About us

Pages last updated: Sunday 24th October 2021



We now meet virtually by ZOOM (Thursdays at 7.00pm).

email: leedselmeterotary@btinternet.com  
Website address: www.leeds-elmete.rotary1040.org

Registered Charity Number 1033420


Because of the Covid-19 outbreak we have had to meet by 'Zoom' since April 2020 and have found that we can be just as effective as a Rotary Club when we do not meet Face-2-Face. We have also been able to have guest speakers and to 'meet' with other Rotary Clubs by Zoom. We have decided to continue meeting this way for now, perhaps with the occasional lunch out together (various venues) when it becomes possible and safe to do so.

We are sad to leave our meeting venue, The Bingley Arms, Bardsey, Leeds 17, after so many years. They have really looked after us very well, for which we are profoundly grateful. We may drop in for lunch one day ......


Our President for 2021-22 is Rotarian Martyn Phillips, PHF. 

Martyn is a semi-retired Solicitor, having practiced for most of his career in 'the law' in the Cross Gates and Kippax areas of Leeds. He joined the Rotary Club of Cross Gates in 2002, becoming their President in 2002-3. He transferred to the Leeds Elmete Club in July 2010 when the Cross Gates Club was disbanded.

 Martyn has given great service to Rotary and the Club over the years and always gives an excellent 'considered opinion'. 

He was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by the Club last year. 

This will be his second term as our Club President, he was 'in the Chair' in 2013-14, and we wish him every success for the coming year.

Here he is on a visit to "Rotary 1" - Rotary's HQ in Evanston, Chicargo, USA, a couple of years ago:


(Now we have all got one!!!)

Last week saw President Martyn presenting another Paul Harris Fellowship Certificate and badge, this time to retired Bank Manager Rotarian Neale Lucas. This was an historic moment for the Club in that this is the last time that our President will be called on to perform this pleasnt duty because all our Members and Honourary Members now hold this honour, awarded by Rotary in recognition of the service an individual has given. We are only a small club, comprising 3 Honorary Members and 10 Active Members, but even so, we doubt there are many other Rotary Clubs of which all the members are PHF's.

Neale, our stalwart Treasurer, was delighted to receive this honour, given for his service to Rotary in our Club and in his former Club in Bridlington which he joined in 1995. He transfered to us in 2017. He is a prime example of a good Rotarian, not only being our Treasurer and taking an active role in all the Club's activities, but especially recently taking a leading role in our involvement with the local foodbank - see below. Neale's service had in fact been recognised by Rotary International in 2015 when he was accredited with a PHF at Rotary HQ in Evanston, Chicargo, USA. However, he was not informed of this at the time, so when this Club put his name forward for the award, he was rewarded with a lapel badge with a blue saphire attached - being one up from the ordinary lapel pin. Well done Neale, you thoughly deserve this award.

Two New Paul Harris Fellows


President Martyn had the delightful task of presenting a Paul Harris Fellowship to two of our members recently. This was in recognition of their work for The Club, Rotary in General and specifically for the Local Community.

Rotarian Dr Brendan Carey (on the left) has been our Club Secretary, more or less since he joined the Club in February 2008. Always a willing hand in Club activities, he has been heavily involved in our work with the local Food Bank of late (and a great handler of a shopping trolly). Brendan is a retired Clinical Radiologist having worked at Cookridge Hospital, then St James's, Hospital, Leeds. Like many of us, he finds retirement more hectic than going to work, particularly with grandchildren! Well done on your award Bren.

The other receipient (on the right) was Rotarian Peter Whelan. Peter joined the Club in February 1996, and was our Club's President in 2002/3 and again in 2017/18. Peter has always involved himself heavily in our Community projects, for example listening to children read at a local Primary School, as well as the Food Bank work, and co-ordinating our efforts, for example with Martin House Hospice. Peter was a Consultant Urological Surgeon at St James's Hospital, Leeds, until retirement a few years ago. Another very well deserved award of a PHF. Well done Peter.

These two gentlemen have agreed to share the Office of Club President in the next Rotary Year starting in July next. We are sure the Club will be in good hands, particularly because of their previous Rotary record.

Best wishes and Congratulations again to Brendan and Peter, you deserve these awards.   



How it all started, June 2020:

We, sadly, live in an era in which Food Banks are needed, despite ostentatious frivolity by many. There are geographical areas where poverty and need are only too real. The situation is likely to worsen when the economic effects of the Covid-19 Virus outbreak become manifest, regarding job security, the end of the furlough scheme etc. Many more people may find themselves in real difficulty. With this in mind, we agreed on 18th June, at our weekly virtual meeting on Zoom, to donate £500 immediately to one of the local food banks where we have recognised real need. 

