INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Champions of Change 10 John Humphrys 16 Multiple Sclerosis Society 26 Polio Immunisation 36 April/May 2016 www.rotarygbi.org ÂŁ2.95
The magazine of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland
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FROM THE TOP
Rotary International President K.R. Ravindran
PRESIDENT MESSAGE 14 AND RI FOUNDATION
Rotarians who make a difference
MEET & GREET
A view from a Rotarian Silicon Valley entrepreneur
CONTENTS Fighting the Zika Virus The situation in Brazil is explained with help and support being utilised
Champions of Change John Humphrys Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society
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Being part of Rotary
IT’S GONE VIRAL
News from clubs around Great Britain and Ireland
Communicating on social media
ROTARY ONLINE rotarygbi.org or follow us on Facebook: /RotaryinGBI Twitter: @RotaryGBI LinkedIn: Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland
ROTARY IN ACTION
Know Your Blood Pressure Day Colin and Shelterbox The Rotary Ride Antique’s Man - Eric Knowles Rotary’s Longest Meeting Focus on a club project
06 08 24 32 38 45
Rotary around the world National Polio Immunisation Day, India Shine in Seoul
28 36 40
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Talk from the top... ROTARY INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT 2015/16 I KR RAVINDRAN
The opportunities Rotary gives us M
any years ago, in Kolkata, India, I had the chance to meet Mother Teresa. She was an incredible woman with an incredible force of personality. When she walked down the street, the crowd parted in front of her like the Red Sea. Yet when you talked to her, if you mentioned the tremendous things she had done, she almost did not engage in this topic at all. By many reports, if you asked her what her greatest achievement was, she would answer: “I am an expert in cleaning toilets.” The answer was both humorous and absolutely serious. Her business was caring for others. Toilets had to be cleaned, so she cleaned them. There was no question of a job being beneath her. Helping people who needed help was her work, and there was nothing higher, nothing in the world more important than that. So one day, when an elegantly dressed man came to Kolkata looking for Mother Teresa, the nuns who answered the door informed him that she was at the back of the house, cleaning the toilets. They pointed the way, and indeed he found Mother Teresa scrubbing the toilets. She said hello, assumed he was there to volunteer, and began explaining to him how to hold the toilet brush correctly and how not to waste water. Then she put the brush in his hand and left him standing there, in his expensive suit, alone in the lavatory. Later, the man came out, found Mother
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Teresa again, and said: “I have finished; may I speak with you now?” “Yes, certainly,” she said. He took an envelope out of his pocket and said, “Mother Teresa, I am the director of the airline, and here are your tickets. I just wanted to bring them to you personally.” That airline director told that story again and again for the rest of his life. He said those 20 minutes spent cleaning toilets had filled him with the greatest joy he had ever known – because by putting his hands to Mother Teresa’s work, he became part of that work. For those 20 minutes, he cared for the sick just as she did: with his own hands, his own sweat. That is exactly the opportunity that Rotary gives us. We might not do what Mother Teresa did – give up our lives, our homes, our families. But for 20 minutes, 20 hours, 20 days of the year, we can be like her. We can do the work that others will not with our hands, and our hearts, and our sweat, and our devotion – knowing that what we do is the most important work in the world.
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ROTARY IN ACTION
Know Your Blood Pressure Day
Rotary eliminates the pressure Each year Rotary clubs from across Great Britain and Ireland join forces with the Stroke Association to help the population become more aware about getting their blood pressure checked.
now Your Blood Pressure Day takes place annually in April, and Rotary clubs throughout the country hold events in a host of locations including shopping centres and supermarkets inviting members of the public to have their blood pressure checked. This is the 13th consecutive year that Rotarians have teamed up with the Stroke Association to host life-saving, blood pressure testing events. Last year the event proved highly successful with nearly 24,000 readings taking place and over a third of those tested were found to have a reading of 140 and above. A reading of over 140 is classed as high blood pressure, and requires a doctor’s attention. High blood pressure is a key factor of those who are at risk of a stroke, so these events are key to help saving lives. The statistics around high blood pressures in the UK are shocking, it is estimated that if people had their blood pressure checked and took steps to prevent it around 40% of strokes could be prevented. This could result in saving the NHS an approximate £23,000 per stroke. Alexis Wieroniey, Deputy Director for Policy and Influencing at the Stroke Association, said: “Having a regular blood pressure check is so important. Estimates suggest there could be almost seven million people with high blood pressure who are undiagnosed and at risk of having a stroke. High blood pressure is far more common than you would think and it can be deadly, but it is treatable. With events like this, together we can conquer stroke.” Jenny Matthews from Oldham related to us her story: “I am a carer to my son, and I was was attending an event for carers when I saw that there was a Know Your Blood Pressure stand offering free blood pressure tests. It was on my way in and I thought it might be worth doing, so on the spur of the moment, both my son and I got tested.
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Woman having her blood pressure checked
It shows the difference a simple free test can make. I had no idea I was at risk of having a stroke.”
“I was told my result was rather high and it was suggested that since I had only just arrived it would be advisable to come back and be tested again before I left. The second test once again showed a high reading. I was advised to see my GP as soon as I could and I took the advice seriously and booked an appointment. My GP confirmed I had high blood pressure and I was prescribed medication to control it. I had felt completely fine and didn’t expect it to be high. I’m so glad I stopped at the stand on that day. It shows the difference a simple free test can make. I had no idea I was at risk of having a stroke and I am so grateful to the Know Your Blood Pressure volunteers, without them I might never have known until it was too late.”
High blood pressure is a key factor of those who are at risk of a stroke, so these events are key to help saving lives It is estimated that if people had their blood pressure checked and took steps to prevent it around 40% of strokes could be prevented
For more information about Know Your Blood Pressure Day visit: stroke.org.uk/take-action/ www.rotarygbi.org
ROTARY IN ACTION
A marathon task
Marathon man at 48 It is often said that Rotarians will go the extra mile to support a cause close to their heart, and one great example is Colin Bell, who took on the mammoth challenge of running 2,015 kilometres in 2015.
ShelterBox Response Team members
Colin Bell running with a ShelterBox
n late January Colin Bell from the Rotary Club of Bodmin was cheered across the finish line at the ShelterBox HQ in Helston after completing runs of 2,015km in 2015. Colin had completed the equivalent of 48 marathons, a personal task he had set himself at the start of 2015, but wait for it, Colin had a ShelterBox strapped to his back. That’s what we call really raising the profile as well as the money. At the end of December Colin suffered a hamstring injury and had only completed 1,965km. We say only but it must have been no mean feat even to get that far along with his challenge. So Colin found himself 50km short of his goal, but for good measure and underlining his determination he added another 15km to the figure by doing two park runs. To complete the final few kilometres Colin took them at a leisurely pace by walking from his home in Bodmin to the
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If there are families in need of emergency shelter, ShelterBox does everything it can to help them.” ShelterBox headquarters in Helston where he received a rousing and well-deserved reception. In his challenge year Colin, supported by the members of Truro Rotary Club, had enjoyed the Great North Run and The Truro Half Marathon to name just two events. He also added numerous fun runs, running challenges and many marathons to his list. Speaking of his experiences Colin said, “The reception I've had has been wonderful. People know about the charity and the great work they do. If there are families in need of emergency shelter, ShelterBox does everything it can to help them rebuild their lives.” Colin has raised well over £2,000 over the year, which is a creditable sum, added to which the profile of ShelterBox and its work in emergency situations has been enhanced. Chandelle Randall, ShelterBox’s Events
& Community Fundraising Assistant, remarked on Colin’s arrival at HQ, “Colin’s energy, dedication and determination are an example to us all, especially dealing with the setback of an injury. He is typical of the fundraising spirit we often encounter at ShelterBox – the selfless drive to help families in distress.” ShelterBoxes have recently been deployed in Aleppo Syria, Turkey, The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Fiji and Paraguay. Wherever a disaster hits in the world ShelterBox Response Team members are deployed to assess the situation and decide on the need for aid in the form of ShelterBoxes. ShelterBox had its origins fifteen years ago as a local Rotary club’s adopted project, it has now grown to become the largest global Rotary project partner in the 110-year history of the organisation. The partnership offers opportunities to collaborate and combine resources and the tireless fundraising efforts of Rotary and individual clubs help ShelterBox to achieve its aims.
For more information: shelterbox.org bit.ly/ColinsChallenge www.rotarygbi.org
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ROTARY IN ACTION
Champions of Change
Rotary heroes are championed Making a change in communities whether at home or abroad is an objective of Rotarians. This year’s unsung heroes across Great Britain and Ireland are being honoured as Champions of Change.
any Rotarians carry out incredible work to make a real difference, but Rotary’s annual Champions of Change awards recognise those who have made a significant impact on either a domestic or international scale. The awards, first launched in 2014, are now in their third year and they continue to highlight individuals who go above and beyond the call of duty to change the lives of others. The selected winners will receive their award at a formal ceremony taking place at The House of Lords hosted by Baron Inglewood of Hutton in the Forest in the County of Cumberland and the Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP for Reading East will be presenting the awards.
