Incoming President Carole’s Address – 2018/1019
When I first joined SI Chester I never thought that I would be President one day. But as time passed I realised that someone would need to step up and now it is my turn.
Looking back over the past 3 years, it’s clear to see how far the Club has progressed. We’ve done some very effective fundraising for such a small Club; we’ve worked on interesting projects like Toilet Twinning and the Purple Community Fund that have been successful. We’ve been constant advocates of The Purple Teardrop Campaign and ending violence against women. We have supported and will continue to support Chester Women’s Aid. We have successfully engaged with Chester University and Storyhouse; yes we’ve lost a few members but we’ve gained new members and maintained our numbers. We have established an active book group and a craft group.
It is now my role to continue and build on what our past Presidents have all worked hard to achieve.
I see us as ‘team Carole” and I feel honoured and excited to be at the helm this year.
My theme is 3-fold:
Firstly –planning realistic goals for the future – I and the Officers have already drawn up a 3 year Strategy, with clear objectives and this will be followed up with a business plan for the coming year that we will all work on together. This will help us to visualise our goals and ease the yearly transition from one President to the next.
Secondly –growth and development. By this I mean, growing our brand, growing our membership, increasing our partnerships and also developing ourselves- our own abilities and learning in order to be better at what we do together, as a Club.
We are all aware of our own strengths and weaknesses. Let’s build on our strengths and work on our weaknesses to create an even better and more efficient team than we already are.
Sometimes we all find ourselves challenged by a new idea or a different approach. But we have to adapt to new circumstances and be flexible in our approach; we can change our mind set while our values as Soroptimists remain unequivocal.
Let’s remember what Sue Biggs our Federation President said in one of her first messages:
“We need to enable ourselves to be kind to each other and to be tolerant of each other’s differences”
“We are never too old or stuck in our ways to learn something new”
Let’s remember too the qualities that we possess as women: we are creative, intuitive, compassionate, we are sociable and supportive of each other and we are not afraid of asking for help or direction when we need it.
We have already shown that a Club of only 17 women can have a strong voice and can think outside the box.
And finally, the third part of my theme is about ‘inclusiveness’ and is connected to ‘diversity.’ Diversity is the mix. Inclusion is making it work.
I want every one of us to feel valued and essential to the Club. I want each of us to engage in our programme action by taking on some responsibility – however small – because it’s the programme action that binds us all together and lies at the heart of everything that we do. Its success in our programme action that gives us motivation and satisfaction.
Every Club is different and our diversity lies in our work and life experiences, our perspectives, our ages and our nationalities, which I think is really exciting. This diversity is a strength. And if we can respect and value our differences, that strength becomes a power.
Let us harness that power and be- not merely an efficient team- but an inspirational team; let us plan together for the future, grow our brand and our Club, embrace diversity and inclusiveness and together take the Club forward to further successes this year.
Carole Rivers, 16th April 2018