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Immediate Past President Rita’s Monthly Newsletters 2019/20

Monthly Newsletter – October 28th 2020 Final letter.

October 28th 2020
Dear All,
I am writing to you from Scotland. After the SIGBI Conference was cancelled, we were still going to travel over to Belfast to visit my daughter and family. Then the invisible walls closed in further, the restrictions became tighter and we sadly cancelled the ferry. Though not the Scottish part of the trip, where we stay in the attractive town of Kirkcudbright, before usually catching the ferry.  Hence, here we are, a little damp and wind blown, enjoying what we can, while we can.
It feels an odd, anti-climatic week and my thoughts are with all the SI Yorkshire members, who are experiencing further challenges in their various Tiers. I would like to thank you all for the support you have given your clubs, other members, the region and the beneficiaries of your Programme Action.  Special mention to SI
 October 1st 2000
Dear All,
The penultimate 2019/20 letter. The last one will be written after the Belfast Conference. • A women’s conference not to be missed: • 30-31 Oct 2020 13.30-17.00 GMT • Broadcast live from Belfast – NOT ZOOM! • Connect with attendees in networking room – NEW! • Live Q&A session with speakers • Irish Dancers, Celtic Storm STILL TIME TO REGISTER:
For the last few years, this week has been a reflective one. Seven years ago, my husband Adrian, had life-saving and life-changing surgery. Due to the present and ever evolving Covid-19 situation, this year seems to be more poignant. Life is precious. Live in the moment, not for the moment. Soroptimist members, who spend their lives helping those less able and fortunate know how precious life is for those they help. As we
A Covid-19 Letter for every member          September 24th 2020
Dear All,
I’m writing a letter to all clubs in response to the latest Covid-19 regulations announced this week. Many areas of our SI Yorkshire Region are affected by local lockdowns and others are on the edge of becoming such an area. We are informed that this may carry on for six months.
As shown by Programme Focus Report Forms and on Social Media, SI Yorkshire clubs have kept in touch with their members and other contacts using all forms of communication. Letters, greeting cards, postcards, zoom meetings, phone calls, texts, What’s App groups, social media and personal visits. It doesn’t matter how we communicate with others, but it is vital for our emotional and mental health that we do. This is more important than ever with autumn and winter months ahead. To this end, I
 September 1st 2020
Dear All
I am writing after an August Bank Holiday, which has been three days of mixed weather in Yorkshire. But here we are and if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we just have to get on with things, whatever the circumstances are. Soroptimist sisters are good at that, most of the time. Our ability to manage arises from thinking of others, not just ourselves.
In the Yorkshire Region, this has been shown particularly by the Programme Action (PA) that clubs have completed in since lockdown, for the Covid-19 emergency. Over 168 Programme Focus Report Forms (PFRFs) submitted and judged for the Mary Hillary Award 2020. No club does PA for the award, but it has been encouraging to see the PA carrying on through the limitations of 2020. The 2019/20 theme has been fulfilled by most clubs and SI Yorkshire

Monthly Newsletters – August 1st 2020

Dear All
STOP PRESS The main part of this letter was written before the latest lockdown rules in West Yorkshire were announced. I would like to send thoughts and best wishes to all club members who have been affected by this difficult turn of events. So disappointing for many who had started to enjoy easing and meet friends, family and Soroptimists. If you need help in any way, please contact your club. We are here to help.
In fun and friendship. That was how a member signed an email to me, enclosing a hat photo. It is exactly the spirit of fun and friendship, in which many members were able to meet in twos to sixes, in one case nine (shh!} wearing their hats and headwear made from recyclable materials. Thank you to a wonderful 109 members  from 16 clubs who took part. We blitzed

Monthly Newsletter – July 1st 2020

 July 1st 2020
Dear All,
July 1st has arrived in not quite its summer glory…yet. I am watching baby birds and rabbits from the study window, which is a reminder that life goes on, whatever befalls us. Though, while baby rabbits look appealing, we don’t really need them in the garden or Covid-19 in our lives, but we just have to manage day by day.
I hope June bought most of you together with one or two or maybe six friends and perhaps family too. SI Yorkshire clubs continue to keep in touch with each other and Zoom and similar online meetings have now become a normal way of communicating. I know it’s not for every member, in the same way that the daily blog on Facebook and Twitter cannot be accessed by everyone either. I would like

