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Details of activities at Gosport Rotary Club

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Thursday, June 27


GOSPORT Rotary Club heralded the end of the Rotary year and the beginning of a new one on July 1st with a President's Installation Dinner which was held at the Hornet Services Sailing Club.

Rotary Club President, John Lovell, handed over the chains of office to Lesley Brunink with both Rotarians reflected on the year past and the year ahead for Gosport Rotary Club. A week earlier, the Rotarians had hosted a "dining out" event at Arty's for John to thank him for his work over the past 12 months

Gosport Mayor, Councillor Richard Earle, accompanied by the Mayoress, Debbie Sherman, attended the dinner when Lesley Brunink presented the Mayor with a cheque for his charity fund. This year, the Gosport Mayor is raising money for three charities - Cedaroak Counselling, Plan B and Level Up Gosport.

More than 50 Rotarians and guests attended the evening, who included Debbie Dunford, who takes over as District Governor for 1110, which covers the Wessex Region, on July 1st. She spoke about her role and also her charity, BillyChip, which provides tokens to the homeless, which they can exchange for a hot meal and a drink in cafes and food shops.



Wednesday, May 29

ROTARIAN Les Blackburn presented Kerri Hudson from the Hampshire Volunteer Police Cadets with their gazebo and signage which has been donated by Gosport Rotary Club.
The Hampshire Volunteer Police Cadets is one of a number of causes which the Rotary club has supported over the past year. Their gazebo will be used for the first time at the Lee-on-the-Solent D-Day celebrations over the weekend of June 8-9th.
Through letters, emails and the ‘contact us’ facility on the club website, the Rotary club receives scores of requests for support.
For many years, Gosport Rotary Club has been a lead supporter of the AOK Food Bank in Fareham contributing thousands of pounds worth of food to support disadvantaged families in the area.
The club has also been instrumental with the ‘Message in a Bottle’ scheme, working with the Lions club. More than six million Message in a Bottle kits have been distributed across the British Isles to people with conditions such as diabetes, allergies, disabilities, and life-threatening illnesses.
The scheme is a simple, but effective way for people to keep their basic personal and medical details where they can be found in an emergency on a standard form, and in a common location – a fridge.
This helps paramedics, fire-fighters and social services know to look in the fridge when they see the Message in a Bottle stickers. It’s an initiative which Gosport Rotary Club has been working on for a while.
Through our fund-raising at the Michaelmas Fayre, the Vehicle Rally, the Christmas collections and the Christmas Pud 5k, with the festive running event raising £2,000 for the Harbour Cancer Trust alone, Gosport Rotary Club is able to provide funding to  causes across the borough.
Along with other Rotary clubs in the neighbourhood, Gosport Rotary Club supports Kids Out and Young Carers, two special days out in the summer for disadvantaged youngsters.
We also run the Gosport Rotary Academic Bursary Scheme which provides a bursary to a student heading off to university this autumn.
But the club is also all about supporting many smaller projects. These are some of the other highlights:
  • The club provided tables and chairs to Brendon Care.  
  • We supported Lee Voluntary Care Group by purchasing the books they require with a budget of £250.
  • The Gosport and Fareham office of Hampshire Autism requested support to make their young persons’ room more suitable for them when being assessed.  They identified the items which we then provided to them. 
  • Some £1,000 of the Vehicle Rally profits were donated to Will’s Donnelly’s Golf Day which was held in May at the Gosport & Stokes Bay Golf Club in support of Prostate Cancer.
  • A further £250 of the Vehicle Rally profits were donated to the Elizabeth Foundation, a charity which helps deaf children learn to listen and talk from birth to five years.
  • From the proceeds of the Michaelmas Fayre, the club donated a further £120 to the Forton and Alverstoke Guides as a contribution to their ‘Foxies Future’ campaign.  The total contribution to the Guides for their café at the fayre was £1,000.
  • Through the Kid’s Cancer Charity, the club agreed £375 to pay half the costs for a Gosport family with a child diagnosed with cancer to spend a weekend at Disneyland Paris.
  • The club approved purchase of a microscope for the Gosport Repair Café.
  • The club approved a budget for Baycroft Special Needs School for students to attend a water safety experience at the Gosport Leisure Centre pool. 
  • The club has supported the Gosport Older Persons Forum with the staging of their 2024 forum at the Gosport Masonic Hall.
  • The club approved a budget to buy play sessions equipment for the Queen Alexandra Hospital in support of Sophie’s Legacy.


Sunday, May 12


The sun shone brightly at the Gosport & Stokes Bay Golf Club for the Will Donnelly Golf Day.

This was the second staging of the team event organised by club member Will Donnelly which featured around 30 four-person teams competing in a stableford competition over 18-holes.

Gosport Rotarians supported the event, including running the popular "putting for dough" competition. The golf day was once again staged to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK, and with the various fund-raisers, including an end-of-competition, it raised a sum of just over £12,000.

Will said: "A big thank you to all those Rotarians and friends who helped out at the golf club. It was a fantastic day enjoyed by everyone."


Monday, April 29


MEMBERS of Gosport Rotary Club were honoured to attend a reception hosted by the Mayor of Gosport, as a thank you to those who had helped residents during the recent floods in Alverstoke.

Among those in attendance at the Civic Centre were members of the Gosport And Fareham Inshore Rescue Service who helped residents when high tides and strong winds brought coastal flooding to Alverstoke in what was described as a "one in 100 year event".

Fifty homes were flooded and some businesses temporarily put out of business. Gosport Rotary Club helped with the clean up in the days which followed the flooding.

Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Martin Pepper, thanked the community for coming together to support the people of Alverstoke. He is pictured with Gosport Rotary Club President, John Lovell, and Rotarian Vicki Soris, whose company Fareham Car Hire Ltd helped with some of the clearance.


Saturday, April 27


CONGRATULATIONS to Gosport Rotarian, Joy Godbold, who has been presented with the King's Award for Voluntary Services. The awards are the equivalent of an MBE for charities and volunteers.

Joy is a true stalwart of the community, who has already been awarded with a Queen's Award for Voluntary Service for her work with Acts of Kindness, particularly during the Covid pandemic.

Joy said she was "extremely humbled" by this latest award which has been presented for her work with Level Up Gosport which provides inclusive volunteering work experience for young adults, offering a unique forum for socialisation, training and gaining employment skills.

Every day millions of people across the UK are making a difference by volunteering whose work is celebrated through the King's Award for Voluntary Services.

Created in 2002 to celebrates Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee, and award has been shining a light on the fantastic work of voluntary groups from across the UK for many years.


Tuesday, April 16


GOSPORT Rotary Club has been continuing to help Alverstoke villagers affected by last week's horrific floods. Though the floods have cleared, the sandbags remain in place and the impact of the flooding is clear to see.

The Rotary club was contacted by the Alverstoke Parish Centre asking if we could organise a team of volunteers to help pack and distribute essential supplies donated by the customers of Alverstoke Village One-Stop to residents affected by the flooding.

The essential items included non-perishable tinned and dried food, nappies, toiletries, and cleaning products which were sorted into food parcels. Members from the Rotary Club went door-to-door distributing the bags to the locals affected.


Saturday, April 13


GOSPORT Rotary Club helped with the clean-up in Alverstoke following the flooding which has devastated homes and businesses in the village.

Ferocious flood water swept through Alverstoke and in other parts of Gosport last week following weather warnings and high tides brought by Storm Pierrick. There was flooding around Park Road, Little Anglesey Road, St Marks Road, by Gosport Ferry and also the Delme Roundabout.

Dozens of families had their homes and businesses ruined after a high tide swept into their properties, turning gardens into swimming pools and writing off 15 cars. Fifty homes were evacuated and businesses in the centre of Alverstoke have been particularly affected.

Rotarians gathered in Alverstoke on Saturday to help with the clear-up and clear away damaged furniture which had been piled up in the village. The Rotary club was supported by Fareham Car Hire Ltd.


Friday, March 29


ROTARY runs several national youth competitions designed to widen experiences for young people and to challenge them. One of these is the Rotary Young Chef competition for youngsters aged between 12 and 16.

The first round is a local round run by various Rotary clubs. For many years, Gosport has held a local heat featuring students from all of the secondary schools and had many successes. Regrettably this year, due to teaching illnesses, there was no Gosport heat.

Gosport Rotary Club, however, has been responsible for organising the Portsmouth Area, Wessex District and south-east England regional competitions. The final two rounds were held at Havant and South Downs College who were very supporting of Rotary Young Chef.

The task is to produce two courses for two people for under £18 and the task has to be completed in two hours when the meal is prepared and served. Entrants need to provide a menu, an ingredients list and time plan for the cooking. It is a logistical challenge for the families to bring all of the ingredients and equipment to the venue, especially if they live many miles away. Once registered, the students must set up their workplace and prepare the ingredients to start cooking.

The young chefs are judged by experienced chefs who have given up their time to both mentor and judge the youngsters.

Over 300 young people from across south-east England and 2,000 from across Great Britain and Ireland entered Rotary Young Chef took part. For the south-east England regional final, nine youngsters from the Channel Islands to Kent took part, the youngest was just 12 and the oldest was 16.

It was a tremendous challenge to be cooking on your own, producing a meal to high restaurant standards on on time. All of the finalists achieved a very high standard, and the winner was James from Chichester who moves on to the national final. Prizes were donated by Harvest Fine Foods from Southampton and presented by the Mayor of Havant, Councillor Rosey Raines.

Gosport Rotary Club can now rest the Rotary Young Chef team until September when hopefully our senior schools will enter the local round.

If you would like your child to be entered, then please contact us through our website. We would also love to hear from any potential judges. Details of the Rotary youth competitions in Great Britain can be found on the national website: Youth Competitions – Our Projects – Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland ( 




Wednesday, February 21


THE Repair Cafe Gosport has received a new video microscope thanks to a donation by Gosport Rotary Club.

President-Elect, Lesley Brunink, was joined by the Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Martin Pepper, at a recent open event held at the Repair Cafe's headquarters in Hardway.

The video microscope will allow the team of volunteers to carry out more repairs with the video microscope, allowing them to see more clearly the small details of modern electronics. Images from the video microscope can be projected onto a big screen.

The Repair Cafe meets on the second Saturday of each month where people can bring broken items for repair. It is run by a team of volunteers and is non-commercial.


Thursday, February 8


BAY House School in Gosport were the big winners of the Rotary Youth Speaks competition organised by Gosport Rotary Club.

The school's teams impressed in the area heat of the national competition which was staged at Gosport Civic Offices. The format of the competition is that each team has to present a topical subject for debate which is supported and opposed.

For the Gosport round, topics under discussion included veganism, electric cars and the necessity of art in society.

The winning intermediate team from Bay House School consisted of Elise Koh as the chairperson, Isabelle Thomas the proposer and Alice Davidson the opposer as they debated how the rise of charity shopping is unethical.

And they will join Bay House School's senior team in the next round of Youth Speaks. That team consists of Yvie Boffey as chairperson, Anna Brunnick as proposer and Georgia Robinson as opposer on the subject of how society continues to fail girls and women with autism.

The judges were Georgina Mulholland, executive head of Gomer and Rowner junior schools, June Drake, and Gosport MP, Dame Caroline Dinenage, who has given the two winning teams a prize of tea at the House of Commons.

The Youth Speaks competition was also attended by the Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Martin Pepper, who was presented with a cheque for £2,000 for the Mayor's Charity by Rotary club President, John Lovell.



Tuesday, January 23


ROTARY is not just about raising money and doing good work in the community, it's also about having fun and fellowship.

Gosport Rotarians celebrated Burns Night with a traditional meal of haggis, neeps and tatties followed by cranachan, a traditional Scottish dessert of cream and fresh raspberries.

Fran Noble provided a spirited address to the haggis at an event she attended with her husband Paul, and 22 other Rotarians and friends at Court Barn in Lee-on-the-Solent. The meal was followed by a Scottish-themed quiz. 

Earlier, Gosport Rotarians joined forces with Fareham and Licks Heath Rotarians for a game of skittles and a meal at The Crofton pub in Stubbington. The three teams were mixed up among the different clubs allowing plenty of interaction.

The common theme from the evening of fellowship was that Rotary clubs need to support each other, especially with helping at each other's big events. Next up is likely to be a shuffleboard evening. 


Wednesday, January 16

GOSPORT Rotary is pleased to be able to support the Kids Cancer Charity, who aid more than 2,000 children across the UK each year. Currently they are helping a family in Gosport with a respite break to Disneyland, Paris.

Families are normally at rock bottom when they have a respite break, their world torn apart with a diagnosis of cancer in their child. Often the family will be split as one parent normally stays with the child in hospital, while the other will need to return to work.

Any siblings just don’t understand what’s going on, and why they are having to stay at grandmas, friends or even neighbours. The sick child will endure months of painful treatments, and very often years.

The respite breaks arranged by the Kids Cancer Charity give the families precious time together, to re-build their bonds, and just be a normal family again.

Our Gosport family will have a three-day break in February to Disneyland Paris. They will be staying at the Disney Hotel, with free pass entry to the Disneyland Park and enjoy the movie adventures of Pixar and Disney at the Walt Disney Studios. Additionally, they will receive a Genie Lanyard pass which allows the family to jump to the front of queues maximising their fun adventure.


Sunday, January 14



GOSPORT Rotary Club was delighted to hand over a cheque for £2,000 to the Harbour Cancer Support Centre, as proceeds from December's Christmas Pud 5k.

Around 250 people took part in the 5km run, jog and walk along Stokes Bay from the Bayside Cabin to Fort Gilkicker and back. Many participants were dressed in an array of imaginative festive costumes.

This first ever 5k was organised jointly by Gosport Rotary Club and the Absolute 545 RunClub, whose member, Vikki Mackman is running in April's London Marathon on behalf of the Gosport-based Harbour Cancer Support Centre. The £2,000 raised has already smashed the fund-raising target with more cash coming in from a variety of events organised in the build-up to the capital 26-miler.

