District 1250

The Website for Rotary Clubs in West Sussex and Parts of Surrey & East Sussex

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

The Rotary Young Chef Competition Regional Final hosted by District 1250 was held at Westminster Kingsway College in the heart of London on Saturday 21st March 2015. Two entrants came from each of 1090, 1120, 1140 and 1250 Districts.

Eight very talented young chefs from Senlac, Gravesend and Meopham, West Grinstead Meridian, Ruislip ad Northwood,  Banbury, Farnborough,  Horsham and Morden arrived in good time and in good spirits.  They were amazingly cool and calm when it was discovered that the prestigious kitchen and Escoffier Room were after all unavailable due to a water leak through the ceiling the previous evening.  Fortunately, Christopher Basten, one of the Judges, lectures at the College and found us another kitchen, albeit with an interesting walk from there to the display are and supporters’ room !

The Judges were equally talented and experienced – the aforesaid Christopher Basten, who is also  National Chairman of the Craft Guild of Chefs,   Tony Tobin from  BBC TV’s Ready Steady Cook  and the Dining Room in Reigate,   and Stuart Williams who is Operations Manager for Thomas Franks, contract caterers with a great reputation for using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
Everyone finished on time and the food cooked was amazingly good. The Judges had a very difficult task deciding who should go through to the National Final and all entrants were sincerely complimented on the standard they had achieved and urged to have another try next year.

Runner up was  Christina Welz , age 16 who attends Banbury College in District 1090. She served :
Cashew nut crusted Goat’s Cheese with black pudding, and a root vegetable, butter bean and chorizo salad;  Roasted Monk Fish wrapped in pancetta served with risotto Milanaise, charred baby leek, broccoli and tomato consommé;  and Chocolate Mousse with mandarin, raspberry and almond granola, served with vanilla bean cream.

The Winner and competing in the National Final was Lewis Wilson, age 15 from The Forest School in Horsham in District 1250. He prepared and served:
Seared Mackerel served with pickled and charred fennel and a blackberry dressin;  Roasted breast of Gressingham Duck served with wild mushrooms, asparagus and quinoa;  and Apple Tart Tatin served with poached rhubarb and elderflower cream.

The National Final was held on Saturday 25th April at the Coleg Cambria, Deeside in North Wales.  The fantastic news is that Lewis Wilson, cooking nearly the same menu as for the Regional Final, won the competition and will be receiving a week’s cookery course in Tuscany, courtesy of Filippo Berio, and a cash prize as well as the trophy.  Well done Lewis.
What a super finale for District 1250 who have put forward the entrant who has become the National Winner, each year for the last three years.  What a challenge for the new District 1145 to maintain !

Vivien Gillman  District 1250 Young Chef Co-ordinator.

Seaford young musician winner, Hambel Goodchild, recently came along to the Rotary Club of Seaford’s lunch to play her flute and to tell us about her selection to take part in the next Commonwealth Resounds project where a team of young musicians from the UK will visit Malta in November 2015 to run workshops with underprivileged children who are interested in learning how to play an instrument. They will also be performing to them and letting them experiment with their instruments and teaching them the basics of music with the aim to bring some happiness, enjoyment and interest to their lives.

The Rotary Club of Seaford has agreed to help her to put on a concert in the summer to raise funds for her to take part in this most worthwhile project. Club President Ray Hazan said “we are delighted to have the opportunity to support Hambel in this way, and we wish her every success for the future”.

Hambel was the winner of the Seaford Rotary Young Musician of the Year competition in 2013, and she now attends the Purcell School of Music. She is a very accomplished flautist and pianist and she is very proud to have been selected for the Commonwealth Resounds project.

Paul Gregory, group leader, inspecting the new extension with Claude Bertin Caterham Rotary PresidentThe Men in Sheds project, which is run from The Douglas Brunton Centre, Caterham on the Hill, is now entering its 3rd year and is going from strength to strength. They are a small band of loyal hard working retired men who have, and still are, producing a range of wooden products to sell or make bespoke for a variety of clients. This included local Hillcroft School.

