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Membership and the Mayor

Membership and the Mayor

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Soroptimist International of Winchester held a membership coffee morning at Rick Stein restaurant on the High Street on Thursday 12 May. The club took advantage of the charity offer from the restaurant to invite volunteers and supporters to enjoy coffee and cake in a friendly atmosphere. Treasurer Julie Blackwell said, ‘It’s a great opportunity for the club members to talk to visitors about our projects and create awareness of what we do, the more members we have, the more good we can do.’ This is the second time we have run this event and the Mayor of Winchester Cllr Vivian Achwal joined us again. She enjoyed meeting everyone and hearing our updates. This, in her final week of duties before the Mayor Making for Cllr Derek Green, who takes up the role on 18 May. The club took the opportunity to promote its awareness via

John Allen FRCA Designer and Colourist

John Allen FRCA Designer and Colourist

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John Allen FRCA Designer and Colourist spoke to SI Winchester club meeting on 17th January  about his life in textiles and the wall rugs he currently designs which are made in Nepal and the handbags he designs for Louie. The rugs are designed mainly of landscapes which John specialises in, with his own individual use of colour and shown in collections. John has spent a lietime in Textiles This is a link to his page of information http://www.john-allen-london.co.uk/about/

Rembering Sylvia Margaret Stops 1924-2022

Rembering Sylvia Margaret Stops 1924-2022

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This is how I became a close friend of Sylvia’s. I first met Sylvia at Sparsholt College in 1988 when we were on a 1 term evening class for chaining chairs.  In 1989 we met again when Sylvia was with a colleague of mine selling raffle tickets for a mini car in aid of Parkinson’s uk.  As a result of these meetings, my colleague asked me to join the local branch of Parkinson’s as I was about to retire.  It was not long before I was involved with Parkinson’s and, as Sylvia and I got to know each other more, she introduced me to the Winchester branch of Soroptimist International and I became a member in 1991.  In 1996 Sylvia retired as Chairman of Winchester Parkinson’s branch and I was elected to take over from her.  In 2012, after many committee meetings to which Sylvia belonged, and unknown to me,

Supporting Positive Periods for Haitian girls

Supporting Positive Periods for Haitian girls

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To mark International Women’s Day 2022, The Winchester and District Club (Textiles Group Project) chose to make donations to The Steve Sinnott Foundation’s Positive Periods Project in Haiti. Just £5 pays for a girl to attend a workshop where she will be provided with the materials and taught how to make sustainable, reusable period pads. These pads allow girls to deal with their periods hygienically and with dignity. They enable girls to attend school every day of the month, so that girls can maximise their potential at school and have better career options. We believe in empowering girls to benefit from their education whilst menstruating. Girls also learn about the underlying biology of the menstrual cycle and sexual reproduction during the workshops. Our donations totalled £225 so we are delighted to pay for 45 Haitian girls to attend Positive Periods Workshops. Watch the video to

Dresses and Baby outfits sent to the Gambia

Dresses and Baby outfits sent to the Gambia

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The SI Winchester Textiles Team recently got together to package up all the wonderful donations we have been given to the ‘The Pillowcase Project’ and ‘Fish ‘n’ Chip project’ during Covid-19 when parcels haven’t been able to be sent. The ambulance convoy going out to The Gambia will transport them to Banjol for distribution. 9 boxes were packed in total including: 334 Newborn baby Knitted Sets, 10 extra hats and 4 small blankets. 88 Pillowcase Dresses, 16 Shorts for boys and 20 pairs of pants. Thank you to all the knitters and tailors who have given their time to help improve the lives of babies and children in the Gambia.