So on 29th June 2020, President Ken and Treasurer Neale went to St Richard's Church (see picture) in the Parish of Seacroft in Leeds, and handed over a cheque for £500

UPDATES  2021(in reverse chronological order

16th October 2021 Croccus bulbs for Church Grounds

On Tuesday of this week, Tresurer Neale delivered a box of 5000 purple crocus corms, bought by the Club to support Rotary's Polio Plus Programme, to the staff of the food bank and the Rector of St Richards church. The idea is to involve the young people in planting the bulbs so that everyone will enjoy a splash of spring colour when they flower, and to remind everyone of Rotary's support for the food bank.

Sadly, the food bank is as busy as ever, providing meals, take-aways as well as food items, but the good news is that it is receiving regular support from a number of sources, and they are reasonably stocked at present. The fridge we gave them money for is well used. They have also benefited from produce given by local churches following their 'Harvest Festival' services. We continue to offer our support in money and kind as we can and as they request.

24/8/2021.Here are the figures for the number of people helped in August:

August totals: 460 people given food. 105 Take Away Meals provided.

Tuesday 27th July 2021

Brendan & I have returned from our Shopping Trip. We delivered it all straight to The Food Bank who kept open for us.
We bought the following:- 
24 Carnation Milk
24 Litres Skimmed Long life Milk
50 410g Baked Beans
48 Tins Chopped Tomatoes
24 Tins Kidney Beans
36 Tinned 354g Chicken
48 Pot Noodles
48 326g Sweet Corn
18x6 Packets of Pasta
30x500g Tilda Rice
24x340g Corned Beef
60x110g Tuna
Total Cost £350.36

Brendan & Neale

Thursday 22nd July 2021

At our Club meeting tonight, Members were thanked for their individual cash contributions (usually in lieu of not having to pay for a meal at the weekly meeting) towards further food purchases for the Food Bank. We were all inspired by Cllr. David Jenkins when he spoke to our Club last week, emphasising the real needs of people in his 'constituency'. Neale recently visited the Food Bank, and was distressed by the low state of their stocks. It was agreed that these shoud be supplimented by us with another 'shopping trip' to "COSTCO" as soon as possible. Neale and Brendan agreed to do this ASAP. Bill reported that there had been no offers of food from Giving World recently. We have submitted an application to District 1040 for a further 'Matching Grant' as we did last year.

Friday 1st July 2021

One of the first tasks our new President undertook was to invite our Local City Councillor, David Jenkins, to give a talk to our Club. Here is his (verbatim) reply:

Dear Martyn,

Thank you and thank you and to your members for the fantastic support you continue to give to the Food Bank at St Richards. I am happy to speak – I think later in July would be better…Can I suggest the 15th or 22nd July and I will pencil you in!!


Fri. 11th June 2021

Here is the latest update from the St. Richard's Food Bank manager, Lis, following our latest monetary donation. Our Treasurer, Neale, asked for some details in order to report to our AGM and Club Assembly. This is what she wrote:

Many thanks, again, Neale for your Club’s most generous, donations. Our statistics for May as follows: 290 people fed and 179 Saturday night meals given out. 
We were closed on 4th May to give volunteers, a break. 
Recent stories - we have been helping a family Mum and her 3 children. She had been subjected to domestic abuse. Her father is helping her. Also, last week a family turned up 2,adults and 2 children. They were ashamed to come to a foodbank, but both parents (Business Analysts) had been made redundant due to Pandemic. 
We are having quite a new clients coming for help and a few referrals coming from local schools. Parents asking for help. 
I hope these cases will be of use to you for your report and that your AGM goes well.
Sincere thanks and best wishes, 
from Lis. 
P.S. We are still giving out the Washing Powder the Rotary Club provided which is much appreciated by all. 

Tues. 25th May 2021

Another delivery of food by 4 of our members. We received another pallet stacked high with food (and other items) from Giving World yesterday. The consignment consisted of Bags of Tortilla Chips (different flavours), Oatcakes, Jars of Pasta Sauce, and Packets of Hot Chocolate drink. There were two smaller boxes with drinking mugs, plastic wine glasses, table napkins, pen and stamp kits, colouring pencils, summer scribbles sets etc (the latter for little gifts for the children). The good filled the boots of 3 cars and one estate car boot! Naturally Lis and her co-workers were delighted to receive this shipment, especially since it was a slightly out of the ordinary food donation for the Bank and will be appreciated by the recipients as a bit of a change.

