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Guest speaker from ACE Centre North

Guest speaker from ACE Centre North

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The guest speaker at the summer regional Programme Action meeting was Anna Reeves, Manager of ACE Centre North, based in Oldham. The ability to communicate is fundamental to our basic quality of life. However for many people – whether because of physical impairment, language disorder or learning disability – effective communication is a challenge. There can be a massive gap between receptive language (understanding) and expressive language (communicating). So the ACE Centre enables people of all ages to face that challenge, and bridge that gap. ACE Centre North offers free information and advice on assistive technology for people with physical/communication difficulties. The Centre’s team of therapists, teachers and technicians provides help and expertise for families, schools and other organisations. Through assessment, training and ongoing support the staff put modern technology at the service of people who need a voice. By keeping up to date with

Margaret Baker, President SI Bolton
A Day at The Palace

A Day at The Palace

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Margaret Baker, President SI Bolton, describes a tea party to remember. Last December I received a letter from the Lord Lieutenant nominating me for an invitation to a Royal Garden Party. It was a wonderful surprise and quite thrilling to receive the actual invitation itself in April. The weather had been dreadful so my sister (my guest) and I bought umbrellas (white and lacy, of course) for showers, and throwaway packamacs (see-through, of course) for sudden downpours; and I wondered how much thermal underwear I could fit under my posh frock to keep warm (answer – not much).  However, by the time the day itself arrived it was glorious sunshine with an  expected high of 26 degrees. (Decision now – how little could I wear under my  posh frock?) We entered by the Hyde Park gate and the first official I met asked about my chain of office. It was a pity

joint regional conference 2012 delegates
75th Joint Regional Conference, Liverpool

75th Joint Regional Conference, Liverpool

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Over 130 Soroptimists from all over the North West attended the 2012 regional conference. Held at the Crowne Plaza Liverpool (John Lennon Airport) Hotel, the conference was organised jointly by South Lancashire Region and N.W.England & Isle of Man Region.  Taking the conference theme ‘Teamwork’ to heart, (SIGBI) Federation President Maureen Maguire and (SI) International Programme Director Hilary Ratcliffe gave wide-ranging presentations – and attracted a number of searching questions from delegates. Anne Holt, former President of Girlguiding (North West England) then looked at the history of Guiding, its present-day programme, and the options for partnership working with Soroptimists.  The afternoon was opened by Ben Mott, a dementia care specialist, whose lively and lucid guide to this complex condition kept everyone’s attention. The mood changed as Fiona Murphy, leader of the Bereavement Support Team at the Royal Bolton Hospital, described her work in graphic detail.

international womens day soroptimists in ramsbottom
South Lancashire Soroptimists Celebrate International Women’s Day

South Lancashire Soroptimists Celebrate International Women’s Day

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Soroptimists all over South Lancashire took the opportunity of staging publicity events on International Women’s Day. In Ramsbottom, Regional President Denise Baldwin joined fellow club members in the town centre to raise awareness about ovarian cancer. The Soroptimists gave out dozens of informative leaflets to women passing by.  In Southport, over 30 Soroptimists from several clubs gathered on the Marine Way Bridge. Organised by SI Southport, with participation from the Bootle, Crosby, Leigh and Liverpool clubs, the ovarian cancer event gained considerable local publicity. March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.  At last year’s Soroptimist International Federation Conference in Brighton, the Southport club seconded a resolution for members around the country to promote awareness of the disease, in association with the charity Target Ovarian Cancer. Soroptimists are working to distribute information, increase knowledge of symptoms and raise funds to support work in this field.  Meanwhile, in

Regional Awards & New Members Lunch

Regional Awards & New Members Lunch

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Soroptimists from all over South Lancashire met in Wrightington for the Region’s new members’ and awards lunch.  “For some recently-joined members, this may be their first opportunity to attend a regional gathering and to meet Soroptimists from other clubs,” said Margaret Davies, Membership Officer for South Lancashire, who organised the event. “It’s always a very friendly occasion, though with an ‘edge’ of suspense about the regional awards.”  President Jenny presented the trophies for 2011. In bowls, SI Liverpool triumphed in the team competition so, once again, took home silverware. Hilda McAllen of SI Bootle won the Tricia Fahey Cup in the singles competition.  South Lancashire’s Programme Action trophy is a crystal globe held in a crystal hand – representative of our worldwide organisation. The Region’s PA Officer, Eileen Griffiths, had looked closely at clubs’ report forms when judging the year’s work. “It was really a tough call again

