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RCM November 2022: Draft Minutes




Saturday 26th November 2022

1.  Welcome: Vision and Mission of Soroptimist International, Introduction of Officers, Roll Call, Apologies      and Obituaries.

  • President Jane welcomed members in Council, observers and Honorary members Thelma de Leeuw, Elizabeth Hughes and Margaret Cook.
  • Immediate Past President Lindsay presented President Jane with the chain of office as this had not been possible at the SIGBI Conference. 

President Jane introduced the Officers and presented them with their badges: IPP Lindsay Green; President Elect, Susie Westwood; Vice President, Sue Butler; Treasurer, Susan Mendoza; Secretary, Judith Clark; Minutes Secretary, Sally Kendall;  new Programme Action Joint Chairs Linda Davis and Jennie Gillham;  new Membership Officers Avis Ball and Judith Parsons. Comms Officers Sue Butler and Liz Lyle; Benevolent Fund, Rita Leaman; FCC, Angela Edwards

  • All the Regional Reps present were asked to stand and were thanked for their work as conduits.
  • Liz Hayes was thanked for her work in producing the Regional newsletter
  • Vision and Mission of Soroptimist International read by Hilary Ratcliffe OBE, SI Sheffield.
  • Roll Call. Representatives from 16 Clubs in attendance.
  • Apologies: Apologies were received from Past Yorkshire Presidents – Irene Peaker, Jennie Heppenstall, Rosie Gemmell.

Regional Officers- Sam Lawson.

Regional Representatives from SI Northallerton and District and SI Huddersfield.

  • Obituaries.  Sally Anne Longden, SI Scarborough; Frances Butler, SI Northallerton; Annie Speller and Shirley Turner, SI Keighley.  A minutes’ silence was observed.

2.  Minutes of the meeting held on 18th September 2022 had been circulated. 

  • One amendment had been notified by Margaret Middlemass, SI Leeds regarding the SI Leeds Stem project – amending the name of the Trust and the numbers of pupils taking part.
  • Proposer – J Lumb, SI Halifax.       Seconder – J Alce, SI Wakefield.

A vote was taken – all in favour. The minutes were signed by President Jane

3.  Matters arising:  

  • None.

4.  President’s Business – Jane Glendinning: Report circulated.

  • Apologies to Maureen Maguire for describing her as SIGBI rather than International President.
  • It feels like an exciting time to be Yorkshire President. There is a new SIGBI Board and a lot of enthusiasm, determination and energy being focused towards securing the future with key priorities being communication and openness.
  • Please see the recent letter sent by the Director of Membership asking those Clubs with links to schools to look to setting up School Soroptimist Clubs. Several Yorkshire Clubs have projects with schools. Please get in touch with me if your club is interested in setting up a school club.
  • I hope that you will enjoy the day – there are some familiar and some new Officers to meet and there will be some interesting suggestions made today.
  • I hope that you leave this RCM with a renewed appreciation of the fellowship that we have the privilege of sharing – and leave with hope, enthusiasm and pride in being a Soroptimist.

5. Secretary’s Announcements: Judith Clark

  • Please forward up to date email addresses and telephone numbers if there are any changes.
  • Please inform if your Club Secretary is unavailable so that info can go to another Club contact.
  • The next Officers’ meeting will be by Zoom on 7th Jan 2023. Observers welcome.
  • SI Scarborough members have requested a change of name of the Club to SI Scarborough, Malton  and District as this more accurately reflects the membership of the Club. All Yorkshire Clubs have received notification of this and all have indicated agreement. All present voted in favour of the new name for SI Scarborough. This has now to be ratified by the SIGBI Board of Directors. The name change is likely to take place in April 2023 
  • Please send articles for the newsletter in good time and not in the last few days before publication.

6. Treasurer’s Report:  Susan Mendoza.  Reports circulated.

  • At the last Officer’s meeting it was proposed that the Yorkshire Club levy be increased from £4 to £5 per member with a donation of £10 per Club towards the President’s travel expenses.

Proposer. S Mendoza, Treasurer, SI Skipton. Seconder. J Thornley, SI Ilkley

All in favour, none against, no abstentions.

  • The Bank has requested the full name Soroptimist International of Yorkshire be written on cheques rather than SI Yorkshire.

7.  Programme Action Committee Co – Chairs. Jennie Gillham and Linda Davis: Report Circulated.

  • Had the first Zoom meeting on 22nd November. A WhatsApp group has also been set up.
  • Keep up the good work and don’t forget to post your Programme Focus Reports.
  • Leaflets from the UKPAC committee available for collection
  • UK Parliament to debate End Sleep Poverty (Zarach charity) on 19th December.
  • New to the RCM – a 5 minute presentation from Clubs re their PA work.

Judith Alce of SI Wakefield and District gave her presentation:-

This year we have continued to make a difference to the lives of women and girls.  Club members decided to support local projects where possible. Some are linked to national organisations.  

