Christine Walker was passionate about her work as a member of Blackpool and District Soroptimists.
And now that passion and her work can carry on – despite her untimely death, aged 53, in 2011.
Christine, an optician, had been a member of the Soroptimist International since 1987 and now her legacy, Christine’s Fund, some £150,000, will be used to help support local good causes.
The group is seeking applications from organisations and charities which could benefit from a one-off grant.
The grants will be given to organisations chosen by the Soroptimist’s Legacy Committee, and their values and goals should be in line with those of Soroptimist International.
Christine was club president of SI Blackpool and District in 1993-94 and was made honorary member in 2008.
She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, which meant as her condition deteriorated, towards the end of her life, she was unable to attend meetings. When she left her bequest to the club, she left instructions it was to be used for the benefit of SI Blackpool and District and its work with charitable organisations.
Jo Darbyshire, president of SI Blackpool and District, said: “Christine was an active member of the club and she cared passionately about issues affecting women and girls throughout the world and fully supported the aims and objectives of Soroptimism to make a difference to the lives of women and girls.
“Although she was not able to attend meetings towards the end of her life, her interest and passion for the work of Soroptimists never waned.
“She was a great promoter of literature and she would teach literacy to adults and help them. We want to find the best way to help others using Christine’s memorial fund. We are looking for groups which make a real difference.”
Soroptimist clubs are found all over the world and members are women who come together to make a difference for women and girls globally, nationally and locally.
Soroptimist International is a service organisation whose members give their time freely in numerous ways – supporting varied products throughout the world, as well as at local level.
Some of the long-term work done locally has seen the SI involved with the Women’s Refuge, Life Education Centres for Lancashire, the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Child Contact Centre and the Blackpool Talking News Service.
Members aim to inspire action and transform lives, at the same time offering friendship and fun. SI’s values include human rights for all, global peace and international goodwill, advancing women’s potential, integrity and democratic decision-making and volunteering, diversity and friendship.
Its goals are to improve the lives of women and girls though education, empowerment or enabling opportunities and to be a global voice for increasing access to education and leadership for women and girls.
Some of the Christine Walker Memorial Fund will be used by the SI locally, including for work to tackle violence against women – the SI already supports the area’s women’s refuges.
The remainder will be distributed between groups who are successful under the application process – groups which carry out work in keeping with the SI mission and values.
For more details on applying for a grant under the fund, email jodarbyshire@ yahoo.com.