Open Day in Altrincham

Open Day in Altrincham

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South Lancashire’s Soroptimists held an “open day” in Altrincham and invited local women to find out more about Soroptimist International. Members from all over the Region were on hand to talk to visitors. Clubs set up displays to showcase their community service – both locally and internationally. SI Stockport, for example, put up information on the Sanctuary Room which they funded at Stockport Police Station; and Bury’s members illustrated how they support a schoolgirl and her classmates at Watamu in Kenya. SI Ormskirk brought the beautiful Sri Lankan banner made by one village as a “thank you” for the club’s efforts – they funded a new community centre following the devastating tsunami. On one stand a poignant array of tiny hand-knitted clothes and “angel pockets” made by Widnes’ Soroptimists demonstrated how the club has liaised with the local hospital to support parents of premature babies

Programme Action : Guest Speaker from GirlGuiding UK

Programme Action : Guest Speaker from GirlGuiding UK

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Jan Anning, Vice President of North West England, GirlGuiding UK, recently spoke to Soroptimists in South Lancashire at their regional programme action meeting. Drawing on the similarities between the two organisations, Jan gave an account of present-day Guiding and her aspirations for the future. Soroptimist International is developing a working relationship with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), to the benefit of both organisations. Soroptimists and Girl Guides feel strongly about the same sort of issues and want to give something back to the community. Both worldwide organisations seek to make the world a better place for women and girls. Many Soroptimist Clubs are planning collaborative projects with their local Guiding network. Soroptimists’ experience in skills such as presentation and interview techniques, for example, could be utilised to mutual advantage. South Lancashire has the advantage of a specific contact with Guiding through Eileen Griffiths, Programme

Programme Action : Guest Speaker on Tuberculosis

Programme Action : Guest Speaker on Tuberculosis

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On behalf of South Lancashire’s Soroptimists, the region’s Programme Action Officer – Eileen Griffiths – welcomed Clare Shaw from Target Tuberculosis as their guest speaker at the summer meeting. Clare’s initial quiz highlighted how little is generally known about TB – how it is transmitted from person to person – how prevalent it is worldwide – and how ‘active’ TB is rightly feared as a killer disease, particularly in poorer communities. TB is the biggest infectious killer of young women in the world today. Through cultural restrictions, poverty, lack of understanding, or other barriers, women tend to present later and therefore have a lesser chance of receiving successful treatment. Yet testing and treatment are generally free. TB is a global crisis; however there is relatively little modern investment in diagnosis and treatment. A full course of antibiotics still takes 6-9 months to complete, otherwise there is the

Joint Regional Conference 2011

Joint Regional Conference 2011

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Soroptimists from all over Lancashire – and beyond – recently converged on Blackpool for their 74th Joint Regional Conference. Delegates came from the two neighbouring regions – South Lancashire and North West England & the Isle of Man. The conference took as its theme “Equality – are we there yet?” – an examination of SI’s ‘grass-roots’ principle. Speakers looked at equality from a variety of angles, challenging delegates to abandon preconceptions and think again about what exactly “equality” means to them. Professor Pat Thane, Emeritus Professor of the University of London gave the keynote address. Other distinguished speakers included Marie Staunton, Chief Executive of the charity Plan UK, solicitor Ellie Foster, and university lecturers Dr Steven Dempster (Lancaster) and Jo Grady (Leicester). Susan Biggs (Chair, UKPAC) outlined plans for the forthcoming long-term project on education and leadership, and involved delegates in workshops. Federation President, Liz

Soroptimists, Speakers and Sierra Leone National Day

Soroptimists, Speakers and Sierra Leone National Day

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 Soroptimists from South Lancashire Region and Cheshire, North Wales & Wirral Region are working in partnership with the International Slavery Museum (ISM), in Liverpool. This collaboration links Soroptimist International’s “Project SIerra: a family and a future” with the museum’s “42: Women of Sierra Leone”, a photographic exhibition by Lee Karen Stow. To mark the 50th anniversary of independence in Sierra Leone, the two regions organised a special day at the ISM. South Lancashire’s President, Jenny Stanistreet, chaired the day’s proceedings. Many Soroptimists from both regions acted as stewards, assisted in directing members of the public to the venue, and generally were available to talk about aspects of Soroptimism. The first speaker was Dr Fred Nye, Secretary of the Waterloo Partnership. He outlined the achievements of this local charity – a collaboration between people in Waterloo and Crosby (near Liverpool) and their namesake community near Freetown.  This