Martyn Webb, Chair of trustees from the Harbour Cancer Support Centre, was on hand to receive a cheque from the race proceeds with Vikki, Gosport Rotary Club President, John Lovell, and Nick Carter, Chair of the Absolute 545 RunClub. The next Christmas Pud 5k will be held on Sunday, December 1st at Stokes Bay and entry details are here:

The club also held the first of its meetings for 2024, and at that meeting held at the Gosport Shed, club President, John Lovell, inducted a new member, Jeremy Webb. 


Sunday, December 24


THANK you to the good folk of Gosport who helped Gosport Rotary Club with their festive supermarket collections throughout December.

With Father Christmas in attendance for many of the collections, more than £3,000 was raised thanks to the generosity of shoppers.

Money raised from the Christmas collections will be donated to the Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service, as well as Level Up, the Gosport-based youth organisation which works with young adults aged between 18 and 25 who have additional needs, physical disability or mental health challenges like low self-esteem.

Over the festive period, Gosport Rotary worked in conjunction with Utilita and The Works in Gosport High Street which served as collection points for children's toys. These were then delivered to the charity Acts of Kindness who distributed to presents to disadvantaged families in the area.


Friday, December 22

GOSPORT Rotary Club has been busy supporting community activities in the lead up to the festive season, supporting schools and community groups.

One group was the Elson Community Library & Hub where the Rotary club had a quick word with Santa who diverted from Lapland to greet the children with some early Christmas presents.

Santa also called into to Alverstoke when the Rotary club entertained villagers with a hour-long session of Christmas carol singing. Gosport Rotary also arranged for Santa to visit Woodcot Lodge care home in Gosport, as well as Alverbridge Nursery and Merritime Nursery. It's been a busy festive season for Santa!



Thursday, December 21


THE Anglesey Hotel in Gosport played host to the Gosport Rotary Club's annual Christmas dinner when Rotarians, family and friends gathered to usher in the festive season. Tis the season of joy and song, and the evening was rounded off by a veritable feast of Christmas carols.

During the evening, Rotary club President, John Lovell, presented Richard and Vikki from Fareham Car Hire Ltd with a certification of appreciation to sign them up as Rotary club business partners. The couple have been hugely helpful over the past year, assisting the club with transportation of shoeboxes and equipment for major fund-raisers such as the Michaelmas Fayre and the Vehicle Rally.


Sunday, December 10


WITH Christmas less than two weeks away, Gosport Rotary Club has been collecting toys for the charity Acts of Kindness (AOK).

AOK does a formidable amount of work in the Solent area covering Gosport and Fareham, along with Locks Heath, Whiteley, Park Gate, Titchfield and Warsash to relieve the effects of poverty, provide support to the vulnerable and recognise those in the community who have served beyond expectation.

Through community support and strong partnership working, AOK provides food, clothing and household items to those in need, and co-ordinates support of community projects.

Gosport Rotary Club has been a long-standing supporter of AOK, and for Christmas it has been collecting toys which can be donated to AOK to deliver at this festive time of year.

Thanks to the support of Utlita based at 67 High Street, Gosport, and The Works based at 65 The High Street, Gosport, these two businesses have acted as collection hubs for Christmas gifts. If you have a spare gift which you could shop for, then please drop it off at either of these places.



Thursday, December 7.

GOSPORT Rotary Club is one of a number of community organisations to take part in the Christmas Tree Festival at St Mary's Church, Alverstoke.

Several community organisations have taken part in this annual event which aims to usher in the spirit of Christmas, with around 75 Christmas trees lighting up the inside of the church. Local schools, clubs, charities and businesses are all represented this year for a weekend festival which began on Thursday with an opening ceremony featuring traditional Christmas carols and the lighting of the trees.

Over the weekend, there is an opportunity to visit the church to see the spectacular array of trees, alongside captivating music from local choirs.


Sunday, December 3:


GOSPORT Rotary Club organised the first-ever Christmas Pud 5k - and what a morning it was!

More than 200 people took part either running, jogging or walking the 5k from the Bayside Cabin in Stokes Bay to Fort Gilkicker and back.

Despite the damp weather, spirits were high as participants dressed in a range of spectacular costumes. The event was organised jointly with the Absolute 545 RunClub whose members have created special Christmas Pudding hats, and also donated chocolate treats for all the children finishers. Both the Rotary club and the running club provided marshals along the route.

The event was started by Councillor Zoe Huggins, with Santa also on hand, and they presented each finisher with a prized Christmas Pud. 

Around £2,000 was raised from the event which will go to the Harbour Cancer Trust, whose chair of trustees, Martyn Webb, led a hilarious warm-up in the drizzle at the start.



Saturday, November 11:


SHOEBOXES laden with festive treats to bring a smile to disadvantaged children in Eastern Europe were dispatched from Gosport at the weekend.

Nearly 700 shoeboxes filled with gifts were loaded into a van as part of Gosport Rotary Club's annual shoebox appeal. In total, 46 boxes were loaded into a van kindly provided by Fareham Van Hire, with each brown box containing around 15 shoeboxes of gifts.

These were driven to a collection centre in Boscombe, Bournemouth, where Rotary clubs from across the region have also sent shoeboxes, before shipment to Ukraine.

Gosport Rotary sent 100 more shoeboxes than a year ago. Organiser, Simon Mason, said: "At say £15 minimum for the cost of each box we sent, plus the £2 transport costs, it means the general public has donated over £10,000 to this cause to help others.

"Thank you to all those who have supported the scheme, and we must always remember that without the people of Gosport who trust and support us in our activities, there would not be a Rotary Club of Gosport."  

Sunday, November 5:


GOSPORT Rotary Club has been delivering hundreds of purple crocus bulbs to primary schools in the area. Around 4,000 bulbs were distributed to 120 schools.

The bulbs represent the Purple 4 Polio campaign - a Rotary International initiative to eradicate polio worldwide. In the last 30 years, 2.5 billion children have been inoculated against this crippling disease, and, as a club, we are proud to have been involved from the start.

With funding being matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this horrible disease has almost been wiped out - it remains in just two countries; Afghanistan and Pakistan. The colour purple is chosen symbolically for the campaign since when children are immunised, a dot of purple ink is placed on their pinkie finger to indicate to medics that this child has been protected.

Last week, in between the storms, members of Gosport Rotary Club made the most of the sunshine to deliver hundreds of purple crocus bulbs to local primary schools. We hope that the staff and pupils will enjoy these flowers for years to come and reflect on their significance. 

Separately, the Gosport Rotary Club shoebox campaign is drawing to a close. We have continued to receive shoeboxes laden with gifts which we will be sending to Eastern Europe in time for Christmas. This past week, we received 57 shoeboxes from Brockenhurst Infant and Junior schools (pictured below).

Boxes can be delivered to Utilita Energy Hub at 67 Gosport High Street and also to the Gosport Asda supermarket in Dock Road. 

Rotarian Simon Mason will also accept shoeboxes at his home at 26, Western Way, Alverstoke, or if you live in Gosport they can be collected. Boxes will need to be delivered/collected by the beginning of November so they can be shipped out to Ukraine and Poland in time for Christmas.

For more details, you can contact Simon at: 07769 734002.


Thursday, October 19:


AS with every year, Gosport Rotarians marked Trafalgar Day with a black tie dinner. This year's event, to mark the occasion for Admiral Lord Nelson's most famous victory, was held at the TS Hornet base besides Portsmouth Harbour, and just a cannonball shot away from HMS Victory which lies in a dry dock across the water in the Portsmouth Dockyard.

Rotarians and guests enjoyed a sumptuous meal and heard a description of the events of October 21st, 1905 when the British Royal Navy, having left Portsmouth to Cape Trafalgar off south-west Spain, took on the combined fleets of the French and Spanish navies as part of the Napoleonic Wars.

Friday, October 13:

GOSPORT Rotary Club is busily organising its annual Shoebox Appeal with shoeboxes of gifts this year being sent to Ukraine and also to displaced children now living in Poland.

The Shoebox Appeal has become a regular feature of the club's activities with schools, businesses, organisations and individuals joining forces to fill shoeboxes with toys, toiletries and educational items.

This year, six Gosport schools have got involved, and the Rotary club is hoping to top the 537 shoeboxes which were sent to Eastern Europe a year ago.

Prior to Covid, Gosport Rotary Club was sending over 1,000 shoeboxes to disadvantaged and displaced children in Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and Ukraine, joining forces with other Rotary clubs in the Wessex region.

Gosport Rotary Club would be delighted if you would like to get involved, to bring a smile to a child this Christmas with a gift.

If you are unable to locate a shoebox, we can provide flat-pack shoeboxes which are easy to make up. The centre section can be covered with Christmas paper, stickers or pictures. If you are providing your own shoebox, then please cover this with Christmas paper ensuring the lid is wrapped separately for customs purposes.

Here are some gift suggestions for your shoebox:

Age 1-3: Soft toy, picture book, hat, gloves, socks, soap and flannel, hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, plus a small game suitable for that age or a small wooden puzzle, paper & crayons.

Age 4-7: Soap and flannel, toothbrush and toothpaste, jigsaw, ball, crayons or colouring pencils, colouring book and paper, gloves, scarf and socks, toy vehicle or toy doll, game.

Age 8-11: Game, jigsaw, felt-tip pens, pencils, rubber and sharpener, drawing book, hat, gloves, scarf and socks, comb, pack of cards, pens, book.

Age 12-15: Playing cards, geometry set, pens, pencils, rubber, pencil sharpener, paper or notebook, soap and flannel, toothbrush and toothpaste, washbag, comb or brush, game, book, or magazine.

What not to include in a shoebox: Please do not include food or sweets, battery-operated toys, liquids or sharp items. Also, no books of a religious or political nature, no war-related items, toy guns or knives.

Do not wrap individual items, just place them in the box and use an elastic band to ensure the lid stays shut. Feel free to include a Christmas card and a letter or photo. Please mark clearly on the box the age group the shoebox has been packed for, and whether it is for a boy or girl.

And finally, please sellotape a £2 donation to the top of the box which will help towards the transportation and administration costs, including supplying new shoeboxes. We cannot accept boxes which are larger than 30cm x 18cm x 15cm / 12in x 7in x 6in.

Boxes can be delivered to Utilita Energy Hub at 67 Gosport High Street and also to the Gosport Asda supermarket in Dock Road. 

Rotarian Simon Mason will also accept shoeboxes at his home at 26, Western Way, Alverstoke, or if you live in Gosport they can be collected. Boxes will need to be delivered/collected by the beginning of November so they can be shipped out to Ukraine and Poland in time for Christmas.

For more details, you can contact Simon at: 07769 734002.

Sunday, October 8th:

MEMBERS of the 3rd Gosport Sea Scout Group wanted to say a special thank you or 'ta' to Gosport Rotary Club for providing substantial funding to allow for the re-flooring of their Jubilee Hut HQ.

The Sea Scout HQ is situated on Park Road near the rugby field and Stoke Lake, and was built in 1977. With age, the main hall flooring was quickly deteriorating, causing trip hazards for the children, making it difficult to clean properly, and damaging the concrete substructure.

So to be able to continue to use the hall, the 3rd Gosport Sea Scout Group desperately needed to rip up the existing tiles, repair the sub structure, and replace the flooring it completely. That's when Gosport Rotary Club stepped in to donate £2,500 from the Coronation Community Chest, towards the £5,500 cost of the work.

The Scout Group has been offering scouting opportunities to the children of Gosport since 1908. Hundreds of families from multiple generations have benefited from the unique opportunities of being a part of this Sea Scouting group.

Treasurer Nicole Noble said: "Thanks to this project, we now have a fantastic safe room for the children to come together and use when they are not on able to be on the lake or exploring outside, just in time for the harsher winter season.

"This new floor and the facility that it offers has allowed us to stop the deterioration of the inside of the Jubilee Hall ensuring this facility will stay available to both scouts and the local community for many years to come.

"Please pass on our sincere thanks to all the volunteers of Gosport Rotary Club who have made this future possible."

Monday, October 2nd:


ALVERSTOKE and Forton Girl Guides, under the leadership of District Commissioner Gosport South Emma Ansell, worked very hard at the Michaelmas Fayre on Saturday making tea and coffee as well as selling cakes made and donated by the parents and Guide helpers

Their efforts at the St Mary’s Parish Centre raised an amazing amount of money, 50% of which, £884, was received by Gosport Rotary Club Secretary, Penny Harris, on behalf of the Michaelmas Fayre committee.

The other 50% will go towards the £2 million plus which will be needed to save the Guides’ activity centre, Foxies, in the New Forest. This centre will close unless Foxies Future #haveyouheardaboutfoxies can raise the money to save it

Congratulations to the guides and all the helpers, who did an amazing job at the Michaelmas Fayre.

Saturday, September 30th:


THE sun shone and Gosport Rotary Club's Michaelmas Fayre was rewarded with bumper crowds for this annual community event.

Thousands of people poured into the village to visit the dozens of charity and community stands, as well as enjoy the numerous entertainment and fun activities taking place in all parts of Alverstoke.

The Michaelmas Fayre was attended by the Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Martin Pepper, who visited many of the stalls, accompanied by John Lovell, President of Gosport Rotary Club.

The climax of the Michaelmas Fayre is the traditional parade by the HMS Sultan Royal Navy Volunteer Band, who parade in the village centre with the Mayor of Gosport taking a salute from the band leader.

The only unfortunate part of the day was a number of unsuspecting motorists getting caught out by the high tide at the nearby Alverstoke Creek where they had parked their cars.

The Michaelmas Fayre has been running for more than 30 years now. Each year the event raises thousands of pounds for local charities, while Gosport Rotary Club raises money to support the Mayor's charity, the St Mary's Parish Centre and its own benevolent funds.



Tuesday, September 26th:

WITH the new university academic terms beginning this week, Gosport Rotary Club has been helping financially towards to talented young students.

The Gosport Rotary Academic Bursary Scheme - affectionately known as GRABS - has been running for a number of years now, assisting students from Gosport, who live or study in the borough, with their journey into Higher Education.

