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Archive of Club Activities 2018-2019

AGM – April 25th

Our AGM took place at Heath Cottage, Dewsbury. A night dedicated to reviewing all the events of the past year…the fund raising for the Admiral Nurses which raised £4265.00, the friendship enjoyed by all, the fun we had organising and carrying out all the wonderful events, and finally the food which is always a priority in our Soroptimism. Maureen and Suzanne as representatives of Admiral Nurses attended to accept the cheque and a quantity of twiddle muffs from our joint Presidents Linda and Pat.
When the ordinary, every day business was finished we had the exchange of insignia from Pat and Linda to our new President Kathleen. Linda and Pat relinquished our chain of office, and, as someone commented ‘… are returning to the back benches’. So into another year…long may we have another wonderful year.
Contd in ‘Club Activities 2019-2020

SID on Tour – March 29th – April 1st

Twelve Dewsbury Soroptimists, 3 friends and 1 WI member ventured to Edinburgh for three nights.  We laughed, ate and drank (some more than others).  Some toured the Royal Yacht Britannia (pictured above) and the Botanical Gardens, others the open top bus and The Real Mary King’s Close.  The culture vultures visited the art galleries and some experienced a certain amount of retail therapy.  The weather was kind and an entertaining weekend was had by all.

Speaker Meeting – March 28th

The March speaker was from the Forget Me Not Trust who spoke about the work of the hospice. Everything they do is about supporting families. Whether they’ve had bad news at a 20-week scan or are living with a teenager with a life-shortening condition, they are there to help. They’ll listen, offer practical help, provide respite, help the families de-stress, introduce them to other families, and walk beside them every step of their journey. They’ll even do some of the most challenging stuff of all: be there at the end, and help to make sense of life afterwards.

Everything they do is offered free of charge to both you and the family, and are more than willing to work closely with the families and offer training for the whole team. It was a truly inspiring talk. and gave us all a good idea of what they do and how they achieve their aims.

Past Presidents’ Dinner – March 21st

Pictured at our Past Presidents Dinner at Healds Hall, as always, we ate, drank and made merry.  Thank you to Julie for organising it.

Time for a Cuppa Events

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As Dementia UK are celebrating 10 years of Time for a Cuppa, and Admiral Nurses are this years chosen charity, we have embarked on a number of events, the first one being a TIME FOR A CUPPA coffee morning at Jackie’s. The cakes were delicious and the coffee morning raised over £400.00. Thank you Jackie and her team of willing helpers.  Our next event was a ‘Cocktail & Canape’ evening at Carol’s, this was great fun and raised over £200.00. Thank you to Carol, Glenn and Linda for arranging it.  The final event was a St Patrick’s Day dinner at the home of Julie & Terry.  We tucked into a fabulous four course Irish themed dinner.  Thank you to Julie and Terry for looking after us us so well and raising over £200.00.  In addition, Linda & Pat attended Maureen’s coffee morning, Maureen is an Admiral  Nurse Ambassador, and Suzanne works for Dementia UK.  Due to all this eating and drinking, the diets are completely out of the window.

Curry Club – March 12th

17 diners attended at our curry club, including Susie and Judith from Wakefield Soroptimists and Jean from Halifax Soroptimists.  The staff at the Gate of India, Tingley, looked after us very well and the food was delicious.

February Events

Thursday 7th saw the first of our knit and natter sessions in 2019. The challenge is to make as many twiddle muffs as we can before the AGM in April. As you can see, cups of tea and homemade biscuits and scones kept the needles clacking.

The long awaited trip to see the snowdrops at Burton Agnes Hall took place on a lovely sunny Sunday 24th. We travelled through fog on M62 in both directions and had brilliant sunshine at Burton Agnes. The woodland walk was a leisurely stroll and the snowdrops were lovely.

Thursday February 28th was a fascinating speaker meeting presented by our own member Sarah. Sarah had a holiday in the Arctic on the look out for polar bears, and of course to appreciate the area. Her pictures took us through that journey demonstrating that it is not just a great wall of ice, but has some spectacular scenery and even vegetation, although this does not grow too tall because of the difficulty pushing through the solid ground. We also learned that people, men mostly, never go out unless carrying a gun. Polar bears are very dangerous, and of course are carnivores. In the search for the bears they came across many seals, and we were saddened to learn that the bears eat baby seals, as a later picture showed us.

