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Management Team


Role: 2021-22
Name From
President Val Thomas
Immediate Past President Cath Read
President Elect
Vice President
Secretary Pat Sanderson Windermere
Treasurer Lesley Smyth
Programme Action Chair Anne Jackson
Federation Councillor Maureen Howarth Pendleside
Minuting Secretary Andrea Baker Blackburn
Benevolent Fund Rep Susan Biggs Pendleside
#63 Rep Marion Fogarty Preston
Regional Lunch Co-ordinator tbc .
Website/Communications Joan Bailey Garstang

President – Val Thomas

Val Thomas - Regional President 2021-22
Regional President 2021 – 2022 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.

Immediate Past President – Cath Read

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







Treasurer – Lesley Smyth

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 – Maureen Howarth

Maureen Howarth
Federation Consultative Councillor – Maureen Howarth

Having been elected in November 2021, it is an honour for me to be the Federation Consultative Councillor for the Northwest Region and the Isle of Man. I have been a member of Soroptimist International for 38 years and thoroughly embraced the challenges it has brought to my life throughout this time. My club is SI Pendleside where I have held a number of roles. As a global organisation I have been able to see the difference we have made to women and girls worldwide through a network of over 70,000 members.

The role of Federation Councillor allows me to act as a “go between” SIGBI and our Region. Basically, it is a voice for the members to discuss any current issues affecting their club or the organisation.

To any like-minded women, I extend a warm welcome and would urge you to consider becoming a member.


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.