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The official magazine of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland

Rotary Fellowships Month June 2014 Volume 23 Issue 6

SOMERSET LEVELS The Rotarian response






Opportunities now exist in certain locations to open a Clive Christian Showroom

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C L I V E . C O M

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In this issue News from the RI President


RIBI President – Nan McCreadie


Rotary coastal quest


RI Director – Mike Webb


Community news




The big feature


Spotlight on new members


Plumber invents life saving device


RIBI Conference


Sarah Brown on a mission to educate


The way forward for marketing


Corporate members






Around the districts


Youth competitions


Rotary in action




Rotary in action


Your letters


RI President 2013/14: Ron Burton Rotary Club of Norman, District 5770 RI Foundation Chairman 2013/14: D K Lee Rotary Club of Seoul Hangang, Korea, District 3650 RIBI President 2013/14: Nan McCreadie Rotary Club of Feltham, District 1140 PR Officer: Jacqui Simpson Creative Designer: Martin Tandy 4 | June 2014

From the Editor

Welcome to the June edition of Rotary Today which we have tried to make informative and entertaining. Taking on the role of honorary editor is both a privilege and a challenge. I felt very privileged to attend the World’s Magazine Editors Seminar at Rotary Center in Evanston along with Emma Howell, Head of Marketing for Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland during an extremely cold Chicago in February. Whilst trying to avoid the February Chicago weather we learned what editors throughout the world were doing to enthuse and encourage Rotarians in their own country. All of them have challenges and opportunities which they presented to us and membership is the top priority. In this issue we have two examples of clubs increasing membership through utilising the corporate membership pilot. We hope you find the articles interesting. There is a report on the Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland Annual Conference kindly written by my predecessor John Pike. During the conference in Birmingham we were delighted that Sarah Brown found the time to sit down with us and discuss her work. Please take a look as the challenge she has taken up is huge and to most would be daunting. She tells us how she tackles quite a formidable task. Talking of formidable tasks I must thank John Pike who edited this magazine for several years and the hand holding by Jacqui Simpson PR Officer and Martin Tandy Graphic Designer at Alcester who have led me through the make up of this issue. Featuring the work that clubs do across the UK and Ireland is really enjoyable and eye opening since you all do so much. We have only been able to select a few to highlight the work of Rotarians in this country and internationally. The theme for the June edition is ‘handover’ when the forthcoming year’s presidents and district governors will be handed the baton of running their clubs and overseeing their districts. We wish them well in their endeavours and trust they will find their year challenging and enjoyable. We, as Rotarians, do work hard but at the same time find the experience very enjoyable. Allan Berry Editor

Postal address: RIBI, Kinwarton Road, Alcester, Warwickshire B49 6PB Tel: 01789 765 411 Advertising: KM Media and Marketing (as agent of RIBI) Tel: 01522 513 515 • Email: info@km– /RotaryRIBI


Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland

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Views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the editors or RIBI. Every effort is made to ensure that the magazine’s contents are accurate. Information is published in good faith but no liability can be accepted for loss or inconvenience arising from error or omission. Advertisements are accepted at face value and no liability can be accepted for the actions of advertisers. The editors welcome contributions of articles, news items, photographs and letters but are under no obligation to publish unsolicited material. The editors reserve the right to edit for clarity or length. Contributors must ensure that all material submitted is not in breach of copyright or that if such material is submitted they have obtained any necessary permission, in writing, for its reproduction. While every care will be taken with material submitted to Rotary Today magazine, no responsibility can be accepted for loss or damage.

Please note that the following deadlines apply: August 2014 issue Copy to reach us no later than: Friday June 13 October 2014 issue Copy to reach us no later than: Friday August 15 December 2014 issue Copy to reach us no later than: Friday October 17


Nan McCreadie RIBI President 2013/14

Looking forward

On the web Speeches and news from RI President Ron D. Burton at /president

Serving together We have a saying in Oklahoma that you need to leave the woodpile just a little higher than you found it. To do that, I needed to ask you to get involved. Involvement is what our theme this year – Engage Rotary, Change Lives – is all about. As each of us has done that – as each of us has gotten up out of our chairs and truly engaged Rotary – we have changed lives. This year, I asked each one of you to bring in one new member. The board has laid a foundation for strengthening membership around the globe: sixteen regional membership plans are now in place. They are built around making sure that we give people a reason to be in Rotary. I believe that if we can get prospective members to help us with a project – it could be reading to kids, working in a soup kitchen or picking up trash along the highway – the rest will take care of itself. They will realise that they made a difference in someone’s life and they’ll also realise that when you give through Rotary service, you get so much more in return. I also asked each one of you to make a gift of some amount to our Rotary Foundation. All of our governors did that and became the first class in the history of Rotary to make that commitment. Sometimes we get comfortable in going to our club and not having any responsibility. Maybe it’s because we haven’t been asked to be more engaged

and, of course, it’s great to go to your meeting and see your friends. But if you want to get fired up, you need to be doing projects. Hands on projects are great equalizers. When you’re unloading boxes off a truck, you’re just like the next person, and that person is just like you. When everyone’s serving together, there is camaraderie and that’s how you keep people engaged. Rotarians sometimes don’t realise all that Rotary is doing and is capable of doing. If they could witness the impact of the projects I have seen this year, it would change their lives. They would understand that they belong to an organisation whose members have a common desire to do something good and who, working together, accomplish incredible things. I continue to be in awe of the good I see Rotarians doing. I am firmly convinced that the woodpile is just a little higher because of your efforts. It is my hope that each one of you will continue to Engage Rotary, Change Lives.

Ron Burton Rotary International President 2013/14

I find it hard to believe that the Rotary year 2013/14 is coming to an end. The turning of the wheel is inexorable. When I took office, my hopes were that I could leave Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland in a better situation than when I started. Only you can judge if I have succeeded. It has been amazing this year to see the vast array of projects that you are running at the clubs I have visited. It is in the clubs that Rotary happens, not in Alcester or Evanston and I urge all of you to continue with the projects you have started and find new and better ones for the future. The work of Rotary is not short term - the world needs our input more and more. Let’s make sure we are able to do all that we can. Membership is still a challenge but we do need to recruit and retain members in order to continue with our work. We also need to make our communities and the leaders of those communities aware of what Rotary is and what we do. Awareness is vital. If the public don’t know who and what Rotary is, how can we expect them to want to join us in our efforts. PR isn’t just about Public Relations; it’s about Promoting Rotary.

"Change is necessary simply to stay where we are" We need to think about how we present ourselves and the image we project. Change is necessary simply to stay where we are. Think what we need to do to move forward and bring the recovery that is needed. Denis and I have had a great time. We hope you have too. My thanks to all the members of the 2013/14 team and to all the great Rotarians we met in the districts and at conferences. Keep smiling and have fun. | June 2014




coastal quest Martin Parnell completed the South West coastal walk to raise money for Right to Play

When two friends living on different continents reconnect after 35 years you never know what the outcome will be, especially when both are Rotarians. In this case Rotary Coastal Quest 630 was conceived, a gruelling month long run around the 630 mile South West England Coastal Path. A marathon a day for 25 days for 630 miles along one of the most stunning coastal trails in the world. Stephen Lay and Martin Parnell, graduated from the Camborne School of Mines in 1977 before going their separate ways, pursuing mining careers around the world. Martin emigrated to Canada and Stephen remained based in Cornwall. Martin joined the Rotary Club of Cochrane, Alberta and Stephen joined the Rotary Club of Camborne, Cornwall. Eventually Stephen became aware of the lengths that Martin was going to for the charity, Right To Play. In 2010 Martin had run 250 marathons, as part of his quest to raise $1 million for the charity.

Right to Play Right To Play is a global organisation that uses play to educate and empower children facing adversity. Through play and sports programs, the charity helps one million children weekly in more than 20 countries to build essential life skills and better futures, while driving lasting social change. Stephen contacted Martin to invite him to speak at the District 1290 Conference in 6 | June 2014

Falmouth and enable Martin to meet local Rotarians for support with his next quest. The two Rotarians met in London and the Rotary Coastal Quest 630 was born. The South West Coastal Path starts in Minehead and finishes in Poole and is 630 miles long. The plan was for Martin to run the path in one month, averaging a marathon a day. Rotarian David Laud arranged logistical support and accommodation from Rotarians across the four Rotary districts which cover the route across the South West of England. In February Martin and his wife Sue, who is also a Rotarian, travelled to Falmouth for the district conference then it was off to Minehead. The following morning, family, friends and Rotarians gathered at the starting point and gave a huge cheer as he set out on his 630 mile quest. Kurt Kowalchuk, President of the Rotary Club of Calgary Sarcee, Alberta, joined Martin for twelve days. Every night they were picked up by Rotarian hosts and taken back to their homes. During the trip, Martin

talked at a number of Rotary clubs including Minehead, Bude, Braunton Caen, Bideford, Launcetown, Wadebridge, Perranzabuloe, St. Ives Bay, Plympton / Plymouth, Torbay and Ringwood.

Committed to the end Despite the stunning scenery, the hospitality of his hosts and the unexpected adventures along the way, the route took its toll and after 320 miles Martin was injured. While crossing a boulder strewn beach, he tripped, damaging a leg muscle and was forced to walk the remaining miles. Despite his injury and having to walk up to eleven hours a day to reach his pick up point, his commitment never wavered. Martin was joined by Stephen and they completed the last two miles along Shell Beach in Poole to the finish. Martin said: “So far the Rotary Coastal Quest 630 has raised over £11,500 and changed the lives of 420 disadvantaged children giving them a Right To Play program for one year. I have experienced some of the most stunning coastal views in the world and finished the most gruelling of all ultra challenges. This would not have been possible without the hospitality, fellowship and donations of Rotarians in four districts across the South West of England.”. Steven Lay District Governor 1290

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Mike Webb RI Director 2013-15

RI Director The end of this Rotary year is nearly upon us, there is still time to complete those projects agreed by your club to give help to those less fortunate. It is also time to measure our club’s successes against those targets we set at club assembly some 12 months ago. To congratulate ourselves and possibly repeat projects if we have achieved targets or to discuss why we did not and how we may improve for the future. As the new Rotary year approaches I know that districts and clubs will have agreed targets for membership, Foundation giving and projects to be supported. Ensure that all members are aware of these challenges, contact your

District Visioning Officer if you wish to take part in a programme that will improve the way your club operates. Consultation at all levels between outgoing and incoming officers will encourage a smooth transition to the new year. The next RI Board meeting takes place at the end of May after the deadline for this article, I shall report on that meeting in the next copy of Rotary Today. We are hopeful that the RI Board will agree to a request from the Rotary Club of Gibraltar (currently undistricted) to join D1120 and I place on record my thanks to PRID Allan Jagger and DG Chris Barnett for the work they have done on this matter. The following Rotarians from RIBI are to be appointed to RI Committees for 2014/15 Audit Mike Webb Election Review Sydney Parker International Institute 2015 Keith Barnard-Jones - Chairman

