Dr Jim McWhirter, originall of Henley Bridge Rotary Club, now with Reading Matins was awarded the Magic of Rotary Volunteering Award at the RIBI Conference in Bournemouth in April 2010

Dr Jim McWhirter tops the poll for the Magic of Rotary Volunteering Award

Dr Jim McWhirterWhen he retired from general practice, 'Dr Jim' joined Rotary and immediately used his skills by registering with the Rotary Doctor Bank. He was sent to the Kamuli Mission Hospital in Uganda where two doctors serve three quarters of a million people with just 160 beds. His medical expertise, contacts within the NHS and tenacious organisational skills have made a huge difference to the lives of both medical staff and patients.

The Magic of Rotary awards aim to publicise the rich variety of projects across RIBI, to improve collaborative opportunities for clubs involved in similar projects, and to encourage more diversity in Rotary club programmes.

The criteria for the Volunteering award:

At home and overseas there are many Rotarians who give of their time, sometimes in very challenging situations, beyond their immediate Club. This award was aimed at Rotarian(s) who use their vocational skills.

Work involved with health, hunger, water or literacy were ideal projects for this award especially if taking place over a sustained period. Similarly, a project leading to community improvements for young people at home or overseas was also an ideal candidate.

This award could also recognise those who have made a life-changing breakthrough for a person or a small group of people, especially if young people are the beneficiaries. This change could have been a specific health issue.  

Rotary Doctor Bank in action at KamuliWe are delighted that 'Dr Jim' emerged the winner from a very strong field of nominations from Districts throughout RIBI. Those who have been fortunate to have heard Jim McWhirter speak at a club meeting will know of the inspiring work he does at Kamuli Mission and other Hospitals in Uganda and how richly deserved this award was. For those yet to hear about this amazing project, we would urge you to book him without delay!

See booking details here


'Dr Jim' has continued and expanded on his sterling work in rural Uganda, often with the support of Rotary Foundation Global Grants and District 1090 Vocational Training Teams. He visits the hospitals twice a year and ensuries his efforts are sustainable, meeting the most most pressing needs and capable of further development by working in close partnership with hospital staff, local Rotary Clubs, medical partners in Uganda, principally Medicaudit, and Rotary Doctor Bank in the UK.

For latest news see Help for Hospitals in Uganda and follow him on Facebook under the same banner.