Covid-19 Covid-19 is affecting absolutely everything in our lives at the moment. Work is ongoing to assess these effects in many areas – mental and physical health, poverty, education are just a few examples. We have learned about a new survey to look at a very specific aspect. Survey Dr Shona Minson is a researcher at the Oxford Law Faculty. She has explored the status of the children of prisoners in English law. She has also engaged directly with children and their carers to explore how their particular situation affects their development. It can be difficult for the children of female prisoners to see their parent. There are few prisons for women in the UK and travel can be long and costly. For more information about this, go to our page on Women in Prison. Dr Minson is now doing a survey on the effects
COVID-19 Experiences Flyer COVID-19 Healthwatch Surrey particularly want the users of health and care services to tell them about their experience in relation to COVID-19 (coronavirus). You might want to tell Healthwatch Surrey about your experience of dealing with cancer, or mental health, or having a baby for example. Just go to the Healthwatch Surrey website and select ‘Your Views’. A page will open and you can tell your story (https://www.healthwatchsurrey.co.uk/your-views/share-your-experiences/), The Healthwatch Surrey website also has a wealth of other information. Discover more about what we’ve been up to lately in our Club News page. For more about our regular projects and activities, go to our Soroptimist Work pages.
Walk the Walk – helping breast cancer victims In November 2020, we helped local reast Cancer charity ‘ Walk the Walk’ to raise £6,000 by taking part in a virtual balloon race across the Serengeti. Look out for our ‘Soroptimist Woking’ balloons flying high over the Serengeti. Surrey Young Carers In May, Woking Lions told us that young carers desperately needed laptops to help them with schooling at home during the Covid-19 crisis, so we made a donation. We were delighted that the money helped two brave youngsters to keep up their schoolwork despite the extra burdens they now have. At the time, Natallie Hoare, Fundraising Manager of Action for Carers Surrey, told us “The laptops you helped us to provide have made doing school work at home easier – they also let them take part in some Zoom social events.” Update
Friendship brings results! Our Friendship Clubs in South Africa are very active. We, along with the other Soroptimist International Clubs in Southern England, have cooperated with them for many years. We have all gained a great deal from these links. First we supported a house for AIDS orphans in Mamelodi, SA. That project has now come to an end. Now, Southern England Region Soroptimists are working with SI Pretoria-Tshwane on the Volunteer Intern Project (VIP). Under the VIP, two young women volunteers from the local area are being funded to work in an educational environment in Atteridgeville. The young women are getting valuable experience and the school benefits too. SI Durban, our other Friendship Link in South Africa, won the National Federation’s ‘Photo of the Month’ competition in April with the wonderful image – the feature photo of this post and reproduced below. We
We recently met up with Shifa for lunch and skittles. Shifa and SI Woking are two groups that give help and support to local women, so it was great to get together in a spirit of fun and friendship. The dishes brought by the Shifa women were delicious and we told ourselves that we were not putting on an ounce because playing skittles demands quite a lot of physical effort! The A2 Centre in Goldsworth Park rang with laughter as we all tried to knock the skittles down – and we said we must do it again soon!
60 girls, 15 teams and 5 schools took part in the third Soroptimist International STEM Challenge which began last October and ended with the Finals and Prize-giving Evening on 4 July 2019 at Royal Holloway University of London in Egham. The challenge taken up by the teams was to create a workable solution to reduce one of the causes of world poverty. So since last October, the teams of girls from Ashcombe School (Dorking), Guildford County School, Hoe Valley School (Woking), Thamesmead School (Shepperton) and Tomlinscote School (Frimley) had devoted extra time regularly each week to developing their innovative ideas, which ranged from water purification, cooking and cooling devices through shelters to personal clothing and protection. During the Finals, the girls presented their projects to the ten judges and to presiding VIPs, Helen Bowcock PhD OBE, Chair of Air Ambulance Kent, Surrey and Sussex and
On 26 June 2019 – a very hot and busy Parliamentary day- three Woking Soroptimists took part in the OPEN UP Mass Lobby organised by Women in Prison (WIP). The date coincided with the first anniversary of the Strategy for Female Offenders and the action was intended to promote the implementation of the strategy. [More about this at www.womeninprison.org.uk]. We went with representatives of the Woking Women’s Support Centre to the Houses of Parliament for a meeting scheduled with our local MP, Jonathan Lord. Supporting the campaign on 26 June meant not only an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of implementing the new Strategy for Female Offenders, but also to meet some of the 200 Mass Lobby participants, including one of our sister Soroptimists from SI Yorkshire. And an opportunity to see the New Dawn window installed in the Houses of Parliament last
SI Woking & District organised a Soroptimist Action event on 20 June 2019 at Trinity Church in Woking: a showing of ‘In the Name of Your Daughter’, a documentary by Giselle Portenier about the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Tanzania. The film is not always easy to watch but proved illuminating about the ritual, its origins, patterns and how to eliminate it. The film was brought to us by Julian and Ann of the Tanzania Development Trust. We were really impressed by the support given by the Tanzania Development Trust to the efforts in the Mara Region to eliminated female genital mutilation. The very attractive items brought from Tanzania to sell during the evening proved irresistible – so we are delighted to say that the Hope for Girls and Women, Tanzania NGO, which leads the campaign against FGM in the Mara Region, will
Several members of the Woking & District group supported “Your Sanctuary” as they aimed to raise awareness around the subject of domestic abuse. They gave their time to hand out pens, leaflets and advice in Woking town centre this week.