Never wishing to rest on their laurels, a new group to support the well respected work of Soroptimist International, has been launched.
Wishing to build upon the work of the women’s organisation which was founded in California in 1921, a team of professional women in Lancashire set up Amounderness to carry out charity work in Lancashire.
Rachel Mallett, one of the founding members, says: “Over the last year I have been sub contracted as a business consultant specialising in strategic growth for organisations and had been working with Soroptimist International.
“It has been experiencing a decline in membership over the last few years and is made up of women of a certain age.
“Together with fellow founding members Andrea Wallace and Anya Rigby, we decided to set up a club in Lancashire to raise awareness of the work Soroptimist does. This is one of the six sub divisions of Lancashire and means that members can come from all across the region rather than the usual town specific club.
“Our focus for the first year will be to create a group of like-minded optimistic women who will work together to bring about change and support others less fortunate to make a real difference to their lives.
“We want to create our own group and lead by example for other clubs that wish to set up. We will work within our geographical area, rather than internationally, like Soroptimist. The group does some amazing work internationally. Its big drive at the moment is to lobby against human trafficking.”
Amounderness will this year support three local charities: CancerHelp (Preston); STEPS, which supports people with lower limb conditions and a children’s charity in Blackburn - the WISH Centre.
The group celebrated its launch through a Charter Night at the premises of CancerHelp (Preston), in Vine House, Ribbleton.
Rachel adds: “People from the Federation Board of Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland came to present us with certificates to say we are an official club and welcome us into their family.
“All in all, there are 15 of us who are founding members of the club.
“It was a wonderful evening. We mixed with the Soroptimist members from across the county.”
Amounderness is looking forward to the year ahead and is hoping to recruit new members.
Rachel adds: “We are looking for like-minded professional women who will meet regularly and organise events and fund-raising. Ideally we would like to have a membership of between 50 and 75 women. We are also trying to attract newer, younger members by visiting schools. We are currently working with Walton-le-Dale High School to get young girls interested.”
The group meet at various locations across Preston and Blackburn to ensure everyone has accessibility.
The next meeting is at CancerHelp, in Cromwell Road, Preston, on Thursday August 3 at 6.30pm.
To join, email firstname.lastname@example.org