An invitation to a fun event on Zoom

Welcome to Wrington Vale RC

Rotarians throughout District 1200 and beyond are invited to 

‘Masters of Mirth’

Wednesday 2nd December at 19.00 for 19.30

Rtn Mike Storr, Rotary Club of Carlton (Nottingham) will share

An affectionate look at some of my favourite
Music Hall laughter makers

How Music Hall began:
My favourite characters – Robb Wilton, Stanley Holloway, Bernard Miles to name but a few, 
Examples of their acts including their famous monologues

I have given this ‘Masters of Mirth’ humorous presentation to over 450 Rotary, W.I. Probus & U3A Clubs, within a radius of 50 milesfrom my home in Nottingham…..

And now, via the magic of ZOOM, far beyond!

I take no fee or expenses, but if you consider it to be worthy of a donation,
my chosen charity is Asthma UK.

To register for Zoom Attendance on Wednesday 2nd December, email Wrington Vale Rotary Club:  President Roger Vincent;

From Robert Norris :: Sleaford U3A
“On behalf of the Sleaford U3A committee, I would like to convey our thanks for your most interesting and entertaining talk. Everyone enjoyed it immensely and I can’t remember when I have received so many positive comments for a speaker.

I will be contacting you again soon to book  ‘The Sequel’

From Malcolm Hastings : Speaker Secretary : Nuneaton & Bedworth Probus Club
“Just a brief note of thanks for the pleasure you gave us all on your recent visit.  I think I can say with some confidence that you provided the most entertaining, original and amusing talk we have had in a very long time

This presentation makes an ideal opportunity to invite partners and prospective members to attend.

Pictures for a Purpose

The Midsomer Norton & Radstock Rotary Club is focused on bettering our community. However, COVID-19 has made things very challenging particularly with fundraising efforts. Since the pandemic hit fundraising events have been cancelled, which included an Annual Charity Golf Day, Race Night, and Charity Concert, just to name a few.

Midsomer Norton High Street, Winter, 2009. Photograph by Chris Burch,
Somerset Photographer

Needless to say, the club frequently receive appeals for help from individuals throughout the community as well as local charities they have assisted in the past. 

The pandemic has certainly changed lives and some have been affected more than others. Somerset Photographer, Chris Burch, lost the majority of her photo shoots, many of which were wedding bookings but she’s hopeful 2021 will rebound for her. While it’s been a tough year for Chris, when the Rotary Club approached her for the use of two photos she took of Midsomer Norton High Street in the winter of 2009, she didn’t hesitate to consent, expressing “I sincerely hope the prints manage to raise funds for you.”

Rotarian, Lorraine Sloan and Somerset Photographer, Chris Burch

Club President, Nick Candy, said, “Our Rotary Club is thrilled that Chris has permitted us to use these two terrific photos and we hope that our community will support our mission and back us in implementing our programmes and initiatives. One of the photos has been enlarged, framed and accent mounted and is available through auction at or details can be found via the club’s Facebook page 
Both photos were also printed as Christmas cards and have been so popular they sold out almost immediately.

Photo images into Christmas Cards

Act Your Age

Although Midsomer Norton & Radstock Rotarian, Martin Carter had not ventured out on his bicycle in weeks and not ridden more than 30 miles for over 5 years, he decided to take on the Children in Need “Act Your Age” challenge and cycle around his village of Leigh on Mendip for 21 challenging laps while adorning his Pudsey suit and bandana.

BBC Children in Need is currently supporting over 3,900 local charities and projects in communities across the UK that are helping children and young people facing a range of disadvantages such as living in poverty, being disabled or ill, or experiencing distress, neglect or trauma.

It also launched a number of dedicated Covid-19 response programmes to support local charities and projects across the UK who are providing essential help to children and young people during the current crisis.

Martin successfully completed the 63 miles but admitted he was definitely wobbling the last couple of laps and was ready for a good soak in the tub. To date he has marvellously raised over £1000! To contribute to Martin’s Children in Need JustGiving page, please visit:

Reverent Remembrance

With the cancellation of this year’s Remembrance parade the Rotary Club of Midsomer Norton & Radstock paid tribute by laying a wreath at the Midsomer Norton Cenotaph the day before the national lockdown commenced.

The wreath was laid by Club President, Nick Candy, who was accompanied by fellow Rotarians, Roger Meadows and Martin Carter.

