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Club Activities 2012-2016

90th Birthday Celebrations!!


On Sun 27th November 2016, we gathered at Sefton Park Hotel for afternoon tea in celebration of the first meeting held by Soroptimists in Liverpool in Nov 1926. Twenty eight members met at Francis’ cafe in Parker Street in the city centre, where they founded the club. Three months later, in Feb 1927, the club was chartered with 80 members! Present day club members and guests dressed up in vintage outfits. Hats were provided, courtesy of Felicity Hat Hire and a vintage car was loaned by Mr Stephen Darnell.These set the tone for an enjoyable afternoon, high tea with entertainment by the local talented singer, Sarah Chidlow. We also enjoyed a very interesting slide show and talk by a club member on the history of the club. Here’s to the next 90 years!

Lord Mayor accepts Honorary membership of SI Liverpool


In August, President Joan and club secretary Eileen McCue were invited to the city’s Town hall to have coffee with the new Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Roz Gladden. The Lord Mayor gladly accepted her insignia as an honorary club member for the year. She even made our first purchase of the club’s new recipe book! We look forward to meeting the Lord Mayor at our International Lunch in December and wish her a successful year in office.

                                                                                          New Members


In July’s club meeting, President Joan formally welcomed and enrolled three new members to SI Liverpool, Annette, Chris and Sarah. They are bringing a wealth of experience, skills and enthusiasm to the club. Annette works for ‘Stop the Traffik’ and has spent many months abroad researching several sources of trafficking. Chris has worked for the NHS for many years and will be a great asset to the Programme Action group who are working on foods. Sarah is the publicity and fund-raising manager for the Whitechapel Centre and is already supporting the development of publicity literature for the club. We are delighted to welcome them as members and wish them many long and happy years as Soroptimists!


RIP Helen Betty Pasley 1922-2016

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It was with great sadness that we heard of the death of our longest serving club member in August. Helen was a true Soroptimist for forty nine years! She was born on the 18th November 1922, one of four sisters living her early years in Ormskirk, moving to West Derby and then finally to Mossley Hill where she lived most of her adult life.

Having left school, Helen started work at the Liverpool Savings Bank and in 1948 took an opportunity to go to the United States and work for the Bank of America, returning in 1951 to take up a post at the Malayan College in Kirkby.  From there she became an Assistant Bursar at Brentwood Girls Boarding School in Southport and finally in 1963, she took the Bursar post at I M Marsh in Mossley Hill, where she stayed until retiring in 1985.

Helen had a very busy social life and many different circles of friends.  She joined the Soroptimist International Garston and Speke in 1968, playing for their Bowling Team, helping at functions to raise money for various charities.   She was a valued member of Anne Pagendams WRVS (women’s royal voluntary service) team at the Royal Liverpool Dental Hospital and also a volunteer at the shop in Mossley Hill Hospital.  She attended communion at Mossley hill church every Wednesday and helped at their Summer and Christmas fetes.

Helen was a person of many talents from restoration of rattan chairs, to gardening, one of her great loves, not only in her own garden but also Croxteth Hall walled gardens were she acted as their Treasurer.

An avid supporter of Liverpool Football Club, she watched the matches on TV and followed their trials and tribulations closely, always willing to give her post match analysis.

Helen had a really pleasant disposition and was always willing to help, a true lady who will be remembered and sadly missed by all those who knew her. She will be fondly remembered by the club.



Federation President’s Lunch June 2016

President Joan attended a lunch in honour of Federation President Margaret Emsley, and hosted by the South Lancashire region at the beginning of this month. SIGBI President Margaret is a member of Ashton-under-Lyne club.An enjoyable afternoon was had by all. The photo shows President Joan (R), accompanied by Dorothy Zack-Williams, Suzie Widnall and Dorcas Akeju OBE.13428563_10154922318538136_6625856287275707729_n

All at Sea! June 2016

President Joan was an honoured guest this month at a recent evening presentation by TS Mersey. The Sea Cadets were very grateful for the funding the club gave to help two girls fulfil their training qualifications by enabling them to experience a long voyage in the southern hemisphere. Here is President Joan with two cadets. You aren’t seeing double! They are twins! After a rigorous inspection, the cadets gave guests a demonstration of their skills at following bearings on the dock, while the youngest cadets demonstrated their canoeing skills. A lovely evening and rightly so, there were some very proud parents  and leaders of these amazing young people!

