Author Archive: Penny

DG’s Blog 9 December 2019


Have you ever wondered what happened to your donations to Foundation? In 2018 the Foundation made 1,306 grants totalling more than $86 million. Why not become a sustaining donor, just £100 a year will continue to support the fantastic work that Rotary does around the world.

Compliance – Ultimate Protection.

Following on from the Compliance session at the Forum, David Welch has written to tell me about Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs). “A CIO is a charity with limited liability, much like a limited company. The result is that if things go really badly and factors ensure that a club has made mistakes which nullify their insurance, Club members keep their houses!” Both the EVAG Satellite and Crewkerne District are set up as CIOs.
There are a number of benefits to be had from becoming a CIO, depending on how your charity is structured. For unincorporated charities, a big motivation for making the change is limited-liability protection. Trustees at unincorporated charities are liable if the charity collapses and might have to cover any losses greater than the charity’s assets. As a CIO, trustees are protected from this outcome. If you would like to know more please contact David Welch or see the attached.

Doncaster Floods.

The local Rotary Clubs are now paying the expenses of Stuart Smith who is continuing to support the local clubs in their efforts. Our District covered the cost of Stuart’s expenses of £2,026 which included the costs of vehicle hire. This amount will be charged against the Flood Reserve.

Hurricane Dorian Recovery Report 6 December.

This Week’s Progress in The Bahamas. Work continues to :

• Continue the operation of the Rotary Water Plant in Grand Bahama including: Daily pumping for distribution across the island to residents, schools, medical facilities, and businesses. The plant is now approaching 230,000 gallons pumped

• Working to install an additional water pumping system to increase pumping capacity.

• Facilitating 24 Hour Access to site.

• Receiving a donated 4WD Truck from the Rotary Club Perine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay to deliver water and supplies across the island.


On Thursday I arrived unexpectedly at Frome Selwood Christmas Dinner. After the initial shock I was made very welcome. It was an enjoyable evening that included entertainment by Angel City 3 who sang songs from the shows.

Best wishes


Environmental Sustainability

I was great to see so many Rotarians bringing their own mugs to the District Forum last Saturday.

Those that did will have noticed that they got more coffee for their £1 and had the satisfaction of knowing that they were reducing the amount of waste from the event.    We are now looking into getting some Rotary branded travel mugs produced so that you can promote Rotary as well as enjoy your coffee.

Club Environmental Sustainability Policy

It is a year since RIBI produced a Club Environmental Sustainability Policy which  contains some guidlines for us all.  Have any clubs in District 1200 adopted this?   The policy has deliberately been kept simple so that even the smallest of Clubs will not have any difficulty in achieving it.

We hear so much about environmental sustainability but what else can we actually do?

I have searched the RIBI site and have found some leaflets which might give some ideas which help to answer this question.

Environment Leaflet

Environment Card 

Other Environmental News from RIBI – November 2019

The Rodney Huggins Environmental Awards recognise Rotary Clubs which are carrying out or supporting projects which are designed to improve the environment and demonstrate sustainability. The closing date this Rotary year is 31st January 2020. Environmental project. The entry form and criteria are on the website –

More information about all RIBI Environmental initiatives can be found on the RotaryGBI website: 

ESRAG – Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group

Do take a look at the ESRAG website:  you can sign up to receive the Newsletters. They are full of interesting articles concerning the Environment and Sustainability.

Penny Underwood
District 1200 Environment Officer 

DG’s Blog 2 December 2019

District Forum.

Just under a hundred turned out for the District Forum at the Bath & West Showground on Saturday.

Council Business. The following were confirmed as Assistant Governors for 2020-21 Jane Gibbs, Bruce Bailey, David Price, Cate Whitewood of Yeo Vale and Mike Hedges of Chelwood Bridge. This leaves two vacancies, so if anyone is interest please contact me or Rory.

There have been no nominations for District Governor Nominee (to be DG in 2022-23). If you think you would like to undertake the role, please contact Rory.

The District Council Representative for 2020-23 was confirmed as Stewart Cursley with Tony Quinn as his alternate.

