Programme Team

The Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland Programme Team consists of the Programme Director, and six Assistant Programme Directors (APDs), each assigned to one of the Programme Areas.

Details of the post holders are given below, and information about the projects each area covers can be found by following the “Read my Page” links.

Barbara Dixon

Programme Director

barbara - webRead my Blog

Barbara has been a Soroptimist since 1993 and is a Member of SI Anglesey.  She has been involved at all levels of Programme work at Club and Region level and has been an Assistant Programme Director for Food Security and Healthcare for four years.  She has served on the Health Board, chairing meetings and developing and delivering strategies for health improvement.  Barbara worked in Cambodia with children rescued from paedophile and trafficking rings, and is very aware of the problems faced by many women and children, seeing the effect of poverty, malnutrition and abuse.  She is currently a Member of the North Wales Modern Slavery Committee and worked on the Anglesey Domestic Abuse Forum for several years.


Margaret Clark

APD Advocacy

Margaret Clark - web

Margaret Clark joined SI Stockton on Tees in 1995 and transferred to SI Middlesbrough in 2012.  She has always had a keen interest in the Programme Work of SI and has been Programme Action Officer at Club and Region level several times, as well as President at both levels.  Margaret has been to CSW in New York as an active participant for several years now, helping to shape the agreements that are reached each year.  She is looking forward to improving SIGBI’s status as an Advocate of Human Rights, particularly regarding women and girls over the next few years.

Read my page

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Rayner Rees

APD Economic Empowerment

Rayner Rees - websiteRayner has been a Soroptimist for nearly ten years as a member of SI Bridgend. She has been club president (twice) and programme action officer. At region, she has been the web site coordinator, treasurer and recently Regional President. She is about to retire from a long career as a teacher, head teacher, inspector and adviser in primary education. She loved every minute and hopes she made a difference to the children and teachers that she met over the years. She is now ready to move onto pastures new and has accepted the challenge that the APD post will bring. Her hope is that she can fill the footsteps of Talat Pasha, allbeit differently. In her spare time, she knits and sews to raise funds for Soroptimist projects. She enjoys travel with friends and entertaining her wonderful family.

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Jan Hemlin

APD Education

 Jan has been a Soroptimist for 15 years. A founder member of SI Solihull & District a club chartered in 2000. Club President in 2004-2005 followed by club Programme Action officer. Midland Arden Chair of Programme Action on UKPAC 2008-2011. Elected Chair of UKPAC from 2011-2014. The experience she gained as Chair of UKPAC has particularly equipped her for this role. She has worked in partnership with other organisations in the Violence Against Women arena, and has had the opportunity to liaise with the UK Government and to attend CSW.  She looks forward to expanding her network throughout the Federation.

Read my Page


Naina Shah

APD Environmental Sustainability

Naina has been a Member of Soroptimist International of Chennai Downtown since 2008. Her heart has always been in Programme Action and she has been Programme Action Office at Club, National Association and Federation level.  She has been one of Soroptimist International’s delegation at the Commission on the Status of Women on more than one occasion.  She is passionate about the Environment and looks forward to working with Clubs to help achieve the SDGs in this area. She has served as a President, Secretary, PAC, and PAC of National Association of India. She was responsible to start two clubs in India, SI Madurai and SI Kodaikanal. She has been very passionate about the environment and has two decades of experience at National and International level. She attended CSW 59 in New York and had an opportunity to speak at the side event. In the post of APD Environment Sustainability, she will be able to use her knowledge, experience and passion to work with clubs.

Read my Page


Rita Beaumont

APD Food Security and Health Care

Rita Beaumont - webRita has been a Member of SI Bedford since 1997, and has been President, Programme Action Officer AND Secretary at both Club and Region level.

Rita is a qualified nurse who spent many years working in a range of settings, working as a clinical nurse, clinical manager and health educator.  She has extensive experience in promoting high standards of care for the elderly and those at the end of their life.  Whilst working as a university Head of Department she spent time developing and providing a Masters Degree in Healthcare Management with a partner college in South Africa.  She is a trustee of Age UK Bedfordshire and a Campaign Champion of the Moror Neurone Association.

She was the Conference Secretary for the successful Glasgow 2015 Conference, and is now looking forward to her new role as APD for Food Security and Health Care.

Read my Page


Nisha Ghosh

APD Violence and Conflict Resolution

Nisha Ghosh joined SI Poona in 2002 and moved to form SI Pune Metro East in 2010. As founder president of the new club she brought her experience of 8 years to the table as did 5 others and have since worked around the clock to make it a force of good standing.

As a writer and former journalist, she has used her writing skills for doing almost all the content to showcase what the club does and achieves. She contributes regularly to blogs for SI Global Voice as well as the SIGBI website. Nisha has had the fortune of doing a presentation for the UN Advocacy Officer at the UNODC office in Geneva. As the first Indian on the Soroptimist CSW delegation in 2015, Nisha made a presentation on Domestic Violence – as one of the parallel events. She was the first Indian on the Federation team as Friendship Link Coordinator and now one of the first Indians on the Programme team as APD.

At club level, she has served as PAC, Communications Officer and now Membership Officer. For this role she made a video film for ‘Ask me why I’m a Soroptimist’ competition.

Read my Page