President’s Message


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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE 2016/17 As the President of Soroptimist International Durham, I am delighted to welcome you to our club and to our website where you can learn more about us, our work, events and activities.

Welcome to Soroptimist International Durham

S.I. Durham is coming up to its 70th year and planning several ways of celebrating during 2017, one of which is to further our links with Girlguiding Durham South and challenge members of all ages to work towards a joint badge. With my virtually lifelong involvement in this other worldwide organisation and a career in primary education, there is no surprise that the main theme of my year is young people. We have a range of speakers covering various issues relating to the younger generations, their well-being and safety, and some of the pressures of their lives in today’s society.  Our speakers are drawn from education; voluntary organisations and the justice system.

Our fundraising this year for the president’s charities includes a concert by Northern Voices in St. Oswald’s Church, Durham on Friday 16th December so please support that if you are able. More details of that and other fundraising events will be available. Watch this space!

One of my charities for this year is the third and final year of supporting the “Aarohi” project in the Himalayas. For the past two years we have funded the employment of a local teacher in the primary school which serves around fourteen remote villages, where many of the children walk up to ten kilometres a day to attend school. You can read more details about the project in the appropriate section.

My other chosen charity for the year is the MNDA (Motor Neurone Disease Association). Relatively little is known about this devastating disease with its numerous strains. Currently there is no cure and research is limited. I hope that we will extend our own knowledge and be able to raise awareness in as many ways as possible, whilst at the same time raising money to help in our local area.

The club will continue its support of on-going projects such as the provision of items to support women and children affected by domestic abuse; those rescued from trafficking; voluntary work at St. Cuthbert’s Hospice and members’ own individual support of and work for other organisations.

Finally, we are in the early stages of what we hope will become a whole club project starting with the adoption of a baby alpaca, named “Sid” born at the end of July but more of that later!

We certainly aim to Educate, Empower and Enable and with everyone’s support I will do my utmost to take S.I. Durham onward and upward during my year of office. If you would like to find out more please just get in touch via the website and maybe join us for one of our supper meetings or events. You will find a warm welcome!

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President literally wearing another hat as a volunteer on the Teesdale Marie Curie Fundraising Team – daffodil collection in Barnard Castle March 2017. S.I.Durham members support events through the year as part of their commitment to local charities.

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Outside Westminster Abbey in November 2016 following a service of celebration for long service to Guiding and Scouting. I have a long service award for 40 years service to Girlguiding.

Judith Stirk

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