Rotary Club of York

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Club News Archive 2018-19    Page 3

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Club News Archives

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2018-19 News continues on page 4   click here to view

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Rotary wood help Moving forward with the York Rotary Family Tree Partnership programme, the first planting took place on November 28th and 29th. The first site is on the Haxby Road, just North of  the York St John University Sports Park Grounds (East side of the road). The site includes the path that runs from Haxby Road eastwards to Huntington Road  In total, 840 saplings were planted, a mixture of native broadland species including oak, birch, hawthorn and hazel. The planting was overseen by Derek Utley, from the Woodland Trust (who supplied the saplings) and was carried out by a team of our Club Rotarians and a large team of volunteers from Portakabin and from Benenden Healthcare, organised through York Cares.  A second planting is planned for early 2019.  More details, location directions, and photos can be seen here

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Mock Interviews at the Mount  School.  EiIeen reports.. Eleven members of the Club gave up a morning on November 26th to interview the students who were going through the process of applying for university, college or apprenticeships. It was an interesting and uplifting experience, meeting young women of calibre with positive, outward-looking attitudes. We were able to get some useful feedback on the recent interview workshop which Sheila and Eileen had delivered. Thank you to everyone who took part, not least those who stepped in to cover unexpected absence and to Dave Marchant who did two sessions. The School and the students are ever grateful for our input.  

President's Lunch The annual lunch where we celebrate the support of members' partners, including Inner Wheel members, and thank them for their support of the Club and it's ideals, took place on November 30th at the Dante Suite, York Racecourse.  After a fine meal which was enjoyed by all, President Ian lead a toast to our guests, and introduced the speaker, Geoff Druett.  Geoff is known to many from his regular appearances in ITV's "Calendar" programme until his retirement in 2003, and his long career in television broadcasting both as a presenter and subsequently a documentary producer.  He regaled us with many anecdotes, both serious and funny, of his interaction with famous political figures of the past, and was an excellent presenter - as one would expect!  A very successful Club event, and many thanks to the Fellowship Committee for their throrough planning and organisation


(If you interested in seeing again Geoff's final 2003 appearance on Calendar, click  here)  

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York's War Heroes In further commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Armistice, the Club's internal magazine "Rotagraph" recently carried some details researched by Barry Campbell about several members of the Club who were decorated during World War One, including one, Alfred Knight, who was awarded the Victoria Cross and later joined our Club in 1932 .  Barry's article has now been picked up and published in the UK Rotary Magazine, just issued.  The December/January edition of the magazine focusses on how Rotary's future was shaped by the events of the Great War.   You can access the magazine on-line here

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Turkey Trot    Steve reports...  Monday  December 2nd was the Golf Section's Turkey Trot meaning we got a turkey dinner afterwards! Everyone's mobile indicated a sunny morning from 9am onwards - tee off of 1015 when it rained heavy drizzle 'til 11am! The golf was of no great report with some doing better than others. Lunch eventually served, after service of complimentary canapes from the kitchen and enjoyed by all and after even more time the complex draw of partners took place; with the pairing of Keith Hayton [who'd gone home by then] & Tom Jackson proving victorious and receiving their just reward from President Ian. Two couples came joint second resulting in an even more complex deciding draw, how or even who came second or third remains a mystery to most [and possibly even to them as well] Notwithstanding a good mornings golf followed by good meal and entertainment appreciated by all - with especial thanks to our leader - David S.


More golf reports, and photos, can be seen on here

Dec 2018 golf

"I Got my Daughter Back"   On December 7th our speakers were two girls who had this summer attended RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) courses - Isobel Wragg and Francesca Eaglesfield, Isobel being sponsored by our Club and Francesca by York Vikings Club.  Their presentation, put over with great humour and a confidence that was a tribute to their learning at RYLA,  showed the activities they had taken part in during their week,  including Assault Courses, Raft building and racing, Orienteering and leadership skills training.  But most impressive of all were thier descriptions of how their own self-confidence, and self-belief, were enhanced by the programme.  In describing her own experiences, Francesca said the impact on her self-confidence was dramatic - so much so that on returning home, her mother was amazed at the change, and confided to Francesca that, after some challenging times earlier, she now "has got my daughter back".  Such is the power of RLYA in helping young people, a programme Rotary can be justly proud of.

