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I want to start by saying, ‘Happy New Year everyone’. I hope you all had good Christmas whether it was filled with family and fun or spent quietly and restfully unbothered by the world at large, or somewhere between the two. However I am aware that this time of year is difficult for many people who see not the lights but the darkness of grief, loneliness, poverty or fear, and for these people I pray the new year may bring a glimmer of hope and warmth.

The year 2018 is before us and for our Prostate Cancer national fundraising only another couple of months to gather in our hard-won cash so that at our AGM during the General Assembly I will have the pleasure of handing over a cheque, on behalf of all of us, for a sum we will be proud of.

I have a busy Women’s League springtime already lined up, but I still have room in my life to visit another couple of branches before I hand on the banner (literally) to the lovely Ann Gemmell.

My own branch in Kendal is hosting two events this January, a talk from a member of Prostate Cancer UK, to which we are seeking to invite not only our own menfolk and those of the chapel congregation but also a wider audience from the town. Only days after that we have the pleasure of a charity jazz night where our own Boogie Bill and friend, will be sharing their skills and entertaining us for a few hours. The rafters of the chapel will ring with good music and fun.

Raising money is not so easy post-Christmas and in our current climate of belt tightening where our pound is worth less than it was and our wages and pensions are not rising with the cost of living, but I know I can rely on the goodness and inventiveness of our Women of the League to rise to the challenge as we always do.

Women of the League, I wish these things for your coming year

Love in your heart
Peace in your soul
Strength in your purpose
Humility in your actions and
Joy in the small events of your days.

Celia Cartwright

The current League President. Celia Cartwright will hand over to Anne Gemmell of Dean Row, Manchester District, at the AGM in April.

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