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April 27, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Soroptimists International – women inspiring action, transforming lives

Soroptimist logo

Young students walk home from school in the lower Solo Khumbu District.

Young students walk home from school in the lower Solu Khumbu District, Nepal

I recently spoke to a local group of Soroptimists International – women inspiring action, transforming lives. I joined them for dinner before I spoke & they were all fascinating, each member having led an interesting & professional life. Amongst them were teachers, pharmacists, a medical secretary & a social worker – professions which in themselves had been helping others.

One lady’s (I hope she won’t mind me sharing this!) first career was in computer programming, then she had 2 sons & decided to retrain as a lawyer, so worked nights, studied full time & then picked up her children from school, then went back to [night] work … That must have been incredibly difficult – I so admire that determination.

About a year ago, they asked me to speak on how my life had changed since becoming Lady Hamilton – which surprised me initially, then it seemed a very sensible question & certainly one which I’d never really comtemplated. I included things & concluded on ways I didn’t expect myself to. Mixing my work & family has at times been comical – holding a pony in one whilst typing on my laptop with with my other hand !

Most importantly, Soroptimists (soror = sister in Latin + optima = the best) which means ‘the best for women’ was set up in Calfornia in 1926. They improve the lives women & girls all over the world through their ‘educate, empower, enable‘ programme. They fundraise £millions every year, through their 80,000 club members in 132 countries. I felt truly excited by what they are achieving – especially as the mother of 3 girls (not forgetting Francis too, of course!) & loved this photo of 2 girls off to school in Nepal. There’s a quite chance a charity worker for Soroptimists International will come across Operation Orphan – the other charity I’ve got involved with earlier this year. Apley Farm Shop is a collecting point for any old blankets & winter clothes.

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