Rotaract, moving forward So another Rotary year is nearly over highlighting many positive moments, from the return of the Rotaract in Great Britain and Ireland Annual Conference to the launch of a new website A steep learning curve included, it has been another year for me of making great friends and growing as an individual, professionally and personally. Far more importantly, it’s those areas of growth with the people I see around me that makes me, without bias, see the value of this Rotary programme for young adults. It’s not easy to judge if we are in a better position than 12 months ago, but it is fair to say awareness has improved and our importance to Rotary clubs in Great Britain and Ireland is getting more understood than ever before. I single out 8 | June 2014

James Lovatt speaking at the RIBI Conference

“in Great Britain and Ireland” on purpose. The challenge here is different to other parts of the world where proportionally the ratio of Rotary clubs to Rotaract clubs is not so large. There are lots of reasons behind this, but the task to change this trend is far from impossible – we have already

International Institute 2015 Ian Thomson Joint Allocation Review Mike Webb Leadership Development and Training Jim Moulson Membership Development and Retention Allan Jagger - Chairman Sao Paulo Promotion 2015 Denis Spiller Seoul Convention 2016 Gordon McInally My thanks to Peter Davey who finishes his three year stint as Rotary Coordinator Zone 18A for his help and diligence. We wish Peter well as he prepares to take over as RIBI President in some 12 months. We look forward to Robin Brown taking over from Peter and Allan Maclaughlan starting as Zone 17 RRFC on 1 July 2014. Alison and I wish you every success in your plans and hopes for the 2014/15 Rotary year.

started! All Rotary clubs engage in youth activities in one form or another – have you empowered your young people to learn about Rotaract? This is a long game. It’s too important to just say “oh we tried Rotaract before but it didn’t work”. This has to be the biggest myth I’ve come across in my 4 years as all the evidence points to Rotaract being huge in the past proving that it did work incredibly well. Rotaract is now changing with the times and can be huge again. We have rapid growth in our RotaKids and Interact programmes – let’s not waste this opportunity. Together with your Rotary clubs I’m looking forward to working with Sean Parry, my successor next year, in improving accessibility to this programme for all and making sure others do not miss out on this great organisation like I so easily could of. Imagine your life without Rotary today, would it be the same? Mine wouldn’t. I’m grateful to Rotary for so much and my journey started with Rotaract. James Lovatt, Chairman 2013/14 Rotaract in Great Britain & Ireland


out all the background noise. Following a successful pilot, Hearing Link is pioneering initiatives around the UK to promote awareness and use of hearing loops. Schemes have been launched in Surrey, Swindon and Newcastle with more planned in Chester, Ipswich, Cambridge,

Theodora Children's Trust provides Giggle Doctors to put a smile on the faces of sick children

Community news

Know your blood pressure

High blood pressure contributes to over 50% of all strokes in England and Wales. The Know Your Blood Pressure (KYBP) campaign raises awareness of the link between high blood pressure and stroke and provides information about how to keep blood pressure under control. In April over 200 Rotary clubs from across Great Britain and Ireland took part in blood pressure testing days at locations ranging from church halls to country shows, supermarkets to shopping centres. These events really can save lives. One example came at the RIBI Annual Conference in Birmingham when Keith from the Rotary Club of Tywyn was approached by a man who thanked him for possibly saving his life. He had visited a KYBP event

the previous year and following a high reading was advised to see a doctor. He did and his blood pressure is now under control. Optimal blood pressure is 120/80 but a significant number of people have readings above that and a quarter have dangerously high blood pressure with readings over 140/90. Almost 43,000 blood pressure readings were taken last year and nearly 7,000 people were advised to take action. This year Rotary and the Stroke Association hope to host over 1,000 events testing the blood pressure of over 50,000 people. If you are interested in taking part in the KYBP campaign go to www.stroke.

Look out for the Blue Ear

Hearing loss affects ten million people in the UK – one in six of the population – and by 2031 the figure is expected to reach 14.5 million. The hearing loss charity, Hearing Link is working with Rotary to change the landscape nationwide for hearing loops. One way of helping hearing aid wearers is to use a hearing loop system which can be found in many retail premises and public buildings. The Blue Ear sign with a T symbol indicates the presence of a hearing loop which in a one to one situation such as a cashier talking to a customer in a bank, cuts

Lewes, Southampton, Salisbury, Market Harborough, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland later in the year. Mukesh Malhotra, RIBI’s Community Chairman, is encouraging Rotary clubs nationwide to get involved in the project. He said: “Our brand of We’re for Communities fits in well with this project which ensures that access to information at local theatres, cinemas, banks, building societies and shopping centres, is available to those with reduced hearing.”

Kayaking for a giggle

In August Ken Robertshaw of the Rotary Club of Halifax will join past RYLA awardee Grace Alsancak to kayak the entire length of the Mississippi River, a distance of 2,350 miles. They are undertaking the challenge to raise funds for The Theodora Children’s Trust, a charity that provides specially trained entertainers called Giggle Doctors to children’s hospital wards around the country. Giggle Doctors bring happiness to the children while they are in hospital, cheering them up and easing the misery of a hospital stay. One mother, Alison Roper said: “We first met the Giggle Doctors about two weeks after my six year old was diagnosed with cancer. Up to that point, she cried every time someone in a uniform came near her. When the Giggle Doctors arrived, all we heard was laughter and this has continued ever since.” If you would like to support Ken and Grace with a donation please send cheques payable to Mississippi Challenge, c/o The Rotary Club of Halifax, Shay Stadium, Halifax, HX1 2YS. | June 2014



New website launched In only a few weeks the final touches will be put on to the new Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland (RIBI) website. Members will soon be able to reap the rewards of this key secretariat project. You’ve already had over a month now with the new public facing site and we’ve been overwhelmed with the positive feedback to date. The member’s section has been split out almost as a separate project in its own right which is in line with the two key objectives that come with this launch. First, to communicate a clear message to the public of what Rotary is, what our clubs do and provide a clear call to action that we want to encourage non-Rotarians to get involved in whichever way suits their life demands; and second to provide a key resource to members so that we can strengthen our clubs and districts through making your lives as efficient as possible.

Why did we undertake this project?

Child receiving the polio vaccine

Public health emergency

Before setting out on this path we have had to ask a few questions about what we wanted the new website to do for us. Our previous website was extremely limited in what it could do and had become messy and difficult to navigate as well. Imagine being a member of the public, was that sending out the right message? Communication is critical across all levels so we’ve done our best to keep Rotarians in the loop on timescales and the development. This also means we welcome you communicating your thoughts back to us as change needs to be a constant in taking us forward. The website is the main part of this project, but additionally we are revamping the newsletters that are sent to you – both 10 | June 2014

in design and content. This was another area we’ve identified that needed a top to bottom overhaul with feedback indicating that these only get read by a minority of individuals at the moment. Finally we have built into the site a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to deal with our membership enquiries. Applying the business lingo to us, this is something that will improve our engagement with potential members and improve the customer journey through supporting district membership chairs in the process of bringing and retaining individuals in our organisation. All in all, this gives us good reason to be positive as the 2013/14 year draws to a close and we can head into July with a more flexible resource available to us. Please take a look at

Rotarians will no doubt have heard that following the spread of wild poliovirus in Asia, Africa and Middle East, The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a public health emergency of international concern. The British Polio Fellowship CEO, Ted Hill MBE has offered his support as the WHO seeks to ensure that all possible measures are taken across the globe to stop any further outbreaks from occurring. Since the start of this year there have been 68 new cases of polio, an increase from 24 at this point last year. The virus has also been exported to three new countries from severely affected areas including Pakistan to Afghanistan, Syria to Iraq and Cameroon to Equatorial Guinea. If measures are not taken straight away to stop further spread then all of WHO’s previous work in eradicating the disease world wide by 2018 could be undone. The director general of WHO has set clear guidelines to countries that could be under threat from the virus. The first of these recommendations includes nations in the affected regions declaring a national public health emergency. They also have to ensure that additional doses of the vaccine are issued to residents of these nations and long term visitors, as well as guaranteeing that all visitors carry the relevant WHO yellow booklet which acts as proof of vaccination. These measures are to be undertaken alongside current eradication efforts, as the WHO continues to administer vaccinations to areas severely affected by the virus. The British Polio Fellowship

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Floods Driving on the M5 Motorway South of Bristol, you come over the crest of a hill and stretched out below are the Somerset Levels. The Levels occupy an area of about 160,000 acres (650sq km) and take in Sedgemoor and Mendip. To the South the Levels are drained by the River Parret and the areas to the North by the rivers Axe and Brue. From the first week of the New Year for almost eight weeks, this area experienced unprecedented rainfall. The rivers could not cope with the volume of water and the Somerset Levels became submerged in water. Whole villages were isolated and the only way to get around was by boat. Farms and homes had to be evacuated and people found temporary accommodation as the whole area suffered from this exceptional event.

The Somerset Levels are situated in Rotary District 1200 and clubs and members within the district came together to find ways of helping people who had suffered the terrible ordeal of their homes being submerged in water. Some had to leave their homes in the middle of the night to be taken to safety as the flood waters invaded their land and homes. Many families left their homes with nothing but the clothes they were wearing.

A warehouse of 150,000 square feet was taken over where donations of food, clothing, furniture and household items were received and stored for distribution.

12 | June 2014

Rotary members worked alongside the emergency services and community volunteers to provide shelter and relief to families displaced by the water. The relief operation is a prime example of Rotary’s We’re for Communities campaign. The Rotarians say that their support will be required for some time to come until the residents get back to some form of normality. A warehouse of 150,000 square feet was taken over where donations of food, clothing, furniture and household items were received and stored for distribution. Help is needed, not just in terms of money, but also in counselling and for some, tasks such as completing forms for insurance companies and assessors. Within the warehouse a café was set up serving tea and coffee, manned by Inner Wheel with Taunton Street Pastors offering

counselling to people overcome by the situation. They had come along to the warehouse for supplies of food and urgent items but found themselves overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness they received. The amount collected by Rotary is well over £120,000 - with donations still arriving - and the money is being put to very good use. As residents begin the clearing up operation they have to cope with the bureaucracy of insurance companies, and some have used up all their savings and cannot meet bills. Donations as much as £2,000 have been made to help them get by. Rotarians are also helping a lady who lost a mobility scooter in the flooding whose insurance company will not give her the whole amount it would cost to replace it.

“It is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I served in the army for 38 years, am a caseworker for the Royal British Legion and have always helped other people. When it came to receiving help myself, I found it very tough and at times I was overcome with emotion”

Rotarians affected

Several Rotarians were caught up in the flooding including Philip Maye, a member of the Rotary Club of Bridgewater. Philip had to leave his house in Fordgate at five in the morning as waters rose over the kitchen worktops. He related some of his experiences: “It is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I served in the

army for 38 years, am a caseworker for the Royal British Legion and have always helped other people. When it came to receiving help myself, I found it very tough and at times I was overcome with emotion.” Philip says he was lucky to be offered accommodation in an apartment in Taunton but now has a caravan in his garden where they can oversee the renovation of the house. Fellow Rotarians are helping and he has large industrial fans drying his home alongside dehumidifiers. Members of the Rotary Club of Wells have helped and members from his own club are giving support, although some have suffered themselves. Philip quickly diverts the question of when he thinks he and his wife can return to their home. He simply does not know. We would like to thank David Welch from the Rotary Club of Crewkerne and Robin Brown from The Rotary Club of Taunton who helped with this article. Allan Berry Editor

FILEls FACerT set Leve Som

The Levels occupy an area of about 160,000 acres People have been draining the area since before the Domesday Book The Somerset Levels are separated from the North Somerset Levels by the Mendip Hills Most of the settlements on the Levels are small villages | June 2014



Spotlight on new members Claire Pavitt lives in Grays, Essex and was a charter member of the Rotary Club of Thurrock Gateway in 2012. Claire 24, is the CEO and founder of Motivational Minds, a company dedicated to the development and growth of future generations. In her spare time she enjoys walking, fine dining and socialising with friends and family.