We are greatly indepted to for this donation as with the others in the past year. So far they have sent us over £4400's worth of good FOR FREE!! Thank you so much Giving World (in Leicester).

9th March 2021: Eggs for Easter

Treasurer Neale reports: Accompanied Past-president Ken, who has been egg shopping, to the Food Bank today. Got there a bit early and was able to help some old folk from Garforth Church unload their collected food. They had collected free, out of date, fruit & veg from Tesco in Seacroft on Monday evening. Picture is of Ken & Lis.

22nd February 2021: News from the Foodbank: We continue to be very busy. In January we fed a total of 421 people. (336 adults and 85 children). 151 takeaway meals were handed out - despite the cold and snow people still queued up for a hot meal.


STOP PRESS: In early December we heard that we have been awarded a District 1040 Matching Grant by Rotary International tosupport this work. They have matched the £1,000 we orginally collected from Club Members and others. Our fundraising continues..... {Many of our members have donated the cost of the meal we usually enjoy when we meet each week, since this has not happened since early March 2020 - along with other generous gestures of support.}

CLICK HERE to go further into the story so far of this year's support

Moparru Orphanage, Andhra Pradesh, Southern India.

Recently the club donated £725 to the Moparru Orphanage, following a presentation in February 2020 from the Waller family (Past President Ken Garrett’s sister Maggie, and her family – husband and two grown up children) who have volunteered at the orphanage for up to a month several times. They were able to give us a real insight into the lives of the children and of Raju Pallikonda and his wife Lavanya, who run the orphanage.  

Maggie Waller writes: Moparru is a tiny, poor, rural village of 500 people. The land for the orphanage was donated by an elderly, local Hindu lady and opened in 2012 with a handful of children. 70 children are now well cared for as part of one big family. Lavanya and her grandma do most of the cooking outside on an open fire. The children eat well: mainly vegetables and rice, with chicken as a very occasional treat. The accommodation is basic, with bucket showering for the children, but there is clean water, one large room for the girls and a similar one for the boys. The children attend the village primary school and then go on to high school and to college. Education is valued highly by the children and their daily routine starts around 5.30 am with prayers and finishing homework. Many children at Moparru are orphans, others may have one parent who is sick and the family cannot look after them. Local pastors also find children living in dreadful conditions on the streets and bring them to Moparru.Through previous donations, work began to build additional accommodation to provide some more rooms and a kitchen, as well as a large space for eating and worship. The outer structure, flooring, window grilles and concrete shelving for storage are almost finished.  The donation from Rotary will now allow Raju to finish the doors and windows so that the building will be weatherproof. There is more to do to put in electrics and equip the kitchen, but this donation is a huge step forward. It has been a difficult year for the orphanage. Some of the people who support children through a regular monthly sponsorship of £15 were unable to continue because of pressures of Covid 19. Sponsors are desperately needed as this is the only regular income Raju receives to provide for the children. If this is something Club members, or others, may be interested in, please contact Maggie Waller: maggieeducation@aol.com

We received a heartfelt thank you from the Waller family and Raju, and are delighted that our donation will make a positive difference to the lives of the children whose smiles say it all! 

Our Purple Crocuses are blooming lovely

We bought a batch of purple crocus corms in the autumn, to support the Rotary Polio Plus campaign  and they gave people a touch of spring beauty, sadly now disappeared, but they will be back next year.

Donation of Dictionaries 4 Life to Local Schools

Past President Ken was recently able to deliver the Dictionaries 4 Life we ordered for the local schools where some of our members hear students read. The schools are: White Laith Primary (LS14), Castleton Primary (LS13), Shakespeare Primary (LS9) and Grange Farm Primary (LS14). Here is the post on Facebook from Learning-Partnerships-Leeds thanking us for the donation and showing a picture of a few of the happy recipientsHere is the post on Facebook from Learning-Partnerships-Leeds thanking us for the donation and showing a picture of a few of the happy recipientsHere is the post on Facebook from Learning-Partnerships-Leeds thanking us for the donation and showing a picture of a few of the happy children.


A number of our members plan to continue to help out at two local schools by hearing children read once a week when they will be allowed back into school in the autunmof 2021. We have also donated much needed Usborne illustrated dictionaries to one school. (See above).

