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Rotary News

Wiltshire Rotarian honoured with top Rotary award

Wiltshire Rotarian honoured with top Rotary award

Ray Sanderson, a member of Royal Wootton Bassett and District Rotary, has been honoured with one of Rotary International’s top awards.

Ray has been awarded the prestigious Rotary International Service Above Self award for his commitment to helping others, volunteering his time and talents for humanitarian service and professional achievements.

Ray Sanderson

Ray Sanderson

This is the highest honour given to Rotarians, with only 150 awarded worldwide each year.

Ray has been a Rotarian for 32 years, initially with South Cotswolds Rotary Club and more recently with Royal Wootton Bassett and District near Swindon in Wiltshire.

He has served as Club President, Assistant Governor and a member of District 1100 Executive and chaired District committees on Kid’s Out, Community Service and International Service.

In addition, Ray has been a member of Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland’s International Service Committee and is active with the Rotary Inter-Country Committees for South Africa and Germany.

Ray has been a Rotarian for 32 years, initially with South Cotswolds Rotary Club and more recently with Royal Wootton Bassett and District near Swindon in Wiltshire.”

Ray led a club Global Grant for a mobile x-ray unit for the Red Cross in Cape Town, as well as being the driving force for numerous South African fund-raising projects which have benefited deprived township areas. These projects included providing computers for schools, football kits and helping to build creches.

Ray remains an active Rotarian and he is currently working on a Global Grant to refurbish and equip a township night shelter in South Africa.

Ray is co-founder of the charity and Vice Chairman and treasurer of the Wiltshire Life Education Centre. This is managed by Rotarians across three Rotary Districts, which provides mental health and well-being lessons to primary schools across Wiltshire.

Living in Malmesbury, Ray has been Town Mayor twice.

He raised funds to purchase a mobile chemotherapy unit for the community, a defibrillator for a frontline ambulance and face masks for every ambulance man in Wiltshire.

Ray led a club Global Grant for a mobile x-ray unit for the Red Cross in Cape Town, as well as being the driving force for numerous South African fund-raising projects which have benefited deprived township areas.”

He is President of the Malmesbury Youth Football Club, a director and Vice Chairman of the Cartmell community minibus and director and chairman of Malmesbury and District Community Transport.

Ray was the inspiration behind the Malmesbury Community Corps which started as a response to the frequent floods from the River Avon that the town suffers.

Paying tribute, Chris Firth, Governor for District 1100, said: “Ray has worked tirelessly on community issues for many years, whether in Malmesbury Wiltshire, Rotary in Wiltshire, Rotary nationally and internationally.

“He fully deserves this prestigious award from Rotary International for all the work he has done over many years, improving people’s lives and well-being.

“The evidence of this is all around the communities he has worked with and the people he has inspired.

He fully deserves this prestigious award from Rotary International for all the work he has done over many years, improving people’s lives and well-being.”

Richard Everett President of Royal Wootton Bassett & District Rotary said that the club was very proud of Ray for receiving this much-deserved award.

He said: “Throughout Ray’s life, both with Rotary and the community outside, his service in helping others has been a shining example of service above self.”

Ray is a very unassuming man, who has shown a tireless enthusiastic can-do approach in his service with Rotary and the world-wide community.

The Mayor of Malmesbury, Campbell Ritchie, said that every community would love to have a Ray Sanderson.

He said: “I am delighted Ray Sanderson is being presented with the prestigious ‘Service Above Self’ Rotary award.

“Ray has worked tirelessly at the heart of Malmesbury’s community for decades.

“He served as a town councillor for over 30 years and as Mayor of Malmesbury twice, and has a huge influence on many important community services.

“These include the foundation and development of our local Foodbank, improving our vital flood protection schemes and our friendship with towns in Germany (Bad Hersfeld) and South Africa (Malmesbury).

“Ray is one of those individuals who not only wants to help others, but does the hard work to make it happen.

“He successfully engages with every age group in the community and achieves this through his fun, energy and commitment.

“Every community would love to have a Ray Sanderson.”