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What’s nice about sending a newsletter?

What’s nice about sending a newsletter?  Getting news back! 

So here’s some of the news we got back

News from young women we have helped to make an educational trip

Emma had a successful visit to China and is coming to tell us about it in September.  But we will, have to wait for a report from Kelda – her trip has had to be postponed for a year because of the pandemic.  Fingers crossed it will work next year, Kelda!

News from women who deserve our thanks and congratulations

Jabeen of Shifa deserves hearty thanks from us all because she has continued to work throughout the pandemic as a health link worker.  She represents the many whose names we do not know.

And congratulations are due to our newest member, Anne, who has successfully completed her course of study.

News from charities close to our hearts

Alison Buckland says Woking Food Bank had to move fast to adapt to the new demands for its services.  Because of the pandemic, the Food Bank now delivers food, so people don’t have to come to the Lighthouse.  Back in March, demand grew a lot, but now – fortunately – the pressure is less.  The Food Bank has not been able to organise fund-raising events since March, so it’s good to learn that Tesco and Investec came to the rescue.  Looking forward, the good news: Woking Food Bank is looking for a permanent warehouse of its own.   And there is enough food to give out at the moment –showing how generous Woking people are – but  long-life sponge puddings are always welcome!

Grandmothers for Grandmothers (4Gs) is a charity that helps women looking after AIDS orphans in Africa.  Hilary of the Surrey branch tells us that it’s been hard to funds without the usual events.  Members have raised money though: over £1,000 was made by sewing face masks.  The families helped by the 4Gs in Africa are now suffering twice over.  They are already coping with the impact of HIV/AIDs.  Now their precarious circumstances are even worse because of Covid-19.

Homestart Runnymede & Woking sends volunteers into homes to give practical and emotional support to families with young children.  Covid-19 stopped volunteers doing what they usually do.  They have been using telephone and video calls to keep in touch with families and give emotional support instead.  And recently, to everyone’s relief, some socially-distanced visits have started again.

News from some of the speakers on our 2020-21 programme

We all know that the entertainment sector has been hard hit by the effects of Covid-19.  Elaine McGinty gave us an update about the Phoenix Cultural Centre – Woking’s live music centre.  The pandemic is not the only source of uncertainty for Phoenix because their current home is scheduled for redevelopment.  We very much hope they will succeed in finding a new space that will offer activity for all ages soon.  We’re looking forward to hearing how things are going when Elaine comes to speak to us in February 2021.

Sarah Dickinson of Surrey Gardens Trust reports that lectures and study day s have had to be postponed until 2021.  The Trust’s committee members are finding working by videoconference very useful (like us all!) and are busy preparing the way forward.   Sarah will be giving us an update in March 2021.

News from other Soroptimist Clubs

It’s always good to hear what’s going on in other Soroptimist Clubs. They are finding new ways to exploit videoconferencing: for recruitment evenings, for awareness raising and for fund raising.  More traditionally, SI Stourbridge is selling the Global Women’s Health Quiz to raise money for the Sigbi 4-year project in Nepal, ChoraChori.  Contact them for a copy.

Vyvyenne of SI Durham told us that during lockdown they have still been very active.  They provided necessities for local women’s refuges and held a Royal Ascot afternoon tea in members’ gardens. Rainbow Trust and Bright Red (fighting cancer) are two of the charities that benefited from these efforts.  SI Durham also raised funds for MacMillan Cancer Relief by taking part in an international Zoom yoga session (very enjoyable!).  Their plans for September include walking the final section of a round-Britain coastal walk to raise money for a local and amazing charity:  ‘Daft as a Brush’.  It helps cancer patients.

Want to know more about Soroptimists and what they do?  Contact us here