Immediate Past President, Vera Baird, welcomes incoming President Chris Jones to her new role at last week’s AGM on April 23rd 2019. We would like to thank President Vera for a very successful club year and wish President Chris, an enjoyable and productive year ahead.
Tuesday March 26th, our speaker was Margaret Bozic, who gave an interesting and lively talk about Ruth Dodds. Her talk was based on Ruth’s diaries written in the 1920’s. Ruth was born in 1890 in Gateshead, and was an author, playwright and councillor of Gateshead. She was one of three daughters of bookbinder and historian Edwin Dodds. She joined the Labour Party after the First World War and was elected to Gateshead Council in 1929. Ruth was passionate about the theatre. Together with her sisters, she was a member of the Progressive Players (formed by Gateshead Independent Labour Party Amateur Dramatic Club). She helped to finance the building of the Little Theatre in Gateshead in 1943. She wrote a number of plays which drew upon both her historical and political interests. This included the ‘The Pitman’s Pay’, about Thomas Hepburn, the miners’ union pioneer.
SI Newcastle member, Christine Lumsdon, receiving her SI Northern Region Vice President Elect brooch from SI Northern Region President Shirley Hallam SI Northern Region President Shirley Hallam is with SI Newcastle member Catherine Waller and Anne Gunning, Regional Membership Officer, in front of SI Newcastle ‘s display of their recent achievements.
At our meeting on November 13th we packed 25 Christmas Gift Bags for homeless women using the Joseph Cowen Healthcare Centre and the 24 hour access hostel in Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne
At our meeting on Tuesday, Immediate Past President Jill Smith, welcomed two new members to our club. Rosie is from Northern Ireland and works for a charity in Newcastle. Christine is a retired Head Teacher. She is a returning member who has previously been Club President. We all wish them a long and happy time as club members.
After our two new members were inducted by Past President Jill, we had a discussion about the subject of our last meeting: W.A.S.P.I. Women. We all agreed that their message had been very powerful and moving. It was agreed that, as a club, we should write to them and ask how we could help them. Next we considered the report from the Rural Issues sub group meeting. The aim being to establish whether there was a project the club or region could be involved in. Communications, Transport, Housing, Employment, Health Care and Social Care were the main topics discussed. It was decided that we would discuss this further at another meeting. We also discussed briefly: funding Uma Badel’s education in Nepal, the four gift bags received from S.I. Bangkok, the progress on the provision of Women’s Sanitary Products for the West End Food Bank and
Christine Smith (on the left), gave an impassioned talk to us tonight, about the impossible situation that many women, who were born in the 1950’s, find themselves in when they come to draw their State Pension. WASPI Women are a campaign group that fights the injustice done to all women born in the 1950s affected by the changes to the State Pension Law (1995/2011 Acts). The 1995 Conservative Government’s Pension Act included plans to increase women’s SPA (State Pension Age) to *65, the same as men’s. WASPI agrees with equalisation, but does not agree with the unfair way the changes were implemented – with little or no personal notice (1995/2011 Pension Acts); faster than promised (2011 Pension Act), and no time to make alternative plans. Retirement plans have been shattered with devastating consequences. The WASPI campaign was started by five ordinary women in 2015
After the business section of the meeting and before our speaker arrived, members posed with the latest batch of ‘Teddies for Terror’ teddies before they were donated to Northumbria Police. Our speaker this evening was Claire Robinson who is the Chief Executive Officer of ‘Positive Response to Overcoming Problems of Substance Misuse’ or PROPS. PROPS is a North East based service for individuals, families and carers living with alcohol and substance misuse. The service is based in the Linskill Centre in North Shields. PROPS offers one to one work, peer support groups, training around substance misuse and family training, respite breaks and an emergency out of hour’s telephone helpline. They help over 650 NE families each year . PROPS began life in 1997 as Scotswood Family Drug Support Group. It was set up in the west end of Newcastle upon Tyne, as a result of
We began the meeting, by agreeing to allocate items for members to be responsible for coordinating the collections of items, for the 25 Christmas Gift Bags. At a meeting in November, the gift bags will be assembled and arrangements made to deliver them to the Joseph Cowen Healthcare Centre. Next Cris Young reported back on the collection of sanitary products for the West End Food Bank. She was delighted to show us the 3 large bin bags full of items, approximately 60 in total representing £38.50 out of £100 which the club has allocated to this project. It was a sobering thought when we realised that for the price of a large cup of coffee, we could provide sanitary protection for a woman for a year. Sheila Manchester from the West End Food Bank will be talking to members later on in the year, as
Meru Garden Report At the end of our business meeting, on Tuesday, May 22nd, we were entertained by SI Newcastle member, Patricia Gatherum’s lively and amusing account of her visit to the Meru Garden Project in Kenya earlier on in May this year, in her role as Federation Ambassador.