Soroptimists give cheques to charities
THE members of the Bray club of Soroptimist International have been busy people over the past year, fundraising for local Bray Charities – Bray Cancer Support Centre, Post Polio Support Group Bray, Open Door Day Centre Bray, WH ( Wicklow Homeless) Five Loaves centre, Suicide or Survive as well as the Malawi Girls Educational Trust.
Club President Patricia Wojnar welcomed club members and guests to the annual presentation of cheques at Bray Town Hall recently, giving special thanks to the many club members whom effortlessly organised the many social events during the year. Speaking on the night Patricia highlighted the aim of Soroptimists worldwide.
‘ To educate, empower and enable girls and women, making a difference in the lives of many throughout the world and here in our local community here in Wicklow.’
The Bray Club also raised funds for their International project organised by Soroptimists Worldwide known as the B.I.G. ‘Birthing in Gambia’ Project – this programme is helping strengthen women’s health and safety in communities in Gambia by providing education resources and health care for women as they prepare for childbirth.
Human rights and education for women and young girls is a key aim in the work of the Soroptimist organisation globally.
Following a presentation to The Bray Cancer Support Centre, C.E.O. Veronica O’Leary spoke about the Centre which is now located on Parnell Road, offering support, information, classes, alternative therapy, yoga and counselling to people with cancer and their families.
Also present on the night were John Devane and Jacinta Cawley of the WH Five Loaves, a local Bray charity whose primary purpose is to facilitate the needs of vulnerable and homeless people in the community by providing nourishing meals, laundry facilities, literacy, information on welfare and housing and most importantly a place where they feel welcome. Social inclusion is the foundation of the organisation.
Mary Hackett, founder of The Open Door Day Centre, located in the grounds of Loreto School – received a cheque on behalf Open Door and outlined how the centre operates on a daily basis, providing facilities and activities for adults with physical disabilities. Open Door provides members with a vital social outlet and also the opportunity to learn new skills in computers, art, woodwork, music and ceramics.
Club President Patricia Wojnar presented a cheque to Joyce Henderson, a representative of the Bray Post Polio Support Group. This group supports those people who, having made good recoveries from Polio, are in later years once more affected by many of the earlier symptoms. The last polio outbreak in Ireland was in 1952, so most post polio sufferers are now in their 60s and 70s and many need help and support.
Finally Patricia made another connect for the Bray Club with Africa – in presenting a cheque to the Malawi Girls Educational Trust. The Trust supports girls who are academically capable of completing secondary school and sometimes college but are unable to do so for financial reasons. This year the club will support two girls and hope to be able to continue this support in future years.
The Soroptimists present cheques from their year’s activities to local charities - (L-R) Cllr Sarah Wray, John Devane and Jacinta Crowley (The 5 Loaves), Robert Barker (Malawi Girls Education), Sonia Perks (Bray Cancer Support), Cllr Mick Glynn, Mary Savage. Front: Mary Hackett (Open Door), Patricia Wojnar (President, Bray Soroptimists), Joyce Henderson (Bray Post Polio Support Group).