As part of our ethos and remit we commit time to local organisations and through this help our community.
For many years we have had representation on the committee of Yeovil District Hospital League of Friends and we support them in many ways. Some also act as Volunteers within the hospital – signposting visitors in various departments and most recently in the Macmillan Unit, where there is now an Information Centre. The newly refurbished Unit now has all the up to date Macmillan Booklets available free of charge, as well as offering Citizen Advice sessions and providing DVD Players or radios to those undergoing chemotherapy. The Information Volunteer helps to co-ordinate these services and provides general information, plus a “listening ear’.
The club has also been very pro-active in supporting Somerset Young Carers with members taking on roles as Trustees.
In 2003 our club members were actively involved in setting up a service for Young Carers in South Somerset where there was no provision. A Project Worker was appointed and four of our members trained to enable them to support activities for these disadvantaged youngsters.
Our members accompany professionals offering support at a regular monthly club sessions.
Members are regular contributors to the Domestic Abuse Forum.
‘Programme Action’ encompasses the work Soroptimists do in the local community and in supporting national and international projects to further the well-being of women and girls. This includes lobbying governments and authorities for change and increasing awareness of national and international projects that need support. This is linked to the themes selected by the Board of Soroptimist International . We are currently focussing on
The Elimination of all forms of Violence towards Women and girls
Education and Leadership
Concern about an act of violence against a young woman, who then felt she was to blame for not doing as her boyfriend wanted, led the Soroptimists of Yeovil, Sherborne & Districts to see how young people could be helped to understand that they do not have to tolerate persistent abuse or controlling behaviour in a relationship. Few resources aimed at prevention were available and so the club created a bookmark, followed by a poster, to appeal to all ages, give a simple message about relationships and the helpline for those who need support.
The ’Loves me-Loves me not’ bookmark was circulated to professionals in education, the women’s refuge and domestic abuse forum. The feedback for its proposed use as an educational resource with schools and the general public was excellent. After positive results from a pilot study involving 5,000 bookmarks, a further 12,000 were circulated by SI Yeovil, Sherborne and Districts and many thousands more by Soroptimists across the UK. We have circulated the posters to local councils, businesses, schools, youth centres, churches, children’s centres, GP surgeries , health centres etc. for display and distribution. The bookmark and poster can be uploaded from:
We are Supporting the Purple Teardrop Campaign against Trafficking. For further information see; www.purpleteardrop.org.uk
Soroptimist International holds consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council and we mark specific UN days such as International Literacy Day and International Women’s Day.
Several members undertake a range of volunteering roles in their own right, supporting a number of community projects.
We will continue to lobby and support activities for projects linked to our aims and purpose