#IWD Positive Periods

#IWD Positive Periods

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Our club textile group has added a project called Positive Periods and has partnered with The Steve Sinnott Foundation’s Positive Periods Project featured below Our Projects | The Steve Sinnott Foundation Girls miss up to a quarter of their school time, because they do not have the facilities to manage their periods. Our programme teaches educators and students about their menstrual health and how to make their own period pads. This enables teachers to help their students to stay in school, bu understanding the issues and teaching them to make re-usable pads that they can make themselves. They are made using locally sourced materials, affordable, sustainable, reusable and washable, long lasting, comfortable and very importantly, eco-friendly. This is a sustainable approach to the challenge faced by women and girls all over the world. So far we have run this programme in Sierra Leone, The Gambia

Trees for Trinity

Trees for Trinity

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The Trinity Centre in Winchester has created a wonderful garden for residents this year. The premises run alongside the river Itchen and borders on open woodland which gives a waterside aspect which feels very calming. Remarkably the centre is in the centre of town. We are delighted to contribute to their garden. We arranged the delivery of two apple trees which were planted straightaway. Of course these will take time to grow and fruit but the location is further enhanced by their planting and patio area.              The Trinity centre at Bradbury View gives 12 people a place to call home. This is for people who are repeatedly rough-sleeping. Personal support progammes are offered as residents giving support to help get their lives back on track. The UnderOneRoof team provides a full range of health information and therapies, along with educational

Christmas donations

Christmas donations

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One of the local charities we support is Two Saints in Southampton. We regularly donate bed linen, towels, toiletries etc for the women who use the centre. On this occasion Tref Mitchell took a selection of Christmas mugs and chocolates for the women in the centre. This was a gift from the Winchester club. Working across several southern counties the charity supports the homeless, vulnerable or at risk of homelessness and who need help to get back on their feet. Their services include safe, flexible and reliable client led housing and support with a focus on reducing homelessness, improving health and wellbeing and building on individual’s skills and resilience to break the cycle of homelessness, poverty and exclusion. In addition another of our local charities is the Women’s Refuge in Winchester. Our regular donation is a Tesco voucher for £100. We also support during the year with other

Christmas greetings

Christmas greetings

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Winchester Soroptimists enjoyed a Christmas meal out just before social changes in the Covid pandemic rules. Fortunately we were able to have our meal in a separate room. Crackers and party hats were provided. The club has used the Golden Lion pub in Winchester for many years and even though management has changed, the food has always been good. It was an opportunity to get together and have some social time, which we have missed over the past months. Four of our newest members also attended and we were able to arrange further smaller meetings to help them with their understanding of Soroptimism and the club.

Boosting Christmas donations

Boosting Christmas donations

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For the second time this year, Winchester Soroptimists took a stand at the Sunday Cattle Market car boot sale in Winchester. Winchester City Council made the offer at short notice. It was good to add this to our calendar on 24 October. As the registered charity for the event, we were able to collect the rents from those taking a stand. We also had our own stand. This car boot sale is very successful. Members from the Winchester club brought a good selection of items to be sold. We did the same event in June when we had lovely weather. It wasn’t as warm at this time of year but it was dry and there was a good turnout of sellers and buyers. Winchester City Council grants a different charity each week the right to collect rents from the vendors at the car boot sale.

Soroptimists and Rick Stein

Soroptimists and Rick Stein

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Last week (12 October) Soroptimist International of Winchester & District took advantage of the charity offer from the Rick Stein restaurant in Winchester. This offers an opportunity for charities to invite volunteers and supporters to enjoy coffee and cake in a friendly atmosphere. Treasurer Julie Blackwell said, ‘It’s a great opportunity for the club members to talk to visitors about our projects and create awareness of what we do, the more members we have, the more good we can do.’ The club took the opportunity to promote its awareness and advertised locally for ladies to visit and meet the members to show their projects. The club supports the women’s Refuge in Winchester and also the Trinity Centre, along with lobbying Government for women’s rights and improvements to the Domestic Abuse Bill and many other projects in the UK and overseas, transforming the lives of women

Annual picnic for the refuge, another great success!

Annual picnic for the refuge, another great success!

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For several years SI Winchester has organised a picnic in June for the families at the local refuge. As a consequence of Covid restrictions, early in the year, the 2021 picnic was held in September. As always members donated tasty picnic food, which was set out in the shade since we were blessed with a beautiful sunny day. Four residents and nine children spent a splendid afternoon chatting and getting involved in a variety of activities.  Indeed when it came time to go back, everyone was reluctant to leave. Once again huge thanks go to the chaplain and girls of St Swithuns School for their organisation and support.  We were delighted afterward to receive a communication from the Refuge saying how much all the families had appreciated the afternoon.

