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A Roaring Success

A Roaring Success

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South Lancashire’s Soroptimists came out in force to make the region’s conference a roaring success. The programme was wide-ranging but women-focussed. Speakers covered many aspects of health and wellness, education, gender equality and human rights. Violence against women and girls – what are the police doing to improve their response? How can children with complex needs be more readily identified and how can mothers be supported as the children grow? How can women find a clear path through the myths and fads surrounding the menopause? How is a major manufacturing company addressing the needs and challenges of its female workforce? Close to home, practical support and training has enabled thousands of women to develop their own successful businesses. In distant countries, a microloan can set a woman entrepreneur on the road to a stable economic future. A box of good things and a ‘sprinkling of
Thank You and Fare Ye Well

Thank You and Fare Ye Well

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Soroptimists in Widnes held a special gathering to say “thank you and fare ye well” to two members of the club. Denise Parker served as President of SI South Lancashire Region, 2022-2023. Her fellow members arranged the afternoon tea to celebrate her achievement. Officers from the Region’s Executive were joined by her family to voice their congratulations – and to thank her for a busy and memorable year. SI Widnes President Sheelagh Dayus then led everyone in offering best wishes to a special longstanding member. Wendy Ross-Barker, a Widnes Soroptimist since 1999, is relocating to Scotland. President Sheelagh praised Wendy’s commitment to Soroptimism and, in particular, her promotion of Fairtrade. At quarterly Region meetings Wendy invariably set up her Fairtrade stall and, over the years, raised hundreds of pounds. On behalf of the Region current President Pam Wright commended Denise and Wendy for their service,

Music – and Cake

Music – and Cake

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South Lancashire’s Soroptimists have had the opportunity to learn about the transformative power of music. Their guest speaker at the Region’s Programme Action meeting was Dean McShane, of Playlist for Life. Playlist for Life is a music and dementia charity. Research has shown that listening to music that is personal to the individual can be highly beneficial to people living with dementia. Favourite tunes from key times in a person’s past can drastically improve quality of life, reduce anxiety and improve mood. This familiarity triggers memories – lyrics, events, loved-ones may come back to mind. Connections can be made with relatives and carers – it’s emotional and rewarding. Dean is a mental health nurse and senior lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University, as well as a volunteer speaker for Playlist for Life. He recommended that everyone should develop their own ‘soundtrack for life’. The soundtrack

Soroptimist Showcase

Soroptimist Showcase

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South Lancashire’s Soroptimists shared their favourite projects at a recent regional meeting. Given just five minutes, each club had to tell everyone the what? why? and how? of their particular choice. Several clubs homed-in on support for women. SI Leigh & District Soroptimists, for example, highlighted violence against women. Their project on the 16 Days of Activism involved the local community, including the town hall - plus 2,495 orange flowers. SI Manchester told the story of their work with local charity WomenMATTA, which provides holistic support to women affected by the criminal justice system and to those at risk. Club members supply over 250 diaries each year plus items for the clothing bank. Both SI Widnes and SI Warrington provide dignity packs. In Widnes the focus is on supporting women at after pregnancy loss or other emergencies. Warrington Soroptimists create packs of life’s essentials for
All-Change for Soroptimists

All-Change for Soroptimists

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Region President Pam Wright welcomed South Lancashire’s Soroptimists to her first meeting of the Council. Retiring president Denise Parker ‘passed on’ the beautiful South Lancashire insignia This is engraved with the names of so many women who have led the region. President Pam congratulated Denise on encouraging clubs to recognise that ‘Little Things make a Big Difference’. Clubs' projects can act as ripples on a pond - making an impact, transforming lives. “Rise up and ROAR” is President Pam’s theme – both for her year and for the region’s conference. As Soroptimists we should tell the world of the excellent work we do and how we really make a difference to the lives of women and girls at home and abroad. New to the regional team are Sandy Taylor (President Elect) and Sue Underwood (Vice President). Both Sandy and Sue are past regional presidents and
Soroptimists Celebrate in Style

Soroptimists Celebrate in Style

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Soroptimists in South Lancashire came together for their biennial lunch to celebrate their clubs’ achievements. Region President Denise Parker welcomed the large number of new Soroptimists present, and wished them many years of friendship, fun, and the satisfaction of ‘standing up for women’. Guest speaker Dr Margaret Emsley reminisced about the opportunities that Soroptimism has given her, both at home and abroad. Taking part in practical service, meeting like-minded women and challenging herself to take on a demanding role in the organisation – these have meant much to Margaret. Concluding, she hoped the newer Soroptimists would find their membership equally fulfilling. The Region’s Programme Action Officer, Sriya Kulupana, had the unenviable task of deciding on the winner of this year’s PA Award. SI Liverpool scooped the trophy for their ‘Breathe Easy’ project. The Club organised a public awareness-raising event around chronic asthma. It highlighted the
Plan, Achieve, Report

Plan, Achieve, Report

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Soroptimists in South Lancashire were delighted to welcome a special guest to their autumn meetings. Sriya Kulupana (Region Programme Action Officer) introduced Lindsay Green, the Programme Director for our Federation (Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland – SIGBI). Her role is to guide and pull together all the practical project service work that our members undertake. At the Programme Action meeting Lindsay reminded members about the critical need to ‘spread the word’ about what we do, by reporting our projects. Soroptimists’ work feeds into the body of evidence that maintains SIGBI’s consultative status at the United Nations. It also supports the prominence at the UN of our ‘parent’ organisation, Soroptimist International. To put it bluntly: no reports = no support = no UN presence! It’s essential that Soroptimists report their service projects – large and small, long-term and one-offs. SIGBI’s ‘Hub’ is the reporting platform and

Bowls – and Buster

Bowls – and Buster

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Soroptimists in South Lancashire continue to keep up their long tradition of crown green bowling each summer. Crosby club hosted a social bowls evening. Soroptimists from Southport, Warrington and Wigan found their way (eventually!) to Hightown. Novice bowlers received some 'basic training' to help them along, while more experienced players paired off for a few enjoyable games. The evening was rounded off by one of Crosby's excellent suppers. Fun, friendship and food! The Region's bowls season took on a more competitive note at the event organised in Padgate by SI Warrington member (and Region Secretary) Margaret Emsley. Members from Liverpool, Southport, Crosby, Leigh & District, plus Margaret's own club, met for the annual knock-out competition. SI Southport were delighted to bring their regular 'country' player, Joan Lunt. An experienced bowler, Joan is a Past President of SI South Lancashire, and now a member of SI
Priceless – Not Worthless

Priceless – Not Worthless

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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

Soroptimists : 4-Ways

Soroptimists : 4-Ways

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Soroptimists from four clubs in South Lancashire Region can celebrate a successful collaboration in support of local women. Liverpool, Crosby, Southport and Bootle Soroptimists have - at last! - achieved their pre-Covid aim of working together on a hospital-based safeguarding project. The Soroptimists raised over £7,500 for the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital. The money is earmarked for use by the Safeguarding Team who care for vulnerable women attending the hospital. This fundraising was the initiative of Crosby Soroptimist Sandy Taylor when she was President of the South Lancashire Region. “We originally envisioned a ‘room of safety’ at the hospital,” said Sandy. “However, the need now is for the funds to be used to support individual women, as identified by the Safeguarding Team. “Over lunch in the 'Sky' restaurant we discussed with staff how the hospital recognises and then ensures the safety and privacy of