The foundation of Soroptimist International of Bingley, was due to the strong interest held in the cause of women’s advancement by Mrs Gertrude Heron who was active in many spheres in the Bingley Community. She was a member of SI Keighley, her category being that of Café Proprietor of the Loft Café in Bingley. She was their President in 1939-1940.
After the Second World War it seemed to Mrs Heron and several members of the Keighley Club who lived and worked in Bingley, that they should get together and form a Soroptimist Club which would channel their abilities and desire to give service to their community.
On 25th April 1949 Soroptimist International of Bingley was chartered. By October 1949 they donated £122 to the Matron’s Amenities Fund at Bingley Hospital, the proceeds of a garden party.
What have the members of SI Bingley done in the last 70 years?
At International level supported the various International projects such as Sight Savers, Medical Boats for Island Communities, Cabbages and Condoms, See Solar, Cook Solar, Educate to Lead: Nepal, Women, Water and Leadership and Birthing in the Pacific.
At Federation and UK level supported the BIG Project, the Meru Women’s Garden Project, Reducing Women’s Imprisonment, Sierra Leone and have raised awareness of Modern Slavery.
At Regional level supported Askham Grange Prison, a Peace Walk, Modern Slavery and Elimination of Violence Against Women activities as well as supporting our Regional Friendship Link with Zimbabwe.
Most importantly, at Local level supported Aire Valley Child Contact Centres, Bingley Community Kitchen, clearing litter from the Riverside Walk, involved in befriending, supporting Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Open House for the Elderly, Mary’s Meals, Freshers’ Fairs and Health and Well-being events at local Universities and Colleges and Police Camps and designed the ‘Friends’ Bookmarks.
And finally we have enjoyed many hours of friendship and service.
Remember if you want a job done well, always ask a Soroptimist and especially if that Soroptimist is a member of SI Bingley!