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Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Southport

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Southport

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Past President Rosemary Moore introduced this project to our club members. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting programme devoted to inspiring a love of reading in the hearts of children everywhere. The programme was launched in the UK in December 2007 – with a visit from Dolly Parton to London – and since then, the Imagination Library has grown and now work with over 200 affiliate partners and deliver more than 40,000 books every month to children living in communities across the UK. SI Southport are sponsoring this programme locally in conjunction with Marshside Road Pre-School in Southport. Each month, the currently enrolled children up to age five receive a high quality, age-appropriate book in the post. The books are carefully selected, and full of variety. They include traditional stories and rhymes, books by beloved authors and illustrators, non-fiction content, and newly published titles. On

SI Southport’s Presentation Evening, April 2022

SI Southport’s Presentation Evening, April 2022

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As with most organisations, the last two years have been very challenging for fund-raising – and even more challenging for local charities. With great support from our members and friends, SI Southport continued to run some small fundraisers. Some were virtual – such as balloon races, remote dinners and raffles – and some had a more traditional format – such as our Christmas Fair at All Saints Church Hall and an Auction, run by Social Chair, Jean Tweddell. As a result, we boosted our charity funds and had the opportunity to make some donations to some local charities.               Queenscourt Hospice We are fortunate to have this wonderful hospice in Southport and Barbara Cox, one of the volunteers, gave us an overview. Queenscourt receives only 20% of its costs from the NHS, the rest being contributed by fund-raising and

Our visit to the Southport Lifeboat House

Our visit to the Southport Lifeboat House

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As reported last year, Keith Porter, the cox of the Southport Lifeboats came to talk to us about the wonderful service run totally by volunteers. He proffered an invitation to members to visit the sparkling new Lifeboat House, which was due to open by the end of 2021.We were delighted to visit in March and see the amazing facility that has been entirely funded by public donations, directly and via their charity shop. The crews of the lifeboat provide an outstanding and vital service to the people of Southport and it was a great pleasure for President Carol to present a donation to Keith. For more information, please see the Southport Lifeboat’s website.  

SI Southport’s Tree Planting Activities

SI Southport’s Tree Planting Activities

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Victoria Park In May 2021, members of Soroptimist International Southport gathered in Victoria Park, Southport to plant trees, as part of the SI centenary project. The first action taken by Soroptimists in 1921 was to save trees and 100 years later, we are ‘Planting Trees for a Brilliant Future’. As part of the Woodland Trust’s reforestation project – ‘A TREE TODAY, A FOREST TOMORROW’ – Alan Adams, the General Manager of Southport Flower Show and the Victoria Park Management Company, secured a supply of saplings which he offered to schools, community groups and local organisations for planting in Victoria Park. Every tree planted will contribute to the global reforestation efforts, restoring lost forests, repairing damaged ecosystems and mitigating climate changes. Alan generously provided the saplings – and some assistance from Victoria Park volunteer Simon Moorhouse. The Soroptimists planted 60 crab-apple saplings from the ‘Wild Wood’

Welcome to Bernie and Susan!

Welcome to Bernie and Susan!

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We were delighted to welcome two new members to SI Southport. Susan Fryer contacted the club during lockdown and, as soon as we were able to meet in person, she joined us at a couple of our meetings. Bernie Reynolds visited our ‘Market Trail’ in June 2021 and chatted with members about the aims and objects of Soroptimism. She decided that our aims and hers were closely aligned. Susan and Bernie have already proved to be enthusiastic members of the club and have been active participants in our speaker and club meetings since they joined. We warmly welcome them to Soroptimist International and look forward to a long and happy association. The photo shows President Carol Cookson presenting Bernie with her badge (unfortunately Susan was not able to attend the meeting).

‘Take Three Stores’ – the Department Stores of Southport

‘Take Three Stores’ – the Department Stores of Southport

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At our first speaker meeting of 2022, we welcomed Jill Newsham who gave us a fascinating presentation on three notable department stores – Boothroyds, Broadbents and Bobbies (later Debenhams). With some amazing photos, Jill described the fascinating history of the stores and how the vision of their founders became reality – sometimes changing their names along the way, as partnerships were made and dissolved and properties were sold. The stores became elegant shopping venues and meeting places. Boothroyds was founded by Boothroyd and Jolly and Broadbents by Stinson-Broadbent. The Broadbents site was subsequently sold to Owen-Owen and then to BHS for £500,000. The north end of Lord Street developed slightly later for retail. In 1920, Bobby’s of Margate opened a store on Lord Street, this being their most northerly site. It was subsequently sold to Debenhams, trading as Marshall & Snelgrove, a family brand with

Christmas Fair 2021

Christmas Fair 2021

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After a break in 2020 (for obvious reasons) SI Southport held their annual Christmas Fair at the end of November in All Saints Church Hall. The photos show some of the wonderful stalls. These included hand made craft items, a tombola, raffles for a Christmas hamper and a delicious Christmas cake made by one of our members and the ubiquitous cake stall. Over £700 was raised for our Charity Fund, from which we distribute donations to local charities in Southport. Many thanks to all our members, friends and guests for their support, which was greatly appreciated!

Lest we forget – Remembrance Sunday 2021

Lest we forget – Remembrance Sunday 2021

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The annual Remembrance Sunday service was held on a beautiful sunny day at the Southport Cenotaph. Following a short service and ‘The Last Post’ from a Salvation Army bugler, a two-minute silence was observed by all present. Wreaths were then laid, beginning with the Mayor of Sefton’s Representative, the leader of Sefton Council, Councillor Ian Maher on behalf of the townspeople of Sefton. President Carol Cookson laid the wreath for Soroptimist International of Southport. The Presiding Minister led the act of commitment: – To commit to responsible living and faithful service – To strive for all that makes for peace – To seek to heal the wounds of war – To work for a just future for all humanity Following a blessing and the National Anthem, the contingents from the armed forces, cadets and many other groups marched down Lord Street and past the Town

Southport’s wonderful lifeboat service

Southport’s wonderful lifeboat service

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At our November speaker meeting, we were delighted to welcome Keith Porter, the coxswain of the Southport Offshore Rescue Trust (SORT). The trust is an independent charity that provides a 24-hour life-saving service around the Southport coast. In words and slides, Keith explained the history of the service, which began 20 years before the RNLI was formed. In the 19th century, Southport’s coastline was one of the busiest and most dangerous in the country and many hundreds of people were rescued using oar and sail driven boats – with the crew wearing oilskins as their only protective clothing. In 1886, Southport’s lifeboats were deployed to rescue the crew of the barge ‘Mexico’ – 14 crew members from the Southport Lifeboat and all 13 crew members of the St. Annes Lifeboat lost their lives in the rescue, with only 2 survivors. This is still recorded as

2021 Friendship Night – a truly international evening

2021 Friendship Night – a truly international evening

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As some members are still reluctant to attend meetings in person for their own health and personal reasons and some members prefer to meet in person, SI Southport is continuing with ‘hybrid’ meetings to give our members most flexibility and freedom of choice. One such meeting was our Friendship Night in October. In 2020, when lockdown precluded any gatherings, we had a wonderful Zoom meeting with all our friendship links present. This year, with more relaxed Covid security rules, Heather Shulver and her International Committee decide to revert back to the more traditional format, with a meal and a candle-lighting ceremony – but with a difference. We started the meeting with candle-lighting WITH our friendship links on Zoom, as we did in 2020. Our friendship links were in full support – when else would there be an opportunity to celebrate together? We were joined by