About us


           Welcome to the Rotary Club of Leigh

Our club was formed in 1931 and has a modern and progressive membership of pro-active individuals who work together for the good of others through numerous initiatives and fund raising projects. This takes the Rotary motto of "Service Beyond Self" to a level that really makes a difference.

We support a wide range of projects within our local community, as well as International Projects and Disaster Relief.

We have a meeting every Monday to enjoy each other's company, listen to inspiring speakers, and keep up-to-date with our community and projects. We also meet for various other Social, Fund Raising and Community Service events. 

If you would like to attend one of our meetings to find out more about what we do, please use the “Contact” facility at the top of this page, or use the links to find more general information about the world-wide Rotary organisation.

Our meetings are held at Leigh Cricket Club, Beech Walk, Leigh, WN7 3LH

Monday Lunch  - 1st & 3rd Monday of each month at 12.45 pm.

Monday Evenings - 2nd, 4th  & 5th Monday of each month at 7.00 pm


Return Your Surplus Hospital Equipment

How many times have you heard friends say, “I tried to take some crutches (or other hospital equipment) back to the hospital, but they don’t want them?”

Well, all that has changed! Wigan Council now has a department that can clean, repair and refurbish Crutches, Zimmer Frames, Perching Stools, Commodes, and Wheelchairs etc., saving money for the local NHS.

Leigh Rotary Club President Brian Mills said, “The NHS does not have facilities for collecting surplus equipment so have asked Rotary to help out. This is a win-win situation where you can create some more space at home and at the same time give the hospital the opportunity to recycle equipment and save money. With NHS budgets under so much strain we feel we are doing something to help our local Hospital Trust, but we need the help of the borough’s residents to make the day a success.”

Various local Rotary Clubs are helping by collecting any such equipment on Sunday 18th February. In the Leigh area, any items should be taken to Tesco at Leigh, between 10 am and 4 pm., where the Rotary Club of Leigh will be pleased to receive any equipment, which in turn will be collected by Wigan Metro.

The Rotary Club of Tyldesley with Atherton, will be doing the same, with their collection point being DRB Photos, 153 Elliot St, Tyldesley M29 8FL.

This event is for one day only and the Rotary Clubs of Wigan and also Ashton in Makerfield, will have separate collections in their areas.

If the item is too large or heavy telephone one of the numbers on the poster below and the Rotary Club will arrange with the hospital for this to be collected. Medicines, Tablets, Bandages etc., cannot be accepted.

New Member – Rotary Club of Leigh

At Monday’s meeting on 8th January, we had the pleasure of introducing Geoff Melling as a new member.

Geoff has attended lots of recent meetings and other events and has helped out at the Santa collections. His membership will be an asset to the club.

The photo shows Geoff with his sponsor, Chris Stephenson and Club President, Brian Mills.

Santa’s Amazing Christmas Collection

Father Christmas has sent a letter to say a massive “Thank You” to everyone from Leigh and Lowton who kindly donated an amazing amount of just over £14000 to Leigh Rotary Club’s charity fund raising.

Santa wrote to say, “What another incredible Christmas Collection this has been! Thousands of children and adults came out to meet me and have their photographs taken, sometimes braving freezing weather, a bit of snow and some very cold rain. Some children had been saving their change throughout the year and gave me bags full of money (and a few mince pies!)”

Leigh Rotary’s President Brian Mills said, ” I cannot describe the amount of pleasure seen on the children’s faces, (and their mums and dads) during our collections and this alone made the effort really worthwhile.

“The amount raised was tremendous - what amazing people we have in our town! The funds we collected will be put to good use for worthwhile causes such as youth organisations, the homeless and many local charities. The Rotary Club of Leigh would like to thank Bents, Asda, Morrisons and Tesco for allowing collections on their premises. This year we have had many extra volunteers who have helped with collecting and with towing the Sleigh. We could not have managed without their help, so we like to thank them also – but most of all, thanks to the wonderful people of Leigh & Lowton for their generosity.”

Youth Brass Band & Choir Concert

The Rotary Club of Leigh held their annual Charity Christmas Concert at Leigh Parish Church on 9th December, with a full church being entertained by the Wigan Youth Brass Band & Wigan Youth Choir.

Their programme included a wide range of tunes and songs, ranging from Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody, to a James Bond Medley, interspersed with traditional Carols, which the audience sang with gusto.

The youngsters further demonstrated their musical talents with some test pieces and finished with the Snow Waltz, “Schneewaltzer”, with the audience and the band bobbing up and down to the Austrian melody.

