Management Team


Role: 2017-18
Name From
President Maureen Howarth Pendleside
Immediate Past President Angie Christopher Blackburn
President Elect Alison Driver Rossendale
Vice President Rosemary Hoyle Grange-over-Sands
Secretary Rosemary Hoyle Grange-over-Sands
Treasurer Jean Priestley Blackpool
Development/membership Karen Rainford Preston
Programme Action Chair Isabel Huggett Grange-over-Sands
Federation Councillor Janice Carrick Grange-over-Sands
Minuting Secretary Noreen Haselden Morecambe and Heysham
Benevolent Fund Rep Alison Priestley Blackpool
#63 Rep Marion Fogarty Preston
Regional Lunch Co-ordinator Alison Priestley Blackpool
Website/Communications Joan Bailey Garstang

(The following items are in the process of being updated!)

President – Maureen Howarth

Regional President Elect - Maureen Howarth

Regional President Elect – Maureen Howarth

Following my marriage in 1983, I moved house and my next door neighbour was Kathleen Rossall, a long serving member of SI Colne & Nelson. Despite our age difference we quickly became friends and she began involving me in Soroptimism and I attended social functions and Charter Dinners. Well and truly hooked I became a member later that year. The friendship, fun and constant support over the 33 years has been invaluable. I feel that the Club and Soroptimism has been part of my extended family.

I was instrumental in the change of our Club name from Colne & Nelson to Pendleside. This allowed us to encompass a wider area of our beautiful countryside, as well as recruit new members.

To represent the Club four times as President has been an honour and privilege.

Having recently retired as Head of Design and Technology at a local High School I can now enjoy some leisure time. This usually involves my voluntary work, travelling, cooking, wine appreciation and then walking off the excess!

The role of Regional Vice President is a little daunting but I hope I will be able to meet expectations. One thing I can guarantee is that I will give the position 100% commitment.

Immediate Past President – Angie Christopher

Regional President - Angie Christopher

Immediate Past President – Angie Christopher

I officially received the lovely Regional President’s chain of office at the Federation Conference in Malta and feel very honoured to be representing the Northwest England and Isle of Man region.

I joined the Blackburn club in 2000 and was pleased that I joined such an active and friendly club. The Blackburn club is the oldest in the region and has always had a good core of members keen on the Programme Action work and has never been scared to discuss and do something about difficult issues like trafficking, FGM and child exploitation. Over time I took on the role of Club Treasurer and have been Club President twice.  These positions took me right out of my comfort zone but I enjoyed being involved and found that with encouragement and friendship from the members I was able to achieve more than I would ever have imagined. Once I started attending the Regional meetings a whole new world opened up for me and I became much more aware of what Soroptimists do for women and girls nationally and internationally and felt I wanted to get more involved.  I took on the Regional Treasurer’s role, which I have done for the last four years and now feel privileged to be Regional President.

Most of my working life was in accounts departments but for a few years before I retired my job was as a personnel administrator, which I enjoyed very much.  I was born in Dorset and moved to Hertfordshire in 1980 and then to Lancashire in1986, expecting to move south again within a few years but I am still here 30 years on.  I enjoy travel, reading, walking, writing poetry and stitchcrafts.  More recent pleasures I have discovered are Tai Chi, which I find beneficial to mind and body and I have also joined a local NADFAS group and enjoy hearing about interesting places and subjects I would never have known about. My greatest pleasure is spending time with friends and family who live in various areas across the country.

Treasurer – Jean Priestley

Regional Treasurer - Jean Priestley

Regional Treasurer – Jean Priestley

I was introduced to Soroptimism by a friend in 2000 and shortly after became a member of SI Blackpool and District. The club was very quick to realize that my accountancy experience would make me an ideal candidate for club treasurer!

Later I was honoured to be club president for two consecutive years before becoming Regional President in 2011. In November 2012 I took up the post of Regional Membership Officer. As part of the role I’m hoping to support clubs and strengthen the Region.

Currently I work part time as Town Clerk for Medlar-with-Wesham Council. This gives me time to be a Soroptimist, Guiding as a leader and trainer, a Scout District Treasurer, a volunteer for the child contact centre, Pilates, learning Spanish ………..

President Elect – Alison Driver

Regional Vice President - Alison Driver

Regional Vice President – Alison Driver

I became a member of SI Rossendale in 2012 having reached a time in my life when I wanted to contribute differently to my community and to make a difference. Finding out about Soroptimism and what it involved locally was challenging. I offered to create the club website and from their led the way for SI Rossendale to have an active social media presence.

I began a two year term as club president in 2016. One of my objectives during my presidency is to raise the profile of Soroptimism locally and translate that into increased club membership. So far so good! We have recruited four new members in the last two years.

