Rotary focuses on youth development

Students Lucy Godden and Courtney Charman with David Cook, president of West Worthing Rotary Club, and Rotarians Trish Sullivan, Charles Pressley, the head of centre Mark Andrews and Rotarian Sue Virgo
Students Lucy Godden and Courtney Charman with David Cook, president of West Worthing Rotary Club, and Rotarians Trish Sullivan, Charles Pressley, the head of centre Mark Andrews and Rotarian Sue Virgo

West Worthing Rotary Club takes a keen interest in the education and personal development of young people and offers a number of schemes of support and encouragement.

Each year a number of Usborne Illustrated Dictionaries are donated to local schools. The dictionary has 1,000 illustrations, 10,000 entries and 20,000 definitions aimed at year six primary school leavers.

Beneficiaries this year included 24 children from Ferring Church of England Primary School, 29 children from the English Martyrs Catholic Primary School, seven children from the Clapham and Patching Church of England Primary School and 14 children from the Elm Grove Primary School.

All these children are in year six and are ready to move on to secondary school and it is hoped that the dictionaries will provide a good foundation for their further education.

Each year the club sponsors two students from Northbrook Metropolitan College on the Rotary Young Leaders Award course at High Ashurst in Surrey. Ellen Bryder and George Reigate went on the exercise this year.

Rotarians Jeremy Flaskett and Sue Virgo attended an evening presentation at the end of the course. There were 45 students divided into five teams who took turns to inform the audience of their activities on the course.

They had to complete tasks such as team building exercises, building rafts, a low rope course and long walks. The highlight of the week was a trip to the theatre in London to see Wicked.

Some of the students performed songs, played guitar and piano creating a very enjoyable and entertaining evening. It ended with various fun awards being given out. As well as team awards, there was the golden paddle for raft building and the golden boot for the long walk.

The students really enjoyed their week and all agreed that they had benefited from it by building their confidence and trying new things outside their comfort zone. Ellen Bryder visited the West Worthing Club one evening and gave a presentation about her experiences on the course.

Ellen said: “It has built my confidence. Beforehand I would have been quiet and reserved but, I now feel as though I can participate and take a lead especially in group discussions. It has also given me experience of working in teams which will be helpful as I am hoping to join the RAF. I would never have had the courage to come along and make this presentation before my experience on the course.”

The West Worthing Rotary Club have also recently presented two students from the Lavinia Norfolk Centre at Angmering High School with the Tony Moore awards which recognises students who have made exemplary progress in their final year at the school.

The Lavinia Norfolk Centre is a specialist support facility for more than 70 students with a physical, medical or sensory impairment.

It is a unique facility, recognised both at county and national level as a centre of excellence and expertise, especially in the areas of physical disability, visual and learning impairment, autism and students with social, and communication difficulties. The presentations have been an annual event since 1981.

They were initiated by West Worthing Rotarian Tony Moore as part of his year as district governor.

Students Lucy Godden and Courtney Charman were selected for doing exceptionally well in their year and making great progress towards independence. Rotary president David Cook presented each with a certificate and a cheque for £150 to help them with their future studies.

Head of the Lavinia Norfolk Centre, Mark Andrews, thanked the West Worthing Rotary Club on behalf of the students. Mark said: “These awards are a powerful motivation for all students in the school and those who gain the awards provide a role model for all the other students.”

Rotarian Sue Virgo said: “We are pleased to support young people in their endeavours and development and share the pride in their achievements. We also thank the teachers and school staff who go the extra mile in making these opportunities available to their pupils and students.”

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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