Eventually we came across the polar bears and realised that they were not all snowy white as sometimes imagined, but were very big and quite fearsome to look at, especially when they seemed to know that they were being filmed.

Sarah had captured both spectacular sunsets and sun rises on the journey which took them to within 500 miles of the North Pole…so very, very cold.

A very interesting and enlightening evening, enjoyed by all. Thank you Sarah!!

Speaker Meeting – January 24th 2019

Thursday 24th January was our first speaker meeting in 2019, and we welcomed Vicky Greenwood and her husband Steve from Oggles Hedgehog Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre in Dewsbury Moor.
This is obviously a cause very close to Vicki’s heart as she explained how she came to be, not just involved with the general well being of hedgehogs but also the rescue and nurturing of abandoned, and often injured ones. Hedgehogs, it seems, are not just creatures with spines and which hibernate in the winter; they are much more complicated and sensitive. They are nocturnal and so if seen out in the daytime they are behaving oddly and should be rescued as they could be near death.
It is a myth that they amble along slowly as, in fact, they are able to move very quickly, due in no small measure to very strong back legs; it is also a myth that they are flea ridden. They also love their food, and if food is not taken, that too could indicate problems.
After being inundated with questions Vicky introduced us to Eileen….one of her rescue hedgehogs!!!
It was a very interesting and informative evening.

Festive Times

Our Christmas party was at Ego in Horbury. As is customary at our party nights, the wine flowed and the food was excellent, and the ‘nick it back raffle’ brought out our devious natures. Another fun night, thank you to Carol and Julie for arranging it.

December 8th was our annual party for the residents of Tentercroft in Dewsbury. As is customary SID & D turned out in festive garb ranging from antlers, flashing lights, ornamental Christmas trees, glasses, ear rings etc etc. As is also customary the tables were laden with wonderful food. Traditional games were played, traditional carols were sung, and of course Santa made his appearance to the delight of everyone. Good time was had by all.


The carol service was held on Sunday 9th December at Thornhill Parish Church accompanied by the Gawthorpe brass band.  The Kirklees Mayor, Gwen Lowe and Pat Kilbane SI Yorkshire President were in attendance.




Elaine, Jan and Pat were invited to the Ravens Boutique at Ravenshall School.  The shop is manned by pupils from the school and they had beautifully wrapped all the items that had been donated.  Proceeds from the Boutique are given to local charities.



We were once again invited to decorate a tree for Trinity Church Christmas Tree Festival. We had been very industrious during our knit and natter sessions, and had knit dozens of mini twiddle muffs, as our theme was Admiral Nurses.

Several of our retired members enjoyed a seasonal lunch at the Hare & Hounds at Upper Hopton on 13th December….this was a curtain raiser to our final business meeting that same evening, when, we enjoyed an evening full of fun, games, quizzes, and of course food.

Approximately 21 people made their way to Nostell Priory on Friday 14th December and enjoyed the exhibition of Harrison clocks & Chippendale furniture currently on display there. This was followed by a hearty lunch and a look round the book & gift shops.


And so to the Cinnamon Lounge at Horbury Bridge which was the 2018 final venue for our curry club. 21 people gathered, in full Christmas regalia, for the last meeting of the year & the last date in our 2018 calendar.


So we look forward to 2019 when our round of hard work and fun in equal measure will begin again.

An Eventful November

On Wednesday November 7th we invited the two new members from last year, Debbie and Julie, and this year’s new recruits, Jan and Jane, to an informal evening to discuss any problems they might be experiencing. Fortunately, all were happy and looking forward to continuing their programme action work, as well as enjoying the fun and friendship.

We had the usual tribute to the ‘fallen’ on Armistice Day, especially poignant as it was 100yrs since the end of the First World War.

Presidents Linda & Pat, together with June, Jackie and Maureen, attended the Centenary of The Armistice that ended World War 1 in 1918. Hundreds lined the streets of Mirfield to watch the parade and pay their respects.

The ‘knit and natter’ group have been beavering away making items which will go on the Christmas tree at Holy Trinity Church, Ossett in December.

On Saturday 17th a few members did a bag pack at Tesco Extra in Batley, to raise awareness of Admiral Nurses and Dewsbury Soroptimists. We decorated our small Christmas Tree with mini twiddle muffs and handed out sweets to the children.