An afternoon in July saw 25 guests share a scrumptious afternoon tea together in a Club Members Garden

An afternoon in July saw 25 guests share a scrumptious afternoon tea together in a Club Members Garden

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We were undercover on the patio, in case of heatwave, sun, or rain !! Despite a little uncertainty about the weather, the sun did come out and it was pleasantly warm so no heatwave or rain.  Our Host/ Cook and a  Key Project Member provided a large selection of sandwiches, scones, and tea bread, and would you believe a further choice of four desserts made up to order.Homebaked Lemon Drizzle Cake, meringue nests, strawberries and cream, Lemon Cream, fruit jellies, wonderfully fluffy homebaked mini choux buns and equally delicious  Chocolate covered Dresden Cake and dainty  Cup Cakes. ​Guests were able to explore the garden and visit the Jewellery stall selling fun and innovative costume jewellery with especially smart features, such as magnetic necklace fastenings.  The event and sequel  Tea the following day, raffle and jewellery stalls as well as providing a very convivial social occasion and at last

Soroptimists Coffee, Cake and a Chat

Soroptimists Coffee, Cake and a Chat

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Members of Soroptimist International of Winchester would like to invite like-minded women for coffee, cake and a chat for FREE at Rick Stein Restaurant in Winchester on Tuesday 12 October 0930-1130. The Winchester club is looking to expand its membership particularly in the local area and would like to meet with women – working/retired – with an interest in making a difference to the lives of women and girls. Soroptimist International strives to transform the lives of women and girls as part of the global organisation, but also very much in the local area. There are many projects we support at present, the Trinity Centre, the women’s refuge, the Winchester Hospice Garden.  We are also very quick to lobby local Government and MPs to assist with Parliamentary bills, this year we worked hard on the Domestic Abuse Bill. Come and meet us and find out

Soroptimists framed for Hat Fair

Soroptimists framed for Hat Fair

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Soroptimist International of Winchester took part in the Hat Fair from 2-4 July. This year was very different with 5 sessions of ticketed slots from Friday evening to Sunday evening. This took place at the North Walls Recreation ground and the School of Art in Winchester. As part of a recruitment and membership strategy, it’s good to create awareness of what the club does do, and to be more a part of the Winchester community. We were also delighted to receive a development grant from SI Southern England region to support the registration. Julie Blackwell, member of SIW said, ‘We were able to talk to several interested ladies and pass on our information. Most people had not heard of the organisation so we want to address this going forward, especially in this our centennial year. We felt it would be good to be part of

Supporting the Women’s Refuge with a picnic

Supporting the Women’s Refuge with a picnic

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The photo shows items assembled ready for taking to the Refuge for their ‘At Home Picnic’ a substitute for our annual outdoor event which we, unfortunately, had to cancel due to COVID-19 restrictions. We were delighted that the manager also welcomed some donations of children’s clothing and toys. The picnic coincided with a birthday party for one of the children which made it extra special. Thank you to all our Club Members who contributed, Gina and Myra for helping out, and of course Jennifer who organises all of our support to this very worthy local cause.

SI Winchester to support new accomodation at Trinity

SI Winchester to support new accomodation at Trinity

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Trinity Winchester are set to open a new chapter in its 34 years of supporting homeless and vulnerable people in Winchester District by providing accommodation on-site for the first time. Bradbury View comprises of 12 ‘flatlets’ for people who are rough-sleeping repeatedly – often the hardest to reach and to help in our community. The flatlets have ensuite bathrooms to reduce the risk of contagion through sharing facilities, protecting both occupants and the wider community. Residents are offered individualised person-centred support to help them get their lives back on track and move towards successfully living independently. Recently, members, Jennifer, Gina and Jo were given a tour of the new accommodation at Trinity. The club has plans to contribute to the gardens of the new accommodation, as well as continue our collections and food support for the main centre. 

