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Soroptimists Face the ‘Invisible Generation’

Soroptimists Face the ‘Invisible Generation’

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South Lancashire’s Soroptimists welcomed guest speaker the Reverend George Thomas, founder of the charity Life NoW, to December’s Regional Programme Action Meeting. Life NoW seeks to bridge the gap between children’s and adult hospices for young adults with life-limiting, life-threatening and end-of-life conditions. The charity aims to build a purpose-designed hospice to provide respite and palliative care for people aged 18-40, living in North West England and North Wales. They are the ‘invisible generation’ – no one ‘expects’ them to be seriously ill. Currently in the North West, when young adults get too old for children’s hospices, their only option is to go into an adult hospice. These really cater for elderly people and, despite staff best efforts, cannot meet the needs of young adults. This is a major gap in palliative care: Life NoW want to bridge that gap. Life NoW envisages a hospice

Soroptimists’ Seasonal Service

Soroptimists’ Seasonal Service

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Soroptimists in Southport have undertaken a pre-Christmas project to help people who are homeless. Club members made up 55 packs of toiletries – and parcels of warm clothing – which will be given out at the local Alchemy centre. Alchemy is part of Parenting 2000 in Southport; the centre opens during the festive period. Volunteers and staff serve hot meals and beverages to the homeless community and those who have financial problems. SI Southport member Dorothy Lee-Ogden said, “Donations to Alchemy of toiletries and clothing, as well as food, are vital at this time of year. There are many local families and individuals who need support, so we feel it’s important to contribute to this community enterprise.”      

South Lancashire Soroptimists in Malta

South Lancashire Soroptimists in Malta

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South Lancashire’s members took centre stage at the 2016 Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland (SIGBI) Federation Conference in Malta. Outgoing Federation President Margaret Emsley (SI Ashton-under-Lyne) had chosen as her theme “Engineering the Future”. Her Chief Steward was Margaret Baker (SI Bolton). “I was very nervous at the thought of going on stage … and being the ‘face’ of the conference committee,” she said. “However, the delegates were very well behaved (i.e. did as they were told!) and I received so many positive and encouraging comments. Two-and-a-half years work for two-and-a-half days conference!” Many members from South Lancashire’s clubs took on stewarding roles, assisted at the opening flag presentations and compered the change of insignia ceremony. “My team of stewards was amazing,” said Margaret (B) “working so hard and so long … and doing their jobs admirably. A very big thank you to them.” Sandy

Joining Forces against Modern Day Slavery

Joining Forces against Modern Day Slavery

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Soroptimists from the South Lancashire Region joined Manchester Airport Border Force and Greater Manchester Police to assist at an awareness-raising stand in the departure lounge of Manchester Airport. South Lancashire Soroptimists are part of the Manchester Modern Day Slavery (MDS) Forum. This involves approximately 50 statutory and voluntary organisations, all working to raise awareness of MDS and human trafficking in Greater Manchester. Through this forum South Lancashire’s Soroptimists were invited to assist in this event at the airport. Following all security checks Soroptimists were able to distribute travel safe/MDS leaflets, and speak to the public, shop assistants and flight crews.  Margaret Molyneux (SI South Lancashire President Elect) said: “Border Force personnel gave examples of recent incidents where interventions were required; for example, young women arriving with no money, a vague purpose of their visit to the UK and unclear indications of returning home.  “A real

Crafty Soroptimists Welcome Kiwi Caller

Crafty Soroptimists Welcome Kiwi Caller

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Yvonne Simpson, President of Soroptimist International (SI), dropped in on members of SI Warrington as they got together to make dresses. The club held the sewing day to make clothes for ‘Dress A Girl Around The World’. SI Warrington’s newest member, Julia Blair, had come up with the idea – and club members took to it with enthusiasm. They made patterns and cut the fabric for 25 dresses in four different sizes; then they got busy pinning, sewing, hemming … and chatting. On hand to help out was Margaret Emsley, Federation President of SI Great Britain & Ireland – a member of SI Ashton under Lyne. From Hokitika, New Zealand, Yvonne was on her way to the airport to fly to Budapest (Hungary) to speak about the post-earthquake situation in Nepal. Soroptimist International truly is a global organisation. One SI Warrington member was particularly pleased to welcome International President

