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Glendinning House Therapy Dog

sponsorship updates


Rotary Legacy Fund

Leaving a legacy to the Rotary Club of Newton Abbot. Doing good in Newton Abbot beyond your lifetime…


The Rotary Effect - Our Story

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ROTARY CLUB OF NEWTON ABBOT -- Together, we can see a world where people unite and act to create lasting change; across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.


Donations 2019-20

Our fundraising and beneficiaries.


Fire Walk 2020

Sponsored individuals will walk across 20 feet of wood embers burning at 1236 degrees Fahrenheit, without experiencing any pain or injury at all! An inspirational and barrier-breaking experience with the benefit of raising money for fantastic causes.


Charity Golf Day 2020

Dainton Golf Club; Wednesday 30/09/20


About us

Rotary Club of Newton Abbot (RCNA) founded in 1922 still has a thriving membership of over 60 men and women from a wide range of professions, businesses and organisations who all share a common interest in helping others. Each member enjoys business as well as social networking opportunities, whilst giving something back to those less fortunate, learning new skills and joining in on social evenings with partners. In nearly 100 years of serving the local community, the club has raised and donated many thousands of pounds, shared skills and knowledge to charities and social organisations.






The RCNA Centennial approaches

As we look towards celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the founding of the Rotary Club of Newton Abbot in 2022 we are keen to hear from anyone who knows or knew past or deceased members to add some contents to our planned 'Centennial Book'.

The Rotary Club of Newton Abbot[RCNA] was formed at a meeting on 14th March 1922 and was chartered on the 1st July 1922 . It is  fifth In seniority in Devon & Cornwall behind Torquay & Plymouth founded in 1920, Truro 1921 and Exeter also in 1922.

The inaugural meeting gathered under the chairmanship of Mr. Charles Lane Vicary, a prominent businessman and personality in the Town and the biggest employer apart from the Great Western Railway.  Bradley Mills was the family business. 8 local businessmen attended the first meeting which was held at The Courtenay Restaurant, Courtenay Street (where Boots and Smiths now stand).

RCNA Presidential Handover

As the new rotary year comes around from July, outgoing president Martin Smith and incoming president Phil Millichap found a novel way to accomplish the official (and socially distanced!) handover:

 Martin addressed the online meeting, highlighting the club’s achievements over the previous 12 months. Since July 2019 up until the end of last month the club distributed £22,500 to 43 Individuals, organisations, and charities, 81% of this locally.

Martin Smith said "There has been so much accomplished despite the challenges, members have dug deep into their own pockets giving over £4000 in personal donations to fill the gap of cancelled Rotary fund-raising events. As a club we have not only maintained membership but grown to over 60 members. Our district leading corporate membership scheme is going from strength to strength and our average age is much lower than the national average. The clubs age range is 16 years to 91 years young with a quarter of the membership female, there has never been a more open and diverse Rotary in Newton Abbot".

He went on to say before handing over to Phil Millichap the incoming President.

"I am particularly delighted with our purchase of Rory a Portuguese Water Dog who will be a Therapy dog for Glendinning House a special needs school opening at Buckland in the Autumn. It has been a significant and ongoing financial commitment for the club, but the benefits will be worthwhile.

 We have supported the THAT foodbank throughout the pandemic and made donations to many innovative people dealing with the crisis , such as David Dayman in Kingsteignton making face visors in his front room and paying for ZOOM licences so organisations can stay in touch. The Covid Camera competition in the  Mid Devon Advertiser a new initiative was popular, a donation of £3,850 to pay for the disabled toilet in the eagerly awaited Newtons Place and we have not given up in assisting Meadowside Residential Home with its access issues and are actively looking to see it through.

President Phil Millichap and  the membership are  keen to continue this work, we are all hoping that when this crisis  is over , Newton Abbot will be a more caring place and I hope those who have found that volunteering in whatever form has been fulfilling  may consider joining Rotary or other voluntary organisations."


Kingsteignton clear-out

Volunteers from the club worked with Kingsteignton Town Council to clear out an overgrown area of the stream in the village and restore its former beauty!



'Flowering up' Newton Abbot

RCNA have teamed up to work with Kingskerswell Action Group for the installation and sponsorship of a new flowerbed and rockery on the Old Newton Road.

We think you'll agree - it looks great!


PHF Alan Partridge's shares his memories and thoughts in light of  VE Day anniversary celebrations

More Rotarians memories of VE Day are visable here: YouTube


RCNA activity updates

For nearly a century the Rotary Club of Newton Abbot has connected with the community and the world through fellowship and service. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered our daily routines and forced the cancellation of the weekly Rotary club meetings. Members have still found lots of ways to stay engaged, connect with one another, and serve their communities. Many Rotarians individually work with local charities as volunteers or trustees , organising support networks in their neighbourhoods.