Claire Pavitt

How did you become involved with Rotary? At the age of 16 I was nominated by my head teacher to participate in the District 1240 RYLA project which gave me an insight into the wonderful opportunities that Rotary offers young people. This experience inspired me to be the founder member of an Interact and Rotaract club within the Thurrock area. What was your first impression? My first impression of Rotary was that it was aimed at retired businessmen who met for lunch and donated money to charity. This changed dramatically and I came to realise that anyone is welcome.

What surprised you most? It surprised me that in some areas, half of the population have struggled to become Rotarians due to their gender or age. I am surprised that only 16% of Rotary members are female but pleased to see that there are strategies in place to increase this level and the overall level of membership. I don’t think age or gender should be taken into consideration. If someone carries the ethos of Rotary within them and believes in the ideals then they should become a Rotarian. What do you find most challenging? It became a challenge when I wanted to transfer from Rotaract to Rotary. There was no easy process and due to working 14 | June 2014

full time I was unable to attend lunch meetings. It became clear that there is an underlying rule that Rotaractors should join Rotary at the age of 30 and so I was seen as going against the grain. The Rotaract club closed and for over a year I was not part of the organisation as a formal member. I was determined to be a Rotarian and in 2012 a group of Rotarians and I formed the Rotary Club of Thurrock Gateway, with the aim of welcoming men and women and inducting a range of age groups.

What do you wish other people knew about Rotary? I wish people knew that Rotary isn’t just for men or just about giving money, but is open to anyone who wants the opportunity to make new friends, have fun, give time to their community and make a difference to their life and the world.

When your friends or family find out you are a member, what do they say? The first thing my family asked was to explain what being a Rotarian actually means and why I joined the organisation. My friends ask how they can get involved. My family and friends support me and some have even become members themselves.

What are the best and worst things to happen since joining? The worst thing since joining has been accepting that not all Rotarians agree with having female members. Best moments include being chosen as the district Interact chairman for two years, being elected as president at the Rotary Club of Thurrock Gateway for 2014/15 and guest

speaker at various Rotary events. The best thing that has happened since joining Rotary as district chair for Interact is that I and my Interact team from Thurrock Gateway have created two Interact clubs which are in the process of chartering.

Can you talk about some of the people you have met? I have met some of the most inspirational and remarkable people throughout my time in Rotary who have inspired and changed my life.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of joining? I would suggest that they visit a number of clubs - a social and a fundraising event - to get a true insight into Rotary and not just read a leaflet. Every Rotarian and every club is different but we all come together and achieve the most amazing things.

What is it like to be a member? I am proud to be a member of Rotary and honoured to work alongside some amazing people from all walks of life. Rotary allows me to help local and international communities to build a better life for us all. I believe in Rotary and I smile knowing I am part of the 1.2 million members who are changing the world. Sum up your Rotary club in three words Diverse, international, champions.

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Plumber invents life saving device Between fixing boilers and installing bathrooms throughout Ayrshire, David Osborne, of the Rotary Club of Troon, spends his time liaising with international aid agencies, African government departments and multinational firms. All have shown an interest in an ingenious device developed and launched by the 39 year old plumber. It is called the Jompy water boiler, developed for use on direct heat sources such as gas or solid fuel; the most common heat source in the majority of homes in the developing world. The Jompy takes the cultural norm of heating water for cooking, cleaning, washing and drinking in a pan over a heat source but warms the water around four times quicker than traditional methods. This enables households to use their fuel more efficiently; ultimately reducing household wood smoke and positively impacting on the environment. The Jompy is designed to sit directly on top of a charcoal burner, firewood or gas stove.

The frying pan shaped device draws water from a narrow tube into its tightly coiled piping, where the cold water is heated and is then dispersed through an outlet pipe, thereby eliminating contamination and producing clean drinking water.

Simultaneous cooking and heating

Apart from the fire, all that is required are two extra containers for the contaminated water and the heated water. Its flat surface means that cooking pots sit on top of the Jompy enabling simultaneous cooking and

water heating over one fire. The Jompy is gaining recognition for its simplicity and effectiveness and has been entered in competitions including the John Logie Baird Awards, BBC World Challenge, BBC Down to business and Imagine H2O.

Award winning

From over 800 entrants David was selected as one of the 23 finalists of the Siemens Empowering people Award which identifies technical solutions for developmental activities. The awards aim to connect innovations for basic supply problems in developing countries with potential partners, investors and other key players in development work. The Siemens Stiftung Foundation sees the combination of technological innovations and entrepreneurial approaches as the key driver for the improvement of living conditions in developing countries. When the winners of the award were announced, David’s invention took third place and he was awarded ₏20,000 to be used for supplying Jompies to developing countries. A Jompy is currently on display in the Science Centre in Glasgow and one will be displayed in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh in 2016.

Claire Osborn demonstrates the Jompy in action. | June 2014



Malala Yousafzai receives her Young Citizen Award from RIBI President, Nan McCreadie

20 | June 2014


Young Citizen awards

RIBI Conference Every Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland (RIBI) Conference is the jewel in the crown for that particular year and this year’s 89th in Birmingham was no exception with the International Convention Centre providing the perfect venue. Over 1,500 Rotarians attended and they could not fail to be impressed. After two days of excellent speakers and entertainment, our special guest, Malala Yousafzai - who made the headlines after being shot by the Taliban - took to the stage, accompanied by Sarah Brown, wife of former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. Special is the right word to use for this 16 year old who will surely go on to greater things in years to come. When she has finished her studies in Birmingham she is hoping to go to university and become a doctor. Education is her prime interest in life and she is a leading campaigner for education for girls in her home country of Pakistan. Malala was interviewed live on stage by Sarah and received a standing ovation.

Excellent PR

The weekend got underway with a Foundation Lunch in the Banqueting Suite at Birmingham Council House with entertainment by the People’s Orchestra. An excellent piece of PR took place with a selection of ShelterBox tents recreating a disaster relief zone outside the ICC which was broadcast on ITV Central News. The RI President, Ron Burton, could not be with us for family reasons but Mike Webb, our own RI Director made a very good replacement. The speakers were: Jennifer Scott, Curator of Paintings at

the Royal Collection Trust, Gill Rowley, Inner Wheel Association President, Alison Wallace, CEO of ShelterBox, Jean Best, who works in developing peace and conflict resolution and Sharon Edington, a Bradford Peace Scholar. On Friday evening many attended a concert by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Treorchy Male Choir at the state of the art Symphony Hall.

Live BBC coverage

Rotaract Chairman, James Lovatt opened the Saturday session followed by Major General Martin Rutledge who spoke about The Soldiers’ Charity. Next was Lord Digby Jones, who gave a very entertaining insight into his views on the world. For the eighth year running, the BBC provided live coverage of the Rotary Young Citizen Awards. ITV newscaster, Charlene White spoke about bowel cancer and then it was trophy time with District 1010 winning Best District Magazine, the Rotary Club of Birkenhead winning Best Club Bulletin and the PR Trophy going to District 1290 for their Christmas single. The session was brought to a close by Martin Bell, the former BBC war correspondent who spoke about his work with UNICEF.

The afternoon was taken up by the Business Meeting and in the evening the tribute band, Backbeat Beatles got Rotarians dancing in the aisles. Sunday was opened by broadcaster, Roy Lilley, who spoke about the NHS followed by Sarah Brown and Malala. Her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, was in the audience and we were interested to note that he is a Rotarian.


The Connecticut Cup was won by District 1290 for enterprising international service, the Environment Trophy by the Rotary Club of Portsmouth and Southsea, the Community Service Trophy went to the Rotary Club of Halifax, the Len Smith award to the Rotary Club of Launceston and the Best Attendance at Conference Award to the Rotary Club of Morriston. A special award was made to the Rotary Club of Grantham in recognition of 25 years of the Swimarathon. Jane Walker, MBE showed a film and talked about her work with the Philippines Community Fund and our last speaker was the actor, writer, and broadcaster, Dallas Campell who showed some amazing clips from his BBC work and was a fitting end to a superb conference. It is Belfast next year, home to the fascinating Titanic museum, but for this year, RIBI President Nan, Conference Chairman Peter and his team all did Birmingham and Rotary proud. John Pike Rotary Club of Sedgley & Wombourne | June 2014




Goals Millennium Development

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that were established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, and the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration. All 189 United Nations member states at the time (there are 193 currently) and at least 23 international organisations committed to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The goals are: 1. To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger 2. To achieve universal primary education 3. To promote gender equality and empowering women 4. To reduce child mortality rates 5. To improve maternal health 6. To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases 7. To ensure environmental sustainability 8. To develop a global partnership for development Each goal has specific targets and dates for achieving those targets. To accelerate progress, the G8 Finance Ministers agreed in June 2005 to provide enough funds to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) to cancel $40 to $55 billion in debt owed by members of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) to allow them to redirect resources to programs for improving health and education and alleviating poverty.

22 | June 2014

Sarah Brown: on a mission to educate 57m children

On a mission to e Sarah Brown, wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, was on a hectic itinerary when she was whisked into a store room by Editor, Allan Berry and PR Officer, Jacqui Simpson at the RIBI Annual Conference in Birmingham for a brief interview. That week she had flown to Denmark for a conference about delivering universal education then to New York and Washington DC for the 2015 Education Countdown. Towards the end of the week she was in Finland for a conference exploring education before finally arriving in Birmingham. If you are wondering why she does this, it is because Sarah Brown is a woman on a mission and time is ticking away towards meeting her target of providing access to education for all children in the world by 2015. When we met up with her she was on quite a tight schedule but we were able to sit with her for 30 minutes to discuss her work in more depth. The task Sarah has in front of her is to get 57million children in the world into some form of schooling by 2015 and it is quite a formidable challenge. She brings

all the clout she has to achieve that goal, including her husband Gordon, who is the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education. Sarah spoke of the countless benefits of child education such as improving global health, reducing maternal mortality, helping with sustainability and reducing poverty by educating young people so that they can work and earn a living. She also talked about keeping young men out of certain areas where there is potential for them to be radicalised. The benefits she outlined are aligned to the Millennium Development Goals and her theory is that if every child in the world has some form of education, several of the eight goals would be met. She has a compelling argument as goal number two is to achieve universal primary education. Sarah explained how the process has already started around the world using the


in a Box

It was a privilege to meet Sarah Brown at the RIBI Conference and exchange views on her mission. I explained the role played by The Literacy in a Box Trust, doing our little bit to attempt to fill the void that exists where educational funding does not stretch to the supply of school materials. Because of the enormity of the task we focus on a core program, SchoolAid4Zambia, a collective of schools identified through our partnership with aid organisation Operation Sunshine. In the past, Literacy Boxes have also been sent to the Philippine Community Fund, whose CEO, Jane Walker MBE spoke at the RIBI Conference this year. Sarah speaking at the RIBI Conference 2014

o educate latest technology such as iPads, mobile schools and pop up classrooms.