This year, after a series of interviews, two students were presented with bursaries by William Donnelly, Chairman of the GRABS panel. Rebecca Pritchard is now studying physics at Aberystwyth University in Wales, while Darren Berry has just begun his degree studies in illustration at the University of West England in Bristol.

Will Donnelly said: "Both Rebecca and Darren were impressive candidates, and we found it difficult to decide between them, so for the first time we awarded a second prize. Both were delighted with the award which, they say, will help enormously towards their student expenses.

"Hopefully they will come back and speak to the Rotary club in due course."


Thursday, September 21st:

GOSPORT Rotary Club was delighted to welcome Lauren Smitts from the Southampton-based Tools for Self Reliance to talk to members and their guests at Court Barn in Lee-on-the-Solent.

Lauren delivered an entertaining and thoughtful presentation on the work of the charity which works primarily in Africa collecting tools and then shipping them to five countries on the continent where they are made good use of. These include carpentry, gardening, mechanic and tailoring tools.

Surprisingly, even though Tools for Self Reliance is based close to the docks at Southampton, shipments are transported to docks in London, with each shipment costing up to £8,000.

Over the last 40 years, the charity's volunteers have given over 6,800 years of their time to the work, which not only involves collecting and sending tools to Africa, but also running vocational projects. Lauren detailed examples of those projects, such as hairdressing in Malawi, catering in Uganda, as well as successful schemes in Zambia and Ghana. 

These year-long training schemes for almost 15,000 people helps to develop skills and boost the local economy, explained Lauren. That increased income allows graduates to send their children to school and improve their families' well-being.


Monday, August 28th:


INTREPID motorcyclist, Mary Sievier, aka 'Mary Motorbike' was one of the stars of the show for Gosport Rotary Club's Vehicle Rally & Fun Day.

Once again, the sun shone of August Bank Holiday Monday as thousands of visitors flocked to Stokes Bay to enjoy a day of admiring classic two and four-wheeled vehicles, as well as enjoying the feast of entertainment on offer.

However, one of the chief attractions was West Sussex-based Mary, who is a bit of a celebrity in the motor cycling community after becoming the first woman to ride a motorcycle around the world. Her adventure began in 1967 after reading about an adventure holiday competition in a newspaper, so she bought a BSA Bantam 175cc D7 motorcycle, undeterred by the fact that she had never ridden a motorcycle before.

Having initially planned to head for Russia after passing an RAC ACU motorcycle course, Mary was refused a visa. So, she packed a few necessities including a sleeping bag, a tent, a red leather handbag, plus addresses of a few people who might give her a hand along the way, and headed for India

Mary set off through France, Italy and Yugoslavia, averaging 250 miles a day and miraculously only had one major breakdown while in the middle of the Australian desert between Perth and Darwin, saved by a man in a passing Land Rover after a five-hour wait.

The round-the-world journey took six years, during which she did several jobs along the way to finance herself. It took her three years to get to Bombay. She then had the bike shipped to East Africa, reached South Africa, before crossing to Australasia, and then onto Los Angeles, towards Charleston, arriving back in the UK in 1973.

The bike ended up in Mary's mum's garage in Selsey, but has since been restored and lives at the National Motorcycle Museum in Beaulieu. At the vehicle rally, Mary spoke to visitors about her amazing adventure to visitors attending the vehicle rally at Stokes Bay.

There was some serious competition at the Vehicle Rally with a team of judges casting their eye over the various vehicles in a number of categories. Best in show to receive the Roy Edge Shield was a classic James Bond Aston Martin DB100. Prizes were presented by the Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Martin Pepper, and the President of Gosport Rotary Club, John Lovell.

The winners were as follows:

Class A: Austin 7RP Deluxe Saloon RD5997 Gary Dennett

Class B: Jaguar XJ6 PPG 932W Stephen Hayman

Class C: :Rolls Royce J 999 DLT Dave Thomas

Class D: Mini Cooper Classic HIG 8435 Jon Taylor

Class E: VM Beach Buggy NBU 273L Alan Buller

Class F: Land Rover 4 x 4 Utility PSU 897 Malcolm Austin

Class G: Chevrolet Coupe CYY 375G Trevor Walker

Class H: Jaguar E Type Roadster ESV12 Steve Opacic

Class I: Audi Coupe AUD 100C Mohammed Shabaz

Class J: Honda Sports G254 WKK Cassi Drewitt

Class K: Harley Davidson HX06 ANV Steve Hurst

Class L: Can AM Spyder RT J13 GOG Colin Gwilliam

Class M: London Taxi LT07 KXY Philip Roberts

Roy Edge Shield: Aston Martin DB100 "Bond Car" DB100,

You can see more pictures from the 2023 Gosport Vehicle Rally & Fun Day at this link: Gosport Vehicle Rally 2023 pictures


Thursday, August 24th


ROTARY is not just about raising money and volunteering in the community - it's also about having fun.

Despite the threat of summer showers, a group of Rotarians headed for Fontwell Race Course near Chichester to attend Ladies' Day at the West Sussex course.

By race time, the rain had held off, and the Gosport Rotarians joined a bumper crowd, many dressed in their summer finery, to watch the seven races. It was a fun evening, and with no knowledge of form or inside track on the horses, the Rotarians still came away with a few winners and a profit to boot!


Monday, August 21st


GOSPORT Rotary Club was delighted to induct Hilary Fellows as the latest member of the club at our monthly meeting held at Court Barn in Lee-on-the-Solent.

Hilary's background is in Further Education, having worked at St Vincent College and Winchester Area Community Action. She was formally inducted to the club by President, John Lovell.

The focus of the evening was a humorous presentation from Phil Allen MBE on the history of HMS St Vincent and boys training for the Royal Navy.

The speaker disappeared after dinner and returned dressed in an Hawaiian shirt and shorts with a sun hat, and preceded by six gentlemen he claimed he had found in his dressing room. The six gentlemen gave a rendition of the "Drunken Sailor" song before Phil delivered an amusing talk describing his life in the Navy which he joined as a boy sailor aged 15.

Phil was trained at HMS St Vincent in Gosport, which apparently has the largest parade ground in Europe. He showed several historical photographs of the base, including one kit inspection where 20 or the 21 sailors show died shortly afterwards on the battleship HMS Royal Oak, which was sunk by a U-boat in October 1939.

HMS St Vincent opened in 1927 and closed in 1968 and was the the home of the Royal Marines. Phil revealed that when the boys climbed the mast at the St Vincent parade ground, it had a safety net!

Phil also showed photographs of several famous people who he delivered newspapers to in Camberwell, South London, before he joined the Navy.


Saturday, August 12th


GOSPORT Rotary Club has been delighted to support Community 2 Unite (C2U) through our Coronation Community Chest, when we dished out thousands of pounds to local causes.

C2U supports homeless veterans and vulnerable people in Gosport, and sought funding from the Rotary club to host a series of summer activities for youngsters, including a breakfast club.

Since July 17, C2U has provided a free breakfast club to Gosport youngsters giving them a healthy start ot the day, as well as laying on activities such as art and crafts. "Up to date, 271 children have had breakfast with many thanks for Gosport Rotary for funding this," explained organiser, Gary Walker.

Gary explained that through 2022 and into 2023, C2U has been busy supporting those in need in Gosport. He said: "Around 3,800 people have come into C2U for support, with 65% of those accessing the food bank. We have facilitated the transfer of four domestic violence residents out of the area of their personal safety, and we have supported 20 homeless people to be re-housed.

"In the last eight weeks, we have had a mental well-being volunteer who is regularly supporting a caseload of 12 people who either cannot access NHS support due to waiting times, or have received the maximum allocation of either six to 12 sessions. 

"In conjunction with the well-being support, we have successfully supported two people in the last month with drug rehabilitation."

However, C2U's work has also been providing fun by staging a number of community events over Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Easter. They also organised a Community Group Together Event, which brought together community groups from across Gosport to network and hand out information to residents.

C2U has a base in the High Street, Gosport. Gary added: "Our aspirations are to provide a warm hub and something warm to eat and drink for those who are in need. Through this, we reduce social isolation, especially for those who are vulnerable. This will be funded through a Cost of Living grant.

"We would also like to offer a Dragon's Den opportunity to budding entrepreneurs to present their business proposal with the opportunity to receive a cash input to help with set up.

"All volunteers here at C2U bring different skills. We are providing essential support to the residents of Gosport and we are seeing an increase in the need for this support. To allow us to provide these services more effectively, we consider 41 High Street to be a property where we can build on the successes so far." 

For more information about C2U, you can find them on their Facebook page at: C2U



Thursday, August 3rd


GOSPORT Rotary Club President, John Lovell, visited Chatterbox in Rowner to see how they have benefited from the recent donation Gosport Rotary made as part of the Coronation Community Chest. He met Kate, who is the organiser along with David and Vivienne.  The money was used to buy garden furniture and equipment for their garden, which is their restful and quiet place. Kate can be seen sitting in between David and Vivienne.  Most of the wooden furniture was made by David, and he designed the garden. Chatterbox provide a community meeting place and a meal, along with a lot of chatter, for those with a variety social challenges.  They receive donations from local supermarkets, enabling them to provide meals at a minimal.


Wednesday, July 26th

A FIVE-metre high mechanical fox was the star of the show in Gosport High Street as part of a parade staged at the weekend.

Rotarians from Gosport Rotary Club were on hand to provide marshaling support on a rain-soaked day when the puppet called Farrah, animated by two puppeteers and transported on a scooter, headed down the High Street.

It was all part of a £95 million government-funded initiative led by Historic England to promote high streets across the country. The initiative, designed to secure lasting improvements to high streets, has restored historic buildings and given them new uses. It also has a cultural programme.

Farrah, which means joy in Arabic, was joined in the parade by Army cadets and a samba band, while there were stalls, as well as singing and dancing displays in the July rain!

Apparently, a fox was chosen as a symbol for the project because foxes are "known for their resilience and ability to adapt - just like our high streets have done over the years" says the promotional speel!!

Saturday, July 15th

THE Gosport & Fareham MS Group has been running for 40 years providing support to those suffering with multiple sclerosis.

They were one of a number of community organisations who applied for a Coronation Community Chest grant earlier this year applying for financial support towards the running of one of their exercise sessions.

Gosport Rotary Club was delighted to help, and popped in to visit the group at the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church in Stubbington, where one of the weekly sessions are held. The group has 250 members - there are believed to be around 500 MS sufferers on the Gosport peninsular, and at the Stubbington session they were put through their paces with a series of stretching exercises, as well as having a chance to chat over tea and biscuits afterwards.

Organiser Jenny Jessup, who has had MS since 1991, said that they were very grateful to Rotary for the money, and how these exercise sessions really help the members. She said: "These sessions are great for mental well-being, as well as physical activity."

Besides the Stubbington sessions on a Thursday and Friday morning, they also meet at Lee Community Centre on Monday and Tuesday. They also do crafts twice a month in Stubbington, and have meetings at the Seagull pub in Portchester and Alver Valley Garden Centre once a month.

For more information about the Gosport and Fareham MS Group, visit:


Thursday, July 13th 

ROTARY is truly a global organisation with 33,000 clubs in more than 200 countries, and at our latest club meeting we received some very welcome visitors from Germany.

Christian Schleithoff, a member of Rotary Club Berlin International, and his wife Anne Jacobs-Schleithoff, popped into our monthly business meeting which is held at the Men's Shed by St Vincent's College in Gosport. They were joined by Robert Heller from the Rotary Club Berlin Falkensee, and friend Winfried Schulte.

They are currently on a sailing holiday exploring the Solent, and had berthed their boat at Haslar Marina before deciding to spend the evening enjoying Rotary fellowship.

The business meeting is a very relaxed event, with cheese, bread and mugs of tea or coffee as a prelude to discussing the club's plans over the coming months. Christian said afterwards that he liked the format of the meeting which he said he would take back to his club in the German capital.

The intrepid sailors are hoping for good weather before setting sail for the Channel Islands. They are pictured here with Gosport Rotary Club Vice-President, Lesley Brunink (centre).


Saturday, July 1st

THE Friends of St Mark's Cemetery in Gosport was among several good causes in the town who received donations from Gosport Rotary Club's Coronation Community Chest.

The Friends received money to buy number tags for each grave in the cemetery. Beside the front gate, there is a notice containing a list of all the names of those buried in the historic cemetery, with the number of each grave shown. Now, most of the graves are clearly numbered, which makes it easier for any visitor to find the grave of a family member.

It might seem a small gesture, but an important project which Gosport Rotary Club felt it wanted to support.

At the weekend, the Friends of St Mark's Cemetery held an open day which was attended by the Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Mark Pepper, as well as a number of Rotarians and visitors.

They were shown around the site by volunteers who maintian the cemetery, led by co-ordinator Peter Newell. About 40 guests were served refreshments and a book about the cemetery, which was written by Roy Harris, was on sale with the author signing copies.  


Thursday, June 22nd

BIZARRELY, the Rotary year ends on June 30th when roles are changed and each club elects a new President.

This coming Rotary year, 23-24, John Lovell will serve as President of Gosport Rotary Club, succeeding Julie Edwards who has held the position for the past 12 months.

To mark the occasion, an Installation Dinner was held at TS Hornet in Gosport which was attended by Rotarians and guests, who included the Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Martin Pepper, and the District Governor for 1110, George Phillips. Both spoke at the dinner to congratulate Gosport Rotary Club for their work and to wish John Lovell well in his new role.


Thursday, June 15th

ARTY's in Clarence Marina, Gosport, was the venue for the club's annual "Dine the President" celebration.

Club President, Julie Edwards, is coming towards the end of her 12-month term which finishes on June 30. It has been a busy year, with Julie leading the club on a busy programme of events and fund-raising activities.

To mark the occasion, the club took Julie out to dinner to thank her for her efforts, guidance and inspiration during the Rotary year.

Saturday, May 20th

THERE'S exactly 100 days to go until the staging of one of Gosport Rotary Club's biggest events of the year - the Vehicle Rally and Fun Day at Stokes Bay.

