There are five levels to Soroptimism in Great Britain and Ireland:
Club level – our club covers all of Chelmsford and surrounding areas (CM postcode), It is one of 10 clubs in the London Anglia Region.
Regional level – our region, London Anglia, covers an area from the Wash to the Thames. It is one of 17 Regions in the UK.
The other clubs in our region are:
- Colchester and District
- East London
- Enfield and District
- Great Yarmouth
- King’s Lynn
- Southend-on-Sea and District
The UK Programme Action Committee
Soroptimists from all 17 Regions (as far apart as Scotland and the Channel Islands) serve on the United Kingdom Programme Action Committee (UKPAC), which provides help and guidance to clubs in the UK in devising, planning and carrying out their project work (known as Programme Action).
Every month the UKPAC Chairman writes a column for the website. This is also produced as a newsletter, which is distributed to every Soroptimist in the UK, ensuring everyone is kept up-to-date on the work of this committee. UKPAC also holds a Study Day every two years, and the 2020 one is planned for October.
For more information on the UKPAC and its current campaigns, please visit the website.
Our Federation, one of five around the world, is Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland (known as SIGBI). It draws together the work of clubs in over 25 countries – all the UK clubs, those in Southern Ireland, South Asia, the Caribbean and more.
Soroptimist International, headquartered in Cambridge, is the umbrella organisation for Soroptimists worldwide. It has General Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and has representatives at many meetings of its agencies in UN Centres throughout the world.
Soroptimist International also has permanent, volunteer representatives to the major UN centres in New York, Geneva and Vienna, UNESCO in Paris, the FAO in Rome, and UN Environment Programme in Nairobi. It also has representatives at the UN Regional Commissions in Western Asia (ESCWA); South America (ECLAC); and Asia Pacific (ESCAP).
These Representatives attend a broad range of meetings and committees, reporting back to the membership and making recommendations for the Soroptimist Programme of Service. Soroptimist delegations to the major UN meetings and forums advocate for policies and actions which support our aims and objects.
Through this structure, concerns we may have here in the Chelmsford club, might end up being brought to the attention of the United Nations. It’s incredibly powerful; singly, we are each just one voice, but together we are strong!