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Region Programme Action Officer’s Report

Regional Programme Action Annual Report September 2023

Well, it has been an active and interesting first year as your Regional Programme Officer. It is really amazing at the quantity and quality of the work undertaken by our clubs, from service to our local communities to exceptional fundraising efforts.

I’ve had several reports in from clubs which have highlighted their work over the past months. SI Runcorn Frodsham and District, received a Best Practice Award at the Belfast conference last October. Posters have been accepted at the Dublin International Conference from SI Bebington and SI Runcorn Frodsham and District and SI South Caernarvon.  A great advert for our region.

We had our own PA Award, the Barbara Dixon Award and it was pleasing to see how many clubs entered and showed off a number of excellent projects, ranging from local projects to international ones covering recycling, sustainability, supporting education abroad and supporting Ukrainian refugees. Lindsay Green, Director of Programme and Alan Dixon certainly had quite a task to select the winner, but many congratulations to Llandudno, for their partnership working to develop a clothes recycling bank, set up to support Ukrainian refugees.

We have been busy at a regional level.  As part of the Big Help Out to celebrate the coronation of the King and Queen, President Susan asked clubs to bring period products to the regional meeting at Llandudno. These were photographed and then clubs were asked to donate to local food banks, or women’s centres.

An exciting development in Region is our decision to invest in Lend With Care, offering micro-loans to small businesses in several countries.  Small sums of around £60.00 have been invested to support women led small businesses to help they grow, provide a local service or further employment. Our criteria is to look at the proposed business model, its impact on the local economy and particularly benefits for women and girls.  We have also taken account of the interest rates charged by loan companies as some appeared to be exceptionally high.  So far loans are being repaid on time and we will be meeting in September to consider further investments.

Unfortunately I will not be at the Regional Meeting in September as it clashes with the only UKPAC face to face meeting.  Last year, I prioritised Region as I was new in post. Let’s hope I can avoid any clashes in the future.  I  hope many of you are accessing the UKPAC Facebook page and also checking the blogs which are published monthly, usually to try to match up with UN days.

I think maybe you have had lots of repeat emails and reminders about  the Special Domestic Abuse Court report.  Links have been sent out to read it online.  There are very few paper copies and these have been sent to relevant influential people and organisations.  We are encouraged also to bring the report to the attention of local MPs, councillors, court contacts etc.

Many clubs are embracing the Orange Cafes, to highlight our ongoing campaign Women Against Violence.  The idea is to meet monthly in a cafe, round about 25th of the month, wearing orange.  The idea is not to campaign, but to have leaflets and info to hand should you be approached about what you are doing. Its a fairly low-key approach, but clubs are free to develop it however they wish.

Finally I would like to say, that no matter how small or large your club, every act of service, coffee morning or fund raiser make up the fabric of our Region and we should be proud of what we have achieved this year and never think that it doesn’t make a difference.

Iris Batman

Regional PAO