Nigeria top of the list

Asked how she intended to meet the targets, she told us the strategy is to focus on the ten countries of the world where access to education is the worst. Nigeria is top of the list with almost 10.5 million children not attending any form of education. She went on to outline that the problem is greatest in Northern Nigeria because of the influence of groups like Boko Haram. Similar problems prevail in North West Pakistan and Sarah mentioned the plight of Malala Yousafzai as an example. She also mentioned that significant progress has already been made in Ethiopia. In one country where they have made good progress with education and especially getting young girls into education, the maternal mortality rate has dropped by a staggering 47%. Asked how Rotary could help with her objectives and she immediately pointed to the Literacy in a Box Trust, whose stand

she visited in the Conference House of Friendship. She is obviously impressed with the role Rotary has played in the eradication of polio and our collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The impression she gave was that she would very much like to develop a similar relationship for the education project. We went on to discuss the present project she is working on with Gordon Brown - the setting up of 500 young advocates for literacy across the world of which Malala Yousafzai is one. Young people are working alongside senior government and agency representatives to help get children into education and hence literacy. Sarah says that when the young advocates are in a meeting developing strategies, they are insistent that time is not on their side and help to push projects along much faster than normally would be the case. On her website the home page is counting down the seconds, minutes, hours and days to reach Millennium Goal number two to underline that the clock is ticking away and we are fast running out of time. Sarah admits it is a huge challenge which has been set but says it is our moral obligation to try and meet it - and it won’t be for want of trying.

The pleasing thing we have found is that Literacy Boxes do make a difference. On a recent trip to see schools in the SchoolAid4Zambia program, we visited Holy Hill Community School in Msoro, which received the second Literacy Box sent out to Zambia in 2006. They told us that all their pupils were now completing their primary education, whereas the norm in a rural primary school is 50 – 75% completion. The success was put down to regular supplies of Literacy Boxes and curriculum text books. However to give continuity of supply to all pupils in the SchoolAid4Zambia program, requires about 800 Literacy Boxes each year – our own big challenge. We wish Sarah Brown all the very best in achieving her mission. Ian Parker, Chairman The Literacy in a Box Trust | June 2014



The way forward for marketing The challenge for the Marketing PR and Communications Committee over the next few months is to launch a meaningful strategy to continue raising the profile of Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland. We will continue to work closely with the Rotary International Public Image Coordinators to maintain a consistent message. All our activities will be outward facing to attract non Rotarians and the aim is to increase awareness and understanding of Rotary. Many people know Rotary but understand little of its achievements. We must keep telling our Rotary story. As I go around the districts I ask: “How many in this room were personally invited to join Rotary?” In every case the number is in the high 90+%. Marketing alone will not bring people to the clubs' doors requesting membership. Good marketing will create interest and understanding which will make the task of inviting an easier one.

much of it from fairly new Rotarians who feel the club they joined is not the one that was portrayed to them. To assist clubs in improving their image I intend to hold a number of webinars where good ideas and good practice will be shared and give you the opportunity to ask questions. If there are any particular topics you would like to discuss please let me know. In the meantime keep telling the Rotary story, after all it is a good one. David Ellis, Chairman Marketing, PR & Communications

Vibrant and active

Every club needs to be mindful of its outward image - a vibrant and active club will attract new people who may join when asked. Any approaches made to a club need to be well handled as they are our future. I wish I could share all the correspondence I have received recently,

Rotary orldwide helps w Rotary helps fight disease

Rotary helps

victims of disasters

We’re for making the world a better place


Rotary helps offer education

Donate £3 to vac cina by texting POLO1 te 7 children 1 £3 to 70070 (UK only).

Rotary helps uk

feed the hungry

Are you?


.org Find out more at www.ribi

Texts are charged at your mobile RFUK (Charity phone operator’s No1002059) will standard rate. You must be 16 receive 100% of your or over and please For full terms ask the bill payer’s donation. and conditions and more informatio permission. n, please visit info/terms-of-service

Helen Glover

Olympic and World

24 | June 2014


DK Lee Chairman, Rotary Foundation Trustees

Rising to the challenge Some of you know the words of actor Christopher Reeve:

“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable and then, when we summon the will, they become inevitable” I began my year as Rotary Foundation trustee chair with four goals: to eradicate polio, build ownership and pride in our Foundation, launch our new grant model, and engage in innovative partnerships and projects. It has been an exciting year of change, growth, and new achievements and as I end my term, I am inexpressibly proud of the work I have seen Rotarians do. Perhaps one of the most important milestones we have seen this year was the World Health Organization’s certification of Southeast Asia as polio free. This was a long awaited declaration. Just five years ago, India represented nearly half of all polio cases worldwide. The eleven countries in the region – Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Sri Lanka, and Thailand – are home to 1.8 billion people and represent the fourth of six regions worldwide to be officially certified polio-free. This landmark didn’t happen on its own; it embodies a lot of hard work by many dedicated volunteers. In my final month of service as trustee chair of our Rotary Foundation, I leave feeling grateful. I’m grateful for the opportunity to know so many of you hard working and devoted Rotarians, and I’m grateful for all your help in making the four goals I set out with become a reality.

Corporate members This month we feature two clubs that have used the pilot corporate membership programme to boost membership numbers. Each has tackled the challenge in a different way but with similar outcomes.

Angus the bull, the club mascot of Aberdeen FC


The Rotary Club of Aberdeen St Machar recruited its first corporate member in 2013 when B&Q joined the club. A spokesperson for B&Q said: “Membership of Rotary is an important part of our commitment to community life, which is replicated in communities throughout Great Britain and Ireland. It provides a fantastic channel for the company and our staff to contribute to the excellent social projects undertaken by Rotary. We look forward to working with our fellow Rotarians serving the people of Aberdeen.”

Premiership football

The club has also recruited Scottish Premiership football team Aberdeen FC and created Aberdeen Football Club in the Community. Ally Prokter liaises between the football club and Rotary. His remit is to increase and develop community activities for the football club and provide support and opportunity to improve lives. The community group works in partnership with individuals and organisations and hopes to become a stand alone charitable organisation, Aberdeen FC Community Trust.

Aberdeen FC’s Vice Chairman, George Yule said: “Ally has been entrusted to do good things for communities whilst utilising the many assets of Aberdeen FC. His association with Rotary benefits his work and I am confident he will ensure maximum mutual benefit from the relationship.” President of The Rotary Club of Aberdeen St Machar, Jim Young, said: “Rotary offers the perfect environment for organisations to become involved in a range of community activities and for their representatives to develop their leadership, presentational and organisational skills. Corporate membership also facilitates excellent networking opportunities across commerce and the community.”

Ipswich The Rotary Club of Ipswich launched a corporate membership pilot scheme which could boost membership by as much as 20. The club invited leaders of several local businesses to a meeting where the CEO of East Anglian’s Children’s Hospices was the speaker and guests were given a brochure about the club’s activities. It was explained that they and three designated people from their firm could join as corporate members for a fee of £150 per year. Bernard Hindes, President of the Rotary Club of Ipswich said: "Our plans are coming to fruition and local businesses are showing an interest in volunteering as part of their corporate social responsibility programmes. Our corporate membership programme fits the bill.” So far one firm has joined and four others are in the process of applying. The programme allows an organisation to become a member of a Rotary club through an established membership approval process. They can appoint up to four individuals to attend club meetings, serve on projects, vote on club matters and serve as club officers and on club committees.

Home grown at Little Havens

A new greenhouse at Little Havens Hospice means that kitchen staff and volunteers can use freshly grown fruit and vegetables in the meals they cook for the children. The greenhouse has been funded with a donation from the Rotary Club of Brentwood à Becket together with a grant from Essex County Council Community Fund via Castle Point Council. It will be used by the garden club and volunteers to create an organic vegetable garden to provide nutritious meals for children with life limiting illnesses and their families who are cared for at the hospice. Denise Taylor, Head Chef at Little Havens, said, “We’re so pleased that we will now be producing even more fresh produce to use in the kitchen. Giving families time to sit down together for nutritious home cooked meals is part of what makes Little Havens feel so homely. I am looking forward to using the new supply of produce to cook all of the children's favourite meals." Rita Anderson, President of the Rotary Club of Brentwood à Becket, said: “It is very rewarding to see how our money is helping create the best possible environment for seriously ill children and their families.” Little Havens Hospice is a registered charity and receives limited government funding. The organisation must raise over £46,000 every week to be there for everybody who needs its care. | June 2014



Phenomenal success The Rotary World’s Greatest Meal and Global Swimarathon projects have been phenomenally successful, raising over US$1m for End Polio Now including funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. More than 30,000 people took part in the events, which were organised by over 1,000 Rotary clubs in 50 countries spanning six continents. The World’s Greatest Meal alone raised over US$ 500,000 with 300 fundraising meals taking place around the globe.

Three magical years It is three years since my Rotary social media adventure began. In that time, more than 30,000 people have taken part in over 700 fundraising events organised by 1,100 clubs in 56 countries and six continents, raising more than US$1,000,000 for polio eradication. When I joined my local Rotary club in Grantham, our 22nd annual Swimarathon was taking place and my eyes were opened to the extraordinary power of community service. Three days of fun, commitment, excitement, endeavour and over £40,000 raised by 1,500 people for local charities.

Achieving the dream

Then I heard about the dream of Rotarian Roger Graves - could we really share it with the rest of Rotary the following year? In March 2011 I set up a Facebook page, with zero existing Rotary contacts but a real sense of anticipation. Despite my best efforts, nothing much was happening and just as doubts were creeping in, step forward Mukesh Malhotra, incoming District Governor in London and Susanne Rea, Fundraising Chair in Cairns, Australia. Two people, thousands of miles apart who truly believed in what we were doing, right from the outset. Mukesh drummed up support across Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland whilst Susanne persuaded nine clubs in her district to sign up and the dream came alive. On February 25 2012, over 4,500 swimmers in 23 countries 26 | June 2014

raised US$105,000 for End Polio Now and one Guinness World Record and one year later, the event spread to more countries, involved more people, raised even more money.

