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New Members and My Other Hat Evening

We had a really inspiring and enjoyable Club Meeting on Monday 10 June.

Mary Moran was officially welcomed to the Club. Mary is a poet, she moved to St Albans from the US many years ago and her family were originally from Syria. She is an interesting and talented woman with a passion to end violence against women and for the support and education of women and girls. We know Mary will be a real asset to our Club. We were able to get to know Mary a little better later in the evening when she read some of her thought-provoking poems to us. Mary is pictured here on the right laughing with President Katherine Clark as she accepts the hand (paw) of Soroptimist friendship from the Club’s mascot Sally Bear.

Our speaker for the evening was our new Member Ann Beatty, who joined the Club in February this year.  Ann is the Chief Executive of the Steve Sinnott  This was a role she took up after a life changing experience of living in Sierra Leone for 2 years. For Ann working with women is a passion so we are thrilled that she is now a Member of our Club. Ann is pictured below with Club President Kat Clark – her presentation is available to download and view here SteveSinnottFoundationSoroptimists June 2019 Steve Sinnott was a champion of “education for all everywhere” and when Steve died the Foundation was launched  to achieve his vision as a legacy. It is a small charity based in Watford and if you read the Presentation and look at the website you can see some of the wonderful work it does. One example is a sanitary protection project in the Gambia – teaching the girls to make their own washable sanitary wear, locally and in a sustainable way, so they don’t drop out of school when they menstruate. The Club will be looking at how to partner with the charity in the future.

Ann also showed us a brilliant video – if you click on the link/image below you can view the video via YouTube.




My Other Hat – Members were encouraged to come along and tell us about a hobby or passion and learn a bit more about what ‘other hats’ their fellow Soroptimists wear outside of Club time.

Our Member, local business woman and Homepreneur Amanda Brown kicked off the session reading one of her short stories which had us all gripped! Amanda belongs to a writing group and enjoys creative creating when she has the time…

As mentioned above our newest Member Mary Moran read a few of her poems to us – again we were captivated.

Mental Health professional and President of the Club, Kat Clark showed us some of her paintings – she had one original to pass round and postcards of a good selection of her other pieces. Kat uses her art to express herself and to maintain her mental health wellbeing producing beautiful work in the process – truly a “win win”.

Last we heard about our longest serving Member Joan Williams’ pride in the work she does with Wesleys Cafe in Harpenden The cafe provides a caring space for people to meet and has raised thousands of pounds for many different charities since it opened. Joan Williams and Wesleys have both been nominated in the Mums Guide to Harpenden Awards – voting opens Sat 8 June and closes on Fri 21 June – just click here The cafe is in the Most Family Friendly Cafe category and Joan is nominated in the Volunteer of the Year category.

What a talented bunch we Soroptimists are and what an inspiring evening for the two prospective Members who shared the evening with us. The time flew by and we ran out of time to hear more, so we will definitely include another “My Other Hat” evening in our programme soon…