Doctor Jill Bethell MBE takes over as District 1220 Governor in July. The retired doctor will lead the team ensuring Rotary has fresh vigour to be ‘alert’ to the needs of communities throughout the East Midland and South Yorkshire.
During and beyond the covid-19 pandemic, 67 local Rotary groups have continued to support by uniting and take action in our communities and beyond. A regional foodbank supply scheme is now in operation and a number of grants have been made to schools, individuals and organisations making PPE for hospitals and care centres. Rotary International have given $20million to support foodbanks worldwide.
Retired Dronfield GP Jill said, “Many lessons have and are being learned during this pandemic. As COVID-19 changes the way we live so it changes how Rotary operates and what we do. Let’s all turn our challenges into stepping stones to success in different ways than we’ve previously enjoyed.”
Jill, a Londoner by birth, trained in Sheffield and has spent many years in Dronfield and is privileged to be very much part of the Community. Jill, with others, started the Welcome Club on Tuesdays in memory of her father who had multiple sclerosis; the Cardio Club for those with heart problems – often Jills’ Friday evening surgeries were busy with men from 50-70 years, who had had heart attacks, needing to “touchbase” and check out their concerns. Dronfield’s keen, vibrant St John Ambulance Unit invited Jill to be President; Dronfield Guides to be their Ambassador and a Church Warden for 5 years. Jill and husband Tony were both very honoured to receive MBEs at the same time in 2011, for Services to the Community of Dronfield.
Jill will lead Rotary as it develops through Covid-19 with greater use of technology such as video conference meetings and Rotary E clubs where members do much work online.
Jill said, “Rotary needs to keep alert to present very difficult and different circumstances. We need to modernise and move on in the 21st century with younger members enabling Rotary to help address community needs both during and after this pandemic.”
A new initiative to supply hard-pressed food banks is up and running in Sheffield where Rotary has teamed up with the Trussell Trust team at Sheffield S6 to combat hunger in the city.
With roughly a quadrupling of demand for foodbank supplies, Sam Evans at Sheffield S6 Foodbank Hub says that, more than ever, the whole community is pulling together to help. But, he fears, the issues of hunger and deprivation are not going to go away any time soon.
Sheffield S6, part of the Trussell Trust, now provides a distribution hub for seven foodbanks in the city. “We are currently distributing £10000 of food and essentials each week to some of the neediest in the community. Last week alone we delivered to 314 households, providing for almost 800 people. That’s around four times the volume for the same week last year. And that number is rising,” says Sam.
The combination of Covid lockdown and the economic fallout has seen more families than ever struggling to make ends meet. Nationally the Trussell Trust has reported unprecedented demand for its services.
But a new initiative by Rotary is helping to ensure that the limited funds of many of the region’s foodbanks go further still. Local club Abbeydale Rotary is part of the region-wide programme, Rotary4foodbanks, launched last month across the East Midlands and South Yorkshire.
With money donated by clubs, supporters and from the foodbanks themselves, Rotary4foodbanks uses its buying expertise to source food for foodbanks at prices they could not achieve and also elicits donations from food processing companies. The scheme is supported by regional transport and logistics companies who provide staff and transport free of charge. Goods are then sent from a central depot in Nottinghamshire to the Sheffield S6 hub and elsewhere. Local volunteers then distribute the supplies onwards to the individual foodbanks across Sheffield and Rotherham.
Says Graham Stevens of the Abbeydale Club: “It is a real team effort. Smaller foodbanks can order supplies through Rotary4foodbanks and see their limited funds work harder. In a real spirit of co-operation, Sheffield S6 warehouses the bulk supplies until they can be collected by or delivered to individual foodbanks. Just this week Rotary4foodbanks delivered 3300 units of product – around 350 cases of porridge, tea, coffee and other essentials, on pallets to the Sheffield S6 hub.”
While the Rotary4foodbanks scheme is currently operating only in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire, the plan is to roll it out more broadly. “Our members tell us there is a crying need for a similar service to support foodbanks elsewhere in the country. In the North East especially, Rotarians are looking to utilise the scheme to help meet that demand,” says the scheme’s co-ordinator, John Cavey.
Eventually, Rotary hopes that the government will also give financial backing to grow the scheme nationally. “Until then,” says John, “we are relying on the generosity of the public and businesses to see us through.”