Thursday 22nd November was speaker meeting and our speakers were Liz and Jackie, staff from Ravenshall School. This is a school which caters specifically for the mental and physically incapacitated. We were given a visual tour of the school which gave us an insight into the work which they do by way of the artwork which covers the walls, and the facilities available to the children to enable them to experience things like baking, cooking, handling money, everyday things which we so often take for granted. Putting on a show like the modern day ‘Joseph’ was an achievement in itself, as is sometimes just getting a child to speak. Liz and Jackie expressed their gratitude for the story sacks given to the school from the club and to please keep them coming. Thanks were given from Kathleen T.

Three large bags of assorted goods were taken to the local refuge. S I Dewsbury has been collecting toiletries, clothing, towels, nappies and food. We are now concentrating on the Red box project.

Saturday 24th November was the Regional Council meeting at Rogerthorpe Manor, Badsworth. This meeting also included the welcome from the new SI Yorkshire president Pat from SI Garforth Elmet, and congratulations to our own Linda who is the new SI Yorkshire vice-president. This meeting was particularly colourful as we had been invited to wear something orange in support of the campaign ‘violence against women’.

Oh, What a Night (and a day), for some of our party it was quite an adventure just getting to The Grand, the train was cancelled and we had to take a taxi with probably, the only taxi driver that didn’t know his way to Leeds! Jersey Boys was great, as was the meal at Gino D’Campo’s. Thank you to Eileen H for arranging it.

Five (+5) Go to Liverpool

Thursday morning October 25th, Dewsbury Railway station saw 10 intrepid members of SI Dewsbury & D board the train for Liverpool….delegates all at the SIGBI conference in that wonderful city. The following two days promised to be a truly inspiring experience, and it was!

Aside from the business conducted at the conference, we were privileged to have the likes of Terry Waite, CBE, held hostage in Beirut for 5 years; Emily Rose Yates,first disabled woman to cross the Sinai desert via camel; Sally Kettle..first woman to row the atlantic, not once but twice; Dr Helen Pankhurst, direct descendant of the famous Pankhurst sisters; and last but by no means least Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE..whose escapades kept his audience, both interested and amused, captive.
It wouldn’t be a SID & D event without mentioning the food and fun we had which was excellent on all counts.
Sunday 28th …goodbye Liverpool.
Did somebody say ‘see you in Bournemouth 2019’.

October Events & Activities

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Thornhill Parish Church have asked community organisations to create a poppy display to commemorate the end of WW1.  We had a knit and knatter session to knit poppies for our display, there was a lot of nattering but not much knitting.
On Friday October 5th we had a very successful Fashion Show at No 10 in Horbury, thank you to Gemma and Lynn for making us feel so welcome and to the lovely models, thank you to Maureen from Admiral Nurses for braving the weather, and a very big thank you to Soroptimists and friends and customers of No 10, we raised £800 for Admiral Nurses.
October’s Business meeting was a very happy occasion, Linda and Pat enrolled two new members, Jane and Jan. The club welcomed them and wished them well.
Speaker meeting on Thursday 18th October was addressed by Sylvia Shatwell whose subject was ‘young carers’. Sylvia is a representative of Barnardo’ longer homes for children under 18 years of age; now more involved with the well being of young carers.
The work of these young people ranges from looking after parents, grandparents and siblings who sufferfrom various illnesses including drug addiction, mental health problems and potential suicides. Knowing how to find and tackle the problems of these young people is not always easy, but can often be defined by fatigue caused by lack of sleep, school work deteriorating, self isolation as they are embarrassed to admit they have problems. The action taken has to, if possible, begin with meeting the parents; group therapy can also help. Sylvia was happy to answer a number of questions as all the members found this a very interesting subject.
On a lighter note the SIGBI annual conference is taking place in Liverpool 25th t0 27th October and all those attending are looking forward.