Brendoncare in Winchester

Brendoncare in Winchester

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Soroptimist International of Winchester is delighted to have a member working in the healthcare environment. Marianne Wanstall, Chief Executive of Winchester based Brendoncare Foundation, at the ground-breaking ceremony of the St Giles site commented: ‘This is the first milestone in the construction of the new care home. The new home will provide much needed support for older people in Winchester, offering nursing, residential, dementia, respite and end of life care’. The new home will have 60 purpose-built en suite bedrooms, a cafe/restaurant, hair and beauty salon and a community hub. The community hub will be open to residents, their families and the local community, with exercise classes, social groups and carer support services. We hope that the care home is completed on time and that the club may be able to have an active input in time. Download the full article: Hampshire Chron Brendoncare If

Winchester Hat Fair

Winchester Hat Fair

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Soroptimist International of Winchester is delighted to be part of the Hat Fair from 2-4 July. The event takes place annually but has not happened for two years now. The organisers are doing things differently this year and rather than the performers handing around their ‘hats’ for a donation, they will be paid by income from the ticket sales, making the event covid safe. We felt it would be good to be part of this fun community and in doing so talking to people about who we are and what we do, in a different context. There are five different time slots over the three days and tickets can be bought for each time slot. The venue is the North Walls Recreation ground in Winchester. More information can be found on Hat Fair | Free Outdoor Arts Festival Download recent article on the event: Hampshire

Soroptimists take a stand

Soroptimists take a stand

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At last, after two years, Winchester Soroptimists were able to take a stand at the Sunday Cattle Market car boot sale in Winchester. The club had first applied for space in 2020 and then lockdown for Covid-19 hit us all. They have also been unable to meet face to face, like many charities, so this was a great opportunity to be outdoors and see other members of the club. They don’t know when we will be able to restart their regular meetings as the meeting venue, the Holiday Inn at Morne Hill, is still a vaccination centre. Fortunately, the date was offered at short notice for 13 June and club members made sure there were some interesting items to attract visitors, who were also delighted to be out in the sunshine and meeting people. Winchester City Council grants a different charity each week, the right

Young Girls Online Project – Do you know any teenagers who can complete our survey?

Young Girls Online Project – Do you know any teenagers who can complete our survey?

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Young Girls Online – SI PAC One of the concerns of Soroptimist International is that young girls are able to live in safe and healthy environments. The Internet has completely changed these environments. Most Teenage girls can’t “just turn it off” and pretend that what happens online isn’t real, because for them, it is. This is the world they have grown up in and it isn’t that they are dedicating themselves to their devices, it’s that these are their preferred tool for communicating, sharing, and all the other things teens do as they grow into young adults. However, we know that the online world can expose girls to online messages of hate, homophobia, racism and sexism. Issues that can lead to mental health issues and self-confidence problems. The aim of this SI project is to understand more about the world teenagers experience online and how

Soroptimists lobbying Government

Soroptimists lobbying Government

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Violence against Women Violence against women is endemic in the UK and across the world. Tragic events recently must be the beginning of the conversation about women’s safety and right to live in a world free from the fear of violence, harassment and abuse. Active lobbying SI Winchester & District club has been lobbying local MPs over the last three months as the Domestic Abuse Bill has been going through the House of Lords and Parliament. Members of the club and in the region  made contact with Baronesses in the House of Lords, with women’s interests in their portfolio, and have lobbied on topics such as non-fatal strangulation and coercive control issues in domestic abuse situations. We have had many messages of support and positive replies. The Government has also reopened their nationwide Call for Evidence to inform their next Tackling Violence against Women and

National Garden Scheme – Speaker Mark Porter

National Garden Scheme – Speaker Mark Porter

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Yesterday evening SI Winchester and District Club enjoyed a wonderful talk from Mark Porter of the National Garden Scheme via Zoom. The members were fascinated to see the history of the scheme and the many charities they supports. We were also inspired by the photos Mark showed us of beautiful gardens which will be available to view in Hampshire when the world returns to normal. If you are looking for an outing in your local area, which is very likely to include tea and cake go to www.ngs.org.uk for inspiration…  

