Welcome to the website of Rotary International District 1250
You will find a wealth of information in our website pages about Rotary in many parts of Surrey and Sussex, starting with latest club news in the slide show below. To read more of these stories, simply click on the Title or the Read More link.
Below that are a number of Rotary videos. Click on any of the thumbnails to select a video and then on the Play symbol to watch the video
Worthing Steyne Rotary Members had an opportunity to learn more about Shoreham Fort on a recent visit. It is probably one of the least known and yet unique historic treasures of our area that would have continued it’s steady decay if not for the work of the Friends of Shoreham Fort led by Gary Baines. It is a place of local and national historical importance, bursting with a wealth of military history that the Friends are gradually revealing.
Commissioned by Lord Palmerston, the Prime Minister at the time of the Napoleonic Wars, Shoreham Fort was one of many fortifications and gun batteries built along the coast of Southern England. It was completed in 1857 to counter a threatened invasion by the French. Shoreham Fort is the only one of two forts that survived in anything like its original form. The fortifications were known as ‘Palmerston's Follies’ and never fired a shot in anger. However, there is sufficient evidence that they served their purpose in deterring the infamous Bonaparte from launching any attack against our island.
The Shoreham Fort was of an experimental design and on which the other forts were based. It was in the shape of a ‘lunette’, a half moon with earthen ramparts on which guns were mounted. It was decommissioned in 1906 when it was then used as a studio location at the beginnings of the film industry. It also came back into use in the Second World War to defend Shoreham Harbour. It played its part in the filming of ‘Battle of the V1 in 1957. Thereafter fell into disuse and was allowed to decay. Areas of the Fort were demolished for safety reasons in 1959.
In 1994 four keen runners and the wife of one of them decided to organise a 10K race along the sea front. The first one attracted 340 runners. Little did they know that their baby was to grow into a giant. Twenty years on, this is still going strong and has long been the biggest annual sporting event in Bognor Regis. Rotarians Ken Dean and Terry and Eileen Farndell are still involved heavily in the organisation. No sooner has one event finished than work starts on running the next one. It needs over 80 volunteer marshals to man the route, to keep runners safe from passing cars. Numerous battles with bureaucracy have been overcome, sponsors have come and gone – but the event is always a huge community service venture, benefiting the general public as spectators and the runners who come from far and wide to take part.
Young local sporting talent has once again been recognised by the Caterham Rotary Club. The annual Rotary Sporting Excellence Award ceremony was held recently at the Surrey National Golf Club. Outright winner was 15-year-old Sam Talbot a pupil at Caterham School. He received a certificate and a cheque for £250 from Caterham Rotary President Claude Bertin and is using the money to purchase a new pair of specialist sprint spikes, which will have been in action for the first time last weekend in a national decathlon competition.
Jeremy Flasket of West Worthing club took a brave jump out of a plane last month to raise money for a great cause.
We asked him what inspired him to take the leap that some of us just do not have the courage to do. He was playing darts with the Rotary at The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home, which provides residential and respite care for ex-servicemen and women or require care and rehabilitation, and noticed there was a sponsored skydive on the notice board to raise money for the hospital.
The Durrington High School Interact club is a Rotary International’s service club for young people ages 12 to 18.
The aim of the club is to provide great opportunities for the development of personal skills, such as decision making, teamwork, and the boosting of self-confidence, whilst at the same time having fun. Interact Clubs are run by their members, who decide what activities they want to be involved with, and how they would like the club to help their communities.
Having weekly meetings every Tuesday, they held their first fund raising event on Saturday 19th July. They organised various stalls at the school’s July Car Boot Sale. Despite the weather, they had still managed to raise £97.87 profit. Not a bad start considering.
They had then organised a cake sale at school raising £164.85 in total. The interact club are donating £100.00 of this money to Winston’s Wish (the charity for bereaved children), so all for a good cause.
To be able to inspire and encourage young people to raise money for charity is a wonderful opportunity. Not only do they raise the money but they are also building up their confidence and relationships with people, helping them to succeed in life later on.
On Sunday 10th August, the fourth Seahaven Para Games were held at the Downs Leisure Centre in Seaford. Twenty eight participants took part in Kurling in the morning then, after lunch, there was a new event, Archery, which was very popular, alongside Table Tennis and Bowls (held in a separate room from the Archery for fairly obvious reasons!).
