Recent News and Activities

For information on our recent activities, you can find it here and also via our FaceBook page.

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Our recent news is listed below, but information from past years can be found on our News Archive page.

Socially distanced picnic beats Covid restrictions

One of the major features of Sudbury Rotary Club is the opportunity to meet with fellow Rotarians and enjoy a social get-together, which the Covid restrictions have stopped. With each month passing though, there is a little more light at the end of the tunnel, and the easing of restrictions in July has been welcomed with a little normality returning to our lives. 

The planned garden picnic at Phillip Richardson’s home was something we were all looking forward to as it has been so long since we were able to meet face to face. Thankfully, the weather held up and we enjoyed a delightful afternoon. Our thanks to Phillip for making this possible. 

Covid-19 restrictions mean ‘virtual’ club meetings

Although some of the club’s activities have had to be abandoned, a number of the Rotarians have found a way to get together on a Monday lunchtime via a weekly on-line meeting, with talks by a number of Rotarians, quizzes and other interactions.

The problems created by ‘furloughing’ many jobs in Sudbury has caused considerable hardship to many residents and so the club has worked with the local Citizen's Advice Bureau, which is one of the last President’s Charities, to provide food vouchers to clients genuinely in need.  One recipient commented "I just want to say thank you so much for the Sainsbury's gift voucher. It was lovely of you to think of me and my child. Thank you. Really touched me.”

The work of the club continues despite the problems

Christmas activities a great success

Father Christmas had a long queue of youngsters waiting to see him and his elves at the switch on of Sudbury’s Christmas Lights before Christmas.  Unfortunately we were unable to find a new home for his grotto and so this was his only visit to Sudbury.

Two weeks later, our annual Rotary Christmas Tree Festival was again held in St. Peter’s and this year, for the first time, a total of 100 trees were on display. The Church looked magical, with the decorated trees all individually dressed and lit. The event raised over £5,200 to support our Presidents’ Charities.

Find out more here.

Stour Valley Fun Day

The environmental group of Sudbury Rotary Club contributed to the SVEN Fun Day by providing a ‘Pop Up’ painting table where children could paint a picture about nature.

This proved to be a great success and the table was constantly busy. Children eagerly queued for the chance to copy some great photos of flowers, butterflies and bees although many simply wanted to just paint and ‘do their own thing’.  The paintings were displayed and hung in the gazebo and a team of club members including some from the newly formed Rotary Evening Group were kept busy providing paper and paints and making sure everyone had a chance - it was like a conveyor belt! We estimated that over a hundred children painted a picture and in the end we ran out of paints and paper. Definitely a successful day full of happy children.  See a gallery of photos from the event.

Huw Edwards joined us as our guest for our Charter Dinner

Huw Edwards, Broadcaster and Lead Presenter for BBC News, was guest speaker at Sudbury Rotary Club's annual Charter Night dinner held at The Secret Garden Restaurant in Sudbury during April.  Fifty guests were present at the birthday dinner – celebrating 69 years of Rotary in Sudbury and they were fascinated to know how the Club had managed to book Huw to be their guest speaker.  Huw surprised the guests by addressing us as “Fellow Rotarians” - not only is he a Rotarian but he has also been awarded the major accolade in Rotary, a Paul Harris Fellowship.

Club President Tony Platt said  “Huw ensured that Charter Night was a very enjoyable and successful evening, and one which will be talked about and remembered for a long time".

Read more about the evening and our guest here.

Crucial Crew 2019 brings total of youngsters to almost 13,000

Sudbury Rotary Club welcomed another 754 Year-6 youngsters from 28 local schools during a week towards the end of March to its twentieth Crucial Crew, bringing the overall total of youngsters to around 32,000 since the activity was launched 20 years ago. Unlike other Crucial Crews in Suffolk, which are organised by the various District Councils, Sudbury Crucial Crew is funded, organised and run totally by Sudbury Rotary Club. This year saw the introduction of two new scenarios covering Making Friends and Caring for the Environment.

Find out more here.

Another busy run-up to Christmas 2018

A record number of 98 decorated trees resulted in the 2018 Rotary Christmas Tree Festival being the biggest ever staged.  


It is anticipated that around £4,500 will have been raised to support the President’s chosen charities this year – The Befriending Scheme, East Anglian Air Ambulance and The Richmond Fellowship. 


A very tall “Tree of Memories” under the chancel arch gave visitors who wished an opportunity to leave a message of love and remembrance for those no longer with us, and more messages than ever were hung on the tree during the festival.  The tree was sponsored by Co-operative Funeral Services.

Santa and his elves were also busy.  Based in his grotto in Sudbury Library, Santa was visited by many children.  All money donated will be added to the President’s charity fund.

Find out more here.

Dictionaries for local schools

As part of our support for schoolchildren,  Sudbury Rotary Club has been distributing Usborne Illustrated Dictionaries to local primary schools. This year we have donated 256 copies of the dictionaries among schools in Sudbury and nearby villages. This is a tradition for us and we have previously given dictionaries to a number of schools in the Sudbury area. 

President Lesley Ford-Platt, and President-elect Tony visited both Pot Kiln and St Gregory Primary Schools to present the dictionaries at their Celebration Assemblies. It was good to see how quickly children were looking through the new books and finding words and illustrations to inspire them in their learning.

St. Gregory Primary School Reflective Garden

Sudbury Rotary Club has contributed towards the costs of creating a Reflective Garden, which offers a space for quiet reflection for pupils of the school. Pupils contributed their ideas towards the design and have grown a number of plants to surround the garden. It offers a very peaceful space, sheltered by a giant walnut tree, alongside the main playground. An outdoor classroom will be added in a space beyond the garden later this year. Sudbury Rotary's support of the scheme is commemorated on a plaque near the entrance.

Sudbury Rotary's work recognised with a national award 

Our work in Youth and Environment has been recognised nationally with the Rodney Huggins Award.  This is the first time a national award has been given to Sudbury Rotary Club in its 67 year history and follows the Rotary District 1080 Gold Environment Award in 2016.

Past President Gill Norton received the trophy on behalf of the club from Rotary International vice-President Jennifer Jones at the Rotary GB&I Conference in Manchester.

Find out more here.

Purple Crocuses in support of Polio Eradication 

By next Spring you will see around 5,000 purple crocuses in a variety of locations, including the entrances to the town, in Siam Gardens, at the Railway station and the Health Centre. They will also be coming up in the grounds of our local schools and we hope they will not only provide a colourful environment but will also raise awareness of Rotary’s on-going campaign to eradicate polio. The purple colour replicates the colour of the dye used to show that a child has been immunised. We are closer than ever to wiping out this terrible disease and Rotary has helped to immunise 2.5 billion children globally since 1985.

Find out more about polio eradication here