About us


           Welcome to the Rotary Club of Leigh

Our club was formed in 1931 and has a modern and progressive membership of pro-active individuals who work together for the good of others through numerous initiatives and fund raising projects. This takes the Rotary motto of "Service Beyond Self" to a level that really makes a difference.

We support a wide range of projects within our local community, as well as International Projects and Disaster Relief.

We have a meeting every Monday to enjoy each other's company, listen to inspiring speakers, and keep up-to-date with our community and projects. We also meet for various other Social, Fund Raising and Community Service events. 

If you would like to attend one of our meetings to find out more about what we do, please use the “Contact” facility at the top of this page, or use the links to find more general information about the world-wide Rotary organisation.

Our meetings are held at Leigh Cricket Club, Beech Walk, Leigh, WN7 3LH

Monday Lunch  - 1st & 3rd Monday of each month at 12.45 pm.

Monday Evenings - 2nd, 4th  & 5th Monday of each month at 7.00 pm

Let the Children Speak

Even established professionals can find that speaking in public can be a nerve-wracking experience, but when you are under 12 years old, speaking to an audience of seventy people becomes a massive challenge! That is what youngsters had to face at Leigh Rotary Club’s “Let the Children Speak” event.

Pupils from eight local schools took part with 20 pupils speaking for 5 minutes on a very wide variety of topics of their own choice, ranging from “Endangered Animals” and “How to Look After Dogs”, to “Animation” and “Football”.

Rugby League personality and Rotary member John Stringer acted as MC and Rotary President Brian Mills summed up the event, saying, “The youngsters were amazing - speaking clearly and with confidence on interesting subjects and this will really benefit them in their future schooling, careers and personal life. Parents and teachers must be very proud of the youngsters achievements.” Thanks were extended to Sheenagh Newton, Head of XII Apostles, for organising the participating schools and to the Directors of the Leigh Masonic Hall for allowing the use of their facilities.

Each child was presented with a commemorative trophy. Schools that entered speakers were Newton West Park, Westleigh Methodists, Leigh C of E, Bickershaw, Sacred Heart, Leigh St Gabriels, St Josephs and XII Apostles.


A group of 21 Members and ladies enjoyed a lovely lunch at Alberts (on the East Lancs Rd) before we moved on to the BBC Studios for a most enlightening tour. First we assembled in the “Green Room” then saw the radio presenter’s studio, with hundreds of knobs and dials to play with, whilst on the other side of the glass screen, radio presenters Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie were broadcasting their live programme.

After visiting the main studio for A Question of Sport and other sports programmes, we passed through the main hall, where we caught a glimpse of various broadcasters including Dave Guest, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Roger Johnson and Annabel Tiffin.

Finally after spending some time in the studio where the Breakfast News programme is screened, we sat in the Newsround studio where Elaine Brogden and Rob Garner tried their hand as presenters and Frank Bowker demonstrated his skills as a weather presenter using the “green screen.”

What a wonderful day and a great social time together.



Once again we have Rotarian Dave Jones to thank for organizing a Bird & Nature Watch at Pennington Flash, attended by 8 members and friends, escorted around the hides by members of the Leigh Ornithological Society, on a beautiful sunny day. We now know what a Chiff Chaff and a Reed Warbler sound like and can identify a Great Crested Grebe, Lapwing, Oyster Catcher and even a Wigeon (no, not a Pigeon!)

We also rescued a very rare species from a pond – a Morrison’s Trolley!

Following our expedition, 11 of us enjoyed lunch and the odd beer at the Robin Hood. Thanks to the Leigh Ornithological Society for making the day so enjoyable.


We were very pleased to have 2 new members join Leigh Rotary Club in March. We got to know Pete Nugent when he helped us with the Santa Collection and the Crocus planting. He enjoyed our trip to the Fire Station recalling his life as a Firefighter in London, commuting weekly from his home in Pennington, where he lives with his wife Jen.
Mike Norris joined at the end of March having attended several meetings after giving us valuable help by towing the Santa Float with his 4x4 vehicle. Mike lives with his wife Roberta near Gilded Hollins and has an interesting hobby with his rather large model trains.


Leigh Rotary members have had a busy time gardening over the last few months.

In April we obtained 105 tree saplings for Rotary’s project to plant 35000 trees - one for every Rotarian in the UK. The saplings were obtained free of charge from the Woodland Trust and were planted in Lilford Park, in co-operation with the Leigh Ornithological Society. The local “Green Team” joined in to plant some trees and “Friends of Lilford Park” surprised us by barbecuing sausages and treating the volunteer planters to hot dogs and drinks.

The following photos show the volunteers ready for action.