2016 Champions of Change National Awards Grant Stephen of the Rotary Club of Duns, Berwickshire, raised £10,000 for Alzheimer’s Scotland through fundraising events over the year. As a result of his efforts the club now runs a dementia café called Forget Me Not and the members have all been recognised as dementia friends. Grant, along with the other 10 // ROTARY
club members, is taking action to get Duns recognised as a dementia friendly town. Therese Brook of the Rotary Club of Chichester Harbour has been the driving force in the ‘Welcome Boxes project’. Over 15 years the project has supplied in excess of 1,000 boxes valued at £50 each. They provide families who are relocated following instances of domestic violence with essential food and household items in the days following their arrival at temporary safe accommodation. Alison Sutherland of the Rotary Club of Cardiff Bay has worked with refugees and asylum seekers in the Welsh capital, helping with a local support centre. Alison’s work is detailed further on in this article. Kevin Walsh of the Rotary Club of Brampton & Longtown, Cumbria, organised a project in partnership with the North West Ambulance Service amongst others to supply mountain rescue teams in Cumbria and Lancashire with over 30 defibrillators and supplied automatic chest compressors for climbers who had suffered heart attacks.
Ian Dow, of the Rotary Club of AberdeenSt. Nicholas, played a key role in his club’s
Education in The Gambia project for a school in Banjul; a small fishing village which Ian has visited several times over the past three years to oversee the project. Ian’s club has raised over £9,000, which has provided teacher training, a new classroom and educational equipment such as books in association with Books Abroad. The Rotary Club of Aberdeen-St. Nicholas also works with its counterpart club in Banjul. Robin Hamilton of the Rotary Club of Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland whose involvement with the Kalimpong Project in Bengal India has helped tackle the problem of human trafficking by providing shelter homes and Vocational Training Centres. Robin with the help of 14 clubs and a Rotary Foundation Global Grant has raised $70,000 since the commencement of the project in 2012. The first community block is due to open during April 2016. Joy Palmer-Cooper of the Rotary Club of Alnwick is the founder of the charity Project Sri Lanka, whose initiatives provide longterm community development for areas hit by the 2004 tsunami. Its work includes the ongoing provision and maintenance of educational and community buildings, funding agro-drinking wells and sanitation, www.rotarygbi.org
Roger's story - A fleet of 20 eRanger motorbike ambulances
but also much needed essential supplies of equipment. Liberia is now Ebola-free and schemes are being developed to train medical professionals in the affected areas. Whilst all of the Rotarians listed are worthy recipients of the Champions of Change awards we have selected just two to focus on and go into more detail about their projects.
and providing emergency and ongoing treatment to those who are sick or injured. Barry Pollard of the Rotary Club of Harrogate Brigantes has worked with the Rotary Club of Himalayan Gurkhas since 2010 to supply 10 secondary schools in the Panchamul Valley with IT equipment. This involved not just supplying PCs but also the power to run them and connect them to the internet. Five clubs and a Rotary Foundation Global Grant, obtaining £16,000 in funding, assisted Barry. Roger Neuberg of the Rotary Club of Oadby organised an eRanger project, which provided 32 motorcycle ambulances to eastern Uganda, to reduce instances of women losing their life during labour, as well as responding to other emergency calls. This project is covered in more detail later. Himansu Basu of the Rotary Club of Northfleet with Ebbsfleet played a major part in the Collaborative Action in Lowering of Maternity Encountered Deaths (CALMED) project in several states in India. The longterm project involves the training of doctors and midwives and running community www.rotarygbi.org
awareness schemes by working with women’s groups and Rotary Government partnership meetings. Dr Basu led a Vocation Training Team to India to further the work. Peter Bradley of the Rotary Club of Edgware and Stanmore has worked with the Rotary Club of Marlow to raise over £1 million following the Ebola outbreak in North West Africa. Not only raising funds
In the Mbale region of Uganda, there is high incidence of death in pregnant women and their unborn child. Often this is because there are no methods in place to be able to respond to a medical emergency quickly, in particular in Mbale, where the majority of the terrain makes it difficult for ambulances to gain access to patients’ homes. To help, Roger Neuberg from the Rotary Club of Oadby launched his Uganda eRanger Project, with the aim of providing a fleet of 20 eRanger motorbike ambulances. Over two years, Roger drummed up support for his project and raised £143,000 – enough to buy and ship 32 eRangers to Uganda. Between June 2014 and December 2015, the fleet of eRangers carried out more than ROTARY // 11
ROTARY IN ACTION
Champions of Change
We do not provide clothing, housing or jobs. Instead we focus on helping new citizens integrate more fully and quickly into the community.”
13,000 emergency call-outs. Just over 50% were for emergencies arising in labour and the remainder chiefly for emergencies arising in under fives. Roger explained: “When I visited Mbale I found that each eRanger was extraordinarily valued by the community it served. The communities develop a sense of ownership of the bike. A number of communities have set up associations for savings from their own resources to help in the maintenance of the service. “I came across eRanger drivers who were so committed to the service that they would supplement the costs of running the bikes out of their own very low salaries. Over and over again I spoke to patients who were convinced that they would have died had it not been for the eRanger service.” He continued, “I found the eRanger that had been donated by my own club at the local District Hospital. The driver told me that the mother had delivered the first twin in her village hut but the second twin could not be delivered. “On the only road to the hospital from her village, the eRanger driver found the road completely blocked by the monthly market. They moved back every stall and massive sacks of vegetables to allow the eRanger through. The second twin was delivered successfully by emergency caesarean section. “Instead of the fear that pregnancy was likely to cause death, access to an eRanger 12 // ROTARY
has given women an enormous sense of confidence and the real hope and expectation of a future for themselves and their babies.”
Whilst driving through the centre of Cardiff, Alison Sutherland from the Rotary Club of Cardiff Bay noticed that one building had a large number of men standing outside. After making enquiries she discovered it was one of four resettlement centres for asylum seekers and refugees in Wales. One thing that struck Alison is that the men seemed to have little to occupy their time so she approached the manager of the centre and agreed that she would deliver a programme which covers an introduction into global citizenship with the goal of helping the new citizens integrate into their communities. The programme she developed covers a range of topics including identity and difference, human rights, and local culture and practices. She quickly enlisted help from two of the group, one from Syria and the other Sudan, to act as interpreters and encourage others in a similar position to join the programme. Keen to contribute to their new community, many of the asylum seekers are now volunteering their services in local Rotary and Rotaract projects. Their professions range from surgeon, nurse, human rights lawyer, journalist, IT specialists,
engineers, businessmen and tradesmen. Cardiff Rotaractors have also invited the new citizens to join them and get further involved in their projects. Alison commented: “We do not provide clothing, housing or jobs. Instead we focus on helping new citizens integrate more fully and quickly into the community. “When I asked why so many young men are here alone, they said that as soon as they were old enough, a gun was put into their hands and they were expected to fight. Yet they did not know for whom they were fighting with, for whom they were fighting against and what they were fighting for! “Others said that they had received death threats or would be killed because of their stance on political, religious or gender issues. They were very vulnerable having made their difficult and dangerous journeys while worrying about their wives and families left behind because the journey was too difficult and dangerous.” This is just a small cross section of a few Rotarians making a difference in the world. They have had their efforts recognised but many more are supporting and doing similar work.
To find out more go to: rotarygbi.org www.rotarygbi.org
What they say... RI FOUNDATION CHAIRMAN 2015/16 I RAY KLINGINSMITH
ROTARY PRESIDENT 2015/16 I PETER DAVEY
In the community making a difference
very week I am reminded about the wide variety of ways in which Rotarians give service. In recent weeks I have seen excellent projects being organised by Rotary clubs. Sometimes a club has made a relatively small donation to a local school, which has enabled the school to introduce a reading club so that young children may experience the joy of taking a book home to read. Occasionally that book is the only one in the house. In another example, a club working with the school and the local education authority funding reading support for children with marginal special needs. Outcomes are measured carefully and sensitively and, if the scheme brings tangible benefits, the local authority has agreed to fund it after the first year. I met a community group where two or three Rotarians had joined the trustees of the charity because their skills were needed. Whatever the size or reach of the work it is making a real difference to people somewhere, improving lives for those less fortunate than themselves. The common thread to these projects was that the clubs had found out what was needed in their community and had set about meeting that need. It isn’t always money that people need. Recently a group of Rotarians from Great Britain and Ireland set off to India to help with the immunisation of children
against polio. We all hope that we are on the final leg of this major campaign now and as always we wished the team in India a safe and fulfilling trip. I am sure that hearing about their experiences will help us all to redouble our efforts to make sure that the campaign receives the funding that it needs - we must not give up now. I see that there are only two cases so far this year but, even when there are none, vaccinations will need to continue for three more years and funding that work may be a real challenge unless we help everyone to understand. Eradication of polio has been the priority for The Rotary Foundation for over 25 years but we mustn’t lose sight of the terrific work that our Foundation does in the other areas of focus. By supporting its work for peace and conflict resolution, to provide safe water and sanitation, to improve education, to improve the health of mothers and children and, of course, economic development through micro finance schemes we make sure that all of our donations reach the end user. I had the pleasure of visiting the Isle of Man on Rotary Day – 23rd February. Well done local Rotarians who had encouraged businesses and the owners of other iconic or prominent properties to have them flood lit purple for that evening and night. They are quite a spectacle and an excellent way to show the world our commitment to End Polio Now.
