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Management Team


Role: 2020-21
Name From
President Cath Read Blackburn
Immediate Past President Rosemary Hoyle Grange-over-Sands
President Elect Val Thomas Pendleside
Vice President
Secretary Pat Sanderson Windermere
Treasurer Jean Priestley Blackpool
Programme Action Chair Anne Jackson
Federation Councillor Janice Carrick Grange-over-Sands
Minuting Secretary Andrea Baker Blackburn
Benevolent Fund Rep Susan Biggs Pendleside
#63 Rep Marion Fogarty Preston
Regional Lunch Co-ordinator Alison Priestley Blackpool
Website/Communications Joan Bailey Garstang

President – Cath Read


Regional President 2020 - Cath Read
Regional President 2020 – 2021 Cath Read







Immediate Past President – Rosemary Hoyle

Regional President 2019/2020 - Rosemary Hoyle
Immediate Past President – 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. Being a Soroptimist presents so many opportunities to meet many wonderful people, make new friendships and visit new places.

I was very honoured to become the Regional President of Soroptimist International North West England and the Isle of Man and although my year was very different to the one I was expecting, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I enjoyed my term of office and was very proud of all the work that the North West Region managed to accomplish during and beyond lockdown.

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 I have just recently retired from my role as Secretary and Personal Assistant to the Archdeacon of Westmorland and Furness, a part-time job which I have enjoyed very much for the past 11 years.

I am also Secretary of my Church’s Parochial Church Council and sing in the church choir, Cartmel Choral Society, Kendal Choral Society and Cumbria Festival Chorus. As you will see, 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.

President Elect – Val Thomas

Northwest Soroptimists - Val Thomas

After spending over forty years teaching in secondary education, managing a large department, I wanted to continue serving the community when I retired a few years ago.

When friends invited me to a Soroptimist meeting, I felt that this organisation offered the prospect of making a difference, especially to girls and women. I have enjoyed both the roles of President and Programme Action Officer at SI Pendleside which brought opportunities for working in various areas. Regional and Federation conferences were stimulating and there was much food for thought offered by my first International Convention in Malaysia, 2019.

Covid-19 has presented a significant challenge to all organisations but I`m proud that Soroptimists have pulled together; developed technology to find new ways of working and continued helping local and international communities.

I belong to two choirs and enjoy theatre, concerts, reading groups and walking.

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 ………..

Secretary  – Pat Sanderson

Northwest Regional Secretary - Pat Sanderson
Regional Secretary – Pat Sanderson


I was invited to an Open Meeting of the SI Windermere Club in 2003. The speakers that evening included the late Ruth Winterbottom. After listening to Ruth speaking about the PA work Soroptimist Club Members in the Region were involved in, I was keen to join. Ten months later, after attending Club Meetings and events I was inducted.

I have been President of the Club three times and I have been Club Secretary for the last thirteen years. I was delighted when Rosemary Hoyle asked me to consider serving as Regional Secretary. I appreciate that following in the footsteps of outstanding Regional Secretaries Edna, Linda and Rosemary that I’ve a very high standard to emulate.

My Working Life: Solicitor. Now retired.

Interests: Crafting: Travel: Photography

Programme Action Chair – Anne Jackson


Regional Programme Action Officer 2020 - Anne Jackson
Regional Programme Action Officer – Anne Jackson

I have been a Soroptimist (SI Blackburn club) since 1996, taking up the roles of President and PA Officer.

I have always attended Federation Conferences and Regional Council Meetings throughout my membership. Programme Action is the aspect of Soroptimism which interests me most of all ( as well as the fun and friendship).

My working life:  Education. Teacher of French and Italian to A level, Head of Dept.of  Mod. Langs. and Deputy Head Pastoral). Now retired, I still teach an adult group.

Interests: travel/theatre/Arts Society and 9 grandchildren……..

Membership and Development Officer – Vacancy



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.

Website Manager / Communications Officer / General IT stuff….  Joan Bailey

Northwest Soroptimists Regional IT Manager - Joan Bailey
Regional IT Manager – Joan Bailey

I joined the Soroptimists in Garstang in 2013 having been invited to attend firstly a small ‘Intro Chat’ and then a very convivial social evening for a member’s birthday. In addition to the very worthwhile aims and work of the SI community, from the start I’ve been very impressed with the caring and friendly approach of all my fellow soroptimists – not to mention their willingness to try anything.

At a club level I was very quickly roped in to help with a re-launch and managment of our website ( and I was also persuaded to volunteer for the role of Treasurer, but I do have plenty of experience of cooking the books elsewhere.
I have also tried to attend as many regional meetings and conferences etc as possible to learn more and simply be involved where I can.

Having been asked ‘can you make this presentation work’ at one or two of the regional meetings, I gradually found myself as firstly the unofficial IT support and then eventually the official communications officer – it really doesn’t pay to stand still for more than a few seconds in the wrong place at a meeting….
When not tinkering with Soroptimist websites or club accounts, I can be found running a small computer support business or doing the church website and accounts at St Mary’s in Fleetwood.