Monthly Newsletter – June 6th 2020

 June 6th 2020
Dear All, I was on a local walk this week, when I saw a village bus. It was empty and I felt a hankering to catch it and go into town. Analysing why I felt like that, considering town doesn’t hold much allure at the moment, I realised that it was because it would have been a normal thing to do. Something I used to do 2-3 times a week. I wanted something to feel normal. I think of you all, spread around this beautiful county and imagine that you all would like something to feel normal too.
The normal RCM at Askham Grange is unfortunately not going ahead, but the Officers, Club Reps and a few club members, are going to attempt a ‘new normal’ Zoom meeting on Saturday, June 13th. This one will

Monthly Newsletter – May 7th 2020

Dear All,

A week later than planned.

The last few days have been full of unexpected happenings with friends and neighbours.  Our mostly pleasant lockdown in a woodland setting, was abruptly bought to a halt last Thursday, by neighbours felling trees. There is a history of abuse of planning regulations over thirteen years and we and the other neighbours have been waiting for something to happen on a piece of land for three years. Rapid leaf growth and an impotent council, due to lockdown has probably led to the timing. It’s been a busy few days with email correspondence flying backwards and forwards, plus a visit by the police, after a complaint that I had trespassed on the land to take pictures.  Afterwards, I thought perhaps it might not be a good look for the President of SI Yorkshire to be arrested, but as I wrote

April 1st 2020
Dear All, I had imagined the newsletter was going to be full of my travels to Charter Dinners, plus mentioning a trip to family in Belfast.
At the end of February, all of you will have imagined a March a little differently to the one that has just finished. Charter Dinners take time and effort to arrange and I’d like to wish Happy Anniversaries to SI Ilkley, SI Sheffield and especially SI Skipton, who had arranged a special weekend of events to celebrate their 70th anniversary. My congratulations to all your clubs and I hope to be able to visit you before October 2020.
SI Richmond and Dales had organised an event tomorrow with Tanni Grey Thompson, which also has been postponed. There had been a wonderful take-up of 150 people and I know they

Monthly Newsletter – March 2020

To be posted when found!

Monthly Newsletter – February 1st 2020.

February 1st 2020
Dear All, Bras! And lots of them.
Thank you for contributing in such a magnificent way. On Sunday, January 12th, three members of SI Scarborough met at my house to sort bras of every size, shape and colour. I was surprised to only count around 600+, as I felt there had been more. Indeed there were, packed in the Land Rover in blue bin bags, which Adrian had mistaken for bags of logs. He got a surprise. By the time they were added to the collection a week later, we had over 900 bras and only had to throw three away. Fantastic. Over 500 went to Against Breast Cancer, who have an arrangement with the courier DPD for free collection for large amounts. 300+ went to Smalls For All, but postage had to be

Monthly newsletter – January 1st 2020

January 1st 2020
Dear All
Every good wish to you for a Happy New Year and fulfilling 2020. My wishes are genuine, but realistically some of you will be finding happiness a little hard to come by at the moment. Amongst life events, there are also some rotten bugs around that are leaving people fatigued. If you have managed to miss out on them, some of your family or friends may have not been so fortunate.
Adrian and I enjoyed a quiet Christmas in Scarborough, which was just right after a busy December. Since the last letter, I’ve enjoyed a Christmas Lunch with SI York Ebor members. This club will always have a special place in my heart as it was how I came to join the Soroptimists in 2006. The newly chartered club had a Open Evening and a work

November 30th 2019

Dear All,

November has been a bittersweet month for many members of SI Yorkshire. Soroptimist duties began on November 3rd with the first official function as President at SI Bradford’s 91st Charter Lunch. Adrian accompanied me and was able to enjoy an interesting political conversation with Cllr Vanda Greenwood. He was also pleased to meet Jean Lumb from SI Halifax who had taught two of his cousins in primary school, as his mother’s family came from Lightcliffe.

A quiet week followed, but then on Sunday, November 10th, I was contacted with the tragic news that SI Yorkshire’s recent Development Officer, Andrea Trimmer had died. This is the sort of unexpected and unwelcome news that is shocking and colours the days that follow. My heart not only goes out to Andrea’s