Rotary is big – but still accessible to individual Rotarians
he numbers are impressive: Rotary is comprised of more than 35,000 clubs with 1.2 million members in 200 countries. It is big enough to be a major partner in the eradication of polio, the largest health initiative ever undertaken! Despite its size and reach, Rotary is accessible to members through their individual clubs, which provide outstanding opportunities for friendship, fellowship, and networking at the local level. As a result, most Rotarians think of their involvement as primarily local, with ideas for service projects limited to their communities. They should recognise that, with the assistance of The Rotary Foundation, the sky is the limit! Every great idea in Rotary has started in the mind of an individual. Even the success of End Polio Now can be traced to a few notable Rotarians around the world: Clem Renouf of Australia, for example, proposed a large corporate project to increase Rotary’s visibility, while U.S. Rotarian Dr. John Sever identified polio as a worthwhile target. Each had an idea that was accepted and supported by other Rotarians, and polio will soon be eradicated from the world as a result. When Rotarians begin to think of service projects beyond the size and scope of their clubs, they have access to District and Global Grants from The Rotary Foundation. They also have access to a team of Rotary volunteers at the district level. They also have the support of regional leaders, including the regional Rotary Foundation coordinators, and the entire Rotary staff in Evanston, Ill., and in the international offices. Who knows where the next great ideas for Rotary will come from? Since Rotary is a grassroots organisation, they are likely to come from individual Rotarians. It behooves all of us to encourage good ideas within the six areas of focus and direct local Rotarians with good ideas to The Rotary Foundation’s resources. After all, it is the mission of the Foundation 'to enable Rotarians' to do good in the world!
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WHAT THEY SAY
The Big Interview ALLAN BERRY
From the kitchen table to Africa The Radio 4 Today presenter John Humphrys leads a small and effective charity. I spoke with him about the work it does and his time at the BBC.
There are an awful lot of charities that do a wonderful job but have a problem raising money because they don’t have a profile.”
hen I heard that John Humphrys was speaking at Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s Conference in Bournemouth I knew I had to try and speak with him for the magazine. Getting interviews with people like John is difficult enough since some can take months to get agreed and even then arranging a date and time can be even more challenging. With John Humphrys, going through his charity network, it turned out to be very easy and John and I had made arrangements to talk after his Radio 4 Today programme.
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Children receiving new school equipment thanks to KTCT
I thought I was going to have a daunting time talking to one of the most celebrated interviewers on the airwaves but John Humphrys was charm itself and it turned out to be one of the easiest interviews I have done. John did not want to be briefed on the questions and was ready for almost anything I felt I needed to ask him about. We were meeting to talk about the charity he set up called The Kitchen Table Charities Trust. I had to ask the obvious question - How it was created and what did it do? John told me: “The background is that my mother died a few years ago and my father had died a few years before that. He left us kids his house and we each got about £1,000 and I wanted to do something with www.rotarygbi.org
it. My father had been blind as a young man and I had this fancy idea of setting up a school or even a couple of schools for orphan children in Sub-Saharan Africa, where I had worked for many years. “I travelled to Tanzania to see how feasible it was as I didn’t want to stick his money into a charity that would spend half on bureaucracy and other things. I discovered after 48 hours that it was a daft idea. However, whilst I was there I looked at lots of small charities and came to the extraordinary conclusion, hardly surprising, that there are an awful lot of charities that do a wonderful job but have a problem raising money because they don’t have a profile. They are effectively kitchen table charities, they don’t have offices and they don’t have paid staff so it’s all voluntary and they work very hard to raise money. I wrote a piece about that for the Daily Mail and as a result I got many many letters and quite a few had money in them, and I realised I had to do something with it since I couldn’t send it all back, so I set up The Kitchen Table Charities Trust.” John obviously wants to make it loose www.rotarygbi.org
and flexible and is quite blasé about the set up, and he is insistent that administration costs are kept to a minimum, he does have trustees who work with him but I got the impression that he runs the show. Liverpool Charities and Voluntary Service (LCVS) handle all the money donated to The Kitchen Table Charities Trust. John explained: “We have no paid staff, LCVS handles all the money for us and if a trustee travels to visit a project they do so at their own expense. LCVS tells me that our total costs are less than one penny in the pound.” I thought this was very impressive and would be music to the ears of many Rotarians. Now it’s not very often that you have one of the country’s leading interrogators in front of you and I wanted to make the most of my time with John so we moved on to talk about the selection of charities they support and the types of projects they help to fund. John outlined the first they donated to: “It was a little charity for street children in Arusha, Tanzania and it is very effective. They look after huge numbers of kids whose parents have died and as there is no one to
look after them, these 12 and 13 year olds go off to the city and end up stealing, getting arrested, begging, they just die or they go into prostitution. I found a little chap who was helping these kids so I supported them in the first year and then the second year, and the third year I did not hear from them. I emailed them and asked what was going on and the woman who runs it said: ‘We are doing all right now. However, I know of another charity about 50 miles away who could do with some help’ and that’s how it works.” John went on to discuss possible corruption but told me that on the whole the money gets to the right people. He did have one hiccup but it was sorted in the end: “We get many more requests for help than we can handle and we check them carefully, but it is inevitable that some small sums will go astray. As part of the deal we ask for pictures of toilet blocks for example. We get a lot of requests for building those by the way, and we check the pictures to see where the money was spent,” explained John. I pointed out to John that Rotarians would be pleased to hear that the ROTARY // 17
organisation is proud of its ability to ensure that every penny donated gets to the proper beneficiary. John was aware of that and quickly commended the work of Rotary. In researching his charity’s work I had noticed that all the grants they made were small amounts, usually for international projects, and below £10,000, often partnering with other organisations, so I discussed this with John. His reply was interesting: “We will partner with other organisations if they have the same ethos as us, meet our criteria and follow the same routes.” John explained their due diligence and with two former ambassadors in Africa on his board of trustees they know the countries and customs very well. Through John’s role on the Today programmes he hears harrowing stories of deprivation and poverty in this country, but most of his charity’s work is abroad. He commented: “We make it absolutely clear we work in Africa. Yes of course you hear some miserable things in the UK but I don’t know of any child in this country who is starving to death. In any case the work we do in Africa is enough. I want to do things that are simple and direct.” 18 // ROTARY
We will partner with other organisations if they have the same ethos as us, meet our criteria and follow the same routes.” As I always do I asked what Rotary can do to help and John suggested that if Rotarians are out in the field and find a requirement and it fits with the Kitchen Table Charities Trust’s criteria then they should get in touch with as much information as possible. I asked about revenue and John was very forthcoming in telling me that last year they raised around £3million and the obvious comeback to that is, was it because of him and who he is? He does accept that but as he is quite modest he played it down. When talking about his time with the BBC, and of course the Today programme, John was not so forthcoming since he is so modest. However, he did tell me what irks him most on the programme is the politician who comes along and sticks to his or her own agenda and answers questions that they
want to address. As John says: “I’m asking the questions that my listeners want the answers to and I try to get them to reply.” He did say that one of the most difficult people to interview was Margaret Thatcher. I went on to mention that he does try to bring out the best in people and his reply was what makes him one of the best: “Who wants to listen to a boring interview? So you want people to do the best they can, but if you get people like politicians who merely want to deliver the message and says he is answering the question when clearly he is not, then you adopt a slightly different approach.” His career with the BBC has spanned quite a few decades, so it’s a wonder he fits it all in. His reply was the classic answer of anyone so driven as he is: “It’s because I enjoy it and when I stop enjoying it then it is time to think about how I fill my time.” It was fascinating talking with him and I have no doubt his time on stage at Rotary’s Conference in Bournemouth will be really very interesting. We parted with an agreement to try and meet up there.
For more information on John Humphrys’ charity go to: kitchentablecharities.org www.rotarygbi.org
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Fighting the Zika Virus
The Zika virus must be beaten The reported incidents of microcephaly in South America and especially Brazil are a concern. I spoke with researchers and colleagues in that country to find out more about the virus and the consequences.
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n the past few months, on the TV and in newspapers, we have been bombarded, distressed and saddened by pictures of babies with a terrible condition called microcephaly. This is a condition of the brain where it is smaller than the standard size at a given age. Higher than usual instances of children in the South American countries suffering with this condition at birth were seen in the early part of last year and the number of cases far exceeded the usual pattern. This is particularly the situation in Brazil where reported cases of microcephaly rose well above 4,000 between October 2015 and January this year. Scientists all over the world are asking the question why should this happen and have identified what they think is the main cause and that is Aedes aegypti, the mosquito which carries the Zika virus. Our Rotarian colleagues in Brazil see the fight against dengue fever and the zika virus as a boxing match where the Aedes aegypti mosquito is the opponent and should be knocked out as soon as possible. However, the more I looked into the subject I came to realise that it is more like an army fighting a relentless enemy and all the equipment and people you can throw at it must be utilised to stop this terrible disease affecting the lives and future of the population. With further research into this dreadful condition I realised it is not as straightforward as it at first seems. www.rotarygbi.org
if the virus can be transmitted by saliva but it cannot be proven as a way of transmission. “Experiments are in progress across the world and here in Brazil the research concerns the virus activity in the nervous system of pregnant women but still we do not have the formal causal evidence linking the virus to microcephaly, although the data points in this direction.” I felt it important that having almost identified the challenge I moved on to ask what we could do to help. Dr Savino wanted to change the question and as he did I understood. “We need to co-operate as it is a global threat, so the international community should work together,” he explained. I asked if it is similar to the Ebola epidemic, since in some instances this comparison is being made, “I wouldn’t say it is the same as Ebola since the transmission is different and many people died with Ebola. The severity here is different in terms of the microcephaly issue since children born with the condition will have to live with it for the rest of their lives. It is also very difficult to control the transmission of Zika in a country, which is hot meaning the mosquito breeds so easily. It is in the poorer areas of the country
Aedes aegypti mosquito
where control of the mosquito is not easy. I have heard reports stating most of the microcephalic children are being born into poor areas,” Dr Savino said. I was told that the vaccination for dengue and Zika is far away and work must be done to progress this as soon as possible. Dr Savino also explained that what must be the biggest focus, is developing the treatment given when the virus is detected and I put it to him that this is one of the greatest challenges. Dr Savino explained, “The idea is to get together all the international bodies to tackle this as rapidly and efficiently as possible.” We developed the conversation further by discussing the needs in the future and Dr Savino is obviously concerned about the long-term effects on the children and their families and how they can be supported.
