The Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury
Spring is here, weather improving, pubs and restaurants open outside, COVID – 19 vaccination programme proceeding successfully with new cases dropping and deaths falling away dramatically. There is reason to be optimistic.
With the completion of our tree planting season the club’s local community group has now turned its attention to litter picking (see picture illustrating the efforts of a morning in mid March picking litter along the Wickwar Road). Building on these club occasional litter picking efforts we are planning for a major Action Day in Chipping Sodbury and Yate on 6 June inspired by the worldwide Rotary effort named ‘End Plastic Soup’, the aim of which is to work towards the removal of plastic from the planet through education and focused effort. On 6 June we hope that others will join us, including the local Yate and Sodbury fb Clean Up Group, the members of which are doing a great job to provide us in the community with a clean and pleasant environment to enjoy. Anyone or any groups wishing to join us on the day are encouraged to contact our club organiser Ian Joseph at email@example.com
The Southmead Hospital Charity is running an online raffle in July to raise funds for a range of requirements. Along with other Rotary clubs we were delighted to make a financial donation towards the raffle prizes.
Recently, club members enjoyed an interesting talk by Martin Evans, a prominent member of ‘Bristol Advanced Motorists’. Martin explained the benefits of advanced driving and the range of advanced driving courses available.
On the social front the club has resumed its weekly boules games at Horton Social Club to practice in preparation for the annual Rotary District competition. It has been great for a number of members to get together for some much needed face to face contact and banter.
A number of our club members continue to volunteer at the West Walk Surgery in Yate and at Ashton Gate to support the COVID vaccination programme.
Finally, Voice readers, it is only two months (27 June) until the 25th running of the ever popular club Annual Classic Vehicle Run. Entries are now open.
April 2021 Voice
The Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury – Classic Vehicle Run to make its return in 2021
I am delighted to confirm that the club’s very popular annual Classic Vehicle Run will make its return on Sunday 27 June 2021. The event had to be cancelled in 2020 and we hope that, the Government Covid-19 Roadmap restrictions permitting, we will stage the 25th running, commencing as always with the vehicles parading in Chipping Sodbury High Street before driving off on a route that includes a coffee stop at Chepstow Race Course.
The club’s winter tree planting initiative has now concluded. We managed to plant over 1400 trees in total near Brimsham Green School, in Pucklechurch and culminating in three sessions at the Marshfield Ice Cream Farm (see picture). This has been a great way to kick off the club’s local Community Group established at the end of 2020. It was encouraging that a number of ‘friends’ of the club helped out. Inspired by the local incredibly productive Yate and Sodbury litter collecting Facebook group and by the Rotary International initiative to tackle plastic pollution, the club has established a further project (see photo of a recent club effort on the Dodington road) based on litter and plastic collection. Our aim is to do our bit in the community to promote the protection of the environment and to work towards 6 June 2021 which will mark Rotary End Plastic Action Day.
Club members, joined by a number from Yate and District Rotary Club, enjoyed a fun Zoom event based loosely around the game of Bingo. The event was run by Roger Harper, a member of Bristol Breakfast Rotary Club and an Ambassador of the Jessie May Trust which provides nursing care at home for children with a terminal illness. The two clubs were pleased to make a financial donation to the Trust.
Club members recently enjoyed a fascinating talk by Louise Mitchell, Chief Executive, on the refurbishment of the Bristol Beacon (formally known as the Colston Hall). The extent of the work going on there is mind blowing as indeed are the recently announced overall costs and time taken to complete the project. The aspiration is for an opening in 2023.
Club members and wives continue to help out with the Covid vaccination programme at the West Walk Surgery in Yate.
March 2021 VoiceThe Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury – Paul Harris Fellow Award
In these challenging times for us all I was delighted, on behalf of our club, to make a Paul Harris Fellow Award to one of our members – Graham Miller. Paul Harris founded the Rotary movement in February 1905 and Fellow awards in his name are given to members who have made an outstanding contribution within the Rotary movement. Graham served as President of a Rotary Club in Newport before joining Chipping Sodbury Rotary Club about 10 years ago. He has fulfilled numerous positions in our club and has played a pivotal role in many fundraising and community events over the years.