Sam Evans says: “Not just in the Sheffield region, but across the country generally, it looks likely that the problem is only going to get worse. Supermarkets and Rotary have been brilliant in stepping up to the mark and we know they will continue to do so. Here at Sheffield S6, we are looking to work even more closely with other local charities, businesses and individual volunteers to ensure that no-one goes hungry in South Yorkshire.”
Anyone wanting to help in the Rotary4foodbanks programme – or foodbanks requiring support – can contact John Cavey at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 07855 299443
Anyone needing food in Sheffield can contact S6 foodbank on Tel: 0114 321 0733.
Support the Rotary4foodbanks scheme by sharing this article and donating on our Just Giving page
Two examples this week of Rotary business continuing despite the lockdown, two clubs Sherwood Forest and Epworth & the Isle of Axholme inducted new members.
At Epworth, new member Denise Janney was introduced by Rotarian and PE John Lambert.
At Sherwood Forest on the same evening, the new member inducted by President Malcolm Bevan was Lynda Coppin. The club then went on to conduct its Annual Club Assembly with over 85% of members in attendance.
Epworth & Isle of Axholme Rotary held their annual quiz on Friday 24th April – via their Facebook page. This went really well – thanks to Rotarian Sally Hughes – 7.30pm – pictures were posted first – then a selection of questions at ½ hour intervals.
The answers were posted online at 9pm.
Lots of people took part and £516 was raised for Epworth Baptist Church Foodbank.
Great fun and FAB result.
Realising that many of the VE Day celebrations will be curtailed or cancelled, we’re going to run another quiz on Friday 8th May. Exactly the same procedure – questions will be uploaded at 15 minute intervals from 7.30pm and answers posted at 9pm.
The theme of the quiz will be World War 2. Again, we’re asking for donations for the foobank, BUT realising that many of you contributed most generously last time, the emphasis is on having a bit of fun!! Please do join us again and do please share this post.
Epworth and Isle of Axholme Rotary Virtual Quiz Night in aid of Epworth Food Bank Friday April 24th 7.30pm
Normally at this time of year Epworth and Isle of Axholme Rotary host a quiz night in aid of local charities. This year is no exception despite events driving us all indoors for the foreseeable future. Our aim is to bring a Virtual Quiz to the comfort of your own home via our Facebook page, Epworth and Isle of Axholme Rotary Club. This will take place on from 7.30pm on Friday April 24th and all funds raised will be donated to the Epworth Baptist Church Food Bank.
If the technology works – fingers crossed -there will be 4 rounds: round 1 will be posted at 7.30pm then subsequent rounds will be posted at 15-minute intervals. We will post the answers at 9pm.
You’ll need pen and paper to record your answers– PLEASE DON’T COMMENT ON THE POSTS.
There are 50 points up for grabs and feel free to post your scores on our page at the end.
The quiz is a bit of fun and open to all. We suggest a minimum donation of £2 for those able to contribute. Obviously if you are able to donate more please do, it will be gratefully received. Details of how to do this will be posted on the night.
A partnership has emerged between Rotary and other voluntary and trade organisations working in the area: specifically Belton Parish Council, Epworth Town Council, North Lincs County Council, the local Churches, the Isle of Axholme Local Produce Group and the Isle of Axholme Covid 19 Support Group.
We’ve partnered to form ‘Epworth and Belton Good Neighbours’. Effectively, we’re a volunteer force that will help out vulnerable people in this time of need.
Rotary was tasked with creating a leaflet which provided essential information to all the households in the area. Nick Mundy designed the leaflet and it will be posted out over the next couple of days.
Carol Walsh from Epworth & Isle of Axholme Rotary is now working on a list of protocols for local volunteers that they will need when carrying out work in the community.
When the Coronavirus crisis emerged we knew that the Rotary year wouldn’t progress as we had imagined, but by reacting with appropriate urgency to events and working with others, our club is determined to uphold the Rotary motto of ‘service above self’.
Inspirational children and young people who have overcome adversity were honoured at Mansfield Rotary Club’s annual Courage Awards.
Now in its 29th year, the event was hosted at Portland College, Mansfield, in front of the young people’s families and teachers.