With research into this dreadful condition I realised it is not as straightforward as it at first seems.”
©Fernando Cruz Institute
The Zika virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947 and identified in humans in 1952. Symptoms of Zika virus disease are very similar to dengue fever and chikungunya transmitted by the bite of the female Aedes aegypti more commonly referred to as the yellow fever mosquito. To try and get clear information I chose to speak with my colleagues in Brazil and then with some scientists at the largest state run research centre for tropical diseases, the Oswaldo Cruz Institute, to find out more about the Zika virus, what is being done and how Rotarians across the world can help. The Oswaldo Cruz Institute is based outside of Rio de Janeiro and has branches across Brazil and at the heart of the epidemic in Recife. Dr Wilson Savino is a director of the institute and heads up the Fiocruz’s Zika emergency committee. I started by asking the doctor if this was an epidemic to which he replied, “Seeing the number of instances of newborns with microcephaly I would say it is an epidemic.” He continued, “All the work going on with certification does not explain the rising numbers of microcephaly. All the paediatricians and doctors see what’s going on but the increase is far from the normal numbers.” I then went on to ask about the way the disease is transmitted and Dr Savino replied, “The same mosquito called Aedeas aegypti carries dengue fever, chikunguna and the Zika virus. We don’t know exactly to what extent we have co-infections but we know for sure it is the mosquito that carries the virus, although I cannot be sure if there are other forms of transmission. In Brazil it is very difficult to prove and in some cases, perhaps two or three cases, the virus has been passed on by sexual transmission. The evidence is such that we cannot discard it formally.” We then went on to discuss prevention, “We don’t have yet any treatment to prevent the action of the virus once it is in your organism. So different kinds of actions are taking place such as massive visits of the public workers to disinfect whole areas and spraying people’s exposed skin to prevent the mosquito biting. There are also small experiments in four neighbourhoods of Rio where previously infected mosquitoes are released. We can cover whole areas. This is an experiment not for today or tomorrow but for this year. The results are promising but the experiments are not finished yet so I would take this with caution. We are doing lots of research and here we are investigating
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©Fernando Cruz Institute
Children with microcephaly usually have severe sight disorders but he mentioned that it is not really known how in the longer term this disorder develops. There will however be many children and families who will require long-term help and support. Rotarians respond to this type of disaster and crisis and the Rotary clubs in Brazil are no different, however as this epidemic is playing out and developing in real time, knowing how to respond has not been easy. The Rotary Club of Paranaguá-Taguaré had been hit with members and family suffering from dengue fever and cases of microcephaly reported. However, the club had worked on a public information campaign well before the crisis hit. They increased the publicity as the epidemic developed and helped public health workers with leaflets and billboards. “The provision of service is a Rotary gun, by the weight of its name and for the people involved. It is what causes the information to be disseminated efficiently,” believes the Co-ordinator of the Health Department in Taubaté, Maria Stella Zollner. Another fight is being helped by Rotaractors. Dragonfly larvae have an insatiable appetite, eating everything around 22 // ROTARY
Seeing the number of instances of newborns with microcephaly I would say it is an epidemic.” – including the larvae of Aedes aegypti. To attract the dragonfly, there is a plant called crotalaria. The Rotaract Club of Medianeira is distributing plant seeds and growing instructions to the population. Crotalaria is fast growing and its planting season is in mid-October, so it can be in bloom in the summer season when mosquito infestation is at its highest. “We started the project in only one neighbourhood. As it was well accepted by the population, we expanded the action to a set of neighbourhoods. The goal now is to expand it to the whole city,” says Yuri Loyo Paruche, a member of the club. The Rotaract Club of Quatá in the state of São Paulo is also carrying out this exercise. Named ‘Operation Against Dengue’, the project is operated alongside partners such as NGOs and the Onix FM radio station. The packages with the seeds and instructions were first distributed in the city last December. “The Rotaractors helped by delivering seeds to the workers and patrons
of the trade,” explains the President of the Club, Caroline Ferraz. Also taking up the idea is the Rotary Club of Água Clara, by a member who visited another city where the crotalaria worked. It is envisaged the campaign will be rolled out across the country in the next few months. Our colleagues in Brazil see the campaign to fight this virus very much akin to the End Polio Now initiative and are enlisting all clubs to sign up and help. It was interesting that in researching this article I spoke with a number of people in Brazil and at the Oswaldo Cruz Institute including Dr Jose Fernando de Souza Verani who has worked with Rotary on the ‘End Polio Now’ project and he confirmed much of what Dr Wilson Savino had discussed with me. Also my colleagues at Revista Rotary Brasil view the epidemic as very serious and are enlisting Rotary clubs across Brazil to take action urgently. This is an emergency in South America and Rotary clubs there are responding in this battle. It is early days as yet but it is a war we must win.
My thanks to the staff of Revista Rotary Brasil who have helped with this article.
ROTARY IN ACTION
All wheels turn in the Rotary Ride Each day 120 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer across the UK, and with that number reliably set to rise Rotary clubs across the country are doing all they can to help stamp out this silent killer.
hey participated in their thousands for the Rotary Ride, and as a result raised over £100,000 for prostate cancer charities. The young and not so young, dressed in professional riding gear and even in fancy dress. On unicycles, bicycles, tricycles, in fact, almost anything with a wheel that could be pedalled was used in the Rotary Ride 2015. On Father’s Day last year, Rotary clubs across Great Britain and Ireland pedalled away to raise funds and awareness to help the cause of prostate cancer. Each amount large and small contributed to the cause. In East Anglia they climbed into the saddles and raised in excess of £10,000, with 15 clubs taking part from North Walsham to Cambridge with the Rotary Club of Sudbury Talbot pulling in over £5,000 and this year, all the clubs are rolling out the wheels to raise even more. Over in the west, in South and Mid Wales, ten clubs took part to raise in excess of £20,000 for Prostate Cymru. One original way of joining this event was the Rotary Club of Fishguard & Goodwick who rode across the Irish Sea from Fishguard to Wexford. The club did it in a sort of normal way by riding a static bike on the ferry as it made the crossing. Up in Scotland they pushed their tartan bikes out and raised over £50,000 for Prostate Scotland, with Laurencekirk & District Rotary Club amassing almost £5,000. One club reported a young mum covering 24 miles with a young child strapped to her and the other child as a pillion. One factor that has come out of all of this pulse-raising cycling activity is that everyone was doing all the hard work for a good cause, but above all it was Rotary members, families, friends and colleagues having a really fun time. All of the money raised is going towards research into diagnosing and treating this potentially life threatening disease earlier and easier with little or no invasive and embarrassing investigations. From an
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Taking part in the Rotary Ride
MRI scan at University College Hospital in London, where it is training people to read the scans and diagnose treatment, to Southmead Hospital in Bristol where it has recently announced ground-breaking research which could change the way people are tested for prostate cancer. Professor Norman Ratcliffe and his team at the UWE have developed a more accurate urine based ‘sniff ’ test, which uses an ‘electronic nose’ called Odoreader, and claims to be able to accurately detect prostate cancer. Professor David Gillatt, Clinical Director at Southmead Hospital’s Urological Department, comments, “The clinical services are of the highest quality, with Bristol being the largest prostate cancer centre in the UK and the busiest Robotics Surgical Centre for prostate cancer.”
Whilst the unit in Bristol is using robotic surgery, in Scotland the money raised is being used to finance a project to purchase the equipment for use in Edinburgh. All of the efforts from last year are being built on for this year. Rotary clubs across the country plan to continue the good work and awarenessraising of prostate cancer by joining the Rotary Ride taking place on the 18th and 19th June, which is the weekend of Father’s Day. Last year 250 events took place for the Rotary Ride with an estimated 20,000 riders taking part, and this year is set to be bigger and better.l For more information go to: rotaryride.co.uk Facebook – RotaryRide Twitter – @RotaryRide www.rotarygbi.org
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ROTARY IN ACTION
Multiple Sclerosis Society
Fighting against Multiple Sclerosis One of the many charities supported by Rotary clubs in Great Britain and Ireland is the MS Society. We take a look at some of the groundbreaking work it carries out and how funds raised by Rotary has helped them along the way.
ultiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex and unpredictable condition that affects the central nervous system – one day you can be fine, the next you may lose your sight and be unable to move. There are more than 100,000 people living with MS in the UK and quite often people will start experiencing symptoms in their 20s and 30s, such that people who are affected will be so for the majority of their adult life. Charities such as the MS Society are important in helping those living with MS and the charity works tirelessly to improve treatment and care for patients whilst investing in research to help beat MS for good. The MS Society is the biggest charitable funder of MS research in the UK and last year alone, it invested £5.2million into research. One example of this is studies being carried out at the MS Society Cambridge Centre for Myelin Repair at the University of Cambridge. Researchers, led by Professor Robin Franklin, are working to show that a molecule called RXR-gamma could encourage the brain’s own stem cells to repair myelin in animal models of MS. They are now building on this work, to identify more potential treatments for the condition. 26 // ROTARY
Kathy Uglow taking part in a charity skydive
Research is also being carried out at the University of Edinburgh and uses translucent minnow-sized fish called zebrafish to work out how a protein in the blood could be causing the body’s immune cells to attack the central nervous system causing MS. It was after hearing about this pioneering research that Helen Karakashian, from the Rotary Club of Droitwich Spa decided to adopt the MS Society as her chosen charity when she was president of the club. “I was diagnosed with MS in 1980 and I’ve experienced almost every symptom anyone with MS can have - loss of eyesight, paralysis, slurred speech. In the 80s it was very different. There wasn’t much information, nor were there treatments available. This research is really exciting and
has great potential, and I think it’s really important we explore the possibilities in this area. “My fellow Rotarians and members of the local community also thought stem cell research was worthwhile supporting, so I organised two fundraising events in aid of this research funded by the MS Society. One of the events I hosted was an Ascot ladies lunch. This was just one event that contributed to the £2,100 we raised for MS research over a year.” Helen is not alone in her support of the MS Society. Over at the Rotary Club of Babbacombe & St Marychurch, Kathy Uglow chose to support the charity in her year as president after her eldest son was diagnosed with the disease in his early 20s. Kathy explains: “We arranged two ‘high-flying’ events – a skydive and a zip www.rotarygbi.org
©MS Society MS research being carried out
wire – that raised £19,000 for the MS Society, the skydive was amazing. We had 19 participants including Rotarians, friends and people with MS. Ten members of the MS Society also joined us. The youngest person skydiving was 15 and the eldest was in their 70s, and we had people with all abilities participate. It was such a huge challenge for so many people and they all showed incredible courage, jumping 15,000 feet at a freefall speed of 120mph. I even jumped myself – it was the highlight of my year! “I’ve watched research into MS progress over the years, seen the breakthroughs in treatment and I’m happy that our club will play a minute part in something so much bigger.” One person who has benefited from the money raised by Rotary is Deirdre Walford who was diagnosed with MS when she was 33 and was worn down with terrible pain and stress when she applied to the MS Society for a grant ten years later. Deirdre has to deal with constant pain and fatigue, which she describes as “utterly shocking” and like “trying to function while half asleep.” Recently, it’s also led www.rotarygbi.org
I’ve watched research into MS progress over the years, seen the breakthroughs in treatment and I’m happy that our club will play a minute part in something so much bigger.” to problems with memory loss and word recall. She’s forgotten the names of her sons and husband and who they are. During one relapse, she couldn’t even remember who she was. She used an MS Society grant to fund a trip to Berlin with her family, who are all affected by the stresses and challenges that come with the condition – the trip allowed them to spend time together, recharge and go home ready to cope again. Deirdre comments, “It’s hard to fight all the time. Not only is MS eroding me physically, but the continually determined fighting is wearing me down mentally. We took a five-day break in Berlin at Christmas and the break enabled me to recharge my
batteries enough to see in the New Year with enthusiasm. I feel so much better and stronger, it seems that I had fallen over and you lovely people helped me up, cleaned me down and put me back in the right direction. I am ready to fight MS again in the next round.” Andy Jarrett, Area Fundraiser at the MS Society and member of the Rotary Club of Severn Vale, said: “Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland has been an active supporter of the MS Society since 1989, and today, many clubs and individual Rotarians across the UK dedicate their time and resources to support our work. “We are extremely grateful for their contributions, which have had a profound impact on the lives of people affected by MS. Just last year, Rotary donated almost £30,000 to the MS Society which has helped give grants and support to people affected by MS, fight for better care and find better treatments.” l
For more information go to: mssociety.org.uk ROTARY // 27
Rotary around the world All over the world members are serving communities to help improve lives. We review just a few projects where Rotarians are making a difference across the globe.
© Narooma News
Huawei Ghana holds corporate engagement with Rotary club
Narooma Club Duck Race
Rotary duck race at Narooma
Narooma Rotary’s annual Australia Day Duck Race was a great success with all 1,000 tickets sold, fine weather, good crowds and a relatively quick race. Narooma Rotary President Bob Antill said proceeds will help purchase at least two ShelterBoxes to provide emergency shelter for families affected by natural or manmade disasters, particularly overseas. “We really appreciate everyone’s assistance in running this race, from those who bought tickets, to those in kayaks or on boards who helped collect the ducks, members of Narooma Surf Club, and all the spectators who helped make the event such a success.” The first duck across the finishing line, from the end of the boardwalk to the first yacht, was 415 after a last minute dash just before the line. Emily and Zoe Deck, formerly of Narooma, held the corresponding ticket to win $1,000. The last duck was 334, held by A J Hayden of Narooma, who won $100. Donations will be made to Narooma Surf Club in appreciation of their assistance and to Bermagui CRABS (Cancer Research Advocate Bikers) who provided the ducks.
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The Marketing Manager of Huawei Ghana, David Anku, has advised Corporate Ghana to harness the immense benefits of technology but cautioned against over reliance on it. He disclosed this at a corporate interaction with the Ring Road branch of Rotary Club International, at Alisa Hotel in Accra. He spoke under the theme ‘How Technology Can Make Your Professional Life Possible’. Mr. Anku shared with the Rotarians how technology can boost their professional, family and personal lives. In an age where access to information is critical to businesses, he encouraged the Rotarians to take advantage of technological innovations. He added that: “Technology allows for information sharing, virtual meetings and conferencing, which are key to corporate growth. "The mobility associated with technology allows one to multi-task with ease. You can access news on-the-go, shop online or even work from any location with just a touch of the screen or click of a button. All you need is a good internet connection."
Rotary Club boosts Lagos blood bank with 120 pints
In continuance of its core objectives of touching lives and being a gift to the world, the Rotary Club of Lagos, Palmgrove Estate, has donated 120 pints of blood to the Lagos State general hospitals. The club worked in collaboration with the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service and two Indian communities, Kerala Samajam and Rajasthani Samaj, for this lifesaving donation. Speaking at the event, which took place
at the club’s secretariat in Lagos, President of the club, Pradeep Pahalwani, remarked: “This is our first service project for 2016, which is tagged the ‘Blood Donation Campaign’ with a view to collecting blood from voluntary donors and donating it to Lagos State. The state in turn uses the blood for accident victims and others in need, and we believe each pint collected would save about two to three lives.” The president also made it known that in addition to the blood donation campaign, the club was making arrangements to create an awareness on Lassa fever that had been threatening the lives of Nigerians.
King of Pong
According to John Urbanski of the Eden Prairie Noon Rotary Club: “It doesn’t take a lot of skill to play beer pong.” He’s right, said Sam Eicher, who at 28 is one of the younger members of the club. “Some of the best reactions to our club’s Pong Fest event come from parents, learning to play the game they’ve heard their adult kids talking about. That’s the reaction we got, that it’s a lot easier and a lot more fun than people would have thought.” Eicher said that the Rotary event goes by simple rules for what is billed as the biggest and baddest beer pong tournament in the western Twin Cities. “It’s a more relaxed version of beer pong,” Eicher added. Proceeds from the event go toward the projects supported by the Noon Rotary, including My Book Day, which gives each first-grader in the Eden Prairie School District their own book, international water projects and student scholarships. Eicher said that the game is fun for spectators and participants. Last year, there was a large group surrounding the final table at the end of the tournament.
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Meet & Greet For this edition we spoke with a member of an eClub about his experiences within Rotary.
FACT FILE Name: Mitty Chang, 27 Club: Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Rotary Member since: Two years Interact, eight years Rotaract, joined Rotary in 2015 Occupation: Digital Marketing & Web Design
What were your perceptions of Rotary before you joined? My Rotary journey started when I was 16. Before I joined Interact, I had never heard of Rotary. After graduating high school I started two Rotaract clubs before making the transition into Rotary to charter the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley.
Q: How did you find out about
the organisation? I grew up in the world’s largest Interact district. The Interact club at my high school had 400 members, out of 2,000 students. I have found that when you support young leaders, you see the return on that investment years later. I am a product of the investment that so many Rotarian mentors have made in my life.
Q: What impressions of Rotary did
you have after your first club meeting? My first Rotary club visit was a dreary one. As an Interactor we visited our sponsoring Rotary club. First was the membership difference; our weekly Interact club meetings had 200/400 students, whereas the Rotary meeting barely had 10. The Rotary club’s meetings were also structured differently, like a Board of Directors meeting. That meeting disappointed me and didn’t teach me anything about what Rotary does.
Have you got involved in a club event and how did you find the experience? I have participated in, organised, and planned events. They taught me to reach for my dreams and also taught me how to learn from my mistakes. The events that underperformed are the ones I learned the most from. This is what led me to create the first regional Rotaract President Elect 30 // ROTARY
Training Session (PETS) in the USA. We now call this the Big West Rotaract Institute, held every July on the west coast for incoming Rotaract club leaders.
What do you personally get out of being a member? I see Rotary as the vehicle to achieve your dreams; whatever those might be. Rotary has brought me some of my closest friends, mentors, and leadership opportunities. Rotary also brought me my business partner!
Have you asked someone to join you at a meeting and if so what did you tell them to get them along? I tell people to join me at my meetings and events all the time. I usually try to find a creative way to invite them. Many of my peers associate “meetings” with work, and often want to spend their hours after work doing something non-work related. I find myself inviting people to have “lunch” or to come join me for a drink. I will then later let them know “by the way, it’s also a Rotary event.”
