Rotary Club of York

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York Rotary News

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St Leonard's Hospice update Janet reports On August 30th our speaker was Emma Johnson, Chief Executive of St Leonard’s Hospice. Emma was born and grew up in York and her career progressed from Staff Nurse, Sister and Matron to Directorate Manager.  In 2012 she was appointed Director of Clinical Services at St Leonard’s Hospice. She was made Chief Executive in February 2019. Emma’s presentation explained the strategic vision for the next 3 to 5 years, focussed on 4 key areas – Patients, Partnerships, People and Pounds (income and finances). This means increasing bed numbers (currently 20), developing community services further, increasing access to the day services in the Hospice Sunflower Centre, and working collaboratively with partners. Emma pointed out that recruitment in healthcare is tough and the need would be to respond to the changing demands of generations, particularly in respect of volunteering.  No longer would people take on a volunteer role for 10, 20, 30 years. The Hospice is in a stable position but faces a deficit budget in the coming year. But thanks to careful housekeeping over the years and more especially the support of the community, especially through events such as the Dragon Boat Event, it was possible to plan for a future best suited to the population. (St Leonard’s was the Rotary Nominated Charity for our July 2019 Dragon Boat Challenge)

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Mind Your Mates David W reports Our speakers on September 6th were Holly Bilton and Laura Grove from York Mind, explaining their new programme "Mind Your Mates", launching this month.  The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of how to help people we think may be experiencing Mental Health Issues. Many of us may not identify that friends, people we know or work colleagues are having difficulties and if we do, we do not know how to help. Laura, spoke passionately about this campaign, sfrom her personal experience. She hopes to generate assistance and support which was not available to her early when it was first needed. It is a well-known that the earlier Mental ill-health can be identified and treated, the better. How Can We Help?  Sign up to the MindYourMates Campaign. There is no cost and each week until 10th October you will receive an information pack via E-mail, containing top tips, case studies and practical guides for how to help someone else. Or share the information  on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



Through Rain and Shine We were out in force again (and with impactful Rotary branding) at St Crux on September 11th; running the ladies accessories and home produce stalls, "high Quality" goods, books and bric-a-brac, and of course the immaculately-run Cafe staffed by the Rotary crew in eye-catching matching Rotary outfits!  It was a successful day (c.£1200 raised for local charities) despite the mixed weather, with heavy rain til mid-morning, but then a warm sunny day.... making fundraising a fun and pleasant experience for all!  Thank you to Diana and her team for once again putting Rotary on the York map and doing so much to raise funds for local York charities.



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Make your Play-List! Our speaker on September 13th was Elizabeth Brewer, about Playlist for Life, a charity was founded by Sally Magnusson after the death of her mother, Mamie, who suffered from dementia. Sally found that if her mother listened to certain music, it improved her mood.  The charity is now established to help people to make the playlists and use them to best advantage.  The music needs to be associated with specific happy memories in order to create a flashback to a happy event and evoke feelings of well-being. With much audience participation ("Which song brings back specially poignant memories for you?") she held everyone's attention and her talk was much appreciated by all.

"Friends" raise money for Shelterbox  Our "Friends of York Rotary" group held a Barbeque event on Sunday September 15th at the Novotel, in aid of international disaster aid charity Shelterbox. 25 attended and enjoyed a fabulous spread (thank to Julie!), the social chat - and a fiendish quiz - as well as examining the Shelterbox contents and family tent that was erected on the Novotel terrace.  A total of £130 was raised for the Rotary-associated charity that does such amazing work in devastated areas all over the world - most recently in the Bahamas.


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Also at our meeting was "Friend of York Rotary" guest Leah Bull, from Altzheimer's Society, who had a special interest in Elizabeth's subject and is pictured chatting with her afterwards

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Vic's Snaps!  Rotarian Vic Brookes stretched the technical prowess of both the Club and the Novotel on September 27th when he put on an entertaining show of photographs from his various "travels".  His rolling photo "show" was accompanied - but apparently only when it wanted to be - by music, but the gremlins meant some were soundless - these being filled in with Vic's inimitable commentary instead.  He showed some amazing photos of the historical Blists Hill Museum near the Severn Valley, and a moody atmospheric representation of Glasgow.  His wildlife photos from Costa Rica, especially the vividly coloured birds, were spectacular, (if quiet!)  Thank you, Vic.


