National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) – Sculpture Appeal In her 5th June bulletin, President Isobel launched a passionate appeal to raise funds to pay for a sculpture for the Soroptimist plot at the NMA, to celebrate 100 Years of Soroptimism. She also included a link to a Virgin Just Giving page which is now also available on the SIGBI website. Individual members or clubs can make donations either by bank transfer or by sending cheques to SIGBI HQ. There has been a strong link between the NMA and our three regions
Three Regions Meeting 20th June 2020 On 20th June, Presidents and Officers from Midland Arden, Midland East and Midland Chase ‘met’ (on Zoom naturally)! It’s a great opportunity to exchange news, share best practices in Programme Action, and to explore ways of collaborating on future projects. Obviously, this year’s meeting was unique in that we are all now in the midst of a global pandemic. Members throughout our regions have been profoundly affected by the lockdown. Some have been furloughed, many are socially isolating or shielding. During this unprecedented time, we have had to quickly adapt to a remote way of reaching out to our members through the use of technology. President-Elect Elaine Clarke explained to the meeting how we at Midland Arden are meeting the challenges of this ‘new normal’ by taking advantage of new technologies. We are using them to communicate both amongst
Lockdown Quiz! How well do you know our organisation? Test your knowledge with a fun lockdown quiz kindly compiled by one of our Region’s members. Why not hold a ‘virtual’ quiz evening with your Club with a prize for the winner or as a fundraising activity? No peeking at the answers first! SI Quiz May 2020 SI Quiz May 2020 with answers
“Plant Trees for a Brilliant Future” Clubs may not be able to take action right now, but how about starting to plan how your Club is going to celebrate UN World Environment Day? Many Clubs across our Federation have already begun to plant trees and revive neglected patches of land. Their work has had a positive impact on nature, the environment and their local communities. It will leave a lasting legacy. Learn about their stories of ‘Planting Trees for a Brilliant Future” by reading this article
The AGM Regional Meeting on 26th September will be a historic occasion as it will be held on Zoom for the first time! President Rose and the Organising Committee have taken this decision for several reasons.: Planning can now go ahead without having to worry about last-minute cancellation of the venue. There is a high probability that large group meetings will still not be allowed to take place, and many understandably would not wish to attend even if they were. It will hopefully allow greater access to those who are not normally able to travel to regional meetings. We are hoping for record attendance! We will keep you updated with our plans as they progress, we currently hope to hold the AGM itself followed by some short presentations and a virtual raffle so please keep the morning free.
We Want to Hear Your Story! Sharpen your pencils all you budding authors, because the new deadline for submitting your story is now July 31st. Donating and submitting your story has also been made easier. Don’t forget to put “Soroptimist “ with your name to make sure your hard-earned sponsorship money goes to Empowering Girls in Nepal. Several Club Members have written and submitted their stories already. It is not too late to have a go if you haven’t already. https://www.thebigstory.org.uk/ There is also an Easy Steps Flow Chart for you to follow to help you through the process, including helping you to Sponsor a Story and Writer after it has been submitted. Read the latest update from Liz Every
Dame Vera Baird QC – Victims Commissioner for England and Wales At our March meeting, Dame Vera gave feedback on our recent work on DA court observations. Our reports have now all been submitted, and the debrief by Police is due on 22nd June 2020. Soroptimists completed 200 questionnaires, representing 225 manhours worked. Our region mustered 40 volunteers and carried out 70 observations. Other regions are now becoming involved in the project. Dame Vera then told us about developments in the Northumbria region. As Victims Commissioner, her aim is to put the victim centre stage in what is an adversarial criminal justice system. At present, the focus is on prosecuting or defending the defendant. Victims of violent crime are often deeply traumatised by their role as a witness, but neglected once the trial is over. Dame Vera sees her role as empowering victims to get
SIGBI Growth Plan Ambassador Dishi Attwood (SI Lichfield) has been working hard with her team to develop clear, practical materials and strategies to help Clubs recruit and retain new members. She is available to visit and help any Club to accentuate their own unique brand by helping to develop their websites, social media presence, and programme action impact. During her presentation we learned how to identify our Connector, Mavens, and Salespersons! She also gave us some tips on how to motivate ourselves and other members. More Information about The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell It is all about how to establish key partnerships and increase our profile! Our strapline for worldwide membership is ‘One million Women and Girls’. ‘Only the person not rowing has time to rock the boat.’
Let’s Celebrate! Regional President-Elect Elaine Clarke gave us a sneak preview of various events that are planned for the 100 years of Soroptimism celebrations in 2021. She also asked for ideas and contributions from clubs to mark the occasion. Bright Past, Brilliant Future! Ann Keepax gave us the exciting news that we have commissioned a sculpture to be erected in our plot at the National Memorial Arboretum. http://www.thenma.org.uk/ The Sculptor is Graeme Mitcheson MRSS. read more about Graeme Mitcheson here The cost will be £10,000 for this large scale, public piece of artwork. It’s over to Clubs to start the sponsorship ball rolling!