How do you think we should project the positives about Rotary especially some of the things you enjoy about it? I think it’s important that Rotary clubs around the world focus on making everything they do fun and impactful. From meetings to events, nothing should feel like a chore. Try something new every month. Ask yourselves if someone walked into one of your events or your meetings, what would their first impressions be? Would there be someone to greet them with a handshake or a hug? In life, we are never perfect. It is up to each of us to assume the mantle of responsibility and always strive to become a better version of ourselves, and that applies to Rotary as well.
If you could change something in the organisation. What would it be? I would change how Rotary attracts young professionals, and integrates them into leadership positions. Ultimately, I believe that if Rotary wants to keep dedicated young Rotarians and Rotaractors committed in the organisation, it needs to find more ways to create leadership opportunities at an international level.
How do you find the time to fit Rotary into your life? Besides being in Rotary, I run a digital marketing and design agency in the San Francisco bay area. I also actively volunteer with other organisations. When I love something, I make time for it. I love Rotary. It’s not that I have lots of free time; it’s that I choose to make time for Rotary, because it’s something I am passionate about.
If I asked you to sum up the organisation and your enjoyment of it in a few words what would you say? Rotary is a vehicle to reach your goals and your dreams. It’s a vehicle powered by goodwill, by hope, and by passion. The more you pour your heart into Rotary, the further it will take you towards your dreams. l
To find a club near you visit: rotarygbi.org/club-finder www.rotarygbi.org
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ROTARY IN ACTION
The Gem of
The Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland conference has a whole host of jewels on offer for all to enjoy, and celebrated antiques expert Eric Knowles will be there to explore The Rotary Foundation.
ric Knowles is an honorary Rotarian and he will take to the stage with Rotary’s Foundation Committee Chair Allan MacLaughlan on the Saturday of the conference to discuss Rotary’s own charity, The Rotary Foundation. Eric became a household name when he took on the role of ceramics expert on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, and he has appeared in countless other programmes throughout his career. He first became involved in antiques by default after he was made redundant as an engineer back in the 1970s. That is when he joined Bonham’s auctioneers, one of the world’s oldest and largest auctioneers of fine arts and antiques. He started as a porter in the ceramics department and stayed with the auction house for 35 years, 20 of those spent as a director. With antiques being his forte we discussed with him how to spot antiques in the home, and who are the artists to be looking out for. Eric comments: “My first stop when entering a home is to check the kitchen cupboards. You wouldn’t believe the sort of items people store in there and forget they even had. I’ve found so many lost treasures tucked away in forgotten drawers so get searching, as you never know what keepsake you might find. “Also, the saying ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ isn’t around for nothing. Don’t be tempted to throw things away if you have
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an inkling they could be of value. Something your gran bought in the 1950s and is completely out of style might actually be worth something, you never know! “Get out and about. Homes may seem the obvious place to start but you never know what you might find at a local car boot sale or charity shop, and don’t forget if you find big, ensure you get your item insured with an up-to-date valuation.” Eric continued: “Glass art is the big hitter at the moment especially from the 20th century, which is increasing in
popularity. Anything Art Deco from 1910 to 1940 is really en vogue in the antiques world and has been creating a lot of interest. “Big names in antiques at the moment are of course René Lalique, and in terms of ceramics the Martin Brothers are really capturing a lot of interest. The brothers were pottery manufacturers in London and are considered to represent the transition from decorative Victorian ceramics to twentieth century studio pottery in England. If you come across any of their work it would be a fantastic find.” Eric has kindly agreed to run a workshop titled ‘Amazing Antiques’ on Saturday afternoon. l
I’ve found so many lost treasures tucked away in forgotten drawers so get searching, as you never know what keepsake you might find.”
To find out more about The Rotary Foundation go to: rotary.org/ myrotary/en/rotary-foundation www.rotarygbi.org
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#TeamRotary 34 // ROTARY rotarygbi.org
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National Immunisation Day
Immunising India In February over 500 Rotarians from across the world travelled to India for National Immunisation Day (NID). Despite facing challenges in the form of riots in New Delhi, we hear why the trip was as important as ever.
It is a tremendous experience going out and working with these young people, who are so full of mischief and fun despite the serious nature of the work that is being carried out.”
over 172 million children under the age of five. That is a big project given that this figure is nearly three times the size of the UK population. In order to help make this happen, the Rotary office in Delhi designated five locations where the International Rotarian volunteers were placed to assist the local Rotary members, Delhi, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Bhidawi and Karnal. Adrian Stabbins from the Rotary Club of Windsor and Eton, one of the volunteers who travelled to India this year, was taking part in the National Immunisation Day for his seventh time and we caught up with him to ask him about his experiences. Adrian explained, “There is a certain team spirit and comorardory between the people who choose to go back each time and it is an opportunity to build relationships with other Rotarians from the UK and around the globe. You really come to
his year, a group of 106 volunteers from Great Britain & Ireland, the largest to have ever travelled, headed to India to meet up with other Rotary International members from 17 countries including Belgium, Luxemburg, USA and Japan to carry out the immunisation of children across the country. The response was encouraging in the effort to keep India polio free, after tremendous strides to eradicate the disease from the country. Although India was removed from the endemic list and declared free from polio in 2014, there is still the real risk of the re-introduction of the wild polio virus from cases found in Pakistan. It is therefore essential that high levels of immunisation are maintained. The aim of this year’s National Immunisation Day (NID) was to vaccinate
For more information on National Immunisation Days go to: rotarygbi.org 36 // ROTARY
©Adrian Stabbins Child receiving Polio vaccine
know the Indian Rotarians in particular from seeing their way of life and visiting their projects; you have to stand back in admiration at the way they are trying to turn their society around. It is a tremendous experience going out and working with these young people, who are so full of mischief and fun despite the serious nature of the work that is being carried out. “For me personally, my vocational experience as a dentist is invaluable as it allows me to be comfortable in close proximity to the children’s personal space and I felt comfortable helping the children feel at ease. My son who joined me on the trip is a business man and he brought different skills to the table, ensuring the project was efficient and any hurdles overcome in a quick and logical way. Between us we immunised 200 children in just two hours.” Adrian continued, “I grew up in a time when polio was still around in the UK. I remember one of my classmates suffering from it. There is no denying that the threat the disease poses is much less today, however www.rotarygbi.org
it is important we keep pushing to rid the world of polio for good.” The immunisation, which is administered by two simple drops on the tongue, can be carried out easily by someone with no medical experience, and is crucial in helping to keep polio at bay. Rotary hopes to continue to send out volunteers in future years, until this type of immunisation is replaced with an injection, a procedure that would require medically trained personnel. However, the group who travelled to Karnal in Haryana state north of Delhi faced trials in the fact that the area was affected by riots, which broke out over water shortages in the country, resulting in one of the immunisation programmes being cancelled. Jannine Birtwistle from the Rotary Club of Guernsey, who was caught up in the riots, commented, “It was a real shame that the immunisation couldn’t go ahead, but thankfully the week after we left the project was carried out. One thing we were extremely pleased about was that a health camp, which we had planned for the Sunday of our visit, still managed to take place.
Although the turn out was not as high as expected, over 350 people of all ages came to the camp, which provides check ups, consultations and information on a range of health issues. “Despite the problems faced in Karnal, this year’s NID was still a huge success and we have seen such improvement, not just in the infiltration of polio but in the quality of life in the societies we have visited. It is great that so many Rotarians from Great Britain and Ireland continue to offer their support to the trip and the work we carry out continues to be invaluable.” Rotary International together with the Campaign for Disease Control (USA), WHO and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation form the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) have eradicated polio from all but two countries in the world, Afghanistan and Pakistan. There is every hope that in the next few years polio will be eradicated from these two countries making it the second disease after smallpox to be eradicated from the world. l ROTARY // 37
ROTARY IN ACTION
The Rotary Club of Misbourne Matins
A different kind of birthday Rotary clubs usually celebrate their birthday with a charter night but one club chose to do their charter celebration in a different way.
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otary clubs across the world celebrate their birthday, the charter day of their club being recognised and effectively born, usually with a dinner or lunch inviting the local great and good. The Rotary Club of Misbourne Matins wanted to do something different so the event to celebrate their 18th birthday ‘The Longest Rotary Meeting’ was created. Their 18th birthday was their coming of age moving from adolesence to early adulthood and the occasion needed something different and special and so it turned out. The Rotary Club of Misbourne Matins is based in Gerrards Cross and gets its name from the local river Misbourne and since they meet in the early morning at 07:15 hence the matins name. The Longest Rotary Meeting was being held at Gerrards Cross Golf Club and was well on its way when we arrived at noon. They had been going since 06:00 and had heard from half a dozen speakers already. They gave forth on such subjects as law, marketing, social media, Children in Need and getting to the Rio Paralympics all followed by the Beaconsfield Town Crier who did not announce our arrival. On the agenda until midnight, the close of the event after 18 hours, was the Rotary project End Polio Now, Flying the Atlantic: not in a passenger jet, Raising the Costa Concordia and the British Youth Theatre just to list a few. We wanted to find out more so we sat down in the quiet of the golf club bar to talk to their President Mike Leyland. We started by asking about the day and how it came about. Mike told us, “We wanted to celebrate our coming of age as a club a bit differently and came up with this idea of the Longest Rotary Meeting. The most important thing is that people have a good time and we wanted to bring out what Rotary is all about really.” Mike went on to tell us that although the day was not about fundraising they did want to donate whatever monies they got to the Thames Valley Air Ambulance and the
The Beaconsfield Town Crier brings the meeting to a close
“The most important thing is that people have a good time and we wanted to bring out what Rotary is all about.”
