Rotary Club of Cheltenham North
May 2021 Bulletin
The vaccination programme against Covid 19 has been an amazing success so far but we will not be completely safe until much of the world has also been vaccinated. At least we can now start planning to see our loved ones and before long, they can even come and stay. We will also be able to give them that longed for hug. Spare a thought for the younger age groups – they still have to wait a little longer for their jabs.
Research is going on at the moment to see if the Covid booster can be given at the same time as the flu vaccine in the autumn and many of the staff at Cheltenham Hospital are taking part in that trial.
From the President Richard Purdon
How we are returning to a more normal existence after over 1 year of lockdowns
I hope you have enjoyed the ability to move around a little more freely in the past month.
For most of April the weather has been so much brighter to catch up outside with families especially.
Helen and I eventually met up with my son and daughter over the Easter weekend. And we saw Helen’s brother for the first time in well over a year.
The Coffee/ Tea gatherings in 6s have started well, and I am sure more will follow in May.
I hope by now nearly everybody has had or are close to receiving their second vaccine jabs. Mine is due 1 day after the 12 weeks promised on May 5th!!
So, I thought it prudent to give a few more updates on the April Zoom sessions, and their impact on our Club going forward.
District Assembly on Saturday 24th April.
Sue Jenkins, Linda and Tony Pawley joined me for this 2 hour virtual presentation. There interesting talks on the benefits of Duke of Edinburgh’s scheme; foodbank support for school children in Hereford; an update on Rotaract ( 18 – 30+ Rotarians);an example of a Rotary Action group- this 1 set up on a worldwide basis to prevent modern slavery ; and a good example of the plans for clubs working closer together in our largest District city – Bristol. This was a good confirmation of the plans we have had for Cheltenham.
There are follow up sessions in May for the Club officers and Chairs.
overall theme is 1 of “Know your Community (better)”. This is to be
enable us to find good local causes to help and support·
District Conference on line from Monday 26th April.
This is available to be viewed for the next 12 months. Registration is required to pick and choose from a great amount of information and Rotary activity.
My recommendation is to just see initially, the main 1 hour selection of the event. This gives the key speakers, and you can opt for more if there is further interest. Another part is the showcase, and this features particular causes/projects. A must see is the piece on the Tree project!!
It was also announced that the 22 Conference will again be virtual in March.
Meeting set up with the Team at the New Club.
I have written to every member to ask about the appetite to return to our face to face venue.
I can now give more specific detail.
Geoff, Janet and I have a meeting scheduled on June 8th to meet up with the Chairman, Manageress and possibly the chef.
We know that on 3 days a week from May 17th there will be offering lunch and supper service inside for bookings in tables of 6, for up to 30. We took the decision many weeks ago not to entertain a return before July. So we will ask them for their views post 21st June final lockdown change. They were cautiously optimistic that more spaces could be made available.
We are well briefed on the anxieties that some have about going back safely. But, the key message I have been given, is that the New Club is our venue of choice.
Nevertheless at the Council meeting of 13th May, there will be another review of alternative venues, should our membership need to be given a choice.
The Rotary Club of Cheltenham North were delighted to hand over a vehicle with disabled access to Paul Riddick at Cheltenham Community Connexions.
The vehicle cost of £13,000.00 was raised by donations from club members with the help of grants from The Summerfield Trust and from Tewkesbury Borough Council.
The vehicle has been adapted to allow wheelchair access and will be a welcome addition to the current ‘fleet’. From hospital visiting to shopping expeditions – the charity can make it possible by providing door to door service. Currently the demand for help is outstripping the supply which is why an additional vehicle is so important to the people of Cheltenham.
Community Connexions provides transport for people of all ages across Gloucestershire and beyond who would otherwise struggle to get where they need to go. This may be due to physical, mental, social or rural barriers.
Their team of qualified drivers and trained volunteers are dedicated to providing transport to help enable independence, inclusion and participation. As a registered charity with over 30 years’ worth of experience, they offer community transport at its best. In a year where there has been no fundraising this is an amazing achievement and will help so many local people with mobility problems.
Their transport services are reliable, punctual, safe and fully accessible. Since the handover the vehicle has done more than 50 journeys taking vulnerable people for their vaccinations,
In a year where there has been no fundraising this is a magnificent achievement
Carol Concert Peter Watson
The Carol Concert is to go ahead on Tuesday 14th December 2021 subject to any changes in Government Covid regulations. Peter Watson has now taken over as chair of the committee and more details will follow. Please keep this date free so that we can all give our support.