Article courtesy of the News Journal – the original GOOD news local paper
Twelve young people — Paris Clarke-Hippsley, from The Samworth Academy, Mansfield; Ellie-Paige Willoughby, from Joseph Whitaker School, Rainworth; Charlette Smith, from Brunts Academy, Mansfield; Katie Bloomfield and Georgie Ancliffe, from West Nottinghamshire College; Thomas Glazebrook, from A Place To Call Our Own; Marwa Alshaieb, from Reach, Mansfield; Lois Harnett, from Portland College; Sophie Owen, from Meden School, Warsop; Abbie Steel, from Queen Elizabeth’s Academy, Mansfield; Kieran Vardy, from R.E.A.L. Education; together with a student from Fountaindale School, Mansfield, who was unable to attend — received a plaque from the Rotary club and a civic citation from the Mayor of Mansfield, Andy Abrahams.
The recipients of the awards had been nominated by their school or college for “exemplifying moral and spiritual courage in the face of personal adversity and difficulty.”
Presenting the awards, Mansfield Rotary Club president, John Bilzon, said: “Courage is often described as the ability to conquer fear or despair.
“But courage is not only showing bravery in the face of danger, more often courage is the day-to-day determination and hard work of dealing with, adjusting to, and, hopefully, overcoming the obstacles and harsh realities that life may present.
“It is a quality of mind enabling one to face that hardship with resolution.
“A resolution with power and spirit — the power to make choices and set goals and to act upon them firmly without renouncing those objectives; the spirit to let that courage succeed by the behaviour and attitude shown to the world about them.”
Education Mutual was the event’s main sponsor. Tables were sponsored by: Tyler Bros (Sutton-in-Ashfield) Ltd, HW Martin Waste Ltd, Atmospheric Interiors, Asmech Systems Ltd, Portland College, Hall-Fast Industrial Supplies, Mansfield Building Society, Fidler & Pepper, Overton Electrical, Hopkins Solicitors, Lighting Project Solutions and Mansfield Garage Doors.
The Rose Bower, Outram Street, Sutton, provided floral gifts to the parents and carers of each nominee.
Among the other guests were the governor of Rotary District 1220, Rotarian David Hood, the president of Mansfield Inner Wheel Club, Anne Lyons, and Julie Rathbone, who has represented All Saints’ Catholic Academy, Mansfield, at all but one of the Courage Awards events.
Paris Clarke-Hippsley (The Samworth Academy, Mansfield) Paris Clarke-Hippsley, aged 15, has been nominated by The Samworth Church Academy for showing immense bravery and enthusiasm, despite struggling with a condition affecting her spine.
In late 2017, Paris was diagnosed with scoliosis during one of her dance rehearsals after the teacher noticed a difference in the height of her shoulder blades. Paris visited the doctors and was informed that she did have a curvature of the spine and was referred for further tests. This came as a huge shock to Paris and her family as she had been a keen dancer since the age of 4. She competed both locally and nationally, and for her school, collecting many awards along the way.
As the condition deteriorated over time, she found it extremely difficult to cope with the pain and needed codeine and morphine daily to manage. In October 2019, Paris had seven-hour spinal surgery to correct her spine and this involved using titanium rods, 17 screws and a hook to keep her spine aligned and stop it from twisting/bending any further. Mr David Broomhead, deputy headteacher, said: “Throughout, Paris remained upbeat and positive.”
Ellie-Paige Willoughby, aged 15, attends Joseph Whitaker School and has been nominated for the courage she has shown overcoming the difficulties of her health issues.
Mrs Dawn Mallon, SEN Manager and key worker, said: “Ellie had surgery for cochlear implants, fitted during the summer holidays, before she came to us (JWS), and in Year 7 she was unable to hear anything except clicks and whirs, was unable to understand sounds at all and was transitioning to a new, much bigger school with people she didn’t know.
“Since that time, when much of her learning took place in the Student Support Centre she has flown. “She had emergency funding for a year to allow us to support her learning through the difficult early months, but Ellie was soon out in all lessons and achieving highly in all subjects (not to mention one of them being Modern Foreign Languages – a lesson that in Year 7 terrified her).”
Dawn added: “She is now in Year 10 and has coped with many issues of her own, always dealing with them quietly and sensibly, and has proved to be very supportive of other students with a hearing impairment.”
