It would be difficult to sum-up all the projects that we’ve been involved with, but what follows gives a flavour of some of our activities and support for the community under this heading:
RotaKids, the youngest of the Rotary family for those aged 7 to 12, is an exciting way to make friends and get involved with important activities whilst having fun! RotaKids supports our youngest citizens to develop the strength, knowledge, skills, enthusiasm and determination to keep on finding ways to change the world, locally and globally, into a more peaceful place where people can enjoy their lives.
As a Club we are sponsoring the RotaKids Club at Sherwood Primary School (which received its Charter on 6 June 2014). The pupils are very enthusiastic and are working on a minimum of three service projects for the year: one for each of their school and local communities plus one which furthers international understanding. Some of the projects undertaken have been associated with projects supported by our Rotary Club (such as End Polio Now - the ‘Purple Pinkies Challenges’ and our work to support the Nava Yjoti Deaf School in Nepal).
The Dictionaries4Life Literacy Project
As a Club we have supported Rotary International’s overall literary initiative by giving an illustrated dictionary to each Year 6 pupils (at their final assembly) to take with them to support learning throughout their secondary school education - hopefully stimulating a lifelong interest in language, books and learning. In particular we have given these dictionaries to pupils leaving St. Ignatius Catholic Primary School in Preston. Nationally more than 50,000 young people are given a Dictionary4Life each year.
Every year local schools and colleges are invited to spend a day participating in a competition to design and build a solution to a previously undisclosed technical task - within a specific time frame. The teams need to have good communication skills, be well organised and able to show the stages of development of their task solution in a design portfolio. All materials (except the necessary tools) are provided and we are supported by BAE Systems. These competitions go on throughout the country each March; the aim is to develop team building skills as well as learning part of the curriculum. There are three age-related levels for the young people (and even one for their teachers!!).
In the past the teams have been asked to build: a coin sorter; an “eco vehicle” powered by a ‘falling weight’; a model crane that needed to remove a dangerous substance from a ‘rail crash’; and a remote ‘space satellite’ launcher.
All those taking part receive participation certificates; the winning teams in the three age groups are presented with much coveted Technology Tournament Trophies.
Every year we sponsor young people to take-part in Rotary-supported residential experiences - aimed to develop their potential through participation in a number of adventurous and self-esteem building activities.
In particular the Club sponsors participation in courses run by the Calvert Trust, for adults and young people with special needs (at their centre near Lake Bassenthwaite, in Cumbria) and the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) programmeheld at theCastle Head Outdoor Centre near Grange-over-Sands.
We invite our sponsored candidates to join us for breakfast and tell us about their experiences. It’s been obvious that everyone we’ve supported has enjoyed the experiences and they have learnt much (including something about themselves and their capabilities!).
SPACE is a local charity that runs a specialist centre for children with special needs - along with their parents and careers. We supported SPACE for a number of years, working with other Rotary Clubs in the Preston area to raise money ad contribute the technical skills to equip SPACE’s ‘Sensory Room’ - in particular to purchase and install a special ceiling-mounted projector in the sensory play and therapy room (which even responds when a person touches the projected image).
Deafway is also a locally based charity which runs a residential and community based services for deaf people. We have recently raised funds through a Sunflower growing competition to help equip a sensory room for the people with complex needs living in the residential services based at the Charity’s headquarters in Preston.
That’s not all:
As we indicated above, we’ve only mentioned some of our activities .... you might see us out-and-about supporting a local event or charity (our members have many, varied skills!!).