work and talent in getting a job done. Not to miss either …thanking Colin who produced a fabulous life size pink Tuk Tuk for the club as you can see. Big thanks too to the backstage team in the kitchen and bar and hosts who charmed everyone and made the evening an event to be proud of.
  • Ticket sales were tough for an event held on a winter’s night during the COVID-9 pandemic. It was superb to see Soroptimists from Woking, Weybridge and even a TV celebrity enjoying the evening. The proceeds of £1000 will make a big contribution to our PINKTT target in 2020.
  • January 2020
  • ‘SOROPPORTUNITY’ IN SOUTH AFRICA – Alexis Neville, Club Member and past Regional President reports
  • On my recent trip to South Africa I stayed with a Past Regional President of Southern Region.  She took me to meet a friend and fellow Cape of Good Hope Soroptimist Susan, who runs a Children’s Project.  The project is located in what these days they call an informal settlement, above Hout Bay south of Cape Town.  Susan originally thought of starting an orphanage but after 18 months getting to know the people in the settlement and asking what they wanted, she discovered they would prefer the children to stay in the community with relatives and friends rather than be separated from them.  However, many of the children did need help and support.  The children go to local schools but after school they go to the project for that help and support.  The volunteers at the project help the children to read, provide space and help for homework, provide some formal teaching by age group (particularly English) and fun and games.  They also provide a hot meal each evening and cold food to take home so they eat before school next day.  All the children receive hugs when they arrive and are listened to and cared for.  The volunteers also work within the settlement helping when there is a family crisis or other events.  When we were being shown around we met a teacher of the older children marking their English test. The questions were on the blackboard and one of them I’d have struggled to answer.  I also think a lot of children in the UK would have found the one asking them to form a sentence with a semi colon challenging.  We were also impressed with the children’s’ writing – neat and well formed.  Within the project there is also a separate training facility for teenagers where they are taught to be baristas so they can get jobs in the many coffee bars and restaurants in the locality.
  • One of the young volunteers from Sweden had the children write short pieces about their lives and the project and had these published in a beautiful colourful book that is sold to help fund the project.  One of the amazing sections is where they write about the fire in the settlement in 2014.  You can imagine how horrific it must have been with all the very flammable shacks so close together and roads too narrow for the fire engines. 
  • December 2019
  • Dorothy Clark MBE, Club Founder  reports on Visit to Sri Lanka
  • Dennis’ and my main reason for visiting Sri Lanka was to meet Dilini’s new baby girl born in July – this was our 26th visit to Sri Lanka and it has been wonderful to support, Dilini and Buddhini, the Tsunami orphans we met 14 years ago together with SI Weybridge & District.  Having seen them grow up and attending Dilini’s graduation ceremony from the University of Colombo and her wedding to Sagara we could not wait to meet their baby, Dewshi.  She is beautiful.

A big welcome to SI Weybridge & District the Soroptimist (Southern Region) Women’s Club covering Elmbridge Borough

Here you will find Weekly News about our club and wider national and global Soroptimist and UN initiatives

2022 Diary

April 6th – Easter Egg Donation to #Walton&Hersham Foodbank

Jeannie and Ann visited the foodbank warehouse to deliver 70 eggs and other grocery items today. Members donated eggs or cash to enable this donation part of the 2002 community action. In March we welcomed a prospective new member to the monthly meeting. In April we have two more new potential members attending on April 21st in Esher. Women interested in joining are invited to join the supper and/or the business meetings over a few months to learn about our projects, meet local soroptimists and see if they enjoy the focus of enabling women and girls to succeed and sustainability and climate aspects. April’s meeting in primarily an AGM but we have a speaker from the National Memorial Arboretum joining us on Zoom ahead of a visit to the club arboretum in 2022.

March 17th – Monthly Club Meeting & Foodbank Easter Donation

Susan Booth of the leading UK charity Target Ovarian Cancer spoke to the club on Zoom. This talk was scheduled to coincide with Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, March. Club members had over 200 posters, symptom diaries and information booklets to distribute during March to GP surgeries, local clinics, shops and notice boards.

Soroptimists collected 70 Easter Eggs for the @Walton&hershamfoodbank for distribution as part of local community program action. Contact Sally via https://sigbi.org/contact-us/ to get in touch.

March 13th – STEM Student Bursary 2023 – Wine Tasting – £900 Raised towards a 2022 Target of £1000

Over 40 kind people supported SI Weybridge & District with donations of funds, raffle prizes, gifts and help. Today the club hosted 30 guests at a Wine tasting in Molesey and raised £900. Guests enjoyed hearing Sue Cope @elvigilantedelvino talk about the wine, heads & tails, a raffle and a delicious supper followed.  This brings the Elmbridge based SI Club close to the first £1000 needed p.a. to offer a 3 year annual Bursary to a less advantaged female STEM subject student identified in liaison with local schools and the nominated university.

March 12th – Watch out around Elmbridge for posters showing the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. Soroptimists are handing out and delivering symptom diaries and information at stations and GP/maternity clinics in Elmbridge. This month March we welcome a speaker from Target Ovarian Cancer at our monthly meeting on 17th. We support all cancer charities but specifically #TargetOvarianCancer make women aware of the symptoms, support access to diagnosis and early treatment.

Bloated tummy, Always feeling full? Pelvic or abdominal pain? Need to wee more? Occasionally other symptoms can be present e.g. changes in bowel habit i.e. diarrhoea or constipation, extreme fatigue, unexplained weight loss. Symptoms are Frequent happening more than 12 times a month, Persistent they don’t go away, New – they are not normal for you.

Target Ovarian Cancer have symptom diaries so you can track your symptoms ahead of seeing your GP. Check with family if they have suffered with ovarian or breast cancer, be persistent, seek blood tests and scans. Don’t be put off if you know now what is normal/abnormal for your body. Be symptom aware, share info and watch out for your friends too, visit your GP to get checked out full. You can make a difference at work, in the community in your family by talking about this cancer.

Important:

  • Cervical screening smear tests will not detect ovarian cancer.
  • Most cases are diagnosed in women who have had the menopause but younger women can also get it
  • The sooner its detected the easier it is to treat. Survival is up to 90% at the earliest stage.
  • Irritable bowel symptoms are similar to ovarian cancer but new cases of IBS are very unlikely in women over age 50.
  • Target Ovarian Cancer is the UK’s leading ovarian cancer charity, working to improve early diagnosis, fund life saving research and provide much needed support to women with the cancer. Their nurse led support line provides confidential information, support and signposting for anyone concerned about ovarian cancer.

Source:targetovariancancer.org.uk – Phone: 020 7923 5475

March 8th – #IWD2022 – SIGBI posters are up and visible we were so delighted with the positive response of shop keepers, stations, libraries and supermarkets to helping #Soroptimists make the community more aware. One Czech woman we spoke to in #Mercado in Molesey explain that in her country flowers are distributed to all women on IWD, its a far more important date then Mother’s Day as it recognises that ALL women need support to obtain equality and alleviate poverty. SI clubs around the world are challenging bias and highlighting how we can make the world a fairer place.

The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all.

March 6th – #IWD2022 March 8th. Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field. Are you in? Will you actively call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping each time you see it? Will you help break the bias? Cross your arms to show solidarity.

  • Strike the IWD 2022 pose and share your #BreakTheBias image, video, resources, presentation or articles on social media using #IWD2022 #BreakTheBias to encourage further people to commit to helping forge an inclusive world.
Local shops in #ThamesDitton, #Molesey, #Hamptoncourtvillage are doing their part with local #Soroptimists. Share this post to raise more awareness and support.#breakthebias2022; #alleviatepoverty,#westandupforwomen,#IWD2022

March 5th – IWD 2022 campaign theme: #BreakTheBias

Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

March 4th – International Women’s Day is coming on Tuesday March 8th. Today we shout out for our local rail station at #hamptoncourtpalace, #electricalsupplies retailer on the Broadway and #Smilessencedentists in #Molesey who all kindly displayed a Soroptimist IWD2022 poster to raise awareness and support this annual UN initiative.

There’s still time to help raise awareness? Pop up the IWD22 official poster in your car window, on your fence, on your social media profiles, one small step at a time… International Women’s Day (March is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

SIGBI #IWD Posters are all up and around big  thanks to Brenda and Cathy, Jeannie and Ann  – It’s International Women’s Day #IWD2022 on March 8th.

Today we shout out for our local amazing shops in #ThamesDitton and #Molesey specifically today our Thames Ditton grocer #Paulls and the #GeorgeAndDragon Pub and Molesey’s top stationers #ekaservices who all very kindly displayed a Soroptimist #IWD2022 poster to raise awareness and support this annual UN initiative.
Not all women get acknowledgement, gender equality and respect can you help raise awareness? Pop up the IWD2022 official poster in your car window, on your fence, on your social media profile, one small step at a time…
International Women’s Day on March 8 is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

March 2nd – SIGBI’s Emergency Relief Fund has donated £5,000 to the British Red Cross, Ukrainian Appeal to help the Ukrainian refugees who are fleeing the war with Russia. The latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees show that more than 600,000 people have left the country and many more thousands are displaced from their homes within Ukraine. Ukrainian Red Cross volunteers are reaching as many people as possible, distributing 30,000 food and hygiene parcels so far, and helping evacuate people with disabilities. Teams have also provided first aid training to 1,000 people in metro stations and bomb shelters, and are supporting fire fighters, medical and civil protection units.

We urge all parties involved in Ukraine to swiftly work for an agreed peaceful outcome. https://sigbi.org/…/soroptimist-international-great…/

 

March 1st – International Women’s Day – March 8th – The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all. Look put for the posters around Molesey, Walton, Weybridge those created by Soroptimists to raise awareness of this UN led focus on why promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment can help deliver better environmental outcomes, and to figure out how it can be done. The Generation Equality campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve. Visit the UN Women’s website for more information about the theme. Multimedia content is coming soon to help you spread the message of gender equality by sharing on your social media accounts. https://www.unwomen.org/…/international-womens-day-2022…

 

International Women’s Day – March 8th
The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all. Look put for the posters created by Soroptimists to raise awareness of this UN led focus on why promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment can help deliver better environmental outcomes, and to figure out how it can be done.
The Generation Equality campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve. Visit the UN Women’s website for more information about the theme. Multimedia content is coming soon to help you spread the message of gender equality by sharing on your social media accounts.

February 17th – Monthly meeting at The Wheatsheaf at 7pm. Nina from Walton & Hersham Foodbank is speaking at 7.30pm.  We will once again gather Easter Eggs for the Foodbank in March in readiness for Easter.

February 11th – Calling all members The next PR and Marketing Facebook Live session for members takes place on Saturday 19th February 2022, 14.00 – 14.30 GMT. Join Binita Sen and Gail Sinha for 30 minutes of top tips for building your club’s brand.

February 8th – PRESS RELEASE

Weybridge & District Soroptimist group is pleased to announce our newest member: ‘Dorothy’ the pink Tuk Tuk. Since 2018, we’ve been working hard to raise £4,000 to buy Dorothy, who will operate as a female-only taxi service – creating a sustainable source of income for single parent mums and creating safe travel for women and girls in Sri Lanka. The Tuk Tuk is on order and local mums will soon be identified and trained as drivers, as well as in the necessary business skills to transport women and girls to school, work and social events in safety.

A big thank you to all of the local members who have supported this big effort, especially club member Dorothy Clarke MBE, for bringing this unique project to the group. Covid didn’t stop us – and as we celebrate our Centennial year this is proof of how much more we can achieve!
Would you like to achieve more for women and girls? Get in touch to talk about coming to a meeting or joining us via Zoom to learn about our local work in Elmbridge.
Help us succeed…share our posts widely!

February 1st – Today is International Day of Human Fraternity.Read our latest blog all about this day by #Soroptimist Carol Infanti. “It makes me thankful that I am a Soroptimist, part of a sisterhood where we all work together to support all women, whatever age, race or religion, where-ever we are in the world. Do encourage other women to join us. Happy and peaceful International Day of Human Fraternity.” Grab a cuppa and read it now https://bit.ly/34vTr3a. #HumanFraternityDay

 

January 24th – Over 70 refugees are living locally in Elmbridge in hotel accommodation and two families have been housed in our midst. A speaker from Elmbridge CAN a small local charity spoke at our meeting last Thursday to highlight how the community can help settle and familiarise children and adults during their settlement and after. Sue has written a nice summary. The speaker gave us a reading list which is worth publicising to widen perceptions and learning about life experiences refugees have faced.
To receive the charity newsletter or learn more link http://www.elmbridgecan.org.uk/get-involved.html
Sea Prayer by Khalid Hosseini (author of Kite Runner) ISBN 978-1526602718
Shatila Stories published by Pierene Now!, nine refugees were commissioned to tell their stories in this collaborative fiction. ISBN 978-1908670496
No Friend but the mountains by Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist ISBN 978-1525287077
In the Wars by Dr Wahid Arian ISBN 978-0552177641
Hope not fears by Hassan Akkad, an inspiring Syrian who is well known to Elmbridge CAN and has spoken at their events ISBN 978-1529059830 and finally,
England – poems from a school some incredibly moving short poems from a refugee experience. ISBN 978-1509886609
Today is #InternationalDayofEducation
Read all about the day and what #Soroptimists are doing in our latest blog written by Yvonne Gibbon. https://bit.ly/33YxuJX.

January 21st – Well done for all the lobbying friends  – news from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust – Thrilled that the Taxi & PHV Bill passed through the Commons today. Thank you to all who have worked tirelessly on this issue. “Our constituents can have more peace of mind knowing that steps have moved forward today to make their taxi use safer”. Now on to the Lords. Peter Gibson MP – #RightToBeSafe

January 18th – Last Saturday Anne G hosted a 2nd amazing #SIWeybridgeandDistrict fundraiser luncheon for ‘#Soroptimist members locally. The lunch and raffle raised a very significant sum towards the project to buy a Pink Tuk Tuk for the #RosieMayFoundation in Sri Lanka. On Thursday Dee will sum up the final total raised since project inception in 2018 to now. Here we luncheon members are.. enjoying the moment! Share our SI news, bring a friend to a meeting, ask a colleague to join in with our projects this year and come to the meeting on Thursday inspired full of ideas for the local charities we could support his year 2022.
January 17th – This months meeting in Molesey is on Thursday 20th this week, look out for the Agenda. Next months meeting on 17th February is in Esher. Save the date. The speakers this week are from Elmbridge CAN. Elmbridge CAN is a small charity, based in Elmbridge, Surrey, UK. They aim to build a culture of welcome to refugees within the local community, and work to achieve the settlement of more refugees in the Borough of Elmbridge. Elmbridge CAN is a member of the ​City of Sanctuary Movement. Read more about their work and immediate resource and housing needs at http://www.elmbridgecan.org.uk/

January 6th – “As we enter the new year, the spectre of the pandemic still hangs over us, but I am confident that, as Soroptimists, you will rise to the challenges presented, as you have done so magnificently throughout last two years.” Read our January message by #Soroptimist President Cathy Cottridge in full, now on the website, click below to read.

Happy New Year dear Friends and families. Meeting date 19 January. 7pm. Looking forward to welcoming a young speaker from Elmbridge CAN. This meeting is at Ann M’s house as she is very young. Refreshments only.

2021

Constrained for 6 months by lockdowns/safety, Soroptimists at SI Weybridge and District met on Zoom and once again undertook to donate part or all of their supper meeting meal cost to central funds to enable our support work continued.

Activities in the year

17 December 2021 – Festive social at Burhill Golf Club, meeting members and their partners and friends in Covid safe conditions. It was a spectacular day of friendship, fun and celebration of the club’s success and afforded a chance to think of those members who were unable to be with us due to vulnerability and health decline. Most significant off all we were able to plan final arrangements for two Pink Tuk Tuk spring lunches to raise the final £1000 for the Sri Lanka Women’s Rosie May charity.

SIGBI News was issued online with full details of the successful virtual global conference held from Llandudno.

10th December –  SI Weybridge & District delivered £300 of Aldi vouchers to Walton & Hersham Foodbank to enable 30 festive food parcels to contain a £10 voucher enabling families to choose something special to include with their shopping for Xmas courtesy of our members.

23rd November –  for 16 days consecutive Soroptimists around the World posted information, coloured buildings orange and publicised the #16daysofactivism, our club elected to buy £300 of ‘orange’ Aldi food vouchers for the local foodbank.

November 17th – On Remembrance Sunday Dorothy Clarke MBE a club member represented SI Weybridge at the memorial placing a wreath on Weybridge memorial as we have for 45 consecutive years.

November 21st – Six club members joined with over 50 from the Southern Region to celebrate the Centennial Year and hear Hampshire MP Caroline Noakes and other clubs speak. The annual AGM was held in Alton and Southern  Region were delighted to be crowned runners up nationally for their successful enrolment of new members partly due to the success of the new club in Salisbury. A new club is also coming together in the region, watch the space for news.

November 2nd – The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) began in Glasgow and ran until 12 November 2021.
#Soroptimists are excited to be taking part in #COP26 – they had a stand in the Green Room, Green Zone to raise awareness of the global SI organisation, it’s seat on the UN and impact.
October 6th – SIGBI hosted a Centennial Reception of Club members to celebrate at The House of Lords, London.
October 18th – SIGBI region countries noted  that over 64,000 trees had now been reported on the SIGBI Tree Planting Map, what an amazing effort for the region region. SI Weybridge were able to report that a new copse of trees had been planted at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey following site redevelopment works.  Working with the NHS and a tree donator we now await a plaque installation to mark the global SI Centennial year.

 

September 17th – Yippee! #siweybridge met for the first time since lockdown last Thursday, and what a delight it was to see members in person and online. We were able to greet our speakers from Cook4Care a worthy local charity founded in 2020 and now flourishing. Maria and Davina two founders explained how their experience in teaching and life had brought them into contact with young carers specific challenges; the charity now provides hundreds of free fresh nutritious meals to enable young carers to free up time instead of cooking two nights a week.. A recent survey of outcomes highlighted how the extra money saved is a hidden advantage allowing families to save a little more for luxuries like days out. Supermarkets locally including #Waitrose and #Morrisons enable their work alongside the dozens of volunteer cooks, drivers and delivery folk.

We also held our #Soroptimist100 candle ceremony to mark the Soroptimist International 100th Birthday? Starting 21 September, Clubs and Soroptimists around the world are taking part in candle ceremonies, making wishes for the lives of women and girls! In Elmbridge we made our our candle wishes for women and girls:-

For WW SI Clubs old and newly incorporated to grow and succeed to meet the ever more evolving global and geopolitical demands of international poverty, education and discrimination as we emerge from this pandemic

For Soroptimists within the SIGBI region to enable changes in values, attitudes, awareness and freedoms through lobbying, a UN presence and better visibility for the next generation to maintain freedom of speech and expression
For clubs in our Southern England region to attract and motivate local community action by involving more women and young people, foster relations with partner organisations and one another sharing expertise, knowledge and skills and using technology to enhance our impact.
September 25th – 100 for 100 families https://waltonhersham.foodbank.org.uk/
#Soroptimist100 .. as part of our Centennial year celebrations our club in Elmbridge (covering Weybridge and district including Walton and Molesey) donated 100 bottles of children’s sun lotion to Walton and Hersham foodbank during July ahead of the holidays. It may not be food but is just as essential an item and much welcomed by the team of volunteers at the foodbank and the outreach support scheme members. Sincere thanks to our club members who donated the cost of a meal to the club to enable this purchase and donation. Good Work a small but valued part of over £3000 of local donations in kind this last 12 months.
September 18th – National Memorial Arboretum—unveiling of SI statue and afternoon tea. An event was arranged to unveil the superb new statue at the SIGBI plot, and celebrate Soroptimist International’s Centenary at an afternoon tea.
August 6th - SIGBI News online articles covering 
  • how Soroptimists are tackling Climate Change, which is the focus of reports by both our Assistant Programme Directors for Planet and Partnerships;
  • the final three interviews in our Meet the Board Up Close series;
  • full details of the Llandudno Virtual Conference 2021 unveiled;
  • what SI clubs have been doing to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Soroptimist International as well as an update on SIGBI’s celebrations

July 17th – Soroptimist Day of Action on Climate Change…This year action, awareness raising and advocacy are of great significance. We all as Soroptimists need to raise our own profile but, more importantly, the issues around addressing climate change for succeeding generations as well as ourselves. Although climate change is often on the news at present there seems to be little awareness that we, as individuals, can do a lot ourselves. This ranges from raising awareness of what we CAN do, to lobbying governments from local to national and to international and, of course taking action personally. “Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”, but we need to help the pounds too.  Let’s start with ourselves – have you taken a look at the UN’s Carbon Footprint Calculator. I really need to do better – not travelling to New York each March for CSW might help since flying is 40% of my footprint (not during Covid of course), with electricity at 38%, food 15% and car 7%. This makes my annual emissions equal 17 tonnes whereas the UK average is 6t and the world at 5t. Less time on the computer would help with electricity! Removing the long haul flight to New York reduces my total consumption to 11t with electricity now being 58% of my total. The UN also provides a carbon offset scheme – these can be filtered for continent and country and covers Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. Alternatively you could do so by supporting our programmes to address climate change – for trees see https://sigbi.org/…/planting-trees-for-a…/4773-2/. Clearly our tree and mangrove planting, supporting Fairtrade, installing solar panels and using the UN campaign for individuals all – ACT NOW – will all contribute to our own commitments.

June 10th Call for Action – I hope we can get every woman and Soroptimist in England to respond to this evidence gathering exercise. I know I have not been listened to because I am a woman. How about you? “We are seeking your views to help inform the development of the government’s Women’s Health Strategy. This call for evidence is seeking to collect views on women’s health. It will run for a period of 14 weeks and is open to everyone aged 16 and over. The easiest way to participate in the call for evidence as an individual is by completing the public survey.

June 9th – Meeting – We heard how refugees are handled in Britain. Our speaker in May was Professor Monojit Chatterji, Fellow in Economics, Trinity Hall (Retd), Professor New College of Humanities, London, Professor, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh.

April 28th – Today is World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Read our latest blog by #Soroptimist Carol Infanti and find out all about the day and what you can do sigbi.org/2021/world-day-for-safety-and-health-at-work. #SafetyAndHealthAtWork #SoroptimistsStandUpForWomen

April 15th – #Soroptimists our SIGBI charity, the Emergency Relief Fund, has made a payment of £1,000 to St Vincent and the Grenadines, in the wake of the devastating volcano eruption. If members wish to make a personal donation, they can do so through the Emergency Relief Fund, by sending any monies for St Vincent to Joanne Voller at Head Qffice.
Our SI SVG sisters in Kingstown are cooking meals for evacuees.
The St Vincent volcano: UN warns humanitarian crisis will last months. The humanitarian crisis caused by volcanic eruptions on the Caribbean island of St Vincent will last for months, a UN official has warned. Didier Trebucq said nearby islands including Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda could also be badly affected. He said the UN was setting up an international funding appeal. About 20,000 people have been evacuated from their homes since La Soufrière volcano began erupting last Friday. It had not previously erupted since 1979.
April 15 – Johanna Raffin Federation President has kindly sent a letter of condolences to HM The Queen on SIGBI’s behalf. Clubs should feel free to add condolences to the online memorial.
March 8th – #IWD2021 success! Donations made for Q1 to 2 charities
Soroptimists Celebrate 100 Years buying Chocolate!
Buying chocolate produced by companies who support sustainable methods of cocoa bean farming and enable women to work under fair conditions is key to our principle of promoting equality and prevention of poverty.
SI Weybridge & District are supporting #IWD in several ways as part of the #soroptimistinternational Centennial effort. Women struggling to feed their families have been supported by the Club this year with significant donations to the local food bank. We’re also ready to donate 100 eggs this week to Walton & Hersham Foodbank in response to their plea for chocolate donations in the run up to Easter. Working together we can WIN for another 100 Years! Like to join us? Message me to hear about our next meeting date or meet for a socially distanced coffee…
Hoping the 100 Easter Eggs make a difference to the local community in this our SI Centenary Year. Thank you SI Weybridge & District members for your generosity. Dee & Ann were delighted to meet Nina, Fiona and Paul of #waltonandhershamfoodbank today at St. John’s Church, Walton one of the foodbank distribution points.
Also supporting #NorthSurreyDomesticAbuse  Centre with a £600 donation for further outreach support.
March 1st – Commission on the Status of Women 65
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 65 is scheduled to take place 15-26 March 2021 in New York. For the first time this will be a virtual event. You can join for free. Please be reminded that if you want to register for CSW 65 (and receive updates) then you need to do so by the Indico
website by 22 February 2021. Registration with the UN opens from 28 December 2020 until 22 February 2021. Registration for CSW 65 is completed on the UN Indico platform https://indico.un.org/event/35605/registration/ which will enable participants to receive information about preparation activities as well as information about virtual formal and informal meetings and opportunities for interaction, including social media mobilisation directly to your registered email address. You do need to register separately with NGO CSW65 for the parallel events (outside the UN). These sessions are free but you do need to register as an Advocate). Registration for the NGO parallel events needs to be done
separately on the NGO CSW65 website.
Give as you Spend – Advent Competition
  • Don’t forget anyone can support your Club funds & initiatives by registering with Easyfundraising and nominating SI Weybridge as your charity, if you are buying items/presents at most major retailers a small percentage is donated from the cost to our account. It’s really EASY and allows us to build a fund for a project. Here’s a bit of festive fun – easyfundraising are running an Advent Calendar competition with a £250 donation to be won every day in December, plus a Christmas Day Grand Prize of a £2000 donation and a £2000 John Lewis & Partners gift card! It’s free and open to all easyfundraising causes so if your group isn’t using easyfundraising yet, sign up here so you can enter too: http://efraising.org/2fppkVuJo4.

