One year ago today – 14 June 2018 – there was an incident that no Rotarian in London will ever forget. It was a year ago today that the 24 storey Grenfell Tower block of flats caught fire. Rotary in London will leave the difficult issues to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry under the chairmanship of Sir Martin Moore-Bick, the Westminster’s Coroners Court, and the various local and national bodies involved.
Rotary in London extends its most sincere condolences to the families and friends of the 72 residents who are no longer with us as a result of the fire, and its best wishes to the 221 survivors who escaped from the 129 flats in the tower block. It must not be overlooked that many of the surrounding residents in the area were also traumatised by the fire.
Rotary in London is working quietly in the background for the benefit of the community. We do not have limitless funds with which to achieve progress, but we do have plenty of time and energy that we can expend. There will be many more anniversaries of this tragedy, and each one can be marked by Rotary Service as a step towards the betterment of all concerned.
Members of several Rotary Clubs in North London got together near Sandridge in Hertfordshire on 8 March 2018 to help out with a project to plant a new forest on what had been agricultural land. They were there to plant broad leaf deciduous trees – mainly oak and cherry.
Trees play an enormously important part in our environment, and the President of Rotary International, Ian H S Riseley has called on all Rotarians around the world to plant at least one tree each before 30 June 2018.
As can be seen below, many hundreds of trees were planted on the day – one of several when working parties for all sorts of voluntary organisations help out. The day was very windy, and there was both sun and rain, but all the Rotarians present had a good time. Thanks go to the volunteers of Heartwood Forest, for the hot tea and coffee served to the planters.
The Rotary Club of Kensington and Chelsea was featured on German Television on 20 August 2017.
The Club featured in the EuropaMagazin programme broadcast on the Das Erste channel reporting on the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the wealth differences in the local community and how the community was coping with the disaster.
A local resident was interviewed, and a community social worker before the reporter turned to the local Rotary Club, meeting in a nearby hotel. Rotary was shown as an organisation concerned with the problems in the community and doing work that was needed by the residents. Whilst the reporter emphasised the differences of wealth in the community, Rotary emphasised that everyone – regardless of their wealth – was willing to do their bit.
Well done Kensington and Chelsea – next time it will hopefully be a UK television channel.
Members of the District Team assembled at the House of Lords on 26 April 2017 to congratulate Peju Oluyomi (wearing orange) as a national Rotary “Community Champion of Change” award. The award was presented to Peju by Rt Hon Baron Lord Hague of Richmond in recognition of her work as a palliative care nurse.
Peju has a heart for charity and for the community – in Basildon and abroad. It was her commitment to the elderly both in her fundraising and using her professional care skills at home and overseas that led to her nomination by Rotary in London, District 1130.
As well as working unstintingly for the elderly in Basildon, she has championed a home for under-privileged children in Uganda as well as setting up a free health screening and treatment centre for thousands in Zimbabwe.
She has also been active in improving the infrastructure and facilities for health in Sri Lanka as part of the project partnership.
Peju is ‘not yet a Rotarian’, but her work sets an example to all Rotarians. She is a most deserving awardee.
Despite pouring rain, the contingent of Rotarians supporting Rotary in London made their way to Green Park to join the London Borough of Harrow’s entry in the London New Year’s Day Parade. The theme was Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds – here we are with Thunderbird 3 ready to start the parade.
In addition to Thunderbird 3, we had Lady Penelope’s Rolls Royce (converted from a mini-bus) with the registration number “HARROW 1”.
The float was supported by a team of dancers from Flash Dance in Harrow, who carried on with the ponchos provided by Rotary despite the pouring rain. But all their hard work, and the crew that built the float had their just desserts when the London Borough of Harrow was awarded 3rd Prize for the entry, as you can see at this location.
The morning started with a visit to the Christmas Lunch organised for people in Barnet by the Rotary Club of Barnet. The Club brings the guests to the United Reform Church in Barnet where they enjoy entertainment and a Christmas lunch organised by the Rotarians and their helpers.
Then it was off to Battersea to attend the Christmas lunch organised by the Rotary Club of Battersea Park. This is an enormous enterprise, with some 400 guests brought to a specially constructed building in Battersea Park resulting in a car park full of mini-buses. The meal is served by 200 volunteers, ably supported by the staff of Smart Catering. There is an entertainer to keep the guests active and involved whilst the superb meal is served.
Both are wonderful examples of the dedicated service that Rotarians give in London, and are worthy of much wider publicity than they are currently given.
A change of job for the District Governor today as the parcels generously donated by the Rotary Clubs in London during the District Carol Service were delivered to children in the Paediatric Section of St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.
Presenting the gifts to the children in the hospital was a deeply moving experience, and in every single case, the children were delighted with the presents they received from Rotary in London.
The staff at the hospital, both medical and support, asked that all the Rotarians were personally thanked for their acts of generosity. The gifts made a real difference to the atmosphere in the wards and there was a buzz amongst the children as word spread from ward to ward.
So thank you – all of you that supported and took part. Your generosity was really appreciated.
On Thursday 19th September, a substantial event was organised at the Landmark London Hotel in Marylebone Road, London, UK. The Hotel was hosting the media launch of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative being taken by Rotary in London and the specially made video for the initiative. The event was well attended by the Landmark London Hotel management, by the Rotary Club of St Marylebone, both feature in a CSR video, and by the local charities who had been helped and supported by the partnership between the Rotary Club and the Landmark London Hotel. Also invited were Councillors from City of Westminster, management from the Lancaster London Hotel (sister hotel of the Landmark), local business associations and educational establishments. Also recognised were the team from Minamonfilm, who had gone the extra mile in so many ways to produce the video.
There were a number of speakers at the event, including many of those appearing in the video, and it was left to our District Governor Dick Nathan to place the CSR initiative into the bigger picture of Rotary Service in our communities, our city, our country and the world at large. Special mention was given to the Peace Day Project – a joint endeavour by Rotarians in London, New York and Ankara for the refugees able to leave Syria for Turkey.
The event was judged a major success, and the ‘shop’ is now open for further CSR initiatives.
2013 will see Rotary clubs in Great Britain and Ireland celebrate 10 years of providing service to the community through the holding of a Know Your Blood Pressure (previously known as Stroke Awareness Day) event.
Many clubs have old-brand materials from running these days in the past and for 2013 it is essential that new-brand materials produced by the Stroke Association are used to ensure that the correct information is given out along with the latest statistics and advice.
We are therefore offering an amnesty of materials for 2013 and clubs who have these are encouraged to recycle them and we will replace these free of postage charges.
If your club has not held a KYBP event before it is a great way to:
- Give service to your community helping to prevent stroke and save lives;
- Raise awareness of Rotary and the benefits of membership;
- Raise awareness of the Stroke Association as a registered charity reliant upon voluntary donations and, we hope;
- Appeal for funds.
If you would like to know more or to get involved then please call Rachel, Tara or Terry on 01527 908918 or send them an email.
The Rotary Clubs in North London have taken the Legacy Message from the Paralympic Games to heart, and with Scott at the forefront organised a wonderful event, the Rotary North London DisAbility Games, at the Aspire Centre attached to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, North London.
A video of the event has been set up on the Rotary in London Website, and can be seen in the Video Gallery section of the site. It is four minutes and forty seconds of your time well spent to have a look at it!