Some ten Rotary Clubs in and around London got together to run the Sixth North London Rotary Disability Games on Sunday 15 October 2017 at the Aspire Leisure Centre, next to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, North London.
Each Club looked after one of the events which included Table Tennis, 21st Century Curling, Indoor Bowls, Boccia, a Wheelchair Slalom, Deck Quoits, Stick Ball, Darts, Bagatelle and more.
The event was well attended, and a great success, and Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals were available for each category in each competition.
The Mayor of Elstree and Borehamwood Town Council and the Deputy Mayor of Harrow helped with the presentation of the medals to the winners. Immediate Past District Governor Helen stood in for District Governor Mike Hodge. Our thanks go to Scott Maclachlan and his team for organising this superb event.
We are now looking forward to the Seventh Games next year.
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.
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.
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.
We heard today that The Rotary Foundation has finally closed the file on our District’s Minibus Project for the Revival Centre in Chernihiv in Northern Ukraine.
Planning for the project commenced in September 2012, and the project received verbal approval in January 2013 whilst DGE Dick was being trained in San Diego. After just over a year of fundraising within our District, we had sufficient funds to apply for our Global Grant, and did so in June 2014. It was at that time that some obstacles were put in our path, but with tenacity and hard work the obstacles were overcome.
The Grant finally arrived at the end of April 2015, and within 10 weeks we had purchased the Minibus and delivered it to Ukraine in early July 2015, with DG Helen and PDG Dick sharing the driving. A year later, we made a follow-up visit to see how the vehicle was doing (see photo above) and were impressed with how it was being maintained.
On 10 March 2017, The Rotary Foundation accepted our final report and confirmed that the project has been completed to their satisfaction!
Rotarians from as far as California, USA were at the Tea Party held in the gardens of Lambeth Palace, the London residence of His Grace, the Archbishop of Canterbury on Friday 7 October 2016.
The weather was clement, dry and warm but not too sunny, and District Governor Helen took full advantage of the opportunity to meet the Rotarians, their friends and family who visited the gardens during the afternoon.
The event was a fundraiser for the Christmas Day Lunch organised by the Rotary Club of Battersea Park, and was a great success.
District Governor Helen (third from right) gave up part of her Bank Holiday Monday to help load a vehicle taking aid to the Revival Centre in Chernihiv in North Ukraine. The Revival Centre provides treatment for children with mental or genetic disability and specialises in the care of those who have inherited disorders resulting from the Chernobyl disaster.
The van pictured is one of three that take aid to Ukraine four times a year. The Rotarians in the Rotary Club of Northwick Park assemble items of aid which are taken by UK-AID (also known as Felsted Aid for Deprived Children). Current requirements are for Children’s Clothing, Toiletries, Nappies, Children’s Shoes, Adult Shoes and Adult Winter Coats.
If you have items for shipment, or are willing to provide items, the next convoy leaves on 6 October 2016. Your items can be collected – if it is a good load – or can be dropped off to a member of the Rotary Club of Northwick Park.
The van in the picture was purchased by Rotarians across London in September 2012.
On 23 August 2016, Rotarians from London and Members of the District Team, led by our District Governor Helen, travelled to Hayes Park in West London, home of Kraft Heinz in Hayes, for a Meal Packing Event hosted by Stop Hunger Now – a US Charity that aims to ensure that everyone on the planet has enough to eat every day by 2030.
The meals that were packed are all based on rice, dried soya mixed with vegetables, and lentils supported by a vitamin supplement to ensure adequate nutrition for the recipients. The goal set by Stop Hunger Now of 100,000 meals being packed in 3 x 2.5 hour shifts was achieved with a few minutes to spare. See the video at: https://youtu.be/IGuw2vJbAsA
The project was strongly supported by volunteers from Kraft Heinz working on their Corporate Social Responsibility agenda as well as Rotarians from across London. At the end of the day, the meals will be shipped to a Stop Hunger Now partner in Kibera, Kenya. Each packed meal contains about 1,500 calories – that is 250 calories per person when shared between 6. 250 Calories may not seem like much, but when you have little or nothing to eat, it seems like a large meal!
At our District Council Meeting on 13 July 2016, we were given an inspirational talk by Ella, who had been on a one-year Youth Exchange visit to Brazil, an experience which had opened her mind.
Interviewed by our District Youth Exchange Officer, Di King, Ella had last visited the District Council in July 2015, when she was about to set off for her year-long trip. At that time she appeared with a blazer, and was given her first badge to wear on it. When she appeared this time, all the blazer was covered in badges, some from the Rotary Clubs she had visited during the year, and some from the fellow Youth Exchange students from other countries around the world that she had met in Brazil.
Ella described that it was difficult at the start, living in a foreign country, speaking Portuguese, and living in a strange family. She also confessed to being a little homesick. But with school and with her fellow Youth Exchange students that soon passed.
The best time in the year was the time she spent with her fellow Youth Exchange students. But it was her description of how she had changed in the year that moved the Rotarians the most. She described that she had learned who she was, and in the process had become more confident and more comfortable with herself, even when it came to addressing large audiences like us. She now has a second language in which she can communicate fluently, and that helped her gain new perspectives and made her more open-minded to change and new ideas.
She finished by saying the same words as Ban Ki Moon said to the Rotary International Convention in Seoul, “Thank you very much!”
The Rotaract Clubs in London joined with Clubs from Kent, from Germany and Italy for their second Annual Conference at Kings College London on 14 May 2016.
The event was opened by District Governor Nominee Mike Hodge (above), as our Governor and Governor Elect were tied up with duties at RIBI, and the programme got under way. With talks on Leadership, Community Action, Public Speaking, Food Cycle – the answer to food waste, there was a full day for the members. In the afternoon, we had a talk on personal motivation from the World Record Holder for running a Marathon with 100lb backpack! Add to that, specific training for the Club Officers, and it was going to be a full day.
Not daunted, the Rotaractors found time to embark on a Service Project in the Strand, in Central London, with groups having a Super-Rotaractor wearing a specially designed cape undertaking random #Rotaractsofkindness.
Finally, we had awards, and the Rotarian of the Year Award was won by Assistant Governor Chris Wyatt, who had worked so hard on the formation of the Rotaract Club of Wandsworth.
In all a most enjoyable day was had by all, and we are looking forward to next year’s conference!