Rotary Club of York

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Club News Archive  Page 4

2014-15

Club News Archives

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New Home wanted!   During the September 19th business meeting, Club members were shown a presentation by Steve Burton, on behalf of the subcommittee tracking down a new venue for Club meetings in 2015.  A short-list of five York hotels were presented and the Club will now visit each of these in turn during the coming weeks, to sample each venue.  Please see the Diary Page for details of locations for Club Lunch Meetings - if members turn up at the Churchill in the coming 6 weeks (apart from October 10th) they will be having a very quiet lonely lunch!!

Rotary checks out public rights of way   The Club walk on September 18th was led by Frank,  so the unexpected can of course be expected.  A record turnout of 17 members and partners set off from Nunnington for a very pleasant ramble through lanes, past hedgrows and taking in fine (if slightly misty) distant views.  Frank's route then took us to a river and through a gate marked "No Public Right of Way" - or it would have done were it not for the farmer shouting vigorously at the group to keep out!!  On the other side of the river (ie the footpath) the group then rested, out of rifle range, by a somewhat derilict but beautiful Elizabethan Water Mill, accompanied by two very friendly, curious, and obviously hungry, horses.  Finally, after passing Nunnington Hall (NT) we arrived back at the Royal Oak pub in Nunnington, where a superb lunch was served "al fresco" in the sunshine that now welcomed our adventurous party.

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New Member    Also at the September 19th business meeting, Club members welcomed new member Peter Nicholson,  who has transferred from the York Ainsty Club. A Chartered Management Accountant by training, Peter is currently Director of Finance at York Archaeological Trust where he has worked since 2001. Prior to that he was with York Waterworks for over 20 years having started his working career at Rowntrees.  Peter joins a long list of members who have been involved with York Waterworks Company – one of whom WH (Henry) Humphries the then Engineer and Manager was a Founder Member of the Club – the list includes Cy Read, Dick Stanley, Graham Wilford and now Peter.  We are delighted to welcome Peter to the Club.

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Rotary Youth Challenge    In unfamiliar surroundings at the Hilton Hotel - the first of our "Trials" of a potential new venues - on September 26th Club members heard a presentation by Frank Paterson and Linda Lacy about the recent "Snowball" event, sponsored by the three York Clubs.  Showing a short video and some slides which illustrated the activities that were arranged for the young people on the Challenge, Frank and Linda gave an excellent and moving account of the successes, learnings, and issues of the weekend.  Linda held members spellbound as she described some of the turnarounds from negative, threatening behaviour encountered initially from some of the participants to their actively helping in group activities, giving positive feedback, and even sending a card expressing thanks to the organisers.  There was no doubt that this event  had made positive, and potentially deep, impacts on the lives of many of the young people who participated

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Choice Anxiety, anyone?   We welcomed Rebecca Ryan and Laura Mills, from Aviva Insurance’s marketing department, to our meeting on October 3rd, who gave a presentation about the extremely rapid change in methods of communication with customers, and their company’s philosophy in this area.  As the UK’s largest insurer, with 31 million customers , they clearly feel the need to be at the forefront of the trends.  The pace of change is amazing – just six years ago we had not heard of iPads, BBC iPlayer, EE, or Instagram (some members have still not heard of some of these!!)  and Laura’s description of customer trends, including “self-directed decisions” empowering customers, instant information and targeted advertising, was somewhat overwhelming.  Apparently modern customers  suffer from “choice anxiety” – reminding us perhaps of our own pending decision about the Club’s 2015 venue!!

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Polo Shirts for Oaken Grove  Back in May, the Club's Community Service Committee donated £300 towards the Oaken Grove Youth Drama Group (Haxby & Wigginton Youth & Community Association), to put towards the purchase of polo shirts to mark the re-launching of the group  as “Take A Bow” (TAB). The shirts have a new logo, and the photo shows the youngsters celebrating receiving them last week from leaders Ellie, Adrian, Sophie, and Emily. The new group will develop their skills further through workshops and themed exercises, and learn how to apply these skills in their everyday lives.

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Water Communications  At our meeting on October 17th Dafydd Williams, Stakeholder Engagement Manager for Yorkshire Water, outlined the scale of the company’s operations. Yorkshire Water manages the collection, treatment and distribution of water in Yorkshire, supplying around 1.24 billion litres of drinking water each day. At the same time they  also collect, treat and dispose of about one billion litres of waste water safely back into the environment operating  more than 700 water and sewage treatment works and 120 reservoirs. They  look after 62,000 miles of water and sewerage mains - enough pipework to circle the earth, They own approximately 32,000 hectares of land (80,000 acres) covering  the whole of Yorkshire but  predominantly located on the eastern flanks of the Pennines and in Nidderdale.  45% of the  raw water treated for drinking is sourced from reservoirs 32%from rivers and 23% from underground deposits.

