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Seven Margarets

Seven Margarets

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Margaret Emsley is currently Federation President of Soroptimist International, Great Britain and Ireland. However, in her own region, she could be thought of as ‘one of the crowd’. A crowd of Margarets, that is. (Or, as Margaret means ‘pearl’, maybe she is one of the jewels on the regional necklace!) Many of her namesakes attended her celebration lunch – and got together for a memorable photograph.  

To Margaret, With Love

To Margaret, With Love

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Soroptimists from all over South Lancashire Region came together for a celebration lunch in honour of Margaret Emsley, the current Federation President of Soroptimist International, Great Britain and Ireland. Over 130 members, including most club presidents, were able to attend the event, hosted by Sandy Taylor (Regional President).   Welcoming everyone, Pat Williams (Regional Membership Officer) spoke of the universal respect and affection for Margaret. “This exceptional gathering is testament to the esteem in which South Lancashire’s members hold Margaret – and the pride and the warmth that we feel for the achievement of one of our own” she said. It has been particularly exciting for members of Margaret’s own club, SI Ashton-under-Lyne, to see their friend attain the premier role within the Federation. “We are all so proud of Margaret”, said Club President Janette Meadowcroft. Ann Garvie, Immediate Past President of Soroptimist International, gave an engaging

Soroptimists Making a Difference

Soroptimists Making a Difference

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“Ask me why I’m a Soroptimist” was the challenge from Rayner Rees to members attending the recent SI South Lancashire Regional Programme Action meeting. She went on to explain exactly what made her join Soroptimist International and what keeps her there. “I want to be a woman who makes a difference,” she said. “I love meeting other women from around the world and having an immediate bond, because we know we share similar passions.” Rayner is Assistant Programme Director (Economic Empowerment) for Soroptimist International, Great Britain & Ireland (SIGBI) Federation – part of the Programme Team. She described a number of the exciting projects currently bringing Soroptimists together, including the Meru Women’s Garden Project in Kenya and the International President’s appeal ‘Educate To Lead’ in Nepal. At the Regional Council meeting, Sue Biggs (SIGBI Vice President) spoke about ‘Vision 2021’ – where do Soroptimists want

Regional Conference – Risks and Rewards

Regional Conference – Risks and Rewards

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Over 100 Soroptimists attended South Lancashire’s regional conference, held in Liverpool. Delegates included many from the neighbouring region, North West England & the Isle of Man. President Sandy Taylor’s theme was ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much’. This was a wide remit for the speakers – yet they each succeeded in demonstrating the power of the team.[new_royalslider id=”12″] Dr Nick Beeching opened the day with a look at some of the risks to travellers from infections and other ‘nasties’ prevalent at holiday destinations, aboard cruise ships and in aircraft. Considering delegates had just eaten breakfast, he took considerable risks with some of his unsavoury visual images! Continuing the medical thread Dr Paula Briggs looked at the changing guidelines on managing the menopause, at HRT in particular, and at the need for shared decision-making. “Fifteen years of misconceptions need to be

Soroptimists Receive Royal Recognition

Soroptimists Receive Royal Recognition

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Manchester’s Soroptimists were honoured to be among those who met the Duchess of Cornwall when she paid a visit to St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in the city. Club members have been donating toiletries to the centre since it opened in 1986. Last year the Soroptimists were interested to read that the Duchess had visit a rape crisis centre in London. There she commented that giving a small gift of toiletries to survivors of such crimes could make a great difference, by bringing them the ‘human touch’ after their trauma. Nothing ventured, nothing gained … SI Manchester’s members asked Val Moss (Programme Action Officer) to write to the Duchess about their work. Val informed the Duchess that St Mary’s SARC would be marking its 30th anniversary in 2016 and expressed the hope that she would visit them. Sometimes Soroptimist dreams do come true,

