Skydiver lands at Knaresborough Rotary Club

The new President of Knaresborough Rotary Club is sky diving scout commissioner Helen Westmancoat, who has taken over from Leslie Couldwell.

Skydiver lands at Knaresborough Rotary Club

The new President of Knaresborough Rotary Club is sky diving scout commissioner Helen Westmancoat, who has taken over from Leslie Couldwell. Yorkshire born Helen went to school at the Bar Convent in York before taking a degree in librarianship and German, at Aberystwyth University. Helen met her husband, John, in London, they moved to Knaresborough in 1991 when John’s job at the British Library moved to Boston Spa. Helen and John have a son and 2 grandchildren. Helen worked for the then College of Ripon and York St John, eventually becoming Deputy University Librarian of York St John University, until retirement at Christmas 2014.

In 2014, having been involved with the Scouting movement since 1983, Helen  took on the role of District Commissioner for Harrogate and Nidderdale District Scouts until 2018, when she became Assistant County Commissioner (Air activities), a role she still holds. Helen was given an Award for Merit for services to Scouting in the District, going beyond the call of duty, and growing the movement by initiating Beaver colonies at 1st Scriven, Knaresborough and Upper Nidderdale in Pateley Bridge. Helen introduced skydiving to Scouts in the County and raised funds for the World Scout Jamboree by doing a skydive.  Having completed 42 tandem jumps since 2011, with more scheduled when lockdown ends, she has raised in the region of £7,000 for various charities. Other interests are yoga, craft work - sewing and embroidery, walking, cooking, and recently family history.

Helen said, “It is a difficult time for everyone, Rotarians have an important role to play. In recent weeks financial support has been given to both Harrogate Foodbank and Resurrected Bites. The club has been involved in setting up and operating Knaresborough Connectors and Disposable Face masks are being donated to Community groups. For the time being the club will continue to meet online and respond to the challenges that the pandemic has created”.

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