District Governor’s Blog

Rotary is actively involved in helping people affected by war in Ukraine Ukraine Update March 2022


Pride of Somerset Youth Awards 2022

2022 marks the 15th anniversary of the Pride of Somerset Youth Awards. The awards are organised by BBC Somerset, the Rotary Club of Taunton and Somerset Day and hosted by Bridgwater & Taunton College with the support of the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, YMCA Dulverton Group and Young Somerset.

This year’s ceremony will take place at the Conference Centre at Bridgwater &Taunton College in Taunton on Somerset Day, 11th May and will be hosted by BBC Somerset presenters Claire Carter and Simon Parkin.

Entries must be submitted by Friday 8th April. Nominees must live in Somerset and be under the age of 20 on 10th May 2022.

To nominate a young person please send their full name, age, school/college (where appropriate), postal address, and contact phone number(s), along with a maximum of 200 words detailing their accomplishments to explain why they deserve a Pride of Somerset Youth Award. Please include your own name and contact details. Applications can be sent to somerset@bbc.co.uk putting ‘PoSYA’ in the subject heading. Nominations may also be posted to BBC Somerset Winchester House, Deane Gate Avenue, Taunton TAI 2UH.


RYLA took place at the end of February at the Dartmoor Training Centre. 24 Young People attended, representing the following Clubs: Bath, Bathavon, Bridport, Brit Valley, Burnham-on-Sea, Chelwood Bridge, Chippenham, Frome Selwood, Ilminster, Mendip, Midsomer Norton & Radstock, Sherborne Castles, Taunton and Weston-super-Mare. The Course started one day later than planned, owing to a power outage caused by Storm Eunice. 

On behalf of the District, I would like to formally congratulate John Mander, who has run RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) for almost the past decade. Hundreds of youngsters have benefitted (some have even got married, having met on RYLA).

Thanks too to Jack Russell, of Jack Russell Training, who has been running RYLA courses in our District for about 20 years. Jack has announced his retirement from RYLA in our District. Both John and Jack have been role models for hundreds of youngsters and I wish them the very best for the future.

Welcome to Joe Swindell, who has kindly agreed to take on the lead role for RYLA in our District.

Young Musician District Final

Alan Reeve and Roger Burdock organised a very successful Young Musician programme in our District. I was privileged to attend the District Final today at The Kings of Wessex Academy in Cheddar. 12 Young Musicians played instruments and sang to an exceptionally high standard. I have no doubt that some will find even greater musical success in the future. The repertoire included Nocturne in E Flat Major by Chopin, Life on Mars by David Bowie (who I learnt (today) had been the first person to write lyrics in English to the tune Comme d’habitude, which went on to eventually be translated into My Way, as sung by Frank Sinatra) and Scarborough Fair, as sung by Art Garfunkel.

The music was of an exceptionally high standard. I would have happily paid for a ticket to have heard the contestants in Wigmore Hall. The winners and runners up shall attend the Regional Final in Truro on 15th May.


Bridgwater Rotary: April 3rd

President Lyndon Brett of Bridgwater Rotary has been offered a large lorry, warehouse, Diesel and Drivers by Rotaro Group, RT Keedwell and Western Fuel. Working in conjunction with the International Rotary Fellowship of Healthcare Professionalsmedical equipment (requested by medical professionals in Ukraine) is being sent to Ukraine from clubs in Rotary GB&I. The lorry is due to leave Somerset on Sunday 3rd April.


Wellington Rotary: April 9th

Wellington Rotary is working across District ‘boundaries’ with Tiverton Rotary, and Uffculme School along with the Tiverton Town Band (with which President Mike Fowler of Wellington Rotary plays E flat Bass) to put on a Brass Band concert in aid of supporting people affected by the war in Ukraine. Contact: Mike Fowler.

Langport and Somerton Rotary: May 7th (19.00-midnight)

Charity Bash featuring Rod Stewart Tribute Band, Hog Roast (Veggie and Gluten Free Options available). Tickets from Joy Bailey £30.

District 1200 in the Media

Julie O’Donnell has written an article, which is mentioned on the Cover Page of  this month’s ‘Somerset Life’ about our District’s response to the Covid pandemic.

Two pages are devoted to the article.

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