The first meeting of the 2016-17 regional year was held at The Catholic Centre, Taunton on 26th November. 16 Clubs were represented by 67 members.
President Daphne’s theme for the year is ‘Soroptimists: Sisters4Sisters’. She would like to emphasis Friendship, Goodwill and Understanding at all levels of our Soroptimist organisation.
President Daphne opened the meeting by welcoming everyone, particularly first attendees to a Regional meeting. She thanked everyone for wearing something orange to remember the ‘International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women’ on 25th November. 40 Soroptimists from across the region took part in ‘Railing against Abuse’ organised by SI Weston-super-Mare, culminating in a march and a speaker in Bristol.
President Daphne presented the Immediate Past President’s badge to Diane Steele, together with a gift from the region to thank her for her hard work for a very successful year as President. IPP Diane thanked outgoing officers Audrey Taylor (Regional Secretary) , Di Hill (Federation Councillor)and Anne Brooker (Website Administrator) for all their work during their terms of office. She presented Audrey and Di with flowers, Anne was unable to be at the meeting. President Daphne then introduced the regional officers for 2016-2017.
Speaker: Adilla Allebone-Parish from ‘Edukids’. Edukids works with children in Cambodia, Uganda and Palestine, educating them for a brighter future by removing the barriers to education, working with local people and organisations. Adilla told us the stories of some of the girls whose lives have been transformed by the schools programme run by Edukids.
Speaker: Jennie Moxom, Regional Co-ordinator of ‘Look Good Feel Better’. LGFB is the only international cancer support charity, providing practical and very effective free services for women and teenagers struggling with the visible side effects of cancer treatment. It is dedicated to improving the wellbeing and self-confidence of those undergoing treatment for any type of cancer by organising 2-hour free of charge skincare and makeup workshops, held in hospital and cancer care centres and run by qualified beauty volunteers.
Other highlights of the meeting included:
- SIGBI Growth Plan Update from Wendy Plaice and Kay Turner of St Austell, one of the pilot Clubs in our region.
- Malta Conference Report from Wenona Pappin of SI Brixham
- Benevolent Fund Quiz over lunch prepared by Christine Briggs of SI Taunton
- Malta FPAC Meeting Report from silent observer Mary Weston of SI St Austell
- Cirencester Literacy Project Presentation given at the Malta Conference from Patricia Wright of SI Cirencester, following their winning the Learning Opportunities and overall Programme Awards at the Glasgow Conference in 2015
- ‘It only takes a minute’ talks from six Clubs about what makes their Club special or unique