Some of our members are volunteering in various roles at the West Walk surgery to support the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Sean Suleman, one of the founding members of the Blonde Angel Street Team, gave a talk to the club recently explaining the exemplary roles that he and others are continuing to fulfil to support homeless people in the community with food, toiletries, and clothing, particularly important during the very cold weather. The club was pleased to make a recent financial grant as well as clothing and food donations to the Blonde Angel Street Team.
In the same vein the club has agreed to enter into a project and to make a financial donation to Caring in Bristol, a non-profit making organisation focused on pursuing imaginative and creative ways with people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Bristol and beyond to bring about lasting change.
Following our tree planting exertions over the Christmas and New Year period, club members recently planted some fruit trees in Pucklechurch.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 constraints the club has decided to defer its already postponed inaugural Health and Wellbeing day until Spring 2022. Similarly, our proposed hosting of the visit from our twinned clubs in France, Germany and Italy has been deferred until 2022. A final decision on the staging of our annual and very popular Classic Vehicle Run, scheduled for 27 June 2021, has yet to be taken.
The Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury establishes a local Community Group.
At the end of 2020 the club agreed to establish a local Community Group. The Group will identify individual projects and we hope to attract local friends and members of the community to help us to execute these projects. The Group got off to a flying start at the end of December with its first project – tree planting. We managed to plant some 400 new trees near Brimsham Green School and in Pucklechurch (see pictures showing the parties planting the trees). We are now looking to identify the next area for tree planting in the coming months. Anyone wishing to join our Community Group can contact the club by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Before Christmas we were delighted to help Dan and Aimee Waters at Family Food4Free to distribute food hampers to those in need in the local community. Dan and Aimee continue to provide a great service to those in need of help.
In January the club participated in a quadrilateral meeting via Zoom with our twinned Rotary Clubs in Toulon (France), Mannheim (Germany) and La Spezia (Italy). This provided an opportunity to share experiences through the Covid-19 Pandemic and ideas for the future. We hope to be able to host a visit of the three other clubs later this year should Covid -19 related restrictions ease sufficiently.
Despite the current lockdown the club is determined to continue to function helping wherever we can to provide support in the local community and further afield. And of course we continue to rely on our friend Zoom to sustain effective club communications.
January 2021 Voice
The Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury
At the time of writing, we were looking forward to the club’s Christmas ‘Social’ event on 21st December. In normal times we would be enjoying a festive Christmas dinner at the Chipping Sodbury Golf Club but this year we are instead having a festive and fun filled evening using Zoom.
Club members recently enjoyed a very interesting talk by Bev Hodgson, wife of one of our members, who told us of her experience some years ago as a midwife in Pakistan with all of the challenges associated with culture, language and limited facilities/equipment.
Within the local community, the club made a further financial contribution to the Blonde Angel Street Team who are continuing to do an incredible job at pace in providing a range of support including food, clothing, and bedding to help homeless people. At the same time and following our recent financial assistance to Family Food 4 Free, we made a further financial contribution to the foodbank in Yate. It is so gratifying to witness the selfless efforts of so many local people involved in these vital activities and for the club to play a modest part in support of them.
On the youth front the club has made a financial pledge to the Wickwar Out of School Club to provide new outdoor amenities to improve the exercise facilities for children. Also, we have made a financial pledge to Southwold House in Yate, a home recently refurbished to provide 10 rooms for young people who need support to learn the skills for independent living. The pledge will contribute towards new gym and leisure equipment. And the club was pleased to make a further financial donation to Gympanzees, a charity that delivers multiple fully inclusive leisure facilities accessible for disabled children, young people and their families.
As we leave an unbelievably difficult and unprecedented 2020 and with the recent very welcome news about Covid-19 vaccines we can but look forward to the new year in the hope that before long we can return to more normal life and the resumption of our club activities, though I suspect that our new found friend ‘Zoom’ will continue to play a vital part in our club communications at least in the early stages of the new year.