Breaking records

The 2014 Rotary Global Swimarathon once again smashed all previous totals. Thanks to great promotion by Alistair Risk of the Rotary Club of East Sutherland in Scotland, more than 20 clubs took part in that region including the Rotary Club of Dundee which raised £12,000 at its first event. One single event at a conference in Malaysia by clubs in India had 110 clubs take part. Our extraordinary Pacific Ocean swimmers at Rotary Club of La Jolla Sunrise, San Diego were once again joined by Branson the wonder dog who helped save the life of a stranded swimmer in November 2013. With results still to come in overall more than US$124,000 has been raised by more than 200 clubs with over 6,200 swimmers participating in 38 countries. Paul Wilson Rotary Club of Grantham

Simple ideas

Mukesh Malhotra of the Rotary Club of Hounslow said: “These were very simple ideas which came from humble beginnings. With the extraordinary commitment and support of Rotarians all over the world and the use of social media, we have been able to break records, generate worldwide publicity and raise enough money to protect millions of children from polio. A big thank you to everyone who took part.” Mukesh Malhotra Rotary Club of Hounslow



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or the past decade, Rotary’s membership has lingered around 1.2 million. That means for every person who joined in the last 10 years, another person left. Today’s numbers show Rotary is not only stagnant but in decline in many areas. Our membership total as of 1 July 2013 was 1,185,000 – the lowest figure in almost a decade. What are we doing about it? In this issue, we talk with RI President Ron Burton about the challenges facing the organization and the $3 million effort to help clubs get and keep members. We explore the four pilot programs that 700 clubs around the globe are testing to keep current members engaged and to attract others. We also talk to leaders in areas where Rotary is growing rapidly and ask, “What’s your secret?” Read on to find out what they say and get ideas to grow your club.




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on Burton is the 2013-14 president of Rotary International. But 30 years ago, he was an uninspired Rotarian ready to quit his club. That’s why he calls on Rotarians around the world to Engage Rotary, Change Lives – because he knows firsthand that without a sense of purpose and belonging within their club, members leave. After polio eradication, increasing membership is Rotary’s highest priority. With global membership stalling and numbers in many regions dropping, Rotary’s leaders aim to renew the organization through a series of plans created from member feedback. The 16 regional plans provide a roadmap of reasonable goals to help every club build Rotary. We spoke with Burton to find out how these plans will affect you and your club.

How will these plans help Rotary gain members? I think it’s the enthusiasm we’re injecting into this. People respond to a challenge. We’ve asked all the directors to give us a definite number of members we can hold them accountable for adding. They’ve gone to every district governor to get a number. The plans put our goals on paper and build support from the directors, the district governors, club presidents, and members.

How do you describe the regional membership plans? The idea is to allow a region of Rotary to develop a plan for recruiting and retaining members that will work in that region. We know that one size doesn’t fit all. What works in the United States may not work in other places, so the plans give Rotarians flexibility in how they attract members, and they build a sense of ownership, since the plans are based on member feedback.

How will the plans affect the average Rotarian? Most of us had to be invited by a friend to become a Rotarian. Once we invite new members, we have to give them a reason to stay. We can always use more hearts, hands, and feet on the ground to do the great work of Rotary. The plans challenge members to accept that even in their hometowns, they could do more and be more productive if their club had more members.

You’ve seen all 16 regional plans. Is there one tactic to attract new members that stands out? One strategy involves giving Rotarians who sponsor new members recognition on their Rotary pin. It’s a flat backer that fits behind the pin, and its color signifies how many members the person has brought in. It’s an incentive, and it looks pretty slick.


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What if some clubs are happy as they are? Add a new club with a new look. A fourth club was chartered in my hometown of Norman, Okla., USA, last year. We’re a community of 110,000, and we have about 300 Rotarians – that means there’s a few people left who would be good members. For example, my club is a lunch club on Thursdays. Some people just can’t do lunch on Thursday. We kept a list of those people and contacted them when we started a breakfast club. Every community has a couple of champions who can help charter a new club. Is there a “silver bullet” that will boost Rotary’s membership? Engagement. I quit my Rotary club because I didn’t have anything to do. Then they asked me if I’d chair a committee. The club president said, “We’d like you to be in the club. Would you chair our Rotary Foundation committee next year?” I stayed because I thought it was an important role. The key is to give people the opportunity to contribute to their communities. You quit your club? I did. I joke about it now, but 30 years ago, I had little kids, a full-time job, and you do the things you think are important. If all you’re doing is eating a bad meal every week at the Holiday Inn, you’re not going to stay in your club. That’s why I stress the importance of engagement. We all have so many things calling on us that, to retain members, each one of us has to feel fully engaged. What do you think turns people off about Rotary? I ask this question all the time. I say, “Look at your Rotary club. Would you join this club today? If not, why not? What would you do to change it?” Some people get turned off by singing. Some clubs have a lot of fines. That’s not to say that every tradition is silly, but it may not be for everybody. Find out what people like and don’t like about your club by doing exit interviews.

“German clubs put an emphasis on personal connections between members and their families, and try to develop programs and events in which many play an active role,” says Rotary Coordinator Peter Iblher. “We try to create an impression of club life as being rewarding and valuable for members and their families.”

Where is Rotary growing? Rotary is growing in India and many parts of Asia. It’s strong in Thailand and Taiwan. We also have a big effort to grow in Africa. What can other Rotarians learn from these regions? There’s excitement about Rotary in these areas, especially in India. Rotary is visible. It’s a prestigious organization there, and people know what Rotary is and does. But I think people feel good when they help someone else, no matter where they are in the world, so if there’s one thing to learn, it is to identify and take on great club projects that meet a need in your community. What’s one thing any member could do right now to support Rotary? Invite someone. Get them involved, and keep them involved. If you find that magic, they’ll keep themselves involved and invite others. I’m living proof of that. n 64



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Per Høyen, who will serve as 2014-16 RI director, credits some of the membership growth in his zone, particularly in Lithuania (which has doubled its number of Rotarians since 2003), to favorable media coverage and positive government relations. “Lithuanian Rotarians get the media interested in the projects they are doing all over the country. This ‘free’ PR creates a lot of interest among people and makes it easier to get new members, because people know what Rotary is doing.”

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In India, three districts are collecting data to develop a plan for starting new Rotary clubs for the sons and daughters of Rotarians. Members also recognize Rotarians who recruit new members, and invite prospective members to half-day seminars to learn about Rotary. “We target former Rotaractors and encourage them to form new Rotary clubs,” adds Ulhas Kolhatkar, a Rotary coordinator and past district governor. “We also encourage participation from second-generation Rotarians.”

“The average age of Rotarians in Africa is younger than in the United States or Europe. Clubs are relevant and vibrant, and support the belief that it is an honor and a big deal to become a Rotarian,” says Thomas Branum, Reach Out to Africa Committee chair and past RI director.

“One way we’ve been successful in Taiwan is by focusing on alumni – people who were in Group Study Exchange and former Rotaractors. We keep track of these people. If we can sponsor a club with a short meeting and no big meal, that will help to keep them,” says Gary C.K. Huang, who will serve as 2014-15 RI president.

Countries and areas with largest membership declines, 2003-13

Countries and areas with largest membership gains, 2003-13

# of members lost

# of members gained






% loss

% gain

























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he RI Board of Directors allocated US$3 million to create and support regional membership plans, recognizing that a global approach would not be as effective as local strategies guided by member feedback. The aim is to increase Rotary membership around the world. The plans outline goals for 16 regions and the steps for achieving them. “The world is different now,” says Allan Jagger, chair of the RI Membership Development and Retention Committee and past RI director. Jagger was involved in creating the plan for clubs in Great Britain and Ireland. “We have to look at where we’ve come from, what’s working, and change what isn’t.” In Great Britain and Ireland, an analysis of the data found that bringing in new members isn’t the problem – it’s keeping them. Jagger says the team looked into why and discovered that the way Rotary was sold to prospective members didn’t fit the reality of joining a club. The membership plan for Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland responded by recommending a club “visioning” process to help clubs become more attractive to members, both new ones and the ones they already have – something Jagger says hinges on service. “The only way to make clubs more effective is to do more service,” he explains. “The more service you do, the more recognition Rotary will get. The more recognition, the more members you will acquire.” In Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, regional leaders focused on what they already do well. “There will always be weaknesses,” says Jessie Harman, a Rotary coordinator from Australia. “This is about identifying strengths and giving Rotarians and clubs examples of best practices and other tools they can use to strengthen Rotary.” One asset in this region is member diversity. To remain strong in this area, leaders set a goal of increasing female members by 6 percent, young members by 5 percent, and culturally diverse members by 3 percent. To work toward that, the Rotary Club of Christchurch South has launched an effort to recruit past Rotary Youth Leadership Awards participants as members. Though regional leaders developed the plans, it is up to individual Rotarians to make their clubs into groups that people will want to join – and stay in. 66



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700 CLUBS TEST NEW WAYS TO ENGAGE AND ATTRACT MEMBERS Four pilot programs that allow clubs more freedom to determine meeting frequency, add new categories of membership, and gain flexibility in club operations launched in 2011-12. The pilots – Corporate Membership, Associate Membership, Innovative and Flexible Club, and Satellite Club – run through 2016-17.

Corporate Membership Gives companies the opportunity to partner with their local Rotary club and appoint up to four employees as active members

TIP: LESS IS MORE In a pilot study that ran from July 2007 until June 2013, biweekly meetings were linked to a higher rate of membership growth. The pilot showed an overall 90 percent positive impact, with improvement not only in membership but also in fundraising, community service, and support for The Rotary Foundation. The pilot enlisted 200 clubs. Of those, 80 percent chose to hold meetings either twice a month or every two weeks.

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Satellite Club Allows clubs to conduct multiple meetings during a week, each taking place at a different location, day, or time

Associate Membership Offers a trial membership without the full rights and responsibilities of active members

Innovative and Flexible Club Provides the freedom to create a club that better fits community and member needs





Members in Japan are recruiting recipients of the Yoneyama

One strategy for member retention in District 5790

Scholarship, which is sponsored by Rotarians. The effort has

(Texas, USA) is the “buddy system.” Groups of

already produced two new clubs: the Rotary Club of Tokyo

four members stay in touch and support one an-

Yoneyama Yuai (with 32 members, all former scholars liv-

other. Members are paired with one close buddy,

ing in Japan but originally from 10 different countries), and

and the membership chair assigns a minimum of

the Rotary E-Club of District 2750 Tokyo Yoneyama (with 27

two more buddies to make a team. One person is

members who meet through the club’s website and live chat,

appointed the team leader and coordinates occa-

but gather in person for club events).

sional get-togethers and activities. M AY

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3/11/14 10:16 AM



Not sure why your club is shrinking? Ask these questions: (1) Is my club’s meeting time, format, and location

convenient for members with families or younger professionals still building their careers?

(2) How well does my club reflect the age, gender, and professional diversity of my community?

(3) Whose interests are reflected in my club’s programs? (4) Do ceremonial activities take time away from speakers, club business, project planning, and networking?

(5) Does my club have a plan in place to contact guests after they visit?

MORE ONLINE View your region’s plan by searching for “membership plans” at

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3/11/14 10:16 AM

We worked with local leaders to provide one hundred families in four communities with shelter, water carriers and mosquito nets.

pp The Philippines

a personal experience I first encountered Rotary in Delhi whilst on a study visit evaluating projects relating to the Millennium Development Goals. One project was a Rotary funded eye hospital and surgery in a desperately poor area of the city. I wanted to do more and three years later found myself in the streets of Ormoc, two days after Typhoon Haiyan swept across the Philippines leaving death and destruction in its wake. I’d applied for a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship and having been selected began a PhD in Manchester. Just a few weeks into my program I was told about Disaster Aid UK – a Rotary approved organisation that provides shelter after disasters around the world. Following selection, training and various other fundraising activities, I finally become a member of a disaster aid response team.

