Calling All Volunteers!

By Keith Barnard-Jones

Calling all volunteers

Increasingly over a number of years I have been told by so-called experts that the days of volunteering are long gone and that all voluntary organisations are in terminal decline.   However, the response of the new generation of volunteers to the viral crisis over the last few months has been nothing short of phenomenal, gives the lie to the above statement, and convinces me that the idea of helping others is certainly not dead.

So I am writing to see if those public-minded individuals, currently involved in helping others, might want to help many more people in a wider sphere, once the current crisis is past.  There are people in need of our help in every community throughout the world.    Portland Rotarians are always on the lookout for workers willing to help those in need and this message is to suggest that you might like to learn more about what we do.

By joining Rotary you would become, not just a part of the Portland Club, but also part of a world-wide organisation of over one and a quarter million people – many of whom we know well - of all races and creeds, in almost every country in the world.   Most of our work is done on the Island – the organisations on Portland, the museum, Community 2000, Life Education, the elderly, the schools, the young etc., etc.- but, as part of a global set-up some of our work is overseas e.g. providing clean water to villages in Nepal, as many FPN readers will already be aware. There are literally millions and millions out there in the wide world who could do with that help.   The more workers we have, the more people we can help. It is as simple as that and, while we cannot help everyone, even small achievements give a lot of satisfaction.     

As an organisation we are non-sectarian and non-political, though individuals can hold whatever personal views they wish.  But perhaps the best thing, apart from helping those in need, is the number of friends we have made and the fun we have working together.  All our helpers are covered by Rotary insurance which take away a lot of the worry.

Until the current pandemic we met weekly so we could sit down, have a meal, and have time to chat.  At the moment we are meeting each other every week via the internet.  Thus we are able to sit comfortably in our own homes and discuss what we can do now and where we are going in the future.  If we do not wish to join in one week that is absolutely fine. The beauty of internet meetings is that anyone can join in and we are now finding that, instead of a meeting just of Portland Rotarians, other Rotarians from other areas or countries are able to join in as well from their homes, wherever they may be.   For example I “joined” a meeting in London last week with Rotarians from The Midlands, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Wales and Nigeria. All from the comfort of my house.  Perhaps this is the Rotary of the future. The members will decide.

If anyone is interested in learning more, please contact me on kbeejay@btconnect.com, or 01305 821030.  We are not a secret society at all, and you would be very welcome to learn more about what we are doing. Conversely we always need new ideas and suggestions, otherwise we simply carry on doing the same old thing over and over again.  A transfusion of new Rotary blood has to be good for our members so if you are interested in “Service Above Self”, our motto, please do not hesitate to contact me. Why not find out more – without committing yourself? 

Keith