Channel has had a long-standing friendship with the Rotary Club of Mechelen in Belgium and several members of that club came to celebrate with their Rotary friends in the UK.
Both the present president of Mechelen Herman Van Pelt and future president Hugo Hondequin were in the party.
Whilst a Burns night for the average Englishman is something a bit different from usual, for the Belgium friends it was quite an eye opener.
The Rotary Club of Wednesbury raised the record amount of £12,500 from its 2022 Christmas Float collection.
In the midst of a financial crisis, the people of the Staffordshire town responded with astonishing generosity to the teams of collectors, which included members of other local organisations.
This magnificent effort has enabled the club to fund educational visits for coachloads of pupils from nine local schools to the West Midlands Safari Park.
Each pupil was given a note explaining how Rotary works for its neighbourhood, hopefully encouraging future membership.
Brian Sims, a Past President of Bideford Rotary in Devon, has had his dedication to the environment by being recognised by the British Naturalists’ Association. He has been presented with the Roger Tabor Award.
Brian has worked quietly and determinedly to foster interest in the environment as branch chairman of the Taw & Exmoor Branch of the British Naturalists’ Association.
He has been a member of Bideford Rotary Club for 40 years, been President twice and is a Paul Harris fellow with a sapphire pin. He’s also been sports officer for more years and is now the club’s environment lead.
Borderland Rotary have donated £750 towards an industrial freezer to support a community kitchen in Oswestry, Shropshire.
Osnosh is a community kitchen which uses surplus food to create delicious, nutritious meals. Their volunteers collected good food from local stories and suppliers which would have gone to waste, to share with the community.
Donna, who heads up admin said, “We are so grateful to organisations such as Borderland Rotary as they have beaten a path to us to offer help as we are generally too busy to get out and raise money.
“We are, of course, applying for funding from many sources but it’s really nice of people visit us and offer their help, be it volunteering or financial”.
Community kitchens throughout the country are needed more than ever in these tough times. Osnosh has seen its clientele more than double over the last year.
Donna added, “It’s a bit strange really, it’s good to be busy but by being busy we realise what a great need there is in the community for the services we provide so if you’ve got time, come and visit us, see what we do and maybe even volunteer. We’re here for the public and mainly run by the public.”
Spring is sprung and flowers planted in the autumn are coming into bloom.
The Rotary Club of Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire, Wales, are seeing the fruits of their labour with crocuses in full blooms at the Saundersfoot Medical Centre.
They were planted last autumn to coincide with World Polio Day, and they were arranged in a rainbow shape to celebrate the support given by the NHS during the Covid crisis.