Category Archives: Rotary Foundation

Scholars in London Meet for Tea

On Sunday 30 September 2018, our District Headquarters was the venue for a Tea Party dedicated to the many Rotary Global Grant Scholars in London studying for a postgraduate qualification in Central London.  Over 30 were there on the day!

The programme included information on getting around London safely, coping with the complexities of Student Rail Cards and Oyster Cards, avoiding pick-pockets and mobile phone snatchers, and much more besides.

It was not a serious event all the time however, and we had an “Underground Station Quiz” and a “London Landmark Quiz”.

In addition to networking and getting to know the others, there was a magnificent cream tea laid on for the Scholars and their Counsellors.  With the Rotary Global Grant Scholarship, there is a “Rotary Aunt or Rotary Uncle” for support in the country of study.  Whilst not intruding on the student’s university life, the counsellor provides an opportunity to meet other Rotarians through local club service projects, and an opportunity to delve more deeply into our history and culture.

Our thanks go to the organisers, and the members of the Rotary Foundation committee who were there in support of this most popular event.

Recognition for Foundation Chairman

Our District Foundation Chairman is moving away from London towards the end of the Rotary Year, and the District Governor along with the Governor Elect, Governor Nominee and Immediate Past District Governor decided that the District needed to make a presentation that acknowledged the significant contribution that the Foundation Chairman has made over many years in a variety of positions in our District.

To great acclaim at a dinner in Central London, Tom Hunt (left in the photo above) received a triple ruby Paul Harris Fellowship pin – an extremely high recognition for the work that he had done over many years.  Tom will be sorely missed once he moves away, and we all wish him a very happy time once he moves back ‘up north’!

Scholars Christmas Dinner

The Rotary Foundation Scholars currently studying in London were invited to a traditional Fish and Chip Supper at our District Headquarters in York Gate on Friday 08 December 2017.  This event has been taking place each year for many years now and is another opportunity for the Scholars to meet up once again with their Counsellors.

The Fish and Chips were enjoyed by all those present at the event,  and it also gave Scholars Coordinator Grahame a chance to invite the scholars to the coming events over the Christmas season.

The scholars then ‘took over’ offering insights into how Christmas and the New Year are celebrated in their own countries.  There are so many differences around the world, and more than a few surprises too!

Some of the scholars depart for destinations overseas in the coming week, some will be staying in London over the holiday.  The Rotarians wish all the scholars a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Rotary Foundation Appreciation

More than 100 Rotarians sat down to the Rotary Foundation Appreciation Dinner in Central London on 15 November 2017.  Amongst the guests of honour at the dinner were Mike Webb – Main Board Trustee, John Dunkley – Foundation Chairman for Great Britain and Ireland, Debbie Hodge – President Elect for Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, Steve Munns – Endowments and Major Gifts Coordinator. In addition our District Governor and District Governor Elect, along with many Past District Governors were present.

Many awards and certificates for achievements were handed out on the evening.  However, the Surya Varsani Trophy this year was presented by Mike Webb to both The City and Shoreditch Club (above left) and the Enfield Chase Club (above right) for their per capita achievement in donations.  That two clubs should achieve the same highest per capita donation is a first for us!

All told the event was a great success, and tribute goes to District Foundation Chairman Tom Hunt and his team for organising this most enjoyable evening.

Scholars arrive in London

Each year, District 1130 – Rotary in London – hosts more scholars than any other District, because of the draw that the University of London represents. This year we are hosting 31 Scholars in our District and even that was not enough to fulfil the demand.  This year we are working with the next door District – D-1260 – who will be hosting four ‘overflow’ scholars studying at the University of London.

The group met for the first time on Sunday 01 October 2017, where there was a briefing on living and travelling around London, complete with information on reduced fares for students, how to stay safe and within budget, and the benefits of regular visits to Rotary Clubs!

The students’ number one priority is their studies however, and DG Michael Hodge provided useful hints on coping with reading lists.

We wish all the scholars a most successful year, and look forward to meeting them all again at the District Conference later this month.

Rotary Foundation Entertains

Debbie Hodge (RIBI President 18-19) and District Governor Helen were present at the event.

Some 152 Rotarians arrived at the Imperial Hotel in Central London on Tuesday 25 April 2017 for the once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate 100 years of the Rotary Foundation “Doing Good in the World”.  They were entertained by Rotarian Ron Burton from the Rotary Club of Leytonstone and Woodford before they went into the dinner.