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Regional Conference, Radisson Hotel, Liverpool Sat 14th May 2016

Several members attended our bi-annual regional conference this year, hosted by Regional President Sandy Taylor. What an excellent and informative day we had! Our first speaker was Doctor Nick Beeching from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. His talk, “Traveller’s Tales-where to go and what not to catch”, took us on a tour of world hotspots for diseases; from dysentery to malaria, from bird flu to zika. With a number of Soroptimists visiting clubs in other parts of the world, this was an excellent thought provoking talk,  although not for the squeamish! He recommends we holiday in Cornwall or Scotland! Our next speaker, Dr Paula Briggs is a consultant in sexual and reproductive health. Her talk was on ‘Managing the menopause in 21st century’ She spoke of the undeserved reputation of HRT and while not for every woman, it should be widely made available for women who are peri-menopausal. The earlier women receive intervention through the menopause, the less symptoms they develop in later years.She recommended the website .The third speaker was Debbie Shelley from the Trussell Trust and she spoke of their work with the foodbanks. She described the reasons why people need them in emergencies. While entitled to three handouts a year, most only take two. Our last speaker of the morning was Dr Melissa Gladstone from Liverpool University. Her talk “Early Child Development in Africa- what can make a difference” was challenging all of us about the importance of interaction with babies, from pre-natal state throughout the first 1,000 days, in order to maximise a child’s potential. When babies are faced with poor  emotional interaction as well as being malnourished, it has a massive impact on behaviour and potential. She left us to consider the valuable work of Surestart in this country and the impact of government plans to withdraw funding.

After lunch, Sue Biggs, Federation Vice President spoke about linking our projects to the sustainable development goals of the UN. Teresa Jones spoke of her work with sufferers of dementia and their families before Danielle Thomas sang us to the close of conference with her beautiful voice! Well done, President Sandy and your team!


Some of the members at conference

AGM and Change of Insignia 27th April 2016

The AGM was held at The Victoria on Wed 27th April. We were delighted to welcome into office our new President, Joan Felgate, her President Elect Dorothy Zack-Williams (R) and our newly elected Vice-President, Dorcas Akeju OBE (L) , pictured below. We wish them all a successful year.


Alternative Ladies Day April 2016

A Ladies Grand National Day with a difference! The Club used the day to raise over £5,000 for our President’s special charity-Zoe’s place. Thanks to Barclay’s Bank for doubling this with their matched funding. Also thanks to our Soroptimist sisters, friends and staff at the Liner Hotel who have made the day a success. More details in our next Newsletter.Our picture shows President Dot Mitchell with the Lady Mayoress Ann Concepcion on her right.



Annual Charter Lunch Feb 2016

This was our last club event under the stewardship of Stuart and his wife, who are retiring from their role as catering managers at the Golf club after many successful years. President Dot Mitchell made a special presentation to them on behalf of the club. The dinner speaker was a member of Special Branch,on Royal duty for several years,who entertained us with his personal view of life as a protection officer.

Helping out at Christmas

Members of the Violence and Conflict group delivered Xmas presents to centre 56 nursery in Kirkdale in time for Christmas. Four of the mums were at a coffee morning and were happy to pose for a photo with three centre managers. All were very grateful! The gifts  were of 20 books for the nursery children, 29 selection boxes for the after – school children and 32 toiletry gift sets (for the children to give to their mums). We also added biscuits, coffee and tea to help out at the mum’s meetings. The nursery children were out following the snowflake trail in the city centre but some of the mums had turned their weekly coffee morning into a Christmas celebration and seeing Sue, Eileen and Dorcas turn up with all these gifts was the icing on the cake! The nursery children had left us a delightful homemade thank you card. So much white glitter had been used that a very Christmassy snow storm burst out of the envelope all over us! Many thanks to Sue who volunteered to shop, to Ann who hosted wrapping the presents and to Gill who sourced the books for us. ………..Happy Christmas!



