Category Archives: Youth Opportunities Projects

Youth Makes Music Concert

Many Rotarians from London attended the Rotary “Youth Makes Music” Concert at the Royal Festival Hall on 22 February 2018.  The programme included a wide range of music from choirs, to a string quartet, to a concert band, to a jazz orchestra, to carnatic music, to a steel band, to a full symphony orchestra, to a rock band and even a solo rock guitarist.


Under the compere for the evening, the BBC’s Ellie Crisell, the audience were introduced to each of the acts.  All of the artists were schoolchildren or students studying in schools or colleges within the Rotary in London District.

All agreed that the performers produced music of a very high standard, and the event was a wonderful window on the young musical talent in London.

Youth Exchange Is Inspirational


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!”

Salmon is a Winning Recipe


Contestants from all over London gathered in Redbridge College to decide who was the London Rotary Young Chef of the Year.  Competition Judges John Liddle and Maurice Haskew had the invidious task, and The Worshipful the Mayor of the London Borough of Redbridge, Councillor Barbara White presented the trophies.

With a substantial group of supporting parents and teachers, the contestants start their tour of the kitchens at 10am, and the competition proper started with the table lay-up.  It was then into the kitchens for the serious business.  Service  of a main and dessert course for two people, had to be completed by 1pm.

The complexity of the recipes chosen was amazing.  One judge described how difficult it is to arrive in a professional kitchen, and start cooking for a competition.  That said, every contestant managed their two courses, and all of them looked terrific.

Winner Ella watches as DGE Helen chats with contestant Nell
The proof of the cooking – salmon en croute and pear souffle







The winner, Ella, who prepared Salmon en croute with crushed potatoes, and a pear souffle now moves on to the South East Regional Final, and we wish her every success.

Our thanks go to our sponsors for helping fund the competition, and also to Redbridge College for their first class hospitality.

A New Rotaract Club in London


On Tuesday 19th January 2016, a new Rotaract Club was chartered in the centre of London.

The New Club is based on the Kings College campus in central London, part of London University, and received its charter from District Governor Toni Finkel and sponsoring Club President Ian Caldwell, from the Rotary Club of Chelsea.

It had taken a major effort from a number of Rotarians over the years to get the Club underway, and we all wish the new Rotaractors every success with their Club.  A programme of mentoring and support has been put in place, and we hope that the new Club President Bella (centre in the picture) and the many supporting Rotaractors a happy and rewarding time with the Rotaract.

Rotary Young Citizen Bella in Brazil

Here is the video of Rotary Young Citizen Award Winner Bella Field, aged ten, from the Rotary in London District, speaking at the Rotary International Convention in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Tuesday, 9th June at the personal invitation of the RI President Gary Huang.  The RI President invited Bella to Brazil after being impressed by her when he saw her at the RIBI Conference in Belfast when she received her Young Citizen Award.  She was nominated for the Award by the Rotary Club of Redbridge.

Rotary Youth Speaks Regional Final Photos

Schools from Hertfordshire, Essex, Suffolk and London came together on 21 March 2015 at the City of London School for Boys for the Regional Final of Rotary’s Public Speaking competition for young people.

The day started with Registration, following by the Intermediate Competition (11-13 years), then the seniors competition, a break for a cup of tea and then the presentation of prizes.

A wide range of subjects – some of the contentious, some less so – were explored and there were penetrating questions from the Rotary Questioner.

A full album of download-able photographs can be found at the following location:

Photo Album from the Regional Final

A full report on the event will appear in due course.

Parliament Week Debates get under way!

Debates in the style of the Houses of Parliament got under way today – Friday 15 November 2013 – at District Headquarters in York Gate.


Pupils from the King Alfred School debated whether or not the death penalty should be re-introduced for acts of terrorism. Pictured here are proposer Jordan (left), Louise acting as Speaker (centre) and Ethan as opposer (right). District Governor Dick was also there to make sure than the discussion did not get out of hand!

The event was run very much like the House of Commons, with those in the ‘House’ wishing to speak standing up and catching the Speaker’s eye. At the end of the debate, Speaker Louise rang the bell, and called for the lobbies to be cleared. Those present then filed through either the Yes Lobby or the No Lobby, and the Teller (Miriam Specterman) reported the count for the Ayes to the Right and the No’s to the Left. To much waiving of order papers, the motion was carried with shouts of ‘Here! Here!” from the benches on that side.

All agreed it had been great fun even though the subject was a serious one. None of those participating had had much experience of public debating, but the Rotary event at York Gate has whetted their appetites for more debate.

Our thanks go the members of the Rotary Club of Wembley who supported the event and managed the ‘House’.

Youth Makes Music 2013 – Urgent Reminder

The Youth Makes Music concert takes place in less than two weeks time at the Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, on Monday 18th March at 7.00pm.  The number of clubs that have applied so far for tickets is extremely disappointing, despite the fact that District Council voted unanimously to hold it.   What kind of message would we sending to the young performers if they see a half empty hall?  I attach a ticket application form to enable you to apply for tickets if you have not done so.  We would also welcome any offers of help on the day both during the day and in the evening to marshal the performers and generally look after them.

PDG Clive Amos, Chairman, Youth Makes Music 2013 Organising Committee.