 A “Brilliant Breakfast” in support of projects developed by The Princes’ Trust specifically for women, thus raising both the profile of Soroptimism as well as much needed funds for the Trust. 

Supporting local food banks. IPP Lindsay set a challenge to collect the highest volume of donations made in one quarter. SI Wakefield donated over 100 kilograms of food. Donations continue.

 “Friendship Cats” also called Dementia Cats.  These are robotic cats, they move their heads, and tails and purr when stroked, helping calm the recipient.  The cats have been donated to Care homes. As there are generally more women than men in care homes, this project helps women.  

We have taken aluminium packs from medicines by the sack-full to Superdrug to be recycled.  

Wakefield City of Sanctuary has become an ongoing project.  A successful bid was made to a national company to apply for laptops that were no longer needed, resulting in 3 laptops being donated to womens’ groups.  These have helped women with reading and language skills and asylum applications, achieving Soroptimist aims to educate, enable and empower 

We have donated women’s mens’ and childrens’ clothing and shoes and suitcases – useful for people to carry their belongings when they move to more permanent homes.

A Literacy evening  – members read from a book (cover hidden) and show a relevant artefact.  All then have to guess the title. Members also donated books, and dictionaries to help both children and adults with learning English.  These were then taken to The City of Sanctuary project.

Planted trees in the district and virtually.  Over 250 trees have been put in the ground and 30 were virtually planted. Also planted a Red Wood Tree in a special plantation.  Saving the Red Woods in California was one of the first projects undertaking by a Soroptimist Club.  

Knitting project.  Octopi have been donated to a neonatal ward; squares have been knitted by adults with mental health issues, to help their self-esteem and confidence.  These have then been made into blankets and donated to care homes, play schools and receptions.

Orange boas and Badges have been knitted to support the 25th of the month and UN 16 Days of Action. Most of the wool used is recycled, except for the Octopi. 

The Club sold T towels at a party held to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum celebration, raising funds for 2 Princes’ Trust Projects in Wakefield. At the last RCM we had a Table selling bulbs, jams, chutneys and orange boas to raise money for Wakefield Young Carers and Homestart.  

SI Wakefield and District plan a number of projects over the next few months so watch out for our news in the Yorkshire Newsletter.

SIYAMS – Pat Kilbane

  • The new bookmarks made in conjunction with Heckmondwike grammar school and Jane Whitelaw of SI Dewsbury and District were officially launched last week. Two YR 8 students created the winning designs which were then printed professionally. The group went to the school to meet the students and give out certificates plus book vouchers to the 2 winners. 5000 have been printed. Designed for 10-14 year olds mainly. Available for members. Other organisations – £5 for 100.

The pamphlet for grandparents should be ready in Jan 2023

8. Officers’ Reports

IPP Lindsay Green – report circulated.

  • The Yorkshire sweatshirts, fleeces and T shirts are still available to order – they made an impressive sea of blue at Conference. The printer has kindly donated £50 to the Yorkshire Region.

President Elect, Susie Westwood.

  • It was an honour to be at Belfast SIGBI Conference and welcome in our new Yorkshire President. It was wonderful to meet many Yorkshire members – who made up 10% of all delegates who attended.

Vice President, Susan Butler

  • IPP Lindsay, President Jane and President Elect Susie will be hard acts to follow. The two year theme for the Presidential year has worked well so it would be great if we had a volunteer for 2025/6 so that another 2 year theme can be developed. They will be support in the planning team from experienced Soroptimists.

Extension and Membership: Avis Ball and Judith Parsons.

  • Both are new members from SI Garforth Elmet so have researched the SIGBI website and come across the wonderfully named Dishi Attwood, the new SIGBI Membership Director who says –

‘Remember, if we don’t give this world the best we have, which world are we saving it for?’

Communications and Media: Liz Lyle and Sue Butler. Report circulated

  • Please send in your Orange activities for the 16 days of activism so that they can go on the website.
  • There are big changes at Twitter which may leave participants more open to abuse and inappropriate material of other kinds getting into threads. SIGBI are monitoring the situation as should all Clubs with Twitter accounts.
  • A new SIGBI communications hub will be live in the New Year – should be easier to use.
  • There is a SIGBI webinar on 1st December re copyright issues. Need to register. There will be a You Tube recording available after the event.
  • There is now a password protected members’ page on the Yorkshire website – all RCM minutes and reports and items for members only will be stored there. 

Email to request password.

  • The next meeting is on 15th Dec by Zoom at 7.30. If want to join, email and will send the link.

9. Benevolent Fund TrusteeRita Leaman – Report circulated

  • Thank you to Hilary Putman for all her hard work as Trustee in the last few years.
  • Have two Zoom Club meeting invites to explain the role of the Benevolent Fund. Happy to visit also.
  • Any contact made to me as Trustee is 100% confidential and not known to anyone else in Region.

10. Federation Consultative Councillor ( FCC), Yorkshire Electoral Area. Angela Edwards. Report circulated

  • Nothing to add to report – please contact if want to discuss any Federation matters.
  • At the start of the 4th and final year as FCC- need a nomination for a new FCC – please consider taking this on – it is an interesting and sometimes challenging role.

