I cannot believe that we are already well into March – time is passing so quickly and quite a bit has been going on since last month’s Regional President’s Message.
On the 3rd March I was privileged to join SI Wolverhampton and their president Clare. It was lovely to chat to members and witness the enrolment of a new member. I shared my Soroptimist journey with them all and learnt more about their club activities. We even ended up with a good sing of my Soroptimist song (not to be taken seriously!)
My second regional meeting on the 5th March was well attended by zoom. We were privileged to even have Maureen Maguire with us for part of our meeting. There were four very inspirational speakers including one of our own members. Helen Harvey’s presentation from SI Wrekin on ‘Fast Fashion’ demonstrated to us all how involving the local community and working together as a team can produce such wonderful results. How amazing too that this will be presented to the CSW 66. This is a perfect example of sharing good practice because we can all learn so much from each other.
Our other three speakers Anne Quesney (Action Aid), Superintendent Sally Simpson (West Midlands Police) and Hannah Simnett founder of Cherished UK, inspired us all with their presentations – all so appropriate for International Women’s Day with its theme of ‘Break the Bias’.
We also thought of and continue to think about, our Soroptimist sisters and everyone else suffering in Ukraine.
I was invited to SI Cannock’s meeting on the 8th March where I was warmly welcomed by President Jackie. Two new members were inducted and I had a wonderful ‘taster’ of their latest proposed Programme Action work in the aftermath of Sarah Everard’s dreadful murder. It is just so great to be able to meet up in person again.
SI Stafford Club’s 83rd Charter dinner on the 18th March was well attended with over 80 guests. As it my club I felt a tremendous sense of pride. In my talk I highlighted some of the club’s achievements under the theme of ‘Sustain Together.’ Our joint presidents Gill and Maudie have done a wonderful job, especially during such challenging times with the pandemic. Like other clubs we have adapted to new ways of working to engage all of our club members as much as we possibly can. Zoom will continue to play its part, but for me it us so much better for me to see you all in person!
We all know that being able to work together as a team within our clubs is essential. It is also important for all clubs to work with our region too. In the words of Helen Keller, ‘Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much more.’
I would like to encourage you all to attend my regional conference on the 14th May at Brocton Hall Golf Club and also our next regional meeting at Weston Village Hall on the 9th July. Forgive me for repeating information you have already received, but I do so hope you can make these dates. Region really is there for all of us. Recently the Executive have been looking at the purpose of region and its vision and objectives for the future. We want to be open and accessible to all members, and I look forward to hearing the contributions of all nine clubs to the debate.
As you all know Midland Chase together with Midland East and Midland Arden make up the Three Regions group. The three Regional Presidents have their next meeting at the National Memorial Arboretum on Saturday 16th July. This will be a fabulous opportunity for all members of clubs from each region to socialise and enjoy an outdoor picnic, weather permitting. More details will follow soon.
My intention as Regional President is to visit every club in our region at least once, so I eagerly await my invitations!
Thank you for all your hard work and I hope to see you all before too long. Please remember that I am here to support every member every club so please talk to me.
In conclusion I would like to finish with the words of the chorus to my Soroptimists’ Song. This song is familiar to SI Stafford and also to SI Wolverhampton following my recent visit.
We are optimists, we’re Soroptimists,
That’s a sisterhood for you.
We’re sisters and we’re optimists,
A combination of the two.
May we all continue to pursue my theme of ‘Progress not Perfection’ in all the work we do as optimistic Soroptimists!