A vote approved a £1,500 budget for expenses of Stuart Smith of EVAG to support Doncaster Floods. A further vote agreed that the District Team could at their discretion make further payments to support the Doncaster floods from the Flood Reserves.

Awards were presented to the top 3 clubs giving the highest per capita to the Foundation Annual Fund: Frome Selwood ($128.55), Chippenham ($110.13) and Midsomer Norton & Radstock ($97.54). The suggested level is $100 to enable Foundation to continue its work.
Awards were also made to seven clubs that contributed at least $1,500 to End Polio Now: Chelwood Bridge, Glastonbury & Street, Lyme Regis, Minehead, Shepton Mallet, Sherborne Castles, Yeovil

Conference. Rory then told the meeting about the next conference which will be on 3&4 July. Video and more detail from the website

Polio. We showed a very powerful video of Carl Chinnery reading a letter from his mother explaining what happened when he and his brothers contracted polio. The video can be seen here At the Governing Council in Alcester on Sunday the District received a certificate of appreciation for contributing some of our District Designated Funds to End Polio Now.

Doncaster Floods. David Welch explained what EVAG has been doing to support the local Rotary Clubs involved in the Doncaster Floods.




Are your events legal? Rotary GB&I Compliance Office by Kevin Mack gave us an update on what we need to do with respect to Health & Safety, Equality and Safeguarding. He then ran a very well attended breakout session covering Q&A.

Rotary Ride co-ordinator.

The Rotary ride is a Rotary GB&I annual event to raise funds for Prostate Cancer. I would like to hear from anyone who would like to be our District Co-ordinator for next year. Details from

Honolulu Convention.

Best wishes

DG’s Blog 25 November 2019

Technology Tournament.

Friday saw twenty-five teams of four take part in this year’s challenge to design, build and test a Flashing Beacon at Wadham School Crewkerne. This was the tenth year that the Crewkerne club has organised the event with help from Chard, Ilminster and Crewkerne District clubs. Six schools took part. Buckler’s Mead Academy, Yeovil; Holyrood Academy, Chard; Maiden Beech Academy, Crewkerne; Stanchester Academy, Stoke sub Hamdon; Swanmead Community School, Ilminster and Wadham School, Crewkerne. The competition was in three categories, Foundation, won by Bucklers Mead Academy 1, Intermediate, won by Holyrood Academy 5 and Advanced, won by Wadham 5. Everyone enjoyed themselves and there were some innovative solutions!



Stuart Smith, who was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship following his outstanding leadership during the 2014 Somerset floods, has met up with the three Doncaster based Rotary clubs to offer advice and support. I am expecting an update from David Welch at Forum on Saturday.

Yeovil Hospital Breast Care Unit.

Over seventy people enjoyed a curry night at the Mem-Saab restaurant in Yeovil organised by Yeo Vale club. The event raised £830 for the Breast Care Unit.

District Forum this Saturday.

Bath & West Showground will again host our Forum this Saturday. The start time has been pushed back half an hour to give those living further away more time to get there. We have also arranged a new breakout area. Tea and coffee will be served from 9:30 and in line with our desire to minimise single use plastic, please bring your own cup that Inner Wheel will be pleased to fill for you.

Best wishes


No Christmas meal for Frome Town Rotary

Last year, Frome Town Rotary decided to forego their Christmas meal and donate instead to Fair Frome, a local charity which helps alleviate the effects of poverty in Frome.    Rotary members visited Asda in their Christmas jumpers and hats, to donate at least the equivalent cost of their Christmas meal in food.

Frome Town Rotary say, “This year, we will be doing the same and we encourage others to think about doing the same or making a donation for those in need this Christmas.

See the full article in the Frome Times

“It is a small thing we are doing but we know that through the excellent work of Fair Frome, that the food will go to families who need and appreciate something extra at Christmas,” said Karl Waldeck Lee, president of Frome Town Rotary.

DG’s Blog 18 November 2019

Champions Awards.

