Welcome to SI Lancaster
Soroptimist International of Lancaster is one of a number of clubs in the North West Region. Our members come from all walks of life. The club is active, involved in an extensive range of projects locally and internationally.
Our most popular committee is Programme Action which is engaged in a number of projects on a long term basis, e.g. providing support for a local Women’s Refuge, WaterAid, and of course supporting the White Ribbon Campaign which is aimed at raising awareness of violence against women. Read more about the work we are doing Projects
Along with Soroptimists International and many local clubs across the UK we lobby parliament and well as our local MPs, campaigning on issues particularly those that relate to women and girls.
We meet twice a month at 7 pm, on the second and fourth Thursdays. During lockdown we trialled holding meetings by Zoom. Although successful members missed the face-to-face contact with other members. The first of our two monthly meeting is our business meetings were we discuss and agree our plans. At the moment this meeting is currently being held in in Trinity Church Hall Bowerham. However as the nights draw in and the weather becomes more unpredictable we will once again hold these meeting as teleconferencing events. The second meeting is were we invite outside speakers, who cover a wide range of topics and is still held in the Holiday Inn in Lancaster.
In addition to our month meetings there are a range of social events to participate in if you wish. These include celebrating and supporting International Days, such as World Food Day, International Women’s Day and International Day of Peace along side more informal events such as arrange to attend films together.
A Message from our President 2022-2023
My name is Val Burnett and I am the incoming President of SI Lancaster. We have an exciting year ahead. Our membership now stands at 38, and we have been pleased to welcome new members from the Morecambe and Heysham Club following their sad decision to close. We are a very friendly and active club, and some of our plans for 2022 – 23 are listed on this page. I personally have been a member of the Soroptimists for just over four years and have enjoyed the warm friendship of our members, both in our many projects and in purely social events.
We are particularly committed to improving the circumstances, education and opportunities of women and girls throughout the world, but we are also active in responding to international problems such a hunger, thirst, climate change, natural disasters and international strife. Our work includes fundraising, campaigning and service as appropriate.
We always welcome new members of all backgrounds and ages, those working, those with family commitments and the retired. Some members have very little spare time because they are young and still employed or bringing up families; for others Soroptimist projects are a major activity. We simply welcome all and are grateful for all contributions of time, however small. We all work and socialise together in whatever way we can.
My career has been varied and interesting. For eleven years I worked as a lecturer in the higher education sector, but I had always wanted to run my own business, and in 1980 I ‘took the plunge’ setting up dealing in antiquarian atlases, maps and prints and later as a residential property landlord, an activity in which I am still actively involved and enjoy.
Last year we held service and fundraising events to support many women’s and local projects: Lancaster Women’s refuge, the Olive Branch Food Bank, the education of girls in Kathmandu, the campaign to end Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya and many others too numerous to list. Additionally we have responded to international needs and crises by campaigning about and/or donating to the Fistula Hospitals in Ethiopia, Water Aid, Toilet Twinning, the Elimination of Violence against Women, tree planting to counter climate change, International Food Day, International Day of Peace and more. Most of our fundraising is built around lovely social events, and we particularly favour coffee days, Jacobs Joins, walks and other informal meetings.
We also have an active and fulfilling social life with an annual New Year Dinner, a Summer outing, monthly coffee mornings and evenings to ensure that our working members can take part and occasional evening gatherings in a local café or bar.
Our Plans for 2022/23:
In the main we will continue with the same and similar social and fundraising activities, but every year we add a few more. This year of course we will respond in whatever way we can to the needs of Ukraine. We will be having a lunchtime Jacob’s Join at my house towards the end of May which will aim to raise funds for the Paper Boat Charity with worldwide commitments to children, and our contributions will be directed to providing opportunities and training for poor and lower caste children in India. Our events are always fun and this particular event will celebrate the 80th anniversary of our Club by looking back to 1942.
In August our amazing member, Ruth, is hosting a Jazz and Pimm’s summer garden party at her home in aid of the Dianne Oxberry Trust which aims to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and the paramount need for early diagnosis. Ruth has already organised musicians, and it promises to be great fun as well as a good fundraiser for this excellent charity.
We will continue to campaign for the Elimination of Violence against Women, for international peace, for the prevention of FGM and many other causes.
It is traditional for an incoming President to nominate a special charity or theme on which to concentrate. However I feel that in view of the uncertainties besetting the world at the moment, I would rather encourage people to follow their hearts and respond to situations as they arise, as indeed our members are doing now through both service and fundraising in the first two months of the Ukraine crisis.
Come and join us, make new friends and enjoy participating in events to improve the situation of women, girls and the underprivileged worldwide. There is a Contact Us’ button on this website. We want to welcome you and your ideas.