The concert was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress, Bill Clarke and his wife Joan, along with Leigh MP Jo Platt. They remarked on the amount of young musical talent we have in the area and praised the band and choir for their wonderful performance.



Our first meeting at the Cricket Club got off to a good start with a speaker from Derian House Children’s Hospice. Elaine Middleton explained how they provide palliative, specialist respite and end of life care for children and young adults throughout the North West region

She told us about the many families they have cared for and supported since the hospice opened and that children can also receive on-going expert care at home. Situated in Chorley, the Hospice is an independent charity receiving minimal statutory funding, relying almost exclusively on their own efforts to raise around the £3.85 million needed to run the Hospice each year. We have sent a donation of £150 to this worthwhile charity.


We were privileged to have two ex-professional Rugby League players give a presentation on their charity, ‘State of Mind Sport’. Danny Sculthorpe and Phil Vievers told us of the dangers of sports men and women who can get badly depressed when their careers come to a sudden end. “Macho” men are vulnerable as they often keep their problems bottled up, which has lead to many suicides. The charity aims to raise awareness of mental health issues within sport, to overcome such issues.

Canal Festival & Leigh for All – 8 to 10th Sept.

The festival was spread over several sites, including the Waterside Inn, the Turnpike Gallery and Leigh Spinners Mill, with boat trips on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, a beer festival at the Waterside Inn and a range of stalls including the Rotary Gazebo with Tombola and Roy’s “Splat the Rat”. In the Town Hall Square on Saturday, there was a WW2 Display of Vehicles & Equipment and Classic Cars next to another Rotary Gazebo with our new Chuck the Ball game. 

The Rotary Club of Leigh helped with sponsorship of this community event and acted as marshalls for the car park.



Leigh Rotary’s New President

Brian Mills has become the new President of Leigh Rotary Club, taking over from David Jones, with Mike Guest becoming Vice-President.

After handing over the chain of office, the retiring President said, “We have had a most satisfying year during which we helped the funding of many organisations, clubs and charitable groups, and we must thank the people of Leigh and Lowton for their support and contributions – everyone has been so generous, especially at Christmas time with Santa’s Sleigh. I am sure that the incoming President will receive the same level of support and we wish him every success.”

After accepting his new responsibilities, Rotary President Brian Mills commented, “I would like to express my congratulations to our retiring President for such a successful year. In the year ahead we will be getting involved in various Community projects and will continue helping charitable causes. We have already got off to a good start by helping True Colours to set up a new sensory facility for Autistic care in Leigh.

We are making some radical changes to our weekly meetings by moving from lunchtimes to alternating lunch and evenings, to make it more accessible to potential working members and we have arranged interesting events and speakers, including a Wing Commander from the Battle of Britain Flight and Musketeers from a Civil War Re-Enactment society.

We are always happy to hear from any groups in the area who have a project that the Rotary Club of Leigh may be able to support. We would also like to hear from anyone interested in joining Rotary or in helping with any of our events.”

Welcome to our New Member

In June we welcomed a new member to our Club. Peter Thompson joined us but he is no stranger to Rotary, as he has been a member of the Rotary Club of Whitchurch for several years. Peter and his wife Mary have moved to her home town of Leigh and one of Peter’s first jobs was to pop into one of our meetings, where he quickly made the decision that this was the club for him. Since then he has attended every weekly meeting and all the other events, so is already becoming a valuable member. We look forward to hearing his life story when he speaks to us at a meeting in September.

Summer Camp

It was a busy time for Rob & Jeanette Dyson as they held a BBQ for 14 youngsters from overseas, along with the Rotarians who they will be staying with, whilst in the UK for Rotary Summer Camp. Many countries were represented from China to Spain and the Dyson’s hosted boys from Poland and Portugal. This is the 10th year they have done this - well done Rob & Jeanette!

Let the Children Speak!

Public speaking can be a nerve-wrecking experience, even for established professionals, but when you are under 12 years old, speaking to an audience of over a hundred people, it becomes a massive challenge! That is what youngsters had to face at Leigh Rotary Club’s “Let the Children Speak” event.

Eight local schools took part with 21 pupils speaking for 5 minutes on a very wide variety of topics of their own choice, ranging from “Endangered Animals” and “Love for Writing Rap Songs”, to “Holidays” and “Planes”. One young lady even wrote a song and performed it without any backing.

