A Busy Youth Committee

Supporting Ilfracombe Academy, Ilfracombe Interact and local junior schools at ilfracombe and West Down

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It has often been said that Ilfracombe Rotary Club punches above its weight with what it achieves both locally in the community and internationally through Rotary Great Britain and Ireland and Rotary International. 

We share our work load through committees who take on tasks aligned to its group name. One such committee is the Youth Committee – a very busy committee! 

 We introduce the annual Rotary Competitions to all the schools in and around Ilfracombe. Our local Rotary Young Chef competition is held in Ilfracombe Academy and the winner is then entered into the Area Final together with winners from The Park School, Great Torrington School, Kingsley School and Bideford College. We host the Area Final at Petroc College in the latter part of the year. This is judged by 2 eminent local chefs and the winner of this Final goes onto a District Final which leads to the Regional and National Final. In the recent past we’ve had a student progress through to the regional Final who then went on to be named Level 2 Winner, Petroc College 2018 Chef of the Year competition. 

Young Writer Competition has been introduced to the local Junior schools and The Academy, Ilfracombe. We have had up to 80 submissions of stories and poems which we’ve had to individually judge and then to send on our choices to the District which again leads to Regional and National Finals. One of our submissions from The Academy went onto win the National Final in the recent past and another from Combe Martin Primary School was highly commended at the District Final. 

Young Photographer has been taken up in both the local Junior and Senior schools and with some help from our Club, they have been entering the annual competition. We’ve had a submission from The Academy gain third place at the District Competition last year. 3 years ago, a team from the Academy entered the Youth Speaks competition and progressed to the Regional Final. 

To gauge interest in the Rotary Young Musician competition, we held an internal competition at Ilfracombe Junior School based along the lines of Rotary competition and it was well received at the school. We are now looking at other ways to incorporate Young Musician into the local schools so watch this space.

Ilfracombe Rotary Club is the sponsor club to Ilfracombe Academy Interact Club and we act as mentors and guides as they carry out their projects. Interact clubs bring together young people ages 12-18 to have fun while developing leadership skills. They organize at least two projects every year, one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding. Last year their local project was having fundraising projects to enable bursaries for people attending Calvert Trust. Their international project was the Rotary Shoebox Appeal and 25 boxes were filled and sent onto the appeal organisers for dispatch to where they were needed. The Club has been active in its current format for the past 2 years and is slowly gaining popularity within the school community. 

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is an intensive leadership experience organized by Rotary clubs and districts where the aim is to help students develop their skills as leaders while having fun and making connections. RYLA changes lives! Participants develop and strengthen skills in the following areas: leadership fundamentals and ethics; communication skills; problem solving and conflict management; community and global citizenship; and teamwork. We have worked with The Academy and funding is shared on an equal basis between them and our Club to enable 2 students each year to attend. Students from The Academy have attended Junior RYLA annually for the past 5 years and we are able to see the transformation of the students from selection interviews to returning to give feedback to our Club on completion of their course. 

All students who take part in the competitions receive a certificate which is usually given out by the Club President and committee members at school assemblies thus maintaining our close links with each school. 

Planetarium Sessions 

As part of the Exmoor Dark Skies Festival Programme 2018, we are proud to sponsor this event at Ilfracombe Academy. The Space Odyssey mobile planetarium offers spectacular 360-degree 3D digital dome experience for children and adults of all ages. Sophisticated computer simulations are projected through the dome creating a breathtakingly immersive and inspirational learning experience for all. “Planetarium Sessions will be held at Ilfracombe Academy on Thursday 17th October 2018. This is kindly supported by the Ilfracombe Rotary Club, who have funded visits to the dome for over 700 local schoolchildren. Two public planetarium sessions will also be held at Ilfracombe Academy during the evening. These sessions, which are aimed at adults and older children, will include one hour inside the dome followed by 30 minutes of assisted stargazing outdoors, weather permitting. If the weather is poor, there will be an extended session in the dome”. (Exmoor Dark Skies Festival Programme poster) 

As a Club, we are very proud of our links with the youth of our local schools’ community. Youth Committee, 

Ilfracombe Rotary Club, October 2018

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