December 2020 Voice
The Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury.
Despite the ongoing Covid related restrictions, our club has been active in the local community and beyond. We were delighted to be afforded the opportunity to mark World Polio Day by illuminating the windows of Chipping Sodbury Town Hall accompanied by a number of posters explaining the contribution made by the worldwide Rotary movement since the mid 80s to rid the world of wild polio, with cases remaining in only two countries. Photos can be found on the club facebook page.
Although the traditional Chipping Sodbury annual Remembrance Day service and parade had to be significantly curtailed for 2020 I felt privileged, on behalf of the club, to have the opportunity to lay a wreath at the war memorial on Sunday 8th November. The club made its customary annual financial donation to the local branch of the Royal British Legion.
As one of his sponsors we were very pleased to learn that local resident, Alfie Gendall, had been confirmed as the Junior American Cup Car Racing champion for 2020, winning outright 18 of the 24 races in the series. Congratulations Alfie!
Club members were entertained by Murray Jacobs to a very interesting and humorous talk entitled ‘Must Sees of Cambridge’. Involving some very innovative online graphics we heard a lot about Cambridge, including how students in times past had managed to get a mini car on to a college roof and a Father Christmas hat on top of a college spire.
Within the local community the club has agreed to make a financial pledge towards the costs of a suite of five Dyslexia Assessment Tools so that robust assessments can be carried out by the Special Needs Coordinator at St John’s Mead School. Separately the club is helping Brimsham Green School in their initiative to send a number of disadvantaged students to Jamie’s Farm, a charity providing courses focusing on team building, resilience and therapeutic work. The club has also provided financial support to FreeFood4You, an endeavour set up by a local family to provide food to individuals and families in need of help.
On the international front we have made our annual financial contribution to the Rotary worldwide charity fund which enables many valuable projects to be undertaken each year.
Finally, on the social front, our weekly boules matches have had to be suspended during the lockdown just as our club organiser was busily adopting an innovative interpretation of his own boules rules, thus causing much consternation amongst the members!
November 2020 Voice
THE ROTARY CLUB OF CHIPPING SODBURY
In late September club members enjoyed a very thought provoking talk by Dr James Eldred, a trustee of the Caring in Bristol charity, established to help homeless people in Bristol. Dr Eldred, a community consultant psychiatrist and clinical director with the Avon and Somerset Mental Health Trust, illustrated the day to day challenges faced by homeless people in Bristol and the ways in which the charity strives to meet these challenges effectively, a task made all the more difficult during the Covid - 19 crisis.
What follows is a most remarkable story of the selflessness displayed by a lady called June Kent, aged 88, and a member of the Inner Wheel Club of Chipping Sodbury. A resident of Wotton - Under - Edge, June decided to walk the distance of a marathon to raise funds for two organisations, namely the local foodbank and a charity called Medical Aid Films who have teamed up with the Butterfly Tree Project to provide malaria nets for health clinics throughout Zambia. With support from her Inner Wheel colleagues and Rotary club members, June, with her walking frame, has walked a mile a day and has completed the full marathon distance. Members of our club have contributed to this Inner Wheel Club of Chipping Sodbury fundraising initiative. Anyone who wishes to contribute can do so by contacting Kay Hobday at email@example.com.
Sodbury Vale Nursery has been fundraising to buy 20 ‘clouds’ to improve the acoustics for the benefit of children with hearing difficulties. Our club was very pleased to make a financial contribution to the nursery towards their fundraising effort. Separately, the club also made a financial contribution to the Kids Out charity which is running a district wide initiative to provide boxes of toys for children currently living in local refuges. We have also helped Old Sodbury Football Club to enable the purchase of hand driers to assist with the numerous changes they are having to make to ensure that their facilities are Covid compliant. Finally, on the financial grants front, the club has made a contribution, via a Rotary club in Beirut, to buy food for food parcels for the residents struggling to come to terms with the recent catastrophic explosion there.