Paralympic hopeful Andy Lewis- ©Getbucks.co.uk
Rotary Foundation programme PolioPlus. Mike continued, “After we came up with the idea we had to publicise it and we used all platforms we could and social media played a part in this. The title the Longest Rotary Meeting has helped create a lot interest. We have lots of contact around the world so we told them including a club
in Bali and a member in Australia.” We had to go on and ask about its success so far and Mike reeled out the numbers, “The whole day will see almost 300 people attend and we started the day with the breakfast meeting at 39. The best attended will be the two evening sessions at 80 each. We are also streaming the meeting online and people are logging in through the day so all in all we reckon we can say 500 people have attended one way or another.” We then went on to talk about the club programme and projects and they are impressive. A building project in Nepal and another concerning water tanks in Bali. This is a lively club in the Thames Valley worthy of a visit.
For more information visit: bit.ly/RotaryMisbourneMatins www.rotarygbi.org
Lots to see in Seoul This year Rotary International is holding its annual convention in the vibrant city of Seoul. We take a look at what the capital of South Korea has to offer.
he 107th Rotary International convention is expected to attract more than 50,000 Rotarians from 150 countries, and will be held at the Korea International Exhibition Centre (KINTEX), which will be transformed into a kaleidoscope of energy, colour and excitement as Rotary members participate in a broad agenda of plenary sessions, workshops and other activities.
The Jongmyo Shrine
If you’re attending and hope to explore the local surroundings, one must see sight is the Gyeongbokgung Palace, which is the most popular tourist spot in the city. It was at the centre of Seoul’s emergence as a place of power, having been built to house the royal family of the Joseon dynasty, shortly after they transferred their capital to Seoul in 1392. The Joseon dynasty was also responsible for the Jongmyo Shrine, which was a primary place of worship for kings and queens. The shrine is the oldest and most authentic of the Confucian royal shrines to have been preserved. It is said to be the world’s longest single wooden structure and measures 109 metres. If food is more your thing, Seoul is famed for its vast array of cuisine, and visitors can enjoy the wide variety of street food on offer. The most popular dishes include Tteokbokki, which is a spicy rice cake in a red pepper paste sauce, and Odeng, a skewered fish cake. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous why not try Bundegi, a silkworm larvae or Jokbal, which are pig’s feet. There is always room for a bit of 40 // ROTARY
The Gyeongbokgung Palace
downtime, and visiting Seoul’s primary shopping district Myeong-dong might just be the way to spend a few hours. There are many well known named shops and department stores to visit, where designer brands abound. The area is a prime example of modern Seoul and its top department stores, Lotte and Shinsegae, are well worth a visit. We mustn’t forget that while Seoul has fantastic experiences to offer, Rotary’s convention is providing a whole host of delights to entertain. The six-day schedule includes top speakers from Dananjaya Hettiarachchi, the World Champion of Public
Seoul is famed for its vast array of cuisine
Speaking, and Mark Waddington, Chief Executive Officer for Hope and Homes for Children. Other highlights include breakout sessions to dig deeper into Rotary topics and the chance to visit the House of Friendship. With a rich mix of heritage and history, combined with modern day traditions, Seoul is the perfect place to explore at a leisurely pace while you soak up the culture and join Rotary as it connects with the world.
Seoul’s primary shopping district Myeong-dong
For more information, visit: visitseoul.net www.rotarygbi.org
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ROTARY IN ACTION
Focus on a club project
A positive outlook on life The work of Rotarians touches quite a few people and we relate how a chance sight of a poster is helping change one person’s life for the better.
n 2006 something happened to Chris Jayes that would change his life forever. Chris was involved in a car accident and despite long stays in hospital and quite a few operations, he is now destined to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Chris admits to hitting a rocky road in life having to come to terms with being in a wheelchair and he had another responsibility since his mother suffers from multiple sclerosis and is also wheelchair bound. Chris lives with his mother and supports her, and the accident meant his whole world had fallen apart, so he was in a bad place as he worked on rebuilding his life. By chance one day, when Chris was throwing out the rubbish, he came across an advertisement for The Rotary 4th Wheelchair Challenge. The event was held at Bedford International Athletic Stadium last October and hosted a Wheelchair Relay 4 X 50m and as well as individual challenges. Rotary clubs across Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire organise and host the challenge in aid of WheelPower, Whizz Kids, Herts Sport and Wellbeing and Sport Bedford. Chris, who lives in Biggleswade, decided to see what this was all about. Attending the event changed Chris’ outlook on life. He told us: “It opened my eyes to some of the things I can do.” For
It opened my eyes to some of the things I can do.”
the first time since his accident Chris had come across other wheelchair users and it gave him a much more positive view of life. Whilst talking with him he was obviously enthused and was looking forward to a visit to WheelPower at Stoke Mandeville where he could try out a whole range of sports. Whilst we talked Chris started to open up and began to enthusiastically tell us about his plans for his future. “Rotary has helped me with the contacts and put me in touch with people and organisations that help people like me. They help me with
transport and things. I’m going to try out many things at Stoke Mandeville and find out which ones I really like,” Chris said. Mary Whitehead, from the Rotary Club of Biggleswade Ivel, has kept in touch with Chris since the Wheelchair Challenge and says: “He has taken on a more positive approach to his life, and will take any opportunities that come his way since they give him a purpose in his daily activities now. Rotary is guiding him and helping him to take on these challenges.” Mary is right in her observations of Chris Jayes, since he has now found a purpose in life. He has something to look forward to with his visit to Stoke Mandeville and is positive about what will come out of it. After all if he had not been interested in a flyer from Rotary whilst throwing out his rubbish he would never have got this far. We wish him well in his endeavours.
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The Rotary Effect Catching up with all the news from Rotary clubs around Great Britain and Ireland.
Keeping communities afloat
ne of the great powers of Rotary is the ability to create connections and touch the lives of someone living on the other side of the world. The Rotary Clubs of Shoreham and Southwick along with Steyning and Henfield have combined to send a gift over 7,000 miles to The Philippines. After the coastal city of Tagum was severely hit by typhoons, houses were flattened and boats were left completely destroyed. This included a fleet of around 60 wooden boats belonging to a group of fishermen. Also nearby trees were razed to the ground so they were without suitable wooden materials to build replacements. The two clubs were keen to offer support following the damage done to this vital resource, and were able to raise funds to provide a fibreglass boat for the fishermen who will now be able to take small steps back in to their day to day lives. Denis Cummings, President of the Rotary Club of Steyning and Henfield, explained how crucial having access to fishing vessels is for the people of this community: “If they can fish, they can eat and earn. If they can earn, they can repair their houses. This is a particularly good example of sustainable support where Rotary is keen to help.”
All’s well and good
lean water will be accessible for the residents of Kititi in South East Uganda, thanks to the support of three Rotary clubs in the Heart of England. The Rotary Clubs of Kinver, Bewdley and Stourbridge have worked in partnership with the charity Planting for Hope Uganda to provide Kititi with a new borehole. Villagers no longer have to walk long distances to collect unsafe water. Apollo Saku, who manages the project, commented: “The main aquifer yields between 35,000 and 40,000 litres of water for a single pump. The entire Kititi village has about 300 households and now there is
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plenty of water for everyone, including the village school. The villagers are both thrilled and grateful to have this source of clean water.” The project was officially opened by Uganda’s Vice President Edward Ssekandi, who himself is a member of Rotary. The three clubs were able to raise £3,500 for the project, which was then doubled with the support of a Rotary Foundation Grant. The Rotary Club of Kinver is already planning more initiatives to support the villagers in Kititi with self-sustaining farming and tailoring projects.
Lighting up The Gambia
A wheel-y good day
scot is more accustomed to seeing racing of the equestrian variety, but the town played host to the Annual Sunninghill Wheelbarrow Race all in aid of Ascot District Day Centre, a local charity supporting the elderly. 27 teams got into the fancy dress spirit, with imaginative costumes covering everything from Storm Troopers to a carnival of animals. The Rotary Club of Ascot President, Alan Clare, commented: “We are very grateful for the support we received from the local community in providing teams and attending the race.” The one mile course provided participants with a test of speed and agility. The ‘Badly Dressed Men’ scooped the Fastest Men’s Team award, ‘The Pink Ladies’ took home the fastest Ladies Team award with the Fasted Mixed
he Rotary Club of Wylde Green welcomed the return of a local scout group from Japan, but what made the
Team award going to the Superman costumeclad ‘Dale Wintonettes’. The Best Fancy Dress prize was awarded to The Sunningdale Hope Trust Laddies, whose Scottish attire complete with Loch Ness monster stole the day. Over £8,000 was raised, helping the centre to purchase a new minibus. The minibuses, along with their volunteer drivers, pick up visitors who can no longer drive, and take them to the centre where they can enjoy a day of activities and socialising.
