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2017-18 Club News is now archived click here to view
Presidents' Handover The Club Presidency was formally handed over at the Club meeting on June 29th when Ian Helby took over the office from outgoing President Brian Joscelyne; and incoming Presidnet-Elect Ian Tarbet received his badge of office. IPP Brian thanked members for their support during his year, and outlined a few of the highlights of the year, then President Ian set out his main themes and ideas for the coming year. Ian will continue the focus on Mental Health that was theme of PP Eileen and IPP Brian, but with particular emphasis on young people's mental health, especially Autism. Ian also explained he will look to continue to support new initiatives in the past year such as the Friends of Rotary group, which will be invaluable to the Club as time goes on.
Understanding Citizens’ Advice Our speakers on July 6th were Simon Topham and Janet Thompson from Citizens’ Advice York (CAY). Simon, who is CEO of the organisation, explained that the concept of Citizens Advice Bureaux was developed just as World War 2 was beginning. Citizens Advice in York was established in 1941 in Priory Street, moving later to Micklegate Bar and then, in 2014, to West Offices where they rent space from the Council. Training to be a voluntary advisor takes 6 months, and the range of topics covered is vast. 60% of advice requests relate to benefits, tax credits and debt problems. With 35 volunteers (aged 18 to 80) and a small number of part-time paid staff, their services are increasingly needed, and Simon and Janet expressed their thanks for the fact that CAY will be one of the two Rotary-nominated beneficiaries of the Dragon Boat Challenge event on July 15th.
You’ve got a Friend in Chocolate A visit to the York Cocoa Works on July 6th was the first event organised for members of the newly formed “Friends of York Rotary” (FoYR) Group. They were joined by several Club members and partners too, as a total of 24 were entertained by the Founder and Managing Director of York Cocoa House Sophie Jewett – herself a FoYR member – and her staff. Sophie took us through the history of Chocolate making in York, dating from 1785 in Castlegate where her Cocoa Works operation is now based, and her passion for creating authentic chocolate using a variety of cocoa beans from various countries in South America (from many farms which she has personally visited) and her interest in the social and political impact of cocoa growing in these countries, were evident. We were treated to a variety of chocolate samples with subtle taste differences, and finally some very unusual canapé creations – for example chocolate with goats cheese (actually delicious!) Many thanks to Sophie and also to Diana and Nigel Naish who had “donated” this evening, having won it in an “auction” bid earlier. As well as being a very enjoyable event, the evening raised £330 for our Club’s Charity Fund.
Ready, set.... All is set fair for the "GO" for our flagship fundraising event, The York Rotary Dragon Boat Challenge, on Sunday July 15th. This morning's inspection of the course on the River Ouse confirmed that the river level is high enough and preparations have started to set up the river banks for the crew stations on the South Bank, and the Gala Day on the North Bank. Responding to requests from crews to set an earlier finish - in light of hte World Cup Final - the timing of the day has been amended.
Racing will now start at 9.00am, and the Grand Final will be at 2.30pm.
Full details available here
Tree site visit On July 13th Frank Paterson led a group of members on a conducted tour of a field - well, two actually! The visit was to the two sites selected for the tree planting later this year, on either side of Haxby Road between the Nestle factory and New Earswick - part of the Rotary Tree Planting Partnership initiative currently under way, where nearly 300 parents have already registered their baby in order to have a commemorative tree planted. Volunteers from various organisations will plant the trees during the best planting season, November, including several local companies who release their employees for a day to support local charities and events. Rotarians are also encouraged to wield a spade and come and plant a few too!
The current register of babies is available here
A man out standing in his own field!
Dragon Boat success July 15th was our annual Dragon Boat Challenge, and despite changing the starting time to accommodate the World Cup Final, everyone turned up, the sun shone brightly, and over 3000 people enjoyed a wonderful day of excitement, fun and great racing. With over £60000 raised on the day (and more to come) many local charities will benefit, including the two Club nominated charities, York Mind and Citizens Advice York. President Ian expressed his gratitude to all members, Inner Wheel, and members of Friends of York Rotary, who all dedicated their time in the hot weather to make this day such a success, including running the Rotary branded Tea Tent, ably managed by Diana. The full results, and lots more photos of the day, are on our Dragon Boat page here (look out for the photo of Novotel's Julie!)
