About us

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ROTARY AND IN OUR CLUB THEN PLEASE CONTACT  MIKE HILES on 01934 744386 or 07771 907054 e-mail: michael-hiles@hotmail.com 

THE NEW PRESIDENT FOR 2018-2019 is Adam Travis

Presidents Message

I would like to take this opportunity of welcoming all visitors to Mendip RC website, whether you are Club members, potential new members or are simply interested in what we do.

Rotary is a global voluntary organisation with over 1.2 million members supporting a very wide range of community-based projects large and small, whilst at the same time providing its membership with fellowship and friendship.

The Rotary Club of Mendip support local causes within the Cheddar Valley. As well as donating funds to international disasters such as the Tsunami in Indonisia.

Globally Rotary is in the final stages of its 30-year $1b Polio Eradication Programme; this life-changing disease is now limited to a few cases in Pakistan and Afghanistan. We are very hopeful that within 3 years Polio will finally be defeated.

At a local level Mendip RC and its members will continue to support its youth programme in the local community including, Young Chef, Young Musician, Young Artist, Young Writer, Youth Speaks, The Big Pitch, and mock interviews.

Internationally, Mendip is leading a group of Rotary Clubs in Somerset, India and Uganda to support a rural district 50km north-east of Kampala for the next 3 years. This project will provide sanitation, basic healthcare, IT skills and mentoring to young and female entrepreneurs. The project will cost US$75k, 60% of which will come from Rotary Foundation, our own Charity, and this speaks volumes for the power of Rotary.

If you are interested to hear more about this fantastic organisation and would like to contribute to both our local and international communities, please visit us at The Strawberry Special Draycott on Thursday evenings, 19:00 for 19:30. 

Global Sight Solutions

The Club was entertained by Rotarian John Miles who gave a talk on the charity Global Sight Solutions, originally The Guildford Rotary Eye project.The aim of the Charity is to develop The Avoidable Blindness Programme. There are 50 million men, women and children worldwide who cannot afford to have their eyesite restored. Local hospitals are set up and run by local people with the aim of them becoming financially sustainable. The Charity has set a target of 50 new hospitals to be opened by 2020 to support those already operational. Due to the assistance of Rotary Foundation a gift of £5 will become £15 which is the cost of a cataract operastion in the developing world. To donate go to the Charities website.

Christmas celebrations

The Club together with the Inner Wheel Club of Mendip held thier annual Celebration of Christmas. Following a service at St. Peter's Church Draycott conducted by Rotarian Mike Gelder everyone adjourned to the Strawberry Special for a meal and fellowship. The assembled were entertained by a performance from the Inner Wheel Club of Mendip. the Inner Wheel of Mendip.

Cheddar Festive Night

Following a disaterous start when the main marquee was destroyed by a strong gust of wind the Rotary Club event went ahead. The marquee was intended for use by the students fro the Kings Academy to sell their products as part of the Big Pitch initiative. Thanks to La Rocca the students were allowed to set up their stalls around the restaurant and the event continued. The Rotary stall was moved to a members drive where hot dogs and burgers were sold. The Inner Wheel Club also used the same location to sell doughnuts and hot chocolate. An excercise in disaster recovery.

Local Rotary Clubs adopt a Ugandan Village

The Rotary Clubs of Mendip; Bridgwater, Weston Super Mare and the District 1200 E Club have combined to adopt the , Uganga in an exciting US$70,000 project.

Adoption’ involves improving the basic needs of a village through three primary means – Water; Education and Medical. 

This project has been made possible through a Rotary Foundation Grant which multiplied the funds raised by the local clubs, D3201,Kerala, Cochin and Tamil Nadu, South India. Also Rotary Clubs of Kampala Sunrise, and so is a truly international initiative.

Mendip honour two local cave rescue divers involved in the Thai Cave Rescue

The Rotary Club of Mendip honoured two of the Cave Rescue Divers from the Cheddar Valley who were involved in the rescue operation to free the boys belonging to the Thailand football team who had become trapped in the Tham Luang Caves. Chris Jewell and Connor Roe were part of the International rescue operation and both were involved within the cave system to bring the boys out. Chris and Connor are members of the British Cave Rescue Council. At a special Club meeting the two were presented with the Paul Harris Fellow Award. It was considered that the two had exemplified the essence of Rotary “Service Above Self”. It is the first time in its 75 year year history that the Club has given this award to Non Rotarians.

During the evening attended by members and guests including Rotarians from the Rotary Club of London and Rotary Club of Rugby an interesting presentation about the rescue operation was given.

Talk on Homelessness

Naseem Talukdar gave a very interesting talk to the Club about homelessness in Somerset.

Mendip support Cheddar Rescue

President Adam Travis hands over a cheque to Cheddar Rescue as the Rotary Club of Mendips continued support of local organisations.

