latest-news - rotarycoventry


Get the latest news from our regular Club Meetings.

CLUB MEETING - Monday 16th October 2017

by Bill Parkinson

Following the opening of the meeting by President Robert and a brief update on the upcoming evening meeting on Monday 30th October, Past President Harold spoke about the assistance he had recently received from the Blind Veterans UK organisation which offers help to anyone who has served in the armed forces, even for short periods such as National Service and also those who care for blind ex-servicemen and Women.

Our speaker for the day was Lina Acharya, programme Associate Manager for The Challenge which is a government sponsored organisation which promotes the National Citizen Service, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for 15 to 17 year olds.


NCS helps build skills for work and life whilst taking on new challenges and meeting new friends. The programme involves a short time away from home, trying new things as well as taking part in a team project in the local community and much more.

      NCS is a government-funded initiative that supports community engagement, social action and social mixing among young people.

      Through delivery of NCS, we bring together schools, community engagement, businesses and individuals to build a stronger and more cohesive society.

          We deliver our NCS programme in London, Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham and West Midlands, Manchester, Lancashire, North and West Yorkshire.

               The young people take part in a range of activities including a week long adventure programme, working in the community and also devising a project day to benefit a local charity or organisation.

              The aim is to help people in the community and to develop the skills and confidence of the young people taking part; hopefully a win-win situation.

              The Challenge organisation is always looking for business partners willing to set challenges and support and guide young people through the programme. If you or anyone you know may be willing to help, contact Lina on 07392 873 488 or 0121 772 3567.

              CLUB MEETING - Monday 9th October 2017

              by Bill Parkinson

              Following the singing of Grace President Robert opened the meeting by reading a letter from the Inner Wheel thanking the Club for our generous donation which would be passed on to their nominated charities.

              There had been a problem with the email Robert circulated to members regarding the first evening meeting of the Club which is to be held in The Guernsey Suite at The Manor Hotel, Meriden on Monday 30th October, 6:30 pm for a 7:00pm start. There will be a speaker following the meal. Robert needs to know numbers as soon as possible, via mail.


              Robert invited members to make short contributions of interest to members in lieu of a speaker. Past President Victor Keene gave members an insight into a project being undertaken by The Alms-house and Carers Trust which plans to add more accommodation to that at Bond's and Ford's Hospital Alms-houses in the City. Work in being undertaken to secure planning permission for a project to build 45 retirement flats in Hill St. It is hoped to include a respite centre which would allow carers a well needed short break from their caring role.

                          Past President Ken Holmes brought members up to date on the planning and format of the 3rd annual Festival of Christmas Trees to be held at Holy Trinity Church from the 5th - 9th December. It is hoped that up to 100 trees will be placed and decorated by participating organisations by Monday prior to the official opening on Tuesday 6th December. There is to be a concert in Holy Trinity on the evening of Friday 8th December. Each member of Rotary will be given 8 concert tickets to sell and hopefully the church will be full for what should be a very special musical event with up to 4 choirs participating. Two free tickets will be given for every 8 tickets sold.

                          CLUB MEETING - Monday 2nd October 2017

                          by Bill Parkinson

                          President Robert opened the meeting by reporting on his visit to Vice Presidential Michael Hammon's Macmillan coffee morning which had been a great success. Michael added that £1100 had been raised and he was delighted to also report that Roma had won a hamper and Kim Reece had won 3 prizes in the raffle. A cheque was already on its way to the charity!

                          Robert is keen to trial evening meetings as part of his bid to extend the appeal and membership of the club. The first evening meeting will be held on Monday 30th October. The format of the meeting will be much the same as lunchtime gatherings. Robert will email members to gauge numbers. The cost will be £20 and members are urged to invite friends who may be interested in the work of Rotary.


                          Next week Robert is asking male members to wear a red or blue bow tie or cravat and lady members to wear a red or blue scarf.

                              Wahiba Kiared spoke briefly about the continuing work of The International Children's Trust which is currently in the process of relocating to Coventry. Several Rotary Clubs are working with the charity on a project providing vocational training for young women in Zimbabwe.