Recently the school secured some funding for a conservation project and Men in Sheds were asked to make bat boxes, insect “hotels”, notice boards for laminated information sheets and bug boxes. They also hosted visits from groups of the children to show them how the items were being made.

However, it had become evident as the months progressed that the project needed a purpose made canopy “extension” to the front of their shed in order to provide more cover for outside work including the use the electric power saws and sanders. The main problem was to raise sufficient funds for the financing of the materials.

Their leader Paul Gregory decided to approach Caterham Rotary Club who had helped originally to fund the purchase of electric tools for the project. As a result, we were delighted to grant them £500.

The plight of youngsters on some tea plantations in Sri Lanka was highlighted in a talk given recently by Rotarian Tim Pare to the Rotary Club of Seaford.

Behind the picture postcards of smiling young women plucking tea, there is a hidden story of entrenched hardship and hopelessness, of personal, civil and humanitarian rights abuse, and of on-going health issues – both physiological and psychological.  Tea Leaf Vision (TLV) is a vocational education centre that provides free, full-time education for young people of every culture and religion in Maskeliya, Sri Lanka. It provides an effective means of lifting young people out of almost impossible conditions.

Yadharshini Selvaraj, Principal at the TLV Centre for Professional Development, leads the wide-ranging programme. Prior to this role, she was Head of Grammar and Speech at the Centre. She is also a fully qualified counsellor and holds TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and TKT (Teacher Knowledge Test) qualifications.

A knowledge of English is low to non-existent in tea plantations and Miss Selvaraj has developed lessons that the youth of these communities can engage with, understand and use when starting employment.

The Tea Leaf Trust was formed in 2008 after Tim Pare and Yasmene Shah made a honeymoon trip to Sri Lanka. Their experiences induced them to leave the UK and move to Sri Lanka to provide vocational education to the youngsters from Tea Estate communities. In 2010, they established the TLV Centre in Maskeliya – one of the poorest tea plantation areas in Sri Lanka.

In five years, TLV has seen:
•         688 students graduate from the full time diploma;
•         1,061 students graduate from the Basic English Programme;
•         6,813 children aged 7-12 benefit from the Community English Programme;
•         8,795 children aged from 5-16 benefit from the holiday activities programme; and
•         24,915 community members benefit from TLV ‘service projects’.

The age group that TLV targets is 18-24. Not only are these young people taught English, the programmes help students to realise their potential and get stable, salaried employment away from the poorly paid and often back-breaking manual labour of the tea plantations.

Additionally, students are given support for living in the midst of complex societal issues, such as sexual abuse and violence. Special activities also encourage students to develop self-confidence, knowledge of peace-building and a means of achieving ethnic cohesion.

We helped to host this 1940s Big Band night with other partners. Many came in dress of the period and a good time was had by all. Profits will go to Lodge Hill Trust.

The 40’s Big Band Night was a collaboration with “Jazz in the Village” which runs monthly jazz nights locally and has a good data base of supporters: also with the Riverside Caravan Park which donated the venue as it was the first evening of their opening season.

We also invited members of a nearby Lindy Hop Club and they gave several demonstrations of the genre which apparently was the forerunner of the jive. The “Big Band” was formed of professionals, I believe from London, and they were excellent. It was done as a celebration of 50 years after the end of WW2 (1945) and lots of folk came in the dress of the period. Because it was a 3-way marketing exercise, the surplus will be donated to Lodge Hill Trust, which is a local charity providing outdoor activities for youngsters. It was a fun night.

Maureen Mwagale set up and visits three to four times a year, a charity which helps disadvantaged women to learn new skills in order to stop them using their babies and toddlers to beg on the streets of Kampala. Maureen is a major fund-raiser and this month is doing a sky-dive to raise funds.  Now Maureen has received a special award at the House of Lords for her commitment to Rotary and community work.

