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Region President Susan

Region Meeting Change of Insignia

Congratulations and all the very best of wishes to new Region President Susan Haywood.

At the Region Meeting on Saturday 19th November the Region welcomed Susan Haywood as our new President, and we were finally able to take some lovely photos of the change of Insignia.

Huge thanks to Immediate Past Region President Yvonne Johns, who despite many difficulties enjoyed an excellent year as Region President

Region President Susan Haywood’s Address

It is an overwhelming privilege to have been elected as the incoming Regional President.  There are some resplendent footsteps to fill from previous inspiring and diligent women who have preceded me.  I have a great team of Officers who are the stalwarts of Region; I am the one who is transient with only a year to wreak havoc or, better still, bring about unity!

My tag line for this year is New Chapters Generate New Stories.  Little wonder that I have chosen this with my background as a teacher of English.  But this goes beyond my love of literature and language.  It is a vision for the Region that you will write through your Club projects and friendships.  There is one thing that Soroptimists have taught me, is that I am amidst an unbelievable group of women.  I am ever in awe of your generosity, your caring natures and your ingenuity.   New Chapters Generate New Stories, but we have room in our organisation for both the old steadfast values and the new innovative ideas.  You are the ones who are inspirational to me.

It is not my intention to have a theme this year.  Speakers will be varied and incorporate many of the 5 Ps.  Yvonne ably covered many aspects of climate change, as did the Belfast Conference.  This is not to denigrate the urgency of the need to save our planet.  If I omit Climate Change it is not through a lack of need or care;  I just feel that there are other aspects of the lives of women and girls that need our support as well.  I know that Clubs will continue and expand their work on Climate Change.  In the Guardian last week the front page headline was Climate Crisis.  I feel we need to alter our vocabulary to calling it this.  Climate Change suggests a small tweak in the temperatures over time, but we all know that it is at the point of Crisis and almost beyond reversible repair.

I have some plans for the year – they are not all fully formed yet, but I can tell you what is in the pipeline.

We will have three face to face Region meetings, two at the Queens Hotel in Chester and one at the Imperial Hotel in Llandudno.  Members expressed their concern at the cost of region meetings, so I have taken that on board and the meeting in Llandudno will be without a lunch.  You can book a bar meal at the hotel, nip out to a cafe or have fish and chips on the prom.  The fee will be considerably reduced as it will be for refreshments and the hire of the room.  Feedback from this will determine what members want.  Sales tables will be present at two of the Region meetings.

Similarly, I would like to meet with Officers and Reps face to face.  I have booked the Imperial Hotel in Llandudno for our first meeting on Saturday 21 January.  One of the discussions will be as to whether we continue to have face to face meetings, Zoom or a mix of the two.

PA Officer Iris Batman and myself have arranged another face to face meeting with club Programme Action Officers.  This is next Tuesday 22 November at the Grosvenor Arms in Aldford, Chester in a private room.  It will give us the opportunity to hear what projects the Clubs are currently working on and to see if there is a common thread. The same could be arranged for other Officers, if they wish.

There will be a new member’s lunch on Sunday 26 March 2023 at Faenol Fawr, St Asaph.  This will be open to all new members since late 2019 who did not attend the event earlier this year. The invitation will be extended to the new member’s mentor to accompany them.  Invitations will be going out soon.

Social events are important as they are the bonding agent in our close relationships.  I have already organised one such event and that was to Chatsworth.  The number of emails that Wendy and I have received in praise of the trip are testament that you enjoy and appreciate them.

It is my intention that we will have another trip to the National Arboretum in Staffordshire.  The Soroptimist statue, which was damaged in a storm, has been renewed and should fill us with pride to see it.  This will be on Saturday 17th June 2023.

Finally, I am sure you will want to thank IPP Yvonne.  She could so easily have packed it all in, given her crippling illness and personal loss, but she triumphed against adversity.  Despite it all, she didn’t miss a single Region or Officer’s meeting and her diary remained full throughout her year.  I have been moved by her tenacity and drive.  She is a formidable woman and has put her heart and soul into her year as President.

I am looking forward to working with a great team of knowledgeable and erstwhile Officers and Janet Murfin as President Elect.  I am excited for my year in office and will do my utmost to serve you.

Region President CNW&C Susan Haywood

19 November 2022