2018 Archive

Some of the events throughout 2018

David Hatcher, ShelterBox

11 January 2018

The first speaker of 2018, David Hatcher from Medway, a ShelterBox Response Team Leader, brought members down to earth with a bump in addressing the club when, with the aid of a power point demonstration, he highlighted the importance of ShelterBoxes in response to disasters around the world. 27.5 million people, he said, were homeless around the world due to natural disasters while a staggering 88 million were without homes due to man made disasters such as war in the Middle East and other conflicts. Events in the UK that are often called disasters rarely meet the scale of global disasters and are merely “incidents” he said.

ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that provides temporary shelter and life-saving supplies to displaced families. It was founded in 2000 in Helston, Cornwall and the Rotary club of Helston-Lizard adopted it as its millennium project. Shelterbox transforms lives after disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, volcanic eruptions, floods whether in Nepal, Bangladesh, Haiti or Malaysia to name just a few countries that have benefited from ShelterBoxes. The objective is to help 1 million people a year by 2025.

Each ShelterBox typically contains a tent designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, water purification kit, blankets, tools, and other necessities to help a family survive after a disaster. The contents of a ShelterBox are tailored to the nature and location of the disaster. In Haiti where 2.3 million lost their homes 1/3rd of all the ‘tentage’ subsequently delivered was from ShelterBox which relies entirely on voluntary contributions and public donations to operate.

ShelterBox Response Teams distribute boxes on the ground, working closely with local organisations, international aid agencies and Rotary Clubs worldwide. The Rotary Club of Dover, along with other local clubs, frequently donates money to provide ShelterBoxes for use after disasters.

Interact Quiz Evening

12 January 2018

The local Interact Club based at Dover Grammar School for Girls held a well-attended Quiz Night at the school on Friday (12th) to raise funds for their two charities for this year, the Samphire Project and The Life Foundation.

The Samphire Project supports ex-detainees nationwide who face destitution and hardship after detention. Such people are not allowed to work in the UK or to access social support. The Life Foundation works in Oltenia, Romania, with children and adults who live in government care and have some form of developmental delay, physical and / or learning disability. The project runs all year round with local staff and volunteers.

The evening raised £400 through entrance fee and raffle proceeds. Those attending included members of the Dover Rotary Club, led by President Dave Smith.

Interact Clubs bring together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of Service Above Self and organize at least two projects every year, one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding. Rotary club sponsors mentor and guide Interactors as they carry out projects and develop leadership skills. Gillian Pollard of the Rotary Club of Dover is the current mentor for the Dover Interact Club, whose President is Owen Esson.

Young Carers' Panto Visit

13 January 2018

Accompanied by Rotarian David Fisher and his wife Liz, President Dave Smith welcomed as guests of the Rotary Club of Dover 24 young carers from the Dover SmArt Project to the DODS Pantomime Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood.

A fantastic time was had by all - oh yes it was! President Dave told us that taking the Young Carers to the panto was another highlight of his Presidential Year. The smiles and laughter said it all and certainly 'made a difference'.

Pictured with some of the the young carers are President Dave Smith and pantomime dame Winnie Widebottom, aka Adam Parks.

John Hippisley, Kent Assoc for the Blind

15 February 2018

The history and the importance of the Kent Association for the Blind was described to members of the Rotary Club of Dover by John Hippisley, volunteer with the Association, in a very interesting and light-hearted address recently. John, who speaks eight languages, explained the Association assists people with sight impairment to live independent lives.

KAB was born in 1920 to address the needs of the many soldiers returning from the World War One battlefields with sight impairment caused by mustard gas. At that time it attended to the needs of some 900 sight impaired people each year but currently it assists some 11,000 such people per year.

