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Soroptimist International - Northern England

Soroptimist International of Northern England is part of a worldwide organisation of women, which is linked to the United Nations.

Insignia of Soroptimist Region of Northern England

Welcome to SI Northern England


Check out Shirley’s 16 Days of Activism in Club Projects:  >>>>>



16th  March  – The Auctioneer, Carlisle

Booking details are with your Club Secretaries.







Regional Conference – Hexham – 18th November 2023

Business:  10:30 to 11:30 am

Links to notes:

Minutes of Business Meeting

Action Points


Speaker: Alex MacLennan – Sustainability of the Planet


Programme Action:  Lead by Shirley Hallam

Link to session notes:

Programme Action Sessions

and presentation on RUWON Project in Nepal by Claire Rawlinson.


Orange Cafe – Pictures on show at Conference from SINE

RUWON - Nepal - Presentation by Claire Rawlinson

Club Projects: Show and share your projects.

Check it Out Now



Jan Robinson - Regional President 2023 - 2024

Button below is link to President’s Message.

Video of Presentation Insignia at London Conference

Size video’s to full screen for better viewing.


I always enjoy attending the Darlington Literary Lunch. The venue is at Headlam Hall hotel,…


I was delighted to be able to attend the lunch at the Copthorne hotel, Newcastle…

President Jan – Personal Feedback from SIGBI Conference – London 3rd to 4th November 2023

For attendees of the convention in Dublin, in my opinion this was a better, slicker,…

Reach for the Skies and Best Practice Award

Click on Pictures to see larger images

The photograph shows (from left to right )  Barbara Brown (SI Darlington & District);  Christine Tomkins (SI Newcastle upon Tyne);  Linda Johnson ( SI Tynemouth, Whitey Bay & District);  Programme Action Chair Shirley Hallam-Gould;  Regional President Martha Dewis;  Pat Newsham ( SI Penrith & District) and Lindsay Edmiston (SI Cockermouth & District)



The “Reach for the Skies” Award   was awarded to S.I. Tynemouth, Whitley Bay & District and Linda Johnson received the trophy from Regional President Martha Dewis on behalf of her club members.

The ‘Connie Dawson Plate” is a silver salver that is presented by the Regional President to a club of her choice who has shown dedication and a sustainable support to their club projects.  This year President Martha presented the salver to  S.I.  Stockton-on-Tees. 

Short Listed Clubs

Full Slide Presentation

Following the Regional AGM on the morning of Saturday 23rd September 2023,   our Programme Action Chair,  Shirley Hallam-Gould,  presided over the afternoon club presentations from the five clubs that had been short listed by the panel of judges.   Each club had been given a strict time allowance of 6 mins to outline their work on a specific project that had been entered on to the Programme Data Base.

S.I. Cockermouth & District:

Lindsay Edmiston presented the club work with “Every Life Matters” which is a Cumbrian charity which serves those people affected by or at risk of suicide.  The statistics for death by suicide are increasing and are currently more than 50% greater in Cumbria than the rest of England.

The charity creates and makes up small brown boxes that contain information leaflets about how to overcome suicidal thoughts and where to obtain further help plus such small items as a rubber band which affected people can wear to remind them that help is at hand.  These boxes are given out and available through a network of distribution points.   The Club members had several active workshops to make up these boxes and their help was so gratefully received that the Charity has asked them to do some further work for them.

S.I. Darlington & District:

Barbara Brown described their club project for International Women’s Day.   They used this occasion to also celebrate the club’s 75th Anniversary.    They purchased 75 roses in rainbow colours and created tie on labels with a message about IWD and their 75th birthday as Soroptimists.   Club members then approached individual women in the town centre and presented them with a rose with the reason why they were doing this.  They were in great demand and several men had to be refused when it was explained that they were honouring women on this special International Women’s Day.   One was given to a working cleaner in the leisure centre who was overcome to be thought of someone special.   Club members agreed this was a very successful project to engage with women members of the public and agreed to repeat this next March and to try for sponsorship for the cost of the roses.

S.I. Newcastle upon Tyne :

Christine Tomkins presented their club project for International Women’s Day which they re-titled “Reach for the Stars”.   This project took place at Cannington Street Primary School which is an inner city school where 28 languages are spoken.  Last year, this similar project had engaged with only year 6 pupils and it had been very successful.  This year, the teaching staff asked that the whole school could be included.   Every child was given the name of a woman who they had to research and then prepare a piece of work that explained why they were special women.  They had a week to prepare their individual projects and the resulting work from the pupils included essays; pictures; poems and collages.  Several winners were presented with a special certificate and every child received a ‘celebration’ chocolate.  This exercise was of great value in a school where so many pupils come from cultural backgrounds that do not recognise the rights and contributions of women in their communities. 

