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Friends of York Rotary

Past Events

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2019 Events            2018 Events

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Our Launch Party!

May 29th 2018

The Friends of York Rotary was "launched" at an evening event at the Novotel, York on Tuesday May 29th.


Around 50 attended to hear the BBC's Elly Fiorentini - who is the Patron of the new group - express her strong support for the work  that Rotary does in the local community.  


Elly is an Honorary member of the Rotary Club of York.  After an explanation of what Rotary is, and the

background and aspirations of the "Friends" initiative from Club President Brian Joscelyne, some lively "break-out group" discussions and "brainstorming" took place, where many ideas were put forward by participants, from how they might contribute to the new venture and the benefits they are looking for from participation..  


Our thanks go to all who came - it was a high-energy and positive event and a great start for this new group.

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Our First Event

- Visit to York Cocoa Works

July 6th 2018

Friends of York Rotary members were welcomed on our visit to York Cocoa Works in Castlegate on Friday July 6th by Founder and Managing Director Sophie Jewett,  who is herself a member of "Friends of York Rotary".

Sophie took us through the history of Chocolate making in York, dating from 1785 in Castlegate where her Cocoa Works operation is now based,  and her passion for creating authentic chocolate using a variety of cocoa beans from various countries in South America (from many farms which she has personally visited) and her interest in the social and political impact of cocoa growing in these countries, were evident.  

We were treated to a variety of chocolate samples with subtle taste differences, and finally some very unusual canapé creations – for example chocolate with goats cheese (actually delicious!) 

Many thanks to Sophie and her staff for their hospitality and for a real education in chocolate making! As well as being a very sociable event, the evening raised £330 for our Rotary Club’s Charity Fund.


"Handling bags at dawn"!!  


Aug 5th 2018

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It was an early start on August 5th as sixteen Rotary Club members and “Friends” all reported for duty at 7.15am at the Knavesmire.  

For the third year running (no pun intended) we were providing the Baggage Store service for the York 10K, where over 800 runners who had bags with them deposited them for safe keeping, in one of the three trailers that we were managing, then collected them after the race.

The team managed to get all the bags returned with no “waiting time” for the runners as they came exhausted looking for their belongings.  

It was especially good this year to have four “Friends of York Rotary” helping us, who all joined in the fun. Thank you all.

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Friends of York Rotary Barbeque

Sept 16th 2018

Thanks to all "Friends" who came along to the FoYR barbeque on Sept 16th.  Around 20 enjoyed great company, great food and - amazingly - good weather for this social event.


Thanks especially to Rotarian Don Salter and Sheelagh for hosting and providing such a fabulous and extensive array of food for us.


Volunteering at the Yorkshire Marathon

Oct 14th 2018

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With a very early (7am) Sunday morning start on October 14th, our team, made up of members of the Rotary Club of York, plus a very good turnout of "Friends of York Rotary", arrived at the University of York campus and prepared the Baggage Store at the Yorkshire Marathon to receive the runners' bags for safe keeping - tagged in numerical order!  

The weather was atrocious, raining all day, so being under cover of the marquee was a blessing.

Despite a few challenges (not enough space, and a somewhat chaotic numbering system provided by the organisers) the team managed the job - just!  and it was pleasure once again to be involved with the community in this way.

The organisers also contributed just under £450 to our Club's Charity Fund, so it was a worthwhile effort!

MANY thanks to the FoYR members who came along to help and support our Rotary effort in the community.

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Networking event

- "Challenges for Charities"

Nov 1st 2018

One of the aims of "Friends" is to provide an opportunity for members, many of whom work in the Charity sector in York, to get together and discuss issues of mutual concern,  and provide opportunities to learn about "best practice".    

On the evening of November 1st the first such "networking" event was held, at the Novotel.  Close to 20 members attended,  and our guest speaker, Jane Hustwit (Chair of York CVS) pictured right,  got things off to a lively start with her observations about what the sector needs to consider in order to thrive in the current difficult climate.


There followed a lively discussion, in small groups, about a number of topics such as volunteer recruitment, fundraising, grant application, social media and marketing.  Those present included representatives from charities both large, with multi £M budgets, to very small where running costs are a very large part of their budgets and are difficult to support.  It was an interesting exchange of ideas.

It was a great social occasion for FoYR members to meet up, but also stimulated lots of ideas and thoughts.  Afterwards,  there emerged a clear desire to continue such meetings and FoYR will continue to provide such opportunities

Many thanks to Julie and the Novotel for providing the facilities and refreshments for the evening,  and to Jane Hustwit for her enthusiasm and support!

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