A group of Rotarians travelled to Whitechapel in East London on Friday 25 August 2017 to see the London Rotarian’s Helivan and to have a closer look at one of the two London’s Air Ambulance Helicopters.
The Helivan was safely locked away in a secure car park whilst it (and its driver) were having a day off. The Helicopter on the roof landing pad of the London Hospital however was not having a day off, and was called into action whilst the visit was taking place. Our group curtailed their session and stood aside; from the initial phone call to take-off was timed at 4 minutes. With a 10 minute journey time to the London Orbital Motorway, that allows an enormous area and a population of 9 million people to be covered at great speed.
The Rotary District Helivan was given a formal invitation to take part in the London New Year’s Day Parade taking place in Central London on 01 January 2018.
The Rotary in London Helivan was handed over on 23 June 2017, as the Rotary Year was coming to a close.
After a year of hard work fundraising, with Past District Governor Trevor Johnson acting as Project Manager, the London District Governor Helen Antoniou had the privilege of handing over the ‘Helivan’ purchased for London’s Air Ambulance (LAA) with funds raised by the Rotary Clubs in London.
In the photo are (left to right) Sara Jane Woods – LAA Head of Community Fundraising and Outreach, Mark Wingett – Actor and TV Star, Mark Davies – LAA Director of Development, District Governor Helen Antoniou, and Doctor Michael Kim wearing his LAA uniform.
District Governor Helen said, “The total funds raised of £38,000 for this high profile project is a wonderful achievement, and demonstrates just how effective Rotary is in the 21st Century for our capital city. After this, we will continue to move forward to a bright future for the Rotary Clubs in London”.
The Helivan will be used to promote the work of London’s Air Ambulance, and to encourage children and students to move towards a career in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM subjects). At the same time it will promote all the Rotary Clubs in London and their work in the community.
The Wheelchair Relay that started in Manchester at the Great Britain and Ireland Rotary Conference, under the supervision of Ade Adepitan visited Stanmore on 21 April 2017 on its way to the Stoke Mandeville Games.
The wheelchair has visited all the Spinal Units in Great Britain and Ireland in partnership with WheelPower, who were present in strength at Stanmore.
District Governor Helen took to the wheelchair for the final 200 yards, and commented that being in the chair gave her a different outlook on the event and on the world. Firstly she found it difficult to control – “much harder than I was expecting” – but also, she commented on the fact that it is difficult to look at people eye-to-eye. That was not something she had expected. She added, “this experience has given me much more respect for those that are using wheelchairs everyday”.
Those attending finished the event inside the Aspire Sports Hall where there was a demonstration of wheelchair-based sports.
District Governor Helen, with members of her Club – the Rotary Club of Northwick Park – spent the morning of Tuesday 7 February loading a van taking aid to Chernihiv (pronounce it as ‘Cherny Give’) in Northern Ukraine. The aid will be used at the Revival Centre there.
The aid is taken to Ukraine 4 times a year in a convoy of vans organised and led by UK-AID, formerly known as Felsted Aid for Deprived Children. The aid comprised donated clothing, linens, sanitary items and children’s toys, and will head off for Ukraine early in March. Every item donated has to appear on a manifest for the Ukrainian Border Officers to accept the load, so a lot of paperwork has to be completed first by UK-AID.
Chernihiv is the nearest city to Chernobyl, the site of the nuclear disaster in April 1986. The 30th Anniversary was marked in the country last year, as was the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the Revival Centre. The proportion of local children born with neurological or genetic disorders is still increasing.
A Helivan – the support vehicle that Rotary in London is fundraising for as a project to help London’s Air Ambulance – was the main focus of a Tea Party held at the London District Headquarters on Sunday 9 October 2016, organised with their usual efficiency by the Rotary Club of Pall Mall.
The event was well attended and the District Governor was there to add her personal support to the project. There was a wide selection of biscuits, cakes and pastries that met with the approval of all those there on the day. There was also a video that met with approval, and a report of a day spent with a London’s Air Ambulance some 12 years ago.
Well done Rotary Club of Pall Mall – it was a great event.