5 members of the world-wide women’s organisation from the St Albans area were among 1200 delegates at the annual Soroptimist conference in Glasgow being attended by HRH Princess Anne and Dame Stella Rimington – among other luminaries!
These intrepid 5 belong to Soroptimist International which has more than 80 thousand members volunteering in 130 countries. They also help shape policies advancing the progress of women at the United Nations.
The elimination of all kinds of violence to women, the education of women and girls and the provision of clean water and sanitation are among the organisation’s chief concerns.
Princess Anne received a £4,000 cheque towards the work of Save the Children which is currently appealing for funds to support refugee children in camps around Syria. Soroptimist clubs around the UK have donated food parcels and toiletries to families fleeing into Europe and some are preparing welcome packs of clothes and toys for women and children who will be arriving in Britain in the coming months.
At the three day conference, Soroptimists heard from the first woman to head MI5, Dame Stella Rimington; one of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs, Jo Fairley who launched the internationally successful Green and Black’s Organic chocolate, and BBC broadcaster and journalist Sarah Montague who presents Radio 4’s breakfast programme.
All 5 of the Members had active roles in the Conference’s success – Hilary Ratcliffe from Harpenden (pictured right) was the Chief Steward, Denise Powell and Jennie Redford from Harpenden were event stewards along with Helen Byrne from St Albans. Jane Slatter from Watford is the current Director of Communications and had to be on the stage at the General Meeting. Helen is pictured below asking a question at the General Meeting. For more info about the conference please see www.sigbi.org/glasgow2015