At school, Ellie enjoys English because she likes to read other people’s work.
Charlette Smith (Brunts Academy, Mansfield)
Charlette Smith, aged 13, has been nominated for her determination to overcome difficult circumstances after experiencing great trauma. The youngster, from Nottingham, attends Brunts Academy and has a passion for horse riding, swimming and biking.
“Despite being dysregulated and scared she always comes to school and tries her best,” according to her school.
In the future, she would like to work with animals.
Katie Bloomfield (West Nottinghamshire College)
Katie Bloomfield has been nominated for hard work and commitment to learning, despite missing crucial school-time.
Katie was an extremely conscientious student last year, studying level 2 diploma in travel and tourism with 100 per cent attendance and being on track for a distinction grade, when she suddenly started to feel ill, with bad headaches.
She was admitted to hospital, where she was diagnosed with a blood clot on her brain, which left her poorly. It meant she missed three months of college at the crucial end-of-year point, from March to May. However, Katie was absolutely determined to finish the course and continuously asked for college work throughout her time in hospital and throughout her recovery.
With medical advice, teaching staff put together a return-to-college programme and asked the examining board to delay Katie’s end date so that she could complete her studies over the summer. Katie managed to complete the course by the end of June, at the same time as her classmates. Moreover, Katie gained an overall distinction average and a distinction in every unit except one, where she was awarded a merit.
Claire Craig, the programme area leader for travel and tourism, said: “Katie never complains about her illness and just gets on with it, even though it has meant completely re-thinking her career path in the industry as she can no longer fly or work as cabin crew while receiving treatment.
“Her hard work and dedication ensured she was selected from hundreds of candidates to undertake a work placement at East Midlands Airport to learn more about ground roles in aviation.”
Georgie Ancliffe (West Nottinghamhire College)
Georgie Ancliffe, from Hucknall, has been nominated for demonstrating courage in the face of adversity and for persevering, despite fighting many internal battles.
Georgie was a young teenager when she lost her mum very suddenly and, “as you can imagine for any teenage girl, this was very difficult for her to comprehend and come to terms with,” said Vanora Heason, who nominated Georgie.
The 20-year-old, who attends West Nottinghamshire College, subsequently went to live with her grandma and grandad, but soon settled into a routine. Tragedy struck again when Georgie unexpectedly lost her grandfather and as her grandma’s health deteriorated, Georgie and her younger brother faced a period of great uncertainty regarding their future. During this time Georgie had to grow up quickly, looking after not only herself but her brother and grandma too.
Despite all these setbacks and new responsibilities, Georgie’s attendance at college remained excellent.
Vanora added: “There have been a lot of ups and downs and Georgie has faced and conquered some real-life battles that many of us will never have to contend with.”
However, she has exemplified compassion to others, demonstrated courage in the face of adversity and has persevered, despite fighting many internal battles.
“Georgie has never let her hearing loss get in the way of what she wants to do or the person she wants to be. “Her journey so far is a real testament to her resilience and strength of character and she is a shining example to other young people with a hearing loss or indeed any difficulty or disability. We couldn’t be more proud of the amazing young person she has become.”
In the future, Georgia would like to work in a role that involves looking after children.
Thomas Glazebrook (A Place To Call Our Own)
Thomas Glazebrook, of Sutton, has been nominated for being an inspiration to other students at his school.
Last year the 14-year-old had to cope with stress, trauma and change resulting from changing school, family bereavement and the distress of helping out at home whilst his mum went through treatment for cancer. During this time Tom attended school.
When Tom was told that following treatment his mum could lose her ability to speak, he took it upon himself to learn British Sign Language and began to share and check understanding of the language with everyone he came in contact with.
Tom has developed skills that will be useful in his future life as a self-employed builder and roofing contractor. His skills are not restricted to practical activities, he has developed the skill of using Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Martin Cope, headteacher of APTCOO Independent School, said: “Tom is an inspiration.”
Marwa Alshaieb (Reach, Mansfield)
Marwa Alshaieb joined Reach Mansfield in May 2018 after coming from Syria in approximately 2016 with her mother, Hafsah, and her sister, leaving friends and family behind.
She has cerebral palsy and also finds it difficult to communicate using words. However, she has not let her disability hold her back and has also made lots of friends at Reach.
