Here we meet the three Champions of Change winners who have been making a difference tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting vulnerable people and their carers, organising community events and so much more. All of the winners are members of Rotary.
Alan Bush – Sherwood Sunrisers Rotary
Alan is highly regarded Rotarian who runs the Rotary Club of Sherwood Sunrisers Memory Café.
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The café was there for carers and their ‘cared for relatives’ to meet on a regular basis in a safe environment.
When the pandemic made gathering at the café impossible, Alan kept the café active through Zoom.
During this time, he kept in contact with each of the café members with personal contact and phone calls and, where necessary, he has done shopping, taken members and their carers for PCR testing and supported carers following the bereavement of a member of their family.
The café was part of a joint initiative with Carers UK to extend their work throughout the District 1220 area.
The project was such a success that Alan was able to take on the role of District Ambassador and coordinator for the Rotary Carers UK joint initiative. He is using this role to provide important information and support to carers in District 1220 which includes Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, parts of South Yorkshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire.
Steve Gale – Thorpe Bay Rotary
It has always been Steve Gale’s mission to serve the community and help others, as shown by a lifetime of volunteering which involved being President of his current Rotary club – Thorpe Bay Rotary, near Southend-on-Sea in Essex.
Steve has been Assistant Governor in District 1240, which represents Rotary in Essex and East Herts, for the past few years and has truly set the bar for what an AG can achieve, helping to raise over £100,000 during lockdown.
A prime example of why Steve has earned this nomination is his handling of The Foulness Bike Ride – a community event that brings together cyclists of all ages and abilities.
It was through Steve’s building of respect with the local community, tenant farmers and The Foulness Conservation and Archaeological Society that the club managed to work out a new route for the bike ride that kept everyone in attendance safe and socially distanced.
Just under 1,000 riders took part in the race, with plenty of money being raised for charity and feedback from local residents reporting that 2021’s ride was the most efficient version of the event so far.
Martin Andrew – Haddenham and District Rotary
Martin Andrew was a founding member of Haddenham and District Rotary in West Buckinghamshire in 1987, and has diligently served Rotary ever since, serving as President of the club twice in 1992 and 2017.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was requested that someone take the lead in establishing the pharmacy-led vaccination programme for the community around Haddenham and District Rotary, and Martin stepped up to the plate.
Martin recruited and trained over 100 volunteers including other Haddenham and District Rotary Club Rotarians and managed the volunteer rota.
Under Martin’s stewardship, the team of volunteers delivered up to 400 vaccinations each day, as well as maintaining morale and commitment.
The Haddenham volunteers giving over 2,000 hours of time towards vaccination efforts.