Another local magazine 'Community Ad' has published an article about our work up until Spring this year. Look out for the magazine - it's in issue 23! Of course, we've been busy since then so always check our news site for other news & updates!
[Here's a copy of the full text which Community Ad needed to crop for space.]
The year is flying by and we’re delighted to update everyone on what we’ve been up to. For those who are unfamiliar with us, The Rotary Club of Canterbury is a service club in which members use their business & social skills for good in the community. We are one of three Rotary Clubs in Canterbury, alongside the Forest of Blean and Sunrise Clubs. We have around 60 members and have already inducted two new members into the club this year.
Activities in the community
In January we launched our Innovation Competition in association with Canterbury Christ Church University. We’re delighted by the number of local secondary schools expressing interest in taking part and have already started receiving entries. The competition encourages innovation, so yet again we look forward to some exciting ideas. The finals will be held in late June.
We worked with the English Speaking Union (ESU) to hold The East Kent finals of the ESU Churchill National Public Speaking Competition for Schools. The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress were in attendance, and it was a pleasure to award the first prize to St. Edmund’s School, with Folkestone School for Girls being the runner up.
Meanwhile we gave out awards in our 3rd Annual Children’s Christmas-themed Writing Competition to winners from Blean Primary School, Pilgrims’ Way School and St Johns Primary. The children write stories unaided and in their own handwriting. These are judged according to criteria including quality and range of expression. All the youngsters taking part are to be applauded on their creativity.
Fundraising while having fun
At the start of February we held one of several fundraising events planned for this year – “The Old Bull & Bush” Music Hall Event in association with the Lindley Players from Whitstable Playhouse Theatre. It was a great evening of nostalgia, song and laughter and raised around £4,000 (final figure to be confirmed).
Our yellow wishing well has also helped raised funds while sitting in Sainsbury’s. It will be moving back to Tesco soon; do give your coins a spin! In both cases we donate half the donations from the wishing well to the supermarket’s chosen charity.
Our next major fundraiser will be the annual Duck Race in Westgate Gardens later in the year. Once again, we’re hoping to raise thousands of pounds for our causes while hosting a great, fun-filled family event for the local community. We will of course be holding other fundraisers, so look out for news of these.
Donating to good causes
We’ve already donated to a number of very good causes – such as the local branch of Parkinson’s UK, SERVKent Blood runners, Lendwithcare and Wheel Potential (a charity that helps disabled cyclists). Another donation will pay for a specialist disabled swing for Honey Bears Nursery at K&C Hospital - a specialist nursery for assessment of very young children who have learning disabilities.
We are also paying for 12 pupils from St. Nicholas School to go to a local theatre to see ‘Bing’; we continue to sponsor and twice a year assist with outings for the youngsters with special needs.
We also continue to support 48 "clever but poor" students at Juba Diocesan Model Secondary School in South Sudan by paying their fees through the 3rd year of their 4-year course, so that each of them gains a South Sudan School Certificate – the country's highest school qualification.
Our club is also proud of the continued success of its Millennium Scholarship Trust Fund. This separate registered charity helps young people from Canterbury who wish to give service to a local or overseas community through a scheme or project run by a nationally recognised charity. Grants now given exceed £35,000. Trustees have already provided 10 grants this year to youngsters undertaking charitable works in Cambodia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and Zanzibar. Charities involved include Operation Wallacea, Camps International, Raleigh International and the African Foundation for Girl Guides. The charity has a regular income to enable it to support the charitable grants; for full details contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Exciting talks and presentations
Members and guests have also been treated to a number of interesting talks – from hearing about a breath-taking trek near the Himalayas to a recent talk by Chris Holland, Dean of the new Kent and Medway Medical School. The School will have its first intake of students in 2020. We were impressed with the innovative way in which students will be taught and the plans to widen participation so that those who might not normally consider a career in medicine do so. The School should be really beneficial to our community.
We also held a Valentine’s Dinner in February with poems and anecdotes for members and guests – and were delighted to mark the 70th Wedding Anniversary of one of our members and her husband!
Recycling and upcycling
We are not only about raising money and distributing it locally and overseas. Many hours are devoted to collecting items which are no longer required and passing them on to organisations which can make good use of them. This is a win-win for the environment and the beneficiaries … and prevents items going to landfill! For example, following the recent death of Past President (1981 to 1982) Oliver Davies at the wonderful age of 96, we were asked to help his family recycle items from his home. Rotarian Bob Anderson made several visits to the house and various charities will benefit as a result. Oliver’s nephew also kindly donated some of Oliver's Rotary memorabilia, which will go in to our archives...great local social history!
Some of the items we collect include:
- used postage stamps for the Pilgrims Hospice
- spectacles for Africa (via Canterbury Lions Club)
- foreign coins for the RNLI
- old tools...refurbished by Tools for Self Reliance and used to train tradespeople in Africa to earn a living (a local workshop is the only one in Kent for this charity)
- garden tools, power tools, bicycles, sewing machines and dressmaking equipment and material for Operation Sunshine and Tools for Self Reliance
- disabled equipment for Disabled Equipment Sent Overseas for Ghana
- can ring pulls for the Purple Community Fund, that turns them into handbags
- green milk bottle tops – which are converted in to Wellington boots!
So do contact us via our web site if you have items such as the above or you want to find out more about us. We welcome enquiries from men and women that would like to join us and be part of something very fulfilling. You can also read our news and details of some of the activities mentioned above on our web site, our facebook page or twitter feed.
Web site: http://www.rotarycanterbury.org.uk
facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rotarycanterbury
twitter (@RotaryCantUK): https://twitter.com/RotaryCantUK
For the local Community Ad archive, click here. See issue 23, pg 14 for our latest article.