It will be the 70th year for the hosting of this Bank Holiday extravaganza, which this year takes place on Monday, August 28th from 10am to 4pm.

There is guaranteed sunshine and fantastic views across the Solent for this fun-filled day of family entertainment and dozens of shining two- and four-wheeled vehicles on display.

For the family, there will be a vast array of community stalls as well as entertainment including the Big Noise Samba Band, and the quieter surroundings of the petting farm. We'll have Jugglings Jake's Circus Skills alongside children's entertainment stalls, plus a number of community stalls.

For motor enthusiasts, Stokes Bay will be a petrolhead heaven with an array of vintage and more modern vehicles on display. The motor rally is recognised as one of the top events in the calendar for exhibitors. If you would like to exhibit a vehicle at the rally, or host a community stall, then please contact:


Thursday, May 18th

HAMPSHIRE and Gosport councillor, Zoe Huggins, was the visitor to Gosport Rotary Club at our new meeting venue of Court Barn in Lee-on-the-Solent.

Zoe has a prodigious portfolio of experience, including working at Southampton Football Club for five years in education. A former Mayor of Gosport, Zoe spoke about her work as a county and borough councillor, and also serving as Vice-Chair of the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service.

Of particular interest was a discussion on the possibility of devolution for Hampshire, with the county becoming a unitary authority, similar to what is happening with councils from around England.


Sunday, May 14th

CORONATION Fun was held at the Elson Community Library during the Bank Holiday weekend, which was supported by Gosport Rotary Club.

Organisers received funding for the event, which was well attended by a number of community groups, from the Gosport Rotary Club's Coronation Community Chest 

This was a free community event put on by the Elson Community Library and Hub. The Rotary donation helped support provisions for the celebration.

The day's activities were all free for the community and which included ice cream and candy floss for the children, tea, coffee and cakes, with craft activities taking place including the making of floral crowns.

Visitors also had an opportunity to look regal and royal with photographs being taken of folk sitting on a throne sporting a crown. The event brought the community together, and was well supported and enjoyed by all,


Monday, May 9th

GOSPORT Rotary Club was pleased to support the Willow Incredible Garden in Forton when it held an open day on Bank Holiday Monday.

To celebrate the Coronation and as part of the "Big Help Out Day", the garden at the Forton Medical Centre was open for visitors to see a newly engraved wooden bench which has been purchased thanks to funds donated as part of Gosport Rotary Club's Coronation Community Chest.

The Willow Group and Love Outdoors applied to the Rotary club for funding to support the Willow Incredible Garden and were successful with their application. Rotary club secretary, Penny Harris and treasurer, Colin Davey, were on hand to see the bench which has been sited in a wild flower garden. 

Emma Kemp, Director of Love Outdoors CIC, explained that the grounds behind the medical centre were unused and so a project was hatched a year ago to transform the area into something worthwhile and also a quiet place to reflect for the community.

She said: "This was Dr Robin Harlow's idea. He had been looking to do something like this for the past five years. So we received some money from the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Fund which really kick-started things. 

"We have had a lot of support from local businesses too, and we had a local designer who helped put this together. We did a lot of consultation with patients, staff and local people about what they would like to see here and we have formed a volunteer group, the Willow Welly and Wellbeing Group who volunteer here every Thursday morning and the second Sunday in every month."

The garden has two halves. Where the Rotary bench is has been developed into a wildflower area, and there are plans to develop a rose garden with more seating. The other side has a more formal growing area with 10 raised beds.

"This is a quiet, relaxing place where people who visit the doctor's surgery can go to either before or afterwards," added Emma. "We've got an allotment behind us, so it is a nice quiet area. It is a place to reflect, relax and take some time."

For more information visit:


Sunday, April 30th, 2023

GOSPORT Rotary Club is once again looking to support a student from the borough who is hoping to go to university this September.

The Gosport Rotary Academic Bursary Scheme - or GRABS - has been running for a number of years now providing valuable financial assistance to youngsters about to enter full-time education. 

The Rotary club is able to offer £750 to one student applying for university this autumn. Over the years we have received some tremendous applications from some very worthwhile applicants.

All you have to do is to write to us and tell us your story. Tell us about yourself, why you are going to university, what you are studying for, and why this bursary might make all the difference to you. 

The closing date for applications is May 26th when a shortlist will be drawn up and successful applicants will have a chat with Rotarians about their plans and dreams.

If you would like to apply, then send your letters to  Also, please use that email address to find out more information.


Sunday, April 23rd, 2023


A PACKED afternoon programme of seeing 14 Gosport community groups in two hours was undertaken by 10 Gosport Rotarians.

This was a great opportunity for Gosport Rotary to meet and support local deserving causes face-to-face, and chat about their needs and plans, writes Gosport Rotary, President-Elect, John Lovell.

Meeting the people involved made friendships, and new bonds between the organisations, some of which the Rotary club had not reached out to before, which was one of the additional bonuses of organisation the Coronation Community Chest.

The two hours was busy and buzzing with excitement, as organisations pitched their case for funding.

The room was laid out with two tables of three Rotarians and, at their allocated time, the organsiations presented to the panel pitching their requirements. A wide variety of methods were used from homemade video presentations, dogs, mood boards, and even an afternoon tea for three was bought in!

All of the local organisations were happy with the outcome with thousands of pounds distributed to 14 different groups. They were glad of the opportunity to speak with us, and also chat to other groups over a tea or coffee whilst waiting their turn.

On leaving Brodrick Hall in Gosport, there were many positive remarks and cheering from the organisations as to the funding received.

For Gosport Rotary Club, this was a great success as we managed toreach out and help organisations which we haven't before.

Gosport Rotary would like to thank their supporters and those who have donated to us over the years. You made it possible for us to continue supporting local good causes. As we have said before, the money we raise in Gosport stays in Gosport, unless we tell you that it's for an international cause.

We have now supported a wide and diverse range of requests and good causes.


Saturday, April 22nd, 2023

Club President, Julie Edwards (second left) pictured with the team from LevelUp Gosport.

GOSPORT Rotary Club has dished out close to £20,000 to several charities and community causes from the local area.

It was all part of the Rotary club's Coronation Community Chest, when causes were invited to apply for grants to help with projects.

More than 50 applications were received, these were whittled down, and then the shortlisted organisations were invited to pitch their projects to a group of Rotarians at Brodrick Hall in Gosport. Fourteen community organisations attended the event.

The community causes then heard how much money the club was giving to them to support their work. President-Elect, John Lovell, who was one of the organisers of the event, said: "It was a great success. We made a lot of new contacts, found out about organisations in this area which we didn't know existed and supported them with donations.

"The afternoon was busy and buzzing, with a lot of happy faces. One organisation cheered and leapt in the air when they left the room. We definitely made their day!"

The team from Chatterbox celebrating after receiving a donation from Gosport Rotary Club.


Friday, April 21st, 2023

This week Gosport Rotary Club starts the fourth year of supporting the Acts Of Kindness foodbank.

Over the last three years, Gosport Rotary Club have paid for and delivered around 25 tons of groceries, baked beans, soup, pasta, meals in a tin, eggs, spread, cheese, milk, cereals, baby products along with 5,500 fresh loaves of bread.

Thanks also go to the community champions at Morrisons and ASDA for their support, not forgetting the generosity of their customers who donated groceries and Easter eggs.


Sunday, April 9th, 2023


HAPPY Easter from Gosport Rotary Club and thanks to everyone who donated towards our Easter egg collection.

Working with Acts of Kindness, around 700 Easter eggs have been delivered this week to care homes and the disdvantaged in Fareham and Gosport. Easter eggs have also been added to those visiting the foodbank.

Gosport Rotary Club set up a collection trolley at the Asda store in Gosport, and also received kind donations from Churchers Solicitors and Southern Plumbing Limited of Gosport. Further collection points were established at Utilita and the Vanilla Bean Cafe in Gosport High Street.

Rotarian Joy Godbold, who also volunteers with the charity Acts of Kindness, explained how Gosport Rotarians have been providing Easter egss and smiles for over the three years she has been involved.

"The Easter eggs were distributed to seven local care homes and two emergency housing family centres," she explained. "Easter eggs were also added 10 days prior to Easter for families with children receiving food parcels from the AOK Foodbank. Every child received an Easter egg.

"Acts of Kindness would like to thank the people of Gosport, those businesses who have supported the appeal, plus the colleagues and customers at Asda Gosport for their generosity at what is a difficult time financially for many. 

"The joy and surprise on the faces of those receiving the eggs is wonderful to see."


Monday, April 3rd, 2023



GOSPORT Rotary Club's annual Easter egg collection is going into egg-stra time to allow for more chocolate treats to be collected in time for the coming weekend.

Every year, the Rotary club organises a collection of Easter eggs on behalf of the Fareham-based charity, AOK who, in turn, distribute them to children from disadvantaged families in the Gosport and Fareham area.

This year's Easter egg campaign has been egg-stordinary with dozens collected. We have had more than  170 Easter eggs donated to our collection points at Utilita, Vanilla Bean and Asda Gosport, and in particular the Rotary club has received generous donations from Churcher's Solicitors, Fareham, and from Southern Plumbing Supplies, Gosport.

All of these eggs were being delivered to the AOK food bank today (Monday), but there is still time to make a late donation by leaving an Easter egg in the Rotary-marked shopping trolley at Asda in Gosport. This will be available until Wednesday.

Organiser Simon Mason said: "We have been doing this for a few years, and we are always so pleased to note how magnificently local people support Rotary with our various collections which support the disadvantaged in the area."



Friday, March 31st, 2023

THE Rainbow Centre in Fareham is a charity which supports children and adults affected by neurological conditions and teaches them how to live their lives in as normal way as possible.

Founded by a small group of parents seeking to provide the very best help and support for their children with cerebral palsy, the Rainbow Centre has been changing lives for those with neurological conditions, including acquired brain injuries, since 1990. Users come to the centre from across the south coast 

This week, Gosport Rotary Club President, Julie Edwards, and fellow Rotarian, Les Blackburn, visited the Rainbow Centre to present them with a powered hoist which has been funded by the Rotary club.

Julie said that the Rainbow Centre was delighted with the gift which will help them support users who are less mobile and need support. "The Rainbow Centre is an amazing place and the work they do is fantastic," said Julie, when she described her visit at a club meeting.

The weekly Rotary club meeting was held at Stokes Bay Golf Club where the guest speaker was Katherine Seaton, who is the fund-raising administrator for the Elizabeth Foundation. She spoke about the work which the Foundation does for pre-school deaf children at their base in Cosham, Portsmouth, and how much they rely on fund-raising to support the work they do.


Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

LAST weekend was a busy one for the youth services teams of Gosport and Fareham Rotary clubs who between them ran both the Young Chef and Youth Speaks national semi-finals for the Southeast of England, Isle of Wight, Channel Isles and Gibraltar. 

Gosport Rotary ran the Young Chef competition at Havant and South Downs College on Saturday, and Fareham Rotary the Youth Speaks competition at the University of Surrey on Saturday and Sunday. 

These youth competitions are designed to give our young people a chance to show their abilities, to gain confidence, and to develop skills for the future.  What can be more challenging than preparing a meal for two, to a budget, against the clock, and under the watchful eyes of professional chefs. 

Whilst the pressure is intense the need to organise and produce to time are skills that can be transferred to any activity they undertake in the future. Public speaking develops in young people the ability to structure and articulate their thoughts. 

They must stand up in front of an audience and either propose, or oppose, a motion.  This develops the ability to communicate and reason with others rationally in whatever they are doing.  In so doing the young people gain confidence ready to take an active place in society.   

The mayor of Havant, Councillor Diana Patrick, presented the Young Chef prizes.  The winner was Phoebe from Oasis Academy Sholing in Southampton (pictured above). It is always rewarding to have the prizes presented by such an important person.  It introduces the young people to the workings of our democratic society and demonstrates that they are also members, and are valued. 

Our Rotary District was asked at short notice to manage the Youth Speaks semi-final.  Whilst we found a great venue, the University of Surrey, we were unable to arrange such an august prize presenter for Youth Speaks.  That said, the judges included a long-standing magistrate. 

The winning intermediate team was from Rookwood School in Andover.  Their subject was “Let’s ban fairy stories”. The winning senior team was from St Anne’s Catholic school in Southampton (pictured below) and their subject was “The negative Influence of Influencers”. 

We therefore had a good weekend, with schools in our district winning Young Chef and both the senior and Intermediate Youth Speaks teams.  This hat-trick means we now look forward to the national finals for both competitions which take place in late April.


Saturday, February 25th, 2023



The annual Vehicle Rally at Stokes Bay is one of several fund-raisers for Gosport Rotary Club


AS Gosport Rotary Club launches it Coronation Community Chest to benefit causes across Gosport, it should be reminded that this is only part of the story.


Each year, and for over a century now, Rotarians from Gosport raise thousands of pounds each year for the community. Currently, the club fund-raises through its successful Vehicle Rally on Stokes Bay each summer, the Michaelmas Fayre in Alverstoke and the annual Christmas collections.


We also respond with one-off collections for particular causes; for example we raised £3,000 for Rotary’s response to the humanitarian needs in Ukraine a year ago, thanks to a collection outside Gosport Ferry Terminal.


And recently, with another collection by the ferry terminal, allied to a collection at Holy Trinity Church, we raised well over £1,000 following the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, which will provide two temporary homes provided by the Rotary-led charity, ShelterBox.


So where else has the money gone? Well, from the recent Christmas collections outside supermarkets, and thanks to cycling Santa touring the streets of Gosport, the Rotary club has been able to benefit a number of charities and organisations.


We have donated £500 to the charity Level Up, an organisation based in Gosport which supports young adults aged between 18 and 25 years-old who have additional needs, such as a physical disability or mental health.


They are currently developing an inclusive volunteering work experience programme for its members. This will provide a unique forum for socialization, training and employment skills for its young adult members who are struggling to find meaningful or sustained employment.


