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!
The District Assembly Dinner held on 7 April 2016 was the first major event of the new Rotary Year starting on 01 July 2016. Very nearly 200 Rotarians made their way to the Royal National Hotel in Central London. The event was a great success and much appreciated by those that were there. Our principal guest was Dr Jamie Moran from London’s Air Ambulance who held everyone enthralled with his description of the work he has been doing with London’s Air Ambulance.
Our current District Governor, Toni ably supported by husband Michael, presented a number of awards and prizes to Clubs and individuals in recognition of their work during 2015-2016, as shown above. Then it was the turn of the Incoming Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland President, London Rotarian Eve Conway to address the Rotarians. Eve has decided to call her Class of District Governors “The Eve-olutionaries”.
Our Incoming District Governor, Helen Antoniou, has proposed a London-wide project that will provide a support vehicle for London’s Air Ambulance service. The vehicle will provide operational support to the two helicopters, moving equipment that either is too heavy or to bulky for the helicopters. It will also act as a mobile operating theatre, and will be used for educational and promotional activities at schools and festivals. It will carry the Rotary Logo alongside the London’s Air Ambulance logo. This project has gained warm support from the London Rotarians. “A Serving Suggestion” is pictured below.
It was then Incoming District Governor’s turn to speak. Helen introduced the new Rotary Theme – “Rotary Serving Humanity”. She gave an excellent speech based on the 6 spokes of the Rotary Wheel, introducing 1) the new President of Rotary International – John F Germ – and the new RIBI President, Eve. The second spoke was for Foundation, and Helen told us about John Germ’s experience with his father’s polio. The third spoke dealt with the Public Relations activities we will see this coming year in connection with the Rotary Foundation’s Centenary. The fourth spoke was our Humanitarian Service, and the emphasis on it for the coming year. Helen talked about the connection between Service and Public Relations, and between both of those and membership. Membership is a key goal for the coming year, and featured as the fifth spoke. The last spoke was reserved for Support, supporting Rotarians, Rotaract, Interact, Rotakids and Inner Wheel – the members of the Rotary family. She concluded with a quote from John Donne’s “No man is an island”. It was a powerful and moving speech delivered in a most professional fashion.
We now look forward to an exciting and rewarding year as we work to show “Rotary Serving Humanity”.
The Rotary Club of The City and Shoreditch hosted a most successful conference on 02 February 2016 at 6 York Gate, Rotary in London’s HQ with the title, “Eradicating Polio – The Next Steps”. Four Distinguished Speakers, and our own District Governor (the 5th Star!) were introduced by Club President Vincenzo Maini – pictured above – and they illuminated the understanding of the present difficulties eradicating polio, and the many problems that will come once the disease has been eradicated.
Professor John Edmunds, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine linked the sessions, Professor Paul Fine, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, spoke about the History of the Programme, Professor Nicholas Grassly, Imperial College, dealt with the problems with vaccines over the decades, and what that meant for the Programme, and Professor David Salisbury, Associate Fellow from Chatham House, spoke about the problems yet to come.
The event was most successful, with many people staying on for informal discussion long after the Question and Answer session had finished. There is still much to do, although there was celebration that so far, there have been no recorded cases of wild polio virus anywhere in the world since 01 January 2016. Well done, the Rotary Club of The City and Shoreditch.
The Christmas Gifts and Parcels bought by the Rotary Clubs in London were collated and sorted into the two recipient charities – The West London Mission and The Marylebone Project.
Picture above is our District Governor Toni, catching her breath before loading the parcels into her car for delivery to the two organisations.
The West London Mission (WLM) is a Circuit of the Methodist Church. WLM has two city-centre churches at Hinde Street in Marylebone and King’s Cross, and three Circuit mission projects. Each of the churches engages in worship, learning and caring, service and evangelism in ways that reflect Methodist tradition and their distinctive identity, history and context. The circuit mission projects are professional Social Work, a student community at Methodist Chaplaincy House at King’s Cross and work with students and young adults based in both churches. These projects are expressions of our historic roots and the current convictions of Hinde Street and Kings Cross churches.
The Marylebone Project continues to develop and sustain its transformational work with women affected by homelessness. We have sought again to invest in the women who use our services and the themes of Hospitality, Spirituality, Empowerment and Resettlement have informed our strategy and direction. Each woman is unique and special and our ambition is to deliver outstanding services to our community, pursuing and celebrating improvement and achievements. Below you will see some of the stories of women’s transformed lives.
DG Toni said, “I am amazed at the generosity of the Rotary Clubs in London, and I know that each of these gifts will be an event in these people’s lives that will be remembered for many years to come. I thank you myself, and I thank you on behalf of all the recipients.”
See the video of DGE Helen and PDG Dick as they drive from London to the Revival Centre in Ukraine. On arriving at Kyiv in Ukraine, the partner Club on the project had organised a Media Pit-Stop, and the Revival Centre in Chernihiv had organised that a journalist and television crew were present for the donation.
This video only tells the story of the journey. Clubs in District 1130 requesting Dick and Helen to speak to them get the full story, and some background about life in the Ukraine today.
By kind permission of Rotary International in Great Britain and IrelandOn Monday 13 January 2014, a significant milestone in the worldwide effort to eradicate polio was reached when India celebrated three years since its last new case of the disease. Official certification of the country as polio free will take place in March and a celebration is planned in February.
Long considered the hardest place in the world from which to eradicate polio, India is now a case study for mounting a successful disease response effort under complex circumstances.
In 2009, India was home to almost half of the world’s polio cases. The country then launched a comprehensive polio eradication effort to create a health infrastructure to eliminate the disease. This included a surveillance network of more than 33,000 sites, an army of 2.3 million vaccinators deployed during national immunisation days and strategies to reach children in the country’s hardest to reach areas. This resulted in the delivery of 900 million doses of polio vaccine in 2011 alone.
President of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland, Nan McCreadie said: “Rotary has worked tirelessly for many years to eradicate polio and we congratulate India on this tremendous achievement. It is a significant milestone in the history of public health and will have a lasting impact on the health of the country’s children. The lessons learned from India’s success can now be replicated in other countries in order to further eliminate the disease.”
Rotary has been at the forefront of the fight to end polio since it helped launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in the 1980’s. This year, every dollar raised for the End Polio Now campaign will be match funded 2:1 by the Make History Today campaign, which will match funds to a total of US$35 million per year until 2018.
Friday, 10 January 2014
– See more at: http://www.ribi.org/news/ribi-news/india-celebrates-three-years-polio-free