S.I. Penrith & District :

Pat Newsham described their club members’ work in creating some of the 10,000 ceramic daffodils that were made in activity workshops by various groups.  The aim was to display this mass of daffodils at the Lowther Estate and then sell them for a target of £300,000.  This financial end result was to be divided between 5 local charities – “Another Weigh”;  “Ullswater Catchment Management Plan”;   “Sunbeams’;    “James’s Place”;  and  “New Horizons Youth Club”.    

Pat showed pictures of members forming the ceramic shapes that resulted in the bright yellow daffodils and the ‘planting’ of them in the rural landscape to form a spectacular show.

S.I. Tynemouth, Whitley Bay & District:

Linda Johnson described how club members (from their ‘Planet’ sub group) had created a ‘Bee  Friendly Garden’  in  St. Paul’s Church garden in central Whitley Bay.  A plot of land was agreed with the church and then cleared, and a raised bed edge created.  This was filled with compost and plants that were attractive to honeybees.  Local young people from the Sunday School also participated and the garden grew rapidly to form a focal point for people to visit, admire and count the Bee’s!   Linda showed pictures of how the project had developed and how it looked in the full growth of the summer months.    A surprise for our members was the gift bags that all SINE attending members received as they left the meeting.  This bag contained a list of the flowering plants and bulbs that flowered at different seasons of the year and would provide nectar for the Honey Bees, together with 3 crocus bulbs to plant.    Linda had a number of ‘props’ to illustrate her presentation including a beehive which was very colorful.

Do Click on the Button Below

Full report on the days programme.  The speakers we met and links to extra information you might find of interest.


Regional Council Meeting

18th March, 2023 – The Abbey, Hexham  

Full video’s of the morning and afternoon sessions with

Dishi Attwood

are now available from the members area.

Link to Members Area


Guest Speakers

SIGBI – Director of Membership:  Dishi Attwood

Programme Action:  Guest Speaker

Rosemary Webb SI Whitley Bay, Tynemouth & District

My Journey with the Ukrainian Refugees During Covid

Regional Meeting

26th November 2022

Sustain Our Future


Insignia Presentation – President Pamela hand over to President Martha Dewis. Accepted on her behalf by Christine Lumsdon.

Presidential insignia handover

Presentation of President Elect to Jan Robinson

Presentation of President Elect insignia

Sustain Our Future
Do you have a sustainable home?

What does that mean? Do you want to save money?

Do you need support with energy?


Sustainability Presentation

Sustainability Pledges

Actions from SINE Development Plan


Regional Council Meeting and AGM – 24th September 2022

Presidents Report on Regional meeting:

We had a very successful Regional Annual General Meeting and the presentation of our Best Practice Awards for Programme Action on Saturday 24th September. It was a real privilege to have the Soroptimist International President, Maureen Maguire, with us for the day.

After the AGM she spoke to us about the organisation and her International Presidents Appeal “Opening Doors to a Bright Future”.

The Appeal projects will follow the Soroptimist’s commitment to Education by delivering tangible benefits to the World’s most marginalised women, girls and their communities. The plan is to establish projects in each of the five Federations. Projects are already taking place in Cambodia and Uganda with a third due to start in Georgia. The photograph above is of our International Soroptimist President Maureen Maguire (on the left) with our Regional President Pam (on the right).

A donation from our Region towards this Appeal was made
to I.P. Maureen, with several clubs also adding their contributions. Further donations can be made via SIGBI Ltd with the funds clearly marked for the International President’s Appeal.

