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

On Monday 9th June, 20 teenagers accompanied by their families and friends met in the Clarence Suite of the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel for the Rotary Club of Brighton's annual "Rotary Young Citizen Awards" ceremony. The certificates were presented by the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Mr Peter Field, whose deft approach helped ensure that it was a relaxed and very enjoyable occasion for all. Much credit also goes to Rotarian Lorna Duggleby, who devised the awards criteria and persuaded schools to take part at a busy time for all concerned. Rotarian Alan Pocock also provided invaluable support by producing with very professional certificates and programmes.

The awards were clearly very much appreciated by the recipients, their parents, friends and teachers. Some of the recipients gave short presentations about the activities that had resulted in their nominations and impressed everyone present. The Rotary Club of Brighton, whose motto is "Service above Self", has always been very keen to encourage and recognise young people who devote some of their time to worthwhile causes in the community, and is already planning next year's awards event.

Presenting the Shield and a cash prize to Cradle Hill on behalf of the Rotary Club of Seaford was President Michael LoganFollowing the very successful Safety In Action Week held in May at Newhaven Fort between 23 local Primary Schools in the area, Cradle Hill School was judged the overall winner.

The event is organised by Lewes District Council & Sussex Police and has been supported for many years by The Rotary Club of Seaford.

This year our club gave an addition cash gift to allow the competitors and helpers to wear new high Viz jackets which proved invaluable in identifying the school teams competing as over 800 children took part during the week. Also a new engraved shield was presented, for the first time, to Cradle Hill.

The purpose of the week is to teach children who were aged ten and eleven n teams the basic skills over ten disciplines to remain safe (emergency services were present) and they were scored on what they had learnt.

At the award Ceremony which was held at Cradle School on 23 June, we were privileged to welcome Cllr Tony Nicholson, Chairman of LDC, and acting Head Teacher Julie Foley gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the school.  Thanks are due to PC Carolyn Ross and Tony Still, senior environmental officer, who have organised the event for many years. 

 {loadposition SIA}

The Lily Foundation, a Warlingham based charity which works both to raise awareness of mitochondrial disease and to fund research into the little understood condition has benefitted by £700 raised by students in the Warwick School’s Interact Club.

Most of the funds were raised through a very successful Quiz Night organised by the club members and held recently at the school. Several ingenious money raising activities were held throughout the evening. In addition to Warwick students their families and school staff, many local Rotarians came to support the evening.

The Interact Club at The Warwick School is a schools version of Rotary Clubs and enjoys the mentoring and support of Reigate Rotary Club. First established in 2010, the club members have raised well over £3700 to date which has gone to various charities both in the UK and internationally.

The Quiz Night raised £400 but the students elected to donate a further £300 from club funds so a cheque for a total of £700 was handed over to the charity’s founder, Liz Curtis, by Beulah Berrisford, President of the Warwick School Interact Club.

Receiving the cheque Liz Curtis said: “This fundraising effort is so much appreciated by the charity and we must congratulate and thank the Interact Club for the hard work in raising so much and for the students’ kindness in choosing to support the Lily Foundation. The students really are an inspirational group of young people.”

Photo above shows Liz Curtis from the Lily Foundation receiving the cheque from Beulah Berrisford, President of the Warwick School Interact Club plus (left) Val Bishop from Reigate Rotary Club and also Interactors from the Club.

David Spurrell, District Youth Services Chairman

Richebourg – Rotary Remembers the slaughter of Worthing’s ‘Lambs’
It was at this time of year in 1916 on the last day of June that a generation of Worthing young men died in a terrible battle in France. It was called the Battle of Boar’s Head and was designed to deceive the Germans and to draw their attention away from where the real offensive was to take place, on the Somme.

The Royal Sussex Regiment was called ‘Lowthers Lambs’ after the local MP Claude Lowther who took a leading role in recruitment. Many were from Worthing. They were to provide a diversionary attack on the German lines. 350 died on that day, and over 1000 were wounded. Although casualties were small in numbers compared to the Somme where 420,000 died, it was a much greater loss in proportion to the numbers of soldiers who took part.

Here in Worthing, little was known of the battle until people saw their neighbours receiving the feared telegrams and the curtains being drawn across the front windows.

The battle took place at Richebourg, a large village about an hours drive from Calais. Sited right on the Western Front, all the inhabitants had to flee for their lives and every building was destroyed in the battles that followed. After the war, a remarkable Worthing woman, Ellen Chapman who became Worthing’s first female Mayor, led a fundraising campaign to assist the people of Richebourg in rebuilding their town. Thus began a bond between the two communities which continues to endure to the present day.

Although the link lapsed over the following years, it was rekindled by the West Sussex Living History Group about ten years ago, led by the late John Baines.

The battle is now marked by an annual service of commemoration at the San Vaast Military Cemetery in Richebourg where so many of these young men rest. Each year the West Sussex Living History Group provides a Guard of Honour in original Royal West Sussex Uniforms for a service of remembrance led by the Mayor of Richebourg, Gerard Delahaye.

They were joined by a contingent from Worthing Steyne Rotary Club and relatives of the fallen soldiers, French veteran soldiers and the people of Richebourg. The Rotarians carried with them messages of remembrance and reaffirmations of friendship with the Richebourg community from the people of Worthing, the Worthing Ex Services Association and the Royal British Legion.

