Two Rotarians from District 1020 were among the twelve who received this year's Champions of Change award at a ceremony hosted by Baron Inglewood at the House of Lords.
Nominations for the awards were in two categories — domestic and international — and were invited from across Rotary’s 26 districts, which take in 1,800 clubs and 50,000 members. Winners’ projects ranged from work tackling the problem of human trafficking in India to raising money and awareness for families affected by domestic violence here in the UK.
Grant Stephen, of the Rotary Club of Duns, won the award for his outstanding work in helping the local community. Grant was chosen after his hard work to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s Scotland, playing an influential role in the steps being taken to recognise Duns as a dementia friendly town. Dementia is a condition that is particularly acute in the Duns area, which has a higher proportion of elderly people in its population than the national average. Grant was accompanied at the event by Calum Kerr MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk.
Calum Kerr (MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk), Rob Wilson (Minister for Civil Society), Grant Stephen (Awardee from the Rotary Club of Duns), Peter Davey (Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland President), Andy Ireland (District Governor)
Robin Hamilton, of the Rotary Club of Dunbar, was chosen as a result of his involvement with the Kalimpong Project in Bengal India, which has helped tackle the problem of human trafficking by providing shelter homes and vocational training centres. Robin has helped to raise nearly £50,000 since the project began in 2012.
Rob Wilson (Minister for Civil Society), Robin Hamilton (Awardee from the Rotary Club of Dunbar), Peter Davey (Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland President), Andy Ireland (District Governor).
Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson presented the awards after he demonstrated keen personal and professional interest in encouraging people to engage in social action, volunteering and the Big Society Initiative, a key principle of Rotary. The minister said he was “humbled” by the projects recognised and believed "we need more organisations like Rotary driving change and reform."
Baron Inglewood, who is an honorary member of Penrith Rotary Club, described the event as a "great initiative in promoting the values of Rotary not only among our Lords and leaders but also within the Rotary world.”
Peter Davey, president of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, comments, “We are celebrating the achievements of our 12 awardees, but they are only the tip of the iceberg."
Peter concluded the evening by saying he hoped all Rotarians would be inspired by the awardees and say "I can do that."
Photographs - Chris Wood Photography, London