July walk David Impey reports.. On July 19th 8 Rotarians and partners met at the Horseshoe Inn, Levisham for the monthly Club walk. The weather was as usual for this summer hot with plenty of sunshine. The walk took us out over Levisham moor, too early in the year for the heather to be in bloom but still wide ranging views over the moor. We rested briefly at the Hole of Horcum before descending into the valley. At the now very small stream we took a group decision to return via the wooded area to the village. We were back by 12.45 after a nearly 7 mile walk. We enjoyed a very good lunch at the Horseshoe Inn before returning home.
The modern YHA Chris Birch reports.. We're all familar with the "basic accommodation" of old, provided by the Youth Hostel Association. But our speakers on July 27th, Lauren James and Jean Kelly, came to tell us about the YHA Breaks scheme whereby the Association provides free holidays in their hostels for disadvantaged youngsters and their families. Despite a recent major programme of hostel modernisation, the YHA has not forgotten its roots and objectives from when it was set up in the midst of the 1930s depression in that it is once again focusing on helping the disadvantaged young. Lauren and Jean explained how the Breaks scheme addresses a variety of situations the young find themselves trying to cope with: poverty, health/disablement, bereavement and social deprivation. This is achieved by funding vacations in their hostels for children and also often their families. Applications for this programme far out weigh the YHA's current level of resources and the Association is seeking funds and partnerships to help them satisfy this overwhelming need.
We welcomed a visiting Rotarian from the Netherlands at this meeting.
Petra Lunsche, from the Rotary Club of Pekela, near Groningen in Northern Netherlands, was in York as part of a choir that was performing in the Minster.
Ambulance Wish Foundation Our speaker on August 3rd was Beverley Harvey, an ambassador for the Ambulance Wish Foundation, a charity originating in 2006 in Holland and now in five other European countries, with a branch in York. With 230 volunteers and six ambulances in all, this organisation fulfilled the “final wishes” of 10,000 non-mobile terminally ill people over the years by transporting them, accompanied by qualified medical staff and volunteer drivers, to special places that will give them special memories. Beverley’s description, and stories were heartwarming and this small charity deserves support. They organise local fundraising and events in York to help maintain their two ambulances in this region, which cost £38k to maintain each year.
Club Barbeque Our annual Club Barbeque took place on August 4th at Sutton upon Derwent, brilliantly organised as ever by Peter Fox, Donald Heath and others on the Fellowship Team. With the two Davids (Thompson and Walkden) doing the hot stuff, perfect steaks sausages and huge chicken pieces were accompanied by wonderful salads, desserts, with Donald and his helpers, including our President, dispensing the drinks. In glorious sunshine we enjoyed great fellowship and fun, augmented by John Lacy’s excellent quiz (who knew that Bergamon was an orange??) and David Sweeney’s golf pitching contest – won after a close-fought final by Robin – it was a memorable afternoon. Many thanks to the Fellowship team and especially to Peter.
Handling Bags at Dawn It was an early start on August 5th as sixteen members, partners and “Friends” all reported for duty at 7.15am at the Knavesmire. For the third year running (no pun intended) we were providing the Baggage Store service for the York 10K, where over 800 runners who had bags with them deposited them for safe keeping, in one of the three trailers that we were managing, then collected them after the race. With immaculate organisation and discipline the team managed to get all the bags returned with no “waiting time” for the runners as they came exhausted looking for their belongings. It was especially good this year to have a number of partners helping, and also four “Friends of York Rotary” who all joined in the fun. Thank you all.
Farewell to Nicole Our Club meeting on August 24th was Grant Scholar Nicole Neiman's last visit to us as she leaves for her California home in a few days. She has been doing a post-graduate course in Public Health @ Univ. of York, one of the Grant Scholarships which are fully funded by The Rotary Foundation. Nicole has joined in many of RCoY's activities and managed to take up a part-time job and volunteer at St. Leonard's Hospice as well. She has travelled widely and with all of these activities has more benefited greatly from her Scholarship. She hopes to apply for Medical School in 2019 and to find employment in the interim. It has been a pleasure to host her and we all sent her off with very best wishes for a happy and fulfiling future.
