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Askham Bog April has been designated "Environment Month" for the Club, so it was very fitting that on April 17th our speaker was Louise WIlkinson, from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT), who gave a beautifully illustrated presentation about Askham Bog, a 44 hectare Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) right on our doorstep. YWT has 38,000 members and supports 95 nature reserves with 100 staff and over 600 volunteers. Askham Bog is a historic site, its origins dating from 13,000BC, and its uses have including peat extraction in Roman times. Today it is home to a wide variety of birds, invertebrates such as dragon flies, and also water voles, Roe deer and grazing Exmoor Ponies. Louise explained the very active role that YWT have played in lobbying and mitigating the potential negative impact of developments proposed for the surrounding area near Copmanthorpe, and it is clear that she and her staff are truly helping the conservation effort.
Walking for Physionet A sunny, clear but not overly hot day welcomed the Charity Walkers for Physionet on April 16th. 65 club members and guests and other supporters of Physionet, left the Village Hall at Coxwold, on either the longer (5 mile) or shorter (3 mile) paths. The longer route took us across the fields from Coxwold to Husthwaite, with its beautiful Norman church. Then across the Beacon Banks, a mile or so stretch with superlative views across to the White Horse, the western moors, and the Vale of York. Back in Coxwold Village Hall we all sat down to a superlative buffet prepared by Diana, Linda and Angela, and President John spoke about the great fellowship and joy of the day. Many thanks to the organisers, particularly David Heasman and the International Committee, and to the catering crew. The walk raised over £900 for Physionet, a terrific achievement.
President presents Young Disabled Sportsperson award President John and Community Service Chair Graham Todd represented the club at the 2015 Active York Sports Awards held at the University of Yorks Roger Kirk Centre. Having sponsored the Young Disabled Sportsperson Award President John presented the award to Beverley Bunyan mother of the winner Antonia Bunyan. The winner Antonia Bunyan is a 15 year old from Bishopthorpe who plays the Paralympic sport of Goalball with the York St Johns Goalball club. The awards seek to highlight the talent, commitment and dedication of those that make sports happen in this city. Inspirational was the verdict from the organisers who publicly thanked the Rotary Club of York and other sponsors for making it happen.
Marshalling support from Rotary 17 Club members and partners helped out at the 2nd York Triathlon 2015, held at the Sports Village on York University Campus on April 26th, providing marshalling support for the event. Participants had to swim 400 metres, cycle 18 kilometres and then run 5 kilometres. 580 competitors participated, including some members of the Great Britain Triathlon team. A great day was had by all and £510 was added to the club's Charity Fund in lieu of 'wages' for the duties performed. On what turned out to be a gloriously sunny day, but with gusts of wind impacting the cycling section, our congratulations go to all of the athletes who competed. Many thanks to Mike Hay who co-ordinated this fundraising activity for the Club.
The Giving Continues.... President John and community services secretary Dennis Adamson presented a cheque for £300 to the York Sea Cadets unit at their Green Lane, Unit HQ in Clifton, York on April 27th. Hundred of youngsters have passed through the ranks of the York Sea Cadets unit helped by many dedicated voluntary uniform and civilian staff, parents and supports. At the conclusion of the presentation in accordance with tradition the unit gave John and Dennis their special BRAVO chant.
Support for 4 Corners Youth Club President John's theme during his year in office is supporting the city's youth. The club was proud to support Refugee Action York, 4 Corners Youth Club. On April 27th President John, Rotarians Fred Anderson and David Porter presented a cheque for £500 to the Club's coordinator Carrie Wheater. 4 Corners is a youth club for young people of dual heritage, refugees and asylum seeker families.The club allows young people to build relationships with peers and share experiences. The club is dependant on voluntary donations. After the presentation 3 young members presented a thank you card signed by all the young people who will benefit from the donation.
Children's Heart Surgery On May 1st our speaker (at very short notice) was Myriam Barker from the Children's Heart Surgery Fund, based at Leeds General Infirmary but covering a region including Yorkshire, Humberside and North Lincolnshire. In this region over 400 babies have open heart surgery each year. Working in support of the NHS, they fund equipment, staff posts, resources and training for those who work on the heart wards; and support child patients with congenital heart disease, and their families. This includes provision of specialised equipment such as remote diagnostic monitors, refurbishing and decorating wards, and funding accommodation for parents and families. Personnel from the charity, particularly Myriam, were in the forefront of the recent legal battle to save the unit at Leeds from closure. Myriam's presentation was an emotional story of love, care and support in such intensely difficult family situations.
Nepal Earthquake At the May 1st meeting President John announced that the Club would be using funds raised recently by the triathlon marshalling, matched by funds from the Club's International Committee, to donate £1000 to Rotary's Earthquake Appeal for humanitarian relief in the stricken country of Nepal. All Rotary Clubs have been asked to provide such support - with over 32,000 clubs worldwide, this would potentially see £32m raised world-wide - a real case of Rotary in Action where it is desperately needed.