 

17th December 2020

  • Join our Festive Bird Bingo evening, socialise online over Zoom with your friends and join in the fun. Wear a festive outfit/hat/glasses. Have your fizz or tipple at the ready to toast our Club and Region. Nominate a Festive Character for their attitude, tenacity or innovation this year. This is a nice opportunity to catch up over a more leisurely evening with friends and to hear how Margaret’s house move is going, news from Maggie, about Nadine’s visit to award Marion’s certificate and gifts.
  • 8th December 2020
  • This month our Club is thrilled to see our nomination for the Centenary WhoIsShe? recognition has been made to Marion Strehlow, a club member since 1975. SI Weybridge Member MARION  features as one of 100 Soroptimists commemorated in our Centennial Year – MANY CONGRATULATIONS
  • Marion has been a Soroptimist since 1975 – 45 years!
  • Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) together with Soroptimists from across the world join together to celebrate 100 years of Soroptimist International (SI) and celebrate a ‘Bright Past’ and a ‘Brilliant Future’. When Soroptimist International reaches a milestone in its history as now, the Celebration of 100 Years of Service, it is fitting that we should look back and pay tribute to those pioneers who established Soroptimist International on firm foundations and kept the flag flying through difficult times. Each month there will be a showcase celebrating some  ‘Soroptimist Pioneers
  • These #WhoIsShe? campaign members, both past and present, from Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland have all been nominated by Soroptimist Clubs for their noteworthy contribution to society in the furtherance of the aims and objects of the organisation.
  • Marion was born in Berlin on 15th April 1935 to a Jewish family. As a child during the Second World War she was transported to the Theresienstadt GheCo/Camp known as Terezin. Her father was also in the camp but she had very little contact with him and had been told he was dying. From spring 1944 until summer 1945 she was one of the children resident in ‘the villa’. The children were of mixed ages and nationalities and all of them were ill, there were no adults living there. At the age of nine Marion was the eldest girl and she tried to mother the younger ones. The children had been selected by a Czechoslovakian doctor, who wished to prove that exposure to fresh air and sunshine could cure illnesses. Marion, like many of the children, had tuberculosis. The children were very poorly fed, had few adult visitors and spent hours reclining on wooden chairs outside or sitting inside with windows open in all weathers. The villa was close to the railway line that served the camp and in the autumn of 1944 numerous trains arrived full of dead and dying people. The stench was horrendous, there were mass burials and the smell of decay permeated the garden but the children still had to do their stint outside.
  • Marion survived and although her father also survived, her mother who had been in Auschwitz, had died. As her father was unable to cope Marion was sent to her aunt in the UK. She came for 6 weeks and is still here. Despite having missed more than 4 years of school, having to learn another language and suffering from ill health and nightmares, Marion completed her education and qualified as a nurse. She worked for many years in the field of health visiting, always helping others. Later in life Marion worked in a multi-faith unit attached to the Surrey police and helped with inter-faith understanding and issues relating to the Jewish community. Despite her trauma and the difficulty of speaking about the past, Marion has in recent years spoken to school children on Holocaust Memorial Day about her experience as a child during the war. She is able to make real what they learn in history and make her own personal experience evidence of the truth of the Holocaust. The children are so affected by the talks they send her wonderful personal thank you letters. This keeps alive the terrible events of that time, lest no one forget. Marion has been a member of Soroptimist International since April 1975 and has been an enthusiastic supporter of her club, the organisation and its aims in helping women and girls throughout the world. She has also been a keen participant in our friendship link visits, making many friends internationally. After such terrible events in her childhood Marion has spent her adult life helping others, always cheerful and positive.
  • We at SI Weybridge & District cherish dear Marion, we’ve been privileged to hear her speak, witness her good humour and value her friendship. Hoping soon to welcome her and other members back to meetings post Covid-19.
  • 15 October 2020 Women in the Shadows
  • Suzette gave a fabulous oversight to the club on how modern slavery is so evident in British society and her role working for the Clewer Initiative. She noted data highlighting the fact that there are an estimated 136K women, men and children held in differing forms of servitude or being exploited in Britain now. 1/130 women in Britain are thought to be enslaved to organised crime be it in servitude, agriculture, fraud, sexual exploitation or businesses such as pop up brothels, car washes and nail bars. We should not forget that the nationality of those enslaved is not always as often thought people from developing countries, the ranking for slavery is topped by statistics showing British people are amongst the worst affected. Some are enslaved for years, in Surrey alone in the last 6 months from July 42 cases were under investigation and there are on average 5 new cases a week under investigation.  She explained why it’s hard for victims to raise the alarm (fear, shame) and the importance of vigilance and personal reporting on the part of each and every one of us. Moreover we should question our own motives when buying goods, using services that might be cheap because forced labour is used.
  • Suzette supplied the cascade of contacts individuals can report to even anonymously. The Clewer Nuns (Anglican) are enabling information sharing and action through churches throughout Lent starting January 21st) a 5 week course providing talks and resources and engaging with a team of practitioners. Apps are being developed to enable consumer reporting data collation and provision of guidance on service companies which are bona fide and not involved in slavery.   Crimestoppers, the police and helplines are available resources to report suspected cases. A topical report issued by Walk Free ( https://www.minderoo.org/walk-free/)  is a relevant resource if one wants to further understand the extent of slavery from infanticide, missing persons, educational impedance through to limitations on work and current recommendations. It’s possible to gain a better understanding by subscribing the Clewer Initiative newsletter or publicising the training run for the church of England parishes next year. (https://www.theclewerinitiative.org/news/2019/1/30/new-safeguarding-and-modern-slavery-course
  • Herewith the telephone numbers to put in your mobile regarding modern slavery
  • • Modern Slavery Helpline 08000121700.
    • The Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority 08004320804
    • Crimestoppers on 0800555111
    • Fearless www.fearless.org
    • In an emergency 999
  • When you see something, when you know the situation is not right, all you need to do is telephone, tell of your intuition – if it doesn’t feel right it, it
    probably isn’t. Go on The Clewer website www.theclewerinitiative.org and find out more, sign up for their newsletter
  • 15 July 2020
  • SI Weybridge & District present £500 to Weybridge Foodbank as Covid-19 causes shortfall of in kind donations
  • The Weybridge branch of Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland (SIGBI) has this month responded to donation shortages at the Weybridge Foodbank. A reduction in supermarket shopping, as locals shop online during lockdown, has meant the Foodbank has seen a donation shortfall during recent months. On Wednesday 2 July, Elmbridge resident and member Brenda Saunders from the Weybridge & District Soroptimists (SIWD) presented a cheque for £500 to Angela Miller, Weybridge Foodbank Team Leader. The money will be used to purchase food and household items and vouchers for distribution to those in need in the local area.
  • Run by local women, SIWD is passionate about supporting programmes that improve the lives of women and girls both in Elmbridge and around the world. The branch runs regular fundraisers and supporting community projects including donating women’s health products to the Foodbank in Walton on Thames, providing much needed items which were at that time seldom reaching local collection boxes. Under lockdown their regular ‘Business Meetings’ have been impossible, but the women have pressed on, with 20 local members meeting online each month via Zoom to continue their work.
  • Generally, donations of food and toiletries for the Runnymede & Weybridge Foodbank are collected in Waitrose, Tesco Addlestone, the Weybridge library and at St. James’ church, but COVID-19 and the associated lockdown has significantly reduced the level of retail ‘shopping’, whilst furloughs and job losses in lockdown have created even greater demand.
  • SIWD member Brenda Saunders raised the donation shortage to the Club, highlighting the Weybridge Foodbank COVID-19 appeal for donations. She herself had been popping a weekly ‘donation’ box in her front garden for neighbours to donate to. Club members stepped up and donated the cost of their usual club meal for 3 months (April-June), to raise funds for Foodbank.
  • The Foodbank’s Angela Miller explained that they are usually located at St James’ Church in Weybridge, but due to church closures all provisions are being ‘doorstep’ delivered by volunteers. In due course it’s hoped the church can once again provide a welcoming resource where those in crisis can have a ‘cuppa’ and chat about their situation. The emphasis is very much, Angela explained, “on looking out for local community and signposting the vulnerable and needy to where they can seek additional help and advice so people can break free from poverty.”
  • Dorothy Clark a Weybridge Soroptimist, awarded an MBE for services to children’s education in the community, was truly delighted to see families supported by Soroptimists. She commented: “A child needs nourishment to learn. Food poverty affects families in high cost areas quickly as parents have high fixed outgoings. In Weybridge, any economic change can impact poverty faster as a result; COVID-19 has caused distress and accelerated it.  It’s key we support families now over the summer holidays when schools out, we are glad to do what we can now.”
  • About SIW&D
    Soroptimist International Weybridge & District is an active women’s club with a membership of over 20 women. The club membership is drawn from Molesey, Hersham, Walton & Staines on Thames, Addlestone, Byfleet and Weybridge at present. The Club meets 10 times a year and supports local, national and international projects with a focus on improving the lives of women and girls. We welcome new women members; get in touch to find out more via: https://sigbi.org/weybridge/
  • About the Weybridge Foodbank
    Weybridge Foodbank opened in March 2019 as local requests for emergency help became apparent. Access is by referral with immediate provision of 3 days of emergency food, referrals come from a variety of sources including schools, DWP, Citizens Advice, health professionals and family centres. The Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust network which is currently working in collaboration with Runnymede council.  The Foodbank also runs other support projects including a 6 week “Eat Well Spend Less” cookery course to teach people how to use the tinned and dried foods and combine them with fresh foods they buy in a cost-effective way, budgeting information is also covered on the course to help with how to spend well. Another initiative ‘Food4Lunch’ regularly supplies a two course lunch provisions to local vulnerable families for each 2 weeks of the school holidays. For more information about The Trussell Trust and how you can help see more at https://www.trusselltrust.org/what-we-do/
  • 15 March 2020
  • SI Weybridge & District Murder Mystery Evening raises £1000 towards its #PinkTukTuk Appeal for The Rosie May Foundation
  • March 2020, who will ever forget it? The subtle but unbelievable news of Covid-19 infection cases in Europe grew steadily louder as our Club member Danny Sparkes and her team planned a Murder Mystery evening to raise funds for the 2020 Club goal to enable purchase of a Pink Tuk Tuk by the Rosie May Foundation.
  • In the final days of freedom, before lock down was even perceived, on March 7th the Club held a successful fundraiser.  Ottershaw Players organised the event performing an entertaining pantomime “The Mystery Murders”.  A show in two parts, the audience was spellbound as the characters and events unfurled and the producer was found dead in a dressing room. Over 50 participants followed the characters, the facts, the diversions and then debated the clues, circumstances and culprit over a tasty fish & chip supper. Finishing up with choc-ices and treats and washed down with a glass or two of wine conclusions were drawn and submitted. A masterful presentation of the secrets, surprises and solutions followed in Act II with each character assassinating another and slowly bringing the truths to light. After a fantastic dialogue, performed with panache, the killer was revealed. Only one table of six including a Soroptomister managed to deduce who the killer was!
  • A lively raffle followed, a few more drinks were consumed (after a quick Tesco run to top up the fast diminished bar!).   A ‘TukTuk Tastic’ night for sure. Approaching £1000 was raised on that wet damp evening, a fitting sum towards our 2020 goal. We must extend a huge club ’round of applause’ to Danny our extraordinary STAR performer for securing welcome donations for the raffle, the superb cast from Ottershaw Players and a tasteful venue.  This was most certainly a masterful occasion thanks to Danny’s hard work and talent in getting a job done. Not to miss either …thanking Colin who produced a fabulous life size pink Tuk Tuk for the club as you can see. Big thanks too to the backstage team in the kitchen and bar and hosts who charmed everyone and made the evening an event to be proud of.
  • Ticket sales were tough for an event held on a winter’s night during the COVID-9 pandemic. It was superb to see Soroptimists from Woking, Weybridge and even a TV celebrity enjoying the evening. The proceeds of £1000 will make a big contribution to our PINKTT target in 2020.
  • January 2020
  • ‘SOROPPORTUNITY’ IN SOUTH AFRICA – Alexis Neville, Club Member and past Regional President reports
  • On my recent trip to South Africa I stayed with a Past Regional President of Southern Region.  She took me to meet a friend and fellow Cape of Good Hope Soroptimist Susan, who runs a Children’s Project.  The project is located in what these days they call an informal settlement, above Hout Bay south of Cape Town.  Susan originally thought of starting an orphanage but after 18 months getting to know the people in the settlement and asking what they wanted, she discovered they would prefer the children to stay in the community with relatives and friends rather than be separated from them.  However, many of the children did need help and support.  The children go to local schools but after school they go to the project for that help and support.  The volunteers at the project help the children to read, provide space and help for homework, provide some formal teaching by age group (particularly English) and fun and games.  They also provide a hot meal each evening and cold food to take home so they eat before school next day.  All the children receive hugs when they arrive and are listened to and cared for.  The volunteers also work within the settlement helping when there is a family crisis or other events.  When we were being shown around we met a teacher of the older children marking their English test. The questions were on the blackboard and one of them I’d have struggled to answer.  I also think a lot of children in the UK would have found the one asking them to form a sentence with a semi colon challenging.  We were also impressed with the children’s’ writing – neat and well formed.  Within the project there is also a separate training facility for teenagers where they are taught to be baristas so they can get jobs in the many coffee bars and restaurants in the locality.
  • One of the young volunteers from Sweden had the children write short pieces about their lives and the project and had these published in a beautiful colourful book that is sold to help fund the project.  One of the amazing sections is where they write about the fire in the settlement in 2014.  You can imagine how horrific it must have been with all the very flammable shacks so close together and roads too narrow for the fire engines. 
  • December 2019
  • Dorothy Clark MBE, Club Founder  reports on Visit to Sri Lanka
  • Dennis’ and my main reason for visiting Sri Lanka was to meet Dilini’s new baby girl born in July – this was our 26th visit to Sri Lanka and it has been wonderful to support, Dilini and Buddhini, the Tsunami orphans we met 14 years ago together with SI Weybridge & District.  Having seen them grow up and attending Dilini’s graduation ceremony from the University of Colombo and her wedding to Sagara we could not wait to meet their baby, Dewshi.  She is beautiful.

A big welcome to SI Weybridge & District the Soroptimist (Southern Region) Women’s Club covering Elmbridge Borough

Here you will find Weekly News about our club and wider national and global Soroptimist and UN initiatives

2022 Diary

April 6th – Easter Egg Donation to #Walton&Hersham Foodbank

Jeannie and Ann visited the foodbank warehouse to deliver 70 eggs and other grocery items today. Members donated eggs or cash to enable this donation part of the 2002 community action. In March we welcomed a prospective new member to the monthly meeting. In April we have two more new potential members attending on April 21st in Esher. Women interested in joining are invited to join the supper and/or the business meetings over a few months to learn about our projects, meet local soroptimists and see if they enjoy the focus of enabling women and girls to succeed and sustainability and climate aspects. April’s meeting in primarily an AGM but we have a speaker from the National Memorial Arboretum joining us on Zoom ahead of a visit to the club arboretum in 2022.

March 17th – Monthly Club Meeting & Foodbank Easter Donation

Susan Booth of the leading UK charity Target Ovarian Cancer spoke to the club on Zoom. This talk was scheduled to coincide with Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, March. Club members had over 200 posters, symptom diaries and information booklets to distribute during March to GP surgeries, local clinics, shops and notice boards.

Soroptimists collected 70 Easter Eggs for the @Walton&hershamfoodbank for distribution as part of local community program action. Contact Sally via https://sigbi.org/contact-us/ to get in touch.

March 13th – STEM Student Bursary 2023 – Wine Tasting – £900 Raised towards a 2022 Target of £1000

Over 40 kind people supported SI Weybridge & District with donations of funds, raffle prizes, gifts and help. Today the club hosted 30 guests at a Wine tasting in Molesey and raised £900. Guests enjoyed hearing Sue Cope @elvigilantedelvino talk about the wine, heads & tails, a raffle and a delicious supper followed.  This brings the Elmbridge based SI Club close to the first £1000 needed p.a. to offer a 3 year annual Bursary to a less advantaged female STEM subject student identified in liaison with local schools and the nominated university.

March 12th – Watch out around Elmbridge for posters showing the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. Soroptimists are handing out and delivering symptom diaries and information at stations and GP/maternity clinics in Elmbridge. This month March we welcome a speaker from Target Ovarian Cancer at our monthly meeting on 17th. We support all cancer charities but specifically #TargetOvarianCancer make women aware of the symptoms, support access to diagnosis and early treatment.

Bloated tummy, Always feeling full? Pelvic or abdominal pain? Need to wee more? Occasionally other symptoms can be present e.g. changes in bowel habit i.e. diarrhoea or constipation, extreme fatigue, unexplained weight loss. Symptoms are Frequent happening more than 12 times a month, Persistent they don’t go away, New – they are not normal for you.

Target Ovarian Cancer have symptom diaries so you can track your symptoms ahead of seeing your GP. Check with family if they have suffered with ovarian or breast cancer, be persistent, seek blood tests and scans. Don’t be put off if you know now what is normal/abnormal for your body. Be symptom aware, share info and watch out for your friends too, visit your GP to get checked out full. You can make a difference at work, in the community in your family by talking about this cancer.

Important:

  • Cervical screening smear tests will not detect ovarian cancer.
  • Most cases are diagnosed in women who have had the menopause but younger women can also get it
  • The sooner its detected the easier it is to treat. Survival is up to 90% at the earliest stage.
  • Irritable bowel symptoms are similar to ovarian cancer but new cases of IBS are very unlikely in women over age 50.
  • Target Ovarian Cancer is the UK’s leading ovarian cancer charity, working to improve early diagnosis, fund life saving research and provide much needed support to women with the cancer. Their nurse led support line provides confidential information, support and signposting for anyone concerned about ovarian cancer.

Source:targetovariancancer.org.uk – Phone: 020 7923 5475

March 8th – #IWD2022 – SIGBI posters are up and visible we were so delighted with the positive response of shop keepers, stations, libraries and supermarkets to helping #Soroptimists make the community more aware. One Czech woman we spoke to in #Mercado in Molesey explain that in her country flowers are distributed to all women on IWD, its a far more important date then Mother’s Day as it recognises that ALL women need support to obtain equality and alleviate poverty. SI clubs around the world are challenging bias and highlighting how we can make the world a fairer place.

The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all.

March 6th – #IWD2022 March 8th. Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field. Are you in? Will you actively call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping each time you see it? Will you help break the bias? Cross your arms to show solidarity.

  • Strike the IWD 2022 pose and share your #BreakTheBias image, video, resources, presentation or articles on social media using #IWD2022 #BreakTheBias to encourage further people to commit to helping forge an inclusive world.
Local shops in #ThamesDitton, #Molesey, #Hamptoncourtvillage are doing their part with local #Soroptimists. Share this post to raise more awareness and support.#breakthebias2022; #alleviatepoverty,#westandupforwomen,#IWD2022

March 5th – IWD 2022 campaign theme: #BreakTheBias

Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

March 4th – International Women’s Day is coming on Tuesday March 8th. Today we shout out for our local rail station at #hamptoncourtpalace, #electricalsupplies retailer on the Broadway and #Smilessencedentists in #Molesey who all kindly displayed a Soroptimist IWD2022 poster to raise awareness and support this annual UN initiative.

There’s still time to help raise awareness? Pop up the IWD22 official poster in your car window, on your fence, on your social media profiles, one small step at a time… International Women’s Day (March is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

SIGBI #IWD Posters are all up and around big  thanks to Brenda and Cathy, Jeannie and Ann  – It’s International Women’s Day #IWD2022 on March 8th.

Today we shout out for our local amazing shops in #ThamesDitton and #Molesey specifically today our Thames Ditton grocer #Paulls and the #GeorgeAndDragon Pub and Molesey’s top stationers #ekaservices who all very kindly displayed a Soroptimist #IWD2022 poster to raise awareness and support this annual UN initiative.
Not all women get acknowledgement, gender equality and respect can you help raise awareness? Pop up the IWD2022 official poster in your car window, on your fence, on your social media profile, one small step at a time…
International Women’s Day on March 8 is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

March 2nd – SIGBI’s Emergency Relief Fund has donated £5,000 to the British Red Cross, Ukrainian Appeal to help the Ukrainian refugees who are fleeing the war with Russia. The latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees show that more than 600,000 people have left the country and many more thousands are displaced from their homes within Ukraine. Ukrainian Red Cross volunteers are reaching as many people as possible, distributing 30,000 food and hygiene parcels so far, and helping evacuate people with disabilities. Teams have also provided first aid training to 1,000 people in metro stations and bomb shelters, and are supporting fire fighters, medical and civil protection units.

We urge all parties involved in Ukraine to swiftly work for an agreed peaceful outcome. https://sigbi.org/…/soroptimist-international-great…/

 

March 1st – International Women’s Day – March 8th – The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all. Look put for the posters around Molesey, Walton, Weybridge those created by Soroptimists to raise awareness of this UN led focus on why promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment can help deliver better environmental outcomes, and to figure out how it can be done. The Generation Equality campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve. Visit the UN Women’s website for more information about the theme. Multimedia content is coming soon to help you spread the message of gender equality by sharing on your social media accounts. https://www.unwomen.org/…/international-womens-day-2022…

 

International Women’s Day – March 8th
The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all. Look put for the posters created by Soroptimists to raise awareness of this UN led focus on why promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment can help deliver better environmental outcomes, and to figure out how it can be done.
The Generation Equality campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve. Visit the UN Women’s website for more information about the theme. Multimedia content is coming soon to help you spread the message of gender equality by sharing on your social media accounts.

February 17th – Monthly meeting at The Wheatsheaf at 7pm. Nina from Walton & Hersham Foodbank is speaking at 7.30pm.  We will once again gather Easter Eggs for the Foodbank in March in readiness for Easter.

February 11th – Calling all members The next PR and Marketing Facebook Live session for members takes place on Saturday 19th February 2022, 14.00 – 14.30 GMT. Join Binita Sen and Gail Sinha for 30 minutes of top tips for building your club’s brand.

