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How It Works

How It Works

Structure

Board of Directors

Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland is run by a Board of 7 volunteer members elected by the membership. Some details are given below:

President: Catherine Cottridge

Catherine has been a member of the Southend-on-Sea Club since 2007 and has held positions at Club, Region and Federation level. She was a Federation Councillor, moving to being a Director Without Portfolio and then become a Director of SIGBI Trading Ltd.

She is looking forward to helping Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) move forward as an Organisation.

President Elect: Ruth Healey

Ruth joined SI Guildford and District (now SI Surrey Hills) in 2003. She is a passionate Soroptimist who also works as a Finance Director for a number of businesses with turnover from £500,000 to £50m. She says that being able to use her professional skills to bring change to the organisation as a Board member has been, and continues to be, a source of enormous satisfaction for her.

Ruth was first ‘volunteered’ by her mother in 1970 so she has been part of the Soroptimist family since then.  Her grandmother joined her club in 1928 followed by her two daughters, her daughter in law and two granddaughters.  Spanning almost the entire centenary, it’s truly a family affair!

Ruth is proud of what the Soroptimist world has achieved over the last 100 years and the promise of the change the organisation can make into its second centenary.  There is much to do to stand up for women and she loves working with 75,000 women worldwide on grassroots projects to educate, empower and enable women through her membership of Soroptimist International.

Director of Finance: Ruth Healey (see above)
Director of Governance: Giselle Davies

Giselle has been a Soroptimist since 1993, firstly of SI Bristol, then transferring to SI Cardiff and District in 1995 and she is now a Member of SI Glamorgan. She is the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Cardiff Women’s Aid and a consultant in Geldards’ Charity Law & Social Enterprise Team, having been partner to the firm until 2018.

Giselle advises the firm’s clients upon a wide range of matters including new start-ups, governance, reorganisations, mergers and transfers, trustee liability, trading and taxation, supporting the Team.

Giselle is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioner and the Charity Law Association. She is an experienced and well respected public speaker frequently delivering seminars and conference presentations on relevant subjects for organisations such as Wales Council for Voluntary Action and various local and regional umbrella organisations working in the sector as well as to local authority legal teams and at the Welsh Government Legal Services Annual Conference.

Director of Membership: Dishi Attwood

Dishi joined Soroptimists as founder member of Solihull Club before moving to Lichfield Club and then to to SI Kenilworth and District.  She has recently transferred to SI Stratford upon Avon. She has fulfilled both Club and Region roles during that time.

Dishi is a passionate Soroptimist, especially as it aligns with the principles of Sikhism; gratitude for the good fortune we have and service as a means of ‘paying back’ for that good fortune.

As she begins this vital role, she is, as stated by Belfast Conference Keynote Speaker Dr Tara Stone, a ‘stubborn optimist’.  She also believes that every Soroptimist is ready to take the responsibility of being kind, open to new ideas and new arrivals to our clubs and above all, valuing the fun, friendship and mutual support that being a member brings.

Every one of us has this membership responsibility and together we will continue to thrive.

Programme Director: Lindsay Green

Lindsay joined SI Selby in 2008 and is passionate about Programme Action, it is what inspires, excites and humbles her the most about being a Soroptimist.

Her nursing career spans 42 years and she continues to work in the local community as a Health Visitor, she believes her professional role with children and families mirrors not only the mission of Soroptimism but also many of its key principles.

She does not shirk responsibility having taken leadership roles within her club, region and then UK. At her club she has been Programme Action officer and President. She then became regional Programme Action officer and lastly, she has been UKPAC Vice Chair for 4 years (2019-2022) and SI Yorkshire President (2021-2022).

Lindsay is looking forward to working closely with the other Directors in developing SIGBI and advancing the federation.  She views Development, Membership and Communication to be equally as vital as Programme Action. The focus of the coming years has to be a revitalised membership, thus leading to a more visible and vibrant organisation.

She hopes to strengthen our Soroptimist passion for Programme Action, and is committed, with her team, to lead us on this journey. She believes, lasting change can be achieved by standing up for issues affecting Women and Girls.

Together we can make a real difference.

Director of PR and Marketing: Anne Rogers

Born in Birmingham, Anne started her career in banking with the Midland Bank at the beginning of computerised banking. This early introduction to technology has led to a long and successful career first as a Computer technician and then IT Sales and Marketing management, selling Hardware, Software, Consultancy and Business Continuity. After several good sales years, Anne acquired a 400-year-old gite in the Dordogne, which developed into a love affair with France for over 12 years. In 2002, Anne joined Marks & Spencer and quickly moved into a management role locally, within the West Midlands, and in 2005, Anne found time to establish her own successful Ladies’ Accessories business, going on the road to large events in stately homes, exhibitions, and air shows. The year 2012 saw the beginning of a role as a volunteer steward at Bletchley Park, which continues to this day.

Anne’s journey as a Soroptimist began in 2013 with SI Smethwick and then SI Stourbridge. As a keen team worker, Anne has served on many Soroptimist Committees and was soon enrolled as President of Midland Arden Region and a subsequent move to Director of PR, Marketing and Communications. When not working in her volunteering roles, Anne enjoys wine tasting as a hobby and is a member of several Wine Tasting circles. A lifelong affection for West Bromwich Albion football club started as a very young girl, having been taken to matches with her father, who was an ardent fan. Anne Likes to travel the world and still has an ambitious list of places to visit.

Programme Team

The Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland Programme Team consists of the Programme Director, and five Assistant Programme Directors (APDs), each assigned to one of the Programme Areas:

Lindsay Green

Programme Director

Lindsay joined SI Selby in 2008 and is passionate about Programme Action, it is what inspires, excites and humbles her the most about being a Soroptimist.