Last October, Leigh Rotarians planted purple crocuses in support of Rotary International’s “End Polio Now” campaign to rid the world of the terrible Polio disease. Rotary has helped to immunise over 2.5 Billion children since 1985 and we are now very close to eradicating this disease.

The crocuses, planted at the side of Spinning Gate have bloomed to spell out our message, as the photo shows:


Rotary member Bryan Kay is a very talented artist who visits Provence every year to capture wonderful scenes, which look even better when he has transformed them into watercolour paintings.

Bryan will be exhibiting his water colours in Glazebury from 14th to 21st April, as detailed on the attached poster.

We would like to thank everyone who assisted or attended our race night, it raised £1100 for charity.


Another event at Tesco Leigh – our Bike Ride for Rotary International’s “End Polio Now” campaign took place on Saturday 24th February, with cyclists from the club including Dave Jones, Stuart Forshaw, Alan Smallshaw & John Bullough all breaking into a sweat! We were well supported with other cyclists from the Rugby Union club and member’s friends. The collection raised £338 and Microsoft founder Bill Gates will add a twice that amount to make it up to £1014.

This will be used to immunize children in Afghanistan & Pakistan, which are the 2 remaining countries in the world where this disease has still not been eradicated. Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease, which Rotary has been working hard to eradicate globally since 1985 when there were 125 polio endemic countries. Rotary has helped to immunise over 2.5 billion children globally since then and Polio cases across the world have reduced by 99.9% from 350,000 cases in 1988 to just 17 in 2017. No cases have been reported yet in 2018, but it only takes one infected person to jump on a flight to the UK, to bring this terrible disease back to the UK.

That’s why Rotarians, governments, non-governmental organisations and the public are working together to raise the additional £1 billion needed to eradicate polio for good. Together we can beat polio.

 Leigh Rotary Helps the NHS

An initiative by Rotary Clubs in the “Wigan 7” area has been declared a roaring success!

Many people have been astonished that they have not been able to return Hospital Equipment after they have finished using it, even when it still looks brand new. That has recently changed as Wigan Council now has a department that can clean, repair and refurbish Crutches, Zimmer Frames, Perching Stools, Commodes, and Wheelchairs etc.

The problem is that facilities didn’t exist for collecting such equipment, which has accumulated in people’s houses over many years, so local Rotary Clubs stepped in to organise a collection of surplus equipment on Sunday, 18th February.

After the collection at the Tesco store in Leigh, Rotary Club President Brian Mills said, “This was a terrific community project, saving money for the local Hospital Trust. It was a win-win situation where people could create some more space at home and at the same time give the hospital the opportunity to refurbish and recycle surplus equipment. More than 150 items were collected, including 89 Crutches and Walking sticks, 30 Zimmer and Walking frames, 21 Washing and Toilet aids and 4 Wheelchairs, with some being brought from as far away as St Helens and Horwich. We would like to thank the general public and Leigh Tesco for their support.”

In a co-ordinated effort, similar collections were made by the Rotary Clubs of Tyldesley and Atherton, Astley, Wigan and Ashton-in-Makerfield. 

New Member – Rotary Club of Leigh

At Monday’s meeting on 8th January, we had the pleasure of introducing Geoff Melling as a new member.

Geoff has attended lots of recent meetings and other events and has helped out at the Santa collections. His membership will be an asset to the club.

The photo shows Geoff with his sponsor, Chris Stephenson and Club President, Brian Mills.

Santa’s Amazing Christmas Collection

Father Christmas has sent a letter to say a massive “Thank You” to everyone from Leigh and Lowton who kindly donated an amazing amount of just over £14000 to Leigh Rotary Club’s charity fund raising.
Santa wrote to say, “What another incredible Christmas Collection this has been! Thousands of children and adults came out to meet me and have their photographs taken, sometimes braving freezing weather, a bit of snow and some very cold rain. Some children had been saving their change throughout the year and gave me bags full of money (and a few mince pies!)”
Leigh Rotary’s President Brian Mills said, ” I cannot describe the amount of pleasure seen on the children’s faces, (and their mums and dads) during our collections and this alone made the effort really worthwhile.
“The amount raised was tremendous - what amazing people we have in our town! The funds we collected will be put to good use for worthwhile causes such as youth organisations, the homeless and many local charities. The Rotary Club of Leigh would like to thank Bents, Asda, Morrisons and Tesco for allowing collections on their premises. This year we have had many extra volunteers who have helped with collecting and with towing the Sleigh. We could not have managed without their help, so we like to thank them also – but most of all, thanks to the wonderful people of Leigh & Lowton for their generosity.”

