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Regional President’s Message – February 2021

President Margaret Clarke’s February was as busy as ever. From toilets to Doris Day – her Regional President’s Message – February 2021 has it all!

Hi there Chasers!

Welcome to my Regional President’s Message for February 2021…

How are your efforts progressing at Centenary Tree Planting for SI ?

I listened to the story of the Mangrove Planting by SI in India and thought what a great idea to stop the constant flooding they suffer there – not sure it would work in Staffordshire! Some hospitals and schools are looking forward to our input and it will be great to see those SI plaques becoming visible around the Region.

Wrekin Club celebrate their 40th anniversary in July this year and invited me to a Membership Meeting. How organised they are with really good topics showing a variety of ideas.

Judith Healy explained how SI Midland Region had split into Chase and Arden Regions in 1983. Caroline reported on the Telford Courts domestic violence cases then lightened the mood by saying we could twin our own toilets for £60 and proudly showed us a toilet pedestal the lid emblazoned with the SI motto! The toilets they are supplying to the first World Heritage Site abroad are earth-based due to scarcity of water. It was good to know they are partnered by Rotary and some businesses there.

Lichfield & District Club had a useful talk on how to approach MPs and Ministers, and I certainly lobby whenever the need arises. Later in the month Lichfield had a blockbuster of a conference on Domestic Abuse with Dame Vera Baird the Victims Commissioner leading the way. It was great to see Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson the feisty headmistress whose Birmingham School was in the news for trying to teach equity, equality and justice.

I’m not surprised she won her argument – but more importantly she won over the many parents who had worried unnecessarily about LGBTQ.

At this month’s GotoMeeting with Federation President Johanna, it was good to hear that SIGBI are upgrading their Zoom account and checking some Website problems.

Regional President's Message - IWD 2021On International Women’s Day the 8th March 2021, all the Region Presidents wished to support #ChooseToChallenge with the funds raised going to the Diamond Education Grant. This is the charity providing educational grants to women living in the SIGBI Federation countries wishing to update or acquire new skills to gain employment.

I had a look at SI Europe who are helping out in Lebanon at the moment. There are so many different languages within this Federation and they each do many of the things we do with their own slant on it. SI Tilburg (Netherlands) have a ‘Calamities Fund’ – Emergency Fund to you and me – and I laughed when talking to them via Zoom saying it reminded me of Doris Day. They giggled as they remembered ‘Calamity Jane’ too and we sang ‘Oh the Deadwood Stage is comin’ on over the hill …..’

The month of March is nearly here Ladies and with Spring around the corner perhaps we will have a ‘spring in our steps’ soon too. I hope you will have time to come to the Regional Meeting and raise your hands to Choose To Challenge with me. In the meantime please look after yourselves.

Best Regards,