First deployment

The Philippines was my first deployment and followed a call from the deployment manager telling me there had been an earthquake on the island of Bohol and

asking if I was available. Three days later I was travelling towards Bohol. As part of a team of three I worked in the municipality of Loon, where 95% of all households had been completely destroyed. We worked with local leaders to provide one hundred families in four communities with shelter, water carriers and mosquito nets. However, the powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake was nothing compared to what followed.

Absolute devastation

When typhoon Haiyan - known locally as Yolanda - made landfall, it was the strongest ever typhoon and resulted in absolute devastation. Millions were left homeless, schools and hospitals were destroyed, rice paddies were flooded and fishing boats decimated. People lost their lives, homes, jobs and their security. Yet they were incredibly resilient. They fixed on what was left of their dwellings and brought the children together for informal educational sessions. Disaster Aid took a fresh approach

to the disaster, their strategy being to work with local partners in order to reach communities that were most in need. These were largely inaccessible, living in small island communities off north east Panay. We provided shelter repair kits for one thousand families so that they could rebuild their homes rather than move into emergency shelter.

Turning hope into reality

Responding to a natural disaster is a unique experience but the story of response is nothing compared to that of the people whose lives are altered by the loss of loved ones and the destruction of their livelihoods. For me, responding was not only a duty but also a privilege. It was an honour to work with our local partners and with the communities themselves to rebuild and regenerate. I was indeed part of the process that turned hope into reality. Christina Gasser Disaster Aid Response Team member | June 2014



We're for

Communities Catching up with Rotary clubs around Great Britain and Ireland

Project of the month

District 1020

Thank you from Malawi

The Rotary Club of North Berwick received a picture as a thank you from a school in Malawi which the club has been helping through the Mangochi Orphans Education and Training organisation. The organisation started in 1999 with ten orphaned children being taught under a grass shelter and has developed into buildings teaching over 200 children in six classrooms.

Supporting schools - D1020

District 1160 Belfast Club supports young people The Rotary Club of Belfast have joined with Youth Action Northern Ireland and Ulster Bank to develop a project to help young people into work. They have developed a resource pack, Get Set to be Hired, which together with workshops is reaping very good results. The pack gives advice to help young people to apply for a job who may not have the confidence, qualifications and perhaps communication skills to access the employment market. The first copy of the resource pack was presented to Councillor Martin O Muilleoir, Lord Mayor of Belfast, at the launch of the project in February. A recent workshop was attended by over 80 young people, who were given the resource pack, advice on writing a CV and job application, along with mock interviews. One young person commented: “I was scared of attending interviews and didn’t do much good in them. After today I have more of an idea what an employer is looking for and now realise the work I have to put in before an interview. This workshop has greatly helped my confidence.” The Get Set to be Hired pack was designed as a direct extension of the highly successful Get Set to Go employability project in which the Rotary Club of Belfast and Ulster Bank were partners.

28 | June 2014

The children are arranged into communities within the school where they live and are taught. The children get one meal a day supplemented with food from the school’s vegetable garden. North Berwick Rotarians have been funding a teacher for several years and since the programme has been so successful they will continue to help. Details of the school and their work can be found at .

District 1030

Tumbling to success

The Rotary Club of Washington, Tyne and Wear were given a talk by thirteen year old Shanice Davidson and her grandparents about the sport of tumbling. Tumbling is a form of acrobatic gymnastics and Shanice, who is being sponsored to the age of 17 by the club, won a silver medal at the world championships in Bulgaria last November. She also broke the world record, achieving the highest score in her age group and is in the national squad for tumbling. Shanice said: “I love the sport of tumbling and am really dedicated to achieving success. I’m very grateful to the Rotary club for helping me.”

Shanice takes a tumble - D1030

District 1030

Working for Gambia

The Rotary Club of Washington entered Denise Barnas for the North East Youth Work Award 2014. Denise is a voluntary project manager for Project Gambia and is employed through The Box Youth Project. She was joint winner for Outstanding Contribution and joint winner with The Box Youth Project in the Innovative Practice section. The Rotary Club of Washington has been working with Washington’s JFK primary school to collect donated bikes and water filters for the Gambia. The water filters were taken by children from Farringdon Community Academy along with a 40ft container of donated items to Gambia to give to Gambian families. On their return they gave a presentation to the children at JFK on their experience. Rotarian Mick Drake spends every Wednesday working on donated bikes, getting them ready for the next trip.

District 1050

First RotaKids club

Members of the Rotary Club of Sandbach have been working with Sandbach Community Primary School towards setting up District 1050’s first RotaKids club. District Governor Derek Newman and Sandbach President, Phil Niddrie presented the school with its charter and individual certificates for the ten founder members after they had fulfilled the necessary

Solihull Daffodil Ball

Photo courtesy of Seven Star Photography, Solihull

RotaKids criteria. RotaKids is an exciting way for youngsters aged 7 to 12 to work together on community projects at local, national and global level and get help from their local Rotary club. Headteacher, Lynn Treadway said that Rotakids is an excellent opportunity for pupils to develop the community work they do in the school and to take on the responsibility to demonstrate their good citizenship. During the Easter break Mrs Treadway visited schools in Cape Town to set up partnerships as part of the club’s global commitment.

District 1060

Daffodil Ball

The Rotary Club of Monkspath held its annual Marie Curie Daffodil Ball raising a five figure sum for a new hospice in Solihull. The event was held at The Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport with 300 people in attendance. A great time was had by all and plans are already in hand for next year.

District 1120

Sleepout for homeless

The Rotary Club of Canterbury Sunrise held a sleepout for the homeless after their Australian member, John Morgan saw the potential of the event on a trip to Australia. The Chief Executive of Canterbury City Council was the first to sign up, followed

Canterbury Cathedral - D1120

by the Bishop of Dover, the Mayor of Canterbury and local business people including press, professional and academic leaders. Over 50 people slept out in the grounds of Canterbury Cathedral. Registration was £25 per person with a requested minimum sponsorship target of £250 per person. Tents, music and food were supplied and talks were given by service users from Catching Lives and Porchlight, local charities working to ease the plight of the homeless. The following morning participants tucked into bacon rolls donated by Canterbury Cathedral and took away their souvenir ‘I slept with 50 people’ bags and china mugs. The event was broadcast live on Radio Kent and was covered by the local press raising over £39,000 in sponsorship. | June 2014



District 1120

Choir hits top note

Six choirs from the local area took part in the Rotary Club of Canterbury’s annual Top Choir Kent competition compered by BBC South East Presenter Rob Smith. The songs ranged from classical to gospel, jazz and pop. A highlight of the evening was a performance by the P&O Ferries Choir from Dover, who won the BBC TV series Sing While You Work with Gareth Malone. The prize for Top Choir Kent went to Cantate, a mixed style choir from Sevenoaks. Chairman of the judges, Dr David Flood, Organist and Master of Choristers at Canterbury Cathedral, said: "Cantate performed at a remarkably high, almost professional level with a very demanding repertoire." The Rotary Club of Canterbury president Geoff Goodban said: “Sponsorship means nearly all the set up costs are covered enabling us to stage a top flight musical event whilst raising money for charity.”

Tiger boat race

will now plant them in the school garden so that when they flower next year they will remember End Polio Now.

District 1150

Life's a cruise

A growing awareness- D1150

Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the water, the cruise ship comes to you. That’s what it felt like for Cowbridge Rotarians when cruise ship performer, Maria Lyn performed a Valentine’s Day show. It isn’t just her superb voice that makes her such a hit with audiences around the world, but the way she charms and interacts with the audience. A very enjoyable evening which raised almost £1,500.

Crocuses for End Polio Now

30 | June 2014

Spring crocus display

The Rotary Club of Comber celebrated spring with a beautiful display of crocuses for End Polio Now. They were planted by children from Comber Primary School and Andrews Memorial Primary School. The crocus display was resplendent in Comber Town Square. Club President Judy Sinclair commented: “We are really pleased to get the community involved with children from two local schools and we are delighted the display was so bright and eye catching. We thank the children and teachers for helping us.”

District 1190

Boat race funds distributed

District 1150

Reception year children at the Priory School in Brecon worked with the Rotary Club of Brecon to help raise awareness of End Polio Now by planting purple crocuses. Teacher Janet Davies said: “They all had a lot of fun planting the bulbs then nurturing them to see them grow and flower". Club President Pat Blake, took an assembly at the school to help raise awareness of polio where the pupils asked questions and expressed an interest in raising money for the campaign. The crocuses have flowered and the children

District 1160

The £8,600 raised by the Rotary Club of Bassenthwaite through its Tiger Boat Race has recently been distributed to charity. Of this, £4,800 was donated by the contestants to their nominated charities and the remaining £3,300 split between the Rotary Clubs of Bassenthwaite and Carlisle Castle. Bassenthwaite donated £500 to the North Lakes Foodbank, £250 each to Keswick and Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Teams and £680 to a Talvert Trust project that is being set up. Cruise ship experience - D1150

Poundbury - D1200

District 1200

New club

On Friday April 4, the Rotary Club of Dorchester Poundbury came into being with the charter being handed over by RIBI President Nan McCreadie to Howard Yarnold, President of the new breakfast club. The new club is placing an emphasis on work within the community and especially with young people. There are 26 members who are also keen to network with local businesses and cooperate with the established clubs within the town. Howard Yarnold said: “Thank you to all who have come along and supported and mentored us through the formative months, we really appreciate it. We all look forward to helping our local community and having fun at the same time.”

District 1210

A close shave

Peter Love, from the Rotary Club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire grew a beard for Rotary Santa and raised nearly £700 for charity - from people glad to see him rid of it with a sponsored beard shave. It was in the safe hands of Amber Risdon of Risdon’s hairdressers in Shrewsbury who offered her support for the Midlands Air Ambulance by providing the shave free of charge. Amber commented: “I was only too pleased to offer him my full support, the Air Ambulance is a wonderful charity and I am delighted to have been part of Peter’s fundraising.” Maria Jones, Midlands Air Ambulance fundraising manager remarked: “We are most grateful to Peter for his inventive idea which has resulted in such an amazing result from one individual.”

A close shave!

District 1210

The exploits of Tom Kelly

Tom Kelly of the Rotary Club of Whitchurch has devoted many years to humanitarian work visiting countries including Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Sudan and Laos. He is supported by his club members who accompany him with back up support and transport. Tom often travels as a volunteer for Voluntary Service Overseas and over the past 14 years has dedicated his travels to 16 different causes both locally and internationally, raising over £50,000 for charity. Tom says: “The money I raise goes directly to projects I know and I enjoy the challenge. Since 1999 I have walked climbed, scrambled or biked every year except 2008 when I broke my ankle.”

District 1240

Improving lives

The Rotary Club of Rochford is helping to improve the lives of disabled people by donating a specialised wheelchair bought from collections last year. Club President, Jeremy Davenport went along to Rochford Multiple Sclerosis Society to present the chair. Ian Copland, spokesman for the Multiple Sclerosis Bowls Group said: “We are very pleased to have the wheelchair as it helps members of the group improve their game.”