Gosport Rotary has continued its support for Ukraine over the past 12 months, and as part of our festive fund-raising has donated £500 to Rotary’s Medical Taskforce, known as the International Rotary International Fellowship of Health Professionals, who are providing front line medical equipment. The Rotary Club also donated £500 towards a Rotary generator appeal which is supporting an initiative to supply much-needed equipment.  


Following repeated attacks on the power grid and other critical infrastructure, many Ukrainians get just three hours of electricity per day. Winter temperatures in the capital, Kyiv, can reach as low as -4°C in the daytime and -11°C at night.

Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelensky said that generators had become ‘as important as armour in helping Ukraine to survive this winter’.

Closer to home, Gosport Rotary has been a long-time supporter of the Rainbow Centre in Fareham which supports children and adults affected by neurological conditions. From the Christmas collection, the club has donated £2,664 to provide a patient hoist to the Rainbow Centre.

Message in a Bottle is a project which has been run by the Lions Club for more than a decade.


It is a brilliant idea where a small plastic bottle and top is supplied which contains the medicinal and surgical information of the owner. This is then placed in a fridge with an accompanying sticker for the inside of the front door. So if the owner of the bottle is in urgent need of medical attention, the doctor or emergency service personnel will then know that the bottle is in the fridge with the patient’s critical information. 


Message in a Bottle is widely used but since the Lions Club in Gosport has closed, Gosport Rotary Club has taken over the supply of the bottles, buying them from the Lions Club centrally, putting a new Rotary top on the bottle before distributing them to doctor’s surgeries and other facilities in Gosport. As part of regular funding for the project, the Rotary club’s latest donation to Message in a Bottle amounts to £200. 


The Rotary club has also donated £500 to Harbour Cancer Support, to help with the renovating of furniture and the replacing of shelves.

Harbour Cancer Support is an independent charity that offers practical and emotional support to anyone affected by any cancer across south-east Hampshire. The centre, based in Gosport, opened in 2001 and offers a safe haven for cancer patients, their families, carers and friends to spend time in a warm and welcoming environment where they can receive much-needed support through their cancer journey

A further £500 has recently been donated to WetWheels, a national charity with a base on the Solent, which provides an opportunity for disabled people, including those with profound and complex disabilities, to get out on the water.


And finally, Gosport Rotary Club has been a keen supporter of the AOK Food Bank in Fareham from the start of the Covid pandemic to present day. With the current energy crisis affecting many households, the call on their services is even greater, and the club has donated £2,000 to support the weekly purchase of groceries to help those families in need.



Friday, February 24th, 2023


CONGRATULATIONS to the talented young speakers from Bay House School who have stormed their way into the District Finals of Youth Speaks.

The three-strong Intermediate team representing Gosport impressed at the Area round which was held at Admiral Lord Nelson School in Portsmouth and featured teams from across the Portsmouth region.

They have now booked their place in the District final on March 4th, when Bay House School will be up against teams drawn from across Hampshire and Dorset vying for a place in the national Rotary finals.

The format of the competition is that the school has to debate a topical subject with a student speaking for the proposal, someone speaking against it, and then a chairperson summarising the debate.

Youth Speaks is among a plethora of schools' competitions which are organised annually by Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland.

The Bay House intermediate team is pictured on stage at Admiral Lord Nelson School with Julie Edwards, President of Gosport Rotary Club.


Sunday, February 12th, 2023


GOSPORT folk have responded magnificently to a fund-raising appeal following last week's devastating earthquake on the border of Turkey and Syria.

More than 30,000 people died following the February 6th earthquake across southern Turkey and northern Syria. The United Nations has warned that more than 800,000 people are without adequate meals, and its aid agency on the ground is warning the final death toll from the quake is likely to double.

One of the first agencies on the ground were the Rotary-inspired charity, ShelterBox, which has been getting supplies to the affected regions. They have been supplying thermal blankets and solar lights, and are likely to be offering tents. They are also providing cash assistance to the survivors who have been left with nothing.

On Saturday, Gosport Rotarians organised a collection beside the Gosport Ferry Terminal which raised more than £700. A separate collection organised by a Rotarian at Holy Trinity Church on Sunday raised a further £455.

The money donated will go towards ShelterBox to support their work in the region. The charity was founded in 2000 in Helston, Cornwall by Rotarian and former Royal Navy Search & Rescue diver, Tom Henderson, who conceived the idea of a disaster relief kit for a family, contained in a box for fast and easy global deployment.





Saturday, February 11th, 2023


SCHOOLCHILDREN from across Gosport took centre stage in the council chamber to take part in Rotary's public speaking competition, "Youth Speaks".

The teams of three have to debate both sides of the contemporary topic before a team of judges, who included Gosport MP, Dame Caroline Dinenage. 

Seven teams aged between 11 and 16-years-old took part, five from Bay House School and two from Bridegmary School. Organiser, Will Donnelly said: "It was very pleasing to have Bridgemary back in the fold as they have not taken part for a number of years. The feedback I have had from their teacher was very positive and they definitely want to take part again next year."

The two winning teams in the intermediate and senior sections came from Bay House School. The team of Dylan Matthias, Florence Hind and Arnold Gransden won the intermediate title with the subject - "Is it time to stop wasting money on space exploration?". And in the senior section, Patience Sullivan, Evie Rooke and Edward Cavendish won their event with a debate built around the title - "Should the UK adopt the American governmental system?".

Both teams now go forward to the group round at Admiral Lord Nelson School in Portsmouth. They also won a trip to have tea at the House of Commons with Dame Caroline Dinenage. 

William Donnelly added: "I must say the standard this year was probably the highest I have known it."



Monday, December 19th, 2022


GOSPORT Rotarians continue to be busy during this festive period.

The club helped to facilitate a visit by Father Christmas to Alver Valley School and also Merritime Nursery at HMS Sultan before the children broke up for Christmas. Apparently, Santa had a lovely time meeting the children finding out what they want for Christmas. 

The club has also begun its supermarket collections, with more than £200 raised from the first collection held at the Asda superstore in Gosport last week. A second collection at Brockhurst Gate also raised a tidy sum of money.

The club is holding three more collections in the run up to Christmas at Gosport Morrisons on December 20th and 21st, and at Gosport Waitrose on December 22nd. All monies raised will be distributed to good causes in the area.

Meanwhile, collections of toys continue at a pace, with another trolley-full of toys from Asda in Gosport being sent to the AOK foodbank for distribution to disadvantaged families in the area. 


Thursday, December 15th, 2022


GOSPORT Rotary Club celebrated Christmas with its annual festive dinner at Anglesea Lodge.

Corny Christmas crackers and Santa hats were the order of the evening for this fun event which also raised £200 with a raffle with the first prize of a Morrisons hamper, which was one by Ray Freshfield.  

The money raised will go towards the charity, the Wetwheels Foundation. Set up by disabled sailor Geoff Holt in Portsmouth in 2011, the charity allows disabled and disadvantaged people of all ages, including those with multiple, profound and complex impairments, with access to the water in a variety of craft.



Sunday, December 11th, 2022


THE Rotary club's annual Santa collections around the streets of Gosport provided another outstanding success with almost £1,400 raised from the five nights of collections - and with more to come!

This year, for the first time, Santa toured Gosport on a bike supported by a team of Rotarian elves calling door to door. Even though many families are feeling the pinch financially, the spirit of generosity was tangible with the elves' buckets filling up with cash and notes.

And, as always, it was the children who took centre stage, with the magic of Santa and Christmas not being lost on the youngsters who gathered by the roadside to chat to man in red on his eco-friendly bike.

Club President, Julie Edwards, said: "Well done everyone, the green Santa was a huge success."

This week of Santa visits was the first of a series of fund-raising festive activities. The Rotary club has already been actively involved in sending more than 500 shoeboxes to deserving children in eastern Europe, notably Ukraine.

And from next week, Rotarians will be collecting outside stores in Gosport with the money raised there, added to the sums fetched from the Santa collections, all going to community causes in the town. 

These will take place from 10am to 4pm at: 

  • Tuesday, December 13th: Gosport Asda
  • Thursday, December 15th: Brockhurst Gate
  • Tuesday, December 20th & Wednesday, December 21st: Gosport Morrisons
  • Thursday, December 22nd: Gosport Waitrose 

In tandem with the collections of cash for good causes, Gosport Rotary has also been collecting toys for disadvantaged children. We would be happy to receive the donation of any toy, new or nearly new, which could make a big difference to children at this special time of the year.

The Vanilla Bean Cafe in the High Street has agreed to act as a collection point for toys, now one of three outlets for folk to donate. We have collection points at:

  • Gosport Asda
  • Utilita Shop, Gosport High Street
  • Vanilla Bean Cafe, Gosport High Street

In keeping with the festive spirit, Gosport Rotary is among scores of organisations who have decorated Christmas trees as part of the St Mary's Church Christmas tree festival in Alverstoke. A total of 75 trees from organisations across the parish are featured in a glittering display at the church.

Organiser, Rob Hamilton said: "The aim of the festival is to bring our community together in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It is organised and run by the community for the benefit and enjoyment of all."

This weekend, St Mary's has hosted a number of musical performances by local children, adults and musical groups, including musicians and singers.




Wednesday, December 7th, 2022


GOSPORT Rotary Club organised its local heats ot the Rotary Young Chef competition when pupils from Bay House and Brune Park schools met at Brune Park School.

The Rotary Young Chef competition is well respected across all of Great Britain and Ireland with competitors hoping to progress to the national finals which will be held in April 2023.

Ten students took part at Brune Park School with the goal of producing a two-course meal in two hours. They were judged on their planning abilities and how healthy their choices were. The students were also judged on the neatness and hygiene of their work station, the use of equipment, along with the taste and presentation of their meals.

Besides the culinary skills of Young Chief, the competition also challenges students to stand alone to plan and execute the preparation of high-class meals against the clock.

Three judges monitored their work. These were Tom, an engineer and an enthusiastic chef who enters BBQ competition. He was joined by Paul, an executive chef, and Matt, who is a restaurant and pub owner. Matt and Emily, a teacher at Brune Park School, both entered the Rotary competition in 2009 so they knew how challenging the event is.

The students all worked quickly and efficiently, and even though they were working ard, there was a calm and pleasant atmosphere in the kitchen. The club round is always the most informal, with the judges able to advise and nurture the competitors, even though there is a competitive element in the end.

Two pupils from each school went forward to the Portsmouth Rotary clubs' area round. This year, Harrison and Joshua from Bay House, and Leland and Lily-Mae from Brune Park were selected.

They will now compete at Havant and South Downs College in late January against the other Portsmouth area winners. There, they will use standard commercial equipment to prepare their dishes and where the competition becomes harder. All entrants will have their eyes set on a place in the district round and a place in the national final.

Gosport Rotary wishes our students the very best in their endeavours in January. Judging by the standard of meals presented in the local round, they have got a very good chance of progressing into the higher rounds.

We thank the staff at Bay House and Brune Park schools for their support - without them, this competition would not go ahead.

By holding Rotary youth competitions, such as Young Chef and Youth Speaks (which takes place in January), the Rotary club hopes to provide a spark which challenges those who enter, and which enables the students to gain confidence and self-awareness.

As ever, our Gosport students have shown determination to address the challenge and a willingness to be  disciplined in a competitive environment. All those who entered Young Chef are a credit to themselves, their families and their schools. 


Tuesday, December 6th, 2022


THE Rotary club has begun its Christmas collections around the streets of Gosport, and the reaction has been amazing.

Eco-friendly Santa toured Gosport being ridden in a specially-devised bike with a Rotarian providing the pedal power from behind. On Friday, for the first of five visits over the following week, it was former policeman, Colin Davey, once a Cycling Proficiency instructor, who used all that knowledge to escort Santa safely around the course.

Despite the cold weather on the first night, children with the parents came out onto the streets to talk to Santa, and the bucket-carrying elves were kept busy with their door-to-door collection. Even regulars at The Eagle pub in Elmhurst Road were in a generous mood when the elves called in.

So far, after three nights of collections, several hundred pounds has been raised for good causes in Gosport, with further Santa cycling trips scheduled for Thursday and Saturday - just before England's World Cup quarter-final with France. 


Sunday, November 27th, 2022

JUST five days to go until Gosport Rotary Club's Christmas collections around the streets of Gosport.

This year, Santa has gone green as he will be touring Gosport on a bike. Thanks to Liam and Kevin from Southsea Cycles who have donated Santa a bike - Santa is keeping an eye on petrol costs too!

This year, Gosport Rotary Club will be raising money for a variety of community causes in the town, and to kick off the festive season with a smile. So please support us.

Last week, to take a break from sorting out the toys and his public liability insurance for the Gosport trek, Santa dropped in unexpectedly to Southsea Cycles to try out the two-wheeled contraption - and he loved it!

Don't miss out on Santa when he visits your road in December:

Friday, December 2: St Andrew's Avenue, King's Road, Bevis Road, Sydney Road, St Edward's Road, Elmhurst Road, Blake Road and Queen's Road.

Sunday, December 4: Avenue Road, Grove Avenue, Peel Road, Prince of Wales Road, Strathmore Road, Carlton Road, Grove Avenue.

Tuesday, December 6: Fort Brockhurst, Brighton Avenue, Hastings Avenue, Worthing Avenue, Selsey Avenue, Anthony Grove.

Thursday, December 8: Palmyra Road, Rothesay Road, Vale Grove, Shalbourne Road, Pannall Road, Chantry Road, Dunkeld Road, Sedgeley Grove, Rydal Road, Bramber Road.

Saturday, December 10: Hedca, Fishguard Road, Reeds Road, Goodwood Road, Findon Road, Albemarle Road, Palmyra Road, Welch Road, Melville Road Road, Dorrien Road, Fieldmore Road. 


November 25th, 2022

GOSPORT Rotary Club and long-serving Rotarian, Ray Drake (pictured above) have been honoured by Gosport Council to mark the centenary of its founding as a borough.

It was in November 1922 when King George V afforded Gosport borough status - just three years after the founding of Gosport Rotary Club. And to mark the civic occasion, Gosport Mayor, Councillor Jamie Hutchison launched a campaign to find Gosport's community heroes.