Her nursing career spans 42 years and she continues to work in the local community as a Health Visitor, she believes her professional role with children and families mirrors not only the mission of Soroptimism but also many of its key principles.

She does not shirk responsibility having taken leadership roles within her club, region and then UK. At her club she has been Programme Action officer and President. She then became regional Programme Action officer and lastly, she has been UKPAC Vice Chair for 4 years (2019-2022) and SI Yorkshire President (2021-2022).

Lindsay is looking forward to working closely with the other Directors in developing SIGBI and advancing the federation.  She views Development, Membership and Communication to be equally as vital as Programme Action. The focus of the coming years has to be a revitalised membership, thus leading to a more visible and vibrant organisation.

She hopes to strengthen our Soroptimist passion for Programme Action, and is committed, with her team, to lead us on this journey. She believes, lasting change can be achieved by standing up for issues affecting Women and Girls.

Together we can make a real difference.

Shukla Chattopadhyay

APD Prosperity

Shukla Chattopadhyay has been a member of SI South Kolkata since 2019, and has been actively involved in teaching the children and mothers of Madertala area the rudiments of English. From 2020 to 2022, she was Programme Action Officer of the club, where among other activities, she spearheaded the mangrove plantation in the Sunderbans, bringing together a host of partners, donors and mangrove saplings along the coastline where they are desperately required.

An educator by profession, Shukla continues with her passion for teaching, public speaking and, most importantly, social service. She has taught English both in the Indian curriculum as well as the International IGCSE & A Level.

Headmistress, HOD for English, Pastoral Counsellor, and General Manager, HRD are some of the varied and diverse roles Shukla has essayed in her professional career.

She also mentors less privileged children in her neighbourhood, helping them find their own niche, despite the many odds in their lives. Workshops to improve Communicative English Skills and Personality Development in these children has been her forte. Besides, Shukla has been part of a small group of women in another organization, working towards mitigating human-animal conflict along a migratory elephant corridor by building 6 bio-toilets in two tribal villages that lie along this path.

Shukla loves to travel, read, listen to music, watch good plays and movies, play with her dogs and generally enjoy life. A mother and a grandmother, Shukla lives life to the hilt. She whole heartedly believes in what Tennyson’s Ulysses felt: “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield” … yes, not to yield to the ravages of time.

Eleanor Evans

APD People

Eleanor Evans was a founder member of SI Salisbury which chartered in 2019.   Projects have always been her passion and she has served as PA office at club and regional/UK PAC level.   She served as Club President in 2021/22.

Eleanor works in the financial services industry and has considerable experience of leading teams and of delivering IT and business change.   She has over 20 years’ experience of working on projects and currently works part-time as a Business Analyst.

Eleanor has always been an active member of SI Salisbury and has been involved in projects promoting Orange the World, encouraging STEM opportunities for girls, and running several fund-raising quiz events.  She has been a leading member of the club’s women’s safety initiative, which has been successful in making women’s safety a local priority, as well as resulting in the club being very well connected in the local community.

Eleanor believes in the importance of clubs involving themselves in service projects which have an obvious focus on the needs of women and girls – this is how we make a difference, it’s how we are seen in our communities and it is what makes clubs attractive to potential new members.

She is keen to work with the rest of the FPA team to find ways to support and encourage clubs in this work.    She is also interested helping members to develop project related skills, in helping clubs find suitable project ideas and in making project reporting as simple as possible.

Anitha Rajarajan

APD Planet

Anitha Rajarajan founded SI Madurai in 2010. She has served as PAC, Club Rep and Friendship link Officer at club level and recently she has been elected as membership officer for the National Association of India.

The  Programme action that she has  been able to conduct as President and oversee later largely involved with environment sustainability. That some of those environment projects were honoured as best practices spurred her on to take the challenge of environment awareness to her community.

An avid traveler, she has always successfully  connected with soroptimists making friendship links in all the 4 federations.

She is a highly driven and passionate social worker with a self effacing ability to conceptualise and create winning solutions. Aligned with strong consciousness, she believes in team work and also works her way towards opening doors for the next generation. Big or small,every gesture of hers demonstrates why her voice is important and remains so relevant in her work of one decade as a sincere and committed soroptimist.

She has also been selected as one of some hundred women who have made a noteworthy difference to society for SI ‘s centenary celebrations.

Ayushi Kundu

APD Partnerships

Ayushi has been a member of SI Calcutta since 2014, and has observed that most Clubs work in partnership with other organisations to conduct their projects. However, most of these partnerships simply mean donating money towards the work of the other organisation.

Ayushi feels strongly that the Assistant Programme Director Partnerships should ensure that Clubs do more than just financial donations, and that they thoroughly understand what ‘partnership’ means. The APD should guide Clubs and create toolkits to ensure that when they enter into partnerships with other organisations, there is a direct sharing of knowledge, resources, strategies and/or best practices.

In her role as SI President’s Appeal Coordinator, she had the opportunity to understand what makes a good partnership. Alongside sharing knowledge and resources, a useful partnership must advance the common goals of both organisations, and the aims and objectives of the SDGs.

Meenakshi Ray

APD Peace

Meenakshi Ray has been a member of SI Calcutta for the past ten years and has been closely involved in all her club activities. She is an ex-banker by profession with specialisation in industrial project evaluation. This background has helped her in understanding the various aspects of planning and budgeting for Soroptimist programme action, as well as club governance. She loves the fact that community service and fellowship are so closely knit in SI values, and enjoys meeting sister Soroptimists in her travels.

Meenakshi considers that achievement of all the SDGS go a long way in helping to build peaceful and inclusive communities. She believes that the reverse also holds true, as effective implementation of SDG 16 will automatically contribute towards achieving all the other SDGs.

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