Education and Youth

Tue, Apr 19th 2022 at 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

This committee covers activities relating to schools, Rotary competitions and individuals in this age group seeking support

                  Education and Youth Group Team Leaders: Robert Mirfield and Brian Whitham


The past year has been a difficult one with schools and their pupils still catching up on a backlog of work following COVID but my predecessor John Kitching worked very hard and successfully to re-establish workable connections with our Secondary Schools Benton Park, Guiseley, Horsforth and St. Mary's, Menston.

The Technology Tournament was an outstanding resurrection with Aireborough being strongly represented on the Management Committee led by Andrew Wilson as well as on the day providing one judge and four stewards. There was a real bonus with a young Horsforth Foundation team winning the overall Innovation prize against all others. A date is set (4/5 March) which schools have already been given to aid their planning. One positive response has already been received. Because of his existing contacts John has offered to be the initial communicator with the Secondary schools, keeping me and Brian fully informed. I am obviously extremely grateful but not at all surprised by this.

John and Brian Whitham have had a series of good interviews for this year's Rotary Youth Leadership Award programme and two candidates will be participating in July. Birstall Luddites have accepted a third candidate interviewed by Aireborough and will take over all necessary arrangements. Aireborough Rotary's strong support for RYLA will naturally continue.

District Assembly as far as Education and Youth was concerned was extremely disappointing. We are fortunate in having two experienced leaders in Pat Taylor and Andrew Wilson but there was only a handful of listeners. Several had continued to run Young Chef and Young musician within their Clubs but there was no District Final as there was no District organiser. There is a definite interest in running Young Chef within our schools and Young musician has been popular in the past so both will be explored and a plan formulated after talking to schools. We have also had entries in the past for Young Photographer and this will definitely run with the theme of 'Rebuilding' and a closing date for entries of 31.3.24. This can now be certainly passed on to schools.

Through Dictionaries4Life and reading in schools we already have contact with all the local Primary schools. The chance of involvement in Interact was tantalisingly offered outside our area but unfortunately the school then withdrew. I would like to visit either Interact or Rotakids currently running somewhere in Leeds to see if either could be added to our projects.

I will be helped in all these activities by Brian Whitham whose experience will be very welcome.l

                                    REPORT SUBMITTED TO THE A.G.M. ON 19 APRIL 2022

Due to the COVID pandemic the majority of 2020/21 competitions and events were cancelled including unfortunately the 2020 Rotary Youth Leadership Award scheme. Regular meetings of the sub-committee have also not taken place because of COVID restrictions. The competitions that were possible within the social distancing framework, Young Writer/Photographer and Artist went ahead although contacting the schools proved extremely difficult. Emails to all schools contacts were sent but received no reponse. In retrospect follow-up phone calls could have been made, but were seen to be adding further pressures and considered counterproductive in the longer term with young people and teachers having to cope with additonal activities like home schooling. 

Looking forward it is hoped we will return to some normality but with young people still striving to catch up on missed work, participation in both competitions and events is likely to be low. Whenever restrictions are relaxed enough for us to re-start our original schedule it is envisaged that a great deal of hard work will be necessary to ensure eventual success in returning to previous levels.


                        Artist went ahead. However contacting the local schools proved to be extremely difficult. I sent a number of e-mails to my usual contacts but received no responses. I could have followed it up with phone calls but felt that adding further pressures could be counterproductive in the longer term with schools under increased pressure and young people were already having to cope with home schooling.

At the turn of the year I was given details regarding an online Young Musician competition which I hope to be able to run in the very near future. As we approach the final term of the year, schools are finally managing to get back to some normality. However they are all working hard to ensure that their pupils have covered all the work expected of them and we hope that next year will allow us to run all the usual competitions and events. 

John Kitching - Chair








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Patrick receives his well deserved Paul Harris Fellowship

RIP Patrick Glenn, dedicated Rotarian

more Patrick Glenn on his return to Yorkshire after retiring as a headteacher in Lincolnshire joined Aireborough Rotary in 1997. He held the Club presidency in 2003/4 and was made a Paul Harris Fellow in 2021