Princes Risborough School Rotary Interactors win major Rotary Award

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On Thursday morning, 30 April, Peter King, the national President of Rotary, accompanied by District Governor Tim Cowling, visited the Princes Centre in Princes Risborough to present Rotary Interactor President Matt Ludlow and other Interactors from the Princes Risborough School with the trophy for the best Interact Charity Project of the year. The Interactors were given special permission to miss some lessons in order to attend..

The award recognised  the Dementia Café project at the Princes Centre. Using a large smart television, which was donated by the Interact Club, Interactors can display scenes which encourage clients to recall past events, holidays etc. Importantly, the Interactors provide moral and sensory support by being there, joining in the activities and building up personal relationships with the clients. Prior to the presentation, the Interactors demonstrated the Dementia Café activities, including the Smart TV. The use of Street View on the TV allowed a Day Centre client to see and reminisce about his old junior school and where he lived as a child.

The project is recorded on a video produced by the Interactors and shown earlier this year at Rotary’s national conference. This video is now being taken to Brazil for showing at Rotary’s International Convention in June. A video of the full range of activities undertaken by Princes Risborough Interact Club and their Interact colleagues at the Royal Grammar School High Wycombe can be viewed at http://youtu.be/ZtldALpsVso. This inspirational video documents clearly what the students do and how they improve the lives of others.

The Interact Club reinforced its links with the Centre by generously presenting a cheque for £350 to purchase garden furniture. This money was raised by various fundraising activities carried out by the Club.

Guests at this important event included Town Mayor Alan Turner, Peter Rowe, Executive Head Teacher of the School, Head of Sixth Form Mark Instone, Princes Centre Manager Kim Challinor, the District Chair of Interact Mike Ware, Princes Risborough Rotary President Trevor Fitch and a number of other Rotarians.

Peter Rowe said that we at the school are really pleased to be working in partnership with both the Princes Centre and the Rotary Club. The Princes Risborough School mantra is about creating successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. This brilliant opportunity allows our students to develop exactly these skills, and to ‘give back’ to their local community too.

Alan Turner, representing the Princes Centre Trustees, noted that the Princes Centre is being run by the community as a social enterprise and thanked the Interactors for being a part of that effort.

Interact Clubs are for young people aged 12 to 18. They are based in secondary schools or colleges and organise at least two service projects a year – one that benefits their own community and one that benefits international understanding. The Clubs give members the opportunity to work together helping others in their communities and across the world, whilst having fun and learning about the world. The members at Princes Risborough School have adopted the Rotary motto "service above self", reflecting what the Club does in fund raising for local and national charities and for international disasters where emergency funds are needed, plus welfare projects such as the Dementia Café.

The Interactors are now planning to raise funds for the recent disaster in Nepal. Princes Risborough School has Nepalese students and this initiative is being driven by one of these, who is a member of the Interact Club.

The Interact Club at the school is supported by the Rotary Club of Princes Risborough. Rotarian Barry Tomkins, who is Interact Coordinator for the Club, expressed his pleasure and pride in the gaining of the Project Award, commenting that this was tremendous news and a fantastic achievement by the 6th Formers past and present.

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