Margaret Elizabeth Lovell 1949-2013

Margaret Elizabeth Lovell 1949-2013

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Margaret said that joining Soroptimist International was the best thing she had done in her life. She overcame personal challenges and in many respects the organisation was her family. She certainly embraced Soroptimism, whole heartedly. She joined SI Cheltenham in 1980, moving to SI Portsmouth in 1982 and then SI Winchester in 2001. She twice served as President of SI Portsmouth 1985-6, 1999-2000 and as President of SI Winchester 2006-7. She served as Southern England Regional President 1991-1992. At Federation level, Margaret was Co-ordinator for Economic and Social Development on the UK Programme Action Committee. Throughout there was a plethora of sub-groups, committees and campaigns upon which she targeted her energies. Margaret’s professional role was Manager of Mediation Services, which required much hard work garnering funding for this essential service. Margaret was kind, a great listener, determined and stubborn; qualities which made her an excellent

2020 16 days of Activism

2020 16 days of Activism

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Between thee 25th November and the 10th December​ the Soroptimists of Winchester and District took part in the 16 Days of Activism against Gender based Violence with the ‘Orange the World’campaign. Each day we posted on Facebook wearing orange to show our support for some very important issues. Below you see the full 16 days… November 25th 2020 Soroptimists Of Winchester and District will be supporting  #16DaysofActivism starting today with the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis, violence against women has intensified. A shadow pandemic of domestic violence is growing and we need to stem the tide. Watch this statement from Nicole Kidman:​ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uddNvBu0MV8&feature=emb_logo ​ #Orangetheworld​ #Generationequality​ #16Daysofactivism​ #Metoo​ November 26th 2020 Soroptimists Of Winchester and District are supporting  #16DaysofActivism and today Gina Bird wears Orange to show support for Unity against rape. Soroptimists want to work together to break the silence that surrounds rape culture.​ November 27th 2020 Soroptimists believe in

Matt Jameson from Breast Cancer Haven Charity talks to SI Winchester and District

Matt Jameson from Breast Cancer Haven Charity talks to SI Winchester and District

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Thank you to Matt Jameson from Breast Cancer Haven Charity for speaking tonight to SI Winchester and District to tell us more the charity and the challenges they have faced during the pandemic. When your world has been turned upside down by breast cancer the charity provide personalised support to help put your life back together. Their support programme includes 12 free hours of one-to-one appointment time. This is made up of two hours with a healthcare professional and up to ten hours of supportive therapy time which is tailored to your individual needs. They offer assessments, counselling, and therapies to help with the emotional and physical side-effects of breast cancer and treatments. They also offer help with healthy eating and exercise and you can join one of our support groups. Their support is currently being offered live online and over the phone so you

Claire Morgan of MHA (Live later life well) speaks to SI Winchester and District

Claire Morgan of MHA (Live later life well) speaks to SI Winchester and District

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Thank you very much to Claire Morgan of MHA who delivered a very interesting Zoom speech this evening to the SI Winchester and District club. The organisation’s work with the elderly has become very important during the recent pandemic, where they have adapted quickly to provide online, social and telephone connections with isolated members and become a voice for the elderly in the media. Methodist Homes (MHA) is the UK’s largest charity care provider. They inspire the best care and support at every stage of later life, for people of all faiths, beliefs and none. With over 75 years’ experience, they put people at the heart of everything we do. As a charity, fundraising and donations are vital for MHA to continue their work in enabling older people to live later life well. They help provide additional crucial services that can make a difference in

President Letter to Prime Minister: Regarding violence and harassment and human rights at work.

President Letter to Prime Minister: Regarding violence and harassment and human rights at work.

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4 August 2020 The Right Honourable Boris Johnson Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 10 Downing Street London SW1A 2AA Dear Prime Minister On behalf of Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland(SIGBI1) Ltd I am writing to encourage the UK Government to adopt the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Convention 190 (C190), regarding the elimination of violence and harassment in the workplace. Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland is a non-governmental organisation in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN. We are part of a global organisation, Soroptimist International (SI), which consists of Soroptimist International of the Americas, Soroptimist International of Europe, Soroptimist International of Great Britain & Ireland, Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific, and Soroptimist International of Africa. SI operates as a global volunteer movement working to transform the lives of women and girls. Our network of 72,000 club

