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Club News

Derbyshire Rotarians restore Victorian grave architecture

Derbyshire Rotarians restore Victorian grave architecture

An environmental project in Belper Cemetery needs volunteers to help carry out general maintenance and restoration of long untended graves. 

Rotary in Belper and Duffield is supporting Amber Valley Borough Council to clear areas of weed and brambles to bring them back to a more presentable state.

Volunteers from Rotary in Belper and Duffield supporting the Belper Cemetery project

 Rotarian Dave Ashley said: “It’s exciting to be planning work in the area again after the Covid lockdown period, which has been difficult for everyone. 

“Rotary in Belper and Duffield wants to get back to what we do – helping local people, however, we will need some help as there is quite a bit to do. The cemetery project will hopefully bring comfort to visitors who may find it distressing to see the oldest graves looking somewhat uncared for.”

 Belper’s 15-acre cemetery was opened in 1859. Rotary will work on the oldest area behind the chapels and mortuary where some of the graves include fine examples of grand Victorian monumental grave architecture. 

Rotary will clean the graves and also do some genealogy work to identify the names with and possible living relatives.

We would also like to hear from people interested in genealogy to do research on the people buried in the middle 19th century to discover interesting information and local links.”

Dave Ashley said, “Whilst Amber Valley Borough Council staff do a fantastic job of maintaining the currently used areas of the cemetery, there are some of the older areas that need some additional work.  

Volunteers from Rotary will help to clean the graves and also do some genealogy work within the cemetery

“We would like to have enough Rotary people and volunteers to have two teams to help us with this.  

“The work will be similar to gardening – clearing brambles and weeds and brushing down the stonework. 

“We would also like to hear from people interested in genealogy to do research on the people buried in the middle 19th century to discover interesting information and local links.”

For more details contact John Stamp at:  jandgstamp@gmail.com


Rotarians in Doncaster have been behind the completion of the building of a kitchen for a children’s charity in Kenya.

Njabini is situated in the Nyandrarau County Kenya, in a highly productive agricultural area, though the majority are small farmers farming at a subsistence level and the area is very poor.

Mercy kids school in Kenya is supported by Doncaster Rotary

Doncaster Rotary from South Yorkshire, supported by their twin club in Montbrison, France, and along with the Rotary District, have supported the Mercy-Kids school with various projects.

This has included constructing and equipping two classrooms, as well as providing play equipment when there has previously been none.

“We became aware that the school wished to construct a kitchen block as the existing arrangements were very primitive, being outdoor cooking over a wood fire, and unable to cope with the school roll,” explained David Bland, chair of Doncaster Rotary’s international committee.

“Although the school is under the auspices of World Wide Gospel Church of Kenya children of all creeds are educated at the school; and presently both Muslim and Christian children are on the school roll.”

The project to build the new kitchen block took two months to complete, funded by Rotary. This included the setting up of an energy-saving fireplace.

The kitchen will greatly improve our sanitation standards and cooking for the institution.”

Pastor Bernard Ng’ang’a, Chairperson of the Board of Management the Mercy-Kids Academy said: “We are extremely grateful to the Rotary Club of Doncaster, England for changing the lives of our pupils at Mercy-Kids School. 

“The kitchen will greatly improve our sanitation standards and cooking for the institution.”


Last week was Volunteers’ Week and it was a special anniversary for Wylde Green Rotary in Sutton Coldfield as it is celebrated its 30th anniversary.

The West Midlands club was formed on June 11th, 1991.

Originally it was known as the Rotary Club of Erdington St Barnabus. However, some years later, to avoid confusion with their mother club, the Rotary Club of Erdington, the name was changed to more accurately reflect the area in which they served.

Some of the founder members are still in the club, namely Ian Hazel, Andrew Hopkins, John Quinton, Keith Wilson and Robert Young. 

They each received a framed, commemorative certificate together with a letter of appreciation signed by the President of Rotary International, Holger Knaack.

Club President, John Baden said: “Rotary is all about serving communities and the Wylde Green Club has been doing just that for the last 30 years. 

“Last year was particularly challenging as we weren’t able to do our traditional fundraising during the pandemic. 

“However, it’s not always about donating money and our members have been really pleased to get involved locally by doing something practical – litter picking. 

“During the last year, our outdoor spaces have become ever more popular. 

Rotary is all about serving communities and the Wylde Green Club has been doing just that for the last 30 years.”

“We all care about the environment in which we live and work and along with many other litter pickers nationwide, it shows we care about our outdoor spaces. 

“The club has been meeting by Zoom for the last year or so but members are hoping that once the Government announces an easing of restrictions, we will be able to resume our weekly meetings at Pype Hayes Golf Club once again.”