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June 2022 – Tea & Temptations! – Gifts – Eco-friendly Paper Straws – WeAct Climate Hub – Pushing the boundaries

Tea & Temptations!

Our favourite event,  ‘Tea & Temptations’ – a fashion show with afternoon tea, was held on 25 June 2022 in Mayford Village Hall, Woking.  This was a joint effort – we teamed up with the Soroptimists of Weybridge for the occasion.  Local retailers – Phase Eight of Weybridge, Mad Jak of Shere and Betty & Claude of Chobham – supplied some fantastic outfits for the fashion show. Clothes and accessories from these retailers were on sale during the afternoon, along with greetings cards by Diana Swain of Weybridge.


And mindful of the need to look after the planet, members of Liaise Women’s Centre ( in Woking modelled some of the upcycled clothing they design and make.  Their sewing skills are stunning!









Our best Soroptimist bakers prepared a sumptuous tea and the raffle had some great prizes. What could be more delightful?

The guests agreed.  We had very appreciative feedback from them and they gave generously.  SI Woking and Si Weybridge raised £1,700 for the Barbara Watts VIP Project in South Africa.


Woking Soroptimists have started to offer support to the Mascot Hub in Sheerwater.  This month we collected gifts of food for the Sheerwater Food Bank and children’s books for Cafe Corner.

Eco-friendly Paper Straws

We all know now that we use and throw away too much plastic.  This week, members of the SI Woking Climate Action Group visited a successful local company that is helping to combat that: the Paper Straw Group, part of the Optichrome Group.  We wanted to find out more about what it does.






Optichrome Group Managing Director Natalie Stephens  (here with Kath Heatley of SI Woking and Lauren Cooper of the Paper Straw Group) told us about its history in the printing industry since 1963.  Optichrome is a family firm with strong ethical values. So offering a paper alternative to plastic straws (remember the ‘Blue Planet’ TV programme that showed a turtle with a plastic straw in its nose?) was a natural development.

The Paper Straw Group now sells a range of paper straws to companies and individuals.  All are fit for purpose (no sogginess here!) but every component is compostable.    Find out more here.

WeAct Climate Hub






Congratulations to Woking Environment Forum (WeAct)! They have successfully opened a Zero Carbon Hub in Woking town centre.  The Hub has a lot of information about reducing emissions and waste.  Plenty of stimulating ideas for all of us.  Volunteers are on hand to help you during your visit.

The Hub is a pop-up and is scheduled to close after only six weeks.  But we hope that it will become a permanent feature of Woking Town Centre!

Pushing the boundaries





Our theme this year is ‘pushing the boundaries’ and our June Social Meeting speaker really encouraged us to do that.

Miranda Brockman  (with members of SI Woking and District in our photo) is a coach, facilitator and trainer in the Thinking Environment.  She told us how much better it is to give people the time and the space to think things through properly and express their ideas fully.   We so often feel that the agenda is long and time is short – yet taking time to listen and explore can save a lot of time in the end.

Miranda also encouraged us to push the boundaries by asking ourselves challenging questions throughout our lives:  ‘What do I enjoy doing most?’, ‘What do I want to do, but keep putting off?’, ‘What’s the most important thing in my life’, ‘What life lesson do I want to pass on?’

Finally, Miranda reminded us that we can, and should, be powerful models for younger women, showing them how to navigate the different stages of life.  Her inspiring and thought-provoking talk taught us things we should all be mindful of !