SI Liverpool members with partners and friends enjoyed a lovely afternoon at the Childwall Golf Club on the 13th of December for our International Lunch. Liverpool’s Lord Mayor, Lady Mayoress and Club members from other Soroptimist clubs enjoyed good food and company. We had a special Christmas adaptation of Snow White and the seven Dwarfs. Thanks to Gill and her team of actresses for putting on such a funny show on. The meal was delicious and a special thanks to the staff at the Golf Club for a good spread. We finished up singing the ‘Twelve days of Christmas’, with actions, always a highlight of the afternoon. __________________________

Mossley Hill Station

On a pleasant autumn Saturday afternoon, Sue Woods, Judith Harris and Ann Mercer met a group of local residents to assist in the planting of hardy bushes and spring bulbs at Mossley Hill Railway station. This followed a lengthy process involving local councillor Richard Kemp who helped to secure funding for the purchase of the plants and meetings with members of staff from Northern Rail and Merseyrail culminating in the planting to make visits to the station a much more pleasant experience for travellers through the station. The Soroptimists will continue to support the project by way of maintenance and re-planting as and when necessary. Members of the public can keep up to date with the project and add comments if they wish, by signing in to ‘Streetlife’, the community social forum either on the website or Facebook .


Our sisters and partners arrived from SI Cologne on Friday and met by sisters from SI Liverpool for a meal where the formalities such as speeches and exchange of presents were carried out. Saturday started with a tour of the Town Hall and exchange of gifts with the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Tony Concepcion, followed by a visit to the Museums, an afternoon tea with a talk about the Tall Ships followed by a touring a Tall ship. It was a tiring day which ended with a lovely meal at Et Alia. On Sunday our visitors were treated to a local dish of “scouse” for the afternoon lunch before their departure for Cologne. The whole weekend reinforced our friendship.


SI Liverpool has..the ‘S’Factor!

A NIGHT OF FUN AND LAUGHTER-the “S-FACTOR” SI South Lancashire members got together in September for an “S Factor Concert. It showcased the hidden talents of different clubs. Liverpool highlighted the work of the women of SI Liverpool during WW11 and showed the audience how to “Boogie Woogie”. What a night!!! All proceeds went to Regional President Margaret’s appeal for Nepal


If the Hat Fits…

SI Liverpool were delighted to welcome Janet and Hazel from Felicity Hat Hire, Broad Green, to their March Speaker meeting.
Members and guests were entertained with a display of the new season’s hats, practical advice on how to wear a hat and amusing stories of their journey to launch their business after leaving posts in HSBC. There was also an opportunity for ladies to purchase many accessories including wraps, scarves and handbags and an engaging question and answer session brought a fun, entertaining evening to an end.

Impressive Contestants
Congratulations to Katy Taylor from Archbishop Beck Sports college who was the winner of our tenth Public Speaking Competition in March’15. Regional President Margaret Baker and Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner Ann O’Byrne joined President Eileen in judging the competition. Nine contestants spoke on one of three topics:
 Should the voting age be lowered to sixteen?
 To frack or not to frack?
 Social media-friend or foe?
All the contestants were outstanding, showing skill, confidence and maturity beyond their youth: the three judges had a very difficult time to decide on the overall winner! Katy spoke with confidence on the first topic, putting forward refresh-ing arguments in an amusing and informative manner. Katy is pictured (back row 3rd from left) with fellow competitors and the judges. Next year’s event will be hosted at Archbishop Beck RC College.

Happy 95th Birthday, Trudie!

Our oldest club member, Trudie Allen, recently celebrated her 95th birthday in April ’15 at West Derby Golf Club. Trudie, a former Headmistress of Alder Hey Hospital school and has been a club member for over forty years. The birthday lunch was attended by several club members and some of Trudie’s golfing friends too, including the Ladies Captain, Ninette. We shared an excellent meal and finished with coffee and delicious birthday cake made by Dot Mitchell.



