Annual Charity Cheque Giving Evening
An informal gathering on Tuesday, 17th January at the Bells in Church Street saw the handing out of donations from the 2016 Christmas collections.
Presided over by the Mayor of Spelthorne, Cllr Alfred Friday and Club President Kevin Bridge, handed cheques and certificates to local groups including Laleham School Governors, 1st Staines Scouts, Home-Start Spelthorne, Staines Shopmobility, Burway Rowing Club, Staines Boat Club, Purple Angels, DayBreak and 6th Staines Scouts, all of whom had taken to the streets to help Santa on his rounds.
As in previous years the Christmas collections had been in aid of local good causes. President Kevin thanked the groups who had joined in to help.
Children in Need Heathrow Collection
Members of Staines Rotary joined forces with clubs from across the Thames Valley at Heathrow Airport on Friday,18th November to raise money for BBC's Children in Need.
Over 350 volunteers from 45 clubs, could be seen in all four terminals from 6am to 8pm. RIBI President 2016/17, Eve Conway was also seen to join in the fun.
The appeal is one of the biggest fundraising events of the year, raising nearly £33,000.
Rotary spreads the word
For several years now, Staines Rotary has presented every child in Year 5 at all the Primary Schools in Staines and Laleham with an Usborne Illustrated Dictionary to help them with their school work. This year, these presentations took place between 23rd June and 28th June, with students at Buckland School, Laleham C of E Primary, Our Lady of the Rosary RC School, Riverbridge Primary School and Staines Preparatory School receiving a dictionary. In all, we distributed 274 dictionaries.
The presentation of dictionaries to children in Primary Schools is carried out by Rotary Clubs not only in the Spelthorne Borough Council, where our colleagues in Ashford, Shepperton Aurora and Shepperton and Sunbury Clubs also made similar presentations, but is carried out by clubs throughout Great Britain and Ireland. 1 million dictionaries have been presented to children at home and abroad in 10 years; for instance 83 clubs in the Northern Caribbean also present dictionaries to children in Class 3 at the beginning of the Winter term.
The dictionaries are always well received, and following the presentation it was encouraging to see the students exploring the pages. One child who received his dictionary in a previous year was heard to comment not only do I keep referring to it, but my mum is constantly looking at it too.
Fun and games at Staines-upon-Thames Day
Each year, Spelthorne Borough Council organises a day of fun, games and food at the Memorial Park in Staines. This year, Staines-upon-Thames Day was held on Sunday, 26th June and as we have done for many years, Staines Rotary was represented at the event.
This year we shared a pitch with Woking and Sam Beare Hospices to promote the collaboration between nine Rotary Clubs and the Hospice as we work to raising £120,000 to equip up to 10 bedrooms at the new Woking Hospice. With the Hospice selling a range of tantalising jams and chutneys, Staines Rotary was appealing to the young, and in some cases the not so young to go fishing or splat the rat! Proceeds from the day have been put towards our fund raising goal, and although the emphasis was very much on fun and not fund raising we still took a respectable £118.
Our RYLA students say thank you
Over the Easter holidays this year, five students from the Matthew Arnold School were selected to attend a five-day youth leadership course run by the Surrey Outdoor Learning and Development at the centre in High Ashurst, on behalf of Rotary. The course brings together up to sixty students from across Surrey and exposes them to testing leadership situations where success is determined by the extent to which they pool their skills and resources.
On Tuesday, 21st June, the five students from Matthew Arnold attended a special meeting of the Club at the Bells Pub in Staines to recall their experiences, the impact the course has had on their lives and to say thank you to Rotary for sponsoring their attendance. Each student focused on a particular aspect of the course recalling the challenges they faced and how they overcame them.
Winner of Rotary's Young Writer Competition
Lizzie Tolland, one of the five students from the Matthew Arnold School who attend the five-day youth leadership course sponsored by Rotary, had plenty more to be pleased with when it was announced at the special meeting at the Bells that she was a winner of Rotary's Young Writer Competition in the Borough of Spelthorne. Two of the other students who attended the course, Tahira Abdul and Kelly Mwaamba, were announced as runners-up.