Youth Brass Band & Choir Concert

The Rotary Club of Leigh held their annual Charity Christmas Concert at Leigh Parish Church on 9th December, with a full church being entertained by the Wigan Youth Brass Band & Wigan Youth Choir.

Their programme included a wide range of tunes and songs, ranging from Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody, to a James Bond Medley, interspersed with traditional Carols, which the audience sang with gusto.

The youngsters further demonstrated their musical talents with some test pieces and finished with the Snow Waltz, “Schneewaltzer”, with the audience and the band bobbing up and down to the Austrian melody.

The concert was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress, Bill Clarke and his wife Joan, along with Leigh MP Jo Platt. They remarked on the amount of young musical talent we have in the area and praised the band and choir for their wonderful performance.



Our first meeting at the Cricket Club got off to a good start with a speaker from Derian House Children’s Hospice. Elaine Middleton explained how they provide palliative, specialist respite and end of life care for children and young adults throughout the North West region

She told us about the many families they have cared for and supported since the hospice opened and that children can also receive on-going expert care at home. Situated in Chorley, the Hospice is an independent charity receiving minimal statutory funding, relying almost exclusively on their own efforts to raise around the £3.85 million needed to run the Hospice each year. We have sent a donation of £150 to this worthwhile charity.


We were privileged to have two ex-professional Rugby League players give a presentation on their charity, ‘State of Mind Sport’. Danny Sculthorpe and Phil Vievers told us of the dangers of sports men and women who can get badly depressed when their careers come to a sudden end. “Macho” men are vulnerable as they often keep their problems bottled up, which has lead to many suicides. The charity aims to raise awareness of mental health issues within sport, to overcome such issues.

Canal Festival & Leigh for All – 8 to 10th Sept.

The festival was spread over several sites, including the Waterside Inn, the Turnpike Gallery and Leigh Spinners Mill, with boat trips on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, a beer festival at the Waterside Inn and a range of stalls including the Rotary Gazebo with Tombola and Roy’s “Splat the Rat”. In the Town Hall Square on Saturday, there was a WW2 Display of Vehicles & Equipment and Classic Cars next to another Rotary Gazebo with our new Chuck the Ball game. 

The Rotary Club of Leigh helped with sponsorship of this community event and acted as marshalls for the car park.



Leigh Rotary’s New President

Brian Mills has become the new President of Leigh Rotary Club, taking over from David Jones, with Mike Guest becoming Vice-President.

After handing over the chain of office, the retiring President said, “We have had a most satisfying year during which we helped the funding of many organisations, clubs and charitable groups, and we must thank the people of Leigh and Lowton for their support and contributions – everyone has been so generous, especially at Christmas time with Santa’s Sleigh. I am sure that the incoming President will receive the same level of support and we wish him every success.”

After accepting his new responsibilities, Rotary President Brian Mills commented, “I would like to express my congratulations to our retiring President for such a successful year. In the year ahead we will be getting involved in various Community projects and will continue helping charitable causes. We have already got off to a good start by helping True Colours to set up a new sensory facility for Autistic care in Leigh.

We are making some radical changes to our weekly meetings by moving from lunchtimes to alternating lunch and evenings, to make it more accessible to potential working members and we have arranged interesting events and speakers, including a Wing Commander from the Battle of Britain Flight and Musketeers from a Civil War Re-Enactment society.

We are always happy to hear from any groups in the area who have a project that the Rotary Club of Leigh may be able to support. We would also like to hear from anyone interested in joining Rotary or in helping with any of our events.”

Welcome to our New Member

In June we welcomed a new member to our Club. Peter Thompson joined us but he is no stranger to Rotary, as he has been a member of the Rotary Club of Whitchurch for several years. Peter and his wife Mary have moved to her home town of Leigh and one of Peter’s first jobs was to pop into one of our meetings, where he quickly made the decision that this was the club for him. Since then he has attended every weekly meeting and all the other events, so is already becoming a valuable member. We look forward to hearing his life story when he speaks to us at a meeting in September.

Summer Camp

It was a busy time for Rob & Jeanette Dyson as they held a BBQ for 14 youngsters from overseas, along with the Rotarians who they will be staying with, whilst in the UK for Rotary Summer Camp. Many countries were represented from China to Spain and the Dyson’s hosted boys from Poland and Portugal. This is the 10th year they have done this - well done Rob & Jeanette!

Let the Children Speak!

Public speaking can be a nerve-wrecking experience, even for established professionals, but when you are under 12 years old, speaking to an audience of over a hundred people, it becomes a massive challenge! That is what youngsters had to face at Leigh Rotary Club’s “Let the Children Speak” event.