Explaining that sight impairment can affect anyone from children to senior citizens John demonstrated, with a power point illustration, what loss of sight means in terms of an inability to appreciate the beauty of nature, of not seeing people and items such as planes. With bases in Maidstone, Canterbury, Bromley and Medway KAB provides a range of services to people across Kent and South London including mobility training, help to learn new skills for daily living, the provision of specialist equipment, advice and, through a network of local clubs, leisure activities where social support is given to sight impaired people.

Eye Clinic Liaison Officers provide support to people in hospital eye clinics where people often receive the bad news that nothing can be done medically to help their sight loss. At what can be a traumatic time ECLOs provide on-the-spot emotional support and practical advice about the range of help KAB and others can provide. A range of courses in assistive technology is available and free talking newspapers help sight impaired people to be aware of events and news in their local community. On behalf of the Rotary Club President Dave Smith presented John with a cheque for £250 for the work of the KAB.

Nathan Tough, Porchlight

22 February 2018

Assaults on homeless rough sleepers have “gone through the roof” in Kent, including in Dover, according to Nathan Tough the Community and Corporate Fundraising Officer for Porchlight.

Porchlight, the homelessness charity, identified 707 rough sleepers in Kent (excluding Medway) last year which painted a very “bleak picture” said Mr Tough. Disturbingly there was a 72% rise in rough sleepers aged 24 and younger and the number of female rough sleepers was on the way up but, on the positive side, Porchlight secured an 84% ‘save rate’ from those it identified as rough sleepers. The Porchlight help line is mostly operated by previous rough sleepers who have benefited from the charity’s activities and now act as volunteers for it. In addition to the homeless aspect of the people aided by Porchlight many had mental health issues, some 40% across the County, while physical health issues also were a challenge for rough sleepers particularly as they lose their right to be registered with GPs if they have no permanent address.

Porchlight runs Supported Accommodation Facilities where rough sleepers can stay for up to two years and in Dover Fern Court provides such accommodation and is the only facility in the County where a dog can be housed along with its rough sleeper owner. Mr Tough said it was an uphill battle to move people on after that because of issues surrounding the availability of Housing Benefit and private Landlord prejudices against those claiming the benefit. Contrary to popular perception that rough sleeping arises because of drunkenness and drug taking many who become homeless do so following a relationship breakdown and an inability to pay rent. They often spend a period “sofa surfing” with friends before ending up in shop doorways or parks or alleys where they are often verbally abused, physically assaulted or even urinated on. Approached by Porchlight volunteers rough sleepers must show a commitment to engage with its services to benefit from its resources. Mr Tough highlighted a case study on a CD presentation and described activities by Porchlight volunteers in the City of Canterbury, which has a significant rough sleeper problem. With just 230 members of staff 70% of its income comes from statutory funding the remaining 30% being from voluntary donations.

Thanking Mr Tough for his address Past President the Reverend Peter Sherred highlighted the importance of people being made aware of the issue of homelessness and its causes. Porchlight through its volunteers offered the good of humanity, he said, to those less fortunate who fall into such difficult circumstances.

Stefan Walters, Operation Raleigh, Nepal

15 March 2018

Dover plumber Stefan Walters, 25, travelled with a team to Nepal from  Raleigh International and fell in love with the place and its people. So much in love with one, Mnamrata, that he’s now waiting to go back to get married to her.


Stefan, educated at St Edmund’s school, told members of Dover Rotary Club of his experiences while in Nepal and how he felt on returning to Dover.


“Before I went to Nepal I was warned it would prove a culture shock. In fact, the culture shock came when I returned to Dover and realised the differences,” said Stefan who screened photographs of his time in Nepal.


He explained, that at just coming up to the age of 25 at the time, he was at Raleigh’s age limit and so was one of the eldest in the team. His three month task as a plumbing engineer was designed to help in water sanitation and hygiene. One feature he noticed was that women played a major role in the community because most of the men were away, working abroad. The community in Nepal was very family orientated so much so that it was considered a little rude to call anyone by their first name. Compared to the people he saw in Dover there were so many more happy faces in Nepal.


