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New Yorkshire Rotary Digital Group At our meeting on April 7th visiting Rotarian Richard Booth explained to the Club the setting up and early days of the new Regional "e-Club" who now meet on-line.
Steve Burton has submited his own "eee-report":
"What the ‘eck! – an’eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee club for Rotary Yorkshire
Digital expert Rotarian Richard Booth of Wetherby visited full of enthusiasm, extolling the energy and effort being expended in expediting this new exciting enterprise. Whilst some elderly experienced Rotarians lacked enlightenment he exorcised their evocations by explicit example expelling all doubts and encouraging all find elucidation and to enter this new exhilarating environment. By eliminating existing attendance at normal meal meetings exorbitant expenditure could be eradicated. Entry is by enrolment at www.yorkshire-rotary.digital after which a reminder will be issued the day before the meeting takes place – at that time simply log in to zoom and take part in their preliminary meetings. Whilst ‘it may not be Rotary as we know it’ - you might even eventually find everlasting enjoyment!"
Sunny Days at Matfen A group of 50 members and partners ventured up to Northumberland for the three-day mini-break at Matfen Hall from April 4th to 6th. In contrast to 2016's visit, this time the sun shone brightly as we all enjoyed great fellowship, fun and (optional) activities including 9 holes of golf (won by the unlikely pairing of Barry Campbell and Frank Paterson), swimming and spa, two fiendish quizzes at successive dinners, a moderately strenuous walk in the delightlful Coquet Valley at Rothbury; and various excursions members - and/or their partners! - made to shopping towns such as Corbridge (with its Roman city remains), local heritage sights, Hadrian's Wall, or the east coast. After enjoying great company, accommodation and food, we all reluctantly made our way back to York. Huge thanks to David Sweeney, who assisted by Tom, John and David, and the Fellowship Committee, organised the trip and the activities.
Pedalling for York Against Cancer In May 2017 club member Patrick Shepherd and the York Pedallers are cycling from York to Paris(500 miles) in aid of York Against Cancer. Patrick (on right in photo) and the team always supported by David Thompson have already raised £86,000 for York Against Cancer from their efforts on two bike rides between Lands End and John O,Groats. From their ride to Paris they want to raise at least £14,000 to take their total contribution to York Against Cancer to more than £100,000. You can help Patrick raise money for this great cause by donating directly to their fund raising page at www.justgiving.com/YorkPedallers1 or a cheque to Patrick made payable to York Against Cancer.
Visit to RSPCA York Animal Centre. Frank reports.. What goes on in the treelined RSPCA site of just over an acre adjacent to the Water End approach to Clifton Bridge was a revelation to the group of 10 who visited the location on April 21st. Valerie Hirst, the site manager ,her staff of 30 full and part timers and over 130 volunteers in a complex of 9 purpose built units provide TLC for a range of dogs , cats , small animals and birds. The majority of the current 54 dogs , 37 cats and about 20 small animals resident in the centre have been traumatised and are mainly referred to the centre by RSPCA Inspectors in the York & Harrogate area. The aim of Valerie and her helpers is to remedy the ill treatment they have invariably experienced, restore the animals relationships with people and find them new homes. They have arrangements with Minster Vets for professional services and provide daily public clinics for advice and with subsidised treatment charges. They also use external animal behavioural specialists to help animals re adjust. It is a very well structured and enlightened approach with the prime object of rehoming.
Walking for Polio Plus On April 20th the Club's annual Charity Walk took place around Bugthorpe, with two different length walks both starting and finishing from the Village Hall. In fine weather, with great company and lovely views over the Wolds, the walks were greatly enjoyed, and only surpassed by the wonderful buffet prepared by Diana Naish and her many helpers, which looked like feeding the 5000 in the amount available, including sumptuous desserts not forgetting Geoff Brown's famous Apple Pie (with cheese, of course). Many thanks to walk organisers NIgel Naish and David Heasman and the International Committee. This was the second event in support of Rotary's Polio Plus "final push" and the 40+ participants raised over £500 (final figure tbc).
Sponsoring DGE Robert's Marathon As part of Rotary's "big push" to eliminate the last remaining cases of Polio worldwide - which is now within reach - the incoming DIstrict Governor Robert Morphet is leading by example and raising money by running the Edinburgh Marathon in May. Club members have put together sponsorship for Robert to a total of over £400. This will be part of a number of projects within the Club to raise funds for Polio Plus. These funds are then tripled b as a result of a "double-matching" from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Robert is pictured in his "Paws 4 Polio" running gear, with Rotary National President Eve Conway.
Donation to York MIND The photo shows President Eileen with Rosanna Andrews (Fundraiser) and Mark Willis (Training Officer) at the headquarters of mental health services provider MIND in York. The Club has donated £500 to assist with venue costs to enable the continuation of a successful course called "Right To be You". We have also developed a link between Mind and Door 84, where the follow-on courses may well be located.