On Tuesday 30th we had a toy tombola at Tesco Extra Batley, raising funds for The Mayor of Kirklees Charities of the year – Kirkwood Hospice and the RSPCA.  A grand total of £550 was raised, £260 from our tombola and the remainder from a raffle of a giant dog supplied by Tesco. SID member Jan pictured with the Mayor of Kirklees Cllr Gwen Lowe

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Halloween and it’s curry club night, of course, some of us just had to dress up!  We went to the Khyber in Batley, the food was excellent and the company was even better, we were joined by Susie from Wakefield Soroptimists and Pam from Bradford Soroptimists. What bewitching company they made…

Cancer & Dementia Charity Coffee Morning

We departed from the norm this year and decided to share the proceeds between Macmillan Cancer Support and Admiral Nurses.  The event was well attended by residents & friends of Tentercroft Court and Dewsbury Soroptimists, we welcomed Roger Ram and his Mam, Paula Sheriff, Suzanne Wightman from Admiral Nurses and Roshi Ahmad.  Thank you to everyone who attended, we raised over £500.

Speaker Meeting – September 27th

The September Speaker Meeting started with one of our own members, Sue Fox, telling us about her grandson who suffers from autism.  We then listened to Amanda and Corinne from The Whole Autism Family, a completely voluntary support group which was formed in October 2014.  They spoke about the difficulty they had in getting an initial diagnosis for their children  and the constant battle to receive any support.  By the end of the meeting there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Visit to Drax Power Station – September 20th

Club members and friends enjoyed an interesting tour of Drax followed by an enjoyable lunch

Business Meeting – September 13th

At our last business meeting we welcomed Soriya Jabeen, Kirklees Prevent engagement officer.
She told us about how The Prevent Hub can help communities and education establishments raise awareness of the dangers of extremism and radicalisation.

Curry Club – September 4th

Another enjoyable curry club evening, this time we were at Sammys in Heckmondwike and we were joined by Jean from SI Halifax.

Summer Outings 2018

August 5th and the sun continued to shine for our afternoon tea event, held at the home of Pat and Rick

A constant stream of visitors kept our ladies busy supplying sandwiches, scrumptious cakes and endless cups of tea and coffee. A game of ‘hook the duck’ kept some visitors entertained, but most preferred just to sit and enjoy the weather and the beautiful garden. This raised nearly £300 for the Meru Women’s Garden Project in Kenya.

Follow that!!! Well we couldn’t really but we did try when, on Friday August 10th we tripped across the Pennines, in less than sunny conditions to have lunch, and a cruise on the Mill Chester. The first course was served as we cruised along the Shropshire Union canal towards the Northgate lock and main course and dessert, on the return, to Hoole Lane lock, and a little further before returning to the hotel, from where we started.

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Although there was not much time to see Chester, the wonderful food, and the service on the boat were well worth the trip. Another really enjoyable day out.

Eileen Hartley, Carol Ashbury and Kathleen Thornton organized a superb day at York Ebor, Ladies Day on 23rd August this year. This event has been running for 20 years at the Dewsbury club. The Champagne was flowing, we had a superb buffet and the company wasn’t bad.Some of us even backed winners this year !!!! We had some kind donations for our charity, The Admiral Nurses from Judith and Brenda (Carol’s friends). We’re already looking forward to next year.

July Activities

Thursday 26th July brought the first quarter of the presidency of Pat and Linda to the summer break. It has been a very busy and successful time which ended with some very interesting speakers.
We had a representative group of people from Arts Catalyst promoting the careful use of water.

The River College is part of a long-term project looking at the Calder as a changing natural environment with a history of human activity, a focus for ecological concern and civic action, and a place for diverse artistic and cultural reflections. At our last Business Meeting, five members of the project came along to discuss their project and to listen to our views of the importance of water in our daily lives. They also brought cake.

This brought about a lively discussion on how we take for granted the easy access we have to this precious commodity.

Ossett Gala was another beautiful day and the crowds were out in their numbers.  We were raising funds for Admiral Nurses with a Toy Tombola, name the big dog and good old roll a h’penny, but, due to inflation, it was 2p!
Our annual gathering with SI Preston in Skipton was full of friendship and fun. We met at the club house of SI Skipton with each club bringing either savoury or sweet courses for our afternoon tea.
To close our first quarter we had a speaker from Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Our speaker was Jenny with her dog Xander…a poodle.
The aim of the organisation is to train dogs to help deaf people. In the UK 1 in 6 people have a hearing problem; this can lead to isolation, lack of confidence and independence. Having a ‘hearing dog’ brings companionship, raises awareness regarding the doorbell, alarms, text messages, cookers and have been known to save lives.
The charity is run by volunteers only and relies on support from the public, as it costs in the region of £35,000 to train one dog.
After being strenuously trained the dogs are carefully matched with a deaf person and they do become close companions. Along with Xander, Jenny demonstrated the many ways she is helped by him, always remembering to reward him with a hug or a treat. A very enjoyable evening.
Two events to look forward to during the summer break…strawberries and cream at Pat’s home and a cruise, with lunch, on the canal in Chester!!

