'Speaker's Corner'

Interesting Weekly Talks & Reports. Find out more information about our weekly meeting and talks given to our club.

Reports of some Past Events can be found on the Home page Events programme tab - Completed Diary dropdown.

Discover Variety in Life

Rotary meetings are full of interest and fun and members see and learn first hand the many diverse and fascinating aspects of life through talks we receive (current programme).  Some recent ones are illustrated and described here.  If this sounds interesting to you why not contact us to find out more about joining in the huge opportunities and variety available within our Rotary activities.

Exxamples of some of the talks we have received are shown below.  Further information is available on our Programme/ Completed Diary Tab on the home page.


At our meeting on 28 September Alison Cox MBE, the CEO and founder of CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) gave a very well received presentation, prior to receiving a cheque from President John Upshall and Past President Mark Flower for £14,000, which was half the sum raised from the Summer Ball we held at Lord Wandsworth College earlier in the year. CRY has been in existence for 20 years and provides screening, awareness campaigns, counselling, research and support services for those at risk of sudden cardiac arrest. Apparently 12 seemingly fit and healthy young people die from this cause every week.


Philipa King, our guest speaker on 11 May, advised that Homestart had been operating in Basingstoke for the past 11 years and helped about 150 families each year. To be eligible for assistance families must have at least one child under the age of 5 years. They aim to give practical help and support to families who are going through difficult times, either as a result of health, financial or disability issues. Referrals are received from Children's Services, GPs, and self referrals. They have 5 permanent but part time staff and 50 volunteers, who are asked to give about three hours of their time each week. 

Of concern was that they had lost funding from Hampshire County Council and had been advised that funding from Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council would cease in two year's time. This will obviously have an impact on the service they can offer and they are urgently looking at how this funding can be replaced. She thanked the Basingstoke Rotary Club for their past financial support & hoped that they might consider further funding support in the future in addition to the holidays provided by the Club to two families each year.

Naomi House - Update Talk

At their lunchtime meeting on Monday 16th March, Basingstoke Rotary Club heard from Jill McDonagh who gave a fascinating update as to Naomi House and all they do for life limited children and their carers.

Basingstoke Mencap - Aspire Project

Cath Mcleod and Bill Scott gave a talk on Basingstoke Mencap - Aspire Project www.basingstokemencap.btck.co.uk

The members and guests of Basingstoke Rotary Club had an excellent presentation from Cath McLeod of Basingstoke Mencap on the ASPIRE project. Her colleague, Bill Scott opened the address by setting the scene;
See a full report here
ASPIRE is Bringing Employment opportunities to people with learning difficulties in Basingstoke.

Sebastian's Action Trust

The members of Basingstoke Rotary Club received an excellent talk about the provision of care for families of seriosly ill children from Jim Fife of Sebastians Action Trust at their lunchtime meeting on Monday 2nd February. See a report here

Ecology Study Trip to Peru

A Talk given by Anne Bailey a 2nd year Student at the University of Reading studying BSc Ecology and Wildlife Conservation.

In 2014 Basingstoke Rotary Club sponsored her by 150 towards her expenses in an expedition to Peru and Brazil with a Charity called Operation Wallacea. This involved Ann going to the Pacaya Samiiria National Reserve, part of the Amazon Rainforest. Click the header link above to go to the report.


Rotarian Alan Hollands talk to the club about REMIT, Rotarians Eliminating Malaria in Tanzania which aises funds for equipment, education, and research into malaria.

The project started in 2003/2004 by an inspirational Rotarian who saw the need when visiting the country to eliminate this dreadful disease. See the complete report here

Guildford Rotary Eye Project

Rtn John Miles of Leatherhead Rotary Club gave an excellent presentation about this avoidablJohn Miles speaking to the audience on his Eye Projecte blindness charity operating mainly in Africa and India.

It is estimated that between 40m  people worldwide are affected by avoidable blindness with the around 80% needing cataract operations/spectacles.
See a full report here

Films: Medical Reality or Artistic Licence

Peter Sterling started in life as a boy soldier in the army. Working in the medical Corps he was commissioned into the army for five years. His love of history later found him a great job that joined both facets of his early life.

He joined the Army medical services Museum. Using his practical medical side and knowledge of historical facts he was asked to consult on a film set.

His fascinating illustrated talk showed the difference between factual portrayal of real life medical events and the artistic license adopted by many film directors. Life on set was not easy with many people disagreeing with his intent to portray reality compared with the varied artistic opinions and interpretations of the film directors, costume wardrobe and make up team etc.

Peter advised on widely different films including the portrayal of medical scenes in the First World War drama element of the Downton Abbey series.

Apparently the food on set was amazing, however his advice was to retain your sense of humour, with long and sometimes tedious days wating for each scene and set to be prepared for filming for just moments worth of film output.

Ark Cancer Charity

Our Speaker was Dr.Lara Allaway. Clinical Director, Cancer Services supported by Vicki Randall Charity Manager of the Ark Centre Charity.

Intention: To provide an innovative state of the art Cancer Centre for our local population.
1 in 3 of the population will get cancer at sometime.
It is increasingly treatable and curable, but failing which it can be managed.

Sir George Young

An evening with Sir George Young MP, 6th Baronet,  at Basingstoke Golf Club was attended by some 90 Rotarians and their guests.

Sir George who has served as an MP since 1974, provided us with an amusing insight as to life as an MP, including his positions within the House and Government. See a full report here

Our Children - Our Future

President Mark Flower welcomed Past District Governors Caroline and Keith Millman to our Club.

Caroline spoke to us on the initiatives coming from District 1110 in respect especially of disadvantaged Children.The Unicef Report of 2007 placed the United Kingdom at the bottom of the League table for Developed nations for child welfare & wellbeing.Following a Conference in Salisbury in 2009 District have carried out a lot of work in this area including consultation conferences, Ask the Children surveys, Life Education Centres and Sponsored Outings and events including a Pantomine in Bournemouth. See a full report here

St Michael's Hospice

St Michael's Hospice Speakers at Club Meeting

St Michael's Hospice staff gave us a most interesting update on the current plans and activities at the Basingstoke hospice. Our club was instrumental in getting the original project off the ground many years ago.

Georgia Rotary Scholarship

Tom Humberstone gave a fascinating insight into his recent time in Georgia USA as a student on the Georgia Rotary Scholarship Programme. He visited our club as a young seventeen year old, and returned a changed and uplifted person, inspired by his experience and new found knowledge.  He has a clear career path mapped out as a result and made many great friends amongst the eighty young people from all over the world who participated in the programme. This is a free programme provided to help young people and well worth investigating.

During his time there at the University he was looked after by Rotarians who had him to stay every week for a couple of days. He has a much broader vision of life and people since enjoying his experience.


Rotarian and member Roger Barnard a local Senior Tax Partner at Tenon, made us all think about the necessity, morals and the social implications of the British Tax system.

A Trip To Peru

Rotarian Jane Zollo gave a lively and fascinating illustrated insight into her travels in Peru with other travel agents. Jane travel to Lima, Iquitos, the Amazon, Cusco, seeing the sacred valley and the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Family Planning in Basingstoke

Liz Narracott, a former midwife and a school nurse for 18 years, gave a most interesting talk on the current work of the family planning and counselling clinic in Basingstoke for both adults and children.

Local Radio....

Local radio presenter Philip Hatto gave a fascinating talk on his life working in radio stations

The Army Today....

Major Mags Miller, Bomb Disposal expert (pictured) and her colleague Staff Sgt Lee Williams, an armoured reconnaissance specialist with the Light Cavalry gave the club an excellent thirty five minute presentation on the role of the modern British Army.