Friends of Wigan Rotary Club




Every year the club receives a great deal of help from people who are friends/relatives of members, and we are very appreciative of that support.

By way of acknowledging and thanking the people who give us this help; we wish to introduce them as 'Friends of Rotary' and say a few words about them.


Kath McArdle:

A former Primary School teacher, Kath has been helping in many ways for some years. Her artistic skills have come to the fore in preparing certificates and inserts for the Dictionary4Life, which is awarded to the children involved in the Junior Speaks competition for Y6 pupils. More recently, Kath has also trained as a judge for the competition; she is a key member of the team.

Kath also helps out on the Christmas Float every year.  Thank you Kath.


Shirley Rigby:

As a member of Dean Wood Golf Club and past Lady Captain, Shirley has always been a very active and organised person. These qualities have been very helpful to the club. Shirley has supported the Run4Life by persuading family and friend to participate and acting as a marshal on the day. Shirley is a regular at many of the fund raising events such as the music night and the quiz, in addition to always helping out on the Christmas Float.  Thank you Shirley.


Graham Cunliffe:

A former professional footballer with Bolton Wanderers, Graham has many contacts in the sporting world and uses these to good effect to support rotary. Over the years Graham has acquired sporting items and memorabilia which he has given to the club for auction, the money raised going into the charity fund.

Until this year Graham has always been a regular helper on the Christmas Float. However, a replacement hip operation in July 2011 meant he had to take a break. He has made good progress and will soon return.  Thank you Graham.


Bill Draper:

During his employment at Wigan College, Bill built the Christmas Float and since then, through into his retirement years, he has carried out the annual servicing and sprucing up. This includes work on the all important sound system, lights, wheels, number plate, storage areas, paintwork and making sure Santa is safe and comfortable for the journey. This is a vitally important contribution to The Christmas Float collections.  Thank you Bill


Chris Pearce:

Chris is the Editor of the 'Local Life' Magazine distributed monthly to a total of 50, 000 homes in the Wigan and St. Helens area.

Chris is very community minded, and the Magazine is always keen to support local issues aimed at improving local communities and making life better for residents.

He is a member of the Committee of the 'Orrell Network' - a voluntary organisation aimed at improving the quality of life in his own local area and is a keen supporter of Wigan Rotary Club, offering help and support whenever he can.  Thank you Chris

Patsy Slevin:

Patsy Slevin is proprietor of the 'Silver Tally' public house on Shevington Moor, and chief brewster of the Prospect Brewery, Standish.

Patsy began brewing in the garage of her Standish home, whilst caring for her elderly mother in law. The first beer was produced in August 2007, and the brewery has won many national beer awards since that time..

Patsy has graciously agreed to act as a consultant to our proposed 2013 beer festival, where her knowledge of transporting, preparing and serving beer will be invaluable. Thank you Patsy.

Graham Birch:

Born and brought up in Liverpool, Graham studied at Liverpool University where he achieved degrees in both Geography and Civic Design.

Following brief spell working in Shropshire, Graham moved to Oldham. He worked in the areas of planning and regeneration at Oldham Council for more than 30 years. Whilst at Oldham, he was heavily involved in the Millennium lottery funded projects to restore both the Rochdale and Huddersfield Canals.

Graham retired  in 2010 as Head of Service -  Strategic Planning and Transportation.

Since retirement actively involved with the Huddersfield Canal Society and recently appointed as Trustee of Manchester and Pennine Canal and Rivers Trust.

Graham has graciously agreed to assist with the planning and logistics for our proposed 2013 beer festival, where his experience in fundraising and waterways will be put to good use. Thank you Graham

David Grainger,  Marlene Birtwell and Diane Hawkins

David,  Marlene and Diane have become well known to the members of Wigan Rotary Club through their constant support and input in both the Youth Speaks and the Junior Speaks Contests.

They have acted as judges at the local finals of Youth Speaks for some years and at many heats and finals of Junior Speaks. Their expertise in the field of public speaking is second to none, all having honed their skills as members of Speakers Clubs. Diane is a member of Bolton Speaking Club  while Marlene is a member of Burnley and District Speakers Club.  Both are Past Presidents of the Western District of the Association of Speakers Clubs.

David  belongs to Blackburn Castle Club and  is a Past National President of the Association.

They all feel strongly that speaking in public is one of the most useful life skills anyone can develop. The positive feedback they have given after judging the contests has enabled the young people of Wigan to improve their speaking skills and, in the case of Youth Speaks, to go on to win the District Shield in 2009/10/11 and in 2012.

Thank you David, Marlene and Diane