On the social front a number of us continue to meet at Horton Social Club on a weekly basis to enjoy a friendly, though becoming increasingly competitive, game of boules.
October 2020 Voice
Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury – Highlighting World Polio Day on 24 October.
Whilst our club contributions remain significantly affected due to the Covid-19 restrictions we can reflect with satisfaction the contribution that our club, along with thousands of others throughout the world, has made to the outcome reported recently by the World Health Organisation that the entirety of Africa is now polio free. This disease, as recently as the late 1980s, was endemic in 125 countries, claiming the lives of 35,000 children a year. Cases remain in just two countries, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Whilst further work remains to be done in those two countries it is very heartening to acknowledge the progress made as we approach World Polio Day on 24 October.
In recent years our club has played its own modest part in raising the awareness of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative through our members giving talks to children at our local primary and secondary schools who, in turn, raised funds to donate to the programme. We thank all those schools in our area that contributed to this major worldwide initiative.
The club has an active Facebook page with regular posts on our activities. Readers are encouraged to offer a ‘like’ on our posts and to ‘share’ them with friends. Particularly in these difficult times it is crucial that we promote the Rotary name and our club to sustain its awareness within the local community to demonstrate that we remain as active as we can despite Covid-19 ongoing constraints.
Sadly, the annual series of Dementia Support Group awareness tea dances that would normally be getting under way in October and which the club supported to provide entertainment and enjoyment for a number of local residents, has had to be cancelled, again due to Covid-19 constraints. On the social front our weekly club boules evening at Horton Social Club which was enjoyed by a number of club members has also now had to be suspended due to the Covid-19 restrictions effective from 14 September. Ironically, our club organiser (Ian Lowe) a member of teams unbeaten every week until the final evening on 9 September was soundly beaten by a team involving the club President.
September 2020 Voice
Rotary Club of Chipping SodburyIain Dunnett, one of our long-standing members and a past club President has left Yate Rocks to live in the Exeter area. Whilst Iain will remain a club member for the time being his contribution to club activities will be sorely missed. Iain was always good humoured and willing to chip in with fundraising and other club events. His presence will also be missed by his friends Bill Bennett (the lead organiser of the very successful annual Sodbury Sportive) and Tony Sarafian ( a very long standing member) with whom and with the support of Dave Hancock ( another very long standing member), have cycled the length and breadth of the United Kingdom over a number of years, aptly known locally as the ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ cycling group (see pictures of the group where a book of club members’ memories was presented to Iain at his house in Yate Rocks). We wish Iain and his wife Bridget well as they embark on fresh adventures in Devon.
In July club members were entertained to a fascinating insight by Phil Godfrey, a fellow Rotarian from Solihull, into a small and relatively unknown charity called APS UK. APS is an illness that is similar to MS and is not that well known even within the medical profession. The charity seeks to raise awareness, to educate and undertake research with funding received. Phil explained his journey on foot and by rail around the country to support the charity. The club was delighted to make a financial contribution to APS UK.
Our guest speaker in August was local resident of Iron Acton, Robert Bourns. Robert, a highly respected solicitor, described his memories during his tenure as the prestigious President of the Law Society for England and Wales in 2016/17. A fascinating talk complete with topical and amusing anecdotes.
We had hoped to stage the club’s inaugural Health and Wellbeing Day in Chipping Sodbury Town Hall in October. This was to be a significant sized event involving over 20 advice stands and attracting hundreds of people but due to Covid-19 restrictions we have had to reschedule the event for April 2021.
The club was delighted to pledge financial support to the Chipping Sodbury School Rotary Racer Greenpower Team to help purchase Covid-19 compliant protective clothing to enable them to compete once racing starts again.
On the social side, club members have been able to meet to enjoy playing friendly boules matches each Wednesday at the Horton Social Club. This has proved to be very popular, particularly during this long period of very limited face to face contact for members. And a number of club members, respecting social distancing guidelines, recently enjoyed a team building day at a local hostelry.
