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Sue Percival and Geraldine Hudson became Joint Presidents of S.I. Durham in April 2021 amidst the chaos of lockdown and the restrictions created by a pandemic. If the past two years have taught us anything, it is the importance of supporting each other both physically and mentally and providing practical help to the most vulnerable in our local communities. Despite restrictions to our free movement we have managed to actively fundraise for charities based in this region, namely the NE branches of Endometriosis UK (£1,500) and The Rainbow Trust (£1,335), a charity that provides support to seriously ill children and their families. We have continued to support our local women’s refuge with donations of food, clothing and items of personal care, created Christmas hampers for the charity Feeding Families, produced two New Start bags for trafficked women, expressed our concerns for victims of domestic violence to MPs and the CPS and collected mountains of waste for several recycling projects that benefit Breast Cancer charities.

With the support of our club, Sue and I look forward to continuing as Joint Presidents for another year, April 2022-2023. Now that the impact of Covid 19 is lessening we have returned to monthly face-to-face Supper meetings at Ramside Hall Hotel, although we shall organise occasional outdoor events as well and continue to use the convenience of Zoom for Business meetings.

This year we feel able to look further afield and once again support an overseas charity. We have chosen Team Kenya, a charity that has its foundations in Newcastle. Team Kenya focusses on women and girls with the vision for ‘Every girl to achieve her potential and be free from poverty, thus allowing them to create their own bright futures through education and empowerment’. We are excited by this partnership and are looking for new and creative ways to raise awareness and funds to help support their projects.

Nearer to home, we shall be working to fundraise for ‘Ovacome’, a charity that provides expert support and information for women and families affected by ovarian cancer.

In all our activities we want to reach out to other women in friendship and support and spread the ideals of Soroptimism. New members are very warmly welcomed and we would love anyone interested in joining us to attend our Supper meetings. Throughout our club we try to use our individual skills to support, inform and help others whilst also having fun and creating firm friendships.

Sue Percival and Geraldine Hudson