This initiative started in September 2013, and is proving to be a very valuable and rewarding experience for the students, the schools and the Rotarians involved.

To read more about this initiative: Click Here.


At our virtual meeting by Zoom on 25th February 2021, President Tony presented our President - Elect, Rotarian Martyn Philips, with a well deserved Paul Harris Fellowship. This award is in recognition of Martyn's contribution to Rotary over many years. The announcement was met by a round of applause and many a 'well done' by the members in attendance.

Martyn transferred to the Leeds Elmete Club in 2010 from the Leeds Cross Gates Club, (which was about to close). Martyn became a Rotarian with Cross Gates in November 1994, and was their President in 2003-04. He was our President in 2013/14, and is about to have a 'second-go' in the Chair starting in the new Rotary Year this coming July.

He is a stalwart member of the Club, and is currently responsible for our largest Charitable income stream since he runs the Club's very successful '100 Club'. A now partially retired Solicitor, he can always be relied upon for an 'expert, considered opinion', and is a thoughly nice bloke! Very well done Martyn - you deserve this award. The picture below shows a proud Martyn with his certificate, which had been delivered to his home by President Tony (who happens to be his brother-in-law!).

Paul Harris Fellowship awarded to Immediate Past President Ken Garrett

At our Zoom Virtual Club Meeting on Thursday 27th August 2020, President Tony had a delightful surprise in store for our Immediate Past - President, Rotarian Ken Garrett, in the form of the award of Rotary's highest honour - a Paul Harris Fellowship. Ken was shocked but delighted at this recognition of his Service to the Club and to Rotary. Below is  photograph taken at Ken's home on the following day when President Tony was able to present the Certificate and the PHF lapel badge to Ken in person.


Ken, a retired General Medical Practitioner, joined Rotary in 1986, and has been our Club President 3 times (1993-94, 200-10, and 2019-20). He has been a loyal servant to Rotary over the years, being involved in all the Club's activities, but of special note, the acheivement of a global matching grant in 1997 for a children's AIDS hospice in South Africa. Well done Ken, you thoroughly deserve this award.


    (Click on the Aquabox logo to go to their website.)

Our Club members normally fill three Aquaboxes a year and deliver them to the Aquabox Depot in Derbyshire. However, because of the Corona Virus pandemic we have not been able to complete this task in 2020 21. We will be starting again soon.

STOP PRESS - July 2020- One extra! One of our members bought an Aquabox (£150) on 5th July 2020 with the money he saved because we had not been meeting in person. His savings have been the cost of the meal and drinks each week for 15 weeks.

Below is an extract of an email received by Aquabox with a quote from one of the recipients in Somalia of the boxes we sent in 2012: "When I was pregnant, I had worries to cloth my babe. We dont afford food most times so monies for cloths is hard to get. I thought the box was just for water and was happy when I found the towels and the clothes. I cried and hided them for after the delivery. This is the first time I ever had something new to wrap my baby in. My oldest son Ahmed will not leave the shelter without his new books and bag. He is too proud when he carries them with the other boys. Even me, I can share the cooking utensils with my neighbors. It feels like being home again. Truely these are blessings for all of us!"

Makes you feel good that the efforts of a few people in Yorkshire can have such an impact on the lives of people in need so far away! 

Used Spectacles for Vision Aid Overseas.


In 2019-20, 9 boxes of used spectacles were sent to VAO. Regretably we are no longer supporting VAO for various reasons, most of all because of our inability to collect discarded spectacles and process them.

Our Webpages

Our Club is one of very many clubs in Great Britain and Ireland currently using the RIBI website template, each club being required to make an ANNUAL payment of £50. This is raising approximately £63,000 for The Rotary Foundation each year!

Happening soon...

Thu, Oct 28th 2021 7:00 pm

Club Meeting by ZOOM

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Thu, Nov 4th 2021 7:00 pm

Club Meeting by ZOOM

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Thu, Nov 11th 2021 7:00 pm

Club Meeting by ZOOM

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Thu, Nov 18th 2021 7:00 pm

Club Meeting by ZOOM

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Meetings & Venue

Where and when:

We meet on Thursdays at 7.00 pm. by Zoom.

(No meeting on two Thursdays around Christmas.) We meet Virtually on Thursdays by Zoom now.
We will occassionaly have Lunch-time get-togethers.nomadically in future on an ad-hoc basis.

Web site about the locality

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 serving communities through supporting foodbanks

Diversity is part of Rotary’s core values