February 8th – PRESS RELEASE

Weybridge & District Soroptimist group is pleased to announce our newest member: ‘Dorothy’ the pink Tuk Tuk. Since 2018, we’ve been working hard to raise £4,000 to buy Dorothy, who will operate as a female-only taxi service – creating a sustainable source of income for single parent mums and creating safe travel for women and girls in Sri Lanka. The Tuk Tuk is on order and local mums will soon be identified and trained as drivers, as well as in the necessary business skills to transport women and girls to school, work and social events in safety.

A big thank you to all of the local members who have supported this big effort, especially club member Dorothy Clarke MBE, for bringing this unique project to the group. Covid didn’t stop us – and as we celebrate our Centennial year this is proof of how much more we can achieve!
Would you like to achieve more for women and girls? Get in touch to talk about coming to a meeting or joining us via Zoom to learn about our local work in Elmbridge.
Help us succeed…share our posts widely!

February 1st – Today is International Day of Human Fraternity.Read our latest blog all about this day by #Soroptimist Carol Infanti. “It makes me thankful that I am a Soroptimist, part of a sisterhood where we all work together to support all women, whatever age, race or religion, where-ever we are in the world. Do encourage other women to join us. Happy and peaceful International Day of Human Fraternity.” Grab a cuppa and read it now https://bit.ly/34vTr3a. #HumanFraternityDay

 

January 24th – Over 70 refugees are living locally in Elmbridge in hotel accommodation and two families have been housed in our midst. A speaker from Elmbridge CAN a small local charity spoke at our meeting last Thursday to highlight how the community can help settle and familiarise children and adults during their settlement and after. Sue has written a nice summary. The speaker gave us a reading list which is worth publicising to widen perceptions and learning about life experiences refugees have faced.
To receive the charity newsletter or learn more link http://www.elmbridgecan.org.uk/get-involved.html
Sea Prayer by Khalid Hosseini (author of Kite Runner) ISBN 978-1526602718
Shatila Stories published by Pierene Now!, nine refugees were commissioned to tell their stories in this collaborative fiction. ISBN 978-1908670496
No Friend but the mountains by Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist ISBN 978-1525287077
In the Wars by Dr Wahid Arian ISBN 978-0552177641
Hope not fears by Hassan Akkad, an inspiring Syrian who is well known to Elmbridge CAN and has spoken at their events ISBN 978-1529059830 and finally,
England – poems from a school some incredibly moving short poems from a refugee experience. ISBN 978-1509886609
Today is #InternationalDayofEducation
Read all about the day and what #Soroptimists are doing in our latest blog written by Yvonne Gibbon. https://bit.ly/33YxuJX.

January 21st – Well done for all the lobbying friends  – news from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust – Thrilled that the Taxi & PHV Bill passed through the Commons today. Thank you to all who have worked tirelessly on this issue. “Our constituents can have more peace of mind knowing that steps have moved forward today to make their taxi use safer”. Now on to the Lords. Peter Gibson MP – #RightToBeSafe

January 18th – Last Saturday Anne G hosted a 2nd amazing #SIWeybridgeandDistrict fundraiser luncheon for ‘#Soroptimist members locally. The lunch and raffle raised a very significant sum towards the project to buy a Pink Tuk Tuk for the #RosieMayFoundation in Sri Lanka. On Thursday Dee will sum up the final total raised since project inception in 2018 to now. Here we luncheon members are.. enjoying the moment! Share our SI news, bring a friend to a meeting, ask a colleague to join in with our projects this year and come to the meeting on Thursday inspired full of ideas for the local charities we could support his year 2022.
January 17th – This months meeting in Molesey is on Thursday 20th this week, look out for the Agenda. Next months meeting on 17th February is in Esher. Save the date. The speakers this week are from Elmbridge CAN. Elmbridge CAN is a small charity, based in Elmbridge, Surrey, UK. They aim to build a culture of welcome to refugees within the local community, and work to achieve the settlement of more refugees in the Borough of Elmbridge. Elmbridge CAN is a member of the ​City of Sanctuary Movement. Read more about their work and immediate resource and housing needs at http://www.elmbridgecan.org.uk/

January 6th – “As we enter the new year, the spectre of the pandemic still hangs over us, but I am confident that, as Soroptimists, you will rise to the challenges presented, as you have done so magnificently throughout last two years.” Read our January message by #Soroptimist President Cathy Cottridge in full, now on the website, click below to read.

Happy New Year dear Friends and families. Meeting date 19 January. 7pm. Looking forward to welcoming a young speaker from Elmbridge CAN. This meeting is at Ann M’s house as she is very young. Refreshments only.

2021

Constrained for 6 months by lockdowns/safety, Soroptimists at SI Weybridge and District met on Zoom and once again undertook to donate part or all of their supper meeting meal cost to central funds to enable our support work continued.

Activities in the year

17 December 2021 – Festive social at Burhill Golf Club, meeting members and their partners and friends in Covid safe conditions. It was a spectacular day of friendship, fun and celebration of the club’s success and afforded a chance to think of those members who were unable to be with us due to vulnerability and health decline. Most significant off all we were able to plan final arrangements for two Pink Tuk Tuk spring lunches to raise the final £1000 for the Sri Lanka Women’s Rosie May charity.

SIGBI News was issued online with full details of the successful virtual global conference held from Llandudno.

10th December –  SI Weybridge & District delivered £300 of Aldi vouchers to Walton & Hersham Foodbank to enable 30 festive food parcels to contain a £10 voucher enabling families to choose something special to include with their shopping for Xmas courtesy of our members.

23rd November –  for 16 days consecutive Soroptimists around the World posted information, coloured buildings orange and publicised the #16daysofactivism, our club elected to buy £300 of ‘orange’ Aldi food vouchers for the local foodbank.

November 17th – On Remembrance Sunday Dorothy Clarke MBE a club member represented SI Weybridge at the memorial placing a wreath on Weybridge memorial as we have for 45 consecutive years.

November 21st – Six club members joined with over 50 from the Southern Region to celebrate the Centennial Year and hear Hampshire MP Caroline Noakes and other clubs speak. The annual AGM was held in Alton and Southern  Region were delighted to be crowned runners up nationally for their successful enrolment of new members partly due to the success of the new club in Salisbury. A new club is also coming together in the region, watch the space for news.

November 2nd – The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) began in Glasgow and ran until 12 November 2021.
#Soroptimists are excited to be taking part in #COP26 – they had a stand in the Green Room, Green Zone to raise awareness of the global SI organisation, it’s seat on the UN and impact.
October 6th – SIGBI hosted a Centennial Reception of Club members to celebrate at The House of Lords, London.
October 18th – SIGBI region countries noted  that over 64,000 trees had now been reported on the SIGBI Tree Planting Map, what an amazing effort for the region region. SI Weybridge were able to report that a new copse of trees had been planted at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey following site redevelopment works.  Working with the NHS and a tree donator we now await a plaque installation to mark the global SI Centennial year.

 

September 17th – Yippee! #siweybridge met for the first time since lockdown last Thursday, and what a delight it was to see members in person and online. We were able to greet our speakers from Cook4Care a worthy local charity founded in 2020 and now flourishing. Maria and Davina two founders explained how their experience in teaching and life had brought them into contact with young carers specific challenges; the charity now provides hundreds of free fresh nutritious meals to enable young carers to free up time instead of cooking two nights a week.. A recent survey of outcomes highlighted how the extra money saved is a hidden advantage allowing families to save a little more for luxuries like days out. Supermarkets locally including #Waitrose and #Morrisons enable their work alongside the dozens of volunteer cooks, drivers and delivery folk.

We also held our #Soroptimist100 candle ceremony to mark the Soroptimist International 100th Birthday? Starting 21 September, Clubs and Soroptimists around the world are taking part in candle ceremonies, making wishes for the lives of women and girls! In Elmbridge we made our our candle wishes for women and girls:-

For WW SI Clubs old and newly incorporated to grow and succeed to meet the ever more evolving global and geopolitical demands of international poverty, education and discrimination as we emerge from this pandemic

For Soroptimists within the SIGBI region to enable changes in values, attitudes, awareness and freedoms through lobbying, a UN presence and better visibility for the next generation to maintain freedom of speech and expression
For clubs in our Southern England region to attract and motivate local community action by involving more women and young people, foster relations with partner organisations and one another sharing expertise, knowledge and skills and using technology to enhance our impact.
September 25th – 100 for 100 families https://waltonhersham.foodbank.org.uk/
#Soroptimist100 .. as part of our Centennial year celebrations our club in Elmbridge (covering Weybridge and district including Walton and Molesey) donated 100 bottles of children’s sun lotion to Walton and Hersham foodbank during July ahead of the holidays. It may not be food but is just as essential an item and much welcomed by the team of volunteers at the foodbank and the outreach support scheme members. Sincere thanks to our club members who donated the cost of a meal to the club to enable this purchase and donation. Good Work a small but valued part of over £3000 of local donations in kind this last 12 months.
September 18th – National Memorial Arboretum—unveiling of SI statue and afternoon tea. An event was arranged to unveil the superb new statue at the SIGBI plot, and celebrate Soroptimist International’s Centenary at an afternoon tea.
August 6th - SIGBI News online articles covering 
  • how Soroptimists are tackling Climate Change, which is the focus of reports by both our Assistant Programme Directors for Planet and Partnerships;
  • the final three interviews in our Meet the Board Up Close series;
  • full details of the Llandudno Virtual Conference 2021 unveiled;
  • what SI clubs have been doing to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Soroptimist International as well as an update on SIGBI’s celebrations

July 17th – Soroptimist Day of Action on Climate Change…This year action, awareness raising and advocacy are of great significance. We all as Soroptimists need to raise our own profile but, more importantly, the issues around addressing climate change for succeeding generations as well as ourselves. Although climate change is often on the news at present there seems to be little awareness that we, as individuals, can do a lot ourselves. This ranges from raising awareness of what we CAN do, to lobbying governments from local to national and to international and, of course taking action personally. “Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”, but we need to help the pounds too.  Let’s start with ourselves – have you taken a look at the UN’s Carbon Footprint Calculator. I really need to do better – not travelling to New York each March for CSW might help since flying is 40% of my footprint (not during Covid of course), with electricity at 38%, food 15% and car 7%. This makes my annual emissions equal 17 tonnes whereas the UK average is 6t and the world at 5t. Less time on the computer would help with electricity! Removing the long haul flight to New York reduces my total consumption to 11t with electricity now being 58% of my total. The UN also provides a carbon offset scheme – these can be filtered for continent and country and covers Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. Alternatively you could do so by supporting our programmes to address climate change – for trees see https://sigbi.org/…/planting-trees-for-a…/4773-2/. Clearly our tree and mangrove planting, supporting Fairtrade, installing solar panels and using the UN campaign for individuals all – ACT NOW – will all contribute to our own commitments.

June 10th Call for Action – I hope we can get every woman and Soroptimist in England to respond to this evidence gathering exercise. I know I have not been listened to because I am a woman. How about you? “We are seeking your views to help inform the development of the government’s Women’s Health Strategy. This call for evidence is seeking to collect views on women’s health. It will run for a period of 14 weeks and is open to everyone aged 16 and over. The easiest way to participate in the call for evidence as an individual is by completing the public survey.

June 9th – Meeting – We heard how refugees are handled in Britain. Our speaker in May was Professor Monojit Chatterji, Fellow in Economics, Trinity Hall (Retd), Professor New College of Humanities, London, Professor, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh.

April 28th – Today is World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Read our latest blog by #Soroptimist Carol Infanti and find out all about the day and what you can do sigbi.org/2021/world-day-for-safety-and-health-at-work. #SafetyAndHealthAtWork #SoroptimistsStandUpForWomen

April 15th – #Soroptimists our SIGBI charity, the Emergency Relief Fund, has made a payment of £1,000 to St Vincent and the Grenadines, in the wake of the devastating volcano eruption. If members wish to make a personal donation, they can do so through the Emergency Relief Fund, by sending any monies for St Vincent to Joanne Voller at Head Qffice.
Our SI SVG sisters in Kingstown are cooking meals for evacuees.
The St Vincent volcano: UN warns humanitarian crisis will last months. The humanitarian crisis caused by volcanic eruptions on the Caribbean island of St Vincent will last for months, a UN official has warned. Didier Trebucq said nearby islands including Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda could also be badly affected. He said the UN was setting up an international funding appeal. About 20,000 people have been evacuated from their homes since La Soufrière volcano began erupting last Friday. It had not previously erupted since 1979.
April 15 – Johanna Raffin Federation President has kindly sent a letter of condolences to HM The Queen on SIGBI’s behalf. Clubs should feel free to add condolences to the online memorial.
March 8th – #IWD2021 success! Donations made for Q1 to 2 charities
Soroptimists Celebrate 100 Years buying Chocolate!
Buying chocolate produced by companies who support sustainable methods of cocoa bean farming and enable women to work under fair conditions is key to our principle of promoting equality and prevention of poverty.
SI Weybridge & District are supporting #IWD in several ways as part of the #soroptimistinternational Centennial effort. Women struggling to feed their families have been supported by the Club this year with significant donations to the local food bank. We’re also ready to donate 100 eggs this week to Walton & Hersham Foodbank in response to their plea for chocolate donations in the run up to Easter. Working together we can WIN for another 100 Years! Like to join us? Message me to hear about our next meeting date or meet for a socially distanced coffee…
Hoping the 100 Easter Eggs make a difference to the local community in this our SI Centenary Year. Thank you SI Weybridge & District members for your generosity. Dee & Ann were delighted to meet Nina, Fiona and Paul of #waltonandhershamfoodbank today at St. John’s Church, Walton one of the foodbank distribution points.
Also supporting #NorthSurreyDomesticAbuse  Centre with a £600 donation for further outreach support.
March 1st – Commission on the Status of Women 65
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 65 is scheduled to take place 15-26 March 2021 in New York. For the first time this will be a virtual event. You can join for free. Please be reminded that if you want to register for CSW 65 (and receive updates) then you need to do so by the Indico
website by 22 February 2021. Registration with the UN opens from 28 December 2020 until 22 February 2021. Registration for CSW 65 is completed on the UN Indico platform https://indico.un.org/event/35605/registration/ which will enable participants to receive information about preparation activities as well as information about virtual formal and informal meetings and opportunities for interaction, including social media mobilisation directly to your registered email address. You do need to register separately with NGO CSW65 for the parallel events (outside the UN). These sessions are free but you do need to register as an Advocate). Registration for the NGO parallel events needs to be done
separately on the NGO CSW65 website.
Give as you Spend – Advent Competition
  • Don’t forget anyone can support your Club funds & initiatives by registering with Easyfundraising and nominating SI Weybridge as your charity, if you are buying items/presents at most major retailers a small percentage is donated from the cost to our account. It’s really EASY and allows us to build a fund for a project. Here’s a bit of festive fun – easyfundraising are running an Advent Calendar competition with a £250 donation to be won every day in December, plus a Christmas Day Grand Prize of a £2000 donation and a £2000 John Lewis & Partners gift card! It’s free and open to all easyfundraising causes so if your group isn’t using easyfundraising yet, sign up here so you can enter too: http://efraising.org/2fppkVuJo4.

 

17th December 2020

  • Join our Festive Bird Bingo evening, socialise online over Zoom with your friends and join in the fun. Wear a festive outfit/hat/glasses. Have your fizz or tipple at the ready to toast our Club and Region. Nominate a Festive Character for their attitude, tenacity or innovation this year. This is a nice opportunity to catch up over a more leisurely evening with friends and to hear how Margaret’s house move is going, news from Maggie, about Nadine’s visit to award Marion’s certificate and gifts.
  • 8th December 2020
  • This month our Club is thrilled to see our nomination for the Centenary WhoIsShe? recognition has been made to Marion Strehlow, a club member since 1975. SI Weybridge Member MARION  features as one of 100 Soroptimists commemorated in our Centennial Year – MANY CONGRATULATIONS
  • Marion has been a Soroptimist since 1975 – 45 years!
  • Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) together with Soroptimists from across the world join together to celebrate 100 years of Soroptimist International (SI) and celebrate a ‘Bright Past’ and a ‘Brilliant Future’. When Soroptimist International reaches a milestone in its history as now, the Celebration of 100 Years of Service, it is fitting that we should look back and pay tribute to those pioneers who established Soroptimist International on firm foundations and kept the flag flying through difficult times. Each month there will be a showcase celebrating some  ‘Soroptimist Pioneers
  • These #WhoIsShe? campaign members, both past and present, from Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland have all been nominated by Soroptimist Clubs for their noteworthy contribution to society in the furtherance of the aims and objects of the organisation.
  • Marion was born in Berlin on 15th April 1935 to a Jewish family. As a child during the Second World War she was transported to the Theresienstadt GheCo/Camp known as Terezin. Her father was also in the camp but she had very little contact with him and had been told he was dying. From spring 1944 until summer 1945 she was one of the children resident in ‘the villa’. The children were of mixed ages and nationalities and all of them were ill, there were no adults living there. At the age of nine Marion was the eldest girl and she tried to mother the younger ones. The children had been selected by a Czechoslovakian doctor, who wished to prove that exposure to fresh air and sunshine could cure illnesses. Marion, like many of the children, had tuberculosis. The children were very poorly fed, had few adult visitors and spent hours reclining on wooden chairs outside or sitting inside with windows open in all weathers. The villa was close to the railway line that served the camp and in the autumn of 1944 numerous trains arrived full of dead and dying people. The stench was horrendous, there were mass burials and the smell of decay permeated the garden but the children still had to do their stint outside.
  • Marion survived and although her father also survived, her mother who had been in Auschwitz, had died. As her father was unable to cope Marion was sent to her aunt in the UK. She came for 6 weeks and is still here. Despite having missed more than 4 years of school, having to learn another language and suffering from ill health and nightmares, Marion completed her education and qualified as a nurse. She worked for many years in the field of health visiting, always helping others. Later in life Marion worked in a multi-faith unit attached to the Surrey police and helped with inter-faith understanding and issues relating to the Jewish community. Despite her trauma and the difficulty of speaking about the past, Marion has in recent years spoken to school children on Holocaust Memorial Day about her experience as a child during the war. She is able to make real what they learn in history and make her own personal experience evidence of the truth of the Holocaust. The children are so affected by the talks they send her wonderful personal thank you letters. This keeps alive the terrible events of that time, lest no one forget. Marion has been a member of Soroptimist International since April 1975 and has been an enthusiastic supporter of her club, the organisation and its aims in helping women and girls throughout the world. She has also been a keen participant in our friendship link visits, making many friends internationally. After such terrible events in her childhood Marion has spent her adult life helping others, always cheerful and positive.
  • We at SI Weybridge & District cherish dear Marion, we’ve been privileged to hear her speak, witness her good humour and value her friendship. Hoping soon to welcome her and other members back to meetings post Covid-19.
  • 15 October 2020 Women in the Shadows
  • Suzette gave a fabulous oversight to the club on how modern slavery is so evident in British society and her role working for the Clewer Initiative. She noted data highlighting the fact that there are an estimated 136K women, men and children held in differing forms of servitude or being exploited in Britain now. 1/130 women in Britain are thought to be enslaved to organised crime be it in servitude, agriculture, fraud, sexual exploitation or businesses such as pop up brothels, car washes and nail bars. We should not forget that the nationality of those enslaved is not always as often thought people from developing countries, the ranking for slavery is topped by statistics showing British people are amongst the worst affected. Some are enslaved for years, in Surrey alone in the last 6 months from July 42 cases were under investigation and there are on average 5 new cases a week under investigation.  She explained why it’s hard for victims to raise the alarm (fear, shame) and the importance of vigilance and personal reporting on the part of each and every one of us. Moreover we should question our own motives when buying goods, using services that might be cheap because forced labour is used.
  • Suzette supplied the cascade of contacts individuals can report to even anonymously. The Clewer Nuns (Anglican) are enabling information sharing and action through churches throughout Lent starting January 21st) a 5 week course providing talks and resources and engaging with a team of practitioners. Apps are being developed to enable consumer reporting data collation and provision of guidance on service companies which are bona fide and not involved in slavery.   Crimestoppers, the police and helplines are available resources to report suspected cases. A topical report issued by Walk Free ( https://www.minderoo.org/walk-free/)  is a relevant resource if one wants to further understand the extent of slavery from infanticide, missing persons, educational impedance through to limitations on work and current recommendations. It’s possible to gain a better understanding by subscribing the Clewer Initiative newsletter or publicising the training run for the church of England parishes next year. (https://www.theclewerinitiative.org/news/2019/1/30/new-safeguarding-and-modern-slavery-course
  • Herewith the telephone numbers to put in your mobile regarding modern slavery
  • • Modern Slavery Helpline 08000121700.
    • The Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority 08004320804
    • Crimestoppers on 0800555111
    • Fearless www.fearless.org
    • In an emergency 999
  • When you see something, when you know the situation is not right, all you need to do is telephone, tell of your intuition – if it doesn’t feel right it, it
    probably isn’t. Go on The Clewer website www.theclewerinitiative.org and find out more, sign up for their newsletter
  • 15 July 2020
  • SI Weybridge & District present £500 to Weybridge Foodbank as Covid-19 causes shortfall of in kind donations
  • The Weybridge branch of Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland (SIGBI) has this month responded to donation shortages at the Weybridge Foodbank. A reduction in supermarket shopping, as locals shop online during lockdown, has meant the Foodbank has seen a donation shortfall during recent months. On Wednesday 2 July, Elmbridge resident and member Brenda Saunders from the Weybridge & District Soroptimists (SIWD) presented a cheque for £500 to Angela Miller, Weybridge Foodbank Team Leader. The money will be used to purchase food and household items and vouchers for distribution to those in need in the local area.
  • Run by local women, SIWD is passionate about supporting programmes that improve the lives of women and girls both in Elmbridge and around the world. The branch runs regular fundraisers and supporting community projects including donating women’s health products to the Foodbank in Walton on Thames, providing much needed items which were at that time seldom reaching local collection boxes. Under lockdown their regular ‘Business Meetings’ have been impossible, but the women have pressed on, with 20 local members meeting online each month via Zoom to continue their work.
  • Generally, donations of food and toiletries for the Runnymede & Weybridge Foodbank are collected in Waitrose, Tesco Addlestone, the Weybridge library and at St. James’ church, but COVID-19 and the associated lockdown has significantly reduced the level of retail ‘shopping’, whilst furloughs and job losses in lockdown have created even greater demand.
  • SIWD member Brenda Saunders raised the donation shortage to the Club, highlighting the Weybridge Foodbank COVID-19 appeal for donations. She herself had been popping a weekly ‘donation’ box in her front garden for neighbours to donate to. Club members stepped up and donated the cost of their usual club meal for 3 months (April-June), to raise funds for Foodbank.
  • The Foodbank’s Angela Miller explained that they are usually located at St James’ Church in Weybridge, but due to church closures all provisions are being ‘doorstep’ delivered by volunteers. In due course it’s hoped the church can once again provide a welcoming resource where those in crisis can have a ‘cuppa’ and chat about their situation. The emphasis is very much, Angela explained, “on looking out for local community and signposting the vulnerable and needy to where they can seek additional help and advice so people can break free from poverty.”
  • Dorothy Clark a Weybridge Soroptimist, awarded an MBE for services to children’s education in the community, was truly delighted to see families supported by Soroptimists. She commented: “A child needs nourishment to learn. Food poverty affects families in high cost areas quickly as parents have high fixed outgoings. In Weybridge, any economic change can impact poverty faster as a result; COVID-19 has caused distress and accelerated it.  It’s key we support families now over the summer holidays when schools out, we are glad to do what we can now.”
  • About SIW&D
    Soroptimist International Weybridge & District is an active women’s club with a membership of over 20 women. The club membership is drawn from Molesey, Hersham, Walton & Staines on Thames, Addlestone, Byfleet and Weybridge at present. The Club meets 10 times a year and supports local, national and international projects with a focus on improving the lives of women and girls. We welcome new women members; get in touch to find out more via: https://sigbi.org/weybridge/
  • About the Weybridge Foodbank
    Weybridge Foodbank opened in March 2019 as local requests for emergency help became apparent. Access is by referral with immediate provision of 3 days of emergency food, referrals come from a variety of sources including schools, DWP, Citizens Advice, health professionals and family centres. The Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust network which is currently working in collaboration with Runnymede council.  The Foodbank also runs other support projects including a 6 week “Eat Well Spend Less” cookery course to teach people how to use the tinned and dried foods and combine them with fresh foods they buy in a cost-effective way, budgeting information is also covered on the course to help with how to spend well. Another initiative ‘Food4Lunch’ regularly supplies a two course lunch provisions to local vulnerable families for each 2 weeks of the school holidays. For more information about The Trussell Trust and how you can help see more at https://www.trusselltrust.org/what-we-do/
  • 15 March 2020
  • SI Weybridge & District Murder Mystery Evening raises £1000 towards its #PinkTukTuk Appeal for The Rosie May Foundation
  • March 2020, who will ever forget it? The subtle but unbelievable news of Covid-19 infection cases in Europe grew steadily louder as our Club member Danny Sparkes and her team planned a Murder Mystery evening to raise funds for the 2020 Club goal to enable purchase of a Pink Tuk Tuk by the Rosie May Foundation.
  • In the final days of freedom, before lock down was even perceived, on March 7th the Club held a successful fundraiser.  Ottershaw Players organised the event performing an entertaining pantomime “The Mystery Murders”.  A show in two parts, the audience was spellbound as the characters and events unfurled and the producer was found dead in a dressing room. Over 50 participants followed the characters, the facts, the diversions and then debated the clues, circumstances and culprit over a tasty fish & chip supper. Finishing up with choc-ices and treats and washed down with a glass or two of wine conclusions were drawn and submitted. A masterful presentation of the secrets, surprises and solutions followed in Act II with each character assassinating another and slowly bringing the truths to light. After a fantastic dialogue, performed with panache, the killer was revealed. Only one table of six including a Soroptomister managed to deduce who the killer was!
  • A lively raffle followed, a few more drinks were consumed (after a quick Tesco run to top up the fast diminished bar!).   A ‘TukTuk Tastic’ night for sure. Approaching £1000 was raised on that wet damp evening, a fitting sum towards our 2020 goal. We must extend a huge club ’round of applause’ to Danny our extraordinary STAR performer for securing welcome donations for the raffle, the superb cast from Ottershaw Players and a tasteful venue.  This was most certainly a masterful occasion thanks to Danny’s hard work and talent in getting a job done. Not to miss either …thanking Colin who produced a fabulous life size pink Tuk Tuk for the club as you can see. Big thanks too to the backstage team in the kitchen and bar and hosts who charmed everyone and made the evening an event to be proud of.
  • Ticket sales were tough for an event held on a winter’s night during the COVID-9 pandemic. It was superb to see Soroptimists from Woking, Weybridge and even a TV celebrity enjoying the evening. The proceeds of £1000 will make a big contribution to our PINKTT target in 2020.
  • January 2020
  • ‘SOROPPORTUNITY’ IN SOUTH AFRICA – Alexis Neville, Club Member and past Regional President reports
  • On my recent trip to South Africa I stayed with a Past Regional President of Southern Region.  She took me to meet a friend and fellow Cape of Good Hope Soroptimist Susan, who runs a Children’s Project.  The project is located in what these days they call an informal settlement, above Hout Bay south of Cape Town.  Susan originally thought of starting an orphanage but after 18 months getting to know the people in the settlement and asking what they wanted, she discovered they would prefer the children to stay in the community with relatives and friends rather than be separated from them.  However, many of the children did need help and support.  The children go to local schools but after school they go to the project for that help and support.  The volunteers at the project help the children to read, provide space and help for homework, provide some formal teaching by age group (particularly English) and fun and games.  They also provide a hot meal each evening and cold food to take home so they eat before school next day.  All the children receive hugs when they arrive and are listened to and cared for.  The volunteers also work within the settlement helping when there is a family crisis or other events.  When we were being shown around we met a teacher of the older children marking their English test. The questions were on the blackboard and one of them I’d have struggled to answer.  I also think a lot of children in the UK would have found the one asking them to form a sentence with a semi colon challenging.  We were also impressed with the children’s’ writing – neat and well formed.  Within the project there is also a separate training facility for teenagers where they are taught to be baristas so they can get jobs in the many coffee bars and restaurants in the locality.
  • One of the young volunteers from Sweden had the children write short pieces about their lives and the project and had these published in a beautiful colourful book that is sold to help fund the project.  One of the amazing sections is where they write about the fire in the settlement in 2014.  You can imagine how horrific it must have been with all the very flammable shacks so close together and roads too narrow for the fire engines. 
  • December 2019
  • Dorothy Clark MBE, Club Founder  reports on Visit to Sri Lanka
  • Dennis’ and my main reason for visiting Sri Lanka was to meet Dilini’s new baby girl born in July – this was our 26th visit to Sri Lanka and it has been wonderful to support, Dilini and Buddhini, the Tsunami orphans we met 14 years ago together with SI Weybridge & District.  Having seen them grow up and attending Dilini’s graduation ceremony from the University of Colombo and her wedding to Sagara we could not wait to meet their baby, Dewshi.  She is beautiful.