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Christmas Carol Service   The annual Carol Service for the three Rotary Clubs (and Inner Wheel Clubs) took place on December 13th at All Saints' Pavement.  With a slightly lower attendance than in previous years, the service of nine lessons and carols was nevertheless an enjoyable festive occasion, and readers of the lessons included President Ian and York Inner Wheel President Linda Lacy, as well as ADG Darrell Hind.  The mince pies and mulled wine served afterwards was well up to the usual standard, and our thanks to David Fatkin and his team from  York Vikings Rotary who organised the event, as of course to Rtn Rev David Porter who led the service.

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Quick quick sloe  Our traditional Christmas walk was well supported by 14 members and partners on December 20th, when a relatively short / quick route round the delightful Duncombe Park estate and woodlands was led by Brian Houghton - with David and Celia providing the much-appreciated sloe gin and mince pies half-way round.  Some of the party then took an "extra" diversion to walk by the river Rye and enjoyed great views of Helmsley Castle. Everyone was reunited and headed into Helmsley where we were joined at the Feathers by John and Linda Lacy for a festive lunch including crackers and awful jokes (some of them from the crackers). The rain held off - as it nearly always does for Rotary walks (!!) - but came after lunch, giving us a wet drive back to York!

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Presentation to Squadron 110 (City of York) Air Training Corps. The Club recently made a donation to the Air Training Corps, to purchase equipment to assist with training in First Aid, namely two choke vests and a practice defibrillator. Past Presidnet Eileen dropped in to its’ headquarters on Burtonstone Lane during a twice-weekly parade and handed over the cheque. Officer Commanding Flt. Lt. Jo Tucker received the cheque in front of the assembled members (more than 90 Cadets belong to the Squadron) and she expressed sincere gratitude for the donation. Eileen will revisit the Squadron in the coming weeks and spend more time observing the many activities carried out by the young people who attend.        


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A Dickensian celebration  Our Christmas lunch this year - 3 courses (thank you Novotel!) - was held on December  21st.  Many members and several guests and partners attended and were enthralled by the presentation given by local actor Brian Oxberry of his adaptation of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" in which he brilliantly projected the voices of all the well-known characters. The book (originally published as a "serial" in weekly editions) celebrated the 175th anniversary of its publication in December. Brian's performance was much enjoyed by all.

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The Club took the opportunity also to thank the Novotel staff for their superb service and support during the year.  Events Manager Julie was our guest at top table, and members enthusiastically applauded head chef VJ and three of his many staff who were present.

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Christmas stockings (Socks!) for Carecent York

Inner Wheel President Linda Lacy reports...  Members of our Club and Inner Wheel have been donating large quantities of socks, gloves, hats, scarfs, and jackets to Carecent, at The Central Methodist Church, York.  This follows Nicky Gladstone from Carecent speaking to the Club in November (see report for November 16th) explaining that Carecent is a breakfast centre for all homeless unemployed or otherwise excluded members of our community.  Following Nicky’s appeal, Rotary and Inner Wheel certainly delivered, donating 211 pairs of socks (many brand new) and they were much appreciated. The socks were delivered early Christmas Eve morning December 24th and received by Nicky who said “Your clubs have been amazingly generous and we are overwhelmed by your kindness, they could not have been delivered at a more appropriate time.”