Do you know an unsung hero worthy of recognition? Volunteers and campaigners go the extra mile, making a difference with the sole purpose of helping others. Nominations are now open for Rotary awards to recognise these amazing individuals
You can find all Rotary awards information, from community service to public image, for more information see . Nomination deadline: Sunday 5th January 2020

UK Floods.

The RIBI Disaster Recovery Trust has re-opened its “UK & Ireland Flood Appeal” in response to the most recent and still expected floods. Donations collected by the trust will help affected communities in the UK and Ireland once the waters have receded. The Trust works with Rotary clubs and their volunteers by providing funds for long term, sustainable projects that will help those communities to fight floods in the future.
The trust is not providing emergency help immediately, as there are a great number of charities already set up to do so, but it’s there to help fund those that offer solutions once the immediate need has been met. Donations can be made at


Classics at the Castle.

Yeo Vale, Sherborne Castles and Brue Valley Rotary Clubs distributed a total of £61,000 to one national and 18 local charities from the proceeds of this year’s show. They are to be congratulated on raising this fantastic sum of money which means a total of £232,000 has been distributed over the past six years. See separate report on Circa1200.

District Elections.

There was a very disappointing response for nominations for Assistant Governors and District Governor Nominee, to be DG in 2022-23. If you would like to know more about these very rewarding roles, widen your Rotary involvement and help clubs please contact me or Rory O’Donnell.


A very busy and enjoyable weekend. Friday night we joined Trowbridge Wessex Mead at their Children in Need black tie dinner. The “Golden Envelope” raffle raised £950 and a good time was had by all.

Saturday night we joined Devizes celebrate their 60th Anniversary with a sixties themed event, flower power was much in evidence, we ate prawn cocktail and black forest gateau and knew all the words to the music that was provided by The Woods.

On Sunday we went to the Chard President’s Lunch at Hornsbury Mill, where we had a very good lunch and much fellowship with representatives of many local clubs and a fascinating talk from local crime writer Clare Donoghue.

District Forum is 30 November at Bath & West Showground, I hope to see you there.

Best wishes

£61,000 donated to charity from Classic and Supercar Show

Rotary Clubs distributed a total of £61,000 to one national and 18 local charities, at Sherborne Castle on 8th November.


Nigel Young, Chairman of Trustees for the Sherborne Classic Cars CIO, said ‘This was a truly astonishing result following 12 months of work by the Organising Committee from members of the Yeo Vale, Sherborne Castles and Brue Valley Rotary Clubs. They are to be congratulated on raising this fantastic sum of money which means a total of £232,000 has been distributed over the past six years.’

Maria Wingfield-Digby presents £12,000 to British Heart Foundation








Club Presidents Sue Thomas-Peter (Sherborne Castles) Phil Scrancher (Yeo Vale) and Mike Kew (Brue Valley receive a total of £11,000 for the Yeovil District Hospital Cancer Unit Appeal.

All remaining beneficiaries are located within 30 miles of Sherborne.  View the full list.

For more information please contact- The Show Secretary:
e mail: Tel: 07769 114211


Charities wishing to benefit from the 2020 Sherborne Classic and Supercar Show can apply now on our web site

Next show – 19th July 2020

DG’s Blog 11 November 2019

Peacebuilding starts with you. Are you ready?

Creating a peaceful society doesn’t just mean preventing conflict. It also requires building better economic and social conditions by improving education, economic opportunity, and gender equality.
The Rotary Positive Peace Academy, a free online course, can strengthen your peacebuilding skills:
Learn about peace and conflict issues and how to put Positive Peace into action in your community.
Get access to the most up-to-date information from the Institute for Economics and Peace in the 2019 Global Peace Index and Positive Peace Index.
Connect with other peace advocates to discuss how you’re applying Positive Peace locally, and share stories, projects, and resources.
You’ll also earn a certificate when you complete the course. Get started at and discover the strategies and tools that can help you build and sustain peace.

The Rotary Positive Peace Academy was created in partnership with the Institute for Economics and Peace, an international think tank dedicated to Positive Peace — the factors that contribute to peaceful societies.

