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President Jane’s May newsletter

“But he calls down a blessing on the blossom of the may, because it comes in beauty and in beauty blows away.” W B Yeats

Good morning everyone. I hope that you have all experienced an enjoyable May Bank Holiday weekend.

April began with a lively and productive Regional Programme Action Meeting with most clubs being represented. I hope the ideas around the 16 Days of Action, court observations, the beach clean and Safe Places filtered back to everyone in our clubs. I hope you have all seen the Orange Café and Membership Poster sent out to you.

The 2nd April and I enjoyed the hospitality of SI Skipton at their 73rd Charter Lunch. Ever looking for an opportunity to promote our work and gain support, it was good to see Linda Davis getting Councillor Simon Myers on our side with regard to Safe Places as they sat next to each other throughout the meal. Well done that girl!

The 3rd was the latest Membership Standing Committee Zoom. As she says in her May Message, our Director of Membership remains convinced about the power of LinkedIn as an effective means of gaining new members. I joined the Regional Membership Officers on a Zoom devoted to the use of LinkedIn later in the month. If you are enticed by such an approach to swelling our ranks please contact Judith or Avis who will be able to discuss it with you.

As you all know April is the month of Annual General Meetings. In addition to chairing the one at my club, I also had the privilege of joining both SI Northallerton and SI Harrogate for theirs. It is fascinating to see other clubs approaching meetings in their individual styles. I had the honour of presenting several long service certificates and being impressed by the commitment and service given by every one of the recipients. 

I must also mention Kath Harrison from SI Keighley who has now been a Soroptimist for no less than 68 years. What an achievement!

I held my latest Planning Meeting and continue to thank my team for their support, ideas and critical friendship. The day was made extra special because I was able to welcome Julie Thompson from SI Dewsbury and District to one of her first meetings following her long and serious health problems over many months. Long may her improving good health continue.

The Officer’s Meeting followed on the 15th April. Look out for the updated clarification of criteria and way of selecting the winners of our regions Programme Action Awards which will be sent out shortly.

On the 20th I was once more in the company of SI Skipton sharing the friendship of their fellow Soroptimists from Oulu. How lovely to see 3 years of planning finally to come to fruition.

A sombre visit to the Knife Angle Sculpture on display in Bradford followed on the 24th April. What a powerful impact it makes! The shear bewilderment and sadness captured in the face of the angel and the open gesture of the hands echoed my own horror of the destruction knife crime creates. Whilst sad that this educational resource is needed, it is reassuring to learn that since 2014 this work of art has resulted in 100,000 blades being removed from our streets.

The next day was far more fun although the message behind it was still serious and potentially life changing. I spent the day at a school in Leeds supporting a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) workshop which involved approximately 100 girls from 9 to 16 years old. We had a fabulous time inventing things, soldering with chocolate, using real drills, building structures, and solving codes. We saw the older students leading tasks for the younger ones and marvelled at the natural ease and sensitivity some displayed unconsciously. The potential of capable and innovative women was there that day.

May is Membership Month. I look forward to reading about your efforts and events designed to encourage and entice new members to our region. PLEASE send photos, etc. to the WhatsApp ‘What’s On In Yorkshire’ platform and other media, send photos and short descriptions to Sue Butler for the website and to Liz Hayes for the magazine. Don’t be shy ladies.

I look forward to the forthcoming Incoming Presidents’ Lunch which is fast approaching. I understand that some clubs didn’t receive the original invitation for some reason. Please let me know no later than this Friday, 5th May, if you are coming. It is your opportunity to meet other Club Presidents from the region and establish a chain link of support and friendship with them.

I will see 47 of you at Newby Hall on the 17th May. Please note that the tour of the house, for those of you that have booked it, will take place at 12.30pm.

Take care and stay safe.

Yours in friendship,