Give something back to the community with Rotary

President David Cook (left) with Rotary assistant district governor Annemarie Allen and retiring president Jeremy Flaskett
President David Cook (left) with Rotary assistant district governor Annemarie Allen and retiring president Jeremy Flaskett

About this time each year Rotary says thanks to the current outgoing president, Jeremy Flaskett, and welcomes a new incoming president, Dave Cook.

Part of this process is the club assembly meeting when all the club members gather to hear the incoming president lay out plans for the presidential year.

It is at this meeting that one can gain an insight into the impressive range of club activities on offer to members. A senior member of the regional Rotary team, assistant district governor Annemarie Allen, attended to support the club’s future aspirations.

The club is organised into various committees and at this meeting each of the committee chairmen take their turn to outline the plans for the coming year.

Of course we continue with our weekly meetings inviting local businessmen, people in public life and representatives of local voluntary groups to speak to us and tell us more about their activities.

Club fundraising activities continue with events such as the car boot sale and a fashion show to raise funds for disbursement to local charities. We will continue to support the annual Rotary Carnival over the August bank holiday.

Young people are a major focus of club activities with plans to donate the free copies of the Usborne illustrated children’s Dictionaries for Life to selected schools.

Two young people will be enabled to strengthen their characters through participation in the week long residential Rotary Young Leaders Award. It is expected that there will be another round of the popular Young Chef Awards where young people show their culinary skills competing on a regional basis.

The club will maintain its links with the Lavinia Norfolk Centre in Angmering offering the Tony Moore awards and bursaries for special needs students who show exceptional progress, as well as, where possible, joining in the game of boccia, a game related to bowls and pétanque played by competitors who have a physical disability that requires the use of a wheelchair. The club will also be supporting local International Wheelchair Tennis athlete, Lauren Jones, in her career.

The club has many links with local charities, including the Ferring Country Centre and Worthing Churches Homeless Projects and enjoys regular darts matches with the residents of the Care For Veterans home as well as facilitating the bingo for the blind sessions for Sight Support Worthing.

Members of the club share in the production of the Voice of Progress, the talking newspaper for the blind and partially sighted in Worthing and Littlehampton which has been running since 1975. It is expected that the club will repeat the enjoyment experienced in participating in the sea front planting competition next year.

Looking beyond our national boundaries, the club supports the ShelterBox which uses the worldwide network of Rotarians to deliver emergency support to areas affected by natural disasters and continues its support of the End Polio Now campaign. Links will be maintained with Fikelephi Jackson, the founder of the Against all Odds foundation which provides educational support for young people, especially girls, in the poorer nations.

On the social front the club has a full calendar in addition to its weekly meetings. There are regular visits to and from other Rotary Clubs as well as maintaining links with our two Worthing sister clubs. There are skittles and ten pin bowling evenings, country rambles, golf days, theatre visits, barbecues and strawberry and champagne garden parties. Each month there is a coffee morning at Haskins garden centre at 10.30am on the first Thursday of the month.

The club seeks to keep members up to date and make the public aware of its activities through its regular monthly bulletins, its website, its links through Facebook, and of course this regular column in the Worthing Herald.

This is but a snapshot of our activities and plans. We do very much need help with our plans and would welcome those interested in membership. You could join us on one of the coffee mornings mentioned above, or come along to our champagne and strawberry garden party on Sunday, July 29 from 3pm to 5pm. For tickets, £10 each, and details contact David Cook on 07939 309333.

Details of Worthing’s three Rotary clubs are:

• West Worthing Rotary Club meets Tuesday evening at Tudor Close, Ferring, 01903 501961.

• Worthing Rotary Club meets Monday, 12.55pm, at the Chatsworth Hotel, in The Steyne, Worthing, 01903 209564.

• Worthing Steyne Rotary Club meets Monday evening at The Ardington Hotel, in Steyne Gardens, Worthing, 07788 638757.

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