Polio Presentation at Cheddar Library

Rotarian Bob Acland preparing to give a talk to members of the public about Rotary's invovlment in the eradication of polio worldwide.

Mendip Rotary Plant Crocus for World Polio Day

Members of the Rotary Club of Mendip plant purple crocus to celebrate World Polio Day. Rotary International with the Bill and Melisa Gates Foundation is working towards the eradication of polio worldwide. The reason purple crocus are planted is because when children are vaccinated their little fingers are dipped in purple ink to signify that they have been vaccinated.

Talk on the eradication of polio by Mendip Rotary at the Cheddar Library


Rotary International has been working to eradicate poliomyelitis (polio) for over 30 years, and its goal of ridding the world of this crippling contagious disease is in sight. The project started in 1979 with vaccinations for 6 million children in the . Since then, along with partners, Rotary has helped immunise more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries against the disease. The number of polio cases has reduced by 99.9 percent worldwide and Rotary won't stop until the disease is gone for good. Today, , , and are the only countries where polio remains endemic, and even in these countries the number of cases is very small.

Members of the public are warmly invited the Cheddar Library on Wednesday 24th October at 2 pm to a live event and a talk by the Rotary Club of Mendip about how it is taking bold steps to contribute to polio eradication. There is no need to book for this free event–simply turn up. If you require more information, please contact Rotarian Jim Skinner 07880 791580.

The picture shows crocus planted in the Rotary Sensory Garden Cheddar.

Mendip Rotary donate to Shelterbox to provide assistance to the survivors of the Indonisian Tsunami and Earthqauke 

The Rotary Club of Mendip have donated funds from thier charity account for the purchase of a Shelterbox to be sent to survivors of the Indonisian Tsunami and Earthquake. The box will be one of many sent by the Rotary Charity Shelterbox and will provide shelter and basic equipment to a family who have lost everything. The picture shows the contents of the Shelterbox.

Mendip Rotary provide two Water Survival Boxes

The Club have provided funds to purchase two Water Survival Boxes to replenish the depleted stocks following the large consignment sent to Kerela India following the flooding there. These will be available to send to anywhere where clean water is required following a natural disaster. The water filter can turn 100,000 litres of contaminated water into drinking water. The box also contains items for basic survival. The contents can be seen in the photograph below.

Mendip Rotary are giving a talk on the eradication of polio on 24th October at 2:00pm.

It is the aim of Rotary International to eradicate polio from the world. To hear more come to Cheddar Library on the 24th October at 2:00pm. For more information ring 0788-791580.

Re building a school in Nepal

The Club has donated to the District 1200 initiative led by the Rotary Club of Yeovil to rebuild a school in Nepal which was destroyed by the 2015 earthquake. The 7.8 earthquake destroyed 475 schools. The total cost is £64k of which £53k has been raised to date. One of the partners is the Somerset Charity School in a Bag., who delivers rucksacks filled with stationary learning resources and eating utensils to disaster affected children.

Mobile eye unit for India


Following a talk from Rotarian Yinka Osaba from the Rotary Club of Yeovi,l related to the work carried out by the SSM Eye ResearchFoundation in India. The Club donated funds towards the mobile eye unit. The Project Nethra is in conjunction with the Girdhar Eye Institute India. The Rotary Club of Cochin initiated the project which was supported by the Rotary Club of Yeovil. The project cost were $80k.

Presentation of the Rotary Community Service Award to  Bailey of Bristol

President Richard and Past President Phil present the Rotary Community Service Award to Craig Robinson in thanks for the tremendous support given by Bailey of Bristol and Prima who supllied the Caravan and ancillary prizes for our raffle to help Macmillan. 

Handover of the Caravan Donated by Bailey of Bristol Caravans

The Caravan from our prize draw being handed over to the winners Mr & Mrs Britton at winchester Caravans. The caravan was donated by Bailey of Bristol. president Richard Tilleyand Past President Phil Hunt made the presentation.


Priddy School featured a bird box and bug hotel made by members of Mendip Rotary in their Gold Award entry in the Bath & West Show competition for schools for the best decorated shopping trolley; the competition was sponsored by Morrisons. 

Credits included reference to our club which made boxes and hotels for a number of local schools over the last two years - congratulations are due to President Richard for coming up with this environmental initiative and of course to the school, one of whose teachers is the daughter of one of members Mark Summers. The photo gallery includes further pictures


40 people and children took part in the Rotary Club of Mendip inaugural walk. This included participants from 5 other Rotary Clubs. Frome RC, Frome Town RC, Frome Selwood RC, Bridgwater RC and Bradley Stoke RC. There were 2 walks on for families of approximately 3.5 miles around Compton Bishop and a longer walk of 5.5 miles to Crook Peak and back. Both walks set of from the Cross Memorial Hall.