Soroptimists Lunch with ‘Owled’ Friends

Soroptimists Lunch with ‘Owled’ Friends

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  Former regional presidents of SI South Lancashire were in for a surprise when a trio of owls joined them after their annual reunion lunch. The Soroptimists were introduced to Idris, Mango and Murray by their ‘minder’ Anita Morris, a psychologist and the founder/director of Hack Back. Anita did the talking; the owls did the rest. Star performer was Murray, a burrowing owl, who seemed to delight in exploring the lunch table. Hack Back is a Community Interest Company (CIC) which aims to improve the mental health and well-being of people of all ages through interaction with birds of prey. Clients include children and adults who have experienced domestic abuse, or who have learning difficulties. People with dementia, Down’s Syndrome or autism react positively to the birds. Funding has enabled Anita and the team to develop programmes for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and for

Soroptimists – Projects in the Pipeline

Soroptimists – Projects in the Pipeline

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Current service work by South Lancashire’s Soroptimists was in focus at the autumn regional Programme Action meeting. Three clubs gave presentations: SI Leigh & District gave an update on their highly successful project ‘Just the Job’. Club members offer unemployed women information, support and practical sessions to boost their confidence and ready them for the job market. Referrals from JobCentrePlus are now an added bonus. SI Liverpool outlined innovative techniques for fostering Programme Action. By creating focused teams within the club, all members are encouraged to take responsibility for elements of service work. SI St Helens charted the progress of “Soroptimists go pink for breast cancer”. This club project has raised the money to buy 100 digital thermometers and a selection of head-coverings for local patients. It has also encouraged members to maximise publicity through magazine articles, local radio and social media. Three further clubs

Twin Trophy Triumph

Twin Trophy Triumph

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Soroptimists in the Leigh & District Club concluded a successful bowls season by ‘doing the double’ on Regional Finals Day. [new_royalslider id=”13″]High points-scoring members from club teams throughout the Region competed in the day’s knockout competition. The semis saw Gail Farrer (SI Leigh & District) and Christine Fone (SI Widnes) win through. In the final, Gail’s consistent long-game led to her taking the match. Margaret Cole, President of SI Crosby, presented Gail with the Tricia Fahey Cup. This trophy commemorates the Crosby club member who, when regional president, devised the regional bowls competition. Regional President Sandy Taylor presented the President’s Rose Bowl to Margaret Molyneux and her Leigh team. Over the season they had gained the most points in their matches against Soroptimist clubs throughout the Region. Dot Massey (regional bowls co-ordinator) said, “We were blessed with fine weather for our finals event, held once again in the

High Velocity Soroptimists

High Velocity Soroptimists

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Two Soroptimists from South Lancashire Region have successfully taken up the Zip Wire Challenge – ‘the nearest thing to flying’. The pair were Margaret Emsley, our Federation President (SI Ashton under Lyne) and Margaret Baker, Immediate Past Regional President (SI Bolton). They joined Ann Garvie, Immediate Past President of Soroptimist International, at Bethseda in Snowdonia for this nerve-shattering event. Strapped horizontally into a harness they each travelled headfirst at speeds approaching 100mph over the longest (and fastest) zip wire in Europe. Margaret Baker said, “It was awesome – scary at first but so thrilling. I didn’t want it to stop; I wanted to keep on flying!” Not content with ‘just’ a zip wire experience, Ann and Margaret (B) faced the Demon Rides Challenge at Alton Towers a few days later. Why did these intrepid Soroptimists take to the skies and the rollercoaster? They aim to raise funds for the Diamond Education Grant,

Anglo-Belgian Friendship Links

Anglo-Belgian Friendship Links

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Soroptimists in Leigh & District Recently welcomed members of SI Mons Borinage (Belgium), their friendship link club, for a weekend visit.  The event is part of ongoing celebrations for the club’s 70th anniversary year, which will culminate on 17th February 2017. The weekend began with a ‘get-together’ meal – a chance to renew acquaintances and exchange news. One highlight was a trip to Quarry Bank Mill, Styal, the National Trust property. A Leigh Soroptimist, who works as a building surveyor at this historic mill, led a personalised tour. This was followed by afternoon tea in the beautiful Quarry Bank House, once the mill owner’s home. SI Leigh & District’s President, Avis Freeman said, “I am delighted so many people were able to join in the weekend of celebrations in our club’s special year”.