Hospital administrator, Mrs Mwagale was among 12 previously unsung Rotarian heroes who were honoured by some of Britain’s top politicians in Whitehall last week.  Presenting the Rotary Great Britain and Ireland (RGBI) Champions of Change Awards, was host for the evening the Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, the Rt Hon Lord Wallace of Tankerness.  He described Rotary as “a great movement” and said he had been very humbled to see the achievements of the 12 Awardees.

Last week saw the launch of an Interact Club at Steyning Grammar School. The Club is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Steyning & Henfield. It provides an opportunity for 12 to 18 year students to develop their leadership skills, engage in volunteering opportunities, make new friends whilst promoting community and international projects.

After a meal at the Boarding House the Club President Johanne (Jo) Toth-Mouritzen spoke about their fundraising activities to date which had included supporting Movember, the moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men's health; a Valentine message delivery service and a Giant Sale of doughnuts. She commented on her involvement saying ‘my involvement has meant that I feel part of a big family of similar minded people with the aim helping the community at large’.

The District Governor Doug Price then presented the Club with their Charter and inducted the ten individual members into Interact and congratulated their President and members on their successful and varied programme. He welcomed them to the worldwide family of Rotary and said it was evident that they were already enjoying the aims of Rotary which embraced fun, fellowship and fundraising.

Also present was Greg Wilson, the Rotary link for the Warwick School Interact Club in Redhill who warmly welcomed the Founder members into the Rotary movement and urged them to be bold in their ventures.

Steyning and Henfield Rotary Club President Tom Nutley said ‘I am delighted that the strong links we have enjoyed with the school over many years through Rotary Youth Leadership Awards and Young Chef Competitions have led to this opportunity for students to become part of Rotary. Our Club will always be there to offer support and guidance to your members’.

The Head Teacher, Nick Wergan, linked the many facets of Rotary with the ethos of the school: being part of a large family; getting involved with the local community; being outward looking and outward facing. The membership of the group contained both day and boarding students from both this country and overseas which reflected the mix with the school. He was proud that the four key characteristics which the school wished students to develop of grit, optimism, curiosity and zest had been displayed by all those who supported this new venture.

These comments were also echoed by Tom Leighton, Deputy Director of Boarding. Sally Randall, Head of the Sixth Form College was also there in support .The Sixth Form College continue to be very grateful to the local Rotarians of both the Steyning and Henfield together with the Storrington and Pulborough Clubs for their annual sponsorship of four sixth formers on the Rotary Youth Leader Award scheme.

Jo thanked everyone for such a splendid launch and for all the help she had received from everyone in Rotary and at the school in forming the Club. She outlined the programme being discussed which includes: an Easter Egg Hunt at the Steyning Primary School; an outdoors charity concert in the boarding house, where students will perform and refreshments offered and possibly a Charity Gala.

The Rotary Club of Bognor Regis continues to support the club and President Elect of the Rotary Club of Bognor Regis, Neil Holloway, recently presented a cheque for £1,600 to Dave Larner, chief Boxing Coach at VK Gym in Durban Road.
This was a half share of the money raised at the annual Charity Sporting Night Dinner held at Butlins on November 27th.
2014 was the thirty-first year that this annual event has been held and the thirteenth time it has been organized by the Rotary Club of Bognor Regis.
This dinner is a prestigious black tie occasion, which combines a quality meal with an equally high quality amateur boxing tournament of more than a dozen bouts, with clubs coming from as far afield as London. Also included in the evening is a charity auction.
If you would like to support this charity event in November 2015, either as a diner or a donor to the charity auction, please contact Peter Stemp on  peterstemp@talktalk.net or 01243 866139.

Come to Sao Paulo

RI Convention
6th to 9th June 2015

Come to Bournemouth

Come to Bournemouth

District 1145 Conference
2nd to 4th October 2015