Unavoidably, our regular club meetings continue to be held via the Zoom video conferencing facility. All club members are now conversant with Zoom, a word unknown to us in March! We are keen to attract interest in the club and what we do to support the community and anyone wishing to know more should contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 2020 Voice
The Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury
As foreshadowed in our club update in the Voice last month the annual President’s handover took place in unique circumstances this year. As the photo shows we actually conducted the handover, from John Wells to Stuart Fraser, in Hatherell’s Yard, standing either side of our club plaque, respecting the need for social distancing. ‘I feel very privileged to be given the opportunity to serve as the club President for the year ahead’ Stuart said. He added ‘I am taking office at a very challenging time but I hope that we can return to meeting in person in the foreseeable future.’
Due to the current Covid-19 related constraints, outward looking club activity has been reduced to a trickle. Two annual events where we would normally support and fundraise, namely the Sodbury Slog and the Chipping Sodbury Victorian Day, have now been cancelled. As a club we are therefore focusing on the identification of potential new fundraising activities.
It was very heartening to read recently about the outstanding efforts of The Blonde Angel Street Team who have been working at an incredible pace to provide all sorts of support including food, clothing, bedding and electrical items to help homeless people in Bristol. The team was founded by two individuals from Yate and has grown to become a community of volunteers and helpers on facebook. Our club has been very pleased to provide support to the team throughout these challenging times.
In the past month we have pledged a financial donation to Brimsham Green School to purchase ethnic diversity related DVDs for the school library. We also helped a Chipping Sodbury School student, Alfie Gendall, providing a sponsorship logo to go on the car that he drives to compete in the Junior American Cup Car Racing Series.
Meanwhile we continue to conduct our regular meetings using the Zoom video facility. Should anyone reading this article feel that they might wish to help with our club activities or to find out more about potentially joining our club I would be pleased to hear from you. Just email me at email@example.com.
July 2020 Voice
The Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury
It is great that the Voice has returned, offering clubs such as ours the opportunity to update our local community on what has been happening during the prolonged lockdown period.
Earlier this year we were prepared for our customary summer of community related events and fundraising activities, but the lockdown constraints have meant the cancellation of virtually everything. However, we hope that we might still be able to stage our inaugural Health and Wellbeing day in Chipping Sodbury Town Hall on 10th October.
We have now had over three months where club members have not been able to meet every fortnight at Chipping Sodbury Golf Club. Instead, like many other organisations, we have had no option but to resort to virtual meetings via the Zoom video conference facility to sustain the club’s communications and to undertake essential business.
During this period, we have managed to support a good number of deserving organisations in the local community:
- Vintage Birdcage Cakery & Café (to support their worthy Covid-19 community related efforts)
- The Blonde Angel Street Team doing an unbelievable job in caring for the those sleeping rough
- Yate & Sodbury Foodbank
- St John Ambulance
- Kids Out Charity
- Yate & Sodbury Toy & Activity Bank
- Gympanzees Charity
- Southmead Hospital Covid-19 Appeal
- Yate and Sodbury Scouts
Over the past 12 months we have raised nearly £25,000 and distributed almost £29,000 to deserving causes, representing another very strong club performance during this period. It has been gratifying to receive so many messages of appreciation.
The 1st of July marks the beginning of the new Rotary year and it is at that point the current President hands over to his successor. This ceremony will take place this year, unavoidably, in a rather unique way of which more in the August edition of the Voice, hopefully with a picture.
So while we all try to stay positive and behave responsibly, notwithstanding the significant disruption to our customary programme of events, the Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury continues to support a number of hard pressed organisations in our community.
May 2020 Voice
News From The Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury
It is with great sadness that we report the recent death of one of our longest standing and most valued members, Hugh Barraclough. Hugh was the club President in 1994-95. His contribution to the club was incalculable from Rotary legal issues, fundraising events, social activities (Hugh was a mean boules player) and of course his many years as editor of the club’s in-house magazine ‘ChipChat’. Hugh will be sorely missed by his many friends in the Rotary family and our thoughts are very much with his immediate family at this time.