Showing off our new Public Image The lovely sunny weather and our regular fundraising and cafe sale at St Crux on May 3rd provided the perfect opportunity also to show off the brand new Gazebo and banners that the Club have just purchased to improve our "Public Awareness" and project a brighter more modern image for the Club. With added yellow streamers and balloons, and branded t-chirts and aprons, the site looked more like a professional summer garden party than a fundraising sale, and the result was a large crowd and a very successful sale, raising over £1250 for our Charity funds. Congratulations to DIana and her fundraising team on another great event, and to the public Image team who masterminded the design and production of the gazebo and banners.
All aboard, Captains.. The 2017 York Rotary Dragon Boat Challenge was "launched" at the Captain's Briefing held on May 9th at York City Rowing Club's premises. Captains or their representatives from (almost) all of the 36 teams entered for this year's event were there to hear Committee Chair David Fotheringhm and his team explain the procedures, sponsorship expectations and safety aspects of the event which will take place on Sunday July 9th. The air of excitement and positiveness was palpable, and we are in for a great day as we - hopefully - reach the target of £1million raised for charity over the past 15 years, alongside a fun and exciting day's racing.
Vocational visit to York Kent Street, Fire Station Frank reports...
On May 12th a visit was arranged to the £4.2m fire and rescue station which replaced the historic building in Clifford Street in 2016 .It is one of the three stations in York crewed 24 hours a day by full time fire fighters. They provide an emergency response service to fire and other emergencies, including road traffic collisions, chemical spillages and flooding; response to life threatening incidents; and advice, education and community safety initiatives to reduce the incidences of fires, road traffic accidents and other life threatening hazards. There is also a fully equipped power boat for water emergencies located in the station. Training is a constant and we were given a demonstration of how the fire service dealt with a road accident when a car had to be cut apart to remove an injured driver. The powerful battery powered cutters reminded one of the group of the Bond 007 villain. A very informative , impressive visit and thanks to Barry Campbell for organising..
Jorvik - the Fourth Incarnation On May 12th we welcomed Sarah Maltby from the (just re-opended) Jorvik Viking Centre museum. Sarah explained the background to the interactive museum which opened first in 1984 but has gone through four "re-vamps" since then, most recently this year with a £4.5m restoration after the December 2015 flood devastation. Based entirely on actual archaeology on the Coppergate site, the museum, with its "ride-on" journey through reconstructions of houses trades, lifestyle and very realistic animatronics, is now one of York's top attractions. New themes have now been included includingViking slavery, trades, music and poetry and the depth of thought that has gone in to the displays is remarkable. Highlight of the show was of course, "Peter Nicholson's rat"!!
Man of Action to York Rotarian Steve reports... On May 5th Mike Sullivan entertained us all to an insight to his Army life from enlisting straight from school in Leeds,’ having had education beaten into him’, to retirement in his 60s, a full career in service of The Queen. Having keen sporting interest in athletics, rugby and cricket the Army, of course, proved the most appropriate outlet for his talents with its fitness requirements. Mike served in all the hotspots of the world in his first 20 years or so, including a spell as Trainer at the US Ranger School, a huge accolade to a man nearing his 40s still prepared to frequently jump out of perfectly serviceable airplanes. Serious illness curtailed his 'active' soldiering and he was confined to desk top duties missing out on Iraq 2, and Afghanistan amongst others, much to his chagrin. Many aspects of the Army’s continuing influence described, with much emphasis placed on its Peacekeeping/Humanitarian roles, as well as Fighting force, despite rapidly reducing numbers. A feeling prevailed that there was much more to hear and it should be noted that, having read Mike's application CV, none of Council dared raise an objection to his joining, where he is already showing his organisational mettle.
Holgate Mill Grinds Again On May 26th Richard Green a key member of the volunteer group set up in 2001 talked to us about The History and Renovation of Holgate Mill. Holgate Windmill’s builder and first miller was George Waud who got the Mill first working by October 1770. It is York’s last surviving windmill and the oldest 5-sailed windmill in the country. As a Tower Mill with 5 double shuttered sails measuring some 10feet by 35 feet it is as such the only one in the world. It was very badly damaged in 1930 by high winds and although there were various attempts to effect repair it was not until 2001 that the Holgate Windmill Preservation Society was formed and through the dedication of its volunteers and a huge amount of fundraising the Mill is now working once more. Visitors can explore 4 floors (including an “award winning toilet”), when wind permits see the sails turning and operating the machinery inside the building and buy traditional stone-ground flour. A fascinating talk which demonstrated how passion, dedication and commitment can achieve great things.
Alzheimer's Society The statistics regarding Dementia in the UK are shocking - one in three people born today will develop dementia, by 2025 there will be over one million people living with dementia. Our speaker on June 9th was Hannah Riley, Community Fundraiser for Alzheimer's Society, and she painted a vivid and scary picture of the disease, it's impact, and the work that the Society is doing to support sufferers - and their carers; to invest in world-class research; and to raise awareness. The Society is one of Club's "Nominated Charities" benefitting from this July's Dragon Boat Challenge, which will support local initiatives that the Society are taking, particularly Carer information and support programmes; and increased "Demetia Clinics". Although Hannah was not certain whether the perceived increase in numbers suffering from Altzheimer's/dementia is real or a result of better reporting, the costs are huge. Two thirds of the annual cost of dementia is paid by people living with the disease and their families - equivalent to £17.6 Billion. Hannah invited members to help the Society where they can, through volunteer programmes and social action such as becoming Dementia Friends. More information is available on the Society's website.