A big welcome to SI Weybridge & District the Soroptimist (Southern Region) Women’s Club covering Elmbridge Borough

Here you will find Weekly News about our club and wider national and global Soroptimist and UN initiatives

2022 Diary & Reports

  • Thurs 21 April Business Meeting and AGM
    Speaker – National Arboretum on Zoom, Guest TBC Rosie May Foundation
  • Tues May 10 National Arboretum visit (Prov.)
  • Sat 14 May Oatlands Village Fayre (SIW&D exhibitor stand)
  • Thurs 17 May Business Meeting
    Speaker -Pervin Ahmad of Saheliya via Zoom
  • Friday June 3 Platinum Jubilee Tea in Weybridge
  • Thurs 16 June Business Meeting No Speaker
  • Sat 18 June SISE Regional Meeting (All members welcome), Alton Comm. Centre
  • Sat 25 June – Tea and Temptations Fashion Show – Joint SI Woking –  Fundraiser for Barbara Watts VIP Project Pretoria at Mayford Village Hall, Woking from 2.00-5.00pm – 50 Tickets available £20
  • Thurs July 21st Business Meeting
  • Sun Aug 14th Summer Social
  • Thurs 15 Sept Business Meeting – Speaker TBC
  • Sat 17th Sept SISE Regional Meeting & AGM, Alton Comm. Centre
  • Thurs 20 Oct Business Meeting – Speaker TBC
  • 25-27 Oct SIGBI Annual Conference, ICC Belfast
  • Sun 13 Nov Remembrance Sunday SI Wreath 
  • Thurs 17 Nov Business Meeting
  • November 25th to December 10th – ’16 days of Activism’
  • Sat 19 Nov SISE Regional Meeting on Zoom
  • Fri 16 Dec Christmas Lunch – Burwood Golf Club
  • Thurs 19 Jan Business Meeting – No Speaker
  • Thurs 16 Feb Business Meeting – Speaker TBC
  • Thurs 14 Mar Business Meeting – Speaker TBC
  • Thurs 20 April Business Meeting and AGM (No Speaker)
  • Business/Supper meetings 7pm for 7.30pm at The Wheatsheaf in Esher – 2 course supper inc. service: £32 paid ahead

April 6th – Easter Egg Donation to #Walton&Hersham Foodbank

Jeannie and Ann visited the foodbank warehouse to deliver 70 eggs and other grocery items today. Members donated eggs or cash to enable this donation part of the 2002 community action. In March we welcomed a prospective new member to the monthly meeting. In April we have two more new potential members attending on April 21st in Esher. Women interested in joining are invited to join the supper and/or the business meetings over a few months to learn about our projects, meet local soroptimists and see if they enjoy the focus of enabling women and girls to succeed and sustainability and climate aspects. April’s meeting in primarily an AGM but we have a speaker from the National Memorial Arboretum joining us on Zoom ahead of a visit to the club arboretum in 2022.

March 30th – Soroptimist Southern Region (SISE) Ukraine Donation

Today Weybridge & District Soroptimists generously donated £1010 to Soroptimist Southern Region (SISE)  Ukraine Fund. All southern regional clubs donated before March 30th. The sums collected will now be distributed to SI local Clubs in  Lviv in Ukraine and Chisinau in Moldova where soroptimists are actively helping local displaced Ukrainan families in Ukraine and nearby locations with food and medicines. A SISE club member has recently visited these clubs to see the valuable work soroptimists have been and continue to do on the ground since the war started.

Generous individual club members have been helping with incredible neighbourly support, food donation and assistance with job search to a local family in Weybridge who are housing a significant number of Ukraine family members. Others are helping with organised community shipments from Walton on Thames with cash, food and sundries as direct action. The Club agreed to use club charity funds for authenticated charity organisations only at this stage on the Treasurer’s request pending any SIGBI or SISE directives.  Members are able to best judge best use of their time, assistance and donations.

Elmbridge CAN a local refugee charity selected for SIWAD community support in 2022 have also been supported by some members in aiding a housed family with kitchen items.

Members have been fast to act and agree their preferred action and will continue to monitor needs. All are at liberty to support any of these or other projects tabled.

March 17th – Monthly Club Meeting & Foodbank Easter Donation

Susan Booth of the leading UK charity Target Ovarian Cancer spoke to the club on Zoom. This talk was scheduled to coincide with Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, March. Club members had over 150 posters, symptom diaries and information booklets to distribute during March to GP surgeries, local clinics, shops and notice boards.

Soroptimists collected 70 Easter Eggs for the @Walton&hershamfoodbank for distribution as part of local community program action. Contact Sally via https://sigbi.org/contact-us/ to get in touch.

March 13th – STEM Student Bursary 2023 – Wine Tasting – £900 Raised towards a 2022 Target of £1000

Over 40 kind people supported SI Weybridge & District with donations of funds, raffle prizes, gifts and help. Today the club hosted 30 guests at a Wine tasting in Molesey and raised £900. Guests enjoyed hearing Sue Cope @elvigilantedelvino talk about the wine, heads & tails, a raffle and a delicious supper followed.  This brings the Elmbridge based SI Club close to the first £1000 needed p.a. to offer a 3 year annual Bursary to a less advantaged female STEM subject student identified in liaison with local schools and the nominated university.

March 12th – Watch out around Elmbridge for posters showing the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. Soroptimists are handing out and delivering symptom diaries and information at stations and GP/maternity clinics in Elmbridge. This month March we welcome a speaker from Target Ovarian Cancer at our monthly meeting on 17th. We support all cancer charities but specifically #TargetOvarianCancer make women aware of the symptoms, support access to diagnosis and early treatment.

Bloated tummy, Always feeling full? Pelvic or abdominal pain? Need to wee more? Occasionally other symptoms can be present e.g. changes in bowel habit i.e. diarrhoea or constipation, extreme fatigue, unexplained weight loss. Symptoms are Frequent happening more than 12 times a month, Persistent they don’t go away, New – they are not normal for you.

Target Ovarian Cancer have symptom diaries so you can track your symptoms ahead of seeing your GP. Check with family if they have suffered with ovarian or breast cancer, be persistent, seek blood tests and scans. Don’t be put off if you know now what is normal/abnormal for your body. Be symptom aware, share info and watch out for your friends too, visit your GP to get checked out full. You can make a difference at work, in the community in your family by talking about this cancer.

Important:

  • Cervical screening smear tests will not detect ovarian cancer.
  • Most cases are diagnosed in women who have had the menopause but younger women can also get it
  • The sooner its detected the easier it is to treat. Survival is up to 90% at the earliest stage.
  • Irritable bowel symptoms are similar to ovarian cancer but new cases of IBS are very unlikely in women over age 50.
  • Target Ovarian Cancer is the UK’s leading ovarian cancer charity, working to improve early diagnosis, fund life saving research and provide much needed support to women with the cancer. Their nurse led support line provides confidential information, support and signposting for anyone concerned about ovarian cancer.

Source:targetovariancancer.org.uk – Phone: 020 7923 5475

March 8th – #IWD2022

SIGBI posters are up and visible we were so delighted with the positive response of shop keepers, stations, libraries and supermarkets to helping #Soroptimists make the community more aware. One Czech woman we spoke to in #Mercado in Molesey explain that in her country flowers are distributed to all women on IWD, its a far more important date then Mother’s Day as it recognises that ALL women need support to obtain equality and alleviate poverty. SI clubs around the world are challenging bias and highlighting how we can make the world a fairer place.

The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all.

March 6th – #IWD2022 March 8th. Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field. Are you in? Will you actively call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping each time you see it? Will you help break the bias? Cross your arms to show solidarity.

  • Strike the IWD 2022 pose and share your #BreakTheBias image, video, resources, presentation or articles on social media using #IWD2022 #BreakTheBias to encourage further people to commit to helping forge an inclusive world.
Local shops in #ThamesDitton, #Molesey, #Hamptoncourtvillage are doing their part with local #Soroptimists. Share this post to raise more awareness and support.#breakthebias2022; #alleviatepoverty,#westandupforwomen,#IWD2022

March 5th – IWD 2022 campaign theme: #BreakTheBias

Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

March 4th – International Women’s Day is coming on Tuesday March 8th. Today we shout out for our local rail station at #hamptoncourtpalace, #electricalsupplies retailer on the Broadway and #Smilessencedentists in #Molesey who all kindly displayed a Soroptimist IWD2022 poster to raise awareness and support this annual UN initiative.

There’s still time to help raise awareness? Pop up the IWD22 official poster in your car window, on your fence, on your social media profiles, one small step at a time… International Women’s Day (March is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

SIGBI #IWD Posters are all up and around big  thanks to Brenda and Cathy, Jeannie and Ann  – It’s International Women’s Day #IWD2022 on March 8th.

Today we shout out for our local amazing shops in #ThamesDitton and #Molesey specifically today our Thames Ditton grocer #Paulls and the #GeorgeAndDragon Pub and Molesey’s top stationers #ekaservices who all very kindly displayed a Soroptimist #IWD2022 poster to raise awareness and support this annual UN initiative.
Not all women get acknowledgement, gender equality and respect can you help raise awareness? Pop up the IWD2022 official poster in your car window, on your fence, on your social media profile, one small step at a time…
International Women’s Day on March 8 is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

March 2nd – SIGBI’s Emergency Relief Fund has donated £5,000 to the British Red Cross, Ukrainian Appeal to help the Ukrainian refugees who are fleeing the war with Russia. The latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees show that more than 600,000 people have left the country and many more thousands are displaced from their homes within Ukraine. Ukrainian Red Cross volunteers are reaching as many people as possible, distributing 30,000 food and hygiene parcels so far, and helping evacuate people with disabilities. Teams have also provided first aid training to 1,000 people in metro stations and bomb shelters, and are supporting fire fighters, medical and civil protection units.

We urge all parties involved in Ukraine to swiftly work for an agreed peaceful outcome. https://sigbi.org/…/soroptimist-international-great…/

 

March 1st – International Women’s Day – March 8th – The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all. Look put for the posters around Molesey, Walton, Weybridge those created by Soroptimists to raise awareness of this UN led focus on why promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment can help deliver better environmental outcomes, and to figure out how it can be done. The Generation Equality campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve. Visit the UN Women’s website for more information about the theme. Multimedia content is coming soon to help you spread the message of gender equality by sharing on your social media accounts. https://www.unwomen.org/…/international-womens-day-2022…

 

International Women’s Day – March 8th
The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all. Look put for the posters created by Soroptimists to raise awareness of this UN led focus on why promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment can help deliver better environmental outcomes, and to figure out how it can be done.
The Generation Equality campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve. Visit the UN Women’s website for more information about the theme. Multimedia content is coming soon to help you spread the message of gender equality by sharing on your social media accounts.

February 17th – Monthly meeting at The Wheatsheaf at 7pm. Nina from Walton & Hersham Foodbank is speaking at 7.30pm.  We will once again gather Easter Eggs for the Foodbank in March in readiness for Easter.

February 11th – Calling all members The next PR and Marketing Facebook Live session for members takes place on Saturday 19th February 2022, 14.00 – 14.30 GMT. Join Binita Sen and Gail Sinha for 30 minutes of top tips for building your club’s brand.

February 8th – PRESS RELEASE

Weybridge & District Soroptimist group is pleased to announce our newest member: ‘Dorothy’ the pink Tuk Tuk. Since 2018, we’ve been working hard to raise £4,000 to buy Dorothy, who will operate as a female-only taxi service – creating a sustainable source of income for single parent mums and creating safe travel for women and girls in Sri Lanka. The Tuk Tuk is on order and local mums will soon be identified and trained as drivers, as well as in the necessary business skills to transport women and girls to school, work and social events in safety.

A big thank you to all of the local members who have supported this big effort, especially club member Dorothy Clarke MBE, for bringing this unique project to the group. Covid didn’t stop us – and as we celebrate our Centennial year this is proof of how much more we can achieve!
Would you like to achieve more for women and girls? Get in touch to talk about coming to a meeting or joining us via Zoom to learn about our local work in Elmbridge.
Help us succeed…share our posts widely!

February 1st – Today is International Day of Human Fraternity.Read our latest blog all about this day by #Soroptimist Carol Infanti. “It makes me thankful that I am a Soroptimist, part of a sisterhood where we all work together to support all women, whatever age, race or religion, where-ever we are in the world. Do encourage other women to join us. Happy and peaceful International Day of Human Fraternity.” Grab a cuppa and read it now https://bit.ly/34vTr3a. #HumanFraternityDay

 

January 24th – Over 70 refugees are living locally in Elmbridge in hotel accommodation and two families have been housed in our midst. A speaker from Elmbridge CAN a small local charity spoke at our meeting last Thursday to highlight how the community can help settle and familiarise children and adults during their settlement and after. Sue has written a nice summary. The speaker gave us a reading list which is worth publicising to widen perceptions and learning about life experiences refugees have faced.
To receive the charity newsletter or learn more link http://www.elmbridgecan.org.uk/get-involved.html
Sea Prayer by Khalid Hosseini (author of Kite Runner) ISBN 978-1526602718
Shatila Stories published by Pierene Now!, nine refugees were commissioned to tell their stories in this collaborative fiction. ISBN 978-1908670496
No Friend but the mountains by Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist ISBN 978-1525287077
In the Wars by Dr Wahid Arian ISBN 978-0552177641
Hope not fears by Hassan Akkad, an inspiring Syrian who is well known to Elmbridge CAN and has spoken at their events ISBN 978-1529059830 and finally,
England – poems from a school some incredibly moving short poems from a refugee experience. ISBN 978-1509886609
Today is #InternationalDayofEducation
Read all about the day and what #Soroptimists are doing in our latest blog written by Yvonne Gibbon. https://bit.ly/33YxuJX.

January 21st – Well done for all the lobbying friends  – news from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust – Thrilled that the Taxi & PHV Bill passed through the Commons today. Thank you to all who have worked tirelessly on this issue. “Our constituents can have more peace of mind knowing that steps have moved forward today to make their taxi use safer”. Now on to the Lords. Peter Gibson MP – #RightToBeSafe

January 18th – Last Saturday Anne G hosted a 2nd amazing #SIWeybridgeandDistrict fundraiser luncheon for ‘#Soroptimist members locally. The lunch and raffle raised a very significant sum towards the project to buy a Pink Tuk Tuk for the #RosieMayFoundation in Sri Lanka. On Thursday Dee will sum up the final total raised since project inception in 2018 to now. Here we luncheon members are.. enjoying the moment! Share our SI news, bring a friend to a meeting, ask a colleague to join in with our projects this year and come to the meeting on Thursday inspired full of ideas for the local charities we could support his year 2022.
January 17th – This months meeting in Molesey is on Thursday 20th this week, look out for the Agenda. Next months meeting on 17th February is in Esher. Save the date. The speakers this week are from Elmbridge CAN. Elmbridge CAN is a small charity, based in Elmbridge, Surrey, UK. They aim to build a culture of welcome to refugees within the local community, and work to achieve the settlement of more refugees in the Borough of Elmbridge. Elmbridge CAN is a member of the ​City of Sanctuary Movement. Read more about their work and immediate resource and housing needs at http://www.elmbridgecan.org.uk/

January 6th – “As we enter the new year, the spectre of the pandemic still hangs over us, but I am confident that, as Soroptimists, you will rise to the challenges presented, as you have done so magnificently throughout last two years.” Read our January message by #Soroptimist President Cathy Cottridge in full, now on the website, click below to read.

Happy New Year dear Friends and families. Meeting date 19 January. 7pm. Looking forward to welcoming a young speaker from Elmbridge CAN. This meeting is at Ann M’s house as she is very young. Refreshments only.

2021

Constrained for 6 months by lockdowns/safety, Soroptimists at SI Weybridge and District met on Zoom and once again undertook to donate part or all of their supper meeting meal cost to central funds to enable our support work continued.

Activities in the year

17 December 2021 – Festive social at Burhill Golf Club, meeting members and their partners and friends in Covid safe conditions. It was a spectacular day of friendship, fun and celebration of the club’s success and afforded a chance to think of those members who were unable to be with us due to vulnerability and health decline. Most significant off all we were able to plan final arrangements for two Pink Tuk Tuk spring lunches to raise the final £1000 for the Sri Lanka Women’s Rosie May charity.

SIGBI News was issued online with full details of the successful virtual global conference held from Llandudno.

10th December –  SI Weybridge & District delivered £300 of Aldi vouchers to Walton & Hersham Foodbank to enable 30 festive food parcels to contain a £10 voucher enabling families to choose something special to include with their shopping for Xmas courtesy of our members.

23rd November –  for 16 days consecutive Soroptimists around the World posted information, coloured buildings orange and publicised the #16daysofactivism, our club elected to buy £300 of ‘orange’ Aldi food vouchers for the local foodbank.

November 17th – On Remembrance Sunday Dorothy Clarke MBE a club member represented SI Weybridge at the memorial placing a wreath on Weybridge memorial as we have for 45 consecutive years.

November 21st – Six club members joined with over 50 from the Southern Region to celebrate the Centennial Year and hear Hampshire MP Caroline Noakes and other clubs speak. The annual AGM was held in Alton and Southern  Region were delighted to be crowned runners up nationally for their successful enrolment of new members partly due to the success of the new club in Salisbury. A new club is also coming together in the region, watch the space for news.

November 2nd – The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) began in Glasgow and ran until 12 November 2021.
#Soroptimists are excited to be taking part in #COP26 – they had a stand in the Green Room, Green Zone to raise awareness of the global SI organisation, it’s seat on the UN and impact.
October 6th – SIGBI hosted a Centennial Reception of Club members to celebrate at The House of Lords, London.
October 18th – SIGBI region countries noted  that over 64,000 trees had now been reported on the SIGBI Tree Planting Map, what an amazing effort for the region region. SI Weybridge were able to report that a new copse of trees had been planted at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey following site redevelopment works.  Working with the NHS and a tree donator we now await a plaque installation to mark the global SI Centennial year.

 

September 17th – Yippee! #siweybridge met for the first time since lockdown last Thursday, and what a delight it was to see members in person and online. We were able to greet our speakers from Cook4Care a worthy local charity founded in 2020 and now flourishing. Maria and Davina two founders explained how their experience in teaching and life had brought them into contact with young carers specific challenges; the charity now provides hundreds of free fresh nutritious meals to enable young carers to free up time instead of cooking two nights a week.. A recent survey of outcomes highlighted how the extra money saved is a hidden advantage allowing families to save a little more for luxuries like days out. Supermarkets locally including #Waitrose and #Morrisons enable their work alongside the dozens of volunteer cooks, drivers and delivery folk.

