Rotary Club of York

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Club News

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Passing the baton..  On June 28th it was "handover day" and outgoing President Ian Helby passed the presidential baton over to 2019-20 President Ian Tarbet, who spoke to the Club about his ambitions for us to honour the history and depth of experience in the Club whilst seeking further to maintain Rotary's relevance in today's culture, and broaden our appeal in order to sustain membership for future years.


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Friendship Cup  On June 28th we welcomed back Geoff Brown, after some weeks of absence, and his wife Edna.  They presented the Club, and Inner Wheel, with a magnificant new trophy, and antique silver cup which will be shared between the two Clubs as a continuing symbol of friendship.  The Club is extremely grateful to Geoff and Edna for their outstanding generosity in donating this wonderful gift.

Friendship Cup Geoff Brown

Welcome to Roger Also at the June 28th meeting we welcomed Roger Sutton into membership of our Club.  He is transferring from the Rotary Club of Pocklington, and is already very well known to many members from his connections with us in previous years, and also through his wife Molly who was President of York Inner Wheel in 2018-19.


Safer Travel Our speaker on July 5th was Richard Stuttle, from Caroline's Rainbow Foundation.  His sister Caroline Stuttle lost her life at the age of only 19 whilst back packing in Australia in 2002.  Since then the family have created a charity to help other traveller’s by informing them, via an App, of the potential dangers that all of us could face whether students , families or seniors when away from home. In 2002 Caroline’s Rainbow Foundation (CRF ) was formed and fund raising began and research undertaken to create website and App to provide a reference point for all to assess the possible dangers of accidents, thefts or other forms of intimidation that can and do occur when one is relaxed and not necessarily as vigilant as one could be when away from home. Richard leads this foundation as Caroline’s elder brother and having travelled extensively around the world. He is currently writing a book describing both the foundation and the Travel App and how it can be of help to all who venture away on holidays or business trips.

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Get the App!  There is a wealth of information to advise travellers - ourselves, our families and especially young people - on Richard's website for Caroline's Rainbow Foundation (CRF)  Click here for the website, where there are further links to download the App (for either iOS/Mac or Android devices)

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Dragon Boat success Our flagship fundraising event, the Dragon Boat Challenge, took place on July 14th on the River Ouse.  With a beautiful sunny day and an electric and fun atmosphere amongst those taking part, it was greatly enjoyed by all, and attracted a large crowd of spectators as well as 20 charity stalls on the North Bank, and 36 teams of competitors. Thanks go to the many members who helped make it all happen, together with Friends of York Rotary, Inner Wheel members, partners and the Bishopthorpe crew (friends of Diana Naish, also helping in her very busy Rotary Tent cafe all day); not forgetting Hon member Elly Fiorentini who maintained the fabulous commentary throught the day.  The event was won by the crew from RAF Linton 72 Squadron, narrowly beating the H Todd/Ged Bell team in a classic and exciting finish.  The Club benefitted from a lot of publicity including The Press, BBC Radio York, and veritable storm of social media postings on Twitter throughout the day.  Truly Rotary in the Community! Lots of photos and full results can be seen on our Dragon Boat web page here

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Kids' Triathlon Marshalling   Mike Hay reports.. On July 13th six members and partners were stewards at the inaugural York Kids’ Triathlon at the Sports Village. The commitment and determination  of the youngsters, some as young as 5, was a joy to behold! We have been promised a donation to our Charity Fund, still to be negotiated. We renewed our acquaintance with the organiser, Keith Hancock, who has made strenuous efforts to rearrange the date of the full Triathlon in 2020, so that the clash with Dragon Boats can be avoided and we are once again able to assist (which should be worth a substantial donation to the Charity Fund, as in the past). The still provisional, but very likely, date is Sunday 9 August, with the Kids’ event the previous day. They really do want us back. All the Triathlon team were most welcoming and very appreciative of our support. It was a fun afternoon!

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Supporting Witnesses   Our speaker on July 19th was Ian Riley.  Ian is the Outreach Team Leader for The Witness Service in North Yorkshire. He has previously worked in TV and live events for many years, before selling his part in the business and retiring in 2017. He took us through the help and support that they give to witnesses, before, during, and after a trial. He spoke of the trauma that could be involved in going to court and re-living a situation that may have been very traumatic at the time. If you are summoned to appear before a court then you have no option but to appear. However the Witness programme means that they  will be met by their volunteers, either at home, or in a community centre beforehand, so that they talk them through the Court process. In court they can make arrangements for vulnerable witnesses to give their evidence behind a screen, so that they do not have to face the defendant. These can include children under14, sexual assault victims, victims of domestic violence and anyone who has been violated in any way. He finished by appealing for more volunteers to come and help them. He said that they need amazing volunteers to help them do the most rewarding thing that they have ever done. All volunteers are trained, supported and helped to come into the role gradually. They have to be willing to commit to a minimum of 12 months service, and available to volunteer for 2 days a month.                    

July walk Janet reports...  On July 18th thirteen Rotarians and partners along with Oreo the dog met in the Swinsty Moor Car Park for a gentle and mainly flat walk around two of the Washburn Valley reservoirs, namely Fewston and Swinsty. The route, thanks to the efforts of Yorkshire Water,  follows the clearly defined path around both reservoirs. The weather was kind in that the threatening clouds passed around us with only a few spots of rain, and these fell whilst we were in the shelter of woodland. The scenery was beautiful and there were wild flowers in abundance.  It must have been a measure of the ease of the route which meant that walkers could enjoy chatting and camaraderie throughout the walk. Towards the end of the walk we passed Swinsty Hall, home of England Manager Gareth Southgate.  We understand he is in the process of trying to sell it but stunning as it was, none of those present felt the urge to put in an offer. Lunch was at The Hopper Lane pub on the A59. We enjoyed a tasty fayre served by the extremely friendly owners. Coincidently it was Phil’s birthday so of course we sang Happy Birthday to him!



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