A happier Christmas for families affected by Domestic abuse.

In discussion with the managers of Centre 56, it was mentioned that the children attending the nursery and after school club had mentioned that it would be nice to be able to give their mothers a little Christmas present like chocolates. Taking this back to the PAC group focussing on Violence and Conflict, members eagerly agreed to help the children and the Food security group volunteered that they could help out with food goodies for the families at Christmas.
Due to generous support from the club, kind donations, research and hard work by members of the two PAC groups the families enjoyed rather more than what was tentatively asked for:
 43 children were able to give presents to their Mums. The 13 nursery children gave gifts of a lovely mug, spoon and drinking chocolate. The 30 older children gave their mothers gifts of chocolates and toiletries.
 We gave the nursery children presents of warm cute hats and mittens and the older children had selection boxes.
 28 families enjoyed the contents of a large bag of food treats for Christmas.

Annual Christmas and International lunch
We welcomed many guests to Childwall Golf Club for our annual lunch and celebration of Soroptimist clubs across the world. Candles were lit on each table as we listened to an impressive list of every country hosting SI clubs, bringing home the truly international nature of Soroptimism.
We were also delighted to the welcome Lord Mayor Erica Kemp and Regional President Margaret Baker (pictured with President Eileen). After a splendid lunch, we all joined, with great hilarity, in the actions and singing of ‘The Twelve days of Christmas’. The afternoon was rounded off by an enjoyable performance from the ‘Singing Our Socks Off’ (SOSO) choir who regaled us with a variety of Christmas songs. A raffle and bottle tombola raised £240 for the International project, ‘See Solar, Cook Solar’.13476_708255105950344_4666113324741018980_n