FOR A N
he Gambian village of Jafai Kuta has been given the gift of light, thanks to the support of the Rotary Club of Boston St. Botolph. With the help of a grant from The Rotary Foundation, the club has supplied the village of 200 residents a series of solar lights as part of the Light up a Village initiative, a scheme designed to provide impoverished areas with all the immediate benefits of good lighting, in addition to long term, sustainable economic benefit. Each recipient of a light is required to pay a daily sum to the village committee, a pledge that is cheaper than the cost of candles, the village’s previous light source. These contributions allow the village to save money to buy further resources to benefit the village economy. The lights also make it possible for children to pursue their education through reading and writing, which can now be completed even when the sun has set. Carol Brown, President of the Rotary Club of Boston St Botolph, said, “It was great to be able to help with this project in this way. We are delighted the solar lights are helping and especially with the children and their education.”
trip so special was that the Rotary club had helped them along with their presentation skills. A number of Scouts used this opportunity to complete their Media Relations and Marketing Activity Badge, which included delivering a 15 minute public speaking presentation to another organisation ahead of their adventure to the International Jamboree in Japan, and the club were only too happy to help the Scouts out. The UB41 Unit, based in Birmingham and made up of 36 Explorer Scouts aged between 14 and 18 attended the Jamboree with 34,000 other scouts from over 150 countries. Scout Leader David Fitzgerald explained: “Scouting is about building up young people
and providing them the tools for their future, and thanks to the help of the Rotary club, our visit to the Jamboree was truly life changing for the Scouts.” When the Scouts returned, they visited the club to present their once in a lifetime expedition. Penny Thurston, President of the club, commented: “Each spoke well and with much enthusiasm about the trip, ranging from the fun side to the more serious moments. My colleagues and I found the presentation really interesting and it would have been possible to hear a pin drop at any time, such was the level of interest.”
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Reach for the skies
group of students at Ryburn Valley High School’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Club are one of 10 schools competing in a project to build a life size, full motion flight simulator thanks to the support of Sowerby Bridge Rotary Club. Called The Falcon Initiative, the programme aims to involve young people with practical and engaging business and STEM projects. The Rotary Club of Sowerby Bridge has been able to assist with the project with the donation of £750, the club has also helped to find sponsors who have donated their time and money to support the students with such an exciting project.
The STEM Club’s first task will be to build a working flight simulator prototype, which includes making a cockpit, designing the interior and computer programming to produce moving images for the pilot to see. Stan Topliss, from the Sowerby Bridge Rotary Club commented, “Having been involved in aviation and engineering myself, it has been a great privilege to be helping the young people during The Falcon Initiative. We wish them the best of luck in the final stage of the competition, I can’t wait to see the working simulator for myself.” The Falcon Initiative will be completed in April ready for the competition and we wish the students of Ryburn Valley High School STEM Club good luck with their project.
oung artists in South Tyneside are having their work showcased at a local gallery following a competition launched by the Rotary Clubs of Jarrow with Harton, and Cleadon and District. The South Shields Museum and Art Gallery will be displaying the finalists’ works for three months running until the end of April. The winners, competing in two age categories for 11-15 and 16-18 year olds, were Charlotte Whitfield, who sketched a striking chalk portrait, and Shana Louise Seales, who painted a colourful field of poppies. Professional artist and former member of Rotaract, Graham Hodgson, judged the competition, and commented: “The level of artistic ability shown by the young people involved in this particular competition was very high and a credit to the artists.”
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Entrants were encouraged to think beyond the topics covered in their school curriculum to express themselves in the most creative ways possible. All 25 finalists will receive an art masterclass, with the winner of each age category receiving a ten hour private art course, courtesy of Hawthorn Arts, South Shields.
Winnie-the-Pooh, a new member
he Rotary Club of Oxford Spires has welcomed a familiar, furry friend into its ranks recently in the form of Winniethe-Pooh. As the organisers of the annual World Poohsticks Championships, the club have marked the 90th anniversary of the publication of A.A. Milne’s first Pooh bear story by inviting the 100 Acre Wood’s resident honey eater to become an honorary member. Milne’s stories were inspired by the toys his son Christopher had as a child and club member Lesley Adams arranged to visit the New York Public Library, where the original toys now reside whilst on holiday in the big apple. Lesley commented: “The World Poohsticks Championships, which have been run in Oxfordshire since 1984 have raised thousands of pounds for various charities around the world and the Rotary Club of Oxford Spires wanted to recognise that in some way. I contacted the Library to ask their permission to visit and present the award of membership and was delighted when they accepted.” The World Poohsticks Championships are being held later this year. We reckon this honorary member is unique, unless of course anyone can tell us differently? For more information, visit: pooh-sticks.com
Northern floods update
Support floods in
Rebuilding a community in Calder Valley
ollowing the devastating floods to hit the north of England this winter, affected communities get back on their feet thanks to continued help and support from Rotary clubs and members. One such club is the Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge, whose locality was hit by some of the worst flooding in living memory over the 2015 holiday period. The club combined the funds they had raised with those of nearby clubs and took advantage of two matched donation initiatives, from the Community Foundation for Calderdale and the UK government, to create a pool of £30,000. Graham Cobham, a member of Hebden Bridge Rotary Club, remarked, “We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from outside the Rotary family from across the country; everything from small
personal donations to large donations is helping to make a difference.” Funds were invested in essential rapid response equipment, including an additional inflatable sled and a series of waterproof radios to assist The Calder Valley Search and Rescue team, as well as ten industrial-sized dehumidifiers to help dry out rooms and buildings partly submerged by flood water. The funds were also channelled into longer term community restructuring projects including the restoration of Mytholmroyd Community Centre and support for those hit by previous floods, having been unable to obtain insurance.
upport and assistance for flooded areas has been present right across Great Britain and Ireland, including from those over 250 miles away in East Devon. The Rotary Clubs of Exmouth and District and Exmouth Raleigh joined forces, and with the generosity of members of their community, were able to raise almost £4,000. The clubs arranged three separate collections across Exmouth and neighbouring Budleigh, with members of the public keen to acknowledge the clubs’ efforts in the shape of kind words and donations. Local businesses even helped ease the winter weather and offered warm drinks to keep the collectors in good spirits. Frank Hart-Venn, a member of the Rotary Club of Exmouth and District, commented: “A huge thank you must go to our East Devon residents and visitors, as well as our partners in the local area who gave us a platform to raise funds. The community spirit truly is alive and well here!” The clubs kept in close contact with those in affected areas to ensure all funds were distributed where they were needed most.
White van man to the rescue
hey found out what was needed and white van man from the Rotary Club of Wellingborough Hatton set about making it all happen. Bob Parfitt and his partner Moy loaded their van with much needed cleaning items and set off for York - in the rain. It rained all the way and after a couple of hours driving they arrived - in the rain. They walked into the centre of York, to see the raging river in full flow and witnessed the flooded buildings - in the rain. The immediate need was in the Calder Valley so they were requested to drive over there to a drop off address. When they arrived the van was quickly unloaded with all the cleaning materials, which were then transshipped to another van for immediate delivery to the needy. Bob and Moy then did
a short drive around the Calder Valley and commented, “We saw for ourselves the vast problem these people were facing, devastation and disruption was everywhere. It seems every business in Hebden Bridge was affected, no ATMs or banks were working but the community spirit was evident wherever we went.” Alan Tatham, President of Sowerby Bridge Rotary Club, commented, “Many thanks to you and your club and the generous people in your part of the world for the wonderful contribution of goods and equipment to help us and the people around here who experienced the devastating floods over the holiday period.”
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It’s gone viral! Rotary took the flight of a lifetime recently on the International Space Station, and it really got the people here on Earth talking.
Rotary has gone out of this world!
Connecting with Conference
British Astronaut Tim Peake has taken a banner belonging to the Rotary Club of Locks Heath on board the International Space Station.
TheThe Rotary Conference is a wonderful opportunity to be educated and inspired by what is on offer, from enjoying celebrity speakers to hearing about the outstanding work of Rotary and its partners across Great Britain and Ireland and beyond. If you’re a user of Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, get sharing your pictures and experiences using the hashtag #RotaryConf16.
You can read the full story of Rotary’s launch into orbit here: bit.ly/RotaryInSpace
Many of the speakers who will be entertaining, motivating and inspiring us at #RotaryConf16 are active on Twitter, so connect with them to get a head start on what is on offer in Bournemouth and find out more about their work and stories in the future! Steve Brown – @SteveBrownGBWR Steve is a remarkable athlete. Following an accident which left him paralysed, he has gone on to become Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby captain and represented Team GB at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Rev. Richard Coles – @RevRichardColes Formerly of the 80s pop duo The Communards, Richard Coles has been on an unconventional journey from pop to priesthood.
British Astronaut Tim Peake has taken a banner belonging to the Rotary Club of Locks Heath on board the International Space Station. You can read the full story of Rotary’s launch into orbit here: bit.ly/RotaryInSpace 550,000 views 651
FOLLOW US Visit our Facebook page: facebook.com/RotaryinGBI or follow us on Twitter: @RotaryGBI and LinkedIn: Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland for the latest news and activity from Rotary and our clubs.
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Richard Stilgoe and the Orpheus Centre – @RichardStilgoe and @OrpheusCentre Richard is the founder of the Orpheus Centre, which offers disabled young people an opportunity to get involved with performing arts. They are often sharing inspirational stories and pictures on their page – well worth a follow! Jenny Agutter and the Shakespeare Schools Festival - @4JennyAgutter and @SSF_UK Actress Jenny Agutter will be joined by some talented young performers. With the bard’s 400th birthday taking place this year, discover how the Shakespeare Schools Festival is empowering young people to take to professional stages, covering everything from classic tales to Shakespeare stories with a modern twist! www.rotarygbi.org
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