New Member Talk On May 8th Rtn Ian Tarbet gave his New Member’s Talk. Speaker's host for the day was Ian Helby. Interesting that both Ians hail from Harare, Zimbabwe - Salisbury & S. Rhodesia in their days! Ian T was educated in Edinburgh and has a Business & Finance degree. He gave an amusing and enlightening summary of his career which began in Edinburgh then took him to Gaborone, Botswana, London and back to Scotland with BT. During 31 years with BT he travelled widely, relocating to York in the early 1990s.
Visit to RC Weighton Wolds On May 14th Rtn Donald Heath organised this visit to the Bay Horse Hotel in Market Weighton. The Rotary Club of Weighton Wolds is a young club (only formed 18 months ago). It is much more informal than RCoY and provides a “snack” for £7. They are innovative, flexible and project orientated so have no committees as such. However, much is achieved and impressive was the get-up-and-go and enthusiasm witnessed.
All Rise! Visiting our Club on May 15th, Erica Taylor, Chair of Magistrates, and Harry Patterson, Magistrate, explained the work of the York Magistrates. Erica spoke more generally; they are volunteers appointed by The Queen via the Lord Chancellor, are unpaid and independent of Government. Criminal Responsibility begins at age 10 years but the Youth Court deals with 10-17 year olds. 95% of all cases are completed in the Magistrates Court; only 5% reach the Crown Court. She was looking forward to modernisation into a Digital Court. Harry described the variety of offences with which they deal and the sentencing guidelines (seriousness, aggravated circumstances and mitigating factors).
Supporting Harmony Once again the club is delighted to support the Harmony Cafe a university student lead project for dementia suffers which meets once a month on a Saturday at St Aelred,s community centre in Fifth Avenue, York. President John and Fred Anderson this week presented a cheque for £300 to the project coordinator Jo Gledhill. The Harmony Cafe is a place where people experiencing memory problems and their carers can socialise with one another and with volunteers in a friendly and understanding environment.
Ian Stockley receives PHF Award At the Business Meeting on May 22nd, President John presented a Paul Harris Fellowship for exceptional service to this club and the local community to Ian Stockley. Ian was Club President in 2009/10, and has since been an effective chair of Community Service and Fund raising Committees, raising many thousands of pounds for the club. He has also for many years organised the quarterly District 1040 Council meetings at Fulford School; and was part of the District 1040 Polio Immunisation team which visited India in 2011. President John remarked: “This man epitomes the rotary motto of ‘service above self’”. Many congratulations to Ian on his well-deserved Fellowship award.
At the same meeting, President John presented Diana Naish with an RI Award ( a “Blue Pin”) under the New Member Sponsor Recognition Programme for her success in sponsoring and recruiting a new member to our Club.
SNAPPY Bikes President John is pictured wearing a suitable "Snappy Hat" this week as he presented a cheque to Anne Stamp, service manager of SNAPPY ( Special Needs Activities and Play Provision for York) which is a charity that provides social and recreation opportunities for children and young people with special needs aged 5 - 25 in the York area. This scheme, which meets at Lowther Street, provides a place for children to learn and develop through a range of play activities in a safe and secure environment. Ann Stamp the service manager said. "Please thank all your members for supporting Snappy. This kind donation will allow us to purchase three specially modified cycles for use at the centre"
Nepal Earthquake Appeal Update Within District 1040, the Rotary Appeal for funds to help the victims of the earthquakes in Nepal continues. On May 21st it was reported.. "The total raised so far, including gift aid, is just over £28,000. Out of this, we have paid out £11,500 for the purchase of tents, corrugated galvanised iron sheets for roofing, blankets and mattresses; food stuffs such as rice, lentils, salt and cooking oil, as well as 800 meters of 2" PVC pipe to replace a damaged drinking water supply." The District is working directly with the Rotary Club of The Himalayan Ghurkas to ensure speedy transfer of funds and help. They have responded: "We thank every single Rotary club in your district for their outstanding response to post earthquake appeal Nepal"
Donation to York Young Carers York's Young Carers Service is a non profit organisation based in Priory Street,York, which supports young people 8 - 18 who are helping to look after someone at home. The service is based on the pneumonic L.A.F.F.S. - Laughs,advice, fun, friendship and support. Accepting the cheque on May 21st from President John and Community Service chair Graham Todd, Liz Roberts said "The generous £500 donation will go towards arranging trips, events and activities for young carers allowing them a break from daily caring and to have some fun with other young carers".
TV Coverage of Rotary Help for Nepal A recent TV report on ITV's Calendar News featured District Assistant Governor Mike Bamford being interviewed about Rotary's response to the Nepal earthquake disaster. Mike had been in Nepal when the earthquake struck, and has a close interest in the country. The response from District 1040 Clubs, including our own, was featured in the interview, together with Mike's very personal response to the crisis. You can see the video of the interview by clicking the photo below..... and read more of Mike's observations and Rotary's response on the District website here
Kabiro Community School, Kenya On May 29th Chris and Madhu Patel explained the work of the Kabiro Community School in Nairobi. Having lived in Kenya in their early years they became aware of this School in a very deprived area and vowed that they would do something to help. Their preparations were interrupted when Kenya became independent, and they were forced to immediately emigrate to Britain. Their dream never left them and the vowed to return to help the School. They saved £20,000 from their own pockets and have over the years returned to assist in the modernisation and progress of the school. The school started with just 50 students and now has a roll of over 1300, aged from 2 1/2 to 18. Several orphaned children actually live at the school and are cared for by the staff. Crime and drug use in the area has diminished by 60%. The ethos of the education offered is an emphasis of “How to make a life instead of just a living.” Chris and Madhu...two people making a difference, and how!