They have over four million customers and he outlined the different  uses of social media for communication. The company’s telephone helpline is based in Bradford but the website and Twitter are becoming the preferred means of dealing with service deficiencies and complaints.  

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Daffyd (Custom)

FERA Visit Frank Paterson reports.. 34 members and partners had a very informative vocational visit  to Sand Hutton on October 14th, to mark the centenary of the formation of the first organisations that have evolved into what is known today as The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA). The site at Sand Hutton extends over 88 acres , including  the Central Science Laboratory and more than  800 people work on a wide range of activities.  Food Quality & Safety provide effective research solutions, advice, training, and testing services to the food and drink industry using state-of-the art DNA sequencing methods to help trace the origin of foodborne illness outbreak They are a centre of excellence for diagnostics and analytical science and a global leader in the identification of new and previously uncharacterised threats. They are recognised as the leading UK centre for sustainable agriculture and plant protection research, providing interdisciplinary applied research for commercial and government customers.The UK's largest Plant Clinic handles in excess of 8,500 samples a year and  offers  the most comprehensive range of testing services for all sectors throughout the supply chain.  The mental overload created by absorbing all the fascinating data from the range of practical examples of the work was followed by food and fellowship at the Sandburn Golf club just across the road.

FERA (Custom)

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Rotaractors "Meet and Greet"  Starting off the new academic year in a very positive vein,  the York Rotaract Club held a "meet and greet" evening for prospective members on October 8th at the University of York.  Kevin Grogan represented our Club at the event, and reports: "Around sixteen students were present with several more unable to make it but who have expressed a firm interest. Constantin (Rotaract's President this year) believes that a regular group of fifteen or so is viable and with his leadership I don’t see why not."

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Remembering Jim  Rosemary DeLittle was the Club’s guest on October 31st. During the meeting, she formally returned Jim's Past President's Jewel to President John. She, and members, shared many warm memories of Jim, with a number of  members referring particularly to his kindness and sense of humour.

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Supporting Physionet  Our Club supports the Physionet project in a number of ways. To date £3500 has been donated to Physionet.   Providing more physical support, a group of happy labourers are pictured at Lower Dunsforth on October 25th taking a breather from loading an Artic trailer with wheelchairs, zimmers etc bound for East London S Africa. The gang included Nigel Naish (accompanied by Sheila Weatherburn and Mary Lumley) Nigel Everard, Vic Brookes, Chris Birch,  and David (and Anne) Jesper. David reports...  "A short, sharp, socially enjoyable, coffee and cake fed, very worthwhile interlude!"  

 

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On the Move!  During the Club's Business Meeting on October 31st. the final tally of votes amongst members was concluded, regarding the choice of location of our meetings in 2015 when we are moving from the Churchill Hotel after 12 happy years.  The final choice, annouced later by Steve Burton, was the Novotel in Fishergate.  A new era begins as we transfer there from January 9th.  Many thanks to Steve and the Sub-committee who worked so hard to research, then prepare and co-ordinate the excellent short-list of hotels - in the end it was a hard choice but the Novotel came out a clear winner!

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An East Coast Journey  A former print journalist and BBC Radio Cleveland presenter, John Gelson spoke to the Club (at very short notice) on October 24th about the ups and downs of the Rail franchise operations on the East Coast Route. In December 2007, National Express took over the franchise, but subsequent reduced ticket sales, increasing fuel costs and recession lead to the default in 2009 and the Department of Transport setting up East Coast under its arm called Directly Operated Railways. Improvements followed, and  now 20 million passengers per year with 44 train sets is good business and between 2018 and 2021, new trains built in Newton Aycliffe will upgrade the fleet. On the communications front,  Social media is proving to be a good resource, especially photograph postings which show causes and thus explain any major holdups.

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A Duke of York’s Community Award 2014 for the Jack Raine Foundation.  It has been announced that Dragon Boat 2014 recipient The Jack Raine Foundation, has won a Duke of York’s Community Award. We congratulate them on this achievement. The Foundation's chief executive, Lewis Gell, also received The Henry Wood Outstanding Leadership award for his work with vulnerable and exploited children. He is pictured here, receiving the Award from HRH The Duke of York.