In my previous message, I mentioned that we had a wonderful selection of Programme Action projects to review for the Regional Best Practice Awards. After much discussion by
the judging panel members, seven of these were short listed as being ‘stand out projects’ and chosen to give their presentations in the afternoon of Saturdays meeting. They were most interesting and were a credit to our Region.
In alphabetical club order, the presentations were:
S.I.Cockermouth and District: (PRFs 60674; 60680; 60681) which updated us all on the continuing work the club has achieved with their ‘Purple Ring Pull’ campaign.
• They not only continue to collect and send out vast quantities of drink can ring pulls to be recycled into jewellery and other items, but they also :
• arranged the provision of a Business Loan to enable families in the Philippines to set up local small businesses to support their families independence.
• the final part of this project work involved members collecting large amounts of much needed mother and baby products which were sent in a large bulk delivery (and were safely received and put to immediate use just before the date of this presentation).
S.I.Darlington and District: PRFs 59593; 59598 ( on the 16 days of activism – Orange the
World) and 59482; 59557; 59583; 59584; 59586; 59610; 60623 which were all about their commitment to Advocacy which was well documented and covered widespread issues. Their photographic account of the ‘Orange the World’ campaign was impressive with cafe’s, shops, community centre’s and the Town Council members (complete with the Town Crier) all decorated in bright orange and actively promoting the message of ‘say NO to Domestic violence against women and girls’. A truly orange event.
S.I. Newcastle upon Tyne: PRFs 59044; 59045; 59046; 59072; 60309; 60310; 60311;
60319; 60670; 60673; 60943 were all centred on work within the West End of Newcastle upon Tyne in Elswick. This is one of the most economically deprived inner city areas in the UK and is a multicultural community with fragile food systems and unprecedented food poverty. The project work involved :
• supporting the West End Women and Girls Centre with their new 10 acre farm project where a grant was obtained to start horticulture at the remote farm in all weathers under a gigantic refurbished poly tunnel;
• support for a primary school where the pupils have 40 first languages and the need to develop a Forest School was identified and the club paid for wet weather clothing for the
• International Women’s Day activities where the pupils produced work on women who had inspired them;
• the unveiling of a ‘blue’ commemorative plaque to Dr Ruth Nicholson who was born in Elswick and a First World War surgeon who, having been rejected by the British Army field
hospitals, joined an all woman field hospital in France where they had outstandingly high rates of recovery and low levels of infections. A role model for the gender equality group
at the West End Women and Girls Centre – and addressed the inequality of women commemorated by such plaques in the City.
• support for the West End Food Bank which is one of the busiest in the UK and not only food was donated but funds to sponsor 300 people to have a hot 2 course Christmas meal
and 200 people to have packs of Hot Cross buns and Easter Eggs. 5 Microwave ovens were donated to address concerns over fuel poverty.
S.I.Penrith and District: PRFs 59638; 60523; 60525; 60528; 60878 these projects were all linked to the theme of climate change and involved :
• The award of an RHS Gold Medal for their work on the Coronation Garden with its wonderful explanation of Soroptimism. Later in top dressing the whole garden with peat
free compost, half of which was donated by the compost manufacturer.
• Tree planting in the Matterdale Flood Alleviation scheme.
• Foot path renewal in the Pattergill area
• The Environmental theme at the Penrith’s Queen’s Jubilee celebrations where a stall was very busy with information on climate change and activities for the children.
S.I. Stockton-on-Tees: PRFs 60727 and 60944 : Projects involved work with asylum seekers through a former member who had been an asylum seeker herself. Collections of
clothing and household items were delivered to the community centre and financial donations made to help meet the needs of these women.
S.I. Tynedale : PRFs 60336; 60470; 60598 all involved support for the Farm project being developed by members of the West End Women and Girls Centre. The work involved:
• the planting of 125 trees to improve biodiversity and shelter to the boundary of the farm.
• the successful application for a Grant from the Greggs Community Fund to provide and improve facilities at this remote farm.
S.I. Tynemouth, Whitley Bay & District: PRF 60281 which was a large scale project with the towns of both Tynemouth and Whitley Bay in Toilet Twinning. Funds were raised and
communities involved and a very successful outcome of 40 toilets in 12 countries was achieved. Each participant in this project received a certificate which is proudly on display
in the local toilets of the 2 towns.

and the winners were:

S.I.Newcastle upon Tyne received the Regional “Reach for the Skies’ Award.  Award accepted by Patricia Gatherum ( President Elect and Regional Rep. for S.I.Newcastle upon Tyne )

S.I.Penrith & District received the ‘Connie Dawson Plate’ for their climate change and sustainable themed projects. Award accepted by Pat Newsham of S.I.Penrith and District.

I.P. Maureen also presented certificates to all the seven clubs who were shortlisted.

The Presentations

SI Newcastle Upon Tyne - Winners of the Reach for the Skies Award

SI Penrith and District - Winners of the Connie Dawson Plate

And in the following order:

SI Cockermouth and District

SI Darlington and District

SI Stockton on Tees

SI Tyndale

SI Tynemouth and Whitey Bay

President Pamela’s Summer Event

Saturday 25th June 2022

“Exceptional Women”

First Face to Face SINE Event since 2019

The Auctioneer – Carlisle CA1 2RW




I always enjoy attending the Darlington Literary Lunch. The venue is at Headlam Hall hotel,…


I was delighted to be able to attend the lunch at the Copthorne hotel, Newcastle…

President Jan – Personal Feedback from SIGBI Conference – London 3rd to 4th November 2023

For attendees of the convention in Dublin, in my opinion this was a better, slicker,…

63 Bayswater Road – News Letter

Latest News and Events at Number 63

Presidents Message and Newsletter Number 89

Regional President Pam’s Message Good Morning Sister Soroptimists, I hope you and your gardens all...

Presidents Message and Newsletter Number 88

Good Morning Sister Soroptimists. What a lot has happened since my last Message from the...

Regional Council Meeting: 19th March, 2022

Link to Video of Key Speaker: Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson:

Goes to Members Area:


Regional Council Meeting:  20th November 2021



Regional Council Meeting:   18th September, 2021
A.G.M. and Programme Action Awards – Reach for the Skies.

Link to video of meeting


Starting the 100 Years Celebrations: 

TV interview on Tyne and Wear TV  –  Speaking on Domestic Violence and the role Soroptimist International is playing in our efforts to empower women and girls. 

Opening comments from Federation President Johanna Raffan and Regional President Christine Lumsdon:


Some Pictures to Be Proud of 2019 / 2020

Recent Club News