Staying in touch

The RC of Newton Abbot still meet on a Tuesday, but online using Zoom and have  added another meeting a Quiz every Friday both are opportunities to stay connected see a friendly face and for many learn a new skill. Having seen the benefits of keeping our club together and functioning we have decided to fund three month ZOOM subscriptions for any TQ12 or TQ13 based charities, all they need to do is contact President Martin Smith by email martrcna@outlook.com One charity Kingscare has already taken the offer up and it is helping them with the fantastic work they do.

Charity updates

We are giving ongoing support to local charities such as THAT food bank, providing food item shortages, helped the Newton Abbot Covid -19 Mutual Aid Group supplying cool boxes and sponsoring food parcels and have just agreed to fund additional hours for a specialist researcher for Citizens Advice Teignbridge – monitoring their COVID-19 enquiries to help plan for services when the current restrictions are lifted.


Our charity funds have taken a hit and with several fundraising events such as the Firewalk, Wheelbarrow Race and Spring Golf Day either cancelled or postponed – Rotarians are digging deep into their pockets and making additional personal donations to bolster club funds. 

A charity very special to members of the Rotary Club of Newton Abbot is the Meadowside Residential Home for disabled adults, we were hoping to raise the £37,000 this year to create a vehicle access to the home, so desperately needed. The residents currently must negotiate a very narrow road to get into transport and the medical staff must park 250mts away. Unfortunately, our plans have taken backstage while we assist other charities, but it will remain a priority for the future unless a benefactor comes forward.

Another priority of the club is the sponsorship of a therapy dog for the new special needs school – Glendinning House under construction at the Buckland Estate. RORY a Portuguese Water Dog has been purchased and the initial cost of £2,500 has been donated by the club to the trainers Bales Buddies, based in Newton Abbot. The club must raise another £5,000 to cover the next two years of training. Local vets Amity veterinary have also become a sponsor, helping with vaccinations and the general wellbeing of the dog. Bea Mukherjee, project leader for the school is looking after Rory on behalf of the school, until some of the restrictions are lifted. Rory’s story covering his training and interaction with the children will become part of the life of the school, already some local businesses want to be part of his story others are welcome.

President Martin Smith says ‘Maintaining a sense of connection in whatever form is crucial right now, whether it’s a phone call or using one of the many forms of social media. Many individuals, businesses and charities are doing amazing things for their communities, Rotary is just one of them, a scheme we were already in the process of setting up has had to change its focus, President Elect Phil Millichap explains.

“With social isolation, stress, anxiety and loss impacting more community members than ever the Rotary Clubs of Newton Abbot and Dartmoor Vale have teamed up with Dartmoor Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy (DCCP) to provide up to six free counselling sessions for individuals struggling currently. Now the vouchers are being made available through the following local charities:

  • Action to Prevent Suicide
  • Andy’s Man Club
  • Devon Carers
  • Homestart Teignbridge
  • Kingscare / #DoItForDeaks
  • Women’s Wellbeing Club

Clearly face to face sessions are not possible but video or audio sessions are going ahead. If you are interested, please contact one of the Charities directly or Rotary.”

Social Distancing

Social distancing is the right thing to do right now, full stop. But the worry is that if everyone stays home, we won’t just shut down Covid-19, we’ll shut down small businesses as well. Rotary is the original business networking organisation and many local businesses are members and supporters. Businesses have already lost massive amounts of revenue as people self-quarantine. With potentially weeks’ worth of lost income, the local businesses that are so integral to the fabric and character of our communities may not have the margin to survive. Here’s how to support the small businesses that need your help right now — without risking your health.  

GET A DELIVERY. Luckily, most restaurants and shops have stepped up options like delivery or kerb side pickup so you can minimize contact with humans. If you can afford it, commit to ordering in a few meals this week.

SHOP LOCAL ONLINE. Check out the list on the RCNA website: - www.rotarynewtonabbot.co.uk of just some of the local suppliers who will take orders on the phone and can deliver.

KEEP PAYING THE PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR YOU. If you’re taking self-quarantine seriously, you’ve cancelled the piano lessons, hairdresser and sent the tutor away. Possibly you are their only income, pay them for future visits or services on account, they have bills to pay as well.

SKIP THE REFUND. If you missed a local show that you had tickets for, consider writing it off as a donation instead of asking for your money back. Now’s also a great time to sign up for that membership to your local non-profit arts association or subscribe to the summer theatre, pay your membership dues early.

SCHEDULE A SERVICE FOR LATER. Coronavirus has created the ultimate cancel culture, but all those missed reservations and skipped services are stressing out local workers. If you can, schedule work with a cleaner, a painter, a plumber, a contractor or a salon. Knowing when to schedule is of course the $64,000 question now, but simply knowing that work is coming their way can alleviate some anxiety and make a big difference in helping them weather this difficult time. 

GIVE A SHOUT-OUT To your favourite local businesses by leaving them a stellar review on, Google, or Facebook — that thing you always meant to do but never had time for. (Thanks, coronavirus!) While you’re at it, follow all your favourite businesses and artists online and share their social media posts. Tell your friends about businesses that may interest them, praise good service and products.

