Catch up with a Soroptimist – Member Profile Angie Novell

Posted: July 15, 2015

Member –  Angie Novell Club President SI Milton Keynes


How did you first hear about the Soroptimists?

Our club secretary Sue Payne was a Soroptimist in Aylesbury and was keen to get a group started in MK. When Sue retired she invited a small group of women to meet at a cocktail bar in MK to talk about the possibilities (happened to be the very same evening that HRH Prince George was born) and we went from there! So it’s very apt that we are celebrating our Charter signing in a cocktail bar just a few weeks after the birth of HRH Princess Charlotte.

What made you start up a new Soroptimist Club in Milton Keynes?

We were keen to have a dedicated group for MK and following our first discussions we felt we had a lot of drive and expertise within the group and a particular interest in helping women and girls.

What particularly attracted you to Soroptimist International over other membership organisations such as WI or Rotary?

We liked the idea of being part of a global organisation for women and girls and following meetings with existing groups we felt inspired to find out more about becoming a formal group.  We also felt that being part of SI gave our group real status within the community and also a level of political influence through the UN that no other organisation could provide.

What has SIGBI membership got to offer modern women?

Friendship and fun but also and most importantly membership provides a platform for intellectual debate on the issues facing women.

What do you enjoy most about being a Member?

I think it’s the friendship we get from each other and a brilliant chance to meet new people that the group provides.

Which projects will your Club work on, locally, nationally and internationally?

We are working already to support a small number of local charities including our local women’s refuge through our SOS campaign. Over 1000 essential toiletry items have already been donated and this is an ongoing campaign. Nationally we are interested in trafficking and have already started looking at ideas around this. Internationally we intend to have a dedicated space at the forthcoming Rugby World Cup fanzone in MK to welcome women visitors from across the world and will use our friendship links to invite Soroptimists worldwide.

Could you tell me a little about your background?

I grew up in Hampshire and spent 13 years living in Cornwall as a navy wife before moving to Buckinghamshire to pursue a career in teaching.  I am Director of Education for the charitable wing of a professional football club; working to help the charity improve the life chances of over 40k people each year. Working in football is great fun and has taken me on a exciting ‘rollercoaster’ over the last 9 years with all the ups and downs that come from being a woman in sport.

I am part of a women’s group known as WIFs (rather than WAGs!) which stands for Women in Football and campaigns for more women to have roles in sport and sports media.

I have 3 children and love to spend time with them (even my footie mad 12 year old!) and also to snatch precious weekend trips away with my lovely husband.