Category Archives: DISTRICT News

DG’s Blog 15 October 2019

New Rotakids Club.

On the 7th October the newest club in the District was formed. It is the Rotakids Club at St.John’s Church of England Primary School, Midsomer Norton. It was wonderful to hear the President’s plans, which included helping the local community, playing games in the local care home and raising funds for a ShelterBox. Six of the Club travelled to Southampton to take part in the District Conference and were warmly received on stage. If you would like any more details about Rotakids please contact Martin Carter.

District Conference.

Around 200 people attended the conference at the Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton. The theme was Inform, Inspire, Indulge. We had some great speakers who did indeed inform and inspire us. Evan Burrell told us how to have FUN in Rotary. Following Bonita Norris’s talk I will never be able to think about sleeping bags in the same way! Johnny Ball entertained us with some fascinating mathematics. On Friday night we indulged in fellowship with a charity casino evening. On Saturday we had a great band called DT8 and the dance floor was still crowed at midnight. The founder of the Rainbow Trust, Bernadette Cleary addressed us and we raised around £1,000 for this national charity that helps families with seriously ill children.

Best wishes. Dennis


DG’s Blog 7 October 2019

World polio day.

Have you registered your event yet? Follow this link to find out more and to register your event.

The Big Climate Fightback.

The Woodland Trust is calling on one million people to pledge to plant a tree to help fight the climate emergency. We need to act now!

This year, on 30 November the Woodland Trust are holding a mass participation tree planting day with events across the country and I understand that they will donate trees. Join in The Big Climate Fightback.


Stewart Cursley went to a super community event in Wells called “SOUP” which could easily and very beneficially be facilitated by clubs. In essence, SOUP is a micro granting lunch celebrating and supporting creative projects in Wells. For a £5 donation, attendees received soup, a roll and a vote and hear from four presentations ranging from art, urban agriculture, social justice, social entrepreneurs, education, technology and more.

Each presenter had four minutes to share their idea and answer four questions from the audience. At the event, attendees eat, talk, and vote on the project the voters think benefits the community the most.  At the end the votes are counted and the winner goes home with 50% of the money raised to carry out their project.  The other projects received the balance divided equally. Winners come back to a future SOUP dinner to report their project’s progress.

The ingredients for the soup were donated by Waitrose and the soup was made by a local state school. The atmosphere was great and all attendees were able to interact with many local community organisations.  The idea originated in  Detroit please see the link –

The next SOUP event in Wells in on the 11th January 2020 at 12.50 if you are interested in attending to see SOUP in action just let Stewart know.


I am looking forward to having FUN in Southampton with you at the weekend.

Best wishes





DG’s Blog 30th September 2019

Caribbean Hurricane Dorian Update.

Update From Our Team in Nassau

Thank you, Rotary Family

for your dedication to supporting our islands and residents affected by Hurricane Dorian!


During the last week, your collective work has enabled us to:

  • See an increase in donations across our multiple funding channels to approximately $940,000.
  • Receive, pack, and sort (alongside other partners) supplies for distribution to Abaco, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, Shelters, and private accommodations.
  • Continue pumping water (daily capacity of 6,000 gallons) at the Rotary Water Plant in Grand Bahama for distribution to the hospital, clinics, feeding centers, shelters, and the community at large. More than 120,000 gallons have been pumped since the passing of the storm.
  • Continue engaging officials from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) plus other international and local private and corporate partners to discuss ways Rotary can assist in the immediate and long-term building efforts.
  • Begin erecting tents from Disaster Aid International in partnership with the Bahamas Scouts Association at their Headquarters, a National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) approved Temporary Shelter Area.
  • Deliver over 750 meals prepared by Mercy Chefs to persons in temporary private housing.

Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland has now received donations of over $25,000. A recent report mentioned collections by Melcombe Regis and Weymouth. The advice is to continue to support ShelterBox and Water Survival Box or to qualify for Gift Aid, donate to Rotary’s Disaster Recovery Trust for Caribbean Hurricane Dorian.


In the post this morning I received banners for the top three clubs that gave the most per capita, to the Annual Fund in 2018-19.  These are Frome Selwood $128.55; Chippenham $110.13; Midsomer Norton & Radstock $97.54

I also received certificates for clubs that contributed at least $1,500 to Rotary’s polio eradication efforts in the year 2018-19. The clubs are: Chelwood Bridge, Glastonbury & Street, Lyme Regis, Minehead, Shepton Mallet, Sherborne Castles and Yeovil.  Well done everyone and keep up the great work. The banners and certificated will be presented at the District Forum on 30 November.

District Family Tree

I recently came across the Districts Family Tree which I believe was produced by Stan Jones back in 2018.

There have been quite a few changes since then.   


Best wishes, Dennis




How can we as Rotarians help to protect our Environment?

This was the discussion we had at the Environmental Sustainability breakout session at the District Forum on Saturday when we started to share ideas.

As individuals we are all doing what we feel we can to address the issue of single use plastic and the need to maximise recycling and minimise land fill.  But what can we do as Rotarians.   These are some of the ideas we discussed but we need more, lots more ideas so please contribute by adding a comment on this post or contact us with ideas.


  • Appoint someone to take a lead on environmental sustainability.
  • Can we make our events more sustainable by better recycling?  Mixed re-cycling mostly goes to create aggregate so separation is better.
  • Sell reusable cups at our events.
  • Tree planting projects.


  • Inner Wheel who serve coffees for us at the District Forum are keen to work with us to eliminate the use of plastic cups at the forum.  Some of those used on Saturday were biodegradable, but they are happy to fill your own re-useable coffee cup, and yes they will fill it so you may get more coffee for your £1.  So please bring your reusable cups to the next District Forum.

