I can’t believe that it is almost 12 months since I was in Harrogate, listening to the huge cheer that rose from the auditorium when Margaret Cook and I went on to the stage to change our Insignia, received by Federation President Jenny Vince! The time has flown and I have enjoyed almost every minute of my time as Yorkshire President.
My last blog detailed my visit to Istanbul to attend the International Convention, which was a most exciting experience. Since then I have a busy period visiting yet more of our clubs, and attending various events.
Out and about in the region
Following the Convention, I attended a BBQ hosted by SI Hallamshire, and meetings or social events with SI Huddersfield, SI Northallerton, SI Wakefield, SI Skipton, SI Keighley, SI Aireborough, SI Scarborough, SI Halifax, SI Castleford, Normanton and District, SI Garforth, SI Beverley, SI Dewsbury, SI Harrogate, and SI Bradford.
The only clubs I have failed to meet with are SI Malton and SI Kingston-upon-Hull. The planned visit to Malton was prevented by freak weather in early September, and floods and thunderstorms eventually defeated my attempt to get there in time for the meeting. I am so sorry not to have met with the Malton and Hull members, and hope I can go to one of their meetings as Immediate Past President.
Safeguarding Conference 9 Oct
One highlight of this period was the Anti Slavery Group Conference at Thorpe Park Hotel, Leeds, in October. I was honoured to chair this excellent day and benefited from hearing all the guest speakers, and meeting many delegates from other agencies, such as the Police Force, representatives from Education and the NHS, and solicitors. There was also a good Soroptimist representation from our own clubs and others across the country. It was a huge success!
SIGBI held a Leadership and Development Day in Nottingham in October and several of our Officers and some members attended. This was also an interesting and useful day and I am sure you will be seeing the fruits of our learning during the next few years as we take the development of the Region forward.
The Regional Council Meeting in Richmond in September proved that members are willing to travel to the North of Yorkshire, when the venue is accessible, the speakers are interesting, and the lunch and other facilities are acceptable. Once again, almost 100 members attended, and the general feedback was that it was a productive meeting which raised awareness of several world issues.
It was good to learn that as from November we shall have almost a full compliment of Regional Officers. We are delighted to welcome Andrea Trimmer, SI Harrogate and District, as our new Development Officer, Judith Clark, SI Richmond and Dales, as our Minute Taker, and Val Hills, SI Harrogate and District as our incoming Federation Councillor. We still desperately need a Public Relations Officer! Please consider this as I am sure there are members out there with the necessary skills.
My Own Club
SI Richmond and Dales are also keeping busy as usual. We hosted a very dynamic meeting with representatives of some of our own clubs and others from the Northern Region, when Ann Hodgson, Federation Director of Organisational Development, spoke, primarily about Associate membership, but also about other issues within SIGBI at the moment. We also had a very good lunch followed by a theatre production, in October, again well attended by our friends from Yorkshire, and from SI Durham and SI Darlington.
How far did I travel?
So, I expect you would like to know the total mileage achieved by my poor car, excluding my own club meetings! I have travelled approximately 9,348 miles on President’s business in just under a year. I have been welcomed by everyone and it has been my great pleasure to meet so many of you and to find out much more about what your clubs are doing in making a difference to women and girls, and children in many cases, across the world.
Handing over the reins
I will pass the Presidential Regalia to Liz Lyle, SI Beverley, in Glasgow on 8th November and I wish her all best wishes as our President, and hope she enjoys it as much as I have.
President, SI Yorkshire
1 November 2015