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2 for the price of 1 at the April Diiner/Speaker Meeting
At most of our Dinner/Speaker evenings we are delighted to welcome one speaker to inform and entertain us, but in April we had TWO!
We were really pleased to be able to welcome back Alan Peters, a retired Royal Protection Officer who spent much of his career protecting HRH the Prince of Wales and Diana, the Princess of Wales until their separation.
Throughout his talk and subsequent questions he remained loyal and descrete while being able to scotch many of the tabloid rumours. The insight he gave to the workings of the protection service was facinating.
It was a delight to also welcome someone at the other end of the career as 23-yr-old Sorcha Floyd gave a fantastic presentation on her volunteer working trip to Nepal with the ICS. She had to raise £1500 to be able to make the trip, with Langport & Somerton Rotary Club contributing in a small way.
After spending the first week and a half in Kathmandu and Godawari, receiving training and meeting our Nepali counterparts, on 3rd Feb our team of 6 (3 UK, 3 Nepali) arrived at the remote village of Shankhu in Southern Lalitpur. So far we have delivered over 30 sessions to in-school youth on the topics of Life Skills and Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights, set up the United Green Club (youth club to organise extra-curricular activities), organised a regular sports club, held a homework club, attended an anti public defacation rally, ran Democracy Day -including an art competition and voting to encouage active citizenship and delivered a training to community women on how to make reusable sanitary pads. We have also been to a wedding and celebrated Losar in traditional Tamang dress.
Rural Isolation Recognised by Rotary
Langport & Somerton Rotarians are delighted to have supported the High Ham Monthly Lunch Club with a small investment of £75 for their members to purchase of heat trolley to keep lunches fresh and hot for longer.
The group is one of the small community groups that supports more elderly residents living alone in the rural area around High Ham by giving them to opportunity to join friends in the village hall for a community lunch on a monthly basis.
Rotarians Roger Hampton (President) and Gerard Tucker (also the District Councillor for the area) present the cheque to the group's leader Gwen Chubb.
During the eighteen months to the end 2017 the Rotary Club has invest over £14,000 to a variety of local and international projects with funds raised at a plethora of events and activities within the Langport & Somerton community.
Our Young Are Our Future
Langport & Somerton Rotarians have invested in both Langport & Huish and Somerton Youth Clubs to improve their facilities and opportunities.
The donation to Langport & Huish will be used to purchase a new Gazebo for the Club to use for BBQ’s, Camping, and to assist their own fund raising.
Youth Club leader Annie Shillabeer and all the members were thrilled to receive the donation, and look forward to the Youth Club and the Rotary Club enjoying a BBQ together next summer.
Rotarians and members of the Youth Club joined forces for the photo shot proudly showing off their cheque for £250 and below Rotarians presented the same sum to the Somerton Youth Club who were equally enthusiastic about Rotary's support with a big THUMBS UP!
Rotarians in Theatrical Action
Ilminster Rotary Club enlisted the help of two Langport and Somerton Rotary Club thespians in a new project aimed at assisting Year 11 GCSE students at Wadham School, Crewkerne with their studies.
The English Workshop was based on the current year’s curriculum and featured performances taken from “MacBeth”, “The Inspector Calls” and a range of works by English Poets. Head of English at Wadham, Richard D’Rozario, later expressed his delight at this Rotary innovation and hoped this inter-club project would agree to accept future bookings.
Rotarians taking part were ex-RADA actress Kirsten Hughes (Ilminster), assisted by Roger Chadbourne and Owen Paterson (Langport & Somerton).
Water, Clean Water
The Rotary Club of Langport & Somerton was delighted to contribute £1,000 to a Ugandan water project where funds from a number of Clubs in D1200 (led by the Yeo Vale Club) as well as from the Foundation contributed to the refurbishment of a number of water wells as well as rainwater harvesting and improved sanitation for the Busoga Trust.
This is another great example of Rotary International working collaboratively between Clubs in a District, a District in the "host" country being supported, and Rotary's own charitable foundation.
ROTARY RAISE OVER £550 FOR HURRICANE RELIEF
On Saturday 16th September, members of the Rotary Club of Langport and Somerton raised over £550 to help those affected in the Carribean by Hurricane ‘Irma’.
Members were ‘Shaking their Buckets’ outside Tesco in Langport, and Williams supermarket in Somerton to raise this fantastic amount. All monies collected will be used to send ‘Water Survival Boxes’ to the worst affected areas in the Carribean.
The box contains approx 50 essential items including a Shelter & Survival kit, Health & Hygiene, and General Household items. One key item in the box is the Water Purification Pump, that cleans and purifies dirty water and provides clean drinking water. These ‘Water Survival Boxes’ cost £150 each.
The Rotary Club of Langport & Somerton would like to thank everyone who gave so generously to the bucket collection. In recent days 500 ‘Water Survival Boxes’ have been sent to the worst affected areas in the Carribean.
If you would like to find out more about the good work that Rotary are doing both Internationally and locally in our Community then have a good look around our website.
Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance
The Club was delighted to welcome the CEO of our local Air Ambulance, Bill Sivewright, to a dinner meeting to talk about their excellent work throughout the two counties.
There was an ulterior motive of course as not only was he expected to "sing for his supper", but he was there to collect £2,500 raised at the Summer Ball.
Rotary is not all about raising money and handing out cheques, but when we do, we like to shout (or sing) about it, so below is a short montage of presentation snaps
The Rotary Club of Langport and Somerton have planted over 6000 purple crocus corms in the area, with hundreds ready to sprout in each of the following parishes:- Curry Rivel, High Ham, Aller, Long Sutton, Hambridge, Huish Episcopi, Langport and Somerton. Across the UK over 6 million crocus corms are being planted.
The crocus's in the villages have been planted on public grassed areas and should be in flower towards the end of February next year.
Why have these crocus's been planted?
Well, Rotary's charity is called the Rotary Foundation, and next February will be celebrating its 100th anniversary. In the last 30 years the Foundation has funded vaccinating children around the world against Polio, with the aim of eventually eradicating it.
30 years ago Polio was prevalent in over 125 countries around the world. Now in 2016 Polio is in only 3 countries (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria), and so far this year there have only been 26 cases of Polio reported worldwide. To date over 2.5 billion children have been vaccinated around the world.
When a child has been vaccinated their 'pinkie finger' is marked with purple dye to indicate which child has been vaccinated. To mark the anniversary, and the progress made in eradicating Polio, this is the reason why purple crocus's are being planted.
Rotary are working in partnership with Bill Gates from Microsoft, and for every £1 that Rotary raises then Bill Gates with give £2 to become £3. It only costs 20p to vaccinate a child.
The Langport Arms