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New Year Honour for Past President David   The Club offers sincere congratulations to our member and Past President, Rev David Porter on his admission as a Commander of the Order of St John (CStJ) by order of the Queen.  David was previously an Officer of St John (OStJ).  The Order of St John is a British royal order of chivalry first constituted in 1888 by royal charter from Queen Victoria. The Order traces its origins back to the Knights Hospitaller in the Middle Ages, which was later known as the Order of Malta. A faction of them emerged in France in the 1820s and moved to Britain in the early 1830s. The Order of St John is perhaps best known for the health organisations it founded and continues to run, including St John Ambulance and St John Eye Hospital Group. Its headquarters are in London

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Letter of congratulations sent to David by President Ian

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Making a Difference for children  On January 4th we welcomed Ruth Thompson the founder of York Inspirational kids a support group for families of children and young people who have a disability or special needs who live in the York area. Inspired by her own children Ruth explained how by drawing on her own experiences and understanding of what families go through with special needs -York Inspirational Kids was launched in 2011 supporting 21 families. Today through Ruth,s inspiration, leadership and the dedication of her volunteers the group now support over a 1000 families in York who have children with special needs. The group is a non-for-profit organisation were everyone involved is a volunteer .It runs many social events for young disabled people and their families. Even on the day of the talk Ruth was rushing off to take 120 children to the pantomime. Some people make a difference in our community. Ruth Thompson is one of those people.

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Youth Theatre in York  Our speaker on January 11th was Juliet Forster, Assistant Director of York Theatre Royal. She has responsibility for Community Engagement and in particular Youth Theatre. Her passionate belief in the benefits children and young people gain through having the opportunity to participate in theatre and develop a life long love of theatre, shone through. York Theatre Royal's engagement with Youth involves running groups for over 300 children and young people at the theatre (they have a waiting list of similar size!) and outreach work with schools and Pupil Referral Units. The groups include an Early Years group for pre-school children; Home School groups for children who are educated at home and are often socially isolated; school holiday clubs; LAMDA; and 14 weekly Youth Theatre groups. The groups put on a performance each year and are often used in the Theatre Royal's Community Productions eg Mystery Plays. Juliet thanked RCoY for the recent donation to the 'Pay It Forward' scheme which helped to give 200 disadvantaged children and young people the opportunity to attend a performance of The Elves and The Shoemaker, which Juliet directed. Looking to the future Juliet would like to expand the youth theatre capacity by providing additional groups, and try to reach a wider range of children especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with disabilities. The biggest challenges to this expansion are finding suitable space local to the Theatre Royal  and funding the costs.

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Visit to Headingley Water Treatment Works Frank reports...   On January 15th around 20 from the Club visited this facility which provides water to over 300,000 people in Leeds City. The 800,000 customers of Yorkshire Water each use on average 150 litres of water every day. This  site on the outer edge of Leeds is one of 42 water treatment works which processes 1.24 billion litres of water every day  to their stakeholders.   To put this in context our very knowledgeable guides Adele and Peter proudly boasted that this was the equivalent of providing a cup of water every day to  every person on the planet. 43% is sourced from reservoirs,35% from rivers and 22% from  ground wells. The facilities on the 40 acre site were built in 1995 and we followed the  process from the arrival of the raw  water to the exit into the 45 million litre holding reservoir where  the treated final product is released to the network of distribution pipes for the City of Leeds.The whole processing cycle takes around three hours , is totally automated , with only two people supervising the computer controlled operation. Our informative visit concluded with a traditional afternoon tea in the pleasant surroundings of the adjacent Weetwood Hall Hotel.

Young Womens' Counselling Service Chloe Haines, who heads the YWCS charity in York, was our speaker on January 18th.  She explained that YWCS is a small independent unit of 6 trained volunteers providing vital face to face counselling support to women of limited financial means who are experiencing emotional or mental health difficulties and who seek out the service as a last resort from inadequate NHS and Local Authority support. Women arrive with all sorts of problems – trauma from domestic violence and sexual abuse, single parent and financial difficulties, addiction, breakdown and so on and each receives a pragmatic response based on individual need from the small team of trained women volunteers. The service dealt with over 100 enquiries in the year past and supported 35 women through 1 to 1 counselling, ranging from 6 to 40 sessions. Each counselling session costs £42, of which on average only £15 is recovered from the client. The balance comes from fundraising. The charity would like to expand its work by recruiting further counsellors, for which, Chloe stressed, funds will be needed.

