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President’s Message


At our AGM on 29 April 2015, held at the Ipswich & Suffolk Club, I was very proud to be confirmed once again as the new President for Soroptimist International Ipswich and District.  I can’t believe that almost 12 months have passed so quickly and now we need to plan for the coming year.

In the 6 years since I joined our Club I have learnt a lot about our organisation and helped to put into practice our vision and mission.  My aim is to continue our contribution to helping vulnerable women in our local community through working with our key charities – Lighthouse Women’s Aid, Make a Change and Refugee Support.  When appropriate we help to undertake courses in subjects such as art and writing but our main effort goes to raising funds for our Education Bursary which helps women who have been referred by any of the three charities to access funds to help them get back into the world of work by assisting with the cost of a course or equipment.

We also raise funds for projects in countries where health and education is at risk through lack of money.  This has included assisting with funds for specific projects for Birthing in the Gambia, working through Maternity And Childhealth Advocacy (MCAI), and the training of midwives in poorer regions of South Africa. We will have a new Regional project this year following the success of raising funds for 4 years for training up nurses for an HIV hospital in S. Africa. Our International President, Anne Garvie initiative ‘See Solar, Cook Solar’ where we worked with existing charities to fund solar lighting to enable students to study after dark and women to cook via solar ovens thus enabling them to save a lot of time by no longer having to collect firewood each day and being able to devote more time to growing food and establishing small businesses.

My thanks and those of the Club go to Joyce Boorman for  being my mentor – I know I can rely on her for sound advice and support.  Thanks too to all our Club members who either have specific roles or who work so hard in helping to raise awareness of women’s issues and inspire action and create opportunities to transform the lives of women and girls through a global network of members and international partnerships.

If you would like to find out more about our Club and the work we do please contact me on

Pat Dowding