York Against Cancer On June 2nd we were privileged to have Julie Russell as our guest speaker. We are all aware of this local charity and their fantastic work but Julie gave us an in-depth insight into just how much this organisation does. Established in 1997 with Aims of : Improve and Support Cancer Care for patients and families, Fund Education and Awareness and Fund Ground Breaking Cancer Research they have raised more than £14 million over this 30 year period. In their 25th year they set up a free minibus service from York to St James’s Hospital in Leeds for patients who require Radiotherapy treatment which covers some 16,000 miles a year and they also have seaside homes in Whitby and Filey offering patients, their families and friends respite breaks. This year they have managed to fund a mobile chemotherapy unit at a cost of £700,000 to help patients in the outlying areas of north-east Yorkshire. More information is on their website.
A truly inspirational talk and a truly inspirational organisation.
Macmillan Cancer Support. On June 16th we welcomed Sarah Tuckwell, Fundraising manager in the York and surrounding areas for Macmillan Cancer Support, the second of our Club's "Nominated Charities" benefitting from this July's Dragon Boat Challenge. In 1911 a young man named Douglas Macmillan watched his father die of cancer. His father’s pain and suffering moved Douglas so much, he founded the Society for the Prevention and Relief of Cancer and started to change the lives of so many people. Their development has seen many milestones : they hold two records for the world’s biggest coffee mornings raising £10 million and £25 million respectively in 2014 they became the Marketing Society’s “Brand of the Year” and their services now reach over 6 million people at a time when 1 in 2 people will be affected by cancer. York and district has around 4600 people living with or beyond cancer and this is expected to double by 2030.Their latest project “Advance Care Planning and Benefits” has recently been launched initially funded by Macmillan themselves for 2 years and which will undoubtedly save the NHS money in the long term. We are proud and privileged that our 2017 Dragon Boat Challenge will be able to support this new initiative in York by Macmillan Cancer Support.
A Rocky path for Rotarians On the Club walk on June 22nd eight of us set out from beautiful Goathland on what was supposed to be a gentle stroll along West Beck. But a lot has changed since Steve last visited this stretch of river about 50 years ago (!) and now erosion had resulted in a formidable number of rocks, crevices and boggy patches that made the going into more of an assault course, which everyone bravely tackled without any dissent, despite the slippery conditions resulting in several falls and minor scrapes. We made it the delightful Mallyon Spout and in order to get to lunch at the allotted hour, then took a short-cut up the hill back to Goathland, completing about 3 miles in all. It was “an experience” – even a bonding experience - and both the scenery and company was delightful. Back at the Mallyon Spout Hotel we enjoyed an excellent lunch and had plenty to talk about! Steve was understandably apologetic about the conditions, but in fairness the real problem turned out to be that we had somehow missed a sign at the beginning of that path that said it was “closed due to erosion”!! Nonetheless it was an enjoyable day – thank you Steve.
Visit to York Blind & Partially Sighted Society Frank reports... Diane Rowarth, the CEO of this independent local charity gave us a very informative presentation about their work and a conducted tour round their premises in Rougier Street on June 23rd .The resource centre has an amazing range of equipment, designed to help blind and partially sighted people, and sourced by the Society and sold with no markup. The new premises also allows for community activities and regular group activities for exercise, crafts, books, sculpture. Mary Lumley signed up to help run a monthly singing group. The visiting service operated by volunteers is a real boon and a couple of hours company once a week or once a fortnight provides social stimulus for people who may be isolated and lonely. The demand exceeds the supply of visitors so please consider getting involved as a visiting volunteer. Training is given. The scale of the need surprised us. Over 600 people attended the York eye clinic last year and 120 became registered with impaired vision. 80% are aged over 60. Over 1700 visits were made to the resource centre last year. The Society no longer gets financial support from the NHS or the City Council and the fundraising target for next year is £180,000. So YBPSS are once again hoping for a successful result from their entry in this years Dragon Boat - they deserve it. [Many thanks to Frank for arranging this fascinating visit. Ed]
A gift from Brazil At our business meeting on June 23rd we enjoyed the company of a visitor from Brazil, Monica Bandeira, who now works as an Admissions Officer at the University of York. Her late father had been Past President of the Rotary Club of Bahia, in Salvador on the East coast of Brazil; and Monica is to be a participant in one of the boats in our upcoming Dragon Boat Challenge on July 9th. So she was keen to visit us, and she presented the Club with a cheque for £150, from the Rotary Club of Bahia, as a donation towards the Dragon Boat event and our nominated charities. We hope Monica will keep up her link with us and look forward to welcoming her to future meetings – and of course seeing her on the river!