York Master (and Miss) Chefs  Christine and Hazel report... On January 21st at York College, 5 Young Chefs from All Saints School, Millthorpe School and Fulford School took part in the York Rotary Young Chef District Final. Also present were Rotarians Hazel Hart the Young Chef organiser, Christine Watkinson and John Russell. The brief was to cook a healthy 2 course meal for two people for £10 in 2 hours. These youngsters, one had only turned 13 years of age that week, had already won the first heat at their school. Nothing would prepare them for cooking in an industrial size kitchen, a daunting prospect for any amateur chef! Under the careful eye of the judges these youngsters prepared, cooked & presented some outstanding food, and the winner was Joe Rook from All Saints School, who cooked Belgian Meatballs with an apple syrup sauce, homemade paprika spiced chips, lambs lettuce salad with a balsamic glazed dressing followed by profiteroles with homemade raspberry curd, fresh whipped cream and drizzled in chocolate! Quite a feast. The runner up was Evan Williams from Millthorpe School. Joe will now go through to the semi-final at Betty’s in Harrogate on 5th February.

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Helping refugees in Lesbos On February 1st, new member Diane Roworth presented a reflection on her volunteering with a UK Humanitarian Aid charity – Hope and Aid Direct.  HAAD sources everyday items that we all take for granted, such as clothing for men, women and children, bedding, toiletries, children’s toys, nappies, food – and just about anything else needed to keep body and soul together.  This is what we call humanitarian aid. Last December, Diane went to help a 3-truck convoy taking aid to the Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios and mainland Greece.  There are 50,000 refugees in Greece, and the system that is processing them is overwhelmed. Thankfully there are many small NGO’s doing what they can to distribute the aid they receive from HAAD and from all over Europe.  Diane helped make distribution drops and unloaded and loaded countless times, helping to move supplies where they were needed the most. Hope and Aid Direct is a charity, that in the words of its founder, Chas Stoner MBE Takes Aid – Not Sides. Diane said the work was emotionally draining, but immensely satisfying. Proceeds from our Rotary Charity Walk on 18th April will be going to HAAD to support their amazing work.  


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Presentation to KYRA Women’s Project. The Community Service Team have made a donation to KYRA Women’s Project, based at the Central Methodist Church in St. Saviourgate, to purchase a new locking cabinet and a flipchart stand. PP Eileen Davis presented the cheque on January 31st to Founder and CEO Yvonne Copley and stayed to meet both volunteer staff and members. Frances Tunstall and Sue Reece-Walker, pictured here with Eileen, are just two of the well-qualified volunteers who work with members through courses, therapies, life-skills training and other events. They support local women to make positive changes to their lives. KYRA’s success is reflected by its membership of around 900 women of all ages.  


From small Rotary acorns….     The inspiring talk on February 8th was from John Miles, a member of the Rotary Club of Leatherhead.  In a positive and dynamic presentation, he explained the operation of Global Sight Solutions, a Rotary charity that started as a small operation run by Guildford Rotary Club, providing funding to build eyecare hospitals in India.  Over the years this has now grown, principally with the aid of Rotary Global Grants, into a large and impactful charitable business which have funded 11 hospitals in its first 10 years (and plans for a further 50 in the next ten) and provide 100,000 cataract operations per year.  Unlike some other charities, their approach is to provide the means to set up permanent and sustainable hospitals, run locally with oversight from local Rotary Clubs, rather than “drop-in” services for operations. John’s talk was a fascinating insight into how a UK Rotary Club, working with  Rotary International, on professional business lines, can make a real difference to people across the world.  

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