He said: "As part of the borough's 100th anniversary, I wanted to celebrate the achievements of people who make a difference in our community. They could be people who organise community events, or who do valuable work like caring for others, or litter-picking. The list of possibilities is endless - I am just looking for people who have made a positive contribution to their neighbourhood, or the borough as a whole."

Cllr Hutchison was on hand to present awards to dozens of Gosport folk and organisations at a ceremony held at Gosport Town Hall on Thursday. Among them was Gosport Rotary Club's Past President, Ray Drake, who has been a driving force behind the club and its community activities for a number of years.

In a citation produced by Gosport Borough Council, it said of Ray that "he has made a large and positive contribution to the town of Gosport in his work for Gosport Rotary. He has acted as Chairman of the Gosport Vehicle Rally and Family Fun Day for a number of years, bringing many visitors to the town and a lot of enjoyment. He has also been heavily involved in other events."

Club Vice-President, John Lovell (pictured below with the award), received a certificate on behalf of Gosport Rotary for a citation which praised the club for having "undertaken huge amounts of community events throughout Gosport raising thousands of pounds for charity. The Michaelmas Fayre has been a huge success for a number of years and they provide a financial contribution to the Mayor's charities."


November 24th, 2022

JOY Godbold has become the newest member of Gosport Rotary Club.

Joy (pictured above) works with the AOK Food Bank in Fareham which the Rotary club has been closely supportive of since the Covid pandemic. Previously, Joy was employed by the Royal Mail as an international logistics manager before her retirement.

She has been a Friend of Gosport Rotary for some while and volunteered at the Michaelmas Fayre.

Joy was formally inducted into the club by Vice President John Lovell at a club meeting where we welcomed guest speaker, Jorgen Veslov (pictured below) who gave an insight into the world of container shipping.


November 23rd, 2022


THE shoeboxes keep coming in as part of Gosport Rotary Club's festive activities.

A further 40 shoeboxes packed with Christmas goodies for children in Eastern Europe were donated by a lady from Waterlooville (pictured top left). Now, more than 500 shoeboxes have been collected by schools, business and community groups in the area to bring a smile to disadvantaged children of all ages this Christmas.

After being sorted into different age groups and put into larger boxes, the shoeboxes were taken to a collection point in Bournemouth (pictured top right), with thanks to Richard Solis from Fareham Van Hire who supplied a van free of charge to take the boxes to Dorset (pictured below).

The boxes will be going to Poland and to Ukranian refugees who have fled their country following the war. Some of the shoeboxes had been intended for children in Albania, but there were problems at the border with customs. The boxes would have gone to Korce in Albania.

However, the shoeboxes will now to the Rotary Club of Lublin Central in Poland, which is situated 40km from the border with Ukraine. Lublin is hosting a large number of Ukranian refugees, many of whom are special needs children who have lost home and parents because of the conflict. They are also supporting a new Paul Harris Community Centre in the Polish city.

With Lublin's proximity to the Ukranian border, it is hoped to send some of the shoeboxes to Lviv where the Rotary Club of Lviv International will be able to distribute some of the shoeboxes to an orphanage.


November 15th, 2022


THE Rotary club's annual shoebox appeal proved to be a soaring success with community groups from across Gosport & Fareham getting involved.

The shoeboxes, packed with toys and goodies, are being sent to Eastern Europe to provide some festive joy to disadvantaged children, notably refugees who have fled Ukraine in the wake of the war.

Organiser Simon Mason said that what had impressed him most this year was how all sections of the community rallied round to fill the shoeboxes.

"We collected 20 from Trefoil Guild in Fareham who we have dealt with for years and we were also supported by Portchester Townswomen's Guild who supplied 58 boxes and £116. They too have been very loyal supporters of the shoebox appeal over many years," explained Simon.

"We have been backed by a number of schools in the area, including Alverstoke Infant School, and we have also been supported through generous donations from Rotarians at the club. This is one way which Gosport Rotary Club can make a real difference."

In total, 537 shoeboxes were delivered by road to a depot in Bournemouth this week with Rotarians Simon Mason and Les Blackburn aboard the van, and with the Rotary club funding the transport costs.

"It is amazing how generous people have been. We had one lady call in with six extra full boxes, together with £20 for the transportation. On top of this, she donated £50 for items to top up the boxes and items for raffle prizes of Prosecco, champagne, and Red Door Elizabeth Arden perfume. Just amazing."



November 14th, 2022

IT'S less than 40 days till Christmas and Gosport Rotary Club is looking to put a smile on disadvantaged children in the Borough.

Now, more than ever, with vulnerable families feeling the pinch through rising prices and higher energy costs this winter, we want to help make a difference.

We have set up collection points at the Asda Gosport and also at the Utilita shop in Gosport High Street where you can donate a toy for a child this Christmas.

Please support our Christmas appeal with the donation of any toy, new or nearly new, to make a difference to a child at this special time of the year.


October 29th, 2022

Shoeboxes collected by Ruby Funerals in Gosport

THE Gosport Rotary Club Shoebox Appeal has become one of our biggest community activities each year. With war raging in Europe, displacing millions of people, this year's Shoebox Appeal takes on an added emphasis.

Working with schools and businesses, we have been able to send shoeboxes packed with goodies as Christmas gifts to disadvantaged children across the world - primarily eastern Europe. And this year, we are gearing up for another mammoth effort to bring some festive cheer to those who need it most.

The Rotary club has distributed leaflets to six schools in Gosport who are promoting the scheme this year. Children can either complete their own box or the Rotary club can provide them with flat pack boxes. Equally, youngsters can collect some Christmas gifts, put these in a bag, and the club will transfer them to a shoebox.

Gosport Rotary Club will be looking to collect the shoeboxes from the Gosport schools after the half-term break.

Many boxes are also being collected and delivered to us from individuals and groups, including the Women's Institute, churches, local businesses and other organisations. These are filled with toys, toiletries and educational items. For many, it will be the first present they have ever received and it lets them know that somebody, somewhere, really cares.

Organiser, Simon Mason, explained: "We then check each box to ensure that no inappropriate gifts and that the contents are suitable for the age group. They are then placed in large boxes which are then taken to a distribution centre near Southampton where they are put on containers in order that they can be shipped to their destination.

"These boxes are collected and taken to schools where they are distributed to children. Last year, Gosport Rotary Club sent more than 600 boxed gifts and we believe that over one million have gone out to give joy to these needy children."

If you are interested in getting involved, there is still time to help. So what are we looking for? Here are some gift suggestions for your shoebox:

Age 1-3: Soft toy, picture book, hat, socks, gloves, soap and flannel, hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, a small game suitable for that age or a small wooden puzzle, paper and crayons.

Age 4-7: Soap and flannel, toothbrush, toothpaste, jigsaw, ball, crayons or colouring pencils, colouring book and paper, scarves, gloves and socks, a simple game, toy vehicle or small doll.

Age 8-11: Game, jigsaw, felt tip pens, pencils, rubber and sharpener, drawing book, hat, gloves, scarf, socks and comb or brush, soap and flannel, toothbrush, toothpaste, pack of cards, books to read.

Age 12-15: Playing cards, geometry set, pens, pencils, pencil sharpener, rubber, paper or notebook, soap and flannel, toothbrush and toothpaste, wash bag and comb or brush, games, books or magazine. 

What not to put in your shoebox: No food or sweets of any kind. No battery-operated toys, liquids or sharp items, No books of a religious or political nature. No war-related items, toy guns or knives.

What to do next: If you are unable to locate a shoebox, these can be obtained from Gosport Rotary Club as these are now a uniform size. There is a label on the front and back. The bottom and front of your shoebox needs to be covered in paper. If you have a shoebox, then please cover this with Christmas paper - or something similarly festive - ensuring the lid is wrapped separately for customs purposes!

Do not wrap the individual items, just place them in the box. Use an elastic band to ensure the lid stays in place. You can include a Christmas card, or a letter or photograph, if you wish with your shoebox. Please mark clearly what age group the shoebox is for and whether it is meant for a boy or a girl. Please sellotape this information to the top of the box, and if you are able to make a donation of £2 towards the administration costs, that would be wonderful. 

Boxes will need to be collected early in November to ensure delivery to the children in time for Christmas. If you don't have time to fill a shoebox, we have a drop off trolley at the Asda supermarket in Gosport.

For more information, call 02392 585673.

You cannot donate items at the Gosport Rotary Club trolley stationed at the Gosport Asda


October 27th, 2022

HISTORIAN David Vassallo visited Gosport Rotary Club to deliver a fascinating talk about hospitals in Malta during the First World War.

David, who was born in Malta and now lives in Lee-on-the-Solent, joined the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1983, becoming a consultant general surgeon in 1994. He was a consultant surgeon at The Royal Hospital Haslar in Gosport and at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth. 

However, history is his other love. He is chairman of the Friends of Millbank which celebrates the heritage of military medicine.

David undertook a Masters in the History of Warfare at King's College London, and has written a number of articles and published three books; 'A history of the Princess Mary's Hospital RAF Akrotiri', 'Who was Sapper Brown? Remembering British military burials in Cyprus', and 'Military Medical Revolution - How the UK's Defence Medical Services transformed in conflict 1990-2015'.

At Gosport Rotary Club, David delivered an interesting talk entitled: 'Malta in World War One - Nurse of the Mediterranean'. By 1915, Malta was rapidly transformed into an island hospital and by the end of the Great War she had earned the title of 'Nurse of the Mediterranean', tending thousands of sick and wounded servicemen daily, offering them respite, refuge and rehabilitation.

October 20th, 2022

WITH Admiral Lord Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory, berthed in a dry-dock just across the harbour in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, it was appropriate that Gosport Rotary Club should mark Trafalgar Day barely a canon shot away from the famous battleship.

The TS Hornet base at the Royal Clarence Dockyard in Gosport played host to the Rotary club's annual Trafalgar Day dinner to mark the anniversary of one of the most famous naval battles in British military history. 

Speaker Nigel Linger, from the Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust, offered a fascinating account of Admiral Lord Nelson's final hours ashore in Portsmouth, before he set sail aboard HMS Victory to take on the mighty French and Spanish fleets in 1805.

Nigel told a compelling tale of how the diminutive Nelson was treated as a hero by Portsmouth folk, and thousands turned out to see him be rowed to HMS Victory, which was at anchor in the Solent, ready to set sail.

The evening was marked by a dinner, and featured a presentation of the 'Ships of the Line' with two miniature galleons - or chocolate ships - brought out by the catering team with sparklers alight, and carrying chocolate canon balls!

September 24th, 2022

THE sun shone constantly, and the crowds flocked in their thousands for the 32nd Michaelmas Fayre in Alverstoke.

The feelgood factor was palpable in the village engendering a true community spirit which, in turn, raised thousands of pounds of local causes.

More than 100 stall holders lined Green Road, the Village Green and Village Road from small businesses to charitable organisations offering a range of crafts and memorabilia. They were joined by a funfair on Village Green, and the Parish Centre was taken over by the Girl Guides providing refreshments.

The day also featured entertainment from the New Thorngate Singers, Harry Strutters' Jazz Band, the Big Noise Samba Band, Magician Glen Stone, and the HMS Sultan Volunteer Band, who paraded through the village in a climax to the day, with Gosport Mayor, Councillor Jamie Hutchison taking the salute.

Earlier, Gosport town crier heralded the opening of the fayre outside the Parish Centre with his bell and voice in full throttle, alongside the Mayor of Gosport, and Gosport Rotary Club President, Julie Edwards.

This was the 32nd Michaelmas Fayre, which was organised by Gosport Rotary Club in conjunction with St Mary's Church. Rector, the Reverend Andy Norris, acknowledged in his programme notes, how the fayre has become a centrepiece of community life in Alverstoke. "The fayre has become a village tradition with a life of its own," he wrote. 

Besides the money which charities and businesses raised from the fayre, further money collected from the fayre itself by the organisers will be divided between the Mayor of Gosport's Charity Appeal, Gosport Rotary Club and the Alverstoke Parish Centre Regeneration Project.


September 19th, 2022

THE Michaelmas Fayre takes place in Alverstoke this Saturday (September 24th) which will raise thousands of pounds for local good causes. But where does that money go?

One of Rotary's major partnerships is supporting Acts of Kindness (Solent), otherwise known as AOK.

Our support began in 2014 by supporting the Fareham and Gosport Basics Foodbank through donating groceries following our Christmas collections. We continued this commitment for several Christmases, consulting with the charity on their needs, and doing our best to satisfy the demands for their services.

However, at beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the Fareham and Gosport Basics Foodbank decided it could no longer continue since most of its members were at risk, and their premises were considered too small.

Naturally, Covid-19 coincided with an increased demand for the foodbank's services with many people losing their jobs, or on reduced hours, and struggling with the quarantine regulations. So Gosport Rotary Club sought another partnership and joined forces with AOK. The charity has been operating for a number of years performing kind deeds for the community, although not acting as a foodbank.

That all changed in 2020 in the wake of the Covid pandemic when Fareham Council asked AOK to take on the role of supporting communities in Fareham and Gosport. Gosport Rotary Club assisted AOK with setting up a foodbank by providing IT equipment and telephone equipment, as well as financing goods to stock the new service. 

AOK quickly grew into the role and demand for their services in the two towns increased. Gosport Rotary has continued to support them with weekly deliveries, helped by a matching grant from Rotary District 1110, which covers Rotary clubs in Hampshire, Dorset and the Channel Islands.

Very soon, the foodbank's remit included pharmacy and making welfare calls. Gosport Rotary's support amounted to around £5,000 with some members assisting with deliveries and other calls for their services.

In June 2021, it was announced that AOK has been awarded The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, with Rotarians Colin Davey and Les Blackburn, who had been the major contributors of Rotary services to the charity, being awarded special recognition badges.

The club has continued to make weekly deliveries to the foodbank funded from the club's benevolent fund and the kind donations of several members. 

For the Rotary year 2021/2022, Gosport Rotary Club supplied over £4,000 worth of groceries, and for this Rotary year we are supplying weekly deliveries of £2,500, with the majority of bread donations being additionally funded by two members of the club.