My article in the last Voice edition was written before we knew how the Coronavirus Pandemic lockdown would impact our day to day lives. Unsurprisingly this article is wholly dominated by the effect that the lockdown has had on our club’s proposed spring and summer activities. We have had to cancel the annual concert for the elderly held every year in Chipping Sodbury town hall, a summer holiday for a local disadvantaged family to a Rotary chalet on the south coast, the annual outing for fifty or so local elderly residents to a nearby garden centre for a cream tea and four youth related events. Moreover, we have had to cancel preparations for hosting a major twinning event involving the Rotary clubs of Toulon (France), Mannheim (Germany) and La Spezia (Italy). We hope to be able to rearrange it for 2021. Sadly, we have also had to cancel what would have been the 25th anniversary of the Chipping Sodbury Classic Car Run, our most significant fundraising event of the year.
We had hoped to host a golf day in May at Chipping Sodbury Golf Club to raise funds for the Freewheeler Bloodbikes charity. We are hoping that this might be rearranged for September. Also, we have had to postpone until October the inaugural Health and Wellbeing day we had hoped to stage in Chipping Sodbury town hall in June. And our President’s annual lunch has had to be deferred until September.
Nevertheless, the club is continuing to function, holding its council meetings via the Zoom video conferencing facility. During this difficult time for all we are very pleased to confirm the following local organisations, to which the club has agreed to make financial donations. They are the Yate and Chipping Sodbury Foodbank, the Southmead Hospital Charity Covid-19 Appeal, the Vintage Birdcage Cakery and Café, the Chipping Sodbury and Yate division of the St John Ambulance and to the Kids Out charity. Separately, we have also made a financial donation to the Himalayan Trust to add to the funds recently raised by our Inner Wheel colleagues.
So whilst we all try to stay positive and behave responsibly, notwithstanding the significant disruption to our forthcoming programme of events mentioned above, the Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury continues to make a modest contribution to a number of hard pressed local organisations.
April 2020 Voice
News from the Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury
The club was delighted to announce the induction of a new member, Dr John Myers of Old Sodbury, on 2 March (see picture), taking our overall membership to 43. On the same evening we had a visit from our District Governor, Judy Powell. Judy spoke of the aspirations of Rotary worldwide and encouraged us to be flexible in our approach to meetings and activities with a view to trying to attract new and younger members.
A number of our members attended a recent event (frugal lunch) organised by our Inner Wheel colleagues. With the help of a range of “bring and buy” products, over £500 was raised and will be donated to the Himalaya Trust, a charity that aims to improve the health and education of the people of Nepal living in the Everest region.
The club has pledged a financial contribution to St John’s Mead Nursery School to assist with the purchase of planters and fillings to offer the young children the opportunity to grow various fruits and vegetables. Also, we pledged a financial donation to Brimsham Green School to contribute to the purchase of a new lighting system for their drama hall to support school productions and presentation events.
We had an interesting talk from Jane Lund explaining the work of the Sodbury in Bloom team throughout the year to give Chipping Sodbury high street and the surrounding area a pleasing visual appearance for residents and visitors.
We were looking forward to supporting the fourth and final (until the new round commences in the Autumn) Memory Café Tea Dance in the town hall on 25 March. However, it fell victim to the coronavirus.
On the social front, after an encouraging start to the Rotary District annual skittles competition we managed to lose rather convincingly to our neighbours at Yate and District Rotary Club, following up with a further defeat to South Cotswold Rotary Club.
The Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury
'What We Do' Main Pages:
Our Club is committed to assisting the local and wider community in as many ways as it can, either through regular, ongoing support or helping with one off events, providing manpower and / or financial assistance as required.more
"The club organises a number of fundraising events in order to fund its various charitable activities. Regular events include the Classic Vehicle Run, assisting with the Sodbury Slog, the Victorian Day and the Sodbury Cycle Sportive.more