“As this will be my last entry in our website, I will like to say a big thanks again for your support, advice and guidance during my Presidential year. It was lovely to meet up with some of our Regional members at Belfast – hope you have all recovered from the journey and conference. Wishing President Denise a brilliant year. See you all at the December meeting”. Dorcas
I was delighted to attend the Past Regional Presidents’ lunch at Statham Lodge. This was organised by our Immediate Past President, Josie Carter. It was a great opportunity to meet Past Presidents, many of whom I have not seen before. We shared stories about our lives as Soroptimists.
Guest speaker was Dr Patsy Hodson, Executive Vice-Principal of Greater Manchester Academies Trust (GMAT). She spoke about how the Trust was set up to give educational opportunity to children from disadvantaged families.
Also in October I joined President Diane and Club members at SI St Helens Charity Fundraising event. The occasion was graced by the Mayor and her Consort. It was a great honour and privilege to respond to the SI toast.
This was another lovely opportunity to meet members from other Clubs.
Our face-to-face Region Meetings took place on 18th June. It was a lovely sunny day and was great to see members from all our clubs. We started with the PA session – SI Manchester’s partnership with Act4Africa.
The Council meeting included all the reports. I hope you have all read them as they are full of information about the activities of your executive members. The Secretary reminded us about the vacancies in our Region I hope some members are thinking of filling the posts.
We had a good discussion about social media. Communications Officer Sue Underwood reported back on the regional survey. (There were only 6 returns.) She encouraged us to continue to embrace the technology skills we had gained during Covid and for clubs to bring their websites up to date. Clubs will be supported if necessary. (Contact Jenny, Web Administrator). If any club needs help with Facebook or wants to start Twitter please contact Sue.
We discussed possible format of our meetings using hybrid methods. If any member has views about our meetings please email me or Secretary Margaret.
I presented the Region’s draft work plan. This is to establish the need for succession planning in terms of future roles. For it to work everyone will have to be involved – officers, clubs and members, working in collaboration, believing in new ideas and supporting one another. The draft has been emailed to all Club secretaries.
The Chair of the Regional Conference (Sandy Taylor) gave the report of the conference linking the speakers’ presentations to the 5 Ps ( People, Planet, Partnership, Peace and Prosperity).
I take this opportunity to thank the executive officers for working hard to ensure smooth running of the Region. I hope as many club members as possible will be able to attend our next meeting on 10th September. Meanwhile wishing you all a peaceful and restful summer.
I attended SI Southport‘s Charter Lunch to join in the celebration of their 90th anniversary. What a magnificent cake! It was so good to meet Soroptimist International President Maureen Maguire again, and to hear her speech.
At the regional conference, our speaker Emily Spurrell (Police & Crime Commissioner, Merseyside) asked me to donate her cheque to a charity of my choice. I was delighted, therefore, to pass it to the Liverpool organisation Amadudu. This charity provides specialised services and support for black and minority ethnic women and girls who have experienced and are fleeing domestic abuse.
I attended SI Crosby’s dinner-dance with my husband. We had a warm welcome from President Chris and her members. It was really a celebration night with good food – and very few speeches. We played a “Heads & Tails” fundraiser game, which really got everyone involved. This was followed by the magnificent Liverpool Signing Choir; guests were encouraged to join the signing and singing. The DJ played lively music – I managed to do some dancing and even my husband was persuaded on to the dance floor. It really a celebratory night. Thank you, Crosby, for having us.
The very next day I joined SI Southport for their fundraising lunch. Although I’d had a tiring night at Crosby – so much dancing! – this was a great opportunity to catch up with more club members.
Towards the end of the month I was delighted to visit SI Ramsbottom. We took the train to Manchester, then Metro Link to Bury. President Denise met us at the entrance of the hotel. It was really nice to see a friendly face to welcome us! We joined the Ramsbottom members and Soroptimist International President Maureen to celebrate the club’s 70th Anniversary . I had the honour to respond to the toast to the guests. This was a lovely opportunity to network with club members who sometimes are not able to make it to the regional meetings.
International Women’s Day
On International Women’s Day (8th March) I raised awareness of the day at an event arranged by the Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast (ARCNW). I also used the opportunity to raise the issue of Domestic Violence. See https://arc-nwc.nihr.ac.uk/uncategorized/breaking-the-bias-for-international-womens-day/
February – March 2022
I’ve had a busy couple of months, attending club events and really enjoying finding out how South Lancashire’s Soroptimists are being of service to our communities.
In February I joined the members of SI Leigh & District to celebrate their 75th Charter Anniversary. President Lynda welcomed me most warmly. After an excellent lunch our entertainment was a wonderful medley of songs from the Sound of Music and other shows. We all joined in singing and dancing. What a brilliant afternoon!
SI Liverpool – my club – celebrated its 95th Charter Anniversary in February. It was a lovely sunny day and 74 guests joined us on this special occasion. The speaker, the broadcaster Eamonn O’Neal, is a trustee of the Dianne Oxberry Trust. The trust raises awareness of ovarian cancer, and is club president Debra’s charity this year. Eamonn spoke movingly about Dianne Oxberry’s life and the charity’s work. He then entertained us all with many quirky anecdotes of his broadcasting career.
I was delighted to be invited to SI Bolton’s 83rd Charter Lunch in March. It was really interesting to chat to club members. I had a warm welcome from President Glynis and was introduced to the Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Linda Thomas. A great photo for my album! Many thanks to my fellow SI Liverpool club member, Layla, who drove me to Bolton. A new Soroptimist, this was Layla’s first visit to another club’s event, and she really enjoyed it.
SI Manchester is the oldest club in our Region, and I was honoured to be invited to their 96th Charter Dinner. President Rosemarie and her husband welcomed us all to the reception. Katie Fraser, the guest speaker, told us about WomenMATTA, a local charity supported by the club. This is part of the Women in Prison network, which provides practical and emotional support to women affected by the criminal justice system.
- I attended two lovely events to mark International Human Rights Day. These were lovely opportunities that commemorated the worldwide impact of Soroptimist International.
- OUR FIRST ‘HYBRID’ MEETINGS
Yes, we did it – either at the Leigh Sports Village or from the comfort of our homes via Zoom (courtesy of Sue, our Communications Officer). Thanks to all members who made the effort to join the meeting on a windy, rainy and very cold day.
We had an excellent speaker on Greenpeace – very informative and thought-provoking, as you may have already read on our website. We now have to think when we are choosing beef for our meal or buying different clothes to wear “Well, I’m guilty as charged”. On a serious note, we can all continue to do our best as Soroptimists to think about the climate and environment. Let us continue to think of the 3 Rs … Reuse, Remake and Recycle.
The afternoon session included the change of insignia. It was an emotional afternoon for me personally as it was my first meeting as President. I felt very proud to receive the chain of office and I pledged to wear it on behalf of all members in our Region,
Thanks to all officers for their report; special thanks to Margaret our Secretary for organising the venue, Sue for making the Zoom possible for members to join from home, and SI Wigan club members for setting up the venue and ensuring we had plenty of coffee and tea. Above all, it’s our members who make the meeting a reality.
Can I seize the opportunity to wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR. May 2022 be a better year for us all.
- I am a volunteer Adviser with an organisation called Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast (ARC NWC). I have been raising awareness about Soroptimists’ involvement in the 16 Days of Activism. Read what I had to say – https://arc-nwc.nihr.ac.uk/uncategorized/public-adviser-dorcas-on-her-role-in-orange-the-world/ or follow the link here