We also held our #Soroptimist100 candle ceremony to mark the Soroptimist International 100th Birthday? Starting 21 September, Clubs and Soroptimists around the world are taking part in candle ceremonies, making wishes for the lives of women and girls! In Elmbridge we made our our candle wishes for women and girls:-

For WW SI Clubs old and newly incorporated to grow and succeed to meet the ever more evolving global and geopolitical demands of international poverty, education and discrimination as we emerge from this pandemic

For Soroptimists within the SIGBI region to enable changes in values, attitudes, awareness and freedoms through lobbying, a UN presence and better visibility for the next generation to maintain freedom of speech and expression
For clubs in our Southern England region to attract and motivate local community action by involving more women and young people, foster relations with partner organisations and one another sharing expertise, knowledge and skills and using technology to enhance our impact.
September 25th – 100 for 100 families https://waltonhersham.foodbank.org.uk/
#Soroptimist100 .. as part of our Centennial year celebrations our club in Elmbridge (covering Weybridge and district including Walton and Molesey) donated 100 bottles of children’s sun lotion to Walton and Hersham foodbank during July ahead of the holidays. It may not be food but is just as essential an item and much welcomed by the team of volunteers at the foodbank and the outreach support scheme members. Sincere thanks to our club members who donated the cost of a meal to the club to enable this purchase and donation. Good Work a small but valued part of over £3000 of local donations in kind this last 12 months.
September 18th – National Memorial Arboretum—unveiling of SI statue and afternoon tea. An event was arranged to unveil the superb new statue at the SIGBI plot, and celebrate Soroptimist International’s Centenary at an afternoon tea.
August 6th - SIGBI News online articles covering 
  • how Soroptimists are tackling Climate Change, which is the focus of reports by both our Assistant Programme Directors for Planet and Partnerships;
  • the final three interviews in our Meet the Board Up Close series;
  • full details of the Llandudno Virtual Conference 2021 unveiled;
  • what SI clubs have been doing to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Soroptimist International as well as an update on SIGBI’s celebrations

July 17th – Soroptimist Day of Action on Climate Change…This year action, awareness raising and advocacy are of great significance. We all as Soroptimists need to raise our own profile but, more importantly, the issues around addressing climate change for succeeding generations as well as ourselves. Although climate change is often on the news at present there seems to be little awareness that we, as individuals, can do a lot ourselves. This ranges from raising awareness of what we CAN do, to lobbying governments from local to national and to international and, of course taking action personally. “Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”, but we need to help the pounds too.  Let’s start with ourselves – have you taken a look at the UN’s Carbon Footprint Calculator. I really need to do better – not travelling to New York each March for CSW might help since flying is 40% of my footprint (not during Covid of course), with electricity at 38%, food 15% and car 7%. This makes my annual emissions equal 17 tonnes whereas the UK average is 6t and the world at 5t. Less time on the computer would help with electricity! Removing the long haul flight to New York reduces my total consumption to 11t with electricity now being 58% of my total. The UN also provides a carbon offset scheme – these can be filtered for continent and country and covers Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. Alternatively you could do so by supporting our programmes to address climate change – for trees see https://sigbi.org/…/planting-trees-for-a…/4773-2/. Clearly our tree and mangrove planting, supporting Fairtrade, installing solar panels and using the UN campaign for individuals all – ACT NOW – will all contribute to our own commitments.

June 10th Call for Action – I hope we can get every woman and Soroptimist in England to respond to this evidence gathering exercise. I know I have not been listened to because I am a woman. How about you? “We are seeking your views to help inform the development of the government’s Women’s Health Strategy. This call for evidence is seeking to collect views on women’s health. It will run for a period of 14 weeks and is open to everyone aged 16 and over. The easiest way to participate in the call for evidence as an individual is by completing the public survey.

June 9th – Meeting – We heard how refugees are handled in Britain. Our speaker in May was Professor Monojit Chatterji, Fellow in Economics, Trinity Hall (Retd), Professor New College of Humanities, London, Professor, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh.

April 28th – Today is World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Read our latest blog by #Soroptimist Carol Infanti and find out all about the day and what you can do sigbi.org/2021/world-day-for-safety-and-health-at-work. #SafetyAndHealthAtWork #SoroptimistsStandUpForWomen

April 15th – #Soroptimists our SIGBI charity, the Emergency Relief Fund, has made a payment of £1,000 to St Vincent and the Grenadines, in the wake of the devastating volcano eruption. If members wish to make a personal donation, they can do so through the Emergency Relief Fund, by sending any monies for St Vincent to Joanne Voller at Head Qffice.
Our SI SVG sisters in Kingstown are cooking meals for evacuees.
The St Vincent volcano: UN warns humanitarian crisis will last months. The humanitarian crisis caused by volcanic eruptions on the Caribbean island of St Vincent will last for months, a UN official has warned. Didier Trebucq said nearby islands including Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda could also be badly affected. He said the UN was setting up an international funding appeal. About 20,000 people have been evacuated from their homes since La Soufrière volcano began erupting last Friday. It had not previously erupted since 1979.
April 15 – Johanna Raffin Federation President has kindly sent a letter of condolences to HM The Queen on SIGBI’s behalf. Clubs should feel free to add condolences to the online memorial.
March 8th – #IWD2021 success! Donations made for Q1 to 2 charities
Soroptimists Celebrate 100 Years buying Chocolate!
Buying chocolate produced by companies who support sustainable methods of cocoa bean farming and enable women to work under fair conditions is key to our principle of promoting equality and prevention of poverty.
SI Weybridge & District are supporting #IWD in several ways as part of the #soroptimistinternational Centennial effort. Women struggling to feed their families have been supported by the Club this year with significant donations to the local food bank. We’re also ready to donate 100 eggs this week to Walton & Hersham Foodbank in response to their plea for chocolate donations in the run up to Easter. Working together we can WIN for another 100 Years! Like to join us? Message me to hear about our next meeting date or meet for a socially distanced coffee…
Hoping the 100 Easter Eggs make a difference to the local community in this our SI Centenary Year. Thank you SI Weybridge & District members for your generosity. Dee & Ann were delighted to meet Nina, Fiona and Paul of #waltonandhershamfoodbank today at St. John’s Church, Walton one of the foodbank distribution points.
Also supporting #NorthSurreyDomesticAbuse  Centre with a £600 donation for further outreach support.
March 1st – Commission on the Status of Women 65
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 65 is scheduled to take place 15-26 March 2021 in New York. For the first time this will be a virtual event. You can join for free. Please be reminded that if you want to register for CSW 65 (and receive updates) then you need to do so by the Indico
website by 22 February 2021. Registration with the UN opens from 28 December 2020 until 22 February 2021. Registration for CSW 65 is completed on the UN Indico platform https://indico.un.org/event/35605/registration/ which will enable participants to receive information about preparation activities as well as information about virtual formal and informal meetings and opportunities for interaction, including social media mobilisation directly to your registered email address. You do need to register separately with NGO CSW65 for the parallel events (outside the UN). These sessions are free but you do need to register as an Advocate). Registration for the NGO parallel events needs to be done
separately on the NGO CSW65 website.
Give as you Spend – Advent Competition
  • Don’t forget anyone can support your Club funds & initiatives by registering with Easyfundraising and nominating SI Weybridge as your charity, if you are buying items/presents at most major retailers a small percentage is donated from the cost to our account. It’s really EASY and allows us to build a fund for a project. Here’s a bit of festive fun – easyfundraising are running an Advent Calendar competition with a £250 donation to be won every day in December, plus a Christmas Day Grand Prize of a £2000 donation and a £2000 John Lewis & Partners gift card! It’s free and open to all easyfundraising causes so if your group isn’t using easyfundraising yet, sign up here so you can enter too: http://efraising.org/2fppkVuJo4.

 

17th December 2020

  • Join our Festive Bird Bingo evening, socialise online over Zoom with your friends and join in the fun. Wear a festive outfit/hat/glasses. Have your fizz or tipple at the ready to toast our Club and Region. Nominate a Festive Character for their attitude, tenacity or innovation this year. This is a nice opportunity to catch up over a more leisurely evening with friends and to hear how Margaret’s house move is going, news from Maggie, about Nadine’s visit to award Marion’s certificate and gifts.
  • 8th December 2020
  • This month our Club is thrilled to see our nomination for the Centenary WhoIsShe? recognition has been made to Marion Strehlow, a club member since 1975. SI Weybridge Member MARION  features as one of 100 Soroptimists commemorated in our Centennial Year – MANY CONGRATULATIONS
  • Marion has been a Soroptimist since 1975 – 45 years!
  • Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) together with Soroptimists from across the world join together to celebrate 100 years of Soroptimist International (SI) and celebrate a ‘Bright Past’ and a ‘Brilliant Future’. When Soroptimist International reaches a milestone in its history as now, the Celebration of 100 Years of Service, it is fitting that we should look back and pay tribute to those pioneers who established Soroptimist International on firm foundations and kept the flag flying through difficult times. Each month there will be a showcase celebrating some  ‘Soroptimist Pioneers
  • These #WhoIsShe? campaign members, both past and present, from Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland have all been nominated by Soroptimist Clubs for their noteworthy contribution to society in the furtherance of the aims and objects of the organisation.
  • Marion was born in Berlin on 15th April 1935 to a Jewish family. As a child during the Second World War she was transported to the Theresienstadt GheCo/Camp known as Terezin. Her father was also in the camp but she had very little contact with him and had been told he was dying. From spring 1944 until summer 1945 she was one of the children resident in ‘the villa’. The children were of mixed ages and nationalities and all of them were ill, there were no adults living there. At the age of nine Marion was the eldest girl and she tried to mother the younger ones. The children had been selected by a Czechoslovakian doctor, who wished to prove that exposure to fresh air and sunshine could cure illnesses. Marion, like many of the children, had tuberculosis. The children were very poorly fed, had few adult visitors and spent hours reclining on wooden chairs outside or sitting inside with windows open in all weathers. The villa was close to the railway line that served the camp and in the autumn of 1944 numerous trains arrived full of dead and dying people. The stench was horrendous, there were mass burials and the smell of decay permeated the garden but the children still had to do their stint outside.
  • Marion survived and although her father also survived, her mother who had been in Auschwitz, had died. As her father was unable to cope Marion was sent to her aunt in the UK. She came for 6 weeks and is still here. Despite having missed more than 4 years of school, having to learn another language and suffering from ill health and nightmares, Marion completed her education and qualified as a nurse. She worked for many years in the field of health visiting, always helping others. Later in life Marion worked in a multi-faith unit attached to the Surrey police and helped with inter-faith understanding and issues relating to the Jewish community. Despite her trauma and the difficulty of speaking about the past, Marion has in recent years spoken to school children on Holocaust Memorial Day about her experience as a child during the war. She is able to make real what they learn in history and make her own personal experience evidence of the truth of the Holocaust. The children are so affected by the talks they send her wonderful personal thank you letters. This keeps alive the terrible events of that time, lest no one forget. Marion has been a member of Soroptimist International since April 1975 and has been an enthusiastic supporter of her club, the organisation and its aims in helping women and girls throughout the world. She has also been a keen participant in our friendship link visits, making many friends internationally. After such terrible events in her childhood Marion has spent her adult life helping others, always cheerful and positive.
  • We at SI Weybridge & District cherish dear Marion, we’ve been privileged to hear her speak, witness her good humour and value her friendship. Hoping soon to welcome her and other members back to meetings post Covid-19.
  • 15 October 2020 Women in the Shadows
  • Suzette gave a fabulous oversight to the club on how modern slavery is so evident in British society and her role working for the Clewer Initiative. She noted data highlighting the fact that there are an estimated 136K women, men and children held in differing forms of servitude or being exploited in Britain now. 1/130 women in Britain are thought to be enslaved to organised crime be it in servitude, agriculture, fraud, sexual exploitation or businesses such as pop up brothels, car washes and nail bars. We should not forget that the nationality of those enslaved is not always as often thought people from developing countries, the ranking for slavery is topped by statistics showing British people are amongst the worst affected. Some are enslaved for years, in Surrey alone in the last 6 months from July 42 cases were under investigation and there are on average 5 new cases a week under investigation.  She explained why it’s hard for victims to raise the alarm (fear, shame) and the importance of vigilance and personal reporting on the part of each and every one of us. Moreover we should question our own motives when buying goods, using services that might be cheap because forced labour is used.
  • Suzette supplied the cascade of contacts individuals can report to even anonymously. The Clewer Nuns (Anglican) are enabling information sharing and action through churches throughout Lent starting January 21st) a 5 week course providing talks and resources and engaging with a team of practitioners. Apps are being developed to enable consumer reporting data collation and provision of guidance on service companies which are bona fide and not involved in slavery.   Crimestoppers, the police and helplines are available resources to report suspected cases. A topical report issued by Walk Free ( https://www.minderoo.org/walk-free/)  is a relevant resource if one wants to further understand the extent of slavery from infanticide, missing persons, educational impedance through to limitations on work and current recommendations. It’s possible to gain a better understanding by subscribing the Clewer Initiative newsletter or publicising the training run for the church of England parishes next year. (https://www.theclewerinitiative.org/news/2019/1/30/new-safeguarding-and-modern-slavery-course
  • Herewith the telephone numbers to put in your mobile regarding modern slavery
  • • Modern Slavery Helpline 08000121700.
    • The Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority 08004320804
    • Crimestoppers on 0800555111
    • Fearless www.fearless.org
    • In an emergency 999
  • When you see something, when you know the situation is not right, all you need to do is telephone, tell of your intuition – if it doesn’t feel right it, it
    probably isn’t. Go on The Clewer website www.theclewerinitiative.org and find out more, sign up for their newsletter
  • 15 July 2020
  • SI Weybridge & District present £500 to Weybridge Foodbank as Covid-19 causes shortfall of in kind donations
  • The Weybridge branch of Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland (SIGBI) has this month responded to donation shortages at the Weybridge Foodbank. A reduction in supermarket shopping, as locals shop online during lockdown, has meant the Foodbank has seen a donation shortfall during recent months. On Wednesday 2 July, Elmbridge resident and member Brenda Saunders from the Weybridge & District Soroptimists (SIWD) presented a cheque for £500 to Angela Miller, Weybridge Foodbank Team Leader. The money will be used to purchase food and household items and vouchers for distribution to those in need in the local area.
  • Run by local women, SIWD is passionate about supporting programmes that improve the lives of women and girls both in Elmbridge and around the world. The branch runs regular fundraisers and supporting community projects including donating women’s health products to the Foodbank in Walton on Thames, providing much needed items which were at that time seldom reaching local collection boxes. Under lockdown their regular ‘Business Meetings’ have been impossible, but the women have pressed on, with 20 local members meeting online each month via Zoom to continue their work.
  • Generally, donations of food and toiletries for the Runnymede & Weybridge Foodbank are collected in Waitrose, Tesco Addlestone, the Weybridge library and at St. James’ church, but COVID-19 and the associated lockdown has significantly reduced the level of retail ‘shopping’, whilst furloughs and job losses in lockdown have created even greater demand.
  • SIWD member Brenda Saunders raised the donation shortage to the Club, highlighting the Weybridge Foodbank COVID-19 appeal for donations. She herself had been popping a weekly ‘donation’ box in her front garden for neighbours to donate to. Club members stepped up and donated the cost of their usual club meal for 3 months (April-June), to raise funds for Foodbank.
  • The Foodbank’s Angela Miller explained that they are usually located at St James’ Church in Weybridge, but due to church closures all provisions are being ‘doorstep’ delivered by volunteers. In due course it’s hoped the church can once again provide a welcoming resource where those in crisis can have a ‘cuppa’ and chat about their situation. The emphasis is very much, Angela explained, “on looking out for local community and signposting the vulnerable and needy to where they can seek additional help and advice so people can break free from poverty.”
  • Dorothy Clark a Weybridge Soroptimist, awarded an MBE for services to children’s education in the community, was truly delighted to see families supported by Soroptimists. She commented: “A child needs nourishment to learn. Food poverty affects families in high cost areas quickly as parents have high fixed outgoings. In Weybridge, any economic change can impact poverty faster as a result; COVID-19 has caused distress and accelerated it.  It’s key we support families now over the summer holidays when schools out, we are glad to do what we can now.”
  • About SIW&D
    Soroptimist International Weybridge & District is an active women’s club with a membership of over 20 women. The club membership is drawn from Molesey, Hersham, Walton & Staines on Thames, Addlestone, Byfleet and Weybridge at present. The Club meets 10 times a year and supports local, national and international projects with a focus on improving the lives of women and girls. We welcome new women members; get in touch to find out more via: https://sigbi.org/weybridge/
  • About the Weybridge Foodbank
    Weybridge Foodbank opened in March 2019 as local requests for emergency help became apparent. Access is by referral with immediate provision of 3 days of emergency food, referrals come from a variety of sources including schools, DWP, Citizens Advice, health professionals and family centres. The Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust network which is currently working in collaboration with Runnymede council.  The Foodbank also runs other support projects including a 6 week “Eat Well Spend Less” cookery course to teach people how to use the tinned and dried foods and combine them with fresh foods they buy in a cost-effective way, budgeting information is also covered on the course to help with how to spend well. Another initiative ‘Food4Lunch’ regularly supplies a two course lunch provisions to local vulnerable families for each 2 weeks of the school holidays. For more information about The Trussell Trust and how you can help see more at https://www.trusselltrust.org/what-we-do/
  • 15 March 2020
  • SI Weybridge & District Murder Mystery Evening raises £1000 towards its #PinkTukTuk Appeal for The Rosie May Foundation
  • March 2020, who will ever forget it? The subtle but unbelievable news of Covid-19 infection cases in Europe grew steadily louder as our Club member Danny Sparkes and her team planned a Murder Mystery evening to raise funds for the 2020 Club goal to enable purchase of a Pink Tuk Tuk by the Rosie May Foundation.
  • In the final days of freedom, before lock down was even perceived, on March 7th the Club held a successful fundraiser.  Ottershaw Players organised the event performing an entertaining pantomime “The Mystery Murders”.  A show in two parts, the audience was spellbound as the characters and events unfurled and the producer was found dead in a dressing room. Over 50 participants followed the characters, the facts, the diversions and then debated the clues, circumstances and culprit over a tasty fish & chip supper. Finishing up with choc-ices and treats and washed down with a glass or two of wine conclusions were drawn and submitted. A masterful presentation of the secrets, surprises and solutions followed in Act II with each character assassinating another and slowly bringing the truths to light. After a fantastic dialogue, performed with panache, the killer was revealed. Only one table of six including a Soroptomister managed to deduce who the killer was!
  • A lively raffle followed, a few more drinks were consumed (after a quick Tesco run to top up the fast diminished bar!).   A ‘TukTuk Tastic’ night for sure. Approaching £1000 was raised on that wet damp evening, a fitting sum towards our 2020 goal. We must extend a huge club ’round of applause’ to Danny our extraordinary STAR performer for securing welcome donations for the raffle, the superb cast from Ottershaw Players and a tasteful venue.  This was most certainly a masterful occasion thanks to Danny’s hard work and talent in getting a job done. Not to miss either …thanking Colin who produced a fabulous life size pink Tuk Tuk for the club as you can see. Big thanks too to the backstage team in the kitchen and bar and hosts who charmed everyone and made the evening an event to be proud of.
  • Ticket sales were tough for an event held on a winter’s night during the COVID-9 pandemic. It was superb to see Soroptimists from Woking, Weybridge and even a TV celebrity enjoying the evening. The proceeds of £1000 will make a big contribution to our PINKTT target in 2020.
  • January 2020
  • ‘SOROPPORTUNITY’ IN SOUTH AFRICA – Alexis Neville, Club Member and past Regional President reports
  • On my recent trip to South Africa I stayed with a Past Regional President of Southern Region.  She took me to meet a friend and fellow Cape of Good Hope Soroptimist Susan, who runs a Children’s Project.  The project is located in what these days they call an informal settlement, above Hout Bay south of Cape Town.  Susan originally thought of starting an orphanage but after 18 months getting to know the people in the settlement and asking what they wanted, she discovered they would prefer the children to stay in the community with relatives and friends rather than be separated from them.  However, many of the children did need help and support.  The children go to local schools but after school they go to the project for that help and support.  The volunteers at the project help the children to read, provide space and help for homework, provide some formal teaching by age group (particularly English) and fun and games.  They also provide a hot meal each evening and cold food to take home so they eat before school next day.  All the children receive hugs when they arrive and are listened to and cared for.  The volunteers also work within the settlement helping when there is a family crisis or other events.  When we were being shown around we met a teacher of the older children marking their English test. The questions were on the blackboard and one of them I’d have struggled to answer.  I also think a lot of children in the UK would have found the one asking them to form a sentence with a semi colon challenging.  We were also impressed with the children’s’ writing – neat and well formed.  Within the project there is also a separate training facility for teenagers where they are taught to be baristas so they can get jobs in the many coffee bars and restaurants in the locality.
  • One of the young volunteers from Sweden had the children write short pieces about their lives and the project and had these published in a beautiful colourful book that is sold to help fund the project.  One of the amazing sections is where they write about the fire in the settlement in 2014.  You can imagine how horrific it must have been with all the very flammable shacks so close together and roads too narrow for the fire engines. 
  • December 2019
  • Dorothy Clark MBE, Club Founder  reports on Visit to Sri Lanka
  • Dennis’ and my main reason for visiting Sri Lanka was to meet Dilini’s new baby girl born in July – this was our 26th visit to Sri Lanka and it has been wonderful to support, Dilini and Buddhini, the Tsunami orphans we met 14 years ago together with SI Weybridge & District.  Having seen them grow up and attending Dilini’s graduation ceremony from the University of Colombo and her wedding to Sagara we could not wait to meet their baby, Dewshi.  She is beautiful.

A big welcome to SI Weybridge & District the Soroptimist (Southern Region) Women’s Club covering Elmbridge Borough

Here you will find Weekly News about our club and wider national and global Soroptimist and UN initiatives

2022 Diary

April 6th – Easter Egg Donation to #Walton&Hersham Foodbank

Jeannie and Ann visited the foodbank warehouse to deliver 70 eggs and other grocery items today. Members donated eggs or cash to enable this donation part of the 2002 community action. In March we welcomed a prospective new member to the monthly meeting. In April we have two more new potential members attending on April 21st in Esher. Women interested in joining are invited to join the supper and/or the business meetings over a few months to learn about our projects, meet local soroptimists and see if they enjoy the focus of enabling women and girls to succeed and sustainability and climate aspects. April’s meeting in primarily an AGM but we have a speaker from the National Memorial Arboretum joining us on Zoom ahead of a visit to the club arboretum in 2022.

March 17th – Monthly Club Meeting & Foodbank Easter Donation

Susan Booth of the leading UK charity Target Ovarian Cancer spoke to the club on Zoom. This talk was scheduled to coincide with Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, March. Club members had over 200 posters, symptom diaries and information booklets to distribute during March to GP surgeries, local clinics, shops and notice boards.

Soroptimists collected 70 Easter Eggs for the @Walton&hershamfoodbank for distribution as part of local community program action. Contact Sally via https://sigbi.org/contact-us/ to get in touch.

March 13th – STEM Student Bursary 2023 – Wine Tasting – £900 Raised towards a 2022 Target of £1000

Over 40 kind people supported SI Weybridge & District with donations of funds, raffle prizes, gifts and help. Today the club hosted 30 guests at a Wine tasting in Molesey and raised £900. Guests enjoyed hearing Sue Cope @elvigilantedelvino talk about the wine, heads & tails, a raffle and a delicious supper followed.  This brings the Elmbridge based SI Club close to the first £1000 needed p.a. to offer a 3 year annual Bursary to a less advantaged female STEM subject student identified in liaison with local schools and the nominated university.

March 12th – Watch out around Elmbridge for posters showing the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. Soroptimists are handing out and delivering symptom diaries and information at stations and GP/maternity clinics in Elmbridge. This month March we welcome a speaker from Target Ovarian Cancer at our monthly meeting on 17th. We support all cancer charities but specifically #TargetOvarianCancer make women aware of the symptoms, support access to diagnosis and early treatment.