Bowled over - D1240

District 1260

Special needs Interact club

The Rotary Clubs of Winslow and Buckingham were joined by District Governor Gavin Plews and the staff and pupils of Furze Down School for children with special needs, for the inauguration of a new Interact club run by the pupils. Furze Down School is only the second special needs school to set up such a club. Ryan Gray, Club President said: “Thanks to the members of both clubs for their support. We have really enjoyed the fundraising events we have organised so far and we have more events planned for the months ahead.”

Around the districts

What are you doing in your community? Send your stories of around 200 words and your pictures to | June 2014



Toscana Saporita Cookery School in Tuscany

Young chefs from all over the country were welcomed by the sound of Scottish bagpipes when they converged on Dundee and Angus College for the national final of the Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland (RIBI) Young Chef Competition.

T o WinningmM'senu


Seared scallops, mango, Jerusalem artichoke, brown butte r and capers.

Main Course

Filipo Berio are the sponsors of the competition

Roasted breast of Gressin gham duck, bacon quinoa, chargrille d Wye Valley asparagus, morels and bro ad beans.


Ginger and honey cake, rhubarb, yoghurt, pistachio and almond.

A second for Horsham

The winner was 14 year old Tom Hamblet

The competition was won by 14 year old Tom Hamblet who was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Horsham. Tom won a trophy, a cheque from Filippo Berio for £250, a bag of Filippo Berio products and a cookery course at Toscana Saporita's Italian Cookery School in Tuscany. This year for the first time, the Craft Guild of Chefs marked the achievement of the young chefs by giving them a certificate allowing a year's student membership of the Craft Guild of Chefs and a medal. Tom received a gold medal and the other seven chefs received silver medals. Second place went to 16 year old Roxanne Ryan sponsored by the Rotary Club of Cirencester who won a trophy, a cheque from Filippo Berio for £150 and a 32 | June 2014

bag of Filippo Berio products. Third was 15 year old Lora Blackett, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Skegness who won a trophy, a cheque from Filippo Berio for £100 and a bag of Filippo Berio products.

It is the second year running that a chef sponsored by the Rotary Club of Horsham has won the competition. Last year's winner Jordon Powell, was on this year's judging panel along with Valentine Warner, the celebrated TV chef and food writer, Christopher Basten, National Chairman of the Craft Guild of Chefs, and Walter Zanre, Managing Director of Filippo Berio.

Award for promise

Fantastic achievement

This year the judges wanted to recognise a young chef by giving a special award for showing promise. The award was made to 17 year old Cliona McCarthy, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Navan who received a cheque for £50 and a bag of Filippo Berio products. President of RIBI, Nan McCreadie said: “I would like to congratulate the winners and all the other finalists who are also winners as they have beaten 6,500 other young people to reach the finals. I would also like to thank Dundee and Angus College for their excellent hospitality and Filippo Berio for their sponsorship of the event.”

Jules White, Head Teacher at Tom's school, Tanbridge House said: “The school is extremely proud of Tom and this fantastic achievement. It is incredible for him to have won a competition which started with over 6,500 entrants nationwide and he should be very proud of himself." Tom is hopefully following in the footsteps of his father, Lewis Hamblet, Executive Chef at South Lodge Hotel in Sussex. Mr Hamblet said: "Tom has worked incredibly hard to achieve this great accolade. I am very proud also that South Lodge has produced an RIBI Young Chef Winner for the second year running".


AWARDS The RIBI Young Citizen Awards were presented live on the BBC News Channel for the eighth year running. They celebrate the positive citizenship and responsibilities Young Citizen winners 2014 shown by young people. The five winners each received a trophy and a donation of cyber bullying. They wrote the script, a song was sexually abused when she was eight £500 to their project. and acted the roles and are now touring a years old. She helps run a charity for Bethany Eason age 16 is from the Wirral. theatre show around schools, Not Such a young victims of sexual abuse and shows She is deaf and campaigns on behalf of Sweet Tweet. The school was nominated by families how to recognise the signs. Lucy deaf young people, helping to fight cuts the Rotary Club of Rugby Breakfast. gives talks in schools and runs an outreach to services for deaf children. Bethany Eight year old Harvey Parry lost both his programme. She was nominated by the was nominated by the Rotary Club of legs and part of his hand due to contracting Rotary Club of Redbridge. Bebington. meningitis as a baby and also suffered a Malala Yousafzai age 16 was presented Nominated by the Rotary Club of stroke. He has won 19 medals, mostly with a special award in recognition of her Mallow, County Cork, a group of young outstanding international citizenship and people from Davis College started a missing gold, for Great Britain in disability games in America. His parents campaigned with for her continued determination to achieve person’s campaign which led to the Irish Rotarians for funds to help get Harvey education for all young people. Taoiseach Enda Kenny declaring Ireland's prosthetic legs. Harvey was nominated by first annual national missing persons day. Jacqui Simpson the Rotary Club of Edmonton. Eastlands Primary School year six pupils RIBI PR Officer VIP Consumer Advert (Half page - Rotary Magazine)Lucy Artwork_Layout 20:38 Daldy aged 12403/04/2014 lives in Essex and Page 1 made a film, The Anti Social Network about




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Gill Rowley Inner Wheel Association President 2013/14

Ninety year service

A Turkish adventure After seeing a request for a native English speaking Rotarian to help out at Kocaeli University in Turkey for three weeks, Andy Banks of the Rotary Club of Cowbridge was soon on his way.

New Rotakids members in Romania

When I volunteered my services as a teacher of spoken English, I had never been to Turkey, did not speak Turkish, didn’t know who would be looking after me or where I would be staying. I did know that the Rotary Club of Kocaeli-Gölcük would be looking after me because this was a Rotary project I had first noticed when trawling through the website. My accommodation was a room in a downtown hotel in Kocaeli about 200 metres from the mosque. There were calls to prayer five times a day with the first one being at half past five in the morning. I never overslept. My room was basic and I gave it a thorough check after finding a screwdriver, hammer and a small dagger. I had breakfast of tea and rolls every morning at the bakery before taking the bus to the university perched high in the hills. I was told I could not talk about sex, religion, politics and Ataturk. The founder 34 | June 2014

of the modern Turkish state was not a suitable subject for discussion. I was very busy with classes of up to twenty students and at the end of each day I got the bus back to Kocaeli and fell asleep for an hour before going to a restaurant serving Turkish food including pickled red cabbage, spicy meatballs, chicken kebabs and tiny pale green peppers. Then it was back to my room and asleep by ten o’clock.

Memorable hospitality

I dined with my hosts whose hospitality was memorable and the tables would be groaning under the weight of the food. I managed a couple of days sightseeing in Istanbul, visiting the Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque, but my aim was primarily to help the English department at Kocaeli and get to know more about the real Turkey. I will never forget the noise, smells and bright colours of Kocaeli market in the late afternoon; the chaotic, honking, meandering traffic at rush hour; the shops which spill out onto the pavement, groceries, shovels and even firearms; the infinite numbers of pavement cafés serving glasses of tea and biscuits, the rich aroma of roasted meats and the calls to prayer drifting above the busy streets from the minarets, five times a day in a cascade of exotic harmonies.

A big thank you to all the Rotarians I have had the pleasure to meet in this 90th year of Inner Wheel voluntary service. It has been a delight and a pleasure to see so many Inner Wheel clubs in Great Britain and Ireland do so much for their communities with the Wheels Project. This project was for each club to raise money for items required in their communities but the project had to have wheels attached.


Nurseries, old people’s homes, hospitals, cafes, the list goes on. The sheer ingenuity of our members never ceases to amaze me. There was a wonderful presentation at conference in Telford which we hope to turn into a DVD for all members to view. I was delighted to plant a tree at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire to celebrate the foundation of Inner Wheel’s 90th year. We have had a wonderful year helping overseas too, particularly with Sightsavers, much of it down to our hard working Association Overseas Service Chairman, Trish Douglas.


Publicity is what is required. We have turned to a professional firm in order to raise our profile. They have designed a new website for us and what a difference it makes. Brand new, all wheels turning and most informative. I have been honoured to have this opportunity to head our organisation this year and it has been truly humbling. I will go back to my club of Thornaby & Yarm in D3 and carry on all the good works our members do.


Young people Romania Rotakids Romania has launched its first RotaKids club thanks to Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI). Whilst RotaKids or indeed, any official youth programme is not yet recognised by RI, RotaKids is gathering momentum, not only in the in UK, but in Brazil and now Romania. Rotarian Adi Stan first encountered Rotary in his native Romania in 2011 as a non-Rotarian GSE Scholar travelling to Italy. He was impressed by the ethics of Rotary and joined his sponsoring Rotary Club at Pitesti. In an effort to reach more young people, Adi attempted to form an E-club, only to be told that the District already had its maximum of two E-clubs. So he decided to look to an even younger group and explore the idea of a RotaKids club. Adi said: “I have two children and I know how they think at their age.”

New Rotakids members in Romania

The project, with support from District Governor Radu Popescu, gathered momentum early this year, culminating in the first club being chartered in March. Adi said it was thanks to Youth Services Chair, Donna Wallbank and RotaKids Steering Group member, Anne Forster, who provided help and advice. All activities will be centered on opening minds, teaching RotaKids how to be entrepreneurs in life at all levels and teaching them the importance of selfimprovement in every day life. They will be trying to improve communications within their school, do community work

Wylde about winning - Winners in the first age group were Coppice Primary School

in a city park which they have been given responsibility for, making greetings card to sell at Rotary events and helping the Rotary club’s international projects. There are now 118 RotaKids Clubs in RIBI – 36 of those having been formed in the current Rotary year.

opportunity to live for a year in another part of the world and take one into your home for a few months. You will get a lot out of the experience, as well as giving something back. The usual time span for a host is three months. Change a young person’s life – you will not regret it.

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Barbara Wetton Rotary Club of Stafford Knot

Last August, Youth Exchange student, Anni-Catrin Micus, arrived from Hoxter in Germany. Anni is very close to her family and experienced some homesickness initially. However, she was determined to make the most of her year here and not let sentiment get in her way. Anni attends college in Stoke-on-Trent, where she is studying Spanish, German and Art and Design. Her first hosts, Mina and Bill Crisp, took Anni to District Conference in York. They also showed her the sights and sounds of London, where they spent New Year’s Eve. Anni has spoken at several Rotary clubs and is an excellent and amusing speaker. Not only has she brought a ray of sunshine into our live, she has shown us the similarities and differences between German and English culture. She is an ambassador for her college and an excellent ambassador for her country and family. Anni is having a life changing experience in a different country and culture. She is enjoying every minute of it and we have seen how she has developed and adapted personally to a different society. Hosting a teenager, when you are in your late 60’s, is easier than we thought as being retired we now have plenty of time. Please consider giving a youngster the

Community football For the third year running the Rotary Club of Wylde Green has run its football competition for local schools at Sutton Coldfield Town Football Club. This year the competitions attracted 22 teams from 14 local schools. Winners in the first age group were Coppice Primary School, Four Oaks and winners of the upper age group were from Arthur Terry School, Sutton Coldfield. All participants received a medal and the winners took away trophies. Nick Thurston of Wylde Green Rotary Club said: “Rotary is all about communities and it has been very satisfying to organise an event that brings pupils, students, teachers and parents together. We thank the football club for helping us to engage in healthy competition with a true community spirit.” This event is a precursor of the Junior Football Tournament at the English FA training facilities at St Georges Park, Burton on Trent later in the year. Carolyn McLaughlin Rotary Club of Wylde Green | June 2014



Beating the train: the world famous Talyllyn railway

Race the train Saturday August 16 will once again see the Rotary Club of Tywyn host one of the UK’s toughest challenges, Race the Train. Rotarians and the town will extend a warm welcome to visitors as runners run alongside the train to try and beat it to its destination. This year the club is welcoming back Action for Children as this year’s official race charity.

