Latest Club News

Club news items for the current Rotary year

Invicta News

Latest Club News

Sittingbourne Vaccination Centre

Peter Taffs checking people into the Sittingbourne Covid Vaccination CentreClub members commenced support for the Sittingbourne Covid Vaccination Centre in the Age UK premises on Sunday 17th January 2021. 

Michael Downes, John Holley and Peter Taffs worked a six-hour shift cycling local people through the centre at two minute intervals.

Delivering Hampers

Delivering Christmas hampers for Companionship at ChristmasThe club supports Companionship at Christmas each year. This is run by volunteers for Swale CVS who normally provide cooked dinners on Christmas Day and Boxing Day for local people living on their own.

However, due to Covid-19 restrictions this was not possible this year. So instead, six club members volunteered to deliver Christmas hampers to people in their homes.

Club member Richard Joy was first out on Wednesday 23rd December 2020 and others carried on the deliveries on Christmas Eve.

Delivering Fish n Chips

Delivering Fish n Chips in SittingbourneA number of club members volunteered to deliver fish n chips to local people over a couple of days in December. This was in support of Swale CVS who run a befriending service to people in Swale. Normally, some of those within the befriending service attend lunch clubs, but were unable to do this in December because of Covid-19 restrictions. 

Other Activities By The Club

In addition to the 380 Christmas gift boxes delivered to Swale Foodbank, club members have continued providing a service to the local community during strict Covid-19 restrictions applying to our Swale area during November and December 2010.

Chris Porter has recommenced Interview Skills training via online Zoom for Sittingbourne Job Centre Plus.

19 club members have continued making telephone calls to elderly Swale residents in support of Swale CVS's Befriending Service.

The club has also continued using its charity funds for projects supported by the club, namely:

  • £2400 sent to Kenya to help a community in Kianjai grow crops and sustain their community
  • £500 donated to Demelza Children's Hospice
  • £250 to Meadowfields School to enable them to provide Christmas presents to children with special needs
  • £250 to a nursery to purchase special toys
  • £50 for the purchase of knitting wool for turning into hats for premature babies

Christmas Gift Boxes to Swale Foodbank

Christmas presents for children at the Swale FoodbankThe Rotary Club of Sittingbourne Invicta delivered around 380 Christmas Gift Boxes to Swale Foodbank on 2nd December 2020; to make Christmas a little brighter for children in Swale.

The boxes for boys and girls in various age groups have been put together by Rotarians, their families, Friends of Rotary as well as with donations from the wider public who believed this simple gesture could make such a big difference.

Rotary President Martin Lukehurst said “This has been a project that has caught the imagination of so many of our Members and friends and I’m very grateful to all those that have provided boxes or donated money. Let’s hope that in these very difficult times a lot of children around Swale will have a happier Christmas”

Swale Foodbank Project Manager Esther Hurwood said "We were absolutely thrilled to receive this incredible number of Christmas Gift Boxes filled with all kinds of goodies today, that we will distribute alongside the hampers in our Hampers Of Hope campaign over the next few weeks. What started as a simple idea and a relatively modest target of collecting 100 Gift Boxes a few months ago has today culminated in over 350 wonderful Christmas Gift Boxes! Incredible! We deeply appreciate the ongoing support from Rotary Club of Sittingbourne Invicta and would like to extend our thanks to all those involved in organising the Christmas Gift Boxes".

In conclusion President Martin Lukehurst said: “In the present uncertain environment we, are as a Club, are always happy to hear from any Swale based Charities or organisations to establish whether we can help in any way.”

Rotary Citation 2019-20

Rotary Citation 2019-2020 awarded to the Rotary Club of Sittingbourne InvictaWe are pleased to have been awarded a Gold standard Rotary Citation certificate for our achievement of club goals during 2019-2020.

This is the second year running we have achieved this high standard of achievement of Rotary goals across all areas of service.

This is also a remarkable achievement given the club were unable to meet face to face since March 2020 because of Covid-19 restrictions, which also caused the cancellation of a number of events and curtailed our ability to raise new funding for our charity trust account. Despite these setbacks we still managed to demonstrate Sittiningbourne Invicta is an effective club.

Return To Hempstead House Hotel (for one night only!)

Club members recommenced club meetings at Hempstead House Hotel on Monday 7th September 2020.

Our last meeting at the hotel was on 16th March 2020 after which Covid-19 prevented us from meeting as a group. Since then club members met on line via Zoom meetings on seventeen occasions.

However, due to an increase in the daily rate of Covid-10 cases, the Government announced on Wednesday 9th September that the meeting of people for the foreseeable future would be limited to six people. This caused the club to cancel further meetings at Hempstead House Hotel and return to meeting on Zoom instead.

John Bishop

John Bishop

It is with sadness that we report the passing of Honorary member John Bishop on 1st September 2020.

John had only been a member of the Sittingbourne Invicta Club for one year, but had served Rotary for 53 years in the Rotary Club of Sittingbourne & Milton right up to its closure.

President Martin Lukehurst paid tribute to John's many  years of Rotary service and to his life in Sittingbourne at the club's meeting on 7th September. Members then observed a few minutes of silence.


Africa is Polio Free

The World Health Organization (WHO) on 25 August 2020 announced that transmission of the wild poliovirus has officially been stopped in all 47 countries of its African region. This is a historic and vital step toward global eradication of polio, which is Rotary’s top priority.

Since 1996, countless Rotary members from across Africa and around the world have raised funds, immunised children, and promoted vaccinations, enabling the GPEI to respond to and stop polio outbreaks. More than 9 billion doses of oral polio vaccine have been provided throughout the region, preventing an estimated 1.8 million cases of paralysis. Each year, about 2 million volunteers help vaccinate 220 million children against polio multiple times in the African region.

Rotary members have contributed nearly $890 million towards polio eradication efforts in the African region. The funds have allowed Rotary to issue PolioPlus grants to fund polio surveillance, transportation, awareness campaigns, and National Immunisation Days.


Long Service Award For Barton

On 15th July 2020, Rotarian Barton Dolding was presented with a Long Service Certificate by President Martin Lukehurst to mark Barton’s 40 years’ membership of Rotary International. 

Barton joined the Rotary Club of Sittingbourne and Milton in 1980 and variously served as Chair of numerous committees and was also President of that Club. Barton transferred membership to Sittingbourne Invicta on 1st July 2019.

Before joining Rotary, Barton was an enthusiastic member of Round Table and many people in the Sittingbourne and Swale area will also remember Barton serving the community in the family clothing business of W J Dolding & Son. 

Presidential Handover 2020

For the first time in the club’s history, the Club's handover meeting was conducted during an online Zoom meeting on 30th June due to the corona virus lock down.

President John Frewin handed over the running of the Club to the new President Martin Lukehurst.  Martin will be supported during 2020/21 by President-elect Ian George and President-nominee Penny Twaites.

John Frewin’s year as president had to contend with the corona virus lock down which limited opportunities for fund raising and social events in the second part of the year.

However, in John’s year the club still managed to cater a Christmas lunch for thirty residents at the Keys hostel; support the Marie Curie collection in Sittingbourne; award 11 grants to local community organisations from Invicta’s annual Community Chest ; provide grants to water projects in Kenya and funding for meals for children, orphaned by the corona virus, in Meru Kenya.

During the latter part of John’s year Invicta’s weekly Monday evening meetings at Hempstead House Hotel were cancelled due to the virus although continued each week on Zoom. Rotarians have donated the value of their Monday evening meals to Sittingbourne’s local Food Bank.