About Us
About Us

About Us

Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland is the association of Rotary clubs within England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. We have over 1,800 clubs consisting of more than 50,000 men and women from all walks of life.

We’re For Communities

Our clubs are based in local communities where members meet on a regular basis to enjoy friendship, networking and to plan projects that will benefit the lives of others. Clubs utilise the skills, expertise and dedication of their members to help improve the lives of people in communities both at home and abroad.

We are community champions who stand up for our communities both locally and overseas. We support those who need help, we strive to improve lives and we bring about positive change in our neighbourhoods. Every event, initiative or project that we run – whether it is local, national,international or online – is rooted in the notion of community. This is because we believe that society works better when communities work together.

Local

Our clubs carry out a huge range of activities and projects at home aimed at improving and building community spirit. Many charities are appreciative of their local Rotary club for the money they receive through initiatives such as sponsored bike rides, Christmas collections and swimathons. A huge amount of hands on work is also carried out by members, such as organising and supervising days out for disadvantaged children, volunteering at local residential homes, and working with schools to run competitions. The list of local projects and initiatives is endless. Each Rotary club individually tailors the projects they get involved in to their community’s specific needs.

National

Across Great Britain and Ireland, clubs often come together to collectively support our national initiatives such as Know Your Blood Pressure Day and Community Emergency Support, which provides assistance to communities following major emergencies or disasters. Our clubs support a range of national charities and often collectively support other national initiatives such as Children in Need. We also pull together to help communities elsewhere in Great Britain and Ireland who find themselves in need.

International

Our members carry out a wealth of international programmes and activities all over the world, reaching out to people in need. In many countries, millions die of starvation and from diseases that could be prevented by clean water, proper sanitation or medicines. Rotary members in Great Britain and Ireland use their skills and links to clubs in other countries to alleviate some of the causes of poverty. Other projects include eradication of hunger and malnutrition; reduction of child mortality, disease prevention and education for all. When natural disasters strike, anywhere in the world, Rotarians are usually the first people to take action, organising collections and raising large sums of money for the various charities that are best equipped to provide relief for those in need.

Online

A growing online community, Rotary e-clubs were first introduced in 2010 to offer people who want to give something back to their communities another way to do so. For individuals who are unable to attend a meeting in person, the e-club option offers the opportunity to meet, conduct service projects, and participate in Rotary friendship. The key difference is that they will conduct their weekly meeting on the club’s website at any time and any day of the week.

History

The first Rotary club was founded in 1905 when four friends met in Chicago to discuss how they could work together to help the wider community. Rotary has since grown internationally to more than 1.2 million members across 200 countries.

“Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves”
—PAUL HARRIS

Our organisation started when Paul Harris, a Chicago attorney, had an idea of forming a club where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Rotary’s name came from the early practice of rotating meetings between the offices of each member.

In 1914 the organisation moved across the Atlantic and the British Association of Rotary Clubs was established. The association was renamed Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland in 1924.

Today Rotary continues to respond to the needs of an ever changing world, whilst retaining its strong founding principles.

The Rotary Family

We offer volunteers and young people the chance to develop personal skills and a better awareness of the problems that face the world today through Rotary. It is an opportunity to meet, work and have a great time with like-minded people, guided and supported by Rotarians.

Rotary Community Corps

A Rotary Community Corps is a group of non-Rotarians who share our commitment to service. Members plan and carry out projects in their communities and support local Rotary club projects.

RotaKids

These clubs provide a fun way for 7 to 12 year olds with energy, enthusiasm and great ideas to make a difference. They are based in local schools and work with Rotary clubs on projects which could be anything from fundraising to sponsored events.

Interact

For young people aged 12 to 18 to work together helping others in their communities and across the world, whilst having fun and learning about the world. They are based in secondary schools or colleges and organise at least two service projects a year: one that benefits their community and one that benefits international understanding.

Rotaract

A unique international service organisation for people aged 18-30, offering a wide range of activities that enable young adults to try something new, whilst having a great time and meeting others. Rotaract is an opportunity for young men and women to enhance their personal development, address the physical and social needs of their communities and promote better relations between people worldwide through friendship and service. Visit the Rotaract in Great Britain & Ireland website.

Youth Exchange

Each year, Rotary Youth Exchange provides thousands of young people with the opportunity to see the world, not as a tourist, but by meeting and living with people from other countries and cultures. Students experience a different way of life, discover their real self, make international friends and in some cases, learn another language.

Scholarships and Fellowships

We run a range of scholarships for graduate and post graduate students at overseas universities in subjects aligned with our six areas of focus. Uniquely these include the opportunity to study at one of our international centres specialising in peace and conflict resolution.

To find out how you could become part of the Rotary family, get in touch with us.