RIBI Rotary Young Environmentalist 

This new competition introduced by RIBI encourages young people to explore, investigate, research and undertake an environmental sustainability project on the theme of “Waste Minimisation”.  Our speaker from Somerset Waste Partnership suggested that there is room for improvement in schools when it comes to waste management, so maybe this Rotary competition can help?

Click here to download an information pack and a poster.


ESRAG – Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group 

This Rotary Action Group is currently encouraging us to take part in World Environment Day on June 5. It is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations (UN) stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment.     

Visit the ESRAG web site to find our more about this and Rotary projects worldwide which are making a difference, and to download an Environment Day Handbook for Rotary Clubs. (love the Rotarians for Bees project in Australia)

If your club is involved in projects or activity to help protect our environment, or you would like to share some ideas and maybe work with other clubs, please let me know and I will share them on Circa 1200.

Penny Underwood
District 1200 – Environmental Sustainability Officer

Rotary sponsors “magical experience” for Lewis

“It inspired me to always look on the bright side.”

After going through a tough time following the death of his Grandma, a Rotary-sponsored trip to an outdoor pursuit centre gave Lewis a fresh outlook on life.

Change lives in your community with Rotary. Visit:


DG’s Blog 9 September 2019

Hurricane Dorian

Rotary District 7020 Hurricane Recovery

Dorian is the strongest storm ever to hit the Bahamas, at least 43 people are dead, and that number is expected to rise as rescue efforts continue.  More than 70,000 people are homeless on Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands, the parts of the Bahamas hardest hit by the hurricane.  The search and recovery efforts in the Bahamas have been slowed down by the complete destruction of infrastructure hampering the delivery of support for those affected.

The Rotary supported charities are reviewing and supporting the aid effort in the Bahamas.  The airport in Nassau is now open and Water Survival Box are planning to send 240 Water Survival Boxes and 2x 15 Aqua plus 1 x 10 Community filters. This is a significant amount of stock to be sent to one emergency which will need to be replaced as the hurricane session continues. Donations can be made to Water Survival Box as follows: and to ShelterBox UK donations to Rotary GBI Disaster Recovery Trust.   District 7020 The Bahamas was looking to twin with our District, so please do what you can to help.

Poppy pins

The Rotary Club of Chelmer Bridge plans to raise funds again for the Royal British Legion and Poppyscotland from the sale of a new lapel pin badge. The badge shows the inscription of “Rotary Remembers” to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battles of Arnhem and the Bulge and to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Second World War. The pins are £3 with £2 going to the charities. Send in your orders by 30th September 2019 to

The Yeovil Hospital Breast Care Unit Appeal

The Classics at the Castle event had a record year and has donated £11,000 to the Appeal. A group of intrepid Rotarians are planning to wing-walk to raise funds.


This last week I visited Shepton Mallet who are heavily involved with helping at the Glastonbury Festival and took part in the District Golf Team Competition run by Glastonbury & Street at Wheathill Golf Club. The Team prize went to Yeo Vale.


Devizes are celebrating 60 years of service with a  new members evening as a Night at The Museum. Crewkerne District are celebrating their 10th birthday with a party at Oscar’s Wine Bar.

District Forum from 9am Bath & West Showground this Saturday —I hope to see you there.


Weston Rotarian Celebrates 50 years Membership

John Moore receives a message from the RI President and a Framed Certificate from the RIBI President marking 50 years membership of Rotary from Club President Peter Castell.

Rotary supporting rehabilitation for stroke survivors

Rotary in Ireland has been supporting 14 local stroke survivor groups for over a decade.

By providing boccia sets, visitors to the group can engage with the sport, which is designed for participants with limited motor skills.

Get involved with Rotary at:

DG’s Blog 3 September 2019

September is Basic Education and Literacy Month

Mercy Ships new “Global Mercy” Global Grant.

At the RIBI Showcase it was announced that the new ship is being built in China. A $1 million challenge to fund medical was issued. The grants team in District 1260 (my old District) are inviting all RIBI Districts to donate with DDF money and Clubs to donate whatever they can. Pledges to

Global Grants

Great news on the grants scene, the application by Ilminster and Ankleshwar to provide medical equipment to upgrade Kumarpal Blood Bank in India has been approved.

A great deal of progress has been made with the project by Rotary Clubs of Kisumu and Chippenham to provide clean water, plus associated training in sanitation and hygiene, to thirteen schools in the area of Kisumu County, in Western Kenya. This benefits the children and the surrounding communities in this unde developed rural area who currently do not have access to clean water. The initiative is intended to significantly reduce waterborne diseases, to increase school enrolment numbers and academic performance, as well as decreasing absenteeism due to illness. six wells have been completed and the seventh well has been mobilised. More details from Rick Squires:


The 24 October is World Polio Day. Why not plan a special event to raise awareness and raise funds. Countrywide RIBI is encouraging clubs to light up buildings in their community in Purple. This year to date there have been 58 cases in Pakistan and 13 in Afghanistan. Nigeria has just been announced to be Polio free.


The rescheduled Ilminster charity golf day raised in excess of £1,500 and was an enjoyable day despite the DGs golf!


Well done everyone, we have 35 new members this year. Don’t forget to apply for a membership development grant to help cover the costs of your membership initiatives.


Lights, camera, action for new Rotary club

It has been the location for over 1000 feature films and TV shows, from Star Wars to Strictly Come Dancing, but now Elstree Studios is also home to a new Rotary club.

Get involved with Rotary at:


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