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President Joyce Message – Week Fifteen

Good Morning Sister Soroptimists

I begin my message today with thanks for all the kindness shown to me following last Sunday and the cancellation of the Regional Afternoon Tea. I received messages, cards, flowers and even a mini Afternoon Tea delivered by Margaret Clark, teabags, pastries and a posy of flowers for the table.

I am saving many of your lovely words in a special book as a memory of this year. Thank you!

It has been a busy week – when are the weeks not busy?- with a SKYPE Regional Officers Meeting which had a full agenda, much Programme Work reported by Karen and a decision taken going forward, which has been conveyed to your Clubs by our indefatigable Regional Secretary, Joan, who works constantly to keep the Region ticking over. We have also been looking ahead to September, and should we still not be able to meet in Hexham Abbey, as planned, consideration is being given to holding a virtual Regional Meeting and AGM. Watch this space for further news! Karen hopes to meet with your Club’s Regional Council Representatives before September in a similar way.

I am very grateful to all the Regional Officers for their support;  we meet much more frequently on SKYPE than we would be able to in normal circumstances and you can be assured we are a good team and work well together.

Our Northern Soul Dance Party  continues to be talked about and I have an update on the amount raised for the Nepal Project, which is now increased to £1,042.83! Thank you to all who donated to make this amazing total, including our five Associate members in Cumbria who held their own party in Penrith with supper and chat and generously donated . Thank you, Ladies!



Jane Inman and Jenny McCulloch of SI Cockermouth, have been doing tremendous work during the pandemic with Greysouthen Village Hall. The 90 volunteers there have received a Special Recognition Award from their High Sheriff – Julie Barton – for outstanding contribution to the community [3]. They have been part of a team which helped to set up a food delivery service, shop and takeaway supporting over 60 households, keeping vulnerable people safe and helping key workers.

SI Darlington members, assisted by Darlington Women’s Club [partnership working!] collected a large supply of tinned and dried food, toiletries and cleaning materials. Barbara Brown took this consignment to Food for Thought, Darlington, who recently resumed deliveries to needy households in Darlington, having had to suspend them during Lockdown. Lots of boxes of chocolates and biscuits, which couldn’t be used for raffles, were part of the collection.

SI Durham members dressed in their Ascot best to take Afternoon Tea in their various gardens, houses and an allotment [5,6,7,8] to raise spirits and some money for their charities – ‘Blood Red’ and ‘The Rainbow Trust’. Photo showing Jane Katsambis in PPE – not sure how the strawberry got into the mouth, Jane! 

SI Middlesbrough actually held an Executive Meeting IN PERSON – applying social distancing, of course, and updated their Organisational Development Plan! 

Their youngest member Jodie Foster, was awarded a 2.1 in her degree and will collect it this next week. Congratulations to Jodie.

Pat Newsham of SI Penrith has raised £56.25 by submitting her writing to The Big Story – another contribution to the Nepal Project and congratulations to Pat.

Well done to all who are doing fantastic work in our wonderful Region of Northern England – you make me so proud!

Reach for the Skies Award

Karen reported that between 1/4/2020 and 30/6/2020 our clubs have uploaded 41 reports to the SIGBI Programme Database. The total amount raised is shown as £3,435 and 328 beneficiaries have been supported – a tremendous result!

A reminder that your project reports need to be uploaded by 15th July 2020 in order to be considered for the Regional Reach for the Skies Award and also for the SIGBI Best Practice Awards. 

You all do so much fantastic work – please – shout about it!

SIGBI Day of Action    #SoroptimistsConnect

News about the SIGBI Day of Action – Saturday, 18th July 2020 – was in the SIGBI News Briefing of 19th June 2020. Highlight the work of your club and show that Soroptimists are staying connected throughout this difficult time. There is also a link to a Day of Action Toolkit. [You can find all the SIGBI Briefings on the SIGBI Website.]

Instead of a quote of the week, I have a message for JULY [found on Facebook] I hope it brings a smile.

Dear July.

I don’t want any trouble from you. Just come in, sit down, don’t touch anything and keep your mouth shut!  

Thank you!


Until next week, stay safe and keep well,

In Friendship,