Rotary News

Scarborough goes tartan for district conference

Scarborough goes tartan for district conference

It’s Rotary district conference season, with a number of districts across Great Britain & Ireland hosting gatherings and featuring some top-notch speakers.

Rotarians recently turned the seaside town of Scarborough into the ‘Highlands of Yorkshire’ as delegates went tartan for the District 1220 conference (East Midlands & Yorkshire) with the theme, ‘The Difference is You’.

District Governor David Hood, a proud Scot, challenged everyone to be different by wearing tartan especially for the noisy ceilidh on the Saturday night.

David said: “I’m sure many of us have renewed old friendships, made new friends but importantly made new connections to help us grow Rotary and make a difference.”

The seaside atmosphere was relaxed yet purposeful as delegates heard new ideas and initiatives and ways of developing our use of social media. There was significant input on mental health issues particularly dementia.

38-year-old Evan Burrell was invited to speak at numerous Rotary district conferences.

Examples of Rotary in action included memory cafes in Nottingham and a Rotary-backed initiative in Lancashire to track missing dementia sufferers using readily available mobile phone technology.

‘Switch your mobiles on’ was a surprise during an interactive social media session led by Doncaster Rotarian, Alicia Reade, assisted by her nine-year-old son Aiden.

The demonstration enabled delegates to connect interactively causing a real buzz, providing a way forward to attract younger Rotarians and grow Rotary.

In particular, he [Evan] advised Rotarians to look at branding in order to tell Rotary’s story.”

Visiting Australian Rotarian, Evan Burrell, spoke at district conferences in Southampton and Llandudno. The Sydney-based Rotarian enjoys a huge social media support, with more than 22,000 followers to his Facebook page, which has grown rapidly over the past five years.

At the District 1200 conference in Southampton for clubs in Somerset, parts of West Wiltshire and West Dorset, Evan spoke about the need to embrace social media for Rotary to engage with a younger audience.

In particular, he advised Rotarians to look at branding in order to tell Rotary’s story. It was a similar theme in Llandudno for the District 1285 conference for clubs from north-west England and the Isle of Man.

Playing on the Rotary Superhero image he has created from his Facebook following, Evan took part in a closing session with Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland President, Donna Wallbank, and District Governor, Patrick Tyrrell, talking about change which is required in Rotary, urging everyone to think differently.

We are people of action, changing lives and communities.