Growing in popularity Since the event started in 1983, it has raised over £300k for charities and Rotary good causes. It continues to grow in popularity and is worth an estimated £800k to £1m for the local economy. Runners from all over the world will descend upon the town to compete in what is one of the UK’s top events. Race organiser George Watson said: “It’s amazing how the event has developed and evolved over the last 31 years. The inaugural race back in 1983 attracted just 46 runners.”

Over 2,000 expected There are four races: the Quarry Challenge 10k, the Dolgoch Challenge 5 miles, the Tynllwenhen Challenge 3 miles and the Rotary Challenge 14 miles. It is estimated that this year’s event will attract 2,000 entries across all races, with an entry field of over 1,500 competitors in the main Rotary Challenge event. George added: “I’m sure that the founder members of the Rotary Club of Tywyn could not have imagined how the race would catch the imagination of not 36 | June 2014

only the runners, many of who return year after year to try and beat the train, but also the local community.” This is the day when the whole community turns out to support the town’s biggest event. Over 200 volunteers are drafted in to act as marshalls, man water stations, give out goodie bags and man the race registration. Volunteers range from local businesses, doctors and nurses to sports clubs and many other organisations. The local Inner Wheel provides the catering for the army of runners and spectators with food and refreshments throughout the day.

Annual pilgrimage The Rotary Club of Ashby de la Zouch Castle has been supporting the event for over 16 years since two of their members stumbled across the event by chance back in 1998. Their support continues to this day and the club makes an annual pilgrimage to Tywyn with a team of 20 to 30 volunteers. Anyone who would like to help out, run for the official race charity, or take part in the race can contact us at:

New Dolly Parton Library The Rotary Clubs of Cleethorpes and Grimsby along with the Rotary Clubs of Quincy, USA, Viljoenskroon, South Africa and Sibiu in Romania, have received a Global Grant to implement a Dolly Parton Imagination Library. A library exists at present at the Little Star Nursery at the Grimsby Institute and the clubs aim to expand the programme throughout North East Lincolnshire. Launched by country music star Dolly Parton and The Dollywood Foundation, the Imagination Library fosters a love of reading among preschool children by providing them with a free hardcover book every month from birth to the age of five. Rotary clubs and districts are encouraged to support literacy through the Imagination Library. The program supports early childhood literacy and a lifelong love of reading with 750,000 children registered to receive books each month. Over 55 million books have been donated to children since the program began in 1996. The library has programmes in over 1,800 communities across Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Rolf Sperr of the Rotary Club of Cleethorpes said: “It is our hope that every child regardless of language, cultural or economic differences will develop a healthy love of reading, have a proficient vocabulary and begin school with the early literacy skills that are important for academic success.” PDG Rolf Sperr Rotary Club of Cleethorpes







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Luxury “all year round” villa in  spacious grounds with large pool and  magnificent views. Furnished to a high  standard throughout. Sleeps 8/10  comfortably. Tranquil and very private. Easy reach of town, beaches, golf,  tennis, and much more.

WWW.VILLAMAYA.COM Telephone:  07768 077 864 0117 970 1610

Classified Advertisements These classified columns offer Rotarians and their families an inexpensive lineage or classified display service. Commercial advertisements can only be accepted in display style, but otherwise Rotarians can advertise or ask for anything they like, within the bounds of legality, decency, honesty and truthfulness. If you wish to advertise within the personal classified pages, please complete the coupon below and post it together with pre-payment to: KM Media and Marketing (County Life Ltd), 9 Checkpoint Court, Sadler Road, Lincoln LN6 3PW. Alternatively fax it to us on 01522 842000 or email us at (KM Media and Marketing (County Life Ltd) are agents of RIBI)

*Please mark your envelope ‘Rotary Classifieds’


GULF COAST AT FLORIDA Tara golf & country club. Sarasota/ Bradenton. Luxury air-conditioned, fully equipped 2 bed/2 bath 1st floor condominium overlooking golf course, sleeps 2-6. Facilities include 18-hole championship golf, heated swimming pools, tennis, gymnasium. Close to beaches, 45 minutes from Tampa International Airport. From £350 pw Tel: 0131 446 0890. www. FLORIDA - DISNEY AREA. Familyowned, air-conditioned, 4 bedrooms USA FLORIDA - Kissimmee. Rotarian’s (sleeps 8), 3 bathrooms, fully luxury 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom equipped villa with private pool. Quiet villa overlooking lake in gated neighbourhood, woodland outlook, community. Large heated pool, spa close to Champions Gate (shops) and deck. 15 mins Disney, golf and and Reunion (Golf). 10 minutes from other attractions. Tel 01382 566125. Disney. Easily accessible to Legoland. Convenient for airports. From £295 FLORIDA Super recently built Villa per week. Tel: Stephen Hart - 01469 in gated community (Windsor Hills) 532121, email: 2 miles from Disney. 6 bedrooms 4 FLORIDA bathrooms, pool, playroom. Really ORLANDO Rotarian’s luxury villa (special rates for Rotarians and Rotarians’ families) special rates for Rotarians. Anne In gated community with club house, tennis court, volley Bonandrini email: annebonandrini@ ball and children’s play area. Fully air conditioned. 4 bedrooms 3½ bathrooms. 20 minutes from Disney. Own heated pool with screen and covered lanai. 2 bedrooms MARCO ISLAND Nr Naples, Florida. en suite. TV/DVD/Games console. Very close to many golf courses including Champions Gate and Reunion. Club Seaview overlooking the 10,000 house open 7 days a week with a comprehensive gym Islands, beautiful 2 bedroom/2 and games room, tennis court and children’s play area. Rates from £450 per week. bathroom apartment. Tel: Bruce Discounts available for Rotarians Young 01793 521436 or e-mail: please email: | 01526 569521 SWITZERLAND - GSTAAD. Situated in the small village of Rougement, our luxury 3 bed 2 bath apartment sleeping 6/8 is ideal for summer/ winter holidays. Set in spectacular scenery & walking country, the village is part of the Gstaad super ski region, with summer skiing available on nearby glacier. Regret no children under 10 years. For further details: 0115 925 5838 or fax: 0115 9683133.

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These adverts are placed in good faith and we accept no responsibility for misrepresentation. No personal classified lineage advertisement will be accepted which advertises more than three properties for rent or sale on behalf of the same person in any one issue. For further details telephone the sales department on 01522 513515 or email: All advertisements are placed subject to the Standard Conditions of Acceptance of Advertisements of County Life Ltd. These can be viewed on our website or by sending an SAE to: Conditions of Acceptance of Advertisements, KM Media and Marketing, County Life Ltd, 9 Checkpoint Court, Sadler Road, Lincoln LN6 3PW. | June 2014

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21/05/2014 10:55

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Property ARE YOU LOOKING to sell your property? Rotarian Ann will buy your property at market value. Confidentiality guaranteed. Tel: 07971 781659


ROTARY COUPLE LOOKING for like minded people for ethical long term business in health products, working from home. Very small outlay and big rewards. Contact James and Katrina Gibbons: 07505  Speech/Verse Writers 842824 or 



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PAGE 47-49.indd 3


21/05/2014 10:56


Your Letters Published letters do not reflect the views of the editor or the officers of RI or RIBI. The opinions of writers may include errors of fact. Letters for publication should include the name of your Rotary club, a daytime telephone number and be addressed to: The Editor, RIBI, Kinwarton Road, Alcester, Warwickshire B49 6PB or email:

Hearing aids wanted

Missing the point

I am delighted to share the news that due to the excellent publicity on BBC Midlands Today about my hearing aids project, I am receiving at least one email a day from Rotarians and non-Rotarians offering me hearing aids, hearing aid batteries or simply asking how they can help. My project is collecting old or unwanted hearing aids and taking them to where they are needed. So far I have distributed 21,000 hearing aids to needy people in India, South Africa and other countries. I need unused, unwanted hearing aids and batteries sent to me irrespective of their condition, because if they are beyond repair, then they can be stripped down for parts. Ear moulds can be made both in Africa and in India. If anyone has any equipment that they would like to donate please email woodpaul@btinternet. com or call 07973 600470.

The letter from Dr David Sutherland (Troon) in the April edition misses the point. Rotarians are members of Rotary clubs, not of RIBI; Rotary clubs are member units of an international organisation called RI. No person nor any club, is a member of RIBI which is simply the administrative territorial unit for Great Britain and Ireland. That will not change with Scottish independence. One of the nicest things about our administrative Rotary organisation in these islands is that District 1160 comprises two countries – Ireland and Northern Ireland. So there are no implications for Rotary.

Paul Wood Rotary Club of Birmingham

The long letter from David Sutherland asks whether any thought has been given to the situation in RIBI if Scotland achieves independence. I suggest that he has overlooked an important feature of RIBI, it already includes the Republic of Ireland. All that would be required I suggest, would be for RI to rename the area as RIBI&S.

David Houghton in his article (April 2014) has made many positive suggestions about retaining members and to lose 100 Rotarians every week is very disappointing. I think we must find out why Rotarians leave. Large organisations have exit interviews; we should do likewise and maybe we will then find out the real reasons Rotarians leave and can them address these reasons. I am sure in many instances Rotarians leave and do not give their true reasons and we have therefore wasted time and energy in training the Rotarians that do not remain.

David Crowhurst Rotary Club of Dorchester

Tom Drake, MBE Rotary Club of Ewell

RIBI in Scotland

50 | June 2014

David Morehen Rotary Club of Dartmouth

Rotarians leaving

Win a luxury Cross pen with Rotary Today best written letter, The author of the l receive as judged by the Editor, wil 5. ÂŁ5 rth a luxury Cross pen wo writing y alit qu Cross is the maker of of ge ran a instruments and has es. ori ess distinctive lifestyle acc

Defeated resolutions I have just returned from the RIBI conference in Birmingham and witnessed two important resolutions being defeated. Although I voted for both, I must admit that due to the way the Executive presented the cases they deserved to be defeated. The proposers of the resolutions spoke from a microphone in a dark corner of the room. Those who spoke for the motions spoke with no enthusiasm or leadership. Those who spoke against spoke from well lit positions, with passion and urged the meeting to support them with well reasoned arguments. A marketing strategy that the proposer is incompetent at selling and a reorganisation that the proposer is unable to make a credible case for, got the reception they deserved. Sad for the organisation though that may be. Rotary does need to change and the executive needs to imagine what the ordinary member sees when it looks in from the outside. Mike Binks Rotary Club of Newton Stewart


We are always interested to hear your views and comments. Email your letters to





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Rotary Today June 2014  
Rotary Today June 2014