Bloated tummy, Always feeling full? Pelvic or abdominal pain? Need to wee more? Occasionally other symptoms can be present e.g. changes in bowel habit i.e. diarrhoea or constipation, extreme fatigue, unexplained weight loss. Symptoms are Frequent happening more than 12 times a month, Persistent they don’t go away, New – they are not normal for you.

Target Ovarian Cancer have symptom diaries so you can track your symptoms ahead of seeing your GP. Check with family if they have suffered with ovarian or breast cancer, be persistent, seek blood tests and scans. Don’t be put off if you know now what is normal/abnormal for your body. Be symptom aware, share info and watch out for your friends too, visit your GP to get checked out full. You can make a difference at work, in the community in your family by talking about this cancer.

Important:

  • Cervical screening smear tests will not detect ovarian cancer.
  • Most cases are diagnosed in women who have had the menopause but younger women can also get it
  • The sooner its detected the easier it is to treat. Survival is up to 90% at the earliest stage.
  • Irritable bowel symptoms are similar to ovarian cancer but new cases of IBS are very unlikely in women over age 50.
  • Target Ovarian Cancer is the UK’s leading ovarian cancer charity, working to improve early diagnosis, fund life saving research and provide much needed support to women with the cancer. Their nurse led support line provides confidential information, support and signposting for anyone concerned about ovarian cancer.

Source:targetovariancancer.org.uk – Phone: 020 7923 5475

March 8th – #IWD2022 – SIGBI posters are up and visible we were so delighted with the positive response of shop keepers, stations, libraries and supermarkets to helping #Soroptimists make the community more aware. One Czech woman we spoke to in #Mercado in Molesey explain that in her country flowers are distributed to all women on IWD, its a far more important date then Mother’s Day as it recognises that ALL women need support to obtain equality and alleviate poverty. SI clubs around the world are challenging bias and highlighting how we can make the world a fairer place.

The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all.

March 6th – #IWD2022 March 8th. Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field. Are you in? Will you actively call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping each time you see it? Will you help break the bias? Cross your arms to show solidarity.

  • Strike the IWD 2022 pose and share your #BreakTheBias image, video, resources, presentation or articles on social media using #IWD2022 #BreakTheBias to encourage further people to commit to helping forge an inclusive world.
Local shops in #ThamesDitton, #Molesey, #Hamptoncourtvillage are doing their part with local #Soroptimists. Share this post to raise more awareness and support.#breakthebias2022; #alleviatepoverty,#westandupforwomen,#IWD2022

March 5th – IWD 2022 campaign theme: #BreakTheBias

Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

March 4th – International Women’s Day is coming on Tuesday March 8th. Today we shout out for our local rail station at #hamptoncourtpalace, #electricalsupplies retailer on the Broadway and #Smilessencedentists in #Molesey who all kindly displayed a Soroptimist IWD2022 poster to raise awareness and support this annual UN initiative.

There’s still time to help raise awareness? Pop up the IWD22 official poster in your car window, on your fence, on your social media profiles, one small step at a time… International Women’s Day (March is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

SIGBI #IWD Posters are all up and around big  thanks to Brenda and Cathy, Jeannie and Ann  – It’s International Women’s Day #IWD2022 on March 8th.

Today we shout out for our local amazing shops in #ThamesDitton and #Molesey specifically today our Thames Ditton grocer #Paulls and the #GeorgeAndDragon Pub and Molesey’s top stationers #ekaservices who all very kindly displayed a Soroptimist #IWD2022 poster to raise awareness and support this annual UN initiative.
Not all women get acknowledgement, gender equality and respect can you help raise awareness? Pop up the IWD2022 official poster in your car window, on your fence, on your social media profile, one small step at a time…
International Women’s Day on March 8 is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

March 2nd – SIGBI’s Emergency Relief Fund has donated £5,000 to the British Red Cross, Ukrainian Appeal to help the Ukrainian refugees who are fleeing the war with Russia. The latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees show that more than 600,000 people have left the country and many more thousands are displaced from their homes within Ukraine. Ukrainian Red Cross volunteers are reaching as many people as possible, distributing 30,000 food and hygiene parcels so far, and helping evacuate people with disabilities. Teams have also provided first aid training to 1,000 people in metro stations and bomb shelters, and are supporting fire fighters, medical and civil protection units.

We urge all parties involved in Ukraine to swiftly work for an agreed peaceful outcome. https://sigbi.org/…/soroptimist-international-great…/

 

March 1st – International Women’s Day – March 8th – The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all. Look put for the posters around Molesey, Walton, Weybridge those created by Soroptimists to raise awareness of this UN led focus on why promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment can help deliver better environmental outcomes, and to figure out how it can be done. The Generation Equality campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve. Visit the UN Women’s website for more information about the theme. Multimedia content is coming soon to help you spread the message of gender equality by sharing on your social media accounts. https://www.unwomen.org/…/international-womens-day-2022…

 

International Women’s Day – March 8th
The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all. Look put for the posters created by Soroptimists to raise awareness of this UN led focus on why promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment can help deliver better environmental outcomes, and to figure out how it can be done.
The Generation Equality campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve. Visit the UN Women’s website for more information about the theme. Multimedia content is coming soon to help you spread the message of gender equality by sharing on your social media accounts.

February 17th – Monthly meeting at The Wheatsheaf at 7pm. Nina from Walton & Hersham Foodbank is speaking at 7.30pm.  We will once again gather Easter Eggs for the Foodbank in March in readiness for Easter.

February 11th – Calling all members The next PR and Marketing Facebook Live session for members takes place on Saturday 19th February 2022, 14.00 – 14.30 GMT. Join Binita Sen and Gail Sinha for 30 minutes of top tips for building your club’s brand.

February 8th – PRESS RELEASE

Weybridge & District Soroptimist group is pleased to announce our newest member: ‘Dorothy’ the pink Tuk Tuk. Since 2018, we’ve been working hard to raise £4,000 to buy Dorothy, who will operate as a female-only taxi service – creating a sustainable source of income for single parent mums and creating safe travel for women and girls in Sri Lanka. The Tuk Tuk is on order and local mums will soon be identified and trained as drivers, as well as in the necessary business skills to transport women and girls to school, work and social events in safety.

A big thank you to all of the local members who have supported this big effort, especially club member Dorothy Clarke MBE, for bringing this unique project to the group. Covid didn’t stop us – and as we celebrate our Centennial year this is proof of how much more we can achieve!
Would you like to achieve more for women and girls? Get in touch to talk about coming to a meeting or joining us via Zoom to learn about our local work in Elmbridge.
Help us succeed…share our posts widely!

February 1st – Today is International Day of Human Fraternity.Read our latest blog all about this day by #Soroptimist Carol Infanti. “It makes me thankful that I am a Soroptimist, part of a sisterhood where we all work together to support all women, whatever age, race or religion, where-ever we are in the world. Do encourage other women to join us. Happy and peaceful International Day of Human Fraternity.” Grab a cuppa and read it now https://bit.ly/34vTr3a. #HumanFraternityDay

 

January 24th – Over 70 refugees are living locally in Elmbridge in hotel accommodation and two families have been housed in our midst. A speaker from Elmbridge CAN a small local charity spoke at our meeting last Thursday to highlight how the community can help settle and familiarise children and adults during their settlement and after. Sue has written a nice summary. The speaker gave us a reading list which is worth publicising to widen perceptions and learning about life experiences refugees have faced.
To receive the charity newsletter or learn more link http://www.elmbridgecan.org.uk/get-involved.html
Sea Prayer by Khalid Hosseini (author of Kite Runner) ISBN 978-1526602718
Shatila Stories published by Pierene Now!, nine refugees were commissioned to tell their stories in this collaborative fiction. ISBN 978-1908670496
No Friend but the mountains by Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist ISBN 978-1525287077
In the Wars by Dr Wahid Arian ISBN 978-0552177641
Hope not fears by Hassan Akkad, an inspiring Syrian who is well known to Elmbridge CAN and has spoken at their events ISBN 978-1529059830 and finally,
England – poems from a school some incredibly moving short poems from a refugee experience. ISBN 978-1509886609
Today is #InternationalDayofEducation
Read all about the day and what #Soroptimists are doing in our latest blog written by Yvonne Gibbon. https://bit.ly/33YxuJX.

January 21st – Well done for all the lobbying friends  – news from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust – Thrilled that the Taxi & PHV Bill passed through the Commons today. Thank you to all who have worked tirelessly on this issue. “Our constituents can have more peace of mind knowing that steps have moved forward today to make their taxi use safer”. Now on to the Lords. Peter Gibson MP – #RightToBeSafe

January 18th – Last Saturday Anne G hosted a 2nd amazing #SIWeybridgeandDistrict fundraiser luncheon for ‘#Soroptimist members locally. The lunch and raffle raised a very significant sum towards the project to buy a Pink Tuk Tuk for the #RosieMayFoundation in Sri Lanka. On Thursday Dee will sum up the final total raised since project inception in 2018 to now. Here we luncheon members are.. enjoying the moment! Share our SI news, bring a friend to a meeting, ask a colleague to join in with our projects this year and come to the meeting on Thursday inspired full of ideas for the local charities we could support his year 2022.
January 17th – This months meeting in Molesey is on Thursday 20th this week, look out for the Agenda. Next months meeting on 17th February is in Esher. Save the date. The speakers this week are from Elmbridge CAN. Elmbridge CAN is a small charity, based in Elmbridge, Surrey, UK. They aim to build a culture of welcome to refugees within the local community, and work to achieve the settlement of more refugees in the Borough of Elmbridge. Elmbridge CAN is a member of the ​City of Sanctuary Movement. Read more about their work and immediate resource and housing needs at http://www.elmbridgecan.org.uk/

January 6th – “As we enter the new year, the spectre of the pandemic still hangs over us, but I am confident that, as Soroptimists, you will rise to the challenges presented, as you have done so magnificently throughout last two years.” Read our January message by #Soroptimist President Cathy Cottridge in full, now on the website, click below to read.

Happy New Year dear Friends and families. Meeting date 19 January. 7pm. Looking forward to welcoming a young speaker from Elmbridge CAN. This meeting is at Ann M’s house as she is very young. Refreshments only.

2021

Constrained for 6 months by lockdowns/safety, Soroptimists at SI Weybridge and District met on Zoom and once again undertook to donate part or all of their supper meeting meal cost to central funds to enable our support work continued.

Activities in the year

17 December 2021 – Festive social at Burhill Golf Club, meeting members and their partners and friends in Covid safe conditions. It was a spectacular day of friendship, fun and celebration of the club’s success and afforded a chance to think of those members who were unable to be with us due to vulnerability and health decline. Most significant off all we were able to plan final arrangements for two Pink Tuk Tuk spring lunches to raise the final £1000 for the Sri Lanka Women’s Rosie May charity.

SIGBI News was issued online with full details of the successful virtual global conference held from Llandudno.

10th December –  SI Weybridge & District delivered £300 of Aldi vouchers to Walton & Hersham Foodbank to enable 30 festive food parcels to contain a £10 voucher enabling families to choose something special to include with their shopping for Xmas courtesy of our members.

23rd November –  for 16 days consecutive Soroptimists around the World posted information, coloured buildings orange and publicised the #16daysofactivism, our club elected to buy £300 of ‘orange’ Aldi food vouchers for the local foodbank.

November 17th – On Remembrance Sunday Dorothy Clarke MBE a club member represented SI Weybridge at the memorial placing a wreath on Weybridge memorial as we have for 45 consecutive years.

November 21st – Six club members joined with over 50 from the Southern Region to celebrate the Centennial Year and hear Hampshire MP Caroline Noakes and other clubs speak. The annual AGM was held in Alton and Southern  Region were delighted to be crowned runners up nationally for their successful enrolment of new members partly due to the success of the new club in Salisbury. A new club is also coming together in the region, watch the space for news.

November 2nd – The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) began in Glasgow and ran until 12 November 2021.
#Soroptimists are excited to be taking part in #COP26 – they had a stand in the Green Room, Green Zone to raise awareness of the global SI organisation, it’s seat on the UN and impact.
October 6th – SIGBI hosted a Centennial Reception of Club members to celebrate at The House of Lords, London.
October 18th – SIGBI region countries noted  that over 64,000 trees had now been reported on the SIGBI Tree Planting Map, what an amazing effort for the region region. SI Weybridge were able to report that a new copse of trees had been planted at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey following site redevelopment works.  Working with the NHS and a tree donator we now await a plaque installation to mark the global SI Centennial year.

 

September 17th – Yippee! #siweybridge met for the first time since lockdown last Thursday, and what a delight it was to see members in person and online. We were able to greet our speakers from Cook4Care a worthy local charity founded in 2020 and now flourishing. Maria and Davina two founders explained how their experience in teaching and life had brought them into contact with young carers specific challenges; the charity now provides hundreds of free fresh nutritious meals to enable young carers to free up time instead of cooking two nights a week.. A recent survey of outcomes highlighted how the extra money saved is a hidden advantage allowing families to save a little more for luxuries like days out. Supermarkets locally including #Waitrose and #Morrisons enable their work alongside the dozens of volunteer cooks, drivers and delivery folk.

We also held our #Soroptimist100 candle ceremony to mark the Soroptimist International 100th Birthday? Starting 21 September, Clubs and Soroptimists around the world are taking part in candle ceremonies, making wishes for the lives of women and girls! In Elmbridge we made our our candle wishes for women and girls:-

For WW SI Clubs old and newly incorporated to grow and succeed to meet the ever more evolving global and geopolitical demands of international poverty, education and discrimination as we emerge from this pandemic

For Soroptimists within the SIGBI region to enable changes in values, attitudes, awareness and freedoms through lobbying, a UN presence and better visibility for the next generation to maintain freedom of speech and expression
For clubs in our Southern England region to attract and motivate local community action by involving more women and young people, foster relations with partner organisations and one another sharing expertise, knowledge and skills and using technology to enhance our impact.
September 25th – 100 for 100 families https://waltonhersham.foodbank.org.uk/
#Soroptimist100 .. as part of our Centennial year celebrations our club in Elmbridge (covering Weybridge and district including Walton and Molesey) donated 100 bottles of children’s sun lotion to Walton and Hersham foodbank during July ahead of the holidays. It may not be food but is just as essential an item and much welcomed by the team of volunteers at the foodbank and the outreach support scheme members. Sincere thanks to our club members who donated the cost of a meal to the club to enable this purchase and donation. Good Work a small but valued part of over £3000 of local donations in kind this last 12 months.
September 18th – National Memorial Arboretum—unveiling of SI statue and afternoon tea. An event was arranged to unveil the superb new statue at the SIGBI plot, and celebrate Soroptimist International’s Centenary at an afternoon tea.
August 6th - SIGBI News online articles covering 
  • how Soroptimists are tackling Climate Change, which is the focus of reports by both our Assistant Programme Directors for Planet and Partnerships;
  • the final three interviews in our Meet the Board Up Close series;
  • full details of the Llandudno Virtual Conference 2021 unveiled;
  • what SI clubs have been doing to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Soroptimist International as well as an update on SIGBI’s celebrations

July 17th – Soroptimist Day of Action on Climate Change…This year action, awareness raising and advocacy are of great significance. We all as Soroptimists need to raise our own profile but, more importantly, the issues around addressing climate change for succeeding generations as well as ourselves. Although climate change is often on the news at present there seems to be little awareness that we, as individuals, can do a lot ourselves. This ranges from raising awareness of what we CAN do, to lobbying governments from local to national and to international and, of course taking action personally. “Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”, but we need to help the pounds too.  Let’s start with ourselves – have you taken a look at the UN’s Carbon Footprint Calculator. I really need to do better – not travelling to New York each March for CSW might help since flying is 40% of my footprint (not during Covid of course), with electricity at 38%, food 15% and car 7%. This makes my annual emissions equal 17 tonnes whereas the UK average is 6t and the world at 5t. Less time on the computer would help with electricity! Removing the long haul flight to New York reduces my total consumption to 11t with electricity now being 58% of my total. The UN also provides a carbon offset scheme – these can be filtered for continent and country and covers Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. Alternatively you could do so by supporting our programmes to address climate change – for trees see https://sigbi.org/…/planting-trees-for-a…/4773-2/. Clearly our tree and mangrove planting, supporting Fairtrade, installing solar panels and using the UN campaign for individuals all – ACT NOW – will all contribute to our own commitments.

June 10th Call for Action – I hope we can get every woman and Soroptimist in England to respond to this evidence gathering exercise. I know I have not been listened to because I am a woman. How about you? “We are seeking your views to help inform the development of the government’s Women’s Health Strategy. This call for evidence is seeking to collect views on women’s health. It will run for a period of 14 weeks and is open to everyone aged 16 and over. The easiest way to participate in the call for evidence as an individual is by completing the public survey.

June 9th – Meeting – We heard how refugees are handled in Britain. Our speaker in May was Professor Monojit Chatterji, Fellow in Economics, Trinity Hall (Retd), Professor New College of Humanities, London, Professor, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh.

April 28th – Today is World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Read our latest blog by #Soroptimist Carol Infanti and find out all about the day and what you can do sigbi.org/2021/world-day-for-safety-and-health-at-work. #SafetyAndHealthAtWork #SoroptimistsStandUpForWomen

April 15th – #Soroptimists our SIGBI charity, the Emergency Relief Fund, has made a payment of £1,000 to St Vincent and the Grenadines, in the wake of the devastating volcano eruption. If members wish to make a personal donation, they can do so through the Emergency Relief Fund, by sending any monies for St Vincent to Joanne Voller at Head Qffice.
Our SI SVG sisters in Kingstown are cooking meals for evacuees.
The St Vincent volcano: UN warns humanitarian crisis will last months. The humanitarian crisis caused by volcanic eruptions on the Caribbean island of St Vincent will last for months, a UN official has warned. Didier Trebucq said nearby islands including Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda could also be badly affected. He said the UN was setting up an international funding appeal. About 20,000 people have been evacuated from their homes since La Soufrière volcano began erupting last Friday. It had not previously erupted since 1979.
April 15 – Johanna Raffin Federation President has kindly sent a letter of condolences to HM The Queen on SIGBI’s behalf. Clubs should feel free to add condolences to the online memorial.
March 8th – #IWD2021 success! Donations made for Q1 to 2 charities
Soroptimists Celebrate 100 Years buying Chocolate!
Buying chocolate produced by companies who support sustainable methods of cocoa bean farming and enable women to work under fair conditions is key to our principle of promoting equality and prevention of poverty.
SI Weybridge & District are supporting #IWD in several ways as part of the #soroptimistinternational Centennial effort. Women struggling to feed their families have been supported by the Club this year with significant donations to the local food bank. We’re also ready to donate 100 eggs this week to Walton & Hersham Foodbank in response to their plea for chocolate donations in the run up to Easter. Working together we can WIN for another 100 Years! Like to join us? Message me to hear about our next meeting date or meet for a socially distanced coffee…
Hoping the 100 Easter Eggs make a difference to the local community in this our SI Centenary Year. Thank you SI Weybridge & District members for your generosity. Dee & Ann were delighted to meet Nina, Fiona and Paul of #waltonandhershamfoodbank today at St. John’s Church, Walton one of the foodbank distribution points.
Also supporting #NorthSurreyDomesticAbuse  Centre with a £600 donation for further outreach support.
March 1st – Commission on the Status of Women 65
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 65 is scheduled to take place 15-26 March 2021 in New York. For the first time this will be a virtual event. You can join for free. Please be reminded that if you want to register for CSW 65 (and receive updates) then you need to do so by the Indico
website by 22 February 2021. Registration with the UN opens from 28 December 2020 until 22 February 2021. Registration for CSW 65 is completed on the UN Indico platform https://indico.un.org/event/35605/registration/ which will enable participants to receive information about preparation activities as well as information about virtual formal and informal meetings and opportunities for interaction, including social media mobilisation directly to your registered email address. You do need to register separately with NGO CSW65 for the parallel events (outside the UN). These sessions are free but you do need to register as an Advocate). Registration for the NGO parallel events needs to be done
separately on the NGO CSW65 website.
Give as you Spend – Advent Competition
  • Don’t forget anyone can support your Club funds & initiatives by registering with Easyfundraising and nominating SI Weybridge as your charity, if you are buying items/presents at most major retailers a small percentage is donated from the cost to our account. It’s really EASY and allows us to build a fund for a project. Here’s a bit of festive fun – easyfundraising are running an Advent Calendar competition with a £250 donation to be won every day in December, plus a Christmas Day Grand Prize of a £2000 donation and a £2000 John Lewis & Partners gift card! It’s free and open to all easyfundraising causes so if your group isn’t using easyfundraising yet, sign up here so you can enter too: http://efraising.org/2fppkVuJo4.

