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London Chilterns Soroptimists in the Face of Suffrage

Soroptimists from all over the UK were encouraged to add their images to The People’s Picture – the Face of Suffrage on display on the concourse at Birmingham New Street Station from November 15th to the 14th December, the day women voted for the first time.

For more information about the project please see to view the whole image click here We are proud that 2 Members of SI London Chilterns Region are represented on the montage – Irene Cockroft from SI Greater London and Rose Simbo from SI Thames Valley – what a great way to raise the profile of Soroptimists.

This is the text that was submitted with Irene’s photo entry:

Irene Cockroft is a Member of Soroptimist International Greater London, London Chilterns Region since 1997 She is an expert on women’s suffrage in the UK –  exhibition curator, author and lecturer. Irene’s inspiration in studying women’s history was her great-aunt, suffrage artist Ernestine Mills (1871-1959) who worked in many mediums including highly-skilled enamel-on-metal. Mills was a founder member of Soroptimist International of Greater London, chartered in 1924. For more about Irene please see this page of the website  Irene urgently encourages women to make use of our vote, which was hard fought for by brave women and to take every opportunity to march for women’s rights as the women before us have – and as she continues to do!


This is the text that was submitted with Rose’s photo entry:

National Trust celebrates  an inspirational Soroptimist: Rose Simbo As part of this year’s celebration to mark the centenary of women first achieving the vote in Britain, The National Trust is not only commemorating the lives of powerful historical women. It is also telling the story of inspirational women working in the community today.  SI Thames Valley nominated their member Rose Simbo for her work setting up the Kori Charity in Sierra Leone, to which many Soroptimists throughout the country have sent contributions of donations of all kinds. At a special meeting in the Orangerie at the National Trust’s Cliveden in Taplow, Berkshire the nominees were invited to speak about their achievements. These nominees were very varied; from founders of new charities, of mental health groups, from marathon runners to one woman who had rowed around England for charity. Each gave a short speech on her work and members of SI Thames Valley, who were there to support Rose, were delighted to have a special publicity spot in Rose’s speech as she highlighted how Soroptimists rally round to support her whenever they can. The meeting ended with a torchlight walk through the grounds to see an exhibition which was then opened to the general public featuring all the nominees involved and which is still on show. It was indeed an inspirational evening.