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Soroptimists go ‘Virtual’ at Conference

Soroptimists go ‘Virtual’ at Conference

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In a first for Soroptimist International, Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI), a two-day conference brought 1,000 members to a ‘virtual’ Belfast. Full reports on the keynote speakers, including Lady Hale and Jane Garvey – and all the other events – are on the conference webpages. SI South Lancashire featured in a session on membership. It focused on staying connected and supporting each other during these difficult times. Anne Grimes (Region Membership Officer) contributed a presentation ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ on clubs’ activities including … SIGBI’s Best Practice Awards are given annually for clubs’ service projects. SI Liverpool won the award in the ‘planet’ category, addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 6 and 12-15. The change of insignia celebrations saw Yvonne Gibbon bow out after a momentous year as Region President. Leading SI South Lancashire for the next year is Josie Carter of

Soroptimist is ‘One in a Hundred’

Soroptimist is ‘One in a Hundred’

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South Lancashire’s Soroptimists convened recently (via Zoom) for their regular quarterly meetings. Members were delighted to hear that a former local member – June Wilson of SI St Helens – features as ‘one in a hundred’ in a #WhoIsShe? campaign. 2021 sees the centenary of Soroptimist International, our worldwide parent organisation. As part of the commemorations our own Federation (Soroptimist International, Great Britain & Ireland – SIGBI) is documenting the centenary through ‘a bright past’ and ‘a brilliant future’. The contributions to society by one hundred Soroptimists – past and present – are acknowledged. These #WhoIsShe? campaign members have all been nominated by Soroptimist clubs for their noteworthy contribution to society in the furtherance of the aims and objects of the organisation. Her citation shows that June – a trailblazing solicitor – was a Soroptimist from 1955 until her death in 2015. The region –

Local Soroptimists feature in International Report

Local Soroptimists feature in International Report

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South Lancashire Region’s President, Yvonne Gibbon, was delighted recently to see her own club (SI Widnes) mentioned in a major international document. Soroptimist International’s ‘Report for the High-Level Political Forum 2020’ was compiled for the United Nations (UN). Entitled ‘The Road to Equality’ the report looked at the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, Women & Girls. It demonstrated how the work of Soroptimist International has contributed towards progress in achieving the Goals. The report highlighted Soroptimists’ worldwide project work aimed at women and girls. SI Widnes appeared in the section on Soroptimists’ response to COVID-19, aiding victims of violence: Hygiene Poverty: UK SI Widnes The resources available to women and children in shelters has always been limited. Many of those staying in shelters do not have a stable income, which can mean they experience hygiene poverty – where they are unable to afford items for personal

Gifts for refuge residents from Manchester Soroptimists
Soroptimists – Support in the Cities

Soroptimists – Support in the Cities

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More about Soroptimists' Covid-19 projects in South Lancashire Region's two cities. SI Manchester: When Trafford Domestic Abuse Services put out an appeal for toiletries for refuge residents, members rose to the challenge. Soroptimists provided a wide range of essentials, handmade toiletry bags and shopping vouchers to purchase further supplies. The club also made a donation towards necessities for the charity’s new refuge. The club’s newsletter focussed on service projects:  Manchester Soroptimists in action Spring 2020 SI Liverpool: The club supplied 45 buckets of cleaning materials for clients of the Whitechapel Centre for the Homeless. The clients have been housed temporarily in a hotel but are now being moved out to permanent accommodation. Members also gave 15 bags of kitchen cupboard ‘starters’ - tea, coffee, sugar, oil, spices, salt, pepper, pickle, etc. This prompted a Tweet about the Soroptimists’ work from the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, too.
Soroptimists – Lockdown Action

Soroptimists – Lockdown Action

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Widnes Soroptimists with essentials for local women's aid charity South Lancashire Soroptimists recently held ‘virtual’ regional meetings. Covid-19 action reports featured strongly. All clubs are very active during the Covid-19 pandemic. They are offering practical support to their own members – particularly those who are shielded – and to the wider community. St Helens club, for example, gave a consignment of soaps to the local homeless centre to commemorate the club’s 77th anniversary. Liverpool’s Soroptimists have supplied toiletries and household items for the Whitechapel Centre for homeless people. Widnes and St Helens members have also been busy providing buckets full of cleaning materials – and in responding to pleas for more. Leigh & District’s gift hampers for care home staff ‘made’ the local newspaper; and members gave local young carers aged 5 to 11 - so isolated at this difficult time - bags of ‘treats’.
Soroptimists – “Equals”