 

17th December 2020

  • Join our Festive Bird Bingo evening, socialise online over Zoom with your friends and join in the fun. Wear a festive outfit/hat/glasses. Have your fizz or tipple at the ready to toast our Club and Region. Nominate a Festive Character for their attitude, tenacity or innovation this year. This is a nice opportunity to catch up over a more leisurely evening with friends and to hear how Margaret’s house move is going, news from Maggie, about Nadine’s visit to award Marion’s certificate and gifts.
  • 8th December 2020
  • This month our Club is thrilled to see our nomination for the Centenary WhoIsShe? recognition has been made to Marion Strehlow, a club member since 1975. SI Weybridge Member MARION  features as one of 100 Soroptimists commemorated in our Centennial Year – MANY CONGRATULATIONS
  • Marion has been a Soroptimist since 1975 – 45 years!
  • Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) together with Soroptimists from across the world join together to celebrate 100 years of Soroptimist International (SI) and celebrate a ‘Bright Past’ and a ‘Brilliant Future’. When Soroptimist International reaches a milestone in its history as now, the Celebration of 100 Years of Service, it is fitting that we should look back and pay tribute to those pioneers who established Soroptimist International on firm foundations and kept the flag flying through difficult times. Each month there will be a showcase celebrating some  ‘Soroptimist Pioneers
  • These #WhoIsShe? campaign members, both past and present, from Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland have all been nominated by Soroptimist Clubs for their noteworthy contribution to society in the furtherance of the aims and objects of the organisation.
  • Marion was born in Berlin on 15th April 1935 to a Jewish family. As a child during the Second World War she was transported to the Theresienstadt GheCo/Camp known as Terezin. Her father was also in the camp but she had very little contact with him and had been told he was dying. From spring 1944 until summer 1945 she was one of the children resident in ‘the villa’. The children were of mixed ages and nationalities and all of them were ill, there were no adults living there. At the age of nine Marion was the eldest girl and she tried to mother the younger ones. The children had been selected by a Czechoslovakian doctor, who wished to prove that exposure to fresh air and sunshine could cure illnesses. Marion, like many of the children, had tuberculosis. The children were very poorly fed, had few adult visitors and spent hours reclining on wooden chairs outside or sitting inside with windows open in all weathers. The villa was close to the railway line that served the camp and in the autumn of 1944 numerous trains arrived full of dead and dying people. The stench was horrendous, there were mass burials and the smell of decay permeated the garden but the children still had to do their stint outside.
  • Marion survived and although her father also survived, her mother who had been in Auschwitz, had died. As her father was unable to cope Marion was sent to her aunt in the UK. She came for 6 weeks and is still here. Despite having missed more than 4 years of school, having to learn another language and suffering from ill health and nightmares, Marion completed her education and qualified as a nurse. She worked for many years in the field of health visiting, always helping others. Later in life Marion worked in a multi-faith unit attached to the Surrey police and helped with inter-faith understanding and issues relating to the Jewish community. Despite her trauma and the difficulty of speaking about the past, Marion has in recent years spoken to school children on Holocaust Memorial Day about her experience as a child during the war. She is able to make real what they learn in history and make her own personal experience evidence of the truth of the Holocaust. The children are so affected by the talks they send her wonderful personal thank you letters. This keeps alive the terrible events of that time, lest no one forget. Marion has been a member of Soroptimist International since April 1975 and has been an enthusiastic supporter of her club, the organisation and its aims in helping women and girls throughout the world. She has also been a keen participant in our friendship link visits, making many friends internationally. After such terrible events in her childhood Marion has spent her adult life helping others, always cheerful and positive.
  • We at SI Weybridge & District cherish dear Marion, we’ve been privileged to hear her speak, witness her good humour and value her friendship. Hoping soon to welcome her and other members back to meetings post Covid-19.
  • 15 October 2020 Women in the Shadows
  • Suzette gave a fabulous oversight to the club on how modern slavery is so evident in British society and her role working for the Clewer Initiative. She noted data highlighting the fact that there are an estimated 136K women, men and children held in differing forms of servitude or being exploited in Britain now. 1/130 women in Britain are thought to be enslaved to organised crime be it in servitude, agriculture, fraud, sexual exploitation or businesses such as pop up brothels, car washes and nail bars. We should not forget that the nationality of those enslaved is not always as often thought people from developing countries, the ranking for slavery is topped by statistics showing British people are amongst the worst affected. Some are enslaved for years, in Surrey alone in the last 6 months from July 42 cases were under investigation and there are on average 5 new cases a week under investigation.  She explained why it’s hard for victims to raise the alarm (fear, shame) and the importance of vigilance and personal reporting on the part of each and every one of us. Moreover we should question our own motives when buying goods, using services that might be cheap because forced labour is used.
  • Suzette supplied the cascade of contacts individuals can report to even anonymously. The Clewer Nuns (Anglican) are enabling information sharing and action through churches throughout Lent starting January 21st) a 5 week course providing talks and resources and engaging with a team of practitioners. Apps are being developed to enable consumer reporting data collation and provision of guidance on service companies which are bona fide and not involved in slavery.   Crimestoppers, the police and helplines are available resources to report suspected cases. A topical report issued by Walk Free ( https://www.minderoo.org/walk-free/)  is a relevant resource if one wants to further understand the extent of slavery from infanticide, missing persons, educational impedance through to limitations on work and current recommendations. It’s possible to gain a better understanding by subscribing the Clewer Initiative newsletter or publicising the training run for the church of England parishes next year. (https://www.theclewerinitiative.org/news/2019/1/30/new-safeguarding-and-modern-slavery-course
  • Herewith the telephone numbers to put in your mobile regarding modern slavery
  • • Modern Slavery Helpline 08000121700.
    • The Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority 08004320804
    • Crimestoppers on 0800555111
    • Fearless www.fearless.org
    • In an emergency 999
  • When you see something, when you know the situation is not right, all you need to do is telephone, tell of your intuition – if it doesn’t feel right it, it
    probably isn’t. Go on The Clewer website www.theclewerinitiative.org and find out more, sign up for their newsletter
  • 15 July 2020
  • SI Weybridge & District present £500 to Weybridge Foodbank as Covid-19 causes shortfall of in kind donations
  • The Weybridge branch of Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland (SIGBI) has this month responded to donation shortages at the Weybridge Foodbank. A reduction in supermarket shopping, as locals shop online during lockdown, has meant the Foodbank has seen a donation shortfall during recent months. On Wednesday 2 July, Elmbridge resident and member Brenda Saunders from the Weybridge & District Soroptimists (SIWD) presented a cheque for £500 to Angela Miller, Weybridge Foodbank Team Leader. The money will be used to purchase food and household items and vouchers for distribution to those in need in the local area.
  • Run by local women, SIWD is passionate about supporting programmes that improve the lives of women and girls both in Elmbridge and around the world. The branch runs regular fundraisers and supporting community projects including donating women’s health products to the Foodbank in Walton on Thames, providing much needed items which were at that time seldom reaching local collection boxes. Under lockdown their regular ‘Business Meetings’ have been impossible, but the women have pressed on, with 20 local members meeting online each month via Zoom to continue their work.
  • Generally, donations of food and toiletries for the Runnymede & Weybridge Foodbank are collected in Waitrose, Tesco Addlestone, the Weybridge library and at St. James’ church, but COVID-19 and the associated lockdown has significantly reduced the level of retail ‘shopping’, whilst furloughs and job losses in lockdown have created even greater demand.
  • SIWD member Brenda Saunders raised the donation shortage to the Club, highlighting the Weybridge Foodbank COVID-19 appeal for donations. She herself had been popping a weekly ‘donation’ box in her front garden for neighbours to donate to. Club members stepped up and donated the cost of their usual club meal for 3 months (April-June), to raise funds for Foodbank.
  • The Foodbank’s Angela Miller explained that they are usually located at St James’ Church in Weybridge, but due to church closures all provisions are being ‘doorstep’ delivered by volunteers. In due course it’s hoped the church can once again provide a welcoming resource where those in crisis can have a ‘cuppa’ and chat about their situation. The emphasis is very much, Angela explained, “on looking out for local community and signposting the vulnerable and needy to where they can seek additional help and advice so people can break free from poverty.”
  • Dorothy Clark a Weybridge Soroptimist, awarded an MBE for services to children’s education in the community, was truly delighted to see families supported by Soroptimists. She commented: “A child needs nourishment to learn. Food poverty affects families in high cost areas quickly as parents have high fixed outgoings. In Weybridge, any economic change can impact poverty faster as a result; COVID-19 has caused distress and accelerated it.  It’s key we support families now over the summer holidays when schools out, we are glad to do what we can now.”
  • About SIW&D
    Soroptimist International Weybridge & District is an active women’s club with a membership of over 20 women. The club membership is drawn from Molesey, Hersham, Walton & Staines on Thames, Addlestone, Byfleet and Weybridge at present. The Club meets 10 times a year and supports local, national and international projects with a focus on improving the lives of women and girls. We welcome new women members; get in touch to find out more via: https://sigbi.org/weybridge/
  • About the Weybridge Foodbank
    Weybridge Foodbank opened in March 2019 as local requests for emergency help became apparent. Access is by referral with immediate provision of 3 days of emergency food, referrals come from a variety of sources including schools, DWP, Citizens Advice, health professionals and family centres. The Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust network which is currently working in collaboration with Runnymede council.  The Foodbank also runs other support projects including a 6 week “Eat Well Spend Less” cookery course to teach people how to use the tinned and dried foods and combine them with fresh foods they buy in a cost-effective way, budgeting information is also covered on the course to help with how to spend well. Another initiative ‘Food4Lunch’ regularly supplies a two course lunch provisions to local vulnerable families for each 2 weeks of the school holidays. For more information about The Trussell Trust and how you can help see more at https://www.trusselltrust.org/what-we-do/
  • 15 March 2020
  • SI Weybridge & District Murder Mystery Evening raises £1000 towards its #PinkTukTuk Appeal for The Rosie May Foundation
  • March 2020, who will ever forget it? The subtle but unbelievable news of Covid-19 infection cases in Europe grew steadily louder as our Club member Danny Sparkes and her team planned a Murder Mystery evening to raise funds for the 2020 Club goal to enable purchase of a Pink Tuk Tuk by the Rosie May Foundation.
  • In the final days of freedom, before lock down was even perceived, on March 7th the Club held a successful fundraiser.  Ottershaw Players organised the event performing an entertaining pantomime “The Mystery Murders”.  A show in two parts, the audience was spellbound as the characters and events unfurled and the producer was found dead in a dressing room. Over 50 participants followed the characters, the facts, the diversions and then debated the clues, circumstances and culprit over a tasty fish & chip supper. Finishing up with choc-ices and treats and washed down with a glass or two of wine conclusions were drawn and submitted. A masterful presentation of the secrets, surprises and solutions followed in Act II with each character assassinating another and slowly bringing the truths to light. After a fantastic dialogue, performed with panache, the killer was revealed. Only one table of six including a Soroptomister managed to deduce who the killer was!
  • A lively raffle followed, a few more drinks were consumed (after a quick Tesco run to top up the fast diminished bar!).   A ‘TukTuk Tastic’ night for sure. Approaching £1000 was raised on that wet damp evening, a fitting sum towards our 2020 goal. We must extend a huge club ’round of applause’ to Danny our extraordinary STAR performer for securing welcome donations for the raffle, the superb cast from Ottershaw Players and a tasteful venue.  This was most certainly a masterful occasion thanks to Danny’s hard work and talent in getting a job done. Not to miss either …thanking Colin who produced a fabulous life size pink Tuk Tuk for the club as you can see. Big thanks too to the backstage team in the kitchen and bar and hosts who charmed everyone and made the evening an event to be proud of.
  • Ticket sales were tough for an event held on a winter’s night during the COVID-9 pandemic. It was superb to see Soroptimists from Woking, Weybridge and even a TV celebrity enjoying the evening. The proceeds of £1000 will make a big contribution to our PINKTT target in 2020.
  • January 2020
  • ‘SOROPPORTUNITY’ IN SOUTH AFRICA – Alexis Neville, Club Member and past Regional President reports
  • On my recent trip to South Africa I stayed with a Past Regional President of Southern Region.  She took me to meet a friend and fellow Cape of Good Hope Soroptimist Susan, who runs a Children’s Project.  The project is located in what these days they call an informal settlement, above Hout Bay south of Cape Town.  Susan originally thought of starting an orphanage but after 18 months getting to know the people in the settlement and asking what they wanted, she discovered they would prefer the children to stay in the community with relatives and friends rather than be separated from them.  However, many of the children did need help and support.  The children go to local schools but after school they go to the project for that help and support.  The volunteers at the project help the children to read, provide space and help for homework, provide some formal teaching by age group (particularly English) and fun and games.  They also provide a hot meal each evening and cold food to take home so they eat before school next day.  All the children receive hugs when they arrive and are listened to and cared for.  The volunteers also work within the settlement helping when there is a family crisis or other events.  When we were being shown around we met a teacher of the older children marking their English test. The questions were on the blackboard and one of them I’d have struggled to answer.  I also think a lot of children in the UK would have found the one asking them to form a sentence with a semi colon challenging.  We were also impressed with the children’s’ writing – neat and well formed.  Within the project there is also a separate training facility for teenagers where they are taught to be baristas so they can get jobs in the many coffee bars and restaurants in the locality.
  • One of the young volunteers from Sweden had the children write short pieces about their lives and the project and had these published in a beautiful colourful book that is sold to help fund the project.  One of the amazing sections is where they write about the fire in the settlement in 2014.  You can imagine how horrific it must have been with all the very flammable shacks so close together and roads too narrow for the fire engines. 
  • December 2019
  • Dorothy Clark MBE, Club Founder  reports on Visit to Sri Lanka
  • Dennis’ and my main reason for visiting Sri Lanka was to meet Dilini’s new baby girl born in July – this was our 26th visit to Sri Lanka and it has been wonderful to support, Dilini and Buddhini, the Tsunami orphans we met 14 years ago together with SI Weybridge & District.  Having seen them grow up and attending Dilini’s graduation ceremony from the University of Colombo and her wedding to Sagara we could not wait to meet their baby, Dewshi.  She is beautiful.

A big welcome to SI Weybridge & District the Soroptimist (Southern Region) Women’s Club covering Elmbridge Borough

Here you will find Weekly News about our club and wider national and global Soroptimist and UN initiatives

2022 Diary

April 6th – Easter Egg Donation to #Walton&Hersham Foodbank

Jeannie and Ann visited the foodbank warehouse to deliver 70 eggs and other grocery items today. Members donated eggs or cash to enable this donation part of the 2002 community action. In March we welcomed a prospective new member to the monthly meeting. In April we have two more new potential members attending on April 21st in Esher. Women interested in joining are invited to join the supper and/or the business meetings over a few months to learn about our projects, meet local soroptimists and see if they enjoy the focus of enabling women and girls to succeed and sustainability and climate aspects. April’s meeting in primarily an AGM but we have a speaker from the National Memorial Arboretum joining us on Zoom ahead of a visit to the club arboretum in 2022.

March 17th – Monthly Club Meeting & Foodbank Easter Donation

Susan Booth of the leading UK charity Target Ovarian Cancer spoke to the club on Zoom. This talk was scheduled to coincide with Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, March. Club members had over 200 posters, symptom diaries and information booklets to distribute during March to GP surgeries, local clinics, shops and notice boards.

Soroptimists collected 70 Easter Eggs for the @Walton&hershamfoodbank for distribution as part of local community program action. Contact Sally via https://sigbi.org/contact-us/ to get in touch.

March 13th – STEM Student Bursary 2023 – Wine Tasting – £900 Raised towards a 2022 Target of £1000

Over 40 kind people supported SI Weybridge & District with donations of funds, raffle prizes, gifts and help. Today the club hosted 30 guests at a Wine tasting in Molesey and raised £900. Guests enjoyed hearing Sue Cope @elvigilantedelvino talk about the wine, heads & tails, a raffle and a delicious supper followed.  This brings the Elmbridge based SI Club close to the first £1000 needed p.a. to offer a 3 year annual Bursary to a less advantaged female STEM subject student identified in liaison with local schools and the nominated university.

March 12th – Watch out around Elmbridge for posters showing the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. Soroptimists are handing out and delivering symptom diaries and information at stations and GP/maternity clinics in Elmbridge. This month March we welcome a speaker from Target Ovarian Cancer at our monthly meeting on 17th. We support all cancer charities but specifically #TargetOvarianCancer make women aware of the symptoms, support access to diagnosis and early treatment.

Bloated tummy, Always feeling full? Pelvic or abdominal pain? Need to wee more? Occasionally other symptoms can be present e.g. changes in bowel habit i.e. diarrhoea or constipation, extreme fatigue, unexplained weight loss. Symptoms are Frequent happening more than 12 times a month, Persistent they don’t go away, New – they are not normal for you.

Target Ovarian Cancer have symptom diaries so you can track your symptoms ahead of seeing your GP. Check with family if they have suffered with ovarian or breast cancer, be persistent, seek blood tests and scans. Don’t be put off if you know now what is normal/abnormal for your body. Be symptom aware, share info and watch out for your friends too, visit your GP to get checked out full. You can make a difference at work, in the community in your family by talking about this cancer.

Important:

  • Cervical screening smear tests will not detect ovarian cancer.
  • Most cases are diagnosed in women who have had the menopause but younger women can also get it
  • The sooner its detected the easier it is to treat. Survival is up to 90% at the earliest stage.
  • Irritable bowel symptoms are similar to ovarian cancer but new cases of IBS are very unlikely in women over age 50.
  • Target Ovarian Cancer is the UK’s leading ovarian cancer charity, working to improve early diagnosis, fund life saving research and provide much needed support to women with the cancer. Their nurse led support line provides confidential information, support and signposting for anyone concerned about ovarian cancer.

Source:targetovariancancer.org.uk – Phone: 020 7923 5475

March 8th – #IWD2022 – SIGBI posters are up and visible we were so delighted with the positive response of shop keepers, stations, libraries and supermarkets to helping #Soroptimists make the community more aware. One Czech woman we spoke to in #Mercado in Molesey explain that in her country flowers are distributed to all women on IWD, its a far more important date then Mother’s Day as it recognises that ALL women need support to obtain equality and alleviate poverty. SI clubs around the world are challenging bias and highlighting how we can make the world a fairer place.

The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all.

March 6th – #IWD2022 March 8th. Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field. Are you in? Will you actively call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping each time you see it? Will you help break the bias? Cross your arms to show solidarity.

  • Strike the IWD 2022 pose and share your #BreakTheBias image, video, resources, presentation or articles on social media using #IWD2022 #BreakTheBias to encourage further people to commit to helping forge an inclusive world.
Local shops in #ThamesDitton, #Molesey, #Hamptoncourtvillage are doing their part with local #Soroptimists. Share this post to raise more awareness and support.#breakthebias2022; #alleviatepoverty,#westandupforwomen,#IWD2022

March 5th – IWD 2022 campaign theme: #BreakTheBias

Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

March 4th – International Women’s Day is coming on Tuesday March 8th. Today we shout out for our local rail station at #hamptoncourtpalace, #electricalsupplies retailer on the Broadway and #Smilessencedentists in #Molesey who all kindly displayed a Soroptimist IWD2022 poster to raise awareness and support this annual UN initiative.

There’s still time to help raise awareness? Pop up the IWD22 official poster in your car window, on your fence, on your social media profiles, one small step at a time… International Women’s Day (March is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

SIGBI #IWD Posters are all up and around big  thanks to Brenda and Cathy, Jeannie and Ann  – It’s International Women’s Day #IWD2022 on March 8th.

Today we shout out for our local amazing shops in #ThamesDitton and #Molesey specifically today our Thames Ditton grocer #Paulls and the #GeorgeAndDragon Pub and Molesey’s top stationers #ekaservices who all very kindly displayed a Soroptimist #IWD2022 poster to raise awareness and support this annual UN initiative.
Not all women get acknowledgement, gender equality and respect can you help raise awareness? Pop up the IWD2022 official poster in your car window, on your fence, on your social media profile, one small step at a time…
International Women’s Day on March 8 is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

March 2nd – SIGBI’s Emergency Relief Fund has donated £5,000 to the British Red Cross, Ukrainian Appeal to help the Ukrainian refugees who are fleeing the war with Russia. The latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees show that more than 600,000 people have left the country and many more thousands are displaced from their homes within Ukraine. Ukrainian Red Cross volunteers are reaching as many people as possible, distributing 30,000 food and hygiene parcels so far, and helping evacuate people with disabilities. Teams have also provided first aid training to 1,000 people in metro stations and bomb shelters, and are supporting fire fighters, medical and civil protection units.

We urge all parties involved in Ukraine to swiftly work for an agreed peaceful outcome. https://sigbi.org/…/soroptimist-international-great…/

 

March 1st – International Women’s Day – March 8th – The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all. Look put for the posters around Molesey, Walton, Weybridge those created by Soroptimists to raise awareness of this UN led focus on why promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment can help deliver better environmental outcomes, and to figure out how it can be done. The Generation Equality campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve. Visit the UN Women’s website for more information about the theme. Multimedia content is coming soon to help you spread the message of gender equality by sharing on your social media accounts. https://www.unwomen.org/…/international-womens-day-2022…

 

International Women’s Day – March 8th
The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 (IWD 2022) is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all. Look put for the posters created by Soroptimists to raise awareness of this UN led focus on why promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment can help deliver better environmental outcomes, and to figure out how it can be done.
The Generation Equality campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve. Visit the UN Women’s website for more information about the theme. Multimedia content is coming soon to help you spread the message of gender equality by sharing on your social media accounts.

February 17th – Monthly meeting at The Wheatsheaf at 7pm. Nina from Walton & Hersham Foodbank is speaking at 7.30pm.  We will once again gather Easter Eggs for the Foodbank in March in readiness for Easter.

February 11th – Calling all members The next PR and Marketing Facebook Live session for members takes place on Saturday 19th February 2022, 14.00 – 14.30 GMT. Join Binita Sen and Gail Sinha for 30 minutes of top tips for building your club’s brand.

February 8th – PRESS RELEASE

Weybridge & District Soroptimist group is pleased to announce our newest member: ‘Dorothy’ the pink Tuk Tuk. Since 2018, we’ve been working hard to raise £4,000 to buy Dorothy, who will operate as a female-only taxi service – creating a sustainable source of income for single parent mums and creating safe travel for women and girls in Sri Lanka. The Tuk Tuk is on order and local mums will soon be identified and trained as drivers, as well as in the necessary business skills to transport women and girls to school, work and social events in safety.

A big thank you to all of the local members who have supported this big effort, especially club member Dorothy Clarke MBE, for bringing this unique project to the group. Covid didn’t stop us – and as we celebrate our Centennial year this is proof of how much more we can achieve!
Would you like to achieve more for women and girls? Get in touch to talk about coming to a meeting or joining us via Zoom to learn about our local work in Elmbridge.
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February 1st – Today is International Day of Human Fraternity.Read our latest blog all about this day by #Soroptimist Carol Infanti. “It makes me thankful that I am a Soroptimist, part of a sisterhood where we all work together to support all women, whatever age, race or religion, where-ever we are in the world. Do encourage other women to join us. Happy and peaceful International Day of Human Fraternity.” Grab a cuppa and read it now https://bit.ly/34vTr3a. #HumanFraternityDay

 

January 24th – Over 70 refugees are living locally in Elmbridge in hotel accommodation and two families have been housed in our midst. A speaker from Elmbridge CAN a small local charity spoke at our meeting last Thursday to highlight how the community can help settle and familiarise children and adults during their settlement and after. Sue has written a nice summary. The speaker gave us a reading list which is worth publicising to widen perceptions and learning about life experiences refugees have faced.
To receive the charity newsletter or learn more link http://www.elmbridgecan.org.uk/get-involved.html
Sea Prayer by Khalid Hosseini (author of Kite Runner) ISBN 978-1526602718
Shatila Stories published by Pierene Now!, nine refugees were commissioned to tell their stories in this collaborative fiction. ISBN 978-1908670496
No Friend but the mountains by Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist ISBN 978-1525287077
In the Wars by Dr Wahid Arian ISBN 978-0552177641
Hope not fears by Hassan Akkad, an inspiring Syrian who is well known to Elmbridge CAN and has spoken at their events ISBN 978-1529059830 and finally,
England – poems from a school some incredibly moving short poems from a refugee experience. ISBN 978-1509886609
Today is #InternationalDayofEducation
Read all about the day and what #Soroptimists are doing in our latest blog written by Yvonne Gibbon. https://bit.ly/33YxuJX.

January 21st – Well done for all the lobbying friends  – news from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust – Thrilled that the Taxi & PHV Bill passed through the Commons today. Thank you to all who have worked tirelessly on this issue. “Our constituents can have more peace of mind knowing that steps have moved forward today to make their taxi use safer”. Now on to the Lords. Peter Gibson MP – #RightToBeSafe

January 18th – Last Saturday Anne G hosted a 2nd amazing #SIWeybridgeandDistrict fundraiser luncheon for ‘#Soroptimist members locally. The lunch and raffle raised a very significant sum towards the project to buy a Pink Tuk Tuk for the #RosieMayFoundation in Sri Lanka. On Thursday Dee will sum up the final total raised since project inception in 2018 to now. Here we luncheon members are.. enjoying the moment! Share our SI news, bring a friend to a meeting, ask a colleague to join in with our projects this year and come to the meeting on Thursday inspired full of ideas for the local charities we could support his year 2022.
January 17th – This months meeting in Molesey is on Thursday 20th this week, look out for the Agenda. Next months meeting on 17th February is in Esher. Save the date. The speakers this week are from Elmbridge CAN. Elmbridge CAN is a small charity, based in Elmbridge, Surrey, UK. They aim to build a culture of welcome to refugees within the local community, and work to achieve the settlement of more refugees in the Borough of Elmbridge. Elmbridge CAN is a member of the ​City of Sanctuary Movement. Read more about their work and immediate resource and housing needs at http://www.elmbridgecan.org.uk/

January 6th – “As we enter the new year, the spectre of the pandemic still hangs over us, but I am confident that, as Soroptimists, you will rise to the challenges presented, as you have done so magnificently throughout last two years.” Read our January message by #Soroptimist President Cathy Cottridge in full, now on the website, click below to read.

Happy New Year dear Friends and families. Meeting date 19 January. 7pm. Looking forward to welcoming a young speaker from Elmbridge CAN. This meeting is at Ann M’s house as she is very young. Refreshments only.

2021

Constrained for 6 months by lockdowns/safety, Soroptimists at SI Weybridge and District met on Zoom and once again undertook to donate part or all of their supper meeting meal cost to central funds to enable our support work continued.

Activities in the year

17 December 2021 – Festive social at Burhill Golf Club, meeting members and their partners and friends in Covid safe conditions. It was a spectacular day of friendship, fun and celebration of the club’s success and afforded a chance to think of those members who were unable to be with us due to vulnerability and health decline. Most significant off all we were able to plan final arrangements for two Pink Tuk Tuk spring lunches to raise the final £1000 for the Sri Lanka Women’s Rosie May charity.

SIGBI News was issued online with full details of the successful virtual global conference held from Llandudno.