Questioned, he said he intended to return to Nepal permanently. He would not earn sufficiently as a plumber in Nepal but he hoped to be able to set up some kind of education centre.


*Raleigh International was previously known as Operation Raleigh and was founded by Colonel John Blashford Snell who, at one stage, was stationed in Dover while in charge of the Junior Leaders’ Regiment, Royal Engineers, at Old Park Barracks, Whitfield.

Becky Beard, Stroke Association

05 April 2018

The need to respond quickly to signs of a stroke in a person was emphasised by Chloe Braidford, Community and Events Fundraiser with the Stroke Association when she addressed members of Dover Rotary Club. She reminded members there were two principal causes of stroke relating to impairment in the brain. A blockage in blood vessels in the brain resulted in an ischaemic stroke which accounted for 80% of stroke victims or a bleed in the brain accounting for 20%.

More than 100,000 strokes occurred per annum and each stroke can lead either to permanent complications for the rest of the person’s life or death. She indicated that the effect of stroke on a person’s life was immediate and profound but if a person suffering from an ischaemic stroke received a thrombolysis process within four hours blockages can be broken up, improving the chances of recovery. FAST was used to remind people that if a person’s Face showed signs of dropping, and / or an Arm could not be raised and / or Speech was impaired it was necessary to Think that a stroke was a medical emergency needing an immediate response.

45% of people subsequently discharged from hospital were affected by abandonment but in Kent the Stroke Association offered a range of supports for the rehabilitation process over a period of time. Notwithstanding long-term problems could include mobility or speech impairment, depression, memory loss, mood swings. Various risk factors were highlighted including high blood pressure and Chloe thanked the Club for its annual Stroke Awareness Day event in Dover where blood pressures of up to 400 people have been taken in one day in recent years.

Aided by her assistant Tilly, she illustrated her talk on a PowerPoint presentation. The Rotary Club members organise an annual Stroke Awareness Day in Dover Town Centre supported by Community First Responders and volunteers from the Ambulance Service, when free blood pressure checks are offered.

Parliament's Refurbishment

12 April 2018

How the familiar external image of the Houses of Parliament was determined by a stack system for the ventilation of the building was described by Henrik Schoenefeldt, Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Architecture at the University of Kent, when he addressed members of the Rotary Club of Dover.


The restoration of the Houses of Parliament is not without complexity due to the fact it comprises a World Heritage Site as well as presenting challenges over the occupation or otherwise of the structure during restoration and the cost involved. Following a 2012 inquiry a committee recommended that to bring the structure up to C21 standards all members of the Houses of Parliament should vacate the building together with all staff. If there was no vacating the restoration was likely to cost in the region of £5.5bn and take 31-35 years, if there was partial vacating the cost would be in the region of £4.42bn over an 11 – 15 year period while if the restoration proceeded with a complete vacation of the building the cost would be in the region of £3.87bn over a 6 – 10 year period. Parliamentarians have voted for complete vacation of the building.


It was in the early C19 that a fire at the Palace of Westminster provided an opportunity to rebuild the place and a design produced by Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin was selected for the rebuild but a Scot called David Reid came up with a centralised ventilation system where fresh air was introduced through air shafts inside the Victoria Tower and what is now known as Queen Elizabeth 11 Tower (housing the famous clock Big Ben). In addition to the two towers, which had been envisaged by Barry, a third Central Tower was considered necessary. With all these features in place air would be drawn into the building through the air shafts and provided to all rooms and chambers via the basement of the building with the assistance of steam powered fans while the Central Tower would act as an ‘exhaust pipe’ for hot air to be ejected. The stack ventilation system was adopted but the concept of the Central Tower was replaced by a series of smaller towers or turrets on the roof line to create today’s familiar outline. Reid’s system was subsequently modified to improve ventilation and air quality but lasted to the 1940s.