A report written by club member Dorcas, on her first experience of attending conference.
On the 6th of November, I travelled with other Soroptimists from the neighbouring areas to Harrogate. There were three of us from Liverpool and I was glad that I had fellow sisters with me as they really took me under their “wing” as a “first timer”. We got to our Hotel within two hours thanks to Maureen who had organised the coach and Dot for organising our hotel. We had few hours to rest, change and had dinner.
My objectives in attending the conference were to enhance my knowledge about Soroptimist international and find out more about all the activities where women have made differences and enabled those in need internationally to become more independent, have food to eat and empowered to start small business like the women at the Kori village in Sierra Leone. The conference started at 8pm with the fantastic ceremony of presentation of the flags of the Federation, the United Nations and Soroptimist International flags which were carried by the SI Yorkshire members. The flags represented the countries of the 1400 delegates. We were welcomed by the conference Chair and President of SI Harrogate and District. The Federation President declared the conference opened. We were then entertained by the Harrogate Brass Band. What a way to finish a tiring day.
Friday began with the keynote speaker-Sahar Hashemi OBE. She told us how she started her coffee business and how she never gave up until she achieved her aim. She applied to 40 Banks for a start-up loan and had 20 interviews and only one did not reject her. Her motto to her success is “Leap and the Net will appear”. She was inspirational and challenged us to believe in ourselves to achieve our aims and objectives. The morning continued with the Programme Action relating to Club Projects which educate. We had presentations such as Adult Literacy Drive Project by the SI Bombay by which the attendees were taught English language, numerical and job skills. SI Litchfield made dresses for girls at an orphanage in Burkino Faso and SI Enugu Coal City made donation of education materials to the Adult Literacy Centre. All the SI Clubs were supporting all the centres enabling the girls and women to learn.
We had a report back from the Programme Action Awards 2013 which is about the Kori Project at the Kori Village. We were informed how fewer girls were circumcised last year because of the work done by SI Thames Valley. The circumcisers were given money for another trade around the time of circumcision (Easter and before Christmas). Through the Project, women have been empowered to start trading and they are being empowered to manage themselves. We had emotional talk about the current state of the village due to Ebola. We were informed that money was needed to send container of items to Sierra Leone. It was so moving that over £7000 was raised by the end of the Conference
The AGM was held in the afternoon and there was a lengthy discussion on Associate Membership. The motion was not passed because it did not get 75% of the vote. The AGM was run in a very efficient way giving opportunity to members to ask questions or raise their views. The day finished at 18.00 hours which gave us a free evening to enjoy a Chinese meal together.
Saturday began with another inspirational speaker Professor Susan Vinnicombe. She spoke about the myths around women not getting to the top such as “women are not interested, they have no leadership style neither do they like taking risks”. She gave us key factors for career success for example women should have confidence in themselves, be self-productive, be a risk taker and have a compatible portfolio.
At coffee break, “new first timers” to the conference had opportunity to meet the federation President and to network. I had the opportunity to speak to a new member from St Vincent, West Indies. After coffee our next speaker was Ann Garvie-International President. She was fantastic, funny and spoke the truth. Her speech was controversial challenging the Board to look “outside the box”. Her challenge to members was that we all have to work together from local projects to Global voice. She finished by saying the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals will be a reality with women’s voices together. What a motivational speaker.
The afternoon was about Projects presentations and Awards. Dr Barbara Phillips reported back on the progress of the Big Project-Birthing in Gambia with slides to show all the work which have been done. A total £144,539.51p has been raised so far by the Soroptimists. There were so many Projects-here are some examples:
 Health Outreach Project by SI Trinidad and Tobago-organised on World Health Day to reach communities in the rural area who have limited access to health services. People had a general check -up.
 Lighthouse Women’s Project which supported women in Art and writing workshop and through this a book was written and one of the women went to the University (Empowerment and Enablement).
 Gender Sensitisation by SI India which was trying to breakdown barrier between boys and girls using drama at a Secondary School. (Education).
 Bringing the Bees to the Schools-using this project to raise awareness about the environment amongst young children- (Environmental).
 Spendwise-Credit Union a project by SI Ashton under Lyme. A School education resource to highlight aspect of wise spending (Economic Empowerment).
 Widowhood Rituals by SI Nigeria This project looked into these harmful practices in which widows are made to cry for four days or made to lie for two days with their dead husbands. They are also denied to have any of their husbands’ properties. The Club has been working with the Nigeria Government, local leaders and councillors to pass laws against these rituals (Empowerment and Enablement).
There were five winners in the five categories and the projects really highlighted what the International Clubs are doing to make a difference. It is difficult to cover all the Projects within this report but they will be available on the Soroptimists Our last speaker was Dame Jenny Murray-Radio 4 Woman’s Hour gave her story about her life as a presenter and how she uses her work on the Radio to make a change as a woman.
I really enjoyed my experience as a “First timer”. The conference was very educational and motivational for me. I also found it challenging and food for thought. It gave me in depth knowledge about the Soroptimist activities and opportunity to socialise with other members especially those from my area.

Dorcas Akeju, OBE


Dorothy raises Awareness of FGM
Club member Dorothy Zack-Williams was invited to be a presenter when SI Crosby organised an awareness day on ‘Women Against Violence’. Dorothy was a part of a team of speakers including a survivor of arranged marriage, and a manager from south Liverpool supporting victims of domestic violence. Dorothy gave an enlightening presentation about FGM. The day was both challenging but educational for the guests and Dorothy’s contribution was much appreciated.. This event followed her presentation given at the regional meeting. Well done Dorothy!


Welcoming our Sisters from India
We were delighted to welcome two Soroptimists from India in early November. Members of executive met with Nisha Ghosh and Naina Shah for dinner at Et Allia. We shared experiences of our projects as the conversation flowed. As the evening finished gifts were accepted from the guests. Naina, National Programme Action Chair, presented us with several different sachets of specialist teas- each making 10 cups.
Nisha , SIGBI friendship link coordinator, gave each of us a strong woven carrier bag, designed to replace plastic carriers. These quality bags each came with a tag on which was written:
The Story of a little bag.
This small bag is a message. It is about changing ourselves, learning new values and taking responsibility. Every single bag can effectively prevent dumping of hundreds of throw away plastic bags. Making 100,000 bags will create jobs for 500 people for one month.