Physionet shipment arrives in Ukraine Our Club has close links with the local Physionet charity, run by Peter Thompson, and many club members frequently assist in loading trailers of surplus medical equipment that is shipped to various countries in desperate need of this help. Here is a video of the most recent shipment being unloaded at its destination, the rehabilitation centre at Ternopil, in war-torn Ukraine. Featured in the video is Volodymyr Kostyshyn, the Pastor who is helping with the distribution of equipment, and Natalia Shidlovska, head of the rehab centre, the latter speaking in Ukrainian but clearly happy with the shipment received as she is thanking all involved. She is wearing, as a shawl, the national flag which was signed by most of the those who loaded the shipment in Dunsforth, York, on May 16th. Click the second photo to watch the video....
O.B.E. for Patrick Shepherd Our Honorary Life Member Patrick Shepherd has been awarded an O.B.E in the Queen's Birthday Honours for his services to business and charity in York. President John said "The honour recognises the considerable commitment Patrick and the Shepherd family have given to worthy causes especially those in York and we're particularly delighted to see a Club Member's charitable work recognised in this way." The Club's congratulations go to Patrick.
R.I. Citation Award for Rotaract Club During the Club's Business Meeting on June 19th, a special presentation was made by District Governor Rod Walmsley, to the York Rotaract Club, who were represented by their President Constantin Voll and three other 2015-16 officers of their Club who attended as our guests, together with District Rotaract Chair Tony Jordan, and three members of York Ainsty Rotary Club including their President Christine True. The award, a Presidential Citation signed by RI President Gary C.K. Huang, was to recognise the work that Constantin and his team has put in this year to revitalise and expand the Rotaract Club, their fundraising efforts, personal development activities, and developing their links with our own and other York Rotary Clubs. We look forward to working with President Elect Nina as she leads York Rotaract Club into an exciting new year in 2015-16. (more photos here )
Club Walk June 18th, Ilkley Moor..... Steve Burton reports: "Eleven stalwarts - some wi' some bah'tat ventured up from Ilkley onto moor and soon found westerly wind cu'd cause death of cold! A long walk up and across and very steep down took us up and round t'moor. Followed by a good meal at The Hermit - a strenuous 7.5 miler from which we all felt gratified"
Club Speaker on Bowel Cancer John Whelpton from Bowel Cancer UK, who himself was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2009, was our speaker on June 5th. He gave a very clear and straightforward presentation about bowel cancer awareness. Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer, but it shouldn’t be and if diagnosed at an early stage, bowel cancer is very treatable. There are four stages in the development of bowel cancer and if diagnosed early in stage one or two the prognosis is much more favourable. John went on to advise on the risk factors, what to look out for and how to reduce the risk. Finally John explained the Bowel Screening programme available through the GP service and encouraged everyone between the age of 60 and 74 to take part in the programme. Those over 74 can opt in to the programme.
The Heart of Zebra Fish On June 26th, Sarah Huddlestone, an Ambassador with the British Heart Foundation, spoke eloquently about her own cardiac issues when a young adult. Blood is pumped through the heart and travels 12,000 miles per day! The research-based Foundation is fundraising for a programme called “Mending Broken Hearts” wherein the goal is to enable hearts to mend themselves; the model is the self-regenerating Zebra Fish. The educational arm of the charity is focusing on building a nation of (call, push, rescue) lifesavers who know how to perform CPR. Host Barry Campbell reminded the meeting that only that morning, a news report about teachers who had saved the life of a boy in a PE class at Fulford School.
Leipzig - Fellowship and Riots The InterClub gathering at Leipzig, with our own members meeting with members of Erlangen Rotary Club, was held earlier in June. And it turned out to be an eventful couple of days, involving visits, friendship, fine dining, beer, and even the odd petrol bomb!....... read the whole story here.
Visit to Northallerton Mowbray RC Donald Heath kindly arranged this visit to the Northallerton Club on June 15th
Donald reports... "On a beautiful summer's evening and led by President John, seven intrepid members of the Club ventured into the wilds of North Yorkshire to visit the Northallerton Mowbray Club. This is a relatively small Club - approximately 30 members - but they are extremely active and equally friendly. Their Speaker was a lady who had gone out on the Rotary February 2015 visit to India in connection with Polio Plus. This gave us a new perspective and one that certainly whetted some appetites for making that final push to eliminate the dreaded scourge of polio. A most enjoyable evening with a delightful drive home back in the dusk."