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SIGBI Conference comes to Liverpool

Crosby members flew the flag for Liverpool – and beyond – when they attended the Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland conference at the end of October.

They joined 1,200 delegates from across the Federation for the three-day conference at Liverpool’s waterfront convention centre.  Women and guests from all over the word descended on the City, recently named as the kindest place in the UK.

The Crosby contingent all had extra duties at the event, encouraged by fellow member Val Dunning who was the Deputy Chief Steward.   All volunteered as stewards, looking after delegates who required special assistance, ensuring the all-important interval tea and coffee was served promptly, managing exhibition spaces and staffing the

information desk.





Highlight of the opening evening was the flag ceremony where each of the 29 member countries of the Federation were each ceremoniously paraded through the arena and onto the stage.  It was particularly poignant for former President Yvonne Atkinson, who carried the flag of Pakistan, a country where she had worked as a medical professional.









Speakers at the conference included Dr Helen Pankhurst, great-granddaughter of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, who compared suffragettes to the Soroptimist movement – hard work but also fun and solidarity.

Peace envoy Terry Waite spoke about his five years in solitary confinement, captured by Iranian terrorists and falsely accused of spying.   Sir Ranulph Fiennes gave an amusing insight into his life as the ‘world’s greatest living explorer’ and numerous other amazing speakers inspired and empowered members.



The conference was a great opportunity for Crosby members to meet with friendship club, SI Keighley, and to share food, fun and friendship with each other.

Crosby President Sheila Chatterton said:  “I was so proud of my home city Liverpool and the welcome we gave to fellow Soroptimists.  They all left with great memories of a powerful and emotional conference set against a backdrop of beautiful buildings and friendly people.  We all left feeling empowered to carry on our work to make  life better for women and girls across the Globe.”