Tea and Cake

Tea and Cake

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(SI Winchester) Membership Officer Gina Bird hosted a prospective member’s tea and cake session with two ladies this week. The weather held and we were able to talk at a social distance and still enjoy refreshments. Treasurer Julie Blackwell also joined the party. Marianne and Debbie had recently made contact with the club with a view to join us, but with no meetings in person at present, this seemed the Gina suggested this would be a good way to meet up and discuss the club and our projects. We found we had a lot in common and with Marianne working in the care home sector and Debbie in the NHS, we found a great synergy with our goals and objectives. We hope that Marianne and Debbie will join us in our next social zoom meeting where they can meet the rest of the members and

Soroptimists support Women’s Refuge

Soroptimists support Women’s Refuge

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  The coronavirus pandemic self-isolation is resulting in increased reports of domestic violence in the home – which ought to be the safest place right now. This makes disturbing reading and impacts on services which are already stretched and can only respond by increasing online support, set up emergency warning systems in pharmacies and grocery stores to reach those in need. When it comes to standing up for women, we at the Soroptimist International Club of Winchester do our bit. At present we are sending additional donations to the Winchester Women’s Refuge, the Trinity Centre and the Night Shelter. It is a difficult time and many of our charities have suffered from a slow-down in funding. Recently we were able to deliver picnic items and games to the women and children at the Winchester Women’s Refuge. We have supported them for many years. The picnic

Soroptimists Volunteer

Soroptimists Volunteer

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#Soroptimistsvolunteer To celebrate National volunteering week, we have asked the Soroptimists of Winchester and District to tell us more about the range of projects they support on a volunteer basis. SI Winchester and District Members, Kay Linnell and Barbara Jeremiah:  Providing accountancy, tax and compliance services to a wide range of good causes. Winchester members Barbara and Kay provide vital accountancy, tax and compliance services to a range of community associations providing sports and allotment facilities, schools and charities for a fraction of the normal fees.  Two of which are featured below: Help Hoima Help Hoima is a Hampshire based charity which works closely with local people to support improvements in health, education and agriculture in Hoima district, Uganda. ROCHUN – Pay it forward The charity supports the purchase of education materials, libraries, schools and community centres to support underprivileged students struggling to access basic education.

AGM online

AGM online

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We were delighted as a club that we were able to hold our AGM online in April. Given the current situation this looks like the format for the next few weeks/months. We were able to discuss the ongoing projects and distribute our funds to local charities. In this we included the Winchester Women’s Refuge, the Churches of Winchester Nightshelter and the Trinity Centre for domestic abuse and people in need. There are many worthy causes and we concentrated on those we support on a regular basis. We are also delighted to welcome to the club four members from the recently closed SI Southampton – Jean Edwardes, Tref Mitchell, Jenny Titcombe and Doreen Davies. We also welcome a returning member Jenny Stratford and a new member Jeni Patrick. We will have further discussions to incorporate projects which may continue from the Southampton members and also to

Fish ‘n’ Chip Babies

Fish ‘n’ Chip Babies

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The situation of lack of clothing for new-borns in Nepal led to the name of ’fish ‘n’ chip babies’ as they were leaving hospital in newspaper. This was a few years ago and we have since had a team of knitters outside of the club who regularly provide us with beautiful knitted garments and hats to send out to where they are required. We have sent out a total of 340 knitted sets with 2 boxes going through Intercare – courtesy of member Jo Gilbertson. The knitters are outsourced volunteers and extremely prolific. Note that we are holding an event with SISE Region on Saturday 12 September in support of The Big Story ie Empowering Girls in Nepal. This is the Federation project. We will be holding a lunch event at the Gurkha Museum in Winchester with the founder of this programme Philip Holmes. Watch

Girls4Girls & Boys news

Girls4Girls & Boys news

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We have been working with local schools for some years on the Pillow Case Dresses and this year we were able to send out several packages from participating schools. Over the years we have been making these, we have moved on to include boys, and sending out shorts, although the girls have been wearing the shorts under their dresses. We have a connection through our daughter club, SI Salisbury, Teresa Wells who founded EdUKAid and works in Tanzania. She has taken the dresses and shorts to a rural village called Mikindani in southern Tanzania where children were queuing to receive the clothes. This year we have had dresses from Henry Beaufort, Churchers, and Westgate schools. Letters were sent to local schools this year for their support and we received positive responses from Churchers, Wildern and Westgate schools. Barbara has presented textile books as awards to