Speaker meeting – June 28th

Suzanne Wightman and ambassador Maureen spoke to members about the creation and work of Admiral Nurses and personal experiences of living with people with dementia.

Help for people suffering from this horrendous condition has been a long time coming but now with the help of Admiral nurses, who are specially trained, help is becoming more available. The need for early diagnosis,understanding,and support for those suffering, and compassion for those caring for loved ones, is of paramount importance.

Admiral Nurses in Dewsbury can now be very proud that there are 8 people in their team, this only surpassed by a team in Kent.
Along with Suzanne was Maureen an ‘ambassador’ for Admiral, Maureen has been through the trauma of losing her husband Michael, to this scourge.She very bravely related to us the heartbreak suffered as she watched this disease take over her husband of sixty – odd years, and the pain of seeing him now in a home, unable to recognise her, but just existing in his own small world.
Very definitely much food for thought.Admiral needs all the help it can get.

Charter Lunch – June 24th

Once again we were blessed with wonderful weather. Our guests came from all corners of Yorkshire, and also from across the Pennines.
The event was a huge success, as always, with good food, interesting speakers and entertainment from a young lady, Bethany, who kept our toes tapping singing well known, and some not so well known songs from the shows.
We also had an almost running commentary on the fortunes of the England world cup team as they went 1,2,3,4,5,6…6-1.

Chris Clarke, President of Soroptimist International of Yorkshire presented long service awards to seven of our members at our Charter Lunch at Healds Hall last Sunday.  Maureen Bentley and June Elliott – 30 years, Elizabeth Hayes, Patricia Nicholson and Margaret Smith – 35 years and Barbara Sykes and Christine Withers – 40 years, a grand total of 245 years.

Business meeting – June 14th

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The groups presented their finished Story Sack projects to the club. The chosen books were: Harry and the bucketful of dinosaurs, Wind in the Willows, and The Gruffalo. Everyone enjoyed the enthusiastic story tellers who each brought their book to life, supported by face masks, soft toys, models and games etc. The Sacks have since been presented to Ravenshall School who were very appreciative and can’t wait to share them with the pupils.

Curry Club – June 13th

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The venue for our latest Curry Club was Prashad in Drighlington, a vegetarian restaurant.  We had tried it before, but, with mixed reactions.  Second time lucky, the food was delicious and the company wasn’t bad either.

Garden party – June 3rd

Well the first big event in the tenure of our new Presidents, Linda and Pat, was the Annual Garden Party.
We were blessed with beautiful weather, and the guests poured in, some seventy or so, to enjoy the lovely surroundings, the garden of our hosts Roy and June.
Once again the food was a sight to behold and everyone tucked in heartily, until the tables were almost bare.
The bottle tombola and raffle were very popular, and kept our young helper James very busy.
The sum of over £900.00 was raised for Admiral Nurses, the chosen charity of our Presidents Pat and Linda.
We thank everyone who came and gave so very generously.

Gawthorpe Maypole Parade – May 5th

For the third year running SI Dewsbury & District entered a float in the144th Gawthorpe Maypole Parade, we made clouds, raindrops, scarecrows, a well from plastic milk bottles, and, to finish it off, some of us dressed as taps and toilets, all to raise awareness of WaterAid. No prizes this year but everyone had a great time despite the hot day in raising awareness of Dewsbury Soroptimists and also WaterAid.

AGM – April 26th

We welcomed and wished every success to our new joint Presidents, Pat and Linda, and thanked our retiring President Julie, wishing her a happy six month sabbatical.
After all the official business, came the more serious business of food, ably and very efficiently organised by member Margaret; this was followed by a very liberal portion of ‘soroptimist cake’ baked and beautifully iced by member Kathleen.
The conclusion of another very successful year for S.I.D & D, as we start a new year, which promises to be very exciting