The club also sponsored two poppy sprays for the dressing of graves. The Royal British Legion allocated these to the following two graves in the Midsomer Norton Cemetery:

Cpl. C. F. Smith, Somerset Light Infantry and Gnr. R. A. Kingman, Royal Artillery.

Due to many fundraising events for the Royal British Legion being cancelled, including collecting for the poppy appeal, an occasion the club involves itself in every year, a donation of £500 was made for which Alison Wilson, Poppy Appeal Organiser for the Midsomer Norton Branch of The Royal British Legion expressed her gratitude.

Flower Arranging for Amateurs

Learn how to make a table decoration and hand-tied posy that would grace any home

Yeovil Rotary are holding this event on Zoom on 20th November 2020 at 2.30pm.

All profits will got towards this year’s local Rotary-supported charities.

Young People’s Trust for the Environment

Homeless and Vulnerable Outreach Network 

Happy to chat Benches

DG Blog 9th November 2020

The Colour Purple

I was saddened to learn of a return to even harsher restrictions which are with us for November, but at least just before this second lockdown we were able to celebrate World Polio Day.

Like many of you, I spent the morning on my hands and knees pushing crocus bulbs into holes dug by my Rotary colleague Terry Rowcliffe. The photograph made the Somerset County Gazette and there was other publicity gained for Rotary re polio including a slot on BBC Radio Somerset for AG Bruce Bailey. I cannot stress enough the importance of improving public awareness of the great things we do in order to grow Rotary, and allow others to share the same experiences that we have had in being part of our great organisation. 

 Rotary Global Hub

There is a new initiative to grow Rotary called Gobal Hub. It’s designed to take account of our changing world, and indeed our changing Rotary world, and to complement our existing traditional club format. I’d urge you to register for the 3-district presentation on the Hub by our General Secretary Amanda Watkin taking place this Thursday 12th. The link is set out below.

 You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Nov 12, 2020 07:00 PM London

Register in advance for this meeting:

However, I realise that membership retention is just as challenging as growing Rotary in these difficult times so click here for a list of potential activities/ideas that clubs around the country have been employing to keep their meetings stimulated. Why not try something different?

 On the matter of stimulating club meetings, there is a growing list of speakers on the public pages of our district website which also includes a link to a similar list on the RGBI website.

District Conference – in pursuit of the positives

On the matter of our already-postponed District Conference, I’m sure you will not be surprised to hear that we have had to abandon our plans for the event at Taunton School. Even if we happen to be outside a lockdown period by our planned date next year, we are doubtful that many will have the appetite to be at large gatherings, or indeed it may not be permitted. I am gutted, because the conference committee had put so much time and effort into crafting an event that was innovative and different. Well, it’s certainly going to be that now!

As with most other events of any kind, our conference will now be delivered to you in the virtual world.  However, in the spirit of looking for positives at the moment, there could be some unexpected advantages to this – more of you across the district should be able to attend; you’ll have a ‘pick n mix’ of sessions from which to choose; and as we still hope to focus on recruitment to Rotary and showcase our work, it should be easier for your non-Rotarian friends and family to dip into Rotary life for a day via the conference. So – more on this as soon as we firm up some details.

Stay safe

‘Stay safe’ has become a new norm in our signing-off now, hasn’t it? Naturally, I am urging you all to please keep safe during these difficult times. Incidentally, I have had some PPE given to me – including face masks and overalls.

Happy to post it out to any clubs which feel they can make use of it – perhaps for homeless people, or volunteers on projects (a charity helping homeless people and the YMCA have already benefitted from some of the PPE here in my local area.)


Rory O’Donnell

District Governor

Rotary Club of Mendip support World Polio Day

The Club has placed a display in Cheddar Library to highlight World Polio Day 24th October 2020. The Club has been involved in Rotary’s drive to eradicate Polio from the beginning. Rotarian John Lane who was a well known business man in Cheddar was the original treasurer for the Rotary International Britain and Ireland polio initiative, with the monies raised being administred from Cheddar.

Calling all Quizzers – A Virtual Quiz Night for Charity

Calling all Quizzers – A Virtual Quiz Night for Charity

The Rotary Club of Chelwood Bridge are running a Virtual Quiz Night on Thursday 22nd October at 7:30 pm, in aid of Children’s Hospice Southwest, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and other local causes supported by Rotary. This will be held on the cloud-based video conferencing service Zoom. If you love quizzes then get involved for a fun night.
For more information and to register visit:-

DG Blog 28th September 2020

This coming Friday Speak out – on social media

Another opportunity to join in our tripartite meetings – our District in tandem with Districts1100 and 1150.  These have been hugely successful and are ‘must see’s! Previously, we have focused on crowdfunding and building relationships with the press, and the feedback has been extremely positive.