Eight local schools took part with 21 pupils speaking for 5 minutes on a very wide variety of topics of their own choice, ranging from “Endangered Animals” and “Love for Writing Rap Songs”, to “Holidays” and “Planes”. One young lady even wrote a song and performed it without any backing.

Rugby League personality and Rotary member John Stringer acted as MC and after Rotary President David Jones had presented each child with a trophy, he said, “Being able to speak in public is an important asset and this event will have boosted their confidence and raised their self esteem, which will help them in all walks of life. The youngsters who entered this event should be particularly proud, because they spoke loud and clearly and were also interesting and informative. They were a real credit to themselves, their parents and their teachers.”

The Rotary Club would like to thank the Directors of Leigh Masonic Hall for allowing use of their facilities and Walter Brown for providing the sound equipment. Thanks also to the teachers and assistants at the schools who entered, which were Leigh St. Mary’s, Christ Church Primary, Leigh Central, Westleigh Methodists, Leigh St. Gabriel’s, Bickershaw, Sacred Heart, and XII Apostles.


Rotary Club members enjoyed a morning of Birdwatching at Pennington Flash, thanks to the members of the Leigh Ornithological Society, who kindly escorted us around the various hides and viewing points. Interesting information was given about the wildlife and the hides, named after prominent members of the birdwatching community.

It was fascinating to not only see and be told about the various birds and wildlife, but to also listen to the bird calls and to hear how the experts could differentiate between them all.

An extra bonus was meeting up with some biologists from London who are researching the use of small beetles which can destroy the weed which is covering some of the ponds and waterways. These creatures are effective without causing any other issues.

An excellent day was completed with an enjoyable lunch at the Robin Hood.

PHOTO: Rotary Birdwatchers in Action

Leigh’s Open Gardens Day

The second Open Gardens Day was held last week by the Rotary Club of Leigh and what a wonderful success it was! Five gardens could be visited in the Pennington area, with the owners on-hand to show visitors around and answer the many questions.

Every garden was beautifully laid out and ranged from large and spectacular, to small but well cared for, all with interesting features. Several gardens had summer houses, patios of all shapes and styles, ponds and even a river. One thing in common was the devotion, planning, care and effort that the owners had bestowed on their gardens, along with the friendliness they all showed to the visitors, creating a wonderfully social occasion.

The weather was reasonably kind, the band played, the ladies of Inner Wheel served afternoon tea, whilst Rotarians sold bedding plants and books to those bitten by the gardening bug!

David Jones, President of Leigh Rotary Club commented, “This was an amazingly friendly occasion and everyone will be pleased to know that over £1400 was raised between Rotary and Inner Wheel for charitable causes. We would like to thank everyone who attended or helped with this event, including our sponsors Bents Garden & Home and Greensman Lawn Treatments and of course, the wonderful owners of the gardens.”

The Willow Young People’s Counselling Service

Rob Dyson, Transport Manager at Jim Stones, presenting a cheque to the Manager and Trustee of the Willow Project.

Rob, Jim and Santa would like to thank their fabulous passengers on Jim Stones buses for helping to raise £625, and also to The Rotary Club of Leigh for topping it up to £1,000

Rotary’s Life-Saving Changes

Ten years ago, Bimma village in Ghana consisted of 2,500 farmers scratching a living by inappropriate farming. Polluted water and lack of sanitation meant three in ten babies died aged under two years.

Bimma’s fortunes changed in 2008 when Barrie Coates, from the Rotary Club of Leigh, visited Bimma and formed a relationship with Ghana’s charity ‘Ashanti Development’, who undertook the planning and work under matching grant conditions.

The main goals, which were all achieved, were to provide: -

Clean Water – to prevent disease and to save having to walk for hours each day to a dirty, mosquito infested pool;

A Latrine for each family - to reduce illness;

A Secondary School - so children have a meal each day;

Food Production – education, finance and facilities.

A recent report has said that Bimma is now recognised as the best grower of vegetables out of 200 villages in the Ashanti Region.

Part of the success was due to a Micro-Finance scheme where farmers are loaned £100 per year for seeds, fertiliser, etc. This is repayable with interest, which then goes to help farmer after farmer.

The British Overseas Development Agency recently visited Bimma to learn how the training and marketing is done and want to use this as a model for other regions.

Babies rarely die in Bimma nowadays and it is one of the most sought-after places to live in the Ashanti Region.


Rotary News

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Rotary members unite to tackle world hunger

Meetings & Venue

Where and when:

Leigh Cricket Club
Beech Walk,
Lancashire We meet on Mondays at 7.00pm - 2nd, 4th & 5th Monday
(1st & 3rd Mondays meet at 12.45pm finishing at 2.00pm)
Leigh Cricket Club
Beech Walk,
Lancashire WN7 3LH  01942 671818

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