Soroptimists stand up for Women

Soroptimists stand up for Women

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When it comes to standing up for women, we as a club will do our bit. At present we are sending additional donations to the Winchester Women’s Refuge, the Trinity centre and the Night Shelter. It is a difficult time and many of our charities are suffering from a slow down in funding.  On a wider scale we have heard that the Purple Community Fund in the Philippines is suffering as the ring pull items cannot be sold in the present circumstances. It is impacting on the international agencies to support the poorest inhabitants as the Government is unable to do so. Closer to home the COVID-19 self isolation is resulting in increased reports of domestic violence in the home – which should be the safest place right now. This makes disturbing reading and impacts on services which are already stretched and can only respond

Soroptimists support The Fire Fighters Charity

Soroptimists support The Fire Fighters Charity

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The club was delighted to welcome Kerry James of The Firefighters Charity on 17 February. The club is keen to support Winchester projects and charities and this is one of the charities supported by the current Mayor of Winchester Cllr Eleanor Bell. The Mayor was also in attendance and introduced Kerry and also indicated why she had chosen this charity during her year of office. She said, ‘On looking through the charities supported over the last twenty years, there was no mention of The Fire Fighters Charity.’ Given that so many recent environmental disasters require the services of Fire Fighters, not just in the UK, it is a very important resource. Kerry explained that they offer many tailored programmes to fire fighters, both serving, volunteers and retired. They offer Rehabilitation, Recuperation and Respite with nursing services given by those who fully understand the job, many

SI Winchester and Number 63 Gin

SI Winchester and Number 63 Gin

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At the recent Number 63 AGM on 25 January 202, there were some very positive reports and initiatives. One of these was greeted with much support as the launch of ‘Number 63 Gin’ was announced. This is now available to order through the Number 63 website at a cost of £30 per bottle plus £5 p&p. You’ll find details in the News and Offers page. Of course Soroptimists do not do things by halves and this product is no exception. The design was carefully thought through, as well as the botanicals content for the spirit. Gorilla Spirits Co Ltd was asked to develop a suitable mix. The gin lies on the citrus side and orange is one of the botanicals used in its make-up. This is reflected in the label design, which was produced by Barbara Jeremiah of SI Winchester. She says, ‘It seemed right

Supporting Winchester Firefighters Charity

Supporting Winchester Firefighters Charity

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We look forward to welcoming Kerry James from the Firefighters Charity in Winchester at our supper meeting on Monday 17 February. We have selected this charity for a fundraiser Quiz on 24 April, as it is one of the charities supported by Winchester Councillor Mayor Eleanor Bell. She will attend the supper meeting on 17 February. We are keen to learn more about the charity and what else we might do to help – Helping everyday Heroes to recover their Lives.

Project Integra

Project Integra

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We were delighted to welcome Abigail Cooke to speak to us regarding Project Integra at our last supper meeting. This is the Waste Disposal and Recycling programme in Hampshire. Abigail manages this department at Hampshire County Council and provides the service to its 1.1 million residents. The Council provides Waste Collection services and the Contractor Veolia is the Waste Disposal Contractor. Their main facility is in Cosham. Portsmouth and Southampton City Councils have their own Energy Recovery Facilities for waste disposal and these can be visited by the public. In any one year 475,000 tonnes of waste is non-recyclable and incinerated. 300,000 tonnes is recycled in a Materials Recycling Facility. The council requests that only plastic bottles are recyclable, along with tins and that these be clean, dry and loose so they can be easily sorted. Costs rise when other items have to be removed. Of

Women in History project award

Women in History project award

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This year SI Winchester were pleased to sponsor a prize for pupil work on women in history. The prize was awarded to Charlie Harder a year 9 pupil of Mountbatten School Romsey. James Brierley, head of history at Mountbatten School in Romsey is very keen to highlight the significant but often unsung roles women have played at key moments in our history. The award was made at a prize giving organised by the Romsey and District Society at Crosfield Hall Romsey on 15 October 2019, with thanks to RDS for allowing us to work in conjunction with them. Gina Bird from SI Winchester made the presentation to the winner. It was encouraging to see that it was one of the boys who had produced an outstanding piece of work on the topic. Appreciating the role of women in the past and promoting the role of

