Name: Chris Hopewell
Rotary Club: Royden Revolve, Wirral
Occupation: Civil Servant – Assistant Director, Contact Centres
Why did you join Rotary?
When I think back, I joined Rotary because of a knee injury. I was socially very sports club orientated at the time, and when I got a knee injury it made me aware that I needed some balance with my social activities. I knew of Rotary and after getting an invitation to support an event, it made me feel energised in a way I hadn’t felt before. So I decided to get balance and joined Royden Revolve!
How have you managed to juggle your work around Rotary?
Our club is very flexible so you can juggle work and Rotary well. We also do not enforce attendance so if you are in a particularly busy period of your life due to work or family commitments, you can step back for a time so you can concentrate on what is important to you at that time.
Rotary helps you in many ways with work though, be that confidence in speaking to people, or just having something interesting to talk about for the dreaded icebreakers at meetings!
What’s been your best Rotary moment?
I will split this to two moments. Local and International.
The proudest moment I had was whilst visiting our projects in The Gambia. I was fortunate to referee two football matches between the pupils of Brightstar school Royden has worked with for many years, and indeed the district supported in building a new classroom. Being a part of these matches after we had just opened the new classroom, and then to referee the football whilst the kids played in old Tranmere Rovers kit we had managed to take over there… The noise and celebration during the goals was an amazing experience and filled me with immense pride!
Last summer Royden worked with Thorndale Lawn Tennis Club to deliver a very quickly organised Summer Camp for Ukrainian Children.
All members got involved in supporting the grant application, the strategy of the camp and the assurance checks once it was underway. Our aim was to put smiles back on the children’s faces, and it was an amazing example of the power of Rotary coming together through using funding from a global grant, applied for by the district team and delivered by our club using our close links with the local community on the Wirral.
We achieved what we set out to do and it really did put smiles on the faces, not just of the children, but the parents also displaced and the young coaches who delivered to the children. They got a lifetime experience of service they would not have been able to have.
How do you describe Rotary to friends who know nothing about the organisation?
I describe Rotary very simply. A way to make a difference whilst having fun. My club Royden Revolve epitomises this, and whilst we don’t raise as much money as some clubs, we use our time to support organisations to deliver more, through our knowledge and enthusiasm to make a difference. Along the journey, we enjoy each other’s company, with support, smiles and laughter!
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