Peace Fellowship Scholar.

Unfortunately our Peace Fellowship 2020 candidate Hyppolite Ntigurirwa was unsuccessful but was encouraged to apply again.


UK Government Pledge £400 million – The UK Government has announced its continued financial commitment to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with a pledge of up to £400 million – what an example to other governments ahead of the Abu Dhabi pledging moment on 19th Nov. More details from


This week Jill and I attended the International Cuisine Evening run by Westbury. This year the theme was “islands” and there was great food from Crete, Sicily, Tenerife and Zanzibar. The only problem is that I ate too much! This regular event attracted a very good turnout.

Best wishes


DG’s Blog 4 November 2019

Do you know about the Cadre? One of our best kept secrets.

The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers is a group of volunteer Rotarians who provide technical expertise and advice to Rotarians planning and carrying out Rotary grant projects around the world. Cadre members review, monitor, and evaluate projects and ensure grant funds are being used properly. This past Rotary year was a busy one for the Cadre program. Cadre members completed more assignments than ever while also developing the new long-term plan. They collaborated on Rotary initiatives including participating in Rotary’s grant model evaluation, visiting Rotary Peace Centres, and reviewing the Rotary-USAID Partnership and WASH in Schools Target Challenge projects.

2018-19 key numbers
• 363 Cadre assignments
• 223 site visits
• 140 other reviews
• $21.9 million in Foundation awards evaluated (of $57.8 million in total project funding)
For more information visit

Are you sure that your events are legal?

I know that it is easy to think that the events we run are fine but are you completely happy that it complies with current legal requirements and that it is covered by our Rotary Insurance cover? I am pleased to announce that Kevin Mack who is the Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland Compliance Co-ordinator has agreed to speak and run a workshop at our next Forum on 30 November. It will give us a chance to update our knowledge and hopefully reassure us that everything is indeed fine.

Honolulu Convention.

If anybody who is going to the convention but has yet to book accommodation, there are still 16 rooms available in the Ala Moana hotel. The ITHF are contracted to pay for these rooms even if not used.

Correction—World Peace Conference 2020.

The Rotary World Peace Conference 2020 is taking place in Ontario California (not Canada as reported last week) on January 17 & 18. For more details visit

Best wishes

DG’s Blog 28 October 2019

World Polio Day 24 October.

There has been a concerted effort around the country to light up buildings in purple to raise awareness of our Polio + Campaign. I attach a photo of St John’s in Yeovil suitably coloured. The day was marked by the announcement that Polio type three has been globally eradicated. Type one cases this year to date now number 94, 18 in Afghanistan and 76 in Pakistan. Still work in progress!

World Peace Conference 2020.

The Rotary World Peace Conference 2020 is taking place in Ontario California on January 17 & 18. For more details visit

How would you like to widen your Rotary Involvement?

There are vacancies on the District team next year for four Assistant Governors (AG) and a District Governor Nominee (to be DG in 2022-23).
The AG role is one of the best in Rotary as it gives the chance to widen ones Rotary family with only a light commitment. It involves supporting an area of six or seven clubs to help them meet the objectives of Rotary and acting as liaison with District, RIBI and RI. It involves running area meetings, three or four per year, for the clubs to foster working together and attending District Support Team Meetings (some of which are now held by Zoom). I always enjoyed my time as an AG and never found the role too time consuming. Applicants do have to have served as President. Training is provided. Nominations are due by 6 November. Details are with club secretaries.


According to DMS we have 49 new active members this year. Frome Town 7, Dorchester Poundbury 6, Bath 4, Crewkerne District 4, Weymouth 4, Bathavon 3, Midsomer Norton & Radstock 3, Burnham-on-Sea, 2, Chippenham 2, Island & Royal Manor of Portland 2, Melcombe Regis 2. and one new member for Brue Valley, Chard, Chelwood Bridge, Dorchester Casterbridge, Frome, Melksham, Mendip, Shepton Mallet, Taunton Vale and Wellington. Well done everyone, keep up the good work.

Best wishes


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