Afternoon tea with SI Essen

Afternoon tea with SI Essen

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We were delighted to host 8 members of SI Essen in Germany for afternoon tea on 4 October. Their President Sabine Reimann contacted us through our website to say that they were planning to come to Winchester for a weekend and could we meet up. The initial contact came about when one of our members, who works for international collections on a self employed basis, Beatriz Sampson, gave a lecture to the Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft (German British Society) in Essen about the V&A and Sabine Reimann had attended and spoken to Beatriz. The lecture evening had been arranged by the Soroptimists and the Society. Beatriz had been a member of SI Munster in Westphalia before coming to England and she has been consultant curator to the Jewellery Gallery some years ago in the V&A. We enjoyed a visit to the Pearls exhibition there which Beatriz had

Honour Based Violence

Honour Based Violence

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As supporters of the Winchester Women’s Refuge we were delighted to welcome Dwinder Singh and her lovely eldest daughter Lux to tell us of her personal story of Honour based marriage and subsequent domestic violence. Dwinder is a Sikh and as such had to conform to her family’s wishes when it came to marriage. At 17 she was married and pregnant shortly afterwards. Without going into specific details her story from then on became one of suffering domestic abuse/violence from her husband and her family and his family and concern for protecting her young daughter. She was never alone to be able to make contact with any other people and the opportunity arose when she her husband was out of the house and she, with daughter, managed to escape to see the doctor. The doctor was concerned that the child was being mistreated and wanted

SI Salisbury Charter event

SI Salisbury Charter event

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As Mother club to the new SI Salisbury club, members were delighted to attend the Salisbury Charter event on the evening of 3 August. The club has been the mission of Liz Batten (then a member of SI Winchester) over the last three years. The Salisbury club closed in 2006 so it still had a presence in the town and Liz was keen to enlist new members to carry on the good work the previous club had started. Imagine how delighted she was after patience and support from SI Winchester that she has recruited 20 ladies committed to the SI Vision and Mission and was able to charter the club. The event was held in Salisbury Cathedral cloisters, a fitting venue for such an occasion, with the Mayor in attendance. Federation President Sue Williams was there to charter and also many of Southern Region’s clubs

Teddy Bears Picnic

Teddy Bears Picnic

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The club decided on a summer fundraising event to be held at the home of Barbara Jeremiah and Kay Linnell. The event was to be a Teddy Bears Picnic, with bears coming free with their owners. We were delighted to welcome members from SI Southampton as well as SIW club members and friends. There was a good turn out and the weather on 13 July was just right. The picnic is always well catered for at Brick Kiln Cottage with the whole garden being used. We made a nominal charge and total for our charity fund reached about £300. Myra Clare’s Teddy Bear won a prize for being the oldest bear and a passport for future travel as time progresses. Pooh Bear received a jar of honey and Barbara’s bear was the best dressed. In addition to the bears at the picnic, the resident peacock

The Vyne and Madame Mayor

The Vyne and Madame Mayor

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We were delighted to have the Lady Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Eleanor Bell, at our supper meeting this week at the Holiday Inn Winchester. The speaker was Hollie Ryan from the National Trust property The Vyne and we had an excellent turnout with members from SI Southampton and friends and guests. We were keen to know the Mayor’s charities for her year and how we might be able to help. We were also able to show her the projects in which SI Winchester club is involved. Her charities include the Firefighters Charity, Winchester First Responders, Winchester Hospice and the Children’s Society. We look forward to her making a return visit. Hollie was an enthusiastic speaker and told us about the history of the property and how it had been a favourite of the young King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. He enjoyed the hunting and

Picnic at St Swithuns School

Picnic at St Swithuns School

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This is our 5th annual picnic which we host for the mothers/families of the Domestic Violence Refuge held at St Swithuns School We also had several lovely volunteers (see below) to help us with the children. As the school has a small nursery there are lots of child friendly toys and an outdoor playground which we can make use of. Once they had enough to eat, the girls were kept very busy as we had some busy boys. Just to be sure of the weather, we held this inside but with easy access to outside when the sun broke through. The ladies enjoyed talking to us and the girls and were delighted with the opportunity to be in a safe anf friendly environment.