10th December –  SI Weybridge & District delivered £300 of Aldi vouchers to Walton & Hersham Foodbank to enable 30 festive food parcels to contain a £10 voucher enabling families to choose something special to include with their shopping for Xmas courtesy of our members.

23rd November –  for 16 days consecutive Soroptimists around the World posted information, coloured buildings orange and publicised the #16daysofactivism, our club elected to buy £300 of ‘orange’ Aldi food vouchers for the local foodbank.

November 17th – On Remembrance Sunday Dorothy Clarke MBE a club member represented SI Weybridge at the memorial placing a wreath on Weybridge memorial as we have for 45 consecutive years.

November 21st – Six club members joined with over 50 from the Southern Region to celebrate the Centennial Year and hear Hampshire MP Caroline Noakes and other clubs speak. The annual AGM was held in Alton and Southern  Region were delighted to be crowned runners up nationally for their successful enrolment of new members partly due to the success of the new club in Salisbury. A new club is also coming together in the region, watch the space for news.

November 2nd – The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) began in Glasgow and ran until 12 November 2021.
#Soroptimists are excited to be taking part in #COP26 – they had a stand in the Green Room, Green Zone to raise awareness of the global SI organisation, it’s seat on the UN and impact.
October 6th – SIGBI hosted a Centennial Reception of Club members to celebrate at The House of Lords, London.
October 18th – SIGBI region countries noted  that over 64,000 trees had now been reported on the SIGBI Tree Planting Map, what an amazing effort for the region region. SI Weybridge were able to report that a new copse of trees had been planted at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey following site redevelopment works.  Working with the NHS and a tree donator we now await a plaque installation to mark the global SI Centennial year.

 

September 17th – Yippee! #siweybridge met for the first time since lockdown last Thursday, and what a delight it was to see members in person and online. We were able to greet our speakers from Cook4Care a worthy local charity founded in 2020 and now flourishing. Maria and Davina two founders explained how their experience in teaching and life had brought them into contact with young carers specific challenges; the charity now provides hundreds of free fresh nutritious meals to enable young carers to free up time instead of cooking two nights a week.. A recent survey of outcomes highlighted how the extra money saved is a hidden advantage allowing families to save a little more for luxuries like days out. Supermarkets locally including #Waitrose and #Morrisons enable their work alongside the dozens of volunteer cooks, drivers and delivery folk.

We also held our #Soroptimist100 candle ceremony to mark the Soroptimist International 100th Birthday? Starting 21 September, Clubs and Soroptimists around the world are taking part in candle ceremonies, making wishes for the lives of women and girls! In Elmbridge we made our our candle wishes for women and girls:-

For WW SI Clubs old and newly incorporated to grow and succeed to meet the ever more evolving global and geopolitical demands of international poverty, education and discrimination as we emerge from this pandemic

For Soroptimists within the SIGBI region to enable changes in values, attitudes, awareness and freedoms through lobbying, a UN presence and better visibility for the next generation to maintain freedom of speech and expression
For clubs in our Southern England region to attract and motivate local community action by involving more women and young people, foster relations with partner organisations and one another sharing expertise, knowledge and skills and using technology to enhance our impact.
September 25th – 100 for 100 families https://waltonhersham.foodbank.org.uk/
#Soroptimist100 .. as part of our Centennial year celebrations our club in Elmbridge (covering Weybridge and district including Walton and Molesey) donated 100 bottles of children’s sun lotion to Walton and Hersham foodbank during July ahead of the holidays. It may not be food but is just as essential an item and much welcomed by the team of volunteers at the foodbank and the outreach support scheme members. Sincere thanks to our club members who donated the cost of a meal to the club to enable this purchase and donation. Good Work a small but valued part of over £3000 of local donations in kind this last 12 months.
September 18th – National Memorial Arboretum—unveiling of SI statue and afternoon tea. An event was arranged to unveil the superb new statue at the SIGBI plot, and celebrate Soroptimist International’s Centenary at an afternoon tea.
August 6th - SIGBI News online articles covering 
  • how Soroptimists are tackling Climate Change, which is the focus of reports by both our Assistant Programme Directors for Planet and Partnerships;
  • the final three interviews in our Meet the Board Up Close series;
  • full details of the Llandudno Virtual Conference 2021 unveiled;
  • what SI clubs have been doing to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Soroptimist International as well as an update on SIGBI’s celebrations

July 17th – Soroptimist Day of Action on Climate Change…This year action, awareness raising and advocacy are of great significance. We all as Soroptimists need to raise our own profile but, more importantly, the issues around addressing climate change for succeeding generations as well as ourselves. Although climate change is often on the news at present there seems to be little awareness that we, as individuals, can do a lot ourselves. This ranges from raising awareness of what we CAN do, to lobbying governments from local to national and to international and, of course taking action personally. “Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”, but we need to help the pounds too.  Let’s start with ourselves – have you taken a look at the UN’s Carbon Footprint Calculator. I really need to do better – not travelling to New York each March for CSW might help since flying is 40% of my footprint (not during Covid of course), with electricity at 38%, food 15% and car 7%. This makes my annual emissions equal 17 tonnes whereas the UK average is 6t and the world at 5t. Less time on the computer would help with electricity! Removing the long haul flight to New York reduces my total consumption to 11t with electricity now being 58% of my total. The UN also provides a carbon offset scheme – these can be filtered for continent and country and covers Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. Alternatively you could do so by supporting our programmes to address climate change – for trees see https://sigbi.org/…/planting-trees-for-a…/4773-2/. Clearly our tree and mangrove planting, supporting Fairtrade, installing solar panels and using the UN campaign for individuals all – ACT NOW – will all contribute to our own commitments.

June 10th Call for Action – I hope we can get every woman and Soroptimist in England to respond to this evidence gathering exercise. I know I have not been listened to because I am a woman. How about you? “We are seeking your views to help inform the development of the government’s Women’s Health Strategy. This call for evidence is seeking to collect views on women’s health. It will run for a period of 14 weeks and is open to everyone aged 16 and over. The easiest way to participate in the call for evidence as an individual is by completing the public survey.

June 9th – Meeting – We heard how refugees are handled in Britain. Our speaker in May was Professor Monojit Chatterji, Fellow in Economics, Trinity Hall (Retd), Professor New College of Humanities, London, Professor, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh.

April 28th – Today is World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Read our latest blog by #Soroptimist Carol Infanti and find out all about the day and what you can do sigbi.org/2021/world-day-for-safety-and-health-at-work. #SafetyAndHealthAtWork #SoroptimistsStandUpForWomen

April 15th – #Soroptimists our SIGBI charity, the Emergency Relief Fund, has made a payment of £1,000 to St Vincent and the Grenadines, in the wake of the devastating volcano eruption. If members wish to make a personal donation, they can do so through the Emergency Relief Fund, by sending any monies for St Vincent to Joanne Voller at Head Qffice.
Our SI SVG sisters in Kingstown are cooking meals for evacuees.
The St Vincent volcano: UN warns humanitarian crisis will last months. The humanitarian crisis caused by volcanic eruptions on the Caribbean island of St Vincent will last for months, a UN official has warned. Didier Trebucq said nearby islands including Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda could also be badly affected. He said the UN was setting up an international funding appeal. About 20,000 people have been evacuated from their homes since La Soufrière volcano began erupting last Friday. It had not previously erupted since 1979.
April 15 – Johanna Raffin Federation President has kindly sent a letter of condolences to HM The Queen on SIGBI’s behalf. Clubs should feel free to add condolences to the online memorial.
March 8th – #IWD2021 success! Donations made for Q1 to 2 charities
Soroptimists Celebrate 100 Years buying Chocolate!
Buying chocolate produced by companies who support sustainable methods of cocoa bean farming and enable women to work under fair conditions is key to our principle of promoting equality and prevention of poverty.
SI Weybridge & District are supporting #IWD in several ways as part of the #soroptimistinternational Centennial effort. Women struggling to feed their families have been supported by the Club this year with significant donations to the local food bank. We’re also ready to donate 100 eggs this week to Walton & Hersham Foodbank in response to their plea for chocolate donations in the run up to Easter. Working together we can WIN for another 100 Years! Like to join us? Message me to hear about our next meeting date or meet for a socially distanced coffee…
Hoping the 100 Easter Eggs make a difference to the local community in this our SI Centenary Year. Thank you SI Weybridge & District members for your generosity. Dee & Ann were delighted to meet Nina, Fiona and Paul of #waltonandhershamfoodbank today at St. John’s Church, Walton one of the foodbank distribution points.
Also supporting #NorthSurreyDomesticAbuse  Centre with a £600 donation for further outreach support.
March 1st – Commission on the Status of Women 65
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 65 is scheduled to take place 15-26 March 2021 in New York. For the first time this will be a virtual event. You can join for free. Please be reminded that if you want to register for CSW 65 (and receive updates) then you need to do so by the Indico
website by 22 February 2021. Registration with the UN opens from 28 December 2020 until 22 February 2021. Registration for CSW 65 is completed on the UN Indico platform https://indico.un.org/event/35605/registration/ which will enable participants to receive information about preparation activities as well as information about virtual formal and informal meetings and opportunities for interaction, including social media mobilisation directly to your registered email address. You do need to register separately with NGO CSW65 for the parallel events (outside the UN). These sessions are free but you do need to register as an Advocate). Registration for the NGO parallel events needs to be done
separately on the NGO CSW65 website.
Give as you Spend – Advent Competition
  • Don’t forget anyone can support your Club funds & initiatives by registering with Easyfundraising and nominating SI Weybridge as your charity, if you are buying items/presents at most major retailers a small percentage is donated from the cost to our account. It’s really EASY and allows us to build a fund for a project. Here’s a bit of festive fun – easyfundraising are running an Advent Calendar competition with a £250 donation to be won every day in December, plus a Christmas Day Grand Prize of a £2000 donation and a £2000 John Lewis & Partners gift card! It’s free and open to all easyfundraising causes so if your group isn’t using easyfundraising yet, sign up here so you can enter too: http://efraising.org/2fppkVuJo4.

 

17th December 2020

  • Join our Festive Bird Bingo evening, socialise online over Zoom with your friends and join in the fun. Wear a festive outfit/hat/glasses. Have your fizz or tipple at the ready to toast our Club and Region. Nominate a Festive Character for their attitude, tenacity or innovation this year. This is a nice opportunity to catch up over a more leisurely evening with friends and to hear how Margaret’s house move is going, news from Maggie, about Nadine’s visit to award Marion’s certificate and gifts.
  • 8th December 2020
  • This month our Club is thrilled to see our nomination for the Centenary WhoIsShe? recognition has been made to Marion Strehlow, a club member since 1975. SI Weybridge Member MARION  features as one of 100 Soroptimists commemorated in our Centennial Year – MANY CONGRATULATIONS
  • Marion has been a Soroptimist since 1975 – 45 years!
  • Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) together with Soroptimists from across the world join together to celebrate 100 years of Soroptimist International (SI) and celebrate a ‘Bright Past’ and a ‘Brilliant Future’. When Soroptimist International reaches a milestone in its history as now, the Celebration of 100 Years of Service, it is fitting that we should look back and pay tribute to those pioneers who established Soroptimist International on firm foundations and kept the flag flying through difficult times. Each month there will be a showcase celebrating some  ‘Soroptimist Pioneers
  • These #WhoIsShe? campaign members, both past and present, from Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland have all been nominated by Soroptimist Clubs for their noteworthy contribution to society in the furtherance of the aims and objects of the organisation.
  • Marion was born in Berlin on 15th April 1935 to a Jewish family. As a child during the Second World War she was transported to the Theresienstadt GheCo/Camp known as Terezin. Her father was also in the camp but she had very little contact with him and had been told he was dying. From spring 1944 until summer 1945 she was one of the children resident in ‘the villa’. The children were of mixed ages and nationalities and all of them were ill, there were no adults living there. At the age of nine Marion was the eldest girl and she tried to mother the younger ones. The children had been selected by a Czechoslovakian doctor, who wished to prove that exposure to fresh air and sunshine could cure illnesses. Marion, like many of the children, had tuberculosis. The children were very poorly fed, had few adult visitors and spent hours reclining on wooden chairs outside or sitting inside with windows open in all weathers. The villa was close to the railway line that served the camp and in the autumn of 1944 numerous trains arrived full of dead and dying people. The stench was horrendous, there were mass burials and the smell of decay permeated the garden but the children still had to do their stint outside.
  • Marion survived and although her father also survived, her mother who had been in Auschwitz, had died. As her father was unable to cope Marion was sent to her aunt in the UK. She came for 6 weeks and is still here. Despite having missed more than 4 years of school, having to learn another language and suffering from ill health and nightmares, Marion completed her education and qualified as a nurse. She worked for many years in the field of health visiting, always helping others. Later in life Marion worked in a multi-faith unit attached to the Surrey police and helped with inter-faith understanding and issues relating to the Jewish community. Despite her trauma and the difficulty of speaking about the past, Marion has in recent years spoken to school children on Holocaust Memorial Day about her experience as a child during the war. She is able to make real what they learn in history and make her own personal experience evidence of the truth of the Holocaust. The children are so affected by the talks they send her wonderful personal thank you letters. This keeps alive the terrible events of that time, lest no one forget. Marion has been a member of Soroptimist International since April 1975 and has been an enthusiastic supporter of her club, the organisation and its aims in helping women and girls throughout the world. She has also been a keen participant in our friendship link visits, making many friends internationally. After such terrible events in her childhood Marion has spent her adult life helping others, always cheerful and positive.
  • We at SI Weybridge & District cherish dear Marion, we’ve been privileged to hear her speak, witness her good humour and value her friendship. Hoping soon to welcome her and other members back to meetings post Covid-19.
  • 15 October 2020 Women in the Shadows
  • Suzette gave a fabulous oversight to the club on how modern slavery is so evident in British society and her role working for the Clewer Initiative. She noted data highlighting the fact that there are an estimated 136K women, men and children held in differing forms of servitude or being exploited in Britain now. 1/130 women in Britain are thought to be enslaved to organised crime be it in servitude, agriculture, fraud, sexual exploitation or businesses such as pop up brothels, car washes and nail bars. We should not forget that the nationality of those enslaved is not always as often thought people from developing countries, the ranking for slavery is topped by statistics showing British people are amongst the worst affected. Some are enslaved for years, in Surrey alone in the last 6 months from July 42 cases were under investigation and there are on average 5 new cases a week under investigation.  She explained why it’s hard for victims to raise the alarm (fear, shame) and the importance of vigilance and personal reporting on the part of each and every one of us. Moreover we should question our own motives when buying goods, using services that might be cheap because forced labour is used.
  • Suzette supplied the cascade of contacts individuals can report to even anonymously. The Clewer Nuns (Anglican) are enabling information sharing and action through churches throughout Lent starting January 21st) a 5 week course providing talks and resources and engaging with a team of practitioners. Apps are being developed to enable consumer reporting data collation and provision of guidance on service companies which are bona fide and not involved in slavery.   Crimestoppers, the police and helplines are available resources to report suspected cases. A topical report issued by Walk Free ( https://www.minderoo.org/walk-free/)  is a relevant resource if one wants to further understand the extent of slavery from infanticide, missing persons, educational impedance through to limitations on work and current recommendations. It’s possible to gain a better understanding by subscribing the Clewer Initiative newsletter or publicising the training run for the church of England parishes next year. (https://www.theclewerinitiative.org/news/2019/1/30/new-safeguarding-and-modern-slavery-course
  • Herewith the telephone numbers to put in your mobile regarding modern slavery
  • • Modern Slavery Helpline 08000121700.
    • The Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority 08004320804
    • Crimestoppers on 0800555111
    • Fearless www.fearless.org
    • In an emergency 999
  • When you see something, when you know the situation is not right, all you need to do is telephone, tell of your intuition – if it doesn’t feel right it, it
    probably isn’t. Go on The Clewer website www.theclewerinitiative.org and find out more, sign up for their newsletter
  • 15 July 2020
  • SI Weybridge & District present £500 to Weybridge Foodbank as Covid-19 causes shortfall of in kind donations
  • The Weybridge branch of Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland (SIGBI) has this month responded to donation shortages at the Weybridge Foodbank. A reduction in supermarket shopping, as locals shop online during lockdown, has meant the Foodbank has seen a donation shortfall during recent months. On Wednesday 2 July, Elmbridge resident and member Brenda Saunders from the Weybridge & District Soroptimists (SIWD) presented a cheque for £500 to Angela Miller, Weybridge Foodbank Team Leader. The money will be used to purchase food and household items and vouchers for distribution to those in need in the local area.
  • Run by local women, SIWD is passionate about supporting programmes that improve the lives of women and girls both in Elmbridge and around the world. The branch runs regular fundraisers and supporting community projects including donating women’s health products to the Foodbank in Walton on Thames, providing much needed items which were at that time seldom reaching local collection boxes. Under lockdown their regular ‘Business Meetings’ have been impossible, but the women have pressed on, with 20 local members meeting online each month via Zoom to continue their work.
  • Generally, donations of food and toiletries for the Runnymede & Weybridge Foodbank are collected in Waitrose, Tesco Addlestone, the Weybridge library and at St. James’ church, but COVID-19 and the associated lockdown has significantly reduced the level of retail ‘shopping’, whilst furloughs and job losses in lockdown have created even greater demand.
  • SIWD member Brenda Saunders raised the donation shortage to the Club, highlighting the Weybridge Foodbank COVID-19 appeal for donations. She herself had been popping a weekly ‘donation’ box in her front garden for neighbours to donate to. Club members stepped up and donated the cost of their usual club meal for 3 months (April-June), to raise funds for Foodbank.
  • The Foodbank’s Angela Miller explained that they are usually located at St James’ Church in Weybridge, but due to church closures all provisions are being ‘doorstep’ delivered by volunteers. In due course it’s hoped the church can once again provide a welcoming resource where those in crisis can have a ‘cuppa’ and chat about their situation. The emphasis is very much, Angela explained, “on looking out for local community and signposting the vulnerable and needy to where they can seek additional help and advice so people can break free from poverty.”
  • Dorothy Clark a Weybridge Soroptimist, awarded an MBE for services to children’s education in the community, was truly delighted to see families supported by Soroptimists. She commented: “A child needs nourishment to learn. Food poverty affects families in high cost areas quickly as parents have high fixed outgoings. In Weybridge, any economic change can impact poverty faster as a result; COVID-19 has caused distress and accelerated it.  It’s key we support families now over the summer holidays when schools out, we are glad to do what we can now.”
  • About SIW&D
    Soroptimist International Weybridge & District is an active women’s club with a membership of over 20 women. The club membership is drawn from Molesey, Hersham, Walton & Staines on Thames, Addlestone, Byfleet and Weybridge at present. The Club meets 10 times a year and supports local, national and international projects with a focus on improving the lives of women and girls. We welcome new women members; get in touch to find out more via: https://sigbi.org/weybridge/
  • About the Weybridge Foodbank
    Weybridge Foodbank opened in March 2019 as local requests for emergency help became apparent. Access is by referral with immediate provision of 3 days of emergency food, referrals come from a variety of sources including schools, DWP, Citizens Advice, health professionals and family centres. The Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust network which is currently working in collaboration with Runnymede council.  The Foodbank also runs other support projects including a 6 week “Eat Well Spend Less” cookery course to teach people how to use the tinned and dried foods and combine them with fresh foods they buy in a cost-effective way, budgeting information is also covered on the course to help with how to spend well. Another initiative ‘Food4Lunch’ regularly supplies a two course lunch provisions to local vulnerable families for each 2 weeks of the school holidays. For more information about The Trussell Trust and how you can help see more at https://www.trusselltrust.org/what-we-do/
  • 15 March 2020
  • SI Weybridge & District Murder Mystery Evening raises £1000 towards its #PinkTukTuk Appeal for The Rosie May Foundation
  • March 2020, who will ever forget it? The subtle but unbelievable news of Covid-19 infection cases in Europe grew steadily louder as our Club member Danny Sparkes and her team planned a Murder Mystery evening to raise funds for the 2020 Club goal to enable purchase of a Pink Tuk Tuk by the Rosie May Foundation.
  • In the final days of freedom, before lock down was even perceived, on March 7th the Club held a successful fundraiser.  Ottershaw Players organised the event performing an entertaining pantomime “The Mystery Murders”.  A show in two parts, the audience was spellbound as the characters and events unfurled and the producer was found dead in a dressing room. Over 50 participants followed the characters, the facts, the diversions and then debated the clues, circumstances and culprit over a tasty fish & chip supper. Finishing up with choc-ices and treats and washed down with a glass or two of wine conclusions were drawn and submitted. A masterful presentation of the secrets, surprises and solutions followed in Act II with each character assassinating another and slowly bringing the truths to light. After a fantastic dialogue, performed with panache, the killer was revealed. Only one table of six including a Soroptomister managed to deduce who the killer was!
  • A lively raffle followed, a few more drinks were consumed (after a quick Tesco run to top up the fast diminished bar!).   A ‘TukTuk Tastic’ night for sure. Approaching £1000 was raised on that wet damp evening, a fitting sum towards our 2020 goal. We must extend a huge club ’round of applause’ to Danny our extraordinary STAR performer for securing welcome donations for the raffle, the superb cast from Ottershaw Players and a tasteful venue.  This was most certainly a masterful occasion thanks to Danny’s hard work and talent in getting a job done. Not to miss either …thanking Colin who produced a fabulous life size pink Tuk Tuk for the club as you can see. Big thanks too to the backstage team in the kitchen and bar and hosts who charmed everyone and made the evening an event to be proud of.
  • Ticket sales were tough for an event held on a winter’s night during the COVID-9 pandemic. It was superb to see Soroptimists from Woking, Weybridge and even a TV celebrity enjoying the evening. The proceeds of £1000 will make a big contribution to our PINKTT target in 2020.
  • January 2020
  • ‘SOROPPORTUNITY’ IN SOUTH AFRICA – Alexis Neville, Club Member and past Regional President reports
  • On my recent trip to South Africa I stayed with a Past Regional President of Southern Region.  She took me to meet a friend and fellow Cape of Good Hope Soroptimist Susan, who runs a Children’s Project.  The project is located in what these days they call an informal settlement, above Hout Bay south of Cape Town.  Susan originally thought of starting an orphanage but after 18 months getting to know the people in the settlement and asking what they wanted, she discovered they would prefer the children to stay in the community with relatives and friends rather than be separated from them.  However, many of the children did need help and support.  The children go to local schools but after school they go to the project for that help and support.  The volunteers at the project help the children to read, provide space and help for homework, provide some formal teaching by age group (particularly English) and fun and games.  They also provide a hot meal each evening and cold food to take home so they eat before school next day.  All the children receive hugs when they arrive and are listened to and cared for.  The volunteers also work within the settlement helping when there is a family crisis or other events.  When we were being shown around we met a teacher of the older children marking their English test. The questions were on the blackboard and one of them I’d have struggled to answer.  I also think a lot of children in the UK would have found the one asking them to form a sentence with a semi colon challenging.  We were also impressed with the children’s’ writing – neat and well formed.  Within the project there is also a separate training facility for teenagers where they are taught to be baristas so they can get jobs in the many coffee bars and restaurants in the locality.
  • One of the young volunteers from Sweden had the children write short pieces about their lives and the project and had these published in a beautiful colourful book that is sold to help fund the project.  One of the amazing sections is where they write about the fire in the settlement in 2014.  You can imagine how horrific it must have been with all the very flammable shacks so close together and roads too narrow for the fire engines. 
  • December 2019
  • Dorothy Clark MBE, Club Founder  reports on Visit to Sri Lanka
  • Dennis’ and my main reason for visiting Sri Lanka was to meet Dilini’s new baby girl born in July – this was our 26th visit to Sri Lanka and it has been wonderful to support, Dilini and Buddhini, the Tsunami orphans we met 14 years ago together with SI Weybridge & District.  Having seen them grow up and attending Dilini’s graduation ceremony from the University of Colombo and her wedding to Sagara we could not wait to meet their baby, Dewshi.  She is beautiful.