Something new for conference, and a welcome development in an anything but celebratory year – but oh my goodness to hear all our work summarised in one quite brief presentation:
Everything we would expect from Soroptimists was there in wonderful generosity: acts of kindness in Mental Health Awareness week, sleeping out for Nightsafe, shopping for those isolated by Covid, food and money for food poverty initiatives, computers for school children, I could go on.
It’s just possible not many of us would have taken part in the real London marathon but how we embraced the 2.6 challenge that replaced it. Walking, baking, sewing, writing and my favourites – going up and down stairs 26 times when moving house and a first bike ride for 40 years lasting, of course, 26 minutes.
The 2.6 challenge will probably long be remembered coming so soon after the start of lockdown when many of us were wondering how we would manage when we could not get together. We’re Soroptimists. Undaunted we were soon busy with virtual activities. Lots of club meetings of course but also virtual coffee mornings, a twice weekly blether (I’m adopting that word) in Kirkcaldy, a virtual wine tasting with a difference as it ran through the alcohol spectrum from water (0% alcohol!) through wine to gin, a virtual trip to the races complete with hats.
New clubs were chartered in the UK, Nigeria and India, one of them in a school which sounds exciting. Update next year? All good things come to an end and there were also closures but how wonderful that SI Maidstone closed with a celebration of all they had achieved over their 61 years.
Our membership director Claire Bell rose admirably to the challenge of summarising the members’ year in a few minutes. To capture just a fraction of what we heard in a blog is an even bigger challenge! I’ll finish on her phrase ‘Covid comfort’ – never was there a year when Soroptimist friendship and support for our fellow women was more needed, and perhaps never one when it was more generously given. Be that as it may today’s dose of ‘Covid comfort’ left me with a lump in my throat as well as renewed energy for the year to come.