Our World is Beautiful was the topic, but this was the only guidance that youngsters from secondary schools across the Borough of Spelthorne who had been invited to take part in were given.
Lizzie's entry emerged as the winning entry in the senior section of the competition. Her entry, along with the winning entry from St James Senior Boys School in Ashford for the intermediate section of the competition, had been put through to the regional finals.
Debbie Lockhart, Head of Drama at the Matthew Arnold School was presented with a Rotary Certificate of Appreciation by President Elect Kevin Bridge, in recognition for the support she had given to Rotary's Young Writer Competition for the last five years.
Rotary's Young Writer is one of many competitions for youngsters to enjoy. Young Photographer, Young Chef, Youth Speaks, Young Musician and Young Photographer provide an opportunity for youngsters to showcase their passions and talents.
Mayor of Spelthorne inducted as an Honorary Rotarian
At the same meeting at the Bells as the RYLA student's presentation, we were delighted to welcome the new Mayor of Spelthorne, Councillor Alfred Friday and his wife Kaye. Continuing the tradition in our Club, Mayor Alfred was installed as an Honorary Rotarian, a position that allows the Mayor to attend all meetings and events of the Club. The Mayor was formally welcomed as a member by our Club President Shirdi Mair who read out the installation welcome, pinned Mayor Friday with a Rotary pin and handed him some information regarding the work of Rotary.
In his response, the Mayor thanked the Club for both inviting him and his wife to the meeting and for the honour of conferring on him the position of honorary Rotarian. Mayor Friday commented that he was familiar with the great and vital work that Rotary performs in the Community, looked forward to being a part of this worldwide organisation and that to the extent possible, he looked forward to being able to contribute to the work of the Club. He also commended the five RYLA students on their excellent presentations and Rotary for putting youth development at the heart of their community work.
Rotary teams up with Stroke Association to apply the pressure
Rotary teamed up again this year to support the Stroke Association as clubs from around Great Britain and Ireland came together on Saturday, 23rd April to celebrate 'Know Your Blood Pressure Day'.
Rotarians from Staines supported by North West Surrey Community First Responders and members of VAIS (Voluntary Action in Spelthorne) teamed up to host a lifesaving blood pressure testing event in the Elmsleigh Centre in Staines.
Members of the public were able to have their blood pressure checked free of charge, in an attempt to raise awareness of the link between high blood pressure and strokes.
President Shirdi said: "Having a stroke can be devastating but people can reduce their risk significantly by paying attention to their blood pressure. Rotary is proud to have
supported the Stroke Association's 'Know Your Blood Pressure' campaign for the last 13 years, because it is both simple and effective. The test takes a moment to do and potentially, it could save your life and to date over million blood pressure readings have been taken".
Alexis Wieroniey, Deputy Director of Policy and Influencing at the Stroke Association, said: "Having a regular blood pressure check is so important. Estimates suggest there could be almost seven million people with high blood pressure who are undiagnosed and at risk of having a stroke. Many people have high blood pressure without realising it because it often has no symptoms. High blood pressure is far more common than you would think and it can be deadly, but it is treatable. With events like this, together we can conquer stroke".
In addition to the events which took place on Saturday, 23rd April, there will be blood pressure checks throughout the year. To find your nearest blood pressure event, you can visit www.stroke.org.uk/kybp
More good news from Rotary
The club has raised thousands of pounds for charities and good causes over the years, and its members give freely of their time and effort to help many organisations.
A number of local charities have benefited from donations made by the club, including Daybreak, Home-Start, the Spelthorne MS Society, the Staines Parochial Charities, the Surrey Community Development Trust and Voluntary Action in Spelthorne (VAIS).
The club also has a strong international flavour being twinned with the Rotary Club of Melun Vicomte near Paris. Just recently the clubs gave another donation to the international charity Espoir de Demain. The charity's main objective is to help orphans and vulnerable children in Porto Novo in Benin to go to school or in some cases to do an apprenticeship, and to receive needed psychological and social support.
If you would like to find out more about Rotary or are interested in joining us, do get in touch using the 'Contact Us' option at the top of this page.
Here are just a some of the charities and organisations that have benefited from donations made by the club over the last few years.