We gave our guests souvenir books from Liverpool in return.The following day we took our visitors to meet the Widnes club and to join in with celebrations of regional President Victoria’s year.


Scientists work on cure for Dementia diseases
Club members welcomed Professor Jeremy Turnbull from the University of Liverpool when he gave an excellent talk on the latest research and medication for the treatment of Dementia diseases. This work is funded by the charity ARUK which is President Eileen’s chosen charity. Jerry spoke of how scientists have linked the development of the disease to the as yet unexplained trigger caused by glycogen to the brain structure. The university is one of only two institutions involved in this area of research. As ever, this vital work is underfunded and grants awarded by Alzheimers Research UK will be boosted by money raised by the club later this year.


Remembrance Sunday 9th November 2014
The Civic Service of Remembrance at St. George’s Hall was attended by Joan Felgate and Ann Mercer, who laid a wreath on the Cenotaph on behalf of SI Liverpool. On a cold but sunny morning, it was a moving experience to see the large crowds gathered who applauded the servicemen and veterans as they marched past. The occasion brought a sense of respect, sadness and rejoicing. A few of the service men and women were dressed in First World War uniforms to commemorate the anniversary of the start of WW1.

Sucessful Charity lunch

Our first ever lunch raised over £780 for our International Charity ‘Marys Meals’ !
The meal, in September, was held at “Et Alia” on Aigburth Road and was attended by over 70 guests. The wonderful three course lunch was followed by a raffle. We were delighted that many donations were gift-aided and in effect the event raised nearly £1000 for the charity so far. We are well underway to achieving our target of £2,500 by next year! Thanks to everyone who supported us!


Two fund-raising events in November

1) CHEESE TASTING EVENING Friday 14th November, 7.30, at Aigburth People’s Hall, led by the famous Liverpool Cheese Company. In aid of local charities.
£8.00 entry (includes one glass of wine). Bottles of wine available at £10.00. Bar open.
A great evening! Cheese boards are provided with 10-12 cheeses & accompaniments such as chutney, fruit, crackers etc. The Liverpool Cheese company will guide you around the cheese board and explain some of the historical and geographical context as well as some of the processes used to make the cheeses. Followed by a fun quiz, and a prize for the winner. BOOKING ESSENTIAL. To book: email: Tel: 0151 727 4494

2) COFFEE MORNING/BRING & BUY SALE Saturday 29th November 2014

11.00 a.m. to 1.00 41 Lucan Road. Liverpool L17 0BR

£2.00 includes coffee/tea and mince piesor cake     Proceeds to Local Charities


Trip to the National Arboretum- SIGBI celebrates 80 years, 28th Sept 14

A coach of club members, friends and family travelled to the National Arboretum Memorial gardens in Lichfield, recently. We were celebrating 80 years since our federation, SIGBI, was founded. SI Liverpool played a major role in helping the inception of the federation. The sun shone as International President Ann Garvie and Federation President Margaret Oldroyd addressed Soroptimists gathered from many clubs for the occasion. After lunch, we enjoyed a train-ride, with commentary, around the wonderful tribute memorials to the Armed Forces as well as others recognised for their contribution to national life.

President Margaret Oldroyd carries out the ceremony to celebrate 80 years of SIGBI
President Margaret Oldroyd carries out the ceremony to celebrate 80 years of SIGBI


Club members enjoying the occasion
Club members enjoying the occasion


New Members 2013-14

In the last year, the club has welcomed new members Dorcas Akeju OBE,  Dr.Mary Gregson, Andrea Scullion, Georgina Tang, Margaret Bragg and Sue Milliken. We really value the gifts and talents each member is bringing to the club and their positive contribution  already to Programme Action, fund-raising events and their willingness to serve on the executive committee. We hope they continue to find purpose and friendship in our club.

Change Of Insignia Dinner 2014

President Anne stepped down during our  Change of Insignia dinner at Childwall Golf Club. During the evening, President Anne presented a cheque for £3,500 to her nominated charity Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust, gratefully received by its chairman, Jim Graves. Guests were entertained by Barbieshop, a trio of wonderful singers with a modern interpretation of harmony singing. Our new President is Eileen McCue and you can see her message on our President’s Message page.

