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A Year in Office as National Association President 2011 / 2012   Barbara Harrison SI Wexford

Ideas, Energy, Action

Barbara chose her theme to lift members’ spirits and build their enthusiasm to continue
Programme Action in clubs & for the National Association & International appeals, to bring renewed effort to support women & girls to achieve their potential.

In preparation for this new role Barbara was lucky to work on the transfer, from one President to another, with direct & practical help from Rosalie Byrne –Muir 2010/2011. The inspiration generated at the meeting in London, chaired by incoming Federation President Maureen Maguire, also served to help all the area presidents to take on their office in confidence.

Barbara’s enthusiasm as a communicator encouraged her to promote the ROI website as a tool for all members. Information travels through the organisation, International, Federation & club level via the various websites supporting members and informing the public. Barbara placed reports on the homepage throughout the year in the hope that everyone would be better informed.

A “Small Change Fund” moneybox was given to all clubs, by Barbara, so that collections could be made towards women in severe financial difficulties. This moneybox appears at club meetings and events. Clubs choose for themselves where the donations go.

Throughout the year the organisation continued to support SWAT (Soroptimists Working Against
Trafficking) TORL (Turn Off the Red Light) the NWCI (National Women’s Council Ireland) working to
promote awareness through advocacy and action towards a safer world for women.

The preparation for the BeePlus project made progress, with the aim that it would bring the organisation into contact with National Schools, more teachers & parents, while working, through education, to save the bees and support the environment.

The CIF National Project achieved a total of €102,000.00 towards buildings & equipment for the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis, a life threatening disease, over the two year period of the project.
Prevention of Suicide and Positive Mental Health took over as a non-fundraising project. Barbara was proud to work with Sarah McCormack & SI Mullingar, meeting the HSE & Mental Health Ireland to promote the ways in which all can improve their lives by building resilience and strong mental attitudes.

Meeting club members at National Association, Public Speaking Competitions and all kinds of social
events gave Barbara plenty of practise at public speaking herself. It gave her many opportunities to promote the organisation & its ideals as well as supporting the many charities chosen by clubs.

Conferences play an important part in the education & development of SI women. The Federation Conferences in Brighton & Belfast were informative & social. In Brighton it was wonderful to celebrate the change of insignia, when presidents elect receive their chains of office. In October 2011 three Irish presidents came into office Hazel Holmlund for Northern Ireland and Maureen Maguire from SI Lurgan who became Federation President & Barbara, for the Republic of Ireland, alongside all the other area presidents.

The annual Joint Conference hosted by SI Wexford in Wexford town was the highlight of Barbara’s year.
Welcoming guests to your own home town gives a confidence and pleasure that sets the organisation apart.
The Arts theme chosen for the conference gave delegates an opportunity to see how personal growth can teach us how to get the most out of life and refresh ourselves to once again give to others.

Ideas, Energy, Action