Bedford Club Member becomes Regional President

Message from Margaret Badley – President of London Chilterns Region 2017-18

I am delighted to be President of Soroptimist International London Chilterns Region for 2017 to 2018. My theme for the year is IMPACT – please keep reading to find out why…

Soroptimist International is a truly International Organisation operating in 130 countries. This gives us the opportunity to support women and girls in many diverse and valuable ways at International level but also, because of the structure of SI, at the national and local level. Indeed, operating at the local level has some added advantages in that ordinary members can make decisions about what we do and we can see in a very direct way the value of what we do.

Where does Region fit in?  I started coming to Regional meetings because people told me that I would get a better idea of what Soroptimism was about if I did this and they were right. It was also true of Annual Conferences and Conventions. I very much enjoyed hearing inspirational and informative speakers but I particularly enjoyed hearing about other Club’s projects and discovering the impact of those projects on girls and women.

My theme, therefore, this year may be summed up in one very short, simple but highly complex word with all its ramifications. The word is IMPACT.

I think that this highlights the need we have to focus on our core groups and partnerships, and work out with them how we can help them and to analyse as far as possible our impact on those groups. It means challenging ourselves and being clear and purposeful about what we can hope to achieve. I hope that we will be able to work together to share knowledge and expertise and enjoy the stimulation and fun which can be gained by “teamwork”.

In the past Region had a crucial role in communicating information quite often from the top downwards. However, with the internet and social media Region needs to be used alongside technology for the sharing of ideas, projects, problems, solutions and results, in the direct and sociable way which comes from meeting face to face. This means talks, workshops and discussions. But what else? Please let me know what Region should do, what you need from it and what you can give to it.

Now we all know that like many institutions we face challenges such as falling memberships and lower attendances often because of social and demographic changes.  But sadly, the need for the work we do has not declined.

We live in a world where women are still beset by problems simply because we are women. Let us join together and do the best we can to be an even stronger force – making an impact for the good of women. While we cannot fight against the march of time perhaps our clear and purposeful work enhanced by a sharing of expertise at Region will both encourage our Members to stay and also encourage new Members to join and even more importantly build upon and enhance the work that has been carried out so ably over the years.

Margaret Badley