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News from the District
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Rounding the year 2014/2015

 
This is the last eNews of the Rotary Year 2014/15. I hope you have found them informative and interesting. A quick look back over the year shows how much your clubs and District have achieved. 
 
Membership
I was pleased to attend the inaugural meeting of a new club this year - Gordano Breakfast Club, who will hold their Charter evening in October.   District membership currently is 1957, which is an increase of 11 on the year. We now have 67 clubs in the district.  A potential new club, Winchcombe is in the process of getting the minimum membership. Satellite clubs have been discussed and I hope some will be forming soon. Two Rotary Community Corps are running successfully. Don’t forget – flexibility is the message when trying to increase and retain membership.
 
End Polio
Clubs are asked to continue to fundraise and support the End Polio campaign, as there are still have 3 endemic countries ( Afghanistan, Pakistan Nigeria).  It is important that these countries are declared polio free so that all the good work done to date is not wasted.  Remember that the threat of polio is just an airflight away.
 
The Bristol and neighbouring clubs did a tremendous job raising £20,000 over 3 days.  This included a Mile of Coins in Cribbs Causeway and a black tie dinner. With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Challenge, the sum is enough to innoculate 165,000 children.  I know many other clubs have continued their good work towards End Polio. Thank you.
 
Foundation and International Projects
All the planning for a Vocational Training Team to Sofia, Bulgaria is finally coming to fruition. The project was approved by RI, with a total budget of over $100,000.  It has taken 16 months to get everything in place. Thank you to the clubs that have contributed to allow the project to happen. The team will set up a Social Enterprise in conjunction with the Foundational for Social Change to help young adults when they leave the care system. The five VTT members are being selected now and will make their first trip to Bulgaria later this year.
 
The Phillipines project at Paypay High School which clubs collected money for in         PDG Jan’s year when the hurricane devastated the islands has also now been approved.
 
17 clubs applied and were successful in obtaining District Grants this year and these were used for smaller, but equally important projects.
 
So how do we achieve so much? The only way that we can carry on accessing Global and District Grants is if Clubs and Members donate to The Rotary Foundation, our own charity   Members are asked to personally contribute at least $100/£64 per annum. This is just £1.23 per week and if everyone in the District contributed this sum we could achieve so much more.
 
Following the devastating earthquake in Nepal, clubs in the District collected  £86,000 by mid June. Clubs allocated the money collected to various charities and funds that have been set up to help the people in Nepal. This includes 60 ShelterBoxes, which will provide families with shelter and other vital equipment needed for survival after the disaster and to start rebuilding lives.
 
The District fund for Nepal stands at £11,961,  £4,447 of which has been earmarked to support the bid we have submitted to RIBI Trustees for funding from the RotaryGBI Appeal, outlined in the eNews 28 May. The fund is still open and if any clubs would like to contribute then please do so. The remaining sum is to be included as funding for a Global Grant that the Bristol club is coordinating for us in conjunction with the Pahar Trust.
 
I have only mentioned those projects which are district wide. Clubs have raised funds and taken part in a huge range of other worthwhile international projects – something that Rotarians are so good at.   Well done and thank you.
 
Youth Programmes
Once again, our range of Youth Competitions have been well supported and successful.  We had District representative at Regional and National Finals. The District Young Chef Sam Rides came second out of 6,500 entries in the National final. Chloe Ball, nominated by Cotswold Tyndale Club won the RIBI Young Citizen Award. RYLA continues to be very popular and is again taking place in July.
 
Rotary Days
RI President Gary Huang asked all Rotary members to Light Up Rotary by organizing a Rotary Day in 2014-15. The concept was simple: hold a fun, informal event in your community to introduce the public to your club and Rotary.
 
Most clubs have embraced the theme and held exciting and successful events.   Jill and I have been lucky in being able to attend many of these Rotary Days and we enjoyed being involved and working with the clubs.
 
The new initiative RIBI Rotary Ride was on 21 June and we had 3 events taking place in the District. The Bristol Clubs provided marshals for the Sky Ride in the City, Keynsham ran a Father’s Day Cycle Challenge for the whole family plus “It’s a Knock Out” Competition and Herford Wye Valley held a static bike challenge for their club combined with a BBQ.
 
Mini Conventions
We held 3 Mini Conventions during the year, when District business was kept to a minimum.  Clubs had the opportunity to be involved as at each Convention one club project from each Area was chosen to be presented. The range of projects that Clubs do is amazing and I hope you found the presentations interesting and useful. Thank you to those Club members who gave the presentations.   
 
District Conference
District Conference at Warwick University was in March. The speakers inspired the delegates, and the breakouts on Saturday gave everyone the opportunity to choose a topic that interested them.  The Spires String Orchestra on Friday night and Ronnie Scott’s Rejects at the Gala Dinner on Saturday evening entertained us all.
 
A Conference Survey has been undertaken and the results are currently being considered and will help guide the Conferences in future years.
 
AWARDS
Champion of Change

Cheltenham North Rotarian Dr Gill Rouse received a Champion of Change award which was presented at the House of Lords. Gill received the award for her work with LINC. She has raised £2.5 million to provide 2 units for the Leukaemia and Intensive Chemotherapy Fund (LINC) for Gloucester and Cheltenham hospitals. These have helped improve the lives of cancer patients in the area. Well done Gill, the award is much deserved.
 
Service Above Self Award
Graham Furley from Stroud Rotary Club was honoured by the RI Board who awarded him the Service Above Self award for his contribution to Rotary and the work he has done in his local community.  This is the highest award that Rotary can give and only 150 are awarded worldwide each year.
 
RI Significant Club Achievement Award
Last week we heard that Cheltenham Cleeve Vale RC had been awarded a Significant Club Achievement award for their work with the South West Ambulance Service, local community groups and other Rotary Clubs in providing AED’s (automated external defibrillators)
 
Presidential Citations
2 Clubs received a Presidential Citation – Royal Wotton Bassett Town and Swindon Old Town.
 
Congratulations to everyone in District who has received an award this year.
 
District Team
I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been part of the District Team this year and for the support that you have given me as your District Governor.
As we move into the next Rotary year, some of the District Team will be standing down and I wish them well in the jobs they will be undertaking back in their clubs.
 
I wish DG Tony and his team all the best for 2015/16 as they take over from 1 July.  Our District handover is on Saturday 4 July and is combined with the RotaryGBI handover, as Peter Davey from Monmouth Rotary Club is the incoming RotaryGBI President.  Peter will be an excellent President and I am sure we all wish him and Sandra the best year possible during their travels around the United Kingdom and Ireland.
 
 
Once again Rotarians in D1100 have run successful Club, service, vocational and fund raising programmes this year.  I hope that you have gained fun and fellowship along the way. I have been fortunate to be invited to attend many of your functions, which I have enjoyed immensely. 
 
Finally thank you to everyone for your support and the friendship you have shown me.  It has been a pleasure working with you all and being your District Governor as well as representing you at RIBI and RI levels.  Good luck to you all for the coming year.
 
Martyn Harwood – District Governor 2014 - 15

 

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