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Priceless – Not Worthless

Soroptimists in South Lancashire Region welcomed Gillie O’Rourke as guest speaker at the recent meeting.

Gillie is Chair of the United Kingdom Programme Action Committee (UKPAC).

UKPAC assists and supports Clubs and Regions in their service work. The Committee aims to give guidance, make recommendations on projects, provide training – whatever is needed. Integral within our Federation (Soroptimist International, Great Britain & Ireland : SIGBI), it forms part of the Director of Programme’s team.

The Chair of UKPAC also represents Soroptimists on several external forums including the 6-0 group. This is made up of the six leading women’s organisations in the UK: Business and Professional Women, Federation of Women Graduates, National Council of Women, Townswomen’s Guild, National Federation of Women’s Institutes – and SIGBI.

Recent UKPAC projects have focussed on Modern Day Slavery, Violence Against Women and Girls, and Special Domestic Abuse Courts. In all those projects Soroptimists made a difference in a variety of ways. The Modern Day Slavery Group, for example, has been extremely active in lobbying politicians.

For the investigative project on Special Domestic Abuse Courts about 140 Soroptimists took part, volunteering 5,000 hours of their time. The project report is imminent and will be distributed widely.

“Volunteers are not paid – not because they are worthless but because they are priceless”, maintained Gillie. “When someone says to you ‘what good does my little bit do?’ just remind them that when you add all the little bits up you get an absolute tsunami of good.”