Public Speaking Competition 2014

On International Women’s Day 2014 SI Liverpool held our ninth Public Speaking Competition for 11 to 14 year old school children. This year we heard arguments from 15 amazing students on the subject of:

  • Do coalitions work?
  • Why is wildlife preservation important?
  • Has the Olympic legacy lasted

The overall aim of the contest is to foster presentation and communication skills in young students, as all walks of life especially the business world who are increasingly reliant on theses abilities. It also compliments the GCSE syllabus giving recognition to oral skills.

This years winner was Matthew Heneghan from St Edwards School who talked about the Olympic Legacy


President Anne with the winner Matthew


All 15 contestants with their certificates of Achievement


The winner with the judges; Regional President Victoria, President Anne and Mr Roy Smythe.


A Total Transformation

18 months ago SI Liverpool made the difficult decision to sell the property they bought in the 1950’s for ‘women of diminished means’. The house was in much need of renovation and Imagine Mental Health stepped in and bought the house in order to refurbish it into accommodation for their service users along with live in support from a support worker. President Anne and members were invited to view the refurbished house and were astonished to see the transformation. The house is unrecognisable and the self contained flats are beautiful and have everything the service users need. Member Geraldine Poole lives opposite the house and has met the new residents who are delighted with their home. Whilst we were all sad to lose the house we are delighted with the end result and that it is being used in line with Soroptimist values.

Strawberries and Wine

After a couple of weeks rest summer came at a Strawberry and Wine garden party held by our honourable secretary, Dot Mitchell, to raise money towards our Annual Alternative Grand National Day 2014. Family and friends joined us for a pleasant evening in beautiful sunshine. See our Facebook page for some great photographs

Rededication and Thanksgiving of SI Bolton June 2013

President Anne attended the 75th Annual Service of Rededication and Thanksgiving of SI Bolton on 30th June to finish her marathon weekend of event. The service at Barrow Bridge Methodist chapel was very moving and President Cynthia treated us to a wonderful buffet tea! It was lovely to meet up with other Soroptimist friends including, Regional President Liz McConnell and President Eileen Griffiths from SI Leigh. 

Armed Forces Day

After a busy day the previous day SI Liverpool were present at the Anglican Cathedral on Saturday 29th June ’13, for the civic celebration of the Armed Forces Day Service. As always this was a very special service that we have been proud to attend for many year

A Busy Day -June 2013

June 28th saw three events that our members just could not miss so we split ourselves into two for the daytime events and all mustered in the evening for our Annual Quiz Night where we pitted our wits against each other whilst adding a fabulous £521 plus match funding to our Presidents charity, South Liverpool Domestic Abuse Services.

During the day some of our members went to support our Soroptimist sisters,  Sharon Bird and Dorothy Zack-Williams  who were both finalists in the caring category of Merseyside Woman of the Year 2013. Both have made an outstanding contribution to changing the lives of others. Sharon has done this through her pioneering work with the Aintree Trust , providing care and counselling for the families of patients who need end of life, palliative care. She has also set up a network of volunteers to support these families too. Dorothy has done this through tackling the brutal practice of FGM, setting up a network of support and also through raising awareness about the issue!

Dorothy was the winner of the category but in our eyes these inspirational women we are privileged to call friends are both winners.

Whilst some of us were living it up at the Merseyside Woman of the Year competition others were working hard preparing 400 gifts for a tombola that was to be a part of one of our projects fun Open Day. Centre 56 held the day to celebrate their 40th Anniversary. SI Liverpool have supported the centre for many years and look forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come. The tombola went down a treat and judging by the look on the winners faces Christmas had come early.

Take a look at our Facebook page for lots of lovely pictures of the day

Christmas Hampers for the Elderly – December 2012

At the eleventh hour Age UK supplied SI Liverpool with a list of elderly woman who received one of our Christmas Hampers. This is the 5th year we have been able to supply hampers to the elderly at Christmas consisting of enough food to make a Christmas and Boxing Day dinner and have a cuppa and a treat afterwards.