Staff at Reach say that they “hardly ever see Marwa without a smile.” The 28-year-old enjoys dancing in the performing arts session, cooking and making some terrific crafts.
In the future, she hopes that she will continue to attend Reach.
Lois Harnett (Portland College)
Lois Harnett, 21, attends Portland College and has been nominated for the way that she has coped with illness.
Lois, of Nottingham, had a turbulent start to the academic year when she spent the whole of the summer holidays in hospital with an infection in a very deep open wound on her back – and she was quite ill.
Since her return in September she has made every effort to attend college and always takes part in in-session activities.
Lorraine Little, Lois’ progression tutor, said: “Lois never complains and at times it is very apparent she is in a lot of pain and discomfort, but she refuses to go home.
“She likes to be my Deputy TA, and will tell me to get on with things. She will also tell others to listen to her as she’s in charge!
“She loves to watch what is going on around her (she is definitely a people watcher) but talking is a big hobby of hers.”
In the future, Lois hopes to become as independent as possible.
Sophie Owen (Meden School, Warsop)
Sophie Owen, 18, tragically lost her dad last year, very suddenly and unexpectedly, and since this trauma she has suffered from PTSD.
Despite facing ongoing challenges, the horse riding fan, from Church Warsop, has had a positive attitude toward learning and she remains focused on her studies.
Kate Kinney, a teacher at Meden School, said: “Sophie is the kindest student who we have ever had the pleasure of teaching at Meden School. She is very hard working and determined to succeed.
“She has been very resilient and still gives 100 per cent to her A-Level studies. We know that she will go on to do great things.”
Sophie’s long-term ambition involves becoming a business or HR manager after studying at university. She is hoping to go to Leicester or York University after completing her A-Levels.
Abbie Steel, from Mansfield, attends Queen Elizabeth’s Academy and has received her nomination for taking on every aspect of school life with the utmost enthusiasm, despite having an illness that has impacted her both physically and mentally.
As a baby, Abbie was diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemotherapy for three years and five months. She was left her with holes in her skull and her parents were told that she had a 20% chance of surviving.
She was left deaf in her left ear and wore a hearing aid until an operation repaired her hearing.
Abbie, 11, has gaps in her learning due to her illness and struggles with both long-term and short-term memory.
Ceri Graham, head of house at the academy, said: “Abbie is a shining example of someone who has not let illness stop her from getting the most out of life.”
Kieran Vardy (R.E.A.L. Education)
Kieran, of Kirkby, has been nominated for overcoming every barrier that has been put in his way.
He was born with Cerebral Palsy, which affects his speech and mobility, but hasn’t let this define him.
Kieran joined R.E.A.L. Education as a learner in mechanics in 2016 and progressed through his L1 Diploma. Whilst on his mechanics course he impressed with his determination to succeed and how inspirational he was to other learners.
Once he had completed his qualification, Kieran secured a job in the mechanics department.
Antonia Germany, Kieran’s line manager and former tutor, said: “He had a tough year last year, losing his mum, but he hasn’t let this affect his performance at work.
“Even better he is a true encouragement to our learners, pushing them to believe that if you put your mind to it, anything is possible.”
Rotherham Sitwell Rotary Club, together with Rotherham Round Table, have been able to support the family of seven year old Liam Allen who tragically died unexpectedly last November. Our Clubs funded an oak tree which the family planted on the Longshaw Estate in the Peak District National Park as a lasting tribute to him.
We enabled his parents Paula and Dave and their four young children to stay overnight nearby where they marked what would have been Liam’s eighth birthday. This area is one of their favourite beauty spots and the young family will be able to visit ‘Liam’s Tree’ to see it grow.
The family has been greatly comforted by the support we have been able to give and send their heartfelt thanks.
RC Epworth and Isle of Axholme were able to introduce two new members this month. Nick and Sue, pictured below with President Richard Vergette.
Nick says “As I approached and then reached retirement it was time for me to reflect on how I can look to give something back to our communities. Having been a member of Rotary before and with some family history of Rotarian membership, this seemed a good place to start. The Epworth Group have been very welcoming and, although small in number, seem to deliver some great results for such a small team. I look forward to joining this team and helping them deliver more success.”