Rugby League personality and Rotary member John Stringer acted as MC and after Rotary President David Jones had presented each child with a trophy, he said, “Being able to speak in public is an important asset and this event will have boosted their confidence and raised their self esteem, which will help them in all walks of life. The youngsters who entered this event should be particularly proud, because they spoke loud and clearly and were also interesting and informative. They were a real credit to themselves, their parents and their teachers.”

The Rotary Club would like to thank the Directors of Leigh Masonic Hall for allowing use of their facilities and Walter Brown for providing the sound equipment. Thanks also to the teachers and assistants at the schools who entered, which were Leigh St. Mary’s, Christ Church Primary, Leigh Central, Westleigh Methodists, Leigh St. Gabriel’s, Bickershaw, Sacred Heart, and XII Apostles.


Rotary Club members enjoyed a morning of Birdwatching at Pennington Flash, thanks to the members of the Leigh Ornithological Society, who kindly escorted us around the various hides and viewing points. Interesting information was given about the wildlife and the hides, named after prominent members of the birdwatching community.

It was fascinating to not only see and be told about the various birds and wildlife, but to also listen to the bird calls and to hear how the experts could differentiate between them all.

An extra bonus was meeting up with some biologists from London who are researching the use of small beetles which can destroy the weed which is covering some of the ponds and waterways. These creatures are effective without causing any other issues.

An excellent day was completed with an enjoyable lunch at the Robin Hood.

PHOTO: Rotary Birdwatchers in Action

Leigh’s Open Gardens Day

The second Open Gardens Day was held last week by the Rotary Club of Leigh and what a wonderful success it was! Five gardens could be visited in the Pennington area, with the owners on-hand to show visitors around and answer the many questions.

Every garden was beautifully laid out and ranged from large and spectacular, to small but well cared for, all with interesting features. Several gardens had summer houses, patios of all shapes and styles, ponds and even a river. One thing in common was the devotion, planning, care and effort that the owners had bestowed on their gardens, along with the friendliness they all showed to the visitors, creating a wonderfully social occasion.

The weather was reasonably kind, the band played, the ladies of Inner Wheel served afternoon tea, whilst Rotarians sold bedding plants and books to those bitten by the gardening bug!

David Jones, President of Leigh Rotary Club commented, “This was an amazingly friendly occasion and everyone will be pleased to know that over £1400 was raised between Rotary and Inner Wheel for charitable causes. We would like to thank everyone who attended or helped with this event, including our sponsors Bents Garden & Home and Greensman Lawn Treatments and of course, the wonderful owners of the gardens.”

The Willow Young People’s Counselling Service

Rob Dyson, Transport Manager at Jim Stones, presenting a cheque to the Manager and Trustee of the Willow Project.

Rob, Jim and Santa would like to thank their fabulous passengers on Jim Stones buses for helping to raise £625, and also to The Rotary Club of Leigh for topping it up to £1,000

Rotary’s Life-Saving Changes

Ten years ago, Bimma village in Ghana consisted of 2,500 farmers scratching a living by inappropriate farming. Polluted water and lack of sanitation meant three in ten babies died aged under two years.

Bimma’s fortunes changed in 2008 when Barrie Coates, from the Rotary Club of Leigh, visited Bimma and formed a relationship with Ghana’s charity ‘Ashanti Development’, who undertook the planning and work under matching grant conditions.

The main goals, which were all achieved, were to provide: -

Clean Water – to prevent disease and to save having to walk for hours each day to a dirty, mosquito infested pool;

A Latrine for each family - to reduce illness;

A Secondary School - so children have a meal each day;

Food Production – education, finance and facilities.

A recent report has said that Bimma is now recognised as the best grower of vegetables out of 200 villages in the Ashanti Region.

Part of the success was due to a Micro-Finance scheme where farmers are loaned £100 per year for seeds, fertiliser, etc. This is repayable with interest, which then goes to help farmer after farmer.

The British Overseas Development Agency recently visited Bimma to learn how the training and marketing is done and want to use this as a model for other regions.

Babies rarely die in Bimma nowadays and it is one of the most sought-after places to live in the Ashanti Region.


Rotary News

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Meetings & Venue

Where and when:

Leigh Cricket Club
Beech Walk,
Lancashire We meet on Mondays at 7.00pm - 2nd, 4th & 5th Monday
(1st & 3rd Mondays meet at 12.45pm finishing at 2.00pm)
Leigh Cricket Club
Beech Walk,
Lancashire WN7 3LH  01942 671818

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