The welcome given by the people of Richebourg to the visitors from Worthing and Sussex was exceptional. An impressive programme of events marking the centenary of the start of the First World War had been planned. Every village along the Front that had been destroyed mounted a special exhibition supported by local artists who provided their interpretation of those terrible events. There was a walking tour of key locations in the battle, with villagers providing re-enactments of events and scenes of the time – particularly the poignant rapid evacuation of the town as the battle approached.

Local school children treated the visitors to a concert of song and dance – much of it evoking the 1914 – 18 period. The Richebourg community were most generous in their hospitality and the warmth of their welcome, with food and wine provided in abundance.

Local school children dreassed in the 1914-18 period

Worthing Steyne Rotarian David Chapman said. ‘We cannot fail to appreciate the respect that the people of Richebourg have for the British soldiers who gave their lives in the Battle of Boars Head. Neither can we fault the hospitality extended to us by the people of Richebourg. We take some comfort in this bond between our two communities, which has grown out of the terrible loss of our young men.’

The Mayor of Richebourg, Gerard Delahaye said ‘We know how meaningful this day is for our English friends who have named it ‘The day when Sussex died’ and we will continue to commemorate the courage of these Sussex Soldiers who fought to set France free.

‘This is a special year which is the centenary of the outbreak of World War One and we have organised many activities to mark the event. We are pleased to welcome so many who have come from Worthing to join with us in this act of remembrance.’

Titsey & District Club was represented at the above event on Friday 16 May 2014 by yours truly – for the fourth year in succession. Gail and I were on our boat which was one of 32 boats that took 118 special needs and learning disabled pupils from schools from all over West Sussex out for a day on the water.

We berthed at Chichester Marina on Thursday night and turned up at 0930 hrs prompt to submit our insurance details, receive a briefing and to collect packed lunches 2 very excited 11 year old boys and a carer from the coach park.

Having shown them over the boat we set off at about 1000 hrs, the first challenge to negotiate the marina lock without losing any fenders ropes (or children).

Both lads had been allocated places for the day, one because he had excelled in maths and the other for his high attendance. We taught them how to steer the boat and they delighted both Gail and I in taking part in the event, laughing all the way down harbour to East Head as we engaged in water fights with other vessel, courtesy of “super soakers” (those who take part in the Oxted Pram Race will know what I mean).

While we had lunch at anchor the RNLI inshore lifeboat came to see us together with the air sea rescue helicopter which passed low over our mast.
There was scarcely any wind all day, although we did hoist the sails for a few minutes to show them how it could be done. It was bright and sunny and both boys managed to get slightly sunburned despite sousing them in Factor 50+.

On the way back, as the carer was steering we asked one boy if he had any siblings – he replied brightly but heart rendingly that he “had 3 brothers and 1 sister but they were all normal”. Later we felt we had to stop the other boy from repeatedly apologising as we helped him make small corrections in steering “because my brain doesn’t work very well”. Clearly - and sadly - both lads had repeated exactly what adults had said to others in their presence.

As we saw both children back on to the coach at 1500 hrs both Gail and I felt that we had enjoyed a thoroughly worthwhile day.

Holly Calder (right) presenting the Winners Cup to Emilia (left)The Rotary Club of Godalming held their annual Young Musician of the Year on Wednesday 25th June at the RVW Music Centre, Charterhouse.

Participants, all winners from the Godalming Music Festival, were Callum Champion age 15 (piano) from The Royal Grammar School, William Goddard age 16(flute) from Epsom College and Emilia Pickering age 14 (cello) from Glebelands, Cranleigh. The event was generously sponsored by A.J. Bennewith & Co, Chartered Accountants.

The Adjudicator, Ian Wilson, Head of Woodwind, Eton College & Principal Professor of Recorder, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, listened  to a varied programme  including works from Debussy, Vivaldi and Brahams. He commented on the very high standard of playing and how difficult the decision had been but the first prize went to 14 year old, Emilia Pickering on Cello from Glebelands, Cranleigh.

Last year’s winner, Holly Calder played in the Interval and presented the Winners Cup to Emilia in the presence of the Mayor & Mayoress of Godalming & the President of the Rotary Club of Godalming, David Evans with his wife, Pat.

Plot 6Worthing Borough Council recently invited local bodies to take responsibility for the flower beds along the sea front and Worthing club volunteered to take over the preparation and maintenance of two plots.

75 competitors with their helpers from 7 teams gathered at K2 on Sunday 18th May for the annual District 1250 Disabled Sports day. It was unfortunate that last minute transport problems meant that some 12 competitors could not attend.

The individual games were managed as usual by Rotary clubs ( Boccia – Caterham, Short Mat Bowls – Chichester and Storrington, Table Tennis – Redhill Redstone, Darts – Littlehampton, Stickball – Shoreham & Southwick and Titsey, New Age Kurling – Horsham, Beanbag Targets – Sussex Vale, Bagatelle and Bar Skittles – Cranleigh and Burgess Hill, Quoits - Billingshurst and the new game, Skittles – Worthing Steyne ). Thanks go to Redhill Redstone for the provision of the skittles alley.

Come to Bembridge