It is estimated that the weight of our deliveries to AOK over the past three years amount to in excess of 1.5 tonnes, which has included 4,500 loaves of bread.

Joy Godbold from AOK admits that with the current energy crisis families are finding it difficult to make ends meet and, as a result, their resources are stretched. In the last five days, they have delivered enough groceries to support 52 families for one week, with two of the families consisting of five people.

Joy said: "We expected our resources to be stretched to an even greater extent over the coming months."


Gosport Rotary Club has confirmed that the Michaelmas Fayre in Alverstoke WILL go ahead on Saturday, September 24th.

The event takes place just five days after the state funeral for Her Majesty the Queen, which is scheduled for Monday, September 19th - a date which has also been declared a public holiday.

A period of national mourning will end after the funeral at Westminster Abbey, therefore the Rotary club has decided to continue with its arrangements for the Michaelmas Fayre.

However, as a mark of respect to Her Majesty, the Rotary club feels that Alverstoke should not be dressed in the long lead up to the fayre during this period of national mourning. Therefore, flags and banners to decorate the village will be erected after the funeral on Wednesday, September 21st.

Despite the current sombre mood, Gosport Rotary Club hopes that people will join us on Saturday, September 24th from 11am to 4pm for a fun-packed Michaelmas Fayre which will put a much-needed smile on folks' faces.



August 31st, 2022

Photo courtesy: Mike Atthis
"BRILLIANT! A lovely day." Just one of the hundreds of positive comments from visitors who came in their thousands to the Rotary Club of Gosport's annual vehicle rally and fun day on August Bank Holiday Monday.
More than 5,000 people attended the 68th staging of this popular community event and in the process helped to raise more than £10,000 for good causes. This money, a record for the vehicle rally, will be split between the Mayor of Gosport's charities and the Rotary club's benevolent fund which supports local community causes.
The evening before, joined by the South Hants Vehicle Preservation Society who helped to organise the event, volunteers marked out the pitches on the fields in Stokes Bay. The Monday itself began early for the Rotarians at 6.30am with teams working in earnest putting up gazebos, and welcoming the dozens of stall holders and food outlets.
Then, at about 8am, the steady arrival of amazing vehicles began; a dazzling array of two-wheeled and four-wheeled motorised vintage and classic transport spanning decades. All were expertly marshalled into place ready for judging to begin at 9.30am.
The enthusiasm of all the vehicle owners was infectious. Even members of the public who knew nothing about the vehicles could not fail to be impressed by the knowledge and enthusiasm of the owners. Without exception, the cars, motor bikes and even a hovercraft were polished and gleaming in the perfect Bank Holiday sunshine.
The Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Jamie Hutchison, officially opened the event at noon, alongside Rotary club President, Julie Edwards, and he stayed all afternoon. Afterwards, the Mayor said: "Another fantastic community event. The vehicles were amazing, many travelling long distances to take part.
"This summer, Gosport has truly excelled in the number and quality of events that have taken place, and it has been an honour to attend such wonderful events, including the vehicle rally."
But it wasn't all about the vehicles. The day was filled with arena demonstrations, samba band workshops, juggling workshops, a petting zoo, face painting, pottery making and much more. The Rotary club was happy to welcome many local charities to give them the opportunities to raise funds for their causes.
The show officially closed at 4pm, and by 6pm the site was spotlessly clean and empty. The Rotary club was grateful for the help of the South Hants Vehicle Preservation Society for their help with the organisation and promotion over many months in the lead up to the weekend, and for their volunteers' help on the day. The club is also very grateful for the band of litter pickers who helped ensure the site was kept clean.
It was a wonderful day, blessed with beautiful weather and good crowds. You can see a gallery of photos from the vehicle rally and fun day HERE.
There are also numerous posts and photographs on our Facebook page which you can find HERE. While you are there, please 'like' the page to receive regular updates about Gosport Rotary Club - and maybe even consider joining us. We'd love to see you!
We are also delighted to have received many kind comments from those who attended the event:
  • "Something here for everyone, especially if you are a petrol head." - President of the South Hants Vehicle Preservation Society.
  • "Very good value for money. Great that the children came in free." - Lisa from Gosport.
  • "Brilliant! Lots of old cars to admire and being able to talk to other owners. Really good that it is all for charity." - Kevin and Graham from Havant.
  • "Excellent! Very well organised." - Clive and Janice from Hedge End.
  • "Congratulations to Gosport Rotary on a great day out at their car show. Our Gosportarians' plate smashing stall took £357, a terrific total thanks to the volume of people attending." - Malcolm Dent.
  • "My first time attending one and I wasn't disappointed. I found a stall selling mixed, unboxed toy cars and picked up MK3 and a MK3 XR3i hatchback for a fiver. The food was great too - I ate way too much. That Jake's Flakes vendor was good. The hog roast was a first and I also ate at the stand beside the bar." - Paul Campbell.
  • "We had a great time." - Stephen Willis.
  • "We had a great day, roll on next year." - Gez Bradley.
  • "We had such a great time at this fabulous event." - Big Noise Community Samba Band.
  • "A great day helping out with Sue at the vehicle rally and fun day put on by Gosport Rotary Club. Several hundred vintage and classic cars, plus motor bikes. Lots to do for family, and lots of stalls and food stalls on show. Hopefully, a good amount of money was raised to donate to charities." - Ken Eckersley.
  • A great day, thank you for letting me judge." - Diane Furlong.
  • A great turn out and everything was reasonably priced for families too. Great weather and a good day." - Adi Cox.
  • "A great day out over the car rally at Stokes Bay, thank you." - Amanda's Photography Page.
  • "Wondered why I kept seeing loads of cool cars on their way to the event," - Lee Churchill.
Images courtesy of: Janette Donnelly, JCU Photography, Amanda's Photography Page, Mike Atthis & Chris Kerrison.
August 25th, 2022
Nigel Linger, pictured left, with members of the Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust - picture courtesy of the Portsmouth News.
NIGEL Linger from the Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust was the Rotary club's guest at our most recent meeting held at the Old Lodge in Alverstoke.
Nigel delivered a very interesting talk about the group, explaining how it had managed to salvage thousands of artefacts which would have otherwise been consigned to rubbish skips when refurbishment work is carried out at the historic dockyard.
The history of the Portsmouth Dockyard can be traced back over 800 years. During that time, it's been the country's first dry dock, ordered in 1495 by King Henry VII which later played a part in the construction of the Dreadnought. Nigel told the meeting that the oldest part of the Dockyard is actually the outer wall and right beside the gate where the public enter the facility.
At the meeting, he brought with him a hand-written page from a ledger listing items required in 1781 by the Navy which had been put on a war-footing. The list included thousands of pounds worth of items which had to go to the King, George III, for his signature.
Nigel also brought with him a copy of a birth certificate of the great-grandmother of one of his team at the Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust. The great-grandmother was born on HMS Victory in 1837, a few months after the modern system of birth, marriage and death registrations came into force.

August 20th, 2022


FORMER Bay House School pupil, Emily Ansell, is off to Bath University this autumn with a little financial help from Gosport Rotary Club.

Emily, 18, from Gomer received her A Level results on Thursday with three As and one A* which has given her the green light to study politics and international relations this September.

Earlier this year, after an interview process, Emily was awarded a bursary as part of the Gosport Rotary Academic Bursary Scheme (GRABS) to help her with those university expenses.

"Thank you ever so much for the bursary," Emily said, when presented with a cheque from Rotary club President, Julie Edwards. "I plan to buy a new laptop, and this money will really help towards university. I am very happy and looking forward to university."

Gosport Rotary Club has been running the GRABS scheme for a number of years as a means of supporting students from the Gosport area with financial assistance. Rotarian Ray Drake, who runs the scheme for the Rotary club, said: "Many students struggle financially to get to university, so we look to help them.

"We are not necessarily looking for academic ability, but at their wider life skills and how they come across in interview. The interview process is challenging and difficult. Everyone we meet deserves some money."

Emily has aspirations of working in the Civil Service, however during her school years she has been a member of the Hampshire Youth Parliament, as well as helping out with her local brownie pack.

Also joining Emily for the presentation was Misha Soper, 28, who was the recipient of last year's GRABS bursary. Misha, a mother-of-three from Fareham, has just completed her first year of paediatric nursing studies at Winchester University.

She admitted studying while being a mother was difficult, but to receive the bursary was a big help. "I was worried about the cost of starting university, including the equipment and uniform," she said. "My teacher at St Vincent's College advised me to apply for the GRABS bursary and it has really helped."

President Julie Edwards said the club was delighted to be able to support both students at the start of their careers.


August 18th, 2022


ROTARY is not just about community work, it is also about fellowship and having fun. So a group of Rotarians headed for the horse races at Fontwell on Ladies Day.

The sun shone, the sky was blue, and a great afternoon and evening was enjoyed in West Sussex with a picnic, before watching the seven races amid a bumper crowd who had flocked to Fontwell. The Pimms was flowing with many of the ladies dressed in their finery.

Gill Lovell and Tina King, the wives of two Rotarians, cleaned up the bookies with a 66-1 pay-out from one horse race. A great day at the races.


August 13th, 2022


GOSPORT Rotary Club's Vehicle Rally and Fun Day is gearing up to be one of the best ever, with the 'full up' signs now being posted for the concessions.

Monday, August 29th is the date of the 68th vehicle rally which will be held once again by the seaside at Stokes Bay.

Club secretary, Penny Harris, has said that such has been the terrific response to this year's event that they can no longer accept any more stalls, including entertainment and catering. 

"We have quite a nice variety of stalls including heritage open days, the Gosport D-Day Fellowship, Utilita and Utility Warehouse," said Penny. "We also have stalls selling jam, chutney and a variety of food items, as well as 'prize every time' stalls.

"It really will be a fun, family event. We have a petting farm, Juggling Jake's Circus, a chance to have a go a mono cycling, and you will be able to see a small hovercraft up close to learn more about the Hovercraft Museum. We have face-painters, soft archery, a kids' toboggan and ceramic painting.

"As for catering, we will be offering a full bar service from the Rose & Crown, you can also buy coffee and cakes from a old horse box which has been beautifully renovated. There will be ice cream stalls and the Hayling Hog Roast will be there too.

"We are delighted to have been supported by so many organisations and businesses to help make this a fantastic family day out."

A key ingredient of the day is the vehicle rally. So far, 150 vehicles of various vintages will be exhibiting, with more expected on the day. There is still time to pre-register your vehicle if you wish to exhibit, with the closing date falling on August 22nd. It's £4 per car and £2 per motorcycle. You can also register on the day from 8am at a cost of £5 per car and £3 for motorcycles. For more details email:

The day itself runs from 10am to 4pm. Public entry is £2 per adult, with children admitted free. All proceeds will go towards the Mayor of Gosport's charities, and the Rotary club's benevolent fund.






July 23rd, 2022

GOSPORT Rotary Club provided an end-of-term treat for schoolchildren from Heathfield School in Fareham by taking them to the zoo.

Twenty-four children and their teachers from the school which looks after youngsters with a range of special educational needs, travelled to Marwell Zoo as part of the Rotary KidsOut scheme. They were accompanied by Gosport Rotarians, Lesley Brunink and Ray Drake.

Wearing bright blue baseball hats, the children had a wonderful time at the zoo near Winchester. "We had to dodge a few showers," reported Lesley. 

"One of them we spent sheltering from the rain in the penguin observatory building. We were able to help the children view the wide range of animals there, and talk to some very informative keepers."

The first national Rotary KidsOut Day took place in 1990, and since then it has turned into the biggest single outing for disadvantaged children in the UK. Covid put paid to the trips during the pandemic, as in 2019 28,000 children took part at more than 100 venues across the UK.

But KidsOut is back and is run in conjunction with Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland. Gosport Rotary Club was among several clubs in Hampshire organising and funding the trips. Whether the children live with critical health issues, in a refuge, or with a disability, children across the country are taken on a fun day out to the zoo, a theme park or the seaside, often for the first time in their lives.

At Marwell Zoo, the Heathfield schoolchildren were joined by hundreds of youngsters from other special needs schools in the region, who gathered in front of the manor house to enjoy a picnic. "The children made quick work of eating the sandwiches, crisps and chocolate bars provided," added Lesley.

"The staff at Heathfield were very welcoming, and they do an amazing job caring for and teaching youngsters with a wide range of special needs.

"For child safeguarding reasons, we did not take pictures, but it was a delight to see them enjoy themselves.

"Ray has received thank you letters from the children. For me, it was made worthwhile when a young boy came up to me as I waited for my lift home and asked if I was part of the people who had paid for the trip. When I said 'yes', he replied: 'Thank you so much. It was a good day and I am so happy!'"

Rotary KidsOut web link:


July 21st, 2022

SOUTHSEA Castle Rotarian, Ken Ebbens, was the first guest speaker of the new Rotary year for a club meeting held at the Old Lodge in Alverstoke.

Ken spoke about the delicate subject of estranged grandparents, picking on his own personal experience and the connections he has with the Bristol Grandparents' Support Group.

He pointed out that there are roughly two million children in Britain who are denied contact with their grandparents due to family breakdowns. Ken also explained that 38% of grandparents also provide some form of daycare for families in the UK. 

Family breakdowns occur for a variety of reasons; separation and divorce, drug and alcohol dependency, violence within the home, as well as bereavement and family feud.

Ken described the consequences of these breakdowns, but pointed out how every child has the right to a loving and caring relationship with their parents, unless it is proved unsafe for the child. The talk prompted an interesting discussion.

At the beginning of the meeting, club President, Julie Edwards, inducted Janette Donnelly as a new member of Gosport Rotary Club.


July 20th, 2022

ROTARIANS Colin Davey and Les Blackburn have both been recognised by the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire for the work they do, on behalf of the Rotary club, for the charity AOK (Acts of Kindness).

AOK, which is based in Fareham, was founded in 2014 by Kerry Snuggs. Since then, they have carried out thousands of acts of kindness to support communities in Fareham and Gosport.