Soroptimists – “Equals”

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South Lancashire’s Soroptimists made a ‘grand gesture’ to mark International Women’s Day (IWD). To illustrate the maxim “An equal world is an enabled world” members struck the equals pose. Sriya Kulupana, the Region’s Programme Action Officer said, “On 8th March we celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and, this year, the acceleration of gender equality. “However, the IWD campaign is not a one-day-a-year phenomenon. It runs all year long. “Soroptimists worldwide form a global volunteer movement. Working together they transform the lives of women and girls – every day of the year.”
Tara Project – Menstruation Kits in Nepal

Tara Project – Menstruation Kits in Nepal

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‘Unclean’ and ‘impure’ – you are forbidden to cook, attend school, tend the animals or worship in the temple. South Lancashire’s Soroptimists learned about the lifestyle facing thousands of menstruating girls and women in rural Nepal. The guest speaker at the Region’s Programme Action meeting was Jenni Pizer, founder of the Tara Women’s Project. Consider – you are segregated from the family, made to live in an outside shed with others who are menstruating, and barred from touching anything for fear you will contaminate it and render it useless. That is the norm in villages where ‘Chhaupadi’ prevails. You will have no idea why you are bleeding – you have no safe, hygienic sanitary protection and will resort to newspaper, corn husks or old cloths. You are at risk of infection. You are ashamed. The Tara Project addresses this through education – the what? and
Message from Outgoing President Sue

Message from Outgoing President Sue

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It has been an honour and a privilege to be your Regional President, I have enjoyed every minute of it, the year has certainly flown by! I enjoyed all of your Charter events but only managed to get to a few Club events and meetings, so, as I look forward to my year as Immediate Past President, I would like to visit as many Clubs as possible, gathering information and spreading ideas for Phase 3 of our Growth Plan. The more members we have, the more we can achieve! As I came out of office, Federation asked for my ‘proudest achievement’, I chose being included in ‘100 Women 100 Stories’ to showcase Soroptimism. I have now been asked to be a judge for the ‘She Inspires Awards’ by the founder Gulnaz Brennan and I look forward to working with Naz, watching and learning how to
Bowlers ‘Do the Double’

Bowlers ‘Do the Double’

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Crosby’s Soroptimists ‘did the double’ in this year’s regional bowls competition. Six clubs in South Lancashire Region competed this season for the team trophy. After a summer of keenly-fought matches, SI Crosby’s points total topped the table. On ‘finals day’ individual high-scoring bowlers from four clubs (Southport, Liverpool, Leigh & District and Crosby) played in a knock-out competition for the Tricia Fahey Trophy. The final game was between Rosemary Moore (SI Southport) and Sandy Taylor (SI Crosby). It was nip-and-tuck all the way until Sandy scored two points to win. Region President Sue Underwood presented the Rose Bowl trophy to team captain Sandy and her SI Crosby members; then the individual trophy to Sandy herself. It was a blustery day of sunshine and sudden, heavy showers. Bowlers and spectators often had to run for cover to the clubhouse. Dot Massey (SI Southport) was again the

Domestic Violence Report

Domestic Violence Report

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‘Specialist domestic violence courts: how special are they?’ Dame Vera Baird QC unravelled this complex topic for South Lancashire’s Soroptimists at the Region’s Programme Action meeting. Dame Vera – a Soroptimist herself (in Newcastle) – explained how volunteer court observers, trained by the Crown Prosecution Service, observed 170 cases in Northumbria. Despite being the focus of multi-agency work, impartial observations in the court system are not routine. Therefore this project, undertaken by local Soroptimists, was ground-breaking. Using a simple questionnaire proforma the observers made notes as each case progressed. Factors included the existence/lack of practical safeguards for the victim in the court; the presence/absence of independent advisors to aid victims; guilty/not guilty plea ratios; and evidence of training of non-specialist magistrates. Over 90% of victims of domestic violence are women. The resulting report from the Soroptimists identified significant gaps in the current system, and made