This month has seen me out and about at across the country visiting various clubs and their meetings, as well as attending a number of events where we’ve been showcasing Rotary’s work to the public.
The first was a visit to Hitchin Tilehouse Rotary in Hertfordshire. An early start was needed as they meet for breakfast and it was my pleasure at the meeting to present a Paul Harris Fellowship to club member Eleanor Howes.
Paul Harris Fellowships recognise the contribution made by an individual to our fantastic charity, The Rotary Foundation.
It was then off to Cardiff for the National Eisteddfod, a celebration of Welsh language and culture. The hospitality from local Rotary members was excellent.
The Rotary stand at the Eisteddfod was a great PR opportunity and while I was there they were signing up a new member, with many others also expressing an interesting in finding out more about us.
Being out in the public square, and sharing our story is vital if the public are to learn about what we do and engage with the projects that are making a difference in our local communities and around the world.
What a great week it’s been at the Eisteddfod. For everyone who is Welsh or has Welsh connections a real showcase of talent. Met some really friendly people at our Rotary South Wales stand @RotaryGBI @Rotary1150 @RotaryTigerBay @rotary_bay @CNarberth @Rotary @CardiffWestRota pic.twitter.com/kSpMHFpxZR
— Rotary District 1150 (@Rotary1150) August 10, 2018
It was then off to Newcastle for Rotary in the East District Council meeting. A lively meeting with a major presentation on Bring it on NE a Big Bang Fair-type of event that will see school children learning and becoming excited about science and engineering – well supported and organised by Rotary!
A visit to Harpenden Rotary Club provided me with the most searching question of the year so far –‘what is Rotary International doing about population growth?’
Not an easy one to answer, but one that demonstrates the wider interest and connections that Rotary members have.
Thankfully other questions on ‘attracting young professionals’ and ‘what will a good year look like?’ were easier to answer. It was also great to hear about their Classic Cars on the Common – another great community event.
But it’s not all been traveling and engaging Rotary members and learning of the work they are doing.
It has also been a month of meetings.
The new look Executive met for the first time, and agreed a way of getting newsletters out to clubs and districts, so that information from our national volunteer teams is shared using the same template making sure that whatever bit of the information you are picking up it will be seen as Rotary – with the correct branding.
There have been meetings in Nottingham about Rotary Showcase 2019 (registration is open now by the way!), with Rotaract and a webinar on environmental projects related to clearing up plastics.
I see on that the work of Cardiff Bay Rotary in doing this area has already been highlighted on our website, and I’m sure we’ll be hearing many more of these stories over the coming months.
What has been noticeable has been the change in rhetoric and all these meetings and visits – echoing the reality that Rotary happens at club level and that our regional/district and national volunteers and officers are there to support and help in whatever way clubs want.
To all of our members, continue the amazing work you do by being the inspiration and making a difference in communities across the world.
For those reading who are thinking of getting involved, let us know and we’ll find the Rotary experience that works for you. It could be the best decision you ever make.