The President of Soroptimist International of Bradford, Beatrice Williams, has presented a cheque for £1500 to the Ear Trust, her chosen charity, following a series of fundraising efforts during her term of office. President Beatrice chose the Ear Trust Charity mainly due to the remarkable research in cochlear implant and other work it has undertaken to transform the lives of those with hearing problems from children to the elderly. The money was raised by organising fundraising dinners, coffee mornings, and a garden party. The Ear Trust, based in Bradford, provides specialist testing facilities for babies, high quality audio logical testing facilities, family-oriented consultation and rehabilitation rooms, training facilities for medical, audio-logical, community and educational professions, workshops, support for families and adults and support for clinical research. President Beatrice was particularly delighted to have raised the amount to support such a worthy charity, and was impressed
SI Bradford raised over £200 at the People in the Park event on Saturday 8th May in Lister Park. Along with a host of charities and other service organisations SI Bradford … who had a chocolate tombola … promoted Soroptimism and raised money at the same time. The money will enable President Sandra to purchase the first School in a Box for her charity this year – only four weeks into her presidential year. Helping out was Rebecca Leach, a pupil at Hanson School, who is raising money to travel to Zambia. A three week expedition will enable Rebecca to work with local children teaching them English and having fun through art and games. Having given Rebecca some money towards her trip she offered to help on the tombola and will be coming back to talk about her trip and show members photographs.
“A meeting to discuss the formation of a Venture Club in Bradford was convened at the Bradford Ladies’ Club on Friday 14th September 1928 by Miss E Matthias and Miss A Chalmers-Lawford”. So reads the first entry in the minutes of the Club and, now called Soroptimist International Bradford, Mrs Sandra Howard has been elected as its eighty-second President. Sandra is PA to the Dean of Bradford & Cathedral Administrator and has been a Soroptimist for just over two years: she is also on the Lord Mayor’s Appeal Committee. “When approached to join SI Bradford I had heard of Soroptimists but wasn’t sure what they actually did! The official line is that ‘Soroptimist International is a worldwide organisation for women in management and professions, working through service projects to advance human rights and the status of women’ which sounds great but a bit vague –
Marlene Roper, honorary member of Soroptimist International of Bradford, died on June 8th at home after more than four months in hospitals. Marlene was a member of Soroptimist International for over thirty years and a member of the Bradford Club for all that time. Each of you will have your own special picture or image in your mind of Marlene. At the meeting last evening we shared some of those; a glamorous, elegant figure, full of warmth and fun, a zippy driver, with an infectious laugh, a distinctive voice who always made a point of welcoming people and valuing them and being valued in return. ‘Marlene will know’, ‘Marlene will consider and reduce this to manageable proportions’. We missed her presence acutely last night. Marlene’s category was ‘secretary’ and she discovered Soroptimist International when she saw a notice about it displayed at Leeds/Bradford Airport at
Bradford Soroptimists Support Rape Crisis Centre Jane Gregory, from the Bradford Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Survivors Service, has received a cheque for one thousand pounds from Canon Nora Whitham MBE. The money was raised during Canon Nora’s year in office as President of Soroptimist International Bradford. Before receiving the cheque, Mrs Gregory gave SI Bradford members an overview of the work done by BRC & SASS last year which included introducing a service into Newhall Women’s Prison and expanding their work within the Black, Asian and other minority sectors including refugees. The Group offer counselling to all women suffering sexual abuse including those involved in prostitution and has recently set up a new advocacy service to support those who are taking their abusers through the criminal process. The money is being spent on promotional literature. The new postcard flyers and posters feature a white
Challenging year ahead for Soroptimist International Bradford At SI Bradford’s recent AGM outgoing President, Canon Nora Whitham MBE, thanked members for their support over the past year and handed the chain of office to new President, Lynn Wiggan. President Lynn has worked in a variety of educational settings since coming to Bradford in 1972 and is currently the Headteacher of a Bradford primary school. She has been a member of SI Bradford for ten years and this will be the second time she has served the club as President. After thanking Canon Nora for all her hard work over the past year, President Lynn went on to say that the plan for the next twelve months would be “coming together to work together”. Under the present economic conditions it made sense to consolidate and strengthen existing projects, and to spend time on each other …
The Bradford Schools Drugs Prevention Initiative (BSDPI) started in 1994 and is a joint initiative between Soroptimist International of Bradford, Rotary International of Bradford, West Yorkshire Police and Education Bradford. The aim of the initiative is to motivate and reward schools which positively address the issues of drug and alcohol misuse and smoking. Further details can be obtained from email@example.com
Back in 1928 one of the very first Soroptimist International clubs in Yorkshire was formed here in Bradford and, eighty years on, it is still going strong under the current President, Canon Nora Whitham MBE. A special 80th birthday dinner was attended by over a hundred guests, including the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, SI Federation President Carwen Wynne-Howells, SI Yorkshire President Pat Drake, and keynote speaker Canon Diana Chambers, Pro Chancellor of the University of Bradford and herself an ex President of SI Skipton. SI Bradford was instrumental, under the Presidency of Marion Le Pla, in starting the Bradford Schools Drugs Prevention Initiative, working with Rotary International, the Police and Education, and the present Chairman of the BSDPI, Robert Morpet gave a moving toast to the work of the Soroptimists – even writing to the Minister for Women, Harriet Harman, asking that she acknowledge
Members of Soroptimist International Bradford gathered at the Cathedral recently to celebrate their 80th birthday. In a service conducted by the Revd Dr Frances Ward, the work of Soroptimists – locally, nationally and internationally – was praised. SI Yorkshire President Pat Shore read the Gospel and Nora Whitham MBE, SI Bradford President and a Lay Canon at the Cathedral, led the prayers. After the service a birthday cake was cut and shared amongst the congregation.
Everyone gathered at Vera Law’s funeral in July agreed on one thing – that the word ‘feisty’ described her perfectly. In her eighty-fourth year she thought as deeply and spoke as directly as she had done throughout her years in Bradford and her involvement in many aspects of community life. She was a widow for 48 years, but those years were full. Both before and after marriage she worked at Allied Initial Services, starting as a secretary and becoming manager of a department. Occasionally there was work and support for the Liberals. Undergirding everything was her support for the Methodist Church – not just Sunday services, but also teachers’ meetings, choir rehearsals, and the Drama Group. Vera was a lady Freemason, not a refuge for the shy and retiring; and of course she was a Soroptimist, always active in seeking out and encouraging new members.