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DBC Presentation  The 2014 Dragon Boat Award Presentations took place on October 21st at the Mansion House.  The photo shows The Civic Party together with the winners, beneficiaries and President John and President Elect Mike on the staircase at the Mansion House.

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District Conference  Russ reports.. 13 members and partners attended the 81st District 1040 Conference at Scarborough on October 17th/19th. This years conference theme was - Making Change Work. The varied keynote speakers - especially Roy Lilley on the NHS , John Craven on his BBC career and the breakout sessions together with a black tie dinner and a high quality West End Show production - Beyond the Barricades - ensured everyone left the conference inspired, invigorated, informed and well entertained.

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October Club Walk   Rebecca Mendoza reports…   October 16th. On a hazy, mild and somewhat soggy Yorkshire morning 15 walkers set out on 6.5 mile wander around Westow. We were told it would be slippery underfoot, but we weren’t warned of the rickety stiles that we would eventually have to hurl ourselves over. To most of you reader’s delight, and perhaps to the dismay of others, nobody fell—although there were quite a few wobbling Rotarians and a few close calls. After initial stile challenges and slippery mud, the remaining few miles were danger free and we walked in peace along the countryside on what turned out to be a sunny and warm day. Graham was an excellent tour guide and had prepared a detailed description about the local church where we stopped for a break and a group picture. Then it was off for food and drink for the hungry walkers at the lovely 300-year-old country pub, The Blacksmith’s Arms.

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Everyone deserves a chance  Rob Walker, our speaker on October 16th, is Television Sports Commentator.  During his travels, he presented a programme from Southern Africa on long-distance running and this lead to an opportunity to work with the Prince’s Trust to take several young people to Africa to give them an experience outside their normal environment and to demonstrate the values which were unknown to them in their normal lifestyles. He has now set up the African Adventure Charitable Trust, aiming to take about 12 local young people potentially at risk of falling into crime, drugs etc. to Southern Africa on a 12 day trip around Kenya and Uganda. There they undertake many activities such as painting schools and playing football matches against local teams to develop their interactive social skills and citizenship.  Rob summarised by saying that 'Everyone deserves a chance'.

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60's Night at York College  Darrell Hind reports.. On November 6th a good number of Rotarians, families and friends turned up for what promised to be an excellent evening…we were not disappointed. From meeting David Impey and Jim Wragg at the door dressed as the Beatles in formative and latter years. To all that had made the effort to dress in their period costumes including miniskirts and 'kinky boots' went our admiration and congratulations, a particular person of note, although slightly out of period, was a Hippy with a form suspiciously that of Pat Frankerson.  The menu was excellent and appropriate being the York College's take on the Berni Inns Menu.  The entertainment was continued with not one, but two of President John's Quizzes. Thanks to the Organising Team led by David Impey, to John for his quizzes and to the Staff and Students.  Altogether an evening to remember!

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Foundation Update.   District 1040 Foundation Chairman Roger Percival is well known to the Club as he has been involved with the District for many years and is a former District Governor. He spoke to the Club on November 7th about RI Foundation grants (Global Grants and District Grants).. Whilst RI Foundation was once prescriptive about grant decisions, it now delegates them to Districts and by extension, to individual Rotary clubs – we have to ask and make a good case!   Roger explained that the District has a 2014-15 allocation of $35,000 to be distributed to partnership projects as requested by Clubs.  And this year, District has received 8 Global Grants which are used for projects undertaken with other Rotary Clubs.

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Rotary Changing Young Lives in Nepal   A Member of the Rotary Club of Harrogate Brigantes, Barry Pollard spoke to the Club on November 14th  about a project which his Club is leading, which has been supported by 4 Matching Grants from RI Foundation. The project’s Nepalese partner is the Himalayan Ghurkhas Rotary Club in Kathmandu and an ex-Gurka Major is the local leader, with former soldiers providing links to the villages. The project began in 2010 with a single idea - to put computers into schools in the remote Panchamul Valley which is in the Annapurna Range 50 kms west of Pokhara, Nepal’s 3rd largest urban area.  From small beginnings have come great benefits, some unexpected. The project now supports 9 schools in quite scattered villages which are ex-Ghurkha home links. Literacy and numeracy have improved in order to use the internet and IT has provided the building blocks for modernised education, and several other major benefits for the local community have resulted.  It was an inspirational presentation about the power of Rotary for good..

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