Wine Festival Steve Wood
The date has now been confirmed as Saturday October 30th 2021 and will again be at Pittville Pump Room. The maximum number of tickets is 240 at each session and the cost will be £25 - £20 for Rotarians and for those who donated their ticket price in 2020. More sponsors would be welcome – if any member knows anyone who might sponsor this event, please let Steve know. We are planning for 30 exhibitors.
Peter Watson will be contacting everyone shortly to see who can help. All these plans are subject to the relaxation of Covid restrictions .
The 2022 Wine Festival will be in also be in October
It’s Zooming marvellous to visit other clubs Tony Pawley
Visiting other Rotary clubs gives an opportunity to hear good speakers, learn new ideas, exchange concerns and generally spread fellowship
Three Zooms that Linda and I have attended recently, in addition to the District Assembly (24 April) on which President Richard reports, were:
Tewkesbury (26 April, 21 participants, incl. Michael Stevens and Nigel Gilhead): Paul Twiney, a volunteer with Greenpeace, gave a presentation on the crises facing the world that Greenpeace are fighting for. I didn’t feel we learnt anything new about the problems or, equally importantly, possible solutions, or the validity of some of Greenpeace’s more extreme activities, but Michael and Nigel may disagree.
Kingsholm (26 April, 33 participants): well organised 1-hour meeting with Richard Graham, MP for Gloucester, giving a refreshingly balanced view of the plusses and minuses as Brexit evolves. He assessed outcomes against Remainer claims and concerns over trade, effect on the City of London, world influence, sovereignty, jobs and Europol (whose British head had to step down) and Leaver claims and concerns on cost savings (we’ll save each year about £4.5B
of the £13B gross (£8.5B net) previously paid to the EU), new trade agreements (it seems that exports to China have doubled – but imports are climbing as well), immigration and terrorism, our own laws, rules & regulations and Turkey (a red herring).
Richard Graham reckoned it’s “two all at half time” but performance has been swamped by COVID – we’ll have to wait a generation before anyone will really know whether Brexit was a good idea.
Cleeve Vale (28 April, 21 participants, incl. 8 from RCCN): Eve Jardin-Young, Principal of Cheltenham Ladies College, spoke ardently about the history and current position of the school, the difficusheltelties in the pandemic for teachers and pupils, particularly 200 of the students who are from 47 different overseas countries, and the fact that the College has not had a single known COVID case.
Thank you Zoom – but roll on the return of face-to-face meetings!
Shelterbox A Rotary Charity
In the face of the coronavirus pandemic the support Shelterbox has received from Rotary has been more important than ever. It is estimated that over 50,000 people have been helped since March 2020 and they know that the virus will continue to present challenges during the next year as well. Not just be sending the original shelterboxes, but water supplies, tents blankets – anything that can help immediately following a major disaster.
Shelterbox was 20 years old in July 2020 – what a way to mark their anniversary. As Lucy Carr, Rotary Engagement Manager put it: from a sardine to a mighty whale in 20 years. Disasters don’t wait for a convenient time so the team plans for tomorrow. They continually need to restock so they are ready to help at a moments notice. Hopefully Rotary will continue to support this vital service.
School in a Bag
Taken from their latest newsletter:
It's probably no surprise that Zoom was the fastest-growing brand of 2020 with a 34% increase in brand recognition*. As families had Zoom quizzes on a weekly basis, Service Groups like Rotary, Inner Wheel, the WI etc were all finding their feet using the virtual platform, too. Members now log into their Club's Zoom meetings and are still able to listen to a guest speaker, see them, and interact with them by asking questions etc, it's just everyone's in their houses instead of the same room
It seems that like everyone facing a new situation, we can adapt. Sometimes, this is even for the better! We certainly see ourselves continuing with our virtual presentations, even when we're allowed to go back to doing them face-to-face. As a very small charity, they save us so much time and expenses, as well as opening us up to audiences from further away. There's definitely something about physically being able to meet people and present to a room who are no more than a few metres away from you, and to chat afterwards, but really all this can be done in a virtual format and we're very lucky that it can.Like all charities, SIAB has found the last year very difficult and have had to adapt to a different way of fundraising. They have done several zoom presentations for various Rotary Clubs.
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