This time, we will focus on social media.  I, for one, know I could improve my skills in this area. Perhaps by the end of my year as DG (which is increasingly looking like it will be conducted virtually in its entirety!) I will be able to claim competence?

Please note that you do need to register in advance – we have to do our best to ensure ‘zoom bombers’ don’t disrupt the meetings. Always delighted to welcome guests to these meetings, but unfortunately people with other than good intentions have been trying to access and disrupt. If only these people used their time and IT skills to better effect!

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Oct 2, 2020 06:30 PM London

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Speak Out at Meetings

Club speakers for Zoom meetings – please share with Penny Underwood details of entertaining speakers of whom you know, so that we can include them on the District website list.

Now more than ever, there is a need – and an opportunity – to engage with a diverse range of speakers for our virtual meetings.

District Forum last Saturday

I’m thrilled to say that this was a successful event with 93 attendees and some powerful content, not least the personal message from Habib Saba, President Rotary Club of Beirut Cosmopolitan.   

Also the vote to release a further tranche of £10,000 from District Reserves to match-fund donations to worthy causes.

One of the main themes of the event was Growing Rotary, and membership chair and DGN Ric Canham presented on different club models and the Rotary Hub – on that subject watch this space.   He also appealed to clubs to share their ideas and experiences with their AGs so that we can pool them and share the best practices with you all.

Rotary supports local causes to the tune of £40,000

As mentioned above, Rotary District 1200 has released another huge £10,000 to local Rotary clubs to support worthy community initiatives.

In spring, individual grants of £250 were being awarded to match-fund club donations to worthy projects which focused on Covid-19 related issues. Consequently nearly £20,000 had gone to help relevant projects in this period.

We realised that, with the ongoing situation affecting our communities and their health and wellbeing, it would be appropriate to keep that vital support for local initiatives going.   

Examples of community initiatives to have benefitted include food banks, family support services, a school making PPE, community response team, carers’ groups, and arts and crafts materials for a homeless hostelry.

So in total, Rotary will have benefited the area to the tune of almost £40,000, and I’m very proud of our ability to support others in need financially, as well as delivering practical help in any instances.

And finally…

I asked for a caption to the photos from the Young Photographer competition.

Thank you, Jackie Henderson, from Yeovil Club, who suggested using Boris Johnson’s mantra of, ‘Hands, Face, Space’. A prize is on its way to you! 


The Rotary Club of Chelwood Bridge helps a local disabled girl.

In March 2016 the Rotary Club of Chelwood Bridge was approached by a family, living in the Chew Valley, with a request for help in the purchase of a specialised walker. Their youngest daughter Edie was born with a rare chromosome abnormality which resulted in her having open heart surgery. She also has learning difficulties, spinal and joint problems, reflux and was nonverbal. For her first 3 years Edie was solely tube fed and during this time suffered four seizures. She was unable to walk for some time but learnt to crawl and eventually pull stand.

Despite all of the above Edie constantly exceeded the expectations of health professionals and was the happiest, joyful, determined little girl you could wish to meet.  The family felt that Edie would greatly benefit from the use of a Hart Walker. This is a telescopically adjustable, young person, walking device that encourage the most natural gait pattern possible. Unfortunately, this walker was not available through the NHS and would have to be funded privately.  The Club unanimously agreed and the walker was purchased in April of 2016.

In September of 2020 the Club received the following from the family:

“The Rotary Club of Chelwood Bridge very kindly helped us purchase a Hart Walker for our disabled daughter and we are sure that is what kept our daughter Edie going on the road of walking independence as the Hart Walker enabled her to get in the rhythm with confidence of putting 1 step in front of the other. Edie is doing very well and is now a confident walker but due to her severe and worsening scoliosis she is starting to get tired more quickly and becomes uncomfortable so her walking stamina has weakened a little bit but her spinal surgeon has said her learning to walk will have had a profound positive effect on slowing the progression of her curvature down.  She remains the happiest, joyful and determined little girl she has always been.”

The Rotary Club of Chelwood Bridge was so pleased to have been given the opportunity to help Edie and we all wish her well, in the certainty that she will continue to amaze us all with her progress.

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