Human Tissue Issues

Human Tissue Issues

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Human tissue donation was the featured topic at SI South Lancashire’s recent regional Programme Action Meeting. The speaker, Rebecca Denton (Tissue Donation Practitioner, North Tissue Retrieval Team, Liverpool NHS Blood and Transplant) gave the Soroptimists a comprehensive outline of this key element in healthcare. As one of the 12-strong team based in Liverpool, Rebecca travels far and wide to take tissue. But which tissues are taken? Heart valves, corneas, skin, bone and tendons can all be used to help save lives or improve someone’s quality of life following illness or injury. Most people are suitable for the donation of at least some tissue. Tissues can be taken up to 48 hours after death. From one tissue donation over 50 people could benefit. For example, a cornea donation could restore or greatly improve the sight of two people. Age is not necessarily a barrier – the oldest known

Soroptimists Explore ‘Royal’ Sanctuary

Soroptimists Explore ‘Royal’ Sanctuary

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Regional President Sandy Taylor organised a special event for local Soroptimists at the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital to celebrate International Women’s Day. Representatives from Soroptimist clubs in Bootle, Crosby, Liverpool and Southport (including Presidents and Programme Action Officers) had the opportunity to find out more about the facilities, many of which are still in the planning stage. In particular, there will be rooms for patients who have undergone a traumatic experience (such as female genital mutilation) or who are facing bad news. These sanctuary (or ‘crisis’) rooms would be very basic. However, members of the four Merseyside clubs have the opportunity to provide extra facilities in terms of comfort and décor, which distressed patients would really appreciate. President Sandy said: “This is an excellent opportunity for the local Soroptimist clubs to work together. In partnership with the hospital’s ‘R Charity’ we could provide something

Soroptimists Celebrate 90 Years in Manchester

Soroptimists Celebrate 90 Years in Manchester

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Soroptimists, special guests and friends gathered to commemorate SI Manchester’s 90th anniversary. This milestone event in South Lancashire regional history was held at The Monastery in Gorton. SI Manchester is the oldest club in the region. Sue Underwood, the host President, welcomed over 170 people to the gala dinner celebrating 90 years of service. It was an opportunity to acknowledge the hundreds of Manchester Soroptimists who have shared their talents for the well-being of women and girls in the city, the county and far beyond. [new_royalslider id=”10″] Soroptimist guests included Margaret Emsley (President, Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland), Ann Garvie (Immediate Past President of Soroptimist International) and Yemisi Opaneye, President of SI Greater London, which is SI Manchester’s mother club. Regional Presidents Sandy Taylor (SI South Lancashire) and Margaret Hammond (SI North West England & the Isle of Man) were also present – SI Manchester has

June Wilson – an appreciation

June Wilson – an appreciation

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June R. Wilson (née Tickle – the name she used professionally) died on 13th November 2015, aged 86. June was invited to join the St Helens Soroptimist Club in 1955 with the category of Solicitor. She made her mark quickly, becoming Club President in 1962, and went on to hold the offices of SI South Lancashire Regional President (1967-68), and Soroptimist International (G.B. & Ireland) Treasurer (1980-86). June was Treasurer of Soroptimist International from 1987 to ’89, being installed at the SI Convention in Melbourne, Australia. In recognition of her contribution to Soroptimism in these offices, South Lancashire Region made her an Honorary Member. June gave great support to other Soroptimists, encouraging them to go further in Soroptimism than they thought they were capable of doing, and giving quiet advice when difficult situations arose in the Club. She was loving, caring, kind, generous, non-judgmental and determined

Three Celebrations

Three Celebrations

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Soroptimists from all over South Lancashire enjoyed celebration events held by three clubs over one weekend. SI Manchester held a fundraising ‘International Evening’ in partnership with King Edward VII Lodge at Stanley House Masonic Hall, Audenshaw. The event was part of the lead-up to the club’s 90th anniversary in 2016. Club members have challenged themselves to raise £9,000 over the year. Food, music, dancing, entertainment and a massive raffle (plus a visit from Santa) meant a great night for all – and a great boost to the total. SI Ashton-under-Lyne held a concert at the magnificent Albion United Reformed Church. Nearly 200 people heard the Dovedale Singers, Salford Royal Choir and Chapel-en-le-Frith Male Voice Choir present a programme of seasonal music – from ‘Rudolph’ to the Hallelujah Chorus. Guests included SI Ashton member Sharman Birtles (High Sheriff of Greater Manchester), Federation President Margaret Emsley and Region President