Keeping Children Safe On August 17th Club members and guests were treated to an excellent talk by Lucy Lowthian about her charity Keeping Children Safe, which endeavours to raise funds to help keep children safe from all types of abuse, both in the UK and in many countries throughout the world. Lucy explained that every five minutes, a child dies from violence. Every day, in every country, children are abused, beaten, raped, and more. Too often, the abuser is someone the child knows and trusts. They may even work for an organisation that’s meant to help children. Children are abused in all types of organisations: in relief and development programmes, by peacekeepers, in detention centres, in institutional care, in refugee’s camps, schools and sporting organisations amongst others. Keeping Children Safe strive for a world where no child is abused. They hold organisations to account, and check they are doing all they can to keep children from harm. Put simply, that means training staff to prevent abuse. Helping children and others report abuse and helping to bring abusers to justice. It was a heart wrenching explanation of how one charity is doing what it can, with limited resources, to rectify a terrible global problem.
Club Walk Don reports.. The Club walk on August 16th was organised by Don Salter with 10 walkers made up of members and partners. We met at the village green in North Newbald for a 5 mile Wolds walk with extensive views across the Wolds and Vale of York., through a dry valley over the Wold and Swindale before returning to the village. We then had a short drive to The Star at Sancton for a hearty lunch .
A Man on a Mission Rotarian Phil Godfrey is a man on a mission in his endeavour to raise awareness of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), otherwise known as Hughes syndrome. He is doing so by travelling the length and breadth of the country, speaking to Rotary clubs about the disorder of the immune system. At our August 10th meeting He certainly increased our knowledge of the subject in his very personal and moving account of the misdiagnosis and subsequent suffering of his wife, prior to her death in 2015. As he explained “if Christine had been correctly diagnosed in 1985, she would still be alive today and I wouldn’t be standing here.” However, rather than blame the medical profession, whose understanding of sticky blood syndrome was very limited at the time, he is determined to raise funds, while educating as many people as possible in the danger posed by APS.
Bowls Evening Our annual Bowls Evening was held on August 28th at the RI Bowls Club, where the facilities and hospitality were as great as ever this year. Mike Miller had taken over the responsibility this year for arranging the teams of three, and ten teams were accounted for, the rules were – approximately enough – made clear to everyone, and the bowling commenced. There was serious competition in certain quarters, involving millimetre measurement of who had “shot” on occasion and strict adherence to the etiquettes and rules of the game! But most of us just had a good time in the sunshine and, win or lose, enjoyed the company of the members and partners who were there. Mike presented bottles of wine to the winning team of Tom Jackson, Molly Wragg and Peter Netherwood (a team clearly destined to win, having both jack and wood in their names!!). As always, the catering team at the RI Club provided a delicious steak pie, chip and peas supper, followed by apple pie. Our thanks to all at the RI Club, to Mike, and to David and Celia Impey for their organisation of this excellent event.
Visit from local MP At our Club meeting on August 31st we welcomed Rachel Maskell MP who spoke about her work as an MP and her views about the priorities for York, and for the UK, focussing on housing, transport, social welfare and healthcare provision. Taking questions from members, Rachel shared concerns about care home shortages, the possibility of a Yorkshire Mayor, and integrated transport needs. A few more pointed questions were also raised by some members with her privately after the talk, all of which she handled with grace and concern. Whilst not all our members may have agreed with her political views, there was definitely consensus that Rachel is a hard-working, dedicated MP for York Central (as well as being Shadow Transport Minister) and we appreciated her taking time to spend with us.
Bill Mann Trophy Golf This annual Golf event, which has been taking place between the three York Rotary Clubs for 23 years, was played at York Golf Club Strensall on September 2nd. 17 golfers, from all three York Clubs, took part in hot sunny weather. The course in excellent condition. The overall trophy winner was Stewart Gilbert (Ainsty) with Mike Sullivan runner-up and Keith Hayton in 3rd place. The Guest of Honour at the evening dinner was Sheila Royce, Bill Mann's daughter with husband Brian. The Fellowship evening meal followed with a total of 43 Guests and both the food and service were excellent a good time was had by all. Many thanks - once again - to organiser David Sweeney.
Full results and lots more photos can be seen here