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National Grid Looking Green On October 4th Steve Knight-Gregson, from National Grid, was our first speaker in the "Climate Change" themed series of October talks. National Grid  own and operate the high-voltage electricity transmission system in England and Wales. That includes around 7,200 kilometres of overhead line, about 650 kilometres of underground cable and 342 substations They have a duty to  make sure gas and electricity is transported safely and efficiently from where it’s produced to where it’s consumed. They ensure that supply and demand are balanced in real-time and  facilitate the connections to the UK  transmission system and link to continental sources. The UK Government’s Clean Growth Strategy is  focused on growing national income while cutting greenhouse gas emissions.  The 25 Year Plan also  sets out the UK’s long-term approach to protecting and enhancing the natural environment, particularly through using and managing land sustainably. National Grid helps  the move to a low-carbon network by supporting connections of all fuel types and technologies. The key is  to operate the system to take advantage when the sun shines and wind blows to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels for energy. The plan is working well and  in the last three months the demand for electricity was met without using coal. By 2025 all electricity will be produced from sustainable sources


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Progress on Sundial Restoration Our “Gift to the City”, part of our upcoming Centenary celebrations in 2020/21, is the funding of conservation and restoration work on the historic 1730 Sundial on College Green, in front of the Minster. The work on this Grade II listed monument is being managed by York Civic Trust.  Work has started on this project, and conservationist Dr Alaina Schmisseur, an archaeological conservator working with Rook Heritage Consulting, is pictured doing some cleaning and fine conservation work on the main body of the sundial.  She informs us that the conservation work is nearly complete, and in addition the Gnomons have all been repaired and re-fitted.  But there is more to do yet in re-laying the surrounding pavings, and stonemason work on restoring the ball finial (at the top) which will all take several more months.  The project should be completed well before the official unveiling during our centenary year, when there will also be a plaque installed describing the work, and York Rotary’s part in making it happen.


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Dragon Boat 2019 presentations In the distinguished surroundings of the Mansion House in York, the prizes and awards from July's York Rotary  Dragon Boat Challenge event were presented by the Substitute Sheriff of York, Dafydd Williams, who thanked the Club for running this event for over 15 years and raising £1.2m for local charities.  The 2020 Rotary Nominated charities were also announced - these being The Hut and SASH York.

Climate change and York For the second of its series of ‘Climate Change’ talks, we heard on October 11th from Neil Ferris, Corporate Director of Economy and Place for the City of York Council.  As the Council’s lead on the issue of climate change, he was well placed to explain the Council’s approach, ie the ‘local’ perspective.  As one of the 78 UK councils which had declared a climate emergency, the City Council had set an ambitious target to become net carbon neutral by 2030. Neil explained the reason for setting that target and the whole range of actions which the City Council was taking in respect of its own activities, including energy savings and reductions in emissions.  He welcomed the sea-change over the last nine months in the public’s acceptance of the need for action and explained the way the Council were seeking to build on that, so that York’s residents become similarly engaged in respect of their own actions and spheres of influence.  He asked Members to recognise that ‘York’ was a global brand and that the City’s approach could have an impact on the international scene, as an example of what can be done at a local level. Overall, Neil provided a stimulating and thought provoking message.


Neil Ferris (Custom)



EGYN_JdXoAE9TnX Cheque presentation to St Leonards Hospice 2020 charities The Hut and SASH Challenge Trophy - RAF Linton (2) Highest sponsorship - Aviva Fastest civilan team - Ged Bell IMG_1818 (Custom) IMG_1814 (Custom)

Support for Brunswick Also on October 11th we were pleased to present a cheque for £2000 (50% of which being support from a Rotary District Grant) to Brunswick Nursery, a local charity providing supported work for people iwth learning difficulties, to help them with improved signage for their premises