The hampers are always well received and the joy on the ladies faces when they are delivered is wonderful.

Liverpool Signing Choir – December 2012

Catherine Hegarty visited the club to accept funds raised by the club during President Stella’s year 2011/12. She was thrilled with the donation that will fund at least three British sign language training courses for young female members of the choir. Catherine spoke to us of the tremendous impact performing at the Olympics had had on the choir.

Kitty Fund Presentation – December 2012

A cheque for £2050 was presented to the Kitty Fund at the Womens Hospital towards the parents accommodation appeal. The money was raised at the Alternative Grand National Ladies Day in April 2012 and Barclays Bank offered matched funding. The Kitty fund was one of President Stella’s charities in 2011/12.

The Alternative Grand National Ladies Day will be held again in April 2013, in the Liner Hotel in aid of the Naitonal Deaf Children’s Society

Remembering – November 2012

Member Ann Clayton held our attention at the November speaker meeting following Remembrance Sunday. Ann gave a fascinating talk on the history and features of Liverpool’s memorial in front of St Georges Hall. We were also told how the club got involved with the British Legion and Poppy Day. Our hearts were stirred by the story of how the club funded a woman, who had lost her sons and husband in the first world war, to visit their war graves in 1931. A photograph of her appeared during the visit in the Liverpool Echo. However, it turns out that she skilfully conned the club. Ann’s detective work through the census records discovered that all the sons and husband were still alive after the war apart from one who had died of Spanish flu on his return.

Crafty Fundraisers – November 2012

A Christmas Craft sale was held in November to support President Mary’s charity, the National Deaf Children’s Society. Members had worked hard making a range of beautifully hand crafted gifts at Gill Brannan’s home over a number of months. Delicious home-made cakes were on sale along with other craft and recycled gifts and over £300 was raised towards the charity.

Liverpool Sea Cadets – October 2012

Liverpool Sea Cadets have gratefully received a £500 donation from SI Liverpool following our Charity dinner held in the Novotel Hotel.

SI Liverpool are sponsoring some of the female cadets to go to sea for training purposes. We have received a thank you letter from the Units Management Committee secretary to ‘the girls’ of SI Liverpool and their partners for making them feel so welcome at the charity dinner. 

Funny Feet – September 2012

We all wore funny feet in aid of the Eve Appeal ‘Stop Pussyfooting About’ campaign in our September club meeting. The footwear ranged from fun slipper socks to PVC thigh high boots and we raised £20 towards the campaign which funds research into five gynaecological cancers: cervical, vaginal, ovarian, vulval and womb.

September 2012 Speaker Meeting

We were delighted to welcome Jenny Geddes as our speaker this month.

Jenny with SIL members Joan and Anne

Jenny is a director of the Family Refugee Support Project, a Liverpool based group who give practical help and counselling to asylum families, through gardening.

Their work began in partnership with Alder Hey Children’s hospital, where they were treating traumatised children of the Kosovan conflict. Yet it was whole families who needed the support and counselling. So from these beginnings, the work of Jenny and her team has grown to extend their services to people of all backgrounds who, for no fault of their own, find themselves on the run from persecution.

The project provides allotments for families, in Sefton Park and High Park Street in Toxteth, where an acre of overgrown tarmac has been transformed into a quiet space, where counselling and advice, like the gardens themselves, can provide traumatised families with room to ‘grow’ and to come to terms with their new situation.
Jenny described how they have often come from professional and educated backgrounds as well as farming too. The temporary housing they are given is usually substandard and the families can be subjected to racial abuse, in community areas of cities that are already deprived. The garden allows them to feel secure, while also helping them to grow their own food. It provides quiet time, to allow space for people to open up to the psychological trauma and to be positive about their future.
Jenny gave us time to look at a ‘typical’ family situation and to discuss issues arising from the problems they were facing. It was a stark reminder to us all just how quickly daily life can be turned into chaotic turmoil. Thanks to Jenny and her team, like the plants, new life can grow in the most hostile of environments. It just takes a little human nurture!