During the Covid pandemic, the Fareham and Gosport basic food bank closed. AOK stepped in and became the food bank for the area. The organisation's volunteers also helped deliver prescriptions for those who were shielding, and made regular calls to vulnerable and isolated people in the community.

AOK says: "We are committed to making a difference to local communities in the Fareham and Gosport areas with a range of projects from our laptop appeal to help local schoolchildren, Christmas presents for adults and children, and our thank you gifts to frontline NHS workers." 

Gosport Rotary Club has worked closely with AOK and their food bank, with regularly support in buying food for the charity to distribute.

Earlier this month, Colin represented Gosport Rotary Club at the Mayor's Parlour in Fareham who was hosting the Lord Lieutenant's presentation to AOK Solent of the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. This was originally awarded in 2020 and is the highest awarded presented by Her Majesty to voluntary groups across the United Kingdom.

The presentation was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, the Mayor and Mayoress of Fareham, Councillor Mike Ford and Anne Ford, together with 16 guests invited by AOK. These guests included some of the AOK key workers, as well as representatives of organisations, such as Rotary, who have supported the charity.

The Lord Lieutenant explained that the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service was inaugurated in 2016. It is awarded to voluntary organisations following the same procedure as individual honours such as an MBE and OBE. The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service remains with the organisation until they cease operating. In Hampshire, only four awards were made in 2020.

Mr Atkinson explained that in addition to receiving the award, the organisations were also entitled to nominate a small number of people to receive a special recognition medallion to record their support.

Colin Davey was presented with one of those medallions in Fareham, and at a recent club meeting, club President, Julie Edwards, presented Les with the other to mark their support to AOK over the years. Both Colin (far right) and Les are pictured with Julie at the Rotary meeting. 

AOK website:


July 16th, 2022

THE 2nd Gosport Scouts are the owners of a large marquee, thanks to Gosport Rotary Club.

Assistant Section Leader for the Scouts, Drew Jordan-Gunfield, was pleased to receive the marquee from Gosport Rotary's Les Blackburn, and now has the task of how to fit it together!

"The Rotary club wasn't going to use the marquee any more, so the Scouts were very pleased with their new acquisition and are looking forward to using it in future," explained Les.

There has been a 2nd Gosport Scout group since 1910, but this folded in 1949. The group re-formed and registered with the Scout Association in 1968 where it has been based in Rowner. They run Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and Squirrels sections. 

The Rotary club has only recently been directly involved with the Scout group. The marquee was used by the Rotary club for the annual vehicle rally. The Scouts will use it for camps and outdoor events, and will possibly share it with Alver Valley School, where they are based.

"As of yet, they've not had a chance to erect or inspect the marquee," added Les. "I hope it is okay.

"I think it is great for the Rotary club to get involved with groups such as the Scouts and Guides and help where and when we can."


July 11th, 2022


MORE than 100 people attended a charity fund-raiser at the home of Rotary President, Julie Edwards.

The event, organised jointly with Julie's partner, Ray Bezani, featured a hog roast and an imaginative series of horse races which involved a dice, six wooden horses, and the threat of a bucket of water for the owner of any horse which fell at the water jump! 

On a gorgeous, sun-kissed afternoon of fun, the event raised £1,400 for Gosport Rotary Club's charities, as well as those of the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Although the horse race fund-raiser has been running for a few years, this was the first time Rotary has been involved, and it proved to be a very successful day.



July 9th, 2022

THREE Gosport Rotarians were honoured at the Gosport Volunteer Awards for their work in the community.

Penny Harris, Les Blackburn and Ray Drake were all recognised at the prestigious awards ceremony which was held at the Alverbank and attended by Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, and the Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Jamie Hutchison.

Some 120 people attended the event to honour and celebrate the achievements of Gosport's volunteers who give their time and skills on a regular, long-term basis to improve the lives of local, and often the most vulnerable residents within the borough.

The ceremony coincided with Volunteers' Week and helped kick off the #MonthofCommunity celebrations - an initiative launched by the national organisation, NCVO, to thank volunteers across the country and encourage others to think about volunteering.

Colin Davey was among seven recipients of a lifetime achievement award to recognise an incredible 20 years of voluntary service. Les Blackburn and Penny Harris also received awards - they were among 110 volunteers representing 24 organisations.

Besides her prodigious work for Rotary, now serving as club secretary, Penny has kept busy since retiring in 2008.

She has been the Michaelmas Fayre and Vehicle Rally secretary for a number of years, she was on the Gosport D-Day committee for some time, and is still an associate researcher delivering talks for the organisation. Penny also spent 12 years serving on the Anglesey Conservation Group, including spells as chairman and secretary and she has been volunteering at a local cemetery since 2003. 

Kay Hallsworth, Chief Executive Officer of Gosport Voluntary Action, praised the invaluable contributions of Gosport's community. She said: "Without volunters, a huge number of organisations would cease to be, and the most vulnerable in society would lose a valuable lifeline.

"I would like to thank each and every person who took the time to recognise their volunteers for these awards. In times when everyone is struggling financially, it is important that we find ways to recognise and reward people for what they do, and this is a simple way for organisations to do so." 


June 23rd, 2022


INCOMNG Rotary President, Julie Edwards, praised the work of 2021-22 club President, Peter Colebourne, at the annual installation dinner.

Julie should have taken over as President 12 months ago, but ill-health meant she had to put back plans while Peter took over at the helm at short notice. She praised the work of Peter and the club over the past 12 months, and explained it was the support of the club, with the focus of becoming only Gosport Rotary's second female President, which had helped her recovery.

The dinner, which was held at the Hornet Services Sailing Club, was attended by Gosport Mayor, Cllr Jamie Hutchison, and Bill Carey, District Governor-Elect for District 1110.

Peter thanked members of the club for their support over the past 12 months, highlighting the work which had been achieved and more than £20,000 which was raised for community causes. Peter presented the Mayor with a cheque towards his charity fund.



June 16th, 2022

SO what exactly does Gosport Rotary Club do? At the annual meeting of the club, Simon Mason, who chairs the Foundation and International Committee, and Ray Drake, who heads up the Community Committee, reviewed a busy past 12 months where the club has made a major contribution to the local community in numerous ways.

  • A raffle organised at Vehicle Rally staged at Stokes Bay last August raised £590 which went towards the humanitarian charity, ShelterBox, to help with their Haiti Earthquake Appeal. The club donated the value of two ShelterBoxes to the charity which will have gone to support their work in Haiti and the Philippines.
  • One hundred polio crocus badges were sold to mark World Polio Day, with funds going towards End Polio Now - a Rotary cause focused on wiping out polio globally. A raffle was also held during the Trafalgar Dinner which raised £307 for End Polio Now - a sum which will have been doubled by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Hundreds of Easter eggs were donated to the AOK Food Bank thanks to donations made by the public at Asda, and Dugi and Derek's cafe in the High Street, as well as numerous individual donations.
  • The Rotary club continues to support the AOK Food Bank and provide them with food on a monthly basis. The club has also worked to support the women's refuge directly by donating needed items. The club has spent around £3,000 to support the local community this year in a number of ways.
  • Despite the problems of Covid, 648 shoeboxes were collected and stuffed with festive goodies which were later shipped to Eastern Europe as part of the Rotary Shoebox Appeal. We were greatly supported by Dimons Estate Agents and Asda. With donations of £906, this helped the club meet the cost of providing shoeboxes to send to disadvantaged folk at Christmas time.
  • Club members raised £108 for the charity Mary's Meals - a Scottish charity which funds and serves nutritious meals to children living in some of the world's poorest countries. This sum was doubled to £216 by the organisation 'Double the Love'.
  • The club organised two collections for Ukraine by the Gosport ferry terminal. Over two weekends, the public generously donated £1734 which was packaged as part of Rotary's District Ukrainian Appeal.
  • A collection pot by the Gosport ferry was opened for the first time for many years, and filled with 20p and 50p pieces. A total of £475 was raised, which was donated to our own Rotary charity for community work.
  • Work with Gosport's youth continued with the successful staging of Youth Speaks and Young Chef competitions among schoolchildren over the winter. A KidsOut day taking Heathfield schoolchildren to Marwell Zoo was successfully organised this summer.
  • The club continues to sponsor a GRABS bursary worth £750 to a Gosport student to help them with their education. 


June 11th, 2022

THE 2nd Gosport Scouts are looking forward to their camping trips this summer thanks to Gosport Rotary Club.

Rotarian Les Blackburn was having a garage clear-out of old Water Aid boxes which would no longer be useful to the charity, which provides clean water and toilets to communities around the world. Gosport Rotary Club has enjoyed a long-standing relationship supporting Water Aid.

"After saving the water pumps, and throwing away all the out-of-date items, I was left with a box of cooking utensils," said Les.

So, the Rotary club contacted the Rowner-based 2nd Gosport Scouts to ask if they could put the equipment to good use - and they were delighted.

This week, the Rotary club received a letter of thanks from the troop leader, Jennie, aka Athena.

She wrote: "We at the 2nd Gosport Scouts would just like to say a huge thank you for the box of cooking utensils. These will be incredibly useful for upcoming events and will allow the scouts to complete cooking independent meals.

"We really are grateful. The scouts loved having a good rummage through the box. It was like a mini Christmas."

Some of the other equipment which Les sorted from the redundant Water Aid boxes have gone to the charity AOK (Acts of Kindness), which supports the community in Fareham and Gosport. "This really is Rotary doing good in the community," added Les.


June 9th, 2022

DINE with the President is an annual event to show thanks to the club President as they come to the end of their term in office.

Peter Colebourne's term of office finishes on June 30th, and so to mark their appreciation Rotarians took him out for dinner at the Sapori Italian restaurant in Lee-on-the-Solent. It was a black tie event with fabulous food at this popular eaterie.


May 19th, 2022

HISTORIAN Monica Shilling providing a fascinating insight to the background of the Haslar Royal Navy Cemetery at the Rotary club’s weekly meeting.

Monica’s husband, Derek, is Sexton at the cemetery, looking after the 14-acre burial grounds which were opened in 1859. The Royal Hospital Haslar nearby opened in October 1753.

This is the final resting place of more than 4,000 sailors, merchantmen, submariners, Royal Flying Corps, marines, wrens and a tiny corner plot with a number of children’s graves.

Photo © Mike Fahertycc-by-sa/2.0


May 4th, 2022

GOSPORT Rotary is pleased to support the Gosport Women's Refuge and the charity Stop Domestic Abuse.

  •  One in four women experience domestic abuse
  •  One in seven children experience domestic abuse
  •  One in six men experience domestic abuse

Anyone can experience domestic abuse regardless of gender, race, ethnic or religious group, sexuality, class, or disability.

Gosport Rotary has been supporting the Gosport Women's Refuge over the past two years.

Each year we set aside a sum of money for them to buy essential items eg: a slow cooker for kitchen, children’s high chairs, clothes airers. They always need new towels for the ladies and children who often arrive with nothing.

This week, we received a letter of thanks after donating a large bag of new towels to the refuge.


May 1st, 2022

Picture courtesy of Churcher's Solicitors

THE sun shone and more than £11,000 was raised as part of a golf day staged at Stokes Bay Golf Club.

The event was organised by Rotarian Will Donnelly, supported by Gosport Rotary Club and a host of Hampshire businesses.

Money raised from the day will go towards the charity Prostate Cancer UK. Will explained that he organised the golf day for personal reasons. He said: "Twelve months I was diagnosed with an incurable form of prostate cancer.

"This form of cancer is curable if diagnosed early enough but causes the death of thousands of men every year and it is therefore of immense importance that as much research is done to find a cure."

After the event, Gosport Rotary Club President, Pete Colebourne, thanked Will and his organising team for their efforts, adding: "I wanted to congratulate you and Tony on a brilliant day at Stokes Bay yesterday, and thanks too to Janette, & your families, for catering for those of us who entered a team.

"The organisation was brilliant, and it was great to see so many people staying for the auction and presentations. Happy to support you, and pleased you have raised such an amazing total for your charity.

"I was moved by your thank you speech, which you kept light, somehow, whilst telling people how this disease affects you, and welcoming the contributions, so more research can be funded.

"And you finished with a reminder for all men to get checked out. Thank you.

"The response from your friends who bought auction prizes and their applause( & heckling), tells you how much they appreciate you."

Will is a partner with Churcher's Solicitors. The golf day featured a Texas Scramble involved teams of four, alongside a raffle and a charity auction to raise vital funds for prostate cancer fighters.

President Peter Colbourne teeing up on the tenth.


April 29th, 2022

GOSPORT MP Caroline Dinenage visited the Rotary club for our weekly meeting at the Old Lodge in Alverstoke.

Caroline spoke to us about how she got into politics, which was as a local councillor for Hambledon, her canvassing experiences, becoming a minister and how she moved between various ministerial roles.

She has been our MP for 10 years now. Caroline told Rotarians how she is enjoying being a back bencher and getting more involved with local issues.

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'What We Do' Main Pages:

Rotary graphic

Details of activities at Gosport Rotary Club


Every August Bank Holiday, Gosport Rotary hosts this fun event at Stokes Bay, overlooking the Solent.

Royal Navy band pic

An annual September fund-raiser for Gosport charities


A charity fun run held at Stokes Bay on Sunday, December 3rd.

Rotary Shoebox Scheme

The Gosport Rotary Club Shoebox Appeal collects filled shoeboxes and sends them to deserving underprivileged children in Eastern Europe.


Gosport Rotary Club organises a number of youth competitions each year, across a number of disciplines, as a platform for our youngsters to shine.

Rotary graphic

Gosport Rotary Club supports The Rotary Foundation which is Rotary's charity. All monies raised are transformed into projects which change lives, both close to home and around the world.


Associate Members enjoy all the benefits of being a Rotarian, but without the full commitment.

Rotary opens opportunities

Gosport Rotary Club sits at the heart of the community and works with a number of business partners. Why not join us and let's work together?


Gosport Rotary is dishing out thousands of pounds to community causes to celebrate King Charles' coronation