President Jenny welcomed the speaker, Val Hills of SI Harrogate & District who is the Federation Consultative Councillor for Yorkshire.
Val spoke about the work of the council and how they feed back to the Federation Management Board (FMB) through the DWP (Director without Portfolio). Val forwards the DWP report given to FMB to Yorkshire members. There was a lively discussion about Soroptimist finances, management structures and recruitment and retention. The achievements of Soroptimism in lobbying and raising awareness, often before topics receive media coverage and the consultative status at the UN were also mentioned. The future launch of the new African Federation expected in 2019 will have an effect on SIGBI and SI Europe.
Val’s other topic was Parliamentary Outreach, a training programme for womens’ groups to be more effective at lobbying and advocacy. Val is a trainer and brought some of their information leaflets to the meeting. Her final message was that Soroptimists have a purpose, Programme Action, which makes us different from other groups or organisations.