                              Our speaker was Professor Lawrence S Young, Vice President of Warwick Medical School. He gave an excellent talk on the work he is involved with in his study of the causes and treatment of cancer. Through his enthusiasm for this vital work he made this complex subject accessible to us all.

                                      As the world's population ages, more and more people will succumb to cancer which makes the search for more effective treatment so important.

                                      Professor Young though his extensive work abroad has a wide perspective on different types of cancer in different countries of the world. He pointed to three important strands in the successful treatment of the disease: early diagnosis, identifying vulnerable people through technological developments in gene therapy and using the body's own immune system to fight cancer.

                                      The University of Warwick has a strong culture of interdisciplinary and interdepartmental work which Professor Young sees as a great strength in moving his research along more efficiently and effectively.

                                      CLUB MEETING - Monday 26th September 2017

                                      by Bill Parkinson

                                      Following the Grace, President Robert opened the meeting by thanking Roma for organising the recent coffee morning. Roma then in turn thanked everyone who had attended. £520, with more still to come, was raised and would be donated to the Macmillan charity. An excellent effort on Roma's part.

                                      Past President John Hartley was among those present when Gabrielle Back received the recently awarded Queen's Award for Voluntary Service on behalf of Rotary. The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service and is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of The Queen's coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups.


                                      Robert was pleased to report that the day before our meeting he had managed to complete his 100 mile cycle ride which took him around the Midlands. In addition to being very good for him he had raised over £600 for charity. Well done Robert!!

                                          Second Vice President Judy Ryan was invested with her medallion of office by President Robert.

                                          As the speaker who was arranged to visit was unable to come due to work commitments, Past President David Kershaw spoke briefly on the nature of successful leadership. He highlighted several key principles of leadership which could lead to success. Among these were : putting people first, a limited number of priorities, actions speaking louder than words and doing the basics well.

                                                  First Vice President Michael Hammon invited members to attend a Macmillan Coffee Morning on Thursday 28th September at his office, 353 Walsgrave Road, from 10:30 onwards.

                                                  Treasurer Bob Kemble, asked members to consider donating pound coins which were soon to cease being legal tender to the Centenary Fund.

                                                  CLUB MEETING - Monday 18th September 2017

                                                  by Bill Parkinson

                                                  Following the Grace, President Robert opened the meeting by reporting that a grey bag with dark edging had been left at the recent coffee morning hosted by Kim Reece. Of anyone is aware of the owner please contact them or falling that Robert.

                                                  There had been a recent visit to the Belgrade Theatre as part of the campaign to boost membership. In Robert's words the play which was very physical and at times hard to follow had proved 'different'.

                                                  Robert also spoke of his recent visit to Ypres in Belgium to visit First World War battle sites.

                                                  He spoke of the moving experience of seeing so many names carved into the Menin Gate anode finding the name CS Villette which he subsequently discovered was a relative.

                                                      The 30th of October will see the first evening meeting of the Club. More information to follow later.

                                                      Our speaker for the day was Pat Mahone who posed some challenging and important questions around the issues facing young people growing up and working in Africa.

                                                          The countries of Africa receive large amounts of international aid and money from charities but this is not always channelled into the intended projects.

                                                              There is a history of some government ministers and officials syphoning off money and using it to fund unauthorised projects and for personal expenditure when there is still a shortage of essential services such as hospitals and schools.

                                                              Young people are beginning to ask is Africa too dependent on aid and charity and how they might themselves begin to solve some of the problems.

                                                              Pat was putting forward the idea that some of the problems in African countries may be better tackled using the approach adopted by Rotary International in its successful fight against polio. He envisaged donors working with governments and people together, to tackle problems and challenging issues.

                                                              CLUB MEETING - Monday 11th September 2017

                                                              by Bill Parkinson

                                                              In the absence of President Robert who was on holiday the meeting was opened by First Vice President Michael Hammon.

                                                              Michael had attended a meeting at The Transport Museum which was held to commemorate the last outbreak of polio in Coventry 60 years ago. Rotary has been instrumental in tackling the eradication of polio worldwide and the success of the work is highlighted by the fact that last year there were only 10 reported cases in the world.

