Club members are having a busy time leading up to Christmas. SI Beverley and District Soroptimists decorated trees, in Beverley at the Minster, and in Bridlington at St John’s Church. The Beverley tree was decorated with White Ribbons to support the Campaign to engage men and boys in opposing violence against women and girls. The Sally symbol topped the tree and leaflets about the club offered more information on our aims and activities. The Bridlington tree was hung with the Soroptimist bookmarks which encourage children and young people to appraise their relationships.. The new symbol of Soroptimism – the dynamic ‘S’ – topped the Bridlington tree with information leaflets on Sorptimism to raise the profile of the organisation. Many visitors enjoyed viewing the dozens of trees that illustrated the wide variety of voluntary and community organisations that thrive in the two towns.
A lively and entertaining evening was led for us by our own member Margaret. Each of us made a Christmas display using greenery from our own gardens and baubles and berries to give a really seasonal look. They will look lovely on our Christmas lunch tables! Thank yo Margaret for a very productive evening.
Three members of SI Beverley and District attended Conference this year. The following paragraphs are taken from the www.sigbi.org website where the full text is accompanied by many photographs. Thursday evening began as the flags of all SIGBI Federation territories were brought on to the stage and lowered respectfully by the Girl Guides. Usually this is very moving but this year as the kaleidoscope of flags from Anguilla to Zimbabwe were lowered it seemed more celebratory, serving to remind us of our vibrant and wide ranging sisterhood. As the evening closed 1200 participants left eager for the next session. Listening to the comments of delegates this year’s conference was a great success from inspirational women, young voices, effective policies and procedures, wonderful initiatives supporting the most vulnerable in our world we were immersed in what it means to be a Soroptimist. The exhibition offered information
Regional President Jennie, presented new Member Pat Kemp with her Soroptimist Badge.
Beverley & District President Jenny presented Mrs. Brenda Jackson with a cheque for £745. 61p for the Millers Social Club, Beverley. Mrs. Jackson has a long association with the work at Millers and was sure that the money would be well spent for the benefit of the people who attended the Club. Members were invited to attend any Thursday evening at 8pm to see how the Club was run. (This money was raised at a Coffee Morning held at Tickton Chapel organised by Liz Hallett).
Lee Karen Stow, a freelance photo journalist was our guest speaker. In 2018, it will be the centenary of poppies as a symbol of Remembrance of war. Poppies have been used to remember those who have died in every war since 1918. Lee used photographs of women caught up in conflicts around the world today, interspersed with beautiful images of poppies from first flowering to dying. She has researched stories of women involved in both World Wars and has interviewed women who have been caught up in conflicts around the world, particularly in Freetown, Sierra Leone which is twinned with Hull. A visit to the Club from Lee two years ago showed how the lives of several women in Freetown who were given cameras, had been improved. Their photos were used to compare lives in Freetown and Hull. Several exhibitions had shown the comparative photos.
A very successful visit took place to SI Yorkshire in June/July 2017. Natalia Kurhaluk, SI Slupsk, Poland, was the recipient of our Grant of friendship and travelled to spend 3 weeks with us.She was hosted by SI Hallamshire, SI Dewsbury, SI Selby, SI Northallerton, SI Halifax, SI Ilkley, SI Beverley and District, SI Scarborough, SI Harrogate and District, and SI Bingley. She attended and spoke at the SI Yorkshire Conference and attended the SI Richmond and Dales 60th Charter Lunch in Leyburn. Natalia was introduced to a very varied range of places and activities during her stay. She attended Club meeting, visited several Museums and places of interest, went to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Salts Mill, York and Kingston – upon – Hull,walked on the beach in Bridlington and Scarborough,and spent many happy hours eating and drinking with members, both within their own homes
At the 26th July meeting, President Jenny introduced Pat Shore and Sandra Jowett from SI Harrogate. They are the Ambassadors for Yorkshire for the SIGBI International project MERU GARDENS KENYA. The area of Meru in the north of Kenya is very rural and the people who live there suffer from extreme poverty and malnutrition. 22% do not receive any education as the rural areas are extremely poorly educated compared to the towns. FGM and HIV and other diseases are prevalent. The Meru Gardens for Life project was chosen to be the SIGBI three year project and all Clubs are asked to help raise money as £150,000 was estimated to be able to create 500 sustainable gardens in the region. The objects of the project are to EDUCATE, EMPOWER and ENABLE women to provide food, education and money for their families. Each family has its own
Andrea Hunt, a long-standing member of the Freetown Society in Hull, introduced the Speaker, Kathleen Guthrie. Kathleen is an Education Consultant in Global Learning . Hull has strong links with Freetown due to William Wilberforce’s work with the abolition of the Slave Trade and Hull was the first city to twin with a town outside Europe. The Schools partnership is not a fund-raising scheme. Councils, Churches and schools have close links in both cities. Primary and Junior schools in Hull are twinned with schools in Freetown, Sierra Leone. They share projects and are in regular contact with each other. One such project eg. is the study of local rivers. This entails pupils from a school in Hull to compare say, the Humber or river Hull with rivers in or near Freetown. A hairdressers job in Hull has been compared to that of a hairdresser in
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