The event coincided with the annual dinner organised by the Rotary Club of Barking in memory of Past District Governor Robert Hunter, and Dennis Bloomfield of that Club was given the opportunity to speak about the appreciation that the District still holds for Robert’s memorable year as District Governor.

Incoming Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland President Elect, Debbie Hodge of the Rotary Club of Ware in Hertfordshire, spoke movingly about the work of the Rotary Foundation.  Her talk cleverly dealt with both the Global View of the work of the Rotary Foundation, and the effect that it has had on individuals living in poverty in challenging parts of the world.  It was an informative and moving address that was much appreciated.

From the serious side, we took a wild leap to Rotarian Geoff Mackey who had us in stitches of laughter with his quirky outlook on the difference that the Rotary Foundation needs to make in the world.  At times a little ‘risqué’, when he finished our mood had been uplifted and we were ready to work again for the Rotary Foundation.

District Governor Helen presided and proposed a vote of thanks to all our speakers.  The event was run under the auspices of our District Rotary Foundation Chairman Tom Hunt, and he is to be congratulated on organising such a fun and such a successful event.

Good News Today from Foundation

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!

DG Helen leads a toast to Purple4Polio

District Governor Helen proposed a toast to the Eradication of Polio throughout the world at the Tea Party held specially to celebrate Rotary’s progress on eradicating the disease. The event was also the “Media Launch” of the Purple4Polio campaign and coincided with International Women’s Day.

Featured guests at the event included Jane Garvey, Woman’s Hour Presenter for BBC Radio 4, Konnie Huq who used to present Blue Peter, Emily Buchanan who used to be a World Affairs Correspondent for the BBC, Julia Roberts a polio survivor who became a professional dancer and TV Presenter, Bethany Hare who leads the Bethany Smiles Charity, and the principle sponsors Somnath Saha (CEO Typhoo Tea) and Liz Baker from Wilkin and Sons – makers of Tiptree Jams and Preserves.

RIBI was there in force with RIBI President Eve Conway, Janine Birtwhistle, and James Bolton doing an excellent job on the social media. Professional videographer Jonnie Allan recorded the whole event and the many interviews, ably supported by BBC Producer Helen Shreeve.

After short presentations from all the principle players, there was a tea-tasting organised by Typhoo, and then the specially baked celebration cake, made by a former Rotary Young Chef champion and which contained Tiptree preserves, was cut.  Deaba was also there, serving refreshments to ‘fill out the corners’.

York Gate was packed to capacity with more than 70 people present, and the event scored an enormous number of hits whilst trending strongly on social media.

Scholars’ Super Supper

Despite forthcoming examinations, seminars, tutorials and lectures, some 20+ Rotary Global Grant Scholars were hosted at Radlett Cricket Club by President David Rose and the Rotarians in the Rotary Club of Radlett on Monday 13 February 2017.

Despite falling temperatures and a nearly-full moon, the scholars that had managed to get time off attended this annual event in Hertfordshire. With scholars from Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, the USA and several other countries besides, each of the scholars was welcomed in their own language (or a very close approximation) by the Club Host Nigel Rogers.

District Governor Helen attended the event as did District Governor Elect Mike, with RIBI President 2018-19 Debbie.  Helen thanked the Rotary Club of Radlett for hosting the event, the Scholars for making the journey out of London, and the Rotary Foundation for its continued work in supporting Rotary International’s postgraduate scholarship programme for the last 60 years.

Polio Planting Programme

Many Rotarians from our District and further afield, described by the London Live Freeview TV Channel as an “army of volunteers”, assembled at the Benugo Cafe in Regents Park, Central London, before planting our ‘thousands’ of crocus corms on Friday 9 December 2016.

As well as members of our District, we had Ade Adepitan, Konnie Huq, Julia Roberts and Anne Wafula-Strike who are all Rotary International Polio Eradication Ambassadors. Stefan Levy of London Live was also on the scene interviewing the celebrities for the live broadcast.

With Judith Diment, the Rotary International Polio Task Force Advocacy leader lending important support to the event, as well as RIBI President Eve Conway – complete with her teddy bear – this was significant exposure of our work in the media.

And there was even more good news when we learned that there had been no new cases of polio recorded in the world that week, meaning that the total stayed at 34 for the year to date.