From education to employment

Closer links developed between University and international society for women and girls

@uochester – Closer links with an international organisation dedicated to the empowerment of women and girls and the University of Chester have been forged with two recent visits.

Improving the age-friendliness of Cheshire was discussed by academics from the University when they met with members of the Soroptimist International Chester club. Professor Paul Kingston and Dr Jan Blain, from the University’s Centre for Ageing and Mental Health, discussed their work at a club meeting.

Members from the Cambodian Phnom Penh Soroptimist International club who are visiting the UK also came to the University for a tour of the Exton Park site, organised by Paul along with Anne MacDonald and Joy Roberts from the Chester Soroptimist club. The visitors were escorted around Exton Park by Caitlin Devesey-Jones and Aadhi Agilan, research assistants within the Centre for Ageing and Mental Health, as well as Deans of Chester Business School, Professor Kurt Allman and Associate Professor Kirstie Simpson, and Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Eunice Simmons.

Soroptimist International (SI) is a global volunteer movement which works together to transform the lives of women and girls. Its network of around 66,000 club members in 120 countries work at a local, national and international level to ‘educate, empower and enable’ opportunities for women and girls.

Paul said: “This was a great opportunity to share our work with such an important international organisation and show them the work the University is doing in Cheshire to improve the lives of older people in the county. We also enjoyed the opportunity to welcome members to one of our sites to reflect, in particular, the ‘educate’ part of the Soroptimist mission.”

Anne MacDonald from the Chester Soroptimist club added: “We are extremely grateful to Professor Paul Kingston and colleagues for the talk at the club meeting and for organising a tour of the University for six members of Soroptimist International, Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Their visit to Chester was part of an educational programme sponsored by SI Chester. Two of the members work at Norton University in Phnom Penh and all six had requested a visit to the University.

“They were particularly impressed by the library, the School of Natural Sciences and the lecture theatre that they visited.

“They plan to set up a Soroptimist club at Norton University on their return and we hope that a spin-off from this visit might be, with the support of Chester members, the development of a campus club in Chester.”

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