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January 2021 – 100 years, Dame Ethel Smyth, Community policing, vulnerable children, domestic abuse

January 2021 – 100 years, Dame Ethel Smyth, Community policing, vulnerable children, domestic abuse

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January 2021 and the start of a new year.  We hope it will be crowned with success in every respect for everyone. Then and Now – 100 years of Soroptimism The journey began a hundred years ago, just after the First World War and the Spanish flu pandemic. Soroptimism can be hard to pin down.  In the 1940s a Soroptimist said: ‘We don’t know how to define Soroptimism – but we recognise common sense when we see it.’   Perhaps the Queen Mother hit the nail on the head. At  a Royal Garden Party to  which Soroptimists were invited in 1960 (during the London Convention), she is believed to have said “Soroptimist is a giving thing!” 1921-1931 Soroptimist Movement Throughout the second half of the 19th century, women were increasingly active in society.  This trend intensified at the start of the new century.  After the First

Celebrating Our History

Celebrating Our History

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Soroptimist International celebrates 100 years of history in 2021. As we go through the year, we will remember how our organisation came to be what it is today. Before Soroptimist International began 2021 is fast approaching.  Time to think about the world just before Soroptimist International started…. Throughout the 19th century, women were increasingly prominent in society.  Governments had begun to pass laws for the first time on social matters such as health.  Women were especially interested in those subjects.  They were also more able to continue their education – women’s colleges opened in the US and UK towards the end of the 19th century.  And many women’s clubs were set up at that time. In the US, they were just about socialising at first. Soon they were also trying to bring about social change. Then as now:  the 20th century saw great upheaval during

December 2020 news – Advent Calendar, Child poverty, Covid-19, Gender stereotyping, Hygiene Bank, trafficking, domestic abuse, African AIDS orphans, migrants

December 2020 news – Advent Calendar, Child poverty, Covid-19, Gender stereotyping, Hygiene Bank, trafficking, domestic abuse, African AIDS orphans, migrants

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Injustice Advent Calendar An Advent Calendar with a big difference – Traidcraft’s special calendar reminds us all of those who need help – and not just at Christmas.  Day 15 is about the Right to Mental Health. You can see how much you know about it and learn more by taking the quiz here. Child poverty Child poverty in parts of the United Kingdom is now so severe that the United Nations Children’s Fund -UNICEF – is coming in to help.  Read more about it in this Daily Telegraph article Women’s organisations highlighting current social problems Two women’s organisations – Young Women’s Trust and the Fawcett Society – have published reports on problems affecting young women in particular. Covid-19 impact on employment of young women Young Women’s Trust and the Institute for Fiscal Studies have published statistics on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on

November 2020 News – Remembrance Day, breast cancer, Woking Debates, modern slavery, domestic abuse

November 2020 News – Remembrance Day, breast cancer, Woking Debates, modern slavery, domestic abuse

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November 2020 news Remembrance Day  BBC Asian Network marked #RemebranceDay with  a look at the South Asian women who contributed during the First and Second World Wars. Author Anita Anand taled about  renowned suffragette Princess Sophia Duleep Singh and how she helped injured soldiers in Brighton.  #LestWeForget Local charity Walk the Walk Walk the Walk is raising money to help breast cancer sufferers.  £5 buys a balloon – and 50 acupunture needles! Acupuncture can bring relief to patients in pain. The balloons will fly virtually over the Serengeti Park.  There are prizes for the balloons that go highest and furthest. Women who made a difference BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour Power List 2020: See their take on seven women who made a global difference.  About this and more here  Woking Debates The Woking Debates meeting in early November 2020 took the theme ‘Should we all

October 2020 news : endometriosis, domestic violence, feminism, town twinning

October 2020 news : endometriosis, domestic violence, feminism, town twinning

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In the news in October 2020 Endometriosis is a miserable disease that only affects women.  Many years ago, radical surgery was often only the option.  We hoped that much better treatments were on  the way.  But the newspapers show that the situation hasn't improved very much at all. The Daily Telegraph published an article with a grim title: ‘It took 14 years for my GP to take my endometriosis seriously’ It's a condition that affects one in 10 women in the UK and yet it can be astonishingly difficult to be correctly diagnosed by doctors The Daily Telegraph interviewed Eleanor Thom in an article that seemed to show that doctors have real difficulty finding the correct diagnosis, let alone the right treatment: 'Doctors said endometriosis was all in my head'  And Emma Barnett interviewed in The Guardian,  waited even longer than Eleanor Thom for a
Riding for the Disabled group (RDA) SAMBER – Woking and Chobham – Urgent appeal!

Riding for the Disabled group (RDA) SAMBER – Woking and Chobham – Urgent appeal!

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Why did Woking Soroptimists gave £75 to Riding for the Disabled group (RDA) Samber in October 2020 Disabled children and adults in Woking and Chobham  can usually enjoy the pleasures of riding – thanks to the Riding for the Disabled Group (RDA) SAMBER.  Volunteers help them  to go riding every week at Higher Park Farm in Chobham. Alas, Covid-19 has stopped them from riding for the moment.  We know that disabled people have suffered more than others during lockdown.  And now, even though open-air activity is possible, they still can’t go riding. This is because they need close-up support in order to be safe.  So everything’s on hold. RDA SAMBER Secretary Louise Bettinson is hoping to restart the riding as soon as the pandemic allows.  But now there an extra threat is hanging over RDA SAMBER.  Their base in Chobham is in trouble. Louise says: 

Poems in a Pandemic

Poems in a Pandemic

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Poems in a Pandemic  - what's that? Social care and support staff working in care homes, the community and in all-care settings are at the front line of the coronavirus fight because they are working alongside the NHS and supporting the country’s most vulnerable people.  They have not been able to ignore the Covid-19 pandemic: "The eye - it cannot choose but see, We cannot bid the ear be still, Our bodies feel, wher'er they be, Against or with our will" (William Wordsworth) What they have given deserve to be recognised, what they have experienced needs to be shared.  They have stories that should be told.  So a coalition of social care providers, supported by Care Talk, invited the whole of the social care sector to express their feelings and share their experiences in poems and in illustrations and paintings. The result was the 'Poems
Purple Community Fund

Purple Community Fund

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What is the Purple Community Fund? It's a charity that helps children and families in the Philippines.  The children can go to school, the parents can earn money to keep their families. The Purple Community Fund was set up by Jane Walker MBE.  She saw children scavenging in rubbish dumps -looking for things to take home and use or sell - when she visited Manila.  She wanted to do something to make their lives better.  So she started a school in a warehouse at the dumpsite for the children.  They needed to learn everything - not only to read and write, but also basic living and social skills. How does it work? The parents agreed to send their children to the school because the children were given food credits to take home.  The parents were able to use the vouchers to buy food every week. 
What’s nice about sending a newsletter?

What’s nice about sending a newsletter?

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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