                                                              Kim Reece's coffee morning had been held recently and although attendance had been lower than anticipated the £320 raised will hopefully rise to over £400 when gift aid is added. Past President John Hartley gave a report on the coffee morning at the end of the lunch and informed members that the money raised would be going to help Kare Adenegan with her sporting ambitions and training.

                                                              John and Margaret Hartley were congratulated on receiving the Coventry Telegraph Good Citizens Award. John made a contribution to Silver Ted by way of recognising the award.

                                                              Our speaker was Malcolm Hayes, Chair of the Trustees of The Langley House Trust which works offenders and ex-offenders to help them rehabilitate back into society.

                                                                  It all began back in the 1950's when in desperation, one man set fire to a curtain so that he could be re-arrested and go back to prison as had nowhere else to go .

                                                                  For him, prison was 'safer' than the outside world. At that time, there was no home for him and no help.

                                                                      The story of Langley House Trust started in 1958 in response to the plight of people like this. The founders 'Team K' and John Dodd set up the first project in Winchester in 1959 for male offenders leaving prison.

                                                                      They now operate in over 80 properties in 22 local authority areas across England, working with over 700 men and women every year. The Trust is proud of its Christian Heritage which is built on firm Christian principles and foundations. However, the services are for people of any or no faith.

                                                                          Malcolm is working hard with the Trust to break the mould and change attitudes.  Murry Lodge in Coventry which is run by the Trust has been doing sterling work with young men in providing training skills to enable them to find employment and live independently. Regaining self-esteem is vital to many of the people helped by the Trust.

                                                                          Generally people are supported for 6-9 months in the projects run by the Trust where they have single rooms. They are taught top budget and literacy and numeracy skills are strengthened. 

                                                                          The September issue of the Rotary Club of Nuneaton Newsletter had a full report on the annual bowls match between the Nuneaton and Coventry Clubs. The victorious club lifts The Oscar Grunau Trophy which was inaugurated in 1965. The year's match was very closely fought and Nuneaton were the eventual victors. Well done to our team - they live to fight another day!

                                                                          CLUB MEETING - Monday 4th September 2017

                                                                          by Ros Thomas

                                                                          Robert told members that Kim Rees is holding a coffee morning on Thursday 7th September at her home. a broad was passed round to sign up for the event.

                                                                          Tonight, (Monday 4th September at 7:30pm) Dhiran has organised a social evening at the Belgrade Theatre to see the play 'Faithful RUSLAN - The story of a Guard Dog.' Unfortunately, Dhiran has had to support these events when Dhiran has organised them.

                                                                          Our guest speaker this week was Natalie Parr who came to talk to us about Girl Guiding.

                                                                          Natalie has been involved in Guiding since she was 7 years old. She had trained to be a Primary school teacher, but early on in her career she became very ill and is now in a wheelchair. Her involvement in Guiding have given her confidence and independence.

                                                                          Her main focus now is a Guide unit which she and her sister run at St Thomas's church in Keresley. This unit is specially for girls who have 'special needs'. Some of them have educational needs - they might have faced school exclusion, some have physical disabilities and others emotional needs. The girls who come to this Group come from all over the City. Many of them have had difficulties making and maintaining friends in school so the friendships they make in Guides are so important.

                                                                              Every 4 years, Warwickshire holds its own Jamboree. Next year it is in Bromsgrove. The cost for Natalie's Guide troop to attend this jamboree is £4500. Natalie has taken on the task of fund raising for this event. So far they have over £2000. Some of the girls need 1:1 support and this has all been organised.

                                                                                      As the girls get older, they can become involved in the young leaders course. This is obviously very beneficial totem as they can put it on their CV.

                                                                                      The Guides do a lot for their community. They are always willing to deliver leaflets etc. Many of the Guides have low esteem and lack confidence. The leaders do a lot of work with them around positive images. they try to make them confident young ladies even though many of them are disadvantaged in some way. The Guides also have lots of different organisations visiting their meetings such as RNLI, Police dog handlers etc.

                                                                                      Natalie finished her talk by telling us that her involvement with Guiding had taken her all around the world and given her fantastic opportunities. She is currently the Special Needs Advisor for Warwickshire. She is certainly a very inspirational lady.... she does not allow her disabilities to stop her from doing anything.