The International Women's Day conference at Desborough Theatre in Maidenhead Town Hall on March 8 attracted a wide range of speakers - and contributions from all generations.

The youngest contributors were schoolgirls Bethany Admans, Catie Holden, Katie Wright and Hannah Wright each from different schools, who talked about the Girls Policy Forum - set up in 2018 to encourage younger women to play an active part in the life of the Royal Borough.

Jackie Paling, the organiser of the conference, said: “It has been a lot of hard work but the event was a complete success. The speakers were very inspiring and the four schoolgirls from the Girls Policy Forum were pleased with the opportunity to gain more self confidence in presenting."

The conference provided networking opportunities for a number of organisations that had stands including the Kori Project which supports women in Sierra Leone, the locally based domestic abuse charity DASH and Alzheimers Research UK.

Soroptimist clubs in Slough, the Royal Borough, Thames Valley and High Wycombe had got together to organise the conference

Soroptimists across the world work on grassroots projects that help women and girls achieve their potential - and that was the theme of the conference.

Victims Commissioner for England and Wales Dame Vera Baird spoke about the ongoing campaign for change, while Slough's former MP Fiona Mactaggart made a welcome return to public speaking to describe her work as chairman of the Fawcett Society - which campaigns for gender equality.

Wider issues were not ignored though.

Maria Evans - a volunteer with the Royal Borough's climate emergency commission - spoke about that crucial issue.

Other welcome guests included the Mayor of Slough Cllr Avtar Kaur Cheema and Deputy Mayor of the Royal Borough Cllr Gary Muir.