As Managing Director of my own HR Consultancy Practice, my links to the local business community enabled me to advocate for SI Rossendale to sponsor the inaugural Enterprising Woman Award at the 2016 Rossendale Business Awards. This was a huge boost to our club profile and has generated contact from a number of women who have indicated they are interested in learning more about Soroptimism. I have enjoyed working with a number of clubs in the region and the Regional Executive to share our club’s social media experiences and hopefully helped to increase their understanding of the benefits that social media can bring for Soroptimism.

I am honoured to hold the office of President Elect. I am looking forward to supporting President Maureen in her term of office and working with my colleagues on the Regional Executive to implement our three year development plan.

Secretary / Vice President – Rosemary Hoyle

Regional Secretary - Rosemary Hoyle

Regional Secretary – Rosemary Hoyle

I joined SI Grange-over-Sands in October 2007 and by March 2008, I was their Secretary; a role which I held for six years. Immediately afterwards I became Club President until the end of April 2014, when I became Regional Secretary. I have learnt so much during this period, met many wonderful people and been to a lot of places I would not otherwise have visited, and I have really enjoyed my time as a Soroptimist.

I trained as a Secretary and have spent my working life employed in various secretarial and administrative roles for Kirklees MBC, Huddersfield (yes, I’m a Yorkshire woman), Natural England and am currently PA to the Archdeacon of Westmorland and Furness, a part-time job which I enjoy very much.

I am also Secretary of my Church’s Parochial Church Council and sing in both that choir and the Cartmel Priory Choir. I enjoy choral singing and have been involved in several choirs both in the Huddersfield area and now in the South Lakes area. My other interests are horses, knitting/cross-stitch embroidery and rock music.

Membership and Development Officer – Karen Rainford

Regional Membership and Development Officer - Karen Rainford

Regional Membership and Development Officer – Karen Rainford

I joined SI Preston in 2005 having given a presentation about a charity for which I was a volunteer.  It took me a while to settle in but when I did being a Soroptimist became important part of my life.  I have been President just the once (so far!) and now take part in most of the things going on in the club but have been central in organising the club’s social and fundraising events.  In fact, most people expect there to be a raffle if I attend an event.  I enjoy many aspects of our club – obviously the social and fundraising side but I also try and keep the web page updated and support and help in any way with our many PA projects.  Recently, we made over 500 little girls’ dresses from pillowcases and as one of the only two members with a sewing machine – I had little choice but to re-learn my long forgotten sewing skills.  I have volunteered to become Regional Membership and Development Officer and am looking forward to learning new skills and embracing challenges.

I was lucky enough to give up work in 1999 when I became a full time volunteer.  I supported several charities but in 2008, along with my husband and two friends, started our own charity.  Miles of Smiles gives treats to local youngsters who deserve a smile in their day. Many of these youngsters are young carers and we have organised some very special times for some very special youngsters.  More recently we have decided to have a slight change of direction working with our local hospice and organising ‘Making Memory’ smiles for families where one member has a short time to live.

What spare time I have is spent walking for miles in any weather with my dogs, Lily (pictured) and Nancy a Golden Retriever, going to the theatre, socialising with friends and family, reading and gardening.

Programme Action Chair – Isabel Huggett

Regional Programme Action Chair - Isabel Huggett

Regional Programme Action Chair – Isabel Huggett

I have been a member of SI Grange over Sands since 1985 and enjoy being in such an active club. I was Club President in 2010 and was Programme Action Officer from 2011 – 2013. I have led the EEVCR (Economic Empowerment Violence and Conflict resolution) group within club PA 2013 – 2015. I really enjoy being a Soroptimist and in particular Programme Action and I hope I can use my enthusiasm and organisational skills to good effect as Regional PA Officer.
I am currently the Administrator for Singing for Memory and enjoy the role as I can use my previous skills and experience helping at the weekly sessions, run by SI Grange.
I have spent my working life as a Consultant Physician specialising in Elderly Care, Stroke Medicine and Parkinson’s disease and retired fully in 2016.
I enjoy cooking, walking, running ( slowly) , sailing and canal boating.

Federation Councillor – Janice Carrick

Regional Federation Councillor – Janice Carrick

I joined SI Grange in 2008. I was retiring from work and although I had lived and worked on the Cartmel Peninsula I felt I now had the time to become active in the local area and give back to others some of the benefits I had accrued. Grange is a very active club and I enjoy being a member.

I was Programme Action Officer from 2009 – 2011, I facilitated the Education Programme Action Group for 4 years and now facilitate the Food Security and Health Care Group.  I was Club President in 2014. This was our 60th Charter Anniversary and was a very special year. I am thrilled that the project I set up during that year, Singing for Memory, is still flourishing and is becoming a well- loved and established part of the community. I am the main Singing Leader for the group and I am so pleased to be able to give back some of the pleasure of music that I have enjoyed, and still enjoy so much. I am a keen amateur musician and play in a local orchestra and sing with a choral society. I love to be in the outdoors, walking or cycling and staying in our motorhome.

My working life was in Education, I was a Primary School Headteacher for 15 years and for the last 8 years of my career an Inspector /Advisor for Lancashire Education Authority mainly supporting schools in difficulty.