SAY THANKS. All of us are mega-stressed right now, but local business owners worried about their livelihood have a special level of anxiety. Send a thank you note or an email to let them know that you see them and you're thinking of them. A little compassion and connection right now go a long way.

Martin ads “I strongly believe that if anything good eventually comes out of this pandemic is that our town, county, country and even the world will be a kinder more compassionate place to live. Rotary will continue its work in the community doing what it does best ‘Making a Difference’ ”

RCNA Celebrates Legacy Night

38 members and guests attended the inaugural legacy meeting, a new event in the RC Newton Abbot Diary, created to celebrate the club and its members. Guests included District Governor Simon Woods and his wife and Rotarian Jane.

RCNA first met on the 14th March 1922(!), and to celebrate the clubs longevity and success, our club will in future mark Legacy Night each year on the second Tuesday of March. The event follows on from the launch of the Legacy Fund last year (https://www.rotary-ribi.org/clubs/page.php?PgID=742586&ClubID=1047). This fund stands at £7,835 – sourced from individual members, gift aid, and incorporating the Arthur Newcombe Memorial Fund. Contributions always welcome and gratefully recieved, just speak to Martin Smith or David Griggs.


Our club is prospering with many new members (17) over the last two or three years, however many of these new members may not be aware of what has been achieved throughout nearly 100 years by the Rotary Club of Newton Abbot. Whilst we believe we are a forward-thinking and innovative club; it is equally very important we do not forget the history behind it, as well as acknowledge the contribution of long-serving Rotarians and what has been achieved.

What a night... 

Avid club historian Tony Brooks-Daw gave a summary about the history of the club, with Jeremy Newcombe explaining the origins of the twinning with Vitré (of which this year is the 60th anniversary). It is hoped that a centennial booklet detailing as much of the history of the club as possible will be compiled for our 100th anniversary year.


Phil Millichap gave an insight on the counselling project the club have put together with Dartmoor Vale which, supported by a grant from District, will benefit upwards of 65 individuals. 

Richard Morgan detailed the club’s International involvement over recent years, including supporting the End Polio campaign, Shelterbox and Sand Dams.


It was hoped the club would get the opportunity to officially say farewell to Kerry Larbalestier as she and Andrew relocate to the Shetland Isles but unfortunately, with the collapse of Flybe, she was unable to travel to the meeting – Andrew did attend however, and was presented with sme unique Harriet Wooley knitted hats and a cheque from RCNA for the Shetland Isles MRI scanner appeal. Kerry was going to talk about her and female involvement in the club and thankfully Catherine Stringer filled in very well on her behalf. 

Left: Andrew and the hats, Right: Catherine Stringer

Tracey Cunningham was delighted to introduce a new project for 2020 – a shoebox scheme – with details on distribution of boxes coming soon.


Celebrating our members...

The RCNA Council recognise that there are several long-serving and active members of the club who perhaps do not get the recognition they deserve – and after much discussion, it was decided that the benchmark should be 15 years for the receipt of a Charles Vicary award.

In that spirit, District Governor Simon was asked to present a certificate and newly styled club badge to Tony Brooks-Daw, Jeremy Newcombe and Keith Walter (who have between them over 100 years of club service!) and specific acknowledgement was given to Jennifer Michelmore, John Born & Roy Simmonds who will be presented with their certificates when they and the club meet next. The intention is to have more of these presentations each year at the Legacy Night.

Charles Vicary recipients Tony Brooks-Daw, Jeremy Newcombe and Keith Walter with DG Simon Woods 

Simon later spoke on how impressed he is with our club and how he believed, given our different membership categories – Regular, Corporate, Student and Associate, that the membership of 63 members is likely the largest in the district of 84 clubs. Remarkable too is not only the size, but the make-up of age and gender in being a likely a benchmark for the future of Rotary – something we all should be proud of. 

He was also very impressed with our venue and how well we are looked after – so a big additional 'Thank You' to Daniel and all the team at Dainton.


The close of the meeting was a heartfelt toast and rememberence for a special Rotarian who left us last year – Ken Hicks PHF - and one final presentation of the prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship to Richard Morgan, recognising his great contribution to our club and various other charities and the local community. Congratulations Richard!



Rotary News

Be part of a global network of volunteers, trying to make the world a better place. Please also see the 'links & news' page for information from the local district and live feeds from Rotary International and Rotary International in GB&I.

Rotary supporting rehabilitation for stroke survivors

Putting the wheels in motion to end polio

Meetings & Venue

Where and when:

We meet on Tuesdays at Meet for 18:00 - Meal 18:30
(On the 5th Tuesday in a month we sometimes "scatter" and visit other clubs. We also meet on the 4th Thursday for a breakfast meeting - check the club diary for venue and times. [TO CONTACT CLUB - email: martrcna@outlook.com / lauraevansrcna@gmail.com])
Hannahs at Seale Hayne
Newton Abbot

TQ12 5TN  01803 815000

Meeting venue's web site

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