Welcome to Soroptimist International Durham
I am delighted to welcome you to SI Durham. The club continues to exist and thrive after 71 years. Our mission to educate, empower and enable is a powerful one, as relevant today as at any point in the past.
I have been involved with education throughout my working life, as a teacher, Deputy Head and latterly as a Head Teacher.Education is power!
Additionally, I have been involved with Girlguiding UK. Initially becoming a Queen’s Guide at sixteen. I am currently a unit leader running both a Rainbow and Brownie Guide unit whilst combining this as joint District Commissioner with a fellow Soroptimist for a cluster of units within Girlguiding Durham South.
There are strong links between Soroptimism and Girlguiding. Our respective aims are complimentary, both making a significant contribution in helping women and girls to have the confidence to aspire to and indeed achieve, some of life’s goals.
The core purpose of Soroptimism is the Programme Action work we undertake as a club. Members volunteer at St Cuthbert’s Hospice, support local refuges, provide new start bags for trafficked women and help with other charities. Our work is carried out at local, national and international level.
One of our key aims this year is to initiate a school club to promote how the principals of being a Soroptimist can be devolved to the future generation.
My personal choice of charities for this year are, “Look Good, Feel Better,” a charity that has been set up to help women and girls combat the visible side effects of cancer treatment at what is a difficult time in their lives. My other charity is, “Clown Doctors,” a performing arts group who visit sick children in North East hospitals to support them through what can be a frightening and traumatic time in their young lives.
It is 100 years since women achieved the vote, allowing for partial enfranchisement before full universal suffrage 90 years ago. Yet the full freedoms of universal suffrage and equal opportunities within society remain elusive to many.
Si Durham members are keen and enthusiastic, striving hard to recognise the urgency to support women in the challenging circumstances many are confronted by. We have rewarding experiences, a variety of fundraising activities, social events, but most of all we have fun together!
Dot Hales President SI Durham