*Club President Katherine Clark’s Message for the Club Year 2019-2020

Message from President Katherine

I’m delighted to be President at a time when Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland are working hard to promote mental health as part of their #SoroptimistsThinkOnIt campaign. Having sat on both sides of the fence, been a professional working in the field for over 15 years and supporting others with mental health challenges and as someone who has received support with my own mental health, it’s a subject I am extremely passionate about.

I hope to get the club involved with Herts County Council Connecting Lives strategy which aims to allow people to feel more connected with their local communities and reduce loneliness and isolation.

They are currently running a pilot project in Letchworth but plan to roll this out countywide this year. I have signed myself up as someone who is interested in forming part of their connecting lives army and hope it will benefit our Club and Members. The idea is that the army will help spread news of local events and provide people with more information on events and groups they can join in with.

I am also pleased to introduce a new charity to the mix of incredible charities supported by the club  Herts Rape Crisis www.hertsrapecrisis.org.uk do truly life changing work. They provide support and counselling to women living in Hertfordshire who have been victims of sexual assault and rape. They do this by offering fortnightly counselling and managing a helpline for women to call for support. The service is completely free of charge and the counselling is offered by pairs of counsellors working two to one with women and the counselling is open-ended so the woman gets to choose how long she needs help for. They work in a way that empowers women and supports them to find their own voice and have their pain and trauma heard so that healing can begin. The support is free from judgement and offers a safe space to share some of the most traumatic and private memories and experiences someone can go through. It is my hope that our support of them will complement the work we are already doing with the local Women’s Refuges.

I’m looking forward to this year and will do all I can to be the best President I can. Thank you.

In Soroptimist friendship

Katherine Clark, Club President

NB This year Katherine will also be supported by the Club’s Mascot – Sally Bear, see photo, Sally  now has her very own regalia, crafted by Katherine…

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