The afternoon concluded with the now famous Wheelchair Slalom, which was followed by the presentation of certificates and medals to all the participants by our President Ray Hazan, Seaford Mayor Mark Brown, Angus Murray from Sainsbury’s and visiting paralympian, Adam Field.
In April RIBI President, Nan McCreadie, wrote to District Governors announcing that to celebrate the 100th year of RIBI they were inaugurating awards for 'Champions of Change' and requested nominations for those Rotarians who had made a difference either in the UK or Internationally.
Tony Priestley, President of Billingshurst and District Rotary Club, had no hesitation in recommending Stuart Pullen for this award, and 1250 District Governor, Mike Goodridge MBE, was pleased to put the nomination forward. They were looking for nominees who exemplified the Rotary Motto, ‘Service above Self’.
This year the three candidates chosen by the Rotary Club of Seaford for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award course (RYLA), held at High Ashurst Outdoor Activity Centre in Dorking, were (left to right in photo) Marianne Best, Florence Hardy and Ella Edwards.
The girls were chosen for their contribution to our community. Marianne Best has been a radio presenter at Seahaven FM for 4 years and presents her Evening show from 5 – 7pm every Sunday. Florence Hardy was part of the Girl Guides and recently went on a trip to Peru, sponsored by The Seaford Rotary Club, to help disabled children there. Ella Edwards has been volunteering at Seaford Lifeguards for 4 years and helps organise events as well as regularly lifeguarding our local beaches.
Before going on the RYLA course in April we were all quite nervous but had high expectations of what our week would entail, such as developing good leadership skills that are crucial for later life, gaining exposure to challenging new sports such as Kayaking and Rock Climbing and also being able to tactfully solve problems.
We each took a self-evaluation called ‘Belbin’ that would be used when we arrived at High Ashurst to split us into appropriate teams according to our different strengths. Although the three of us were put into different teams, we shared a room and enjoyed sharing stories of the day’s activities with each other in the evening.
The week’s daytime activities consisted of a low-rope and high-rope course, raft-building and race, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, abseiling and the highlight at the end being a day of orienteering followed by a 10km hike. During our hike each team navigated their way up Box Hill, climbing 398 steps exactly, it was a challenge because we were left to our own devices and had to rely on each other in our teams to find our way back safely. Unfortunately on the hike Florence’s team got lost and managed to reach the same place three times, making it a 13km hike instead!
One of the hardest group challenges was the raft-building at Thames Young Mariners. We had to plan and then build a raft using ropes and barrels. The aim was to stay afloat whilst paddling a timed lap of a marked-out course. Marianne’s team didn’t quite get the hang of it as upon entering the lake, the raft capsized and there were rope and barrels floating in all directions!
The evening activities were a great way to socialise with all the RYLA candidates. There was a quiz, disco and also a trip to the London Palladium to see a show which was a well-kept secret until we got to the theatre. It turned out to be Harry Hill’s ‘I Can’t Sing’ – a funny take on ‘The X Factor’ – we all enjoyed the show and the evening dinner party that occurred beforehand at High Ashurst.
The finale of the fantastic week was the Gala Dinner; an evening with canapés, group presentations, awards, lots of photos and almost as many tears too! The whole evening was left down to us which was a real challenge as it wasn’t just within our teams we were working, it was all the RYLA candidates. Although the initial planning of the evening did get very noisy - with lots of ideas being said all at once - we delegated suitable roles to everyone and, in the short time of five hours we had to organise a whole evening, everything went according to plan and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
There is no doubt that it was a full-on week, with stressful and challenging activities, but we all agree that it helped us grow and equipped us with vital team skills, not only for a career in later life, but for everyday life too. For me personally, I have never pushed myself quite as much as I did during this week and it was quite extraordinary in doing so how much I got back from this experience. Above all our confidence grew tremendously whilst on this trip and it really is such a worthwhile experience. We’ve made many friends and have been keeping in touch – already we have had a couple of ‘RYLA reunions’! Without the sponsorship of the Rotary Club of Seaford and the help from Peter Posgate and Ray Richardson, we couldn’t have gone on RYLA and are all incredibly grateful to them – we cannot thank you enough!