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 Tuesday 12 May, 2015, 49 brave souls abseiled the 320 foot Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, and collectively raised in excess of £25,000 for The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home (QAHH).  Among them were two members of West Worthing Rotary Club, Jeremy Flaskett and Richard ‘Duffy’ Duffield, who raised £2,000 between them towards that sum.

West Worthing Rotary Club are enthusiastic supporters of the Queen Alexandra Hospital Home, which currently is the only hospital home south of London, which provides specialist nursing care for ex-servicemen and women.  QAHH provides residential and respite care for ex-servicemen and women who require nursing care and rehabilitation. The hospital enables residents to live as independently and as actively as possible in an environment that they can think of as their home.

As well as supporting such fund raising events, members of the West Worthing Rotary Club have a regular date when they join residents of the Hospital for a friendly darts match.

For both of the Rotary participants the abseil was a brave gesture.    ‘Duffy’ is still recovering from a recent stroke and when asked how scary it was, he replied,  “Not really, my stroke has left me with only 12 foot of vision, so I could not see the bottom!     It was a fantastic day, and the abseil was so much fun! It was an honour to abseil with those who were raising funds for disabled veterans and their families.”

Jeremy Flasket, who was joined by his son Alex, an officer in the RAF, said  “ I am told it is the highest single abseil in UK!  It certainly felt like it. But what an experience!  Absolutely loved it, but I am sure I would not rush to do it again.”

For Jeremy it was a double celebration having just reached his 70th birthday.  He has also undertaken sky dives to raise money for the QAHH and plans another next year.

Both the Rotary abseilers wanted their thanks passed on to all those who supported and sponsored them.

Event ambassador and rugby hero, Ben Kay, MBE, also took part in the descent of the mighty 320ft tower, along with 19 members of staff from the event sponsor, Southern Water.    The abseil is one of many challenge events organised by QAHH in order to raise the vital funds necessary to offer residents nursing care, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy.
David Langley, President of West Worthing Rotary Club said,  “We should never forget the contribution and sacrifices that the men and women serving in our armed services make in preserving the peace and freedom we enjoy.  The Club feels it is fortunate to have the Queen Alexandra Hospital Home close by in Worthing so that we can make our appreciation felt.”
For those who would like to know more about the Hospital, there is a Summer Open Day, with fun for all the family, including market stalls, live entertainment, children’s entertainment, military vehicles and memorabilia on display, and representatives from H.M. Armed Forces in attendance, with military displays.  Refreshments are also available.  The Open Day is on Saturday 11 July from 1.30pm – 4pm with a modest entry fee of £2 (under 16s free).  For more information, contact Hollie Lucas on 01903 218444 or email: fundraising@qahh.org.uk

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.

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.

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