Great to meet up with our International Friendship Links again. Especially as the 3 October is Friendship Day. A real opportunity to share what we are doing and how we are doing it! President Sandra lit a candle to celebrate Soroptimist Clubs throughout the world. We share a common purpose – to make a difference to the lives of women and girls. For instance, SI Willimantic, Connecticut, USA has a fantastic way to raise awareness and involve businesses in stopping violence against women in their ‘I take a stand to stop violence against women’ campaign. SI Blantyre, Malawi are funding and supporting the building of a library to help improve literacy and the development of IT skills at a local school. SI Milford Haven in Wales is helping keeping the beaches in Pembrokeshire clean with organised litter picking events. We also heard what is happening
Soroptimist International is a worldwide organisation. Clubs establish links and work with other Clubs across the world. We have nine Friendship links The Covid Pandemic may have forced us into our homes but it did not stop us reaching out to the world. Zoom meetings have become our norm and now enable us to reach out personally in a way we haven’t before. Club Friendship link co-ordinator Janet Morrow worked hard to coordinate a Zoom meeting. Seven Clubs and their Friendship link members were able to join us. We welcomed members from Arlon, Belgium; Middlesborough, England; Hirakata Chuo, Japan; Blantyre, Malawi; Paisley, Scotland, Pretoria-Tshwane, South Africa & Willamantic, USA. President Sandra did a great job of chairing the meeting. We were also pleased to welcome SIGBI Friendship Link Coordinator Bhaswati Biswas from SI India. A lot of time zones covered from 10 am in the
Keeping Harrogate and District Borough ‘Blooming’ is down to Sue Wood and her industrious team. Sue gave us a real insight into ‘Park Life’. Sue is the Horticultural Officer for Harrogate Borough Council. She curates many of the fantastic displays residents and visitors see in Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon, Pateley Bridge, Masham and Boroughbridge. beautiful floral public spaces brings joy to the soul. The parks and The Stray provide places where people can exercise, have fun and enjoy sport. Over 3 million people visit the Valley Gardens every year – Sue knows this because there is an electronic counter system at the entrances. Sue gave us a look behind the scenes at the busy nursery at Harlow Hill and her industrious team who work so hard from cutting the grass on the Stray to planting out the fantastic displays. A very enlightening evening. We also
Club members Celebrated reaching our target and more by raising £3500 for the Meru Women’s Garden Project in Kenya. This is equivalent to providing the resources to establishing twelve gardens.We were delighted to welcome three prospective members and enjoyed an excellent supper meeting at the White Hart Hotel on 6th February. The Club’s three year project to support our Federation project included raising funds and awareness in many different ways to support women and their families in Meru Kenya .The ladies in Meru have developed sustainable market gardens producing food for their own families and extra produce to raise family income. The project has also introduced education programmes for girls and boys with the aim of stopping Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), still widely practiced in this part of Kenya though illegal. The picture shows Soroptimist Penny Broadley, Joint President Hilary Waddington, Soroptimist Val Hills and
Harrogate and District Soroptimists were delighted to welcome the Yorkshire Grant of Friendship guest Professor Natalia Kurhaluk. Natalia stayed with Club member Janet Hutton for two nights and had the opportunity to meet with Club members and visit some of the lovely areas in the Harrogate District. Natalia is a Professor of Biology and Physiology at the Akademia Pomorska in Slupsku and a member of Soroptimist International of Slupsku, Slupsku is near Gdansk. The Soroptimist International Yorkshire Region’s Grant of Friendship is offered on a biannual basis and is open to any Soroptimist in the world to apply who would like to visit the UK and has not been here before. The successful applicant is hosted by different Clubs throughout the Yorkshire Region over a three week period. Natalia, who spoke excellent English (as well as Ukrani and Russian) had already visited a number
The Club held our 83rd Annual Charter Dinner on 15th October at the Masonic Hall in Harrogate. President Pat Shore and the Club were delighted to welcome 85 guests including the Mayor and Mayoress of Harrogate and the President of Soroptimist International of Yorkshire as well Soroptimists and partners from throughout Yorkshire. We were especially happy to welcome Sue Williams, Club President of SI Paisley, a former member of our own Club along with members from SI Paisley – one of our friendship link Clubs. The Songbirds entertained us with music ranging from Les Miserable to the Beatles. An excellent evening of fun and friendship enjoyed by all.
Harrogate and District Soroptimists celebrated International Friendship Day with a candle lighting ceremony in recognition of our friendship links across the world. President Pat Shore welcomed members, guests and friends including Yorkshire President Liz Lyle. President Pat spoke about International President Yvonne Simpson’s Educate to Lead Nepal Appeal and how the appeal is helping educate women and girls in Nepal in some of the most remote areas of the world. Soroptimist International of Harrogate and District has 10 friendship links. Candles were lit for each of the Clubs as well as Soroptimist International. All the Clubs friendship links were asked to nominate a special woman. Some Clubs also sent gifts for the Silent Auction. The event, held at The Hub in Knaresborough raised a fantastic £530 for the International Presidents Appeal.
Every year the Club holds a candle lighting ceremony in honour of the Clubs throughout the world who are our Friendship Links. This year’s ceremony took place on the 18th November at our meeting place at the White Hart Hotel in Harrogate. The Club has links with Clubs in Australia, Belgium, England, France, Japan, Malawi, Scotland, South Africa, United States of America and Wales. The Club also paused to reflect on the recent atrocities in Paris. Our thoughts are with the French People, the five SI Clubs in Paris and our own friendship link in Luchon. This year we formed a new friendship link with SI Pretoria Tshwane in South Africa. We are actively supporting their work at the St Francis Drop Centre in Mamelodi, Pretoria