The walks included a treasure hunt to keep everybody interested. Seven families took part in the event.

After the walk there was a presentation of certificates to all walkers and the winners of each walk who had the most correct answers. This was followed by a BBQ where everybody relaxed in the sunshine and recounted their experiences.

The walk was to raise funds for the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance and Rotary Charities

Photo shows walkers relaxing after their exertions - there are more photos in the Photo Gallery


In 2018 President Richard led 11 members to visit an e-club based in Olhao,Portugal, which is an extension of RIBI. They provided us with a visit to Vineyard and to a Rotary Food Farm which grows crops to distribute to the poor in local towns. Whilst on the trip we toured Olhao, our base, Tavira & Faro including an interesting return from Faro to Olhao - as ever our hotel was good and reasonably priced and we had excellent meals in local restaurants. SEE the Photos on our website for more revelations! 


Thirteen year-old Poppy McGhee, a pupil at Hugh Sexey C of E Middle School, became Runner up in the final of RIBI Young Musician Competition in Edinburgh on 19th. May having previously won the South West Final and Rotary 1200 District Young Musician Competition (instrumental section) held recently at Kings of Wessex Academy in Cheddar. Her ability and violin performance was highly impressive at all levels.

She played ‘Chant-Poème’ by Aram Khachaturian and ‘The Hot Canary’ by Paul Nero. Of the latter piece, Poppy said, “The Hot Canary makes me smile; I hope it makes you smile too.” Her playing was described by the three adjudicators as ‘demonstrating complete mastery of her instrument’ and having ‘captivated the audience’.


Thanks to Nigel Deane we obtained a prime site in Cheddar to enable a prominent display to celebrate Rotary's amazing efforts to lead the world in trying to eliminate Polio, the figures speak for themselves 350,000 cases in 1988 down to just 37 in 2016. Sustained major efforts and funding are still needed to achieve the target of total elimination!


Bailey of Bristol donated a top of the range 4 berth single axle Pegasus Caravan to Mendip Rotary Club to raffle for Cancer and other Rotary Charities. The draw took place on Sunday 22nd October as planned.

Chief Executive of Bailey of Bristol made the draw for 9 prizes, the main prize being the caravan which will be furnished to the winners choice. Below are listed  the winning numbers who is shown drawing the prize. On his left is President of Mendip Rotary Club Richard Tilley & on his left in the pink shirt Immediate {ast President Phil Hunt.

We obviously cannot reveal names and addresses - but here are the details:
First......................Caravan...... ..........09834........BH25  ( New Milton)
Second................  Awning..................03539. .......BS28  (Wedmore)
Third ....................BBQ................. .....04444........NP16  ( Newport)

Fourth  ............... .Chairs.................. ..05573.......TN29   
Fifth ...................  Hamper................09956... ... ..SO51
Sixth .................. .Hamper............ ....03950.....  ..TA24 
Seventh .............. .Hamper................ 02357.......  TA3  
Eighth ..................Hamper.............. ..00984......   TA9
Ninth ...................Hamper............ ....01306          email address

All winners have been advised. 

For more information visit the Win a Caravan website by clicking the link button



Once again the popular Young Chef competitors produced an amazing array of dishes which gave our judges a difficult decision deciding on the winner. Thanks to the staff of Kings of Wessex Academy for inspiring the students to enter.


On 21st September our meeting was held at Rookery Farm where over 80 members and visitors enjoyed a good meal and lively talk from Brad who kindly donated his services free. It was surprising to see the lengths to which people would go to obtain a free copy of Brad's book! Hopefully some of the young business people attending will emulate his business success!


We were delighted to welcome to extend our Friendship to members of Rotary District 3201 India. Local visits were arranged and the Rotarians and their partners attended our meeting to share information about their District and Clubs in India and also enjoyed hearing an interesting about 'Henry the Hoover' which excited their entrepreneurial instincts. More photos can be found in the photo gallery.


After the popularity of our Boxes at Cheddar First School four members got together to build more for Cheddar First School, a few hours work and some wood courtesy of Vice President Richard Tilley enabled the above boxes to be prepared before moving them to the school. We hope may happy bugs and and birds will thrive!

  • If you would be interested in finding out more about Rotary it's ideals and aspirations please visit our website or use the contact section in the membership area. We promise we will get back to you as soon as possible



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Happening soon...

Meetings and events happening soon

Thursday 24th January 19.30

Speaker- David Welch


Thursday 31st January 19.30



Thursday 7th February 19.30

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Family Rotary club use skills to kick-start local charities

Rotary members unite to tackle world hunger

Meetings & Venue

Where and when:

We meet on Thursdays at 19.15 for 19.30
(No Meetings following a Bank Holiday or before Good Friday, on fifth Thursdays we may have a break out meeting)
Strawberry Special, Draycott, Somerset BS28 3TQ  01934 742177

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