Safeguarding – Chris Clark

  • Whilst the bookmarks are for safeguarding children – this week is safeguarding adults week. 

There are some excellent materials on the Ann Craft Trust website.

Christina Gabbitas made a good presentation covering topics such as elder abuse, Technological abuse and safeguarding in everyday life.

  • Nov 25th was White Ribbon Day. This fell in the same week as the FIFA World Cup. So the theme was

 #THEGOAL – a campaign to highlight traits that men and boys can nurture to help create a safe world for women – caring, empathetic, courageous, supportive, gentle, resilient, reliable, hopeful, reflective, principled and become an ally.

  • There will be a Zoom meeting in the New Year – please identify a Club link so can send them the info.

11. AOB

  • Helen Hyams, SI Scarborough is selling a Menopause calendar – from their Friendship café -arty photos of naked ladies as per Calendar Girls plus a monthly paragraph of gynaecological advice. £10
  • Elizabeth Hughes, SI Ilkley – has moved house – brought some Soroptimist books for members to take.
  • IPP Lindsay Green – the new SIGBI hub is not replacing the website – it will host new membership and new Programme Focus form databases. Members will use own email address and a password.
  • Pat Kilbane, SI Garforth Elmet – thanks to Sarah Field of SI Garforth Elmet, Leeds Civic Hall and Museum were bathed in orange on Nov 25th.  Photos were taken and put onto the Yorkshire website.

FLASH MOB – President Jane 

  • There were a lot of suggestions – some outlandish- at Askham Grange Prison RCM discussion afternoon. These were sent to the new Director of Membership who said that she looked forward to seeing Yorkshire members on a naked beach clean.

We need to pull together as a Region – so there will be a FLASH MOB in Leeds on 8th March 2023. 

The justification for this is

To publicise Soroptimism – may attract local news, radio, TV.

To raise awareness of International Womens’ Day.

To support the 5 Ps – particularly People and Peace

To support the UN Sustainable Development Goals 3, 5, 10 and 16

To support the aim of Securing the Future – each other, others you meet, those you don’t know

To support the aim of the International President – Opening doors to a Brighter Future.

To take advantage of modern technology. Will be captured on many mobile phones hopefully.

Allows us to work in partnership with others. Shows the world we are not just ladies who lunch.

Allows us to invite family and friends who are not Soroptimists to join in.

Promotes us as people who are active and fun loving, incredible and irresistible.

Come along and join in, bring friends. If can’t sing – can clap. The more who join, the more we may attract new members and if nothing else singing will help dismiss the grey days of Jan and Feb.

The words and sound track will be circulated so that members can learn them, plus a video clip.

Glynn Evans, SI Skipton is the Director of Song – thank you for the all the work done so far.

SECURE THE FUTURE  – President Jane

  • Secure the Future is the focus for the Yorkshire Region for 2022- 2024

First of all we need to shine the spotlight on securing the future for ourselves.

  • Our first priority should be to each other. Have patience, tolerance and a commitment to really listening to each other. Acknowledge, respect, welcome and embrace our different strengths and experiences so we can be the best that is possible in our Clubs and across the Region.

Our Clubs are full of incredible individuals who have a wealth of experience and talent.

Our Clubs are full of people who truly exemplify the conviction that to live a life without volunteering is to a live a life that is wasted.

Thank you for all your commitment, perseverance, creativity, energy and belief in Soroptimism.

Take a moment to reflect on why being a Soroptimist is important to you.

  • A short film was shown with clips of members expressing why Soroptimism is important to them.
  • Over the last few weeks I have attended Conference, watched Children in Need, the DIY SOS programme about the building in Leeds for the Getaway Girls.  What links these are the stories behind the volunteering – stories that warm our hearts, give tears and smiles, that make our service worthwhile. As we listen to the UN song – please write your personal story about volunteering and making a difference.
  • Finally a video was taken of a chain of members holding up and shouting  the letters of  SOROPTIMIST

  Nov                                      180                     L Gerraghty                 SI Halifax                        3rd                £15

250 Club Result –


NUMBER NAME CLUB                  PRIZE
Oct                                               17 J Glendinning                            SI Bingley 1st  £45
Oct 184 L Phillips SI Wakefield &D 2nd  £25
Oct   68 A Ball SI Garforth Elmet 3rd  £15
Nov 176 P Thornes SI Dewsbury 1st  £45
Nov                                                              23 E Hughes SI Ilkley 2nd  £25

  Dec                                      162                     S Mendoza                  SI Skipton                       1st                £45

  Dec                                        33                     D Cawthorne               SI Sheffield                    2nd               £25

  Dec                                       199                    J Walker                       SI Ilkley                           3rd               £15


The date of the next RCM is Saturday 19th March 2023 at The Holiday Inn, Barnsley 

There followed after the RCM the Yorkshire President’s Lunch 

SAK   29.11.22.                                                                                                                                          Minutes