York Rotary

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York Rotary News

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Two Ridings update  At our May 8th weekly Zoom meeting - attended by over 50 members - we were delighted to welcome Jan Garrill, CEO of Two Ridings Community Foundation, as our speaker.  She is also a member of "Friends of York Rotary" and very well known to many members. Jan updated us on their newly-set up Coronavirus Grants scheme, which is providing support to struggling local charities in North & East Yorkshire.  They have raised £1.75m so far and have, in just a few weeks, already distributed grants worth £300,000 to 137 groups, including many charities we also support.  Quite a remarkable achievement considering the TRCF staff and their many volunteers are all working from home. Jan's presentation is available to view here,  and we are very grateful to her for taking the time to update us on this vital work.    

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Challenges facing Marie Curie At our May 15th zoom we were delighted to welcome Emma Williams the Community Fundraiser for Marie Curie, covering York and NE Yorkshire. Emma told us about the impact that Covid19 is having on people living with a terminal illness particularly those who are isolating and live alone, and how Marie Curie is supporting them in the Community as well as supporting all the patients in Marie Curie hospices all over the country. She explained that their Fundraising had been badly affected by the virus and that their key fundraising event – The Great Daffodil Appeal – was stopped in its tracks in March of this year. 25,000 people in York and N E Yorks had needed support at the end of their life and that it costs £13,888 per hour to fund the Marie Curie service across the UK. The lack of PPE on their work in the community as been a challenge, in particular, in that if they were unable to source PPE for their community nurses and the carers of patients, then they were unable to visit their patients with devastating effect. Hospices had also been affected but the situation with PPE had now improved. A Petition to support a Day of Reflection for Covid is being introduced and anyone can support this.    

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A Possible Twin from Monza?   One of our guests at our May 15th meeting was Paul Anderson.   Originally from York, Paul (pictured right) now lives in northern Italy and is a member of Rotary Monza Est.  As well as giving us an update on the state of COVID in Italy (improving...) he also expressed his enthusiasm for exploring the possibility of having exchange visits (along the lines of those with Erlangen, Germany) betwwen our two clubs.

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Paul Anderson

Paul Harris Fellowship Awards  During our May 22nd zoom meeting President Ian announced that York Rotary had awarded a PHF award to our secretary Mike Hay, for his outstanding service - since 1993 - to the York Club and his previous Club (Edinburgh Breakfast).  Mike has been secretary of York Rotary since 2014.  Read the citation here


Ian also announced that a PHF Award has been made by Rotary Foundation to Kevin Grogan, our President Elect, to recognise the efforts made by Kevin in raising funds for Polio Plus through his running  "55 Marathons at age 55" last year.  Read the citation here


Many congratulations to both!

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Mike Hay

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Ein Willkommen aus Deutschland  A “special” meeting between members of York Rotary and Erlangen Rotary in Germany took place on May 24th, by Zoom.  This was the day that was originally planned for a visit by our Rotarians to Erlangen for the international friendship weekend, but due to Coronavirus this has had to be postponed until 2021.  Not to be thwarted, however, our German friends organised this on-line meeting to show us some of the delights that we would have seen (and will see next year) A total of over 40 members of both Clubs, and partners, spent a very friendly and informal hour+ hearing explanations – illustrated by video clips – of Coburg, birthplace of Prince Albert and as a result the first users in Germany of the British “water closet” (who knew?).  After this, a boat tour of the Danube including stops at The Befreiungshalle (Liberation Hall) above Kelheim; and the monastery at Weltenberg (also famous for its beer!). We were promised 32cm sausages for breakfast, Bavarian food for lunch, plus their famous gingerbread.  Everyone’s appetite was whetted, in numerous ways, and we thank Wilfried and our hosts in Erlangen for this wonderful meeting and friendship.

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Continued Support for Shelterbox  On May 29th, President Ian recevied this letter from Shelterbox,  thanking York Rotary for our two recent donations totalling £1200.   Shelterbox continue their work, under increasingly challenging conditions due to the pandemic. Coronavirus creates a whole new level of risk for vulnerable families who have lost their homes. The potential impact of the pandemic in places where they are already working – like crowded camps and makeshift settlements in Syria, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso – is terrifying.  And natural disasters do not stop just because people are dealing with the pandemic.  Recent people are fleeing from the impact of Super Cyclone Amphan in India and Bangladesh.   A representative from Shelterbox International will be speaking to the club on June 12th, where we will hear more of their work.  


Click the letter image to read the letter in full.

Sharks at 38 Metres   We're always learning about the skills and talents of our members! On May 29th, our Zoom meeting heard a talk from Paul Harvey about his experiences in deep sea diving.  Paul is qualified as an Advanced Diver and also as a Rescue Diver.  His presentation showed the typical preparation, equipment and safety planning that goes into making a deep dive, increasingly safer due to the modern dive computer, worn on the wrist, that indicates position, depth and oxygen reserves.  Amongst Paul's pictures of beautiful fish - some with amazing lifestyle stories he related - and sunken wrecks, the climax of his talk was, of course, the photos of sharks.  Mostly friendly (you have to know which species these are!) they are an awesome sight at 38 metres depth - about the maximum that Paul is certified to dive to.  It was a very professional presentation with fascinating ptographs and details, and certainly took our minds off home confinement, at least for 20 minutes.

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Thanks from Ebenezer   We recently received this Newsletter from the Ebenzer Child Care Trust  in Zambia. York Rotary has had a connection with Ebenezer for may years, fundraising for them, including through our popular quizzes, and providing hands-on support as well.  Our International Team recently sent a donation of £100 for food which was included in the donation from Anne and Keith Olford.  You can download the newsletter here

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