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President’s Blog March

President’s Report – March 2023

At last, the days are noticeably longer, and the spring flowers are bringing back colour to the hedgerows and gardens though we had a touch of winter on the 12th when snow fell but thankfully only made a brief appearance.  The crocuses made an appearance at our Memorial Tree at Stonefall.

This will be my final Blog as my time as President draws to a close at the AGM.  We’ve certainly being  colourful  this last 18 months. I have dressed in blue and yellow in support of Ukraine, red, white and blue for the Queen’s Jubilee, orange to support our 16 Days of Activism, black for our Friendship Link in New Zealand, green for the Great Big Green Week and latterly in Purple for International Women’s Day. Thank you to all of you who have been able to follow my lead. Last month’s photo of many of us dressed in purple looks a treat.

Toilet Twinning

So, what have I been doing in March and April.  On the 7th I met with Sue Williams and Janet Morrow at the Cone Exchange to present the Toilet Twinning Certificates.  The donation of £160 means that all three Toilets will be supporting projects in Malawi. The Certificates will be placed in the staff and public toilets. Thank you, Janet and Sue. Betty’s are very careful in choosing what to support.

Strideout Walking Group

I really enjoyed walking with the Heather G and Jennifer from Bilton to Ripley Castle and back on the 20th of March.  We had a lovely day and a bit to eat and drink at Ripley Castle Tearoom – it is also the route the Soroptimist Striders took on the 1st of April.  So, a bit of practice for me in readiness for my Isle of Man coastal walk.

SI Scarborough, Malton and District Lunch

On the 11th I attended SI Scarborough, Malton and District’s Lunch with Maureen, Pat and John. It was a lovely day in Scarborough who have just changed their name to reflect the area they cover. It is always a pleasure to visit other Clubs. This was their first anniversary lunch for 3 years.

Meeting with New Members

Meeting new members is part of the President’s role. I was delighted that Sheila, Ree and Meg along with prospective members Denise and Liz could join Penny and I for a social Coffee Morning on the 25th.  It good to meet up informally and just get to know each other better.

Race Against Hunger –  Trussell Trust

As most of you know, some of us, including me took part in the #RaceAgainstHunger for the Trussell Trust on the 1st ofApril.  I walked  7Km with my sister Trish on the Isle of Man whilst Christine, Sandra, Heather L, Nicola, Sue S and Roger and my husband Jonathan walked along the railway track to Ripley. Some walked back to Bilton and Jonathan, Christine and Ozzy the Dog walked 10 miles.  Congratulations to all of you who took part. We’ve raised £1000 to support the Trussell Trust’s campaign to #Stop UK Hunger. So, a BIG THANK YOU to all who have supported us.

Follow the YouTube link as I walked along the Coastal Path between Castletown and Port Saint Mary in the Isle of Man

Easter Bunnies for Dementia Forward and the Food Banks

Easter is approaching and Maureen has been busy knitting Easter Bunnies for Dementia Forward to raise funds.  Also, for Resurrected Bites and the Food Banks to give out to children.  I was delighted to accompany Maureen on 3rd April when she delivered lots of Easter Bunnies with chocolate Eggs to the Harrogate Food Bank.  It was also an opportunity to meet Captain John who organises the Food Bank and discuss how best to spend the £500 donation from the President’s charity funds.  You can see how our visit to Bookers on the 4th yielded food, toiletries and household cleaners.  We spent over £340 so still some left for when stocks run low.  Dawn Cussons at the Food Bank sent her thanks to us and is very impressed by Maureen’s knitting skills.

Future Activities

My final responsibilities as President will be to attend the Wetherby Council meeting with Heather Shipman and Sue Williams to present the Town Twinning Status to Wetherby. A fantastic achievement. Congratulations to Sue and the Toilet Twinning Team.  We have done a terrific job. Just short of 90 toilets twinned across Harrogate District and Wetherby.   I am also very much looking forward to our visit to Carlisle on 15th April on the famous Settle to Carlisle railway. Thank you, Janet Morrow, for organising this. It should be fun day out and a chance to me our Sister Soroptimists in Carlisle for afternoon tea for those who want to join us.

It is great to be the President of an active and thriving Club. We certainly achieve our objectives to help improve the lives of women and girls. We are making a difference as thanks to our efforts many families have access to safe drinking water and sanitation. More people can access the support they need when caring for loved ones with dementia and we are helping put food in bellies as the cost of living impacts on so many more families.

Val Hills