Mr Schoenefeldt explained that following the destruction of the House of Commons in World War 2 a more modern air conditioning system to replace what was thought to be an antiquated arrangement was introduced but the proposed wholesale refurbishment on offer enables the opportunity to revisit the Victorian historic system as stack ventilation is seen currently as a facility that creates a sustainable system in large buildings. Research carried out by Henrik Schoenefeldt suggests that the Victorian legacy could inform the proposed restoration in a sustainable way for contemporary and future standards to be met because former coal fires, furnaces and gas lights utilised to influence the air chambers no longer existed or were required. 25% of the building known as the Palace of Westminster was made up as space simply for the circulation of air – “it is simply a hollow building” said Mr Schoenefeldt  where over the time a huge clustering of services for water, power and heating in the form of pipes and wires had accumulated and the restoration provided an opportunity to remove all of these and to replace them with modern and comprehensive facilities for a C21 standard. Reconstructing Parliament’s C19 ventilation system brought together Heritage and Technology to provide sustainability.

Mr Schoenefeldt is on secondment from the University of Kent to Parliament as part of the Design arrangements for Parliament’s refurbishment.

'Nursing - What a Carry On'

26 April 2018

The remarkable life story of a theatre nurse was presented to members of the Rotary Club of Dover when Marianne Slater of Guston described her 40-year journey as a nurse until she retired from full time employment in 2015 when at the time she was working as a theatre nurse at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

Mrs Slater, who is well known locally within the Christian Community, is one of the Churchwardens at St Mary in Castro and is Secretary of Christians Together in Dover as well as being involved in other organisations and bodies such as the local Food Bank.

Coming from a medical and nursing family background after a brief period of employment with Lilley and Skinner she began her nursing career in 1979 when five out of six hospitals to where she had applied offered her a training post. She began at Westminster Hospital and her career took her to some thirteen hospitals in London and the Home Counties and some ten operating theatres. Much changed in the nursing vocation during her period as a nurse which began in the days of starched aprons and white hats for nurses and she admitted to some difficult times early on - when the Chelsea nail bomb went off she was on duty at Westminster hospital which took in sixty patients in just two hours through A & E and she was also on duty when the Hyde Park Bomb was detonated. From her vast experience in differing hospitals, in private and public sectors, she said she was only too well aware that “degrees do not make a good nurse” and over her years she was responsible for the organisation, or reorganisation, of practices and procedures in operating theatres and the training of nurses and doctors who worked in those environments.

Mrs Slater who married her husband David, Dover Port Chaplain, in 1983 holds a Diploma in Horticulture and devotes much of her retirement free time to her garden where she and her husband are self- sufficient in the provision of vegetables.

Stroke Awareness Day

05 May 2018

Members of the Rotary Clubs of Dover and South Foreland are celebrating yet another successful ‘Know your Blood Pressure’ Day as part of the Stroke Association’s campaign to raise the awareness of Stroke, its causes and consequences. On Saturday, in glorious warm sunshine and assisted by volunteers from the local ambulance service (SECAmb), Community First Responders and members of Red Cross plus Chris Scoble, Boots’ Pharmacist, hundreds of members of the public took advantage of a free blood pressure check either in the open air of Dover’s precinct or in the Parish Centre of St Mary the Virgin Cannon Street.

Ages of those taking advantage of the service, which was available between the hours of 10.00 and 4pm, ranged from 11 to 95. After the conclusion of the exercise President Dave Smith of the Dover club thanked the volunteers for what he called “a very good and rewarding day” before giving them tokens of appreciation for their voluntary involvement. The event was co-ordinated by Rotarian Tony Cook, a Past President of the Rotary Club of Sandwich but currently a member of the Dover Club, and the Rev’d Peter Sherred, a Past President of the Dover Club and former ambulance chaplain for Dover, was instrumental in securing the services of the professional volunteers so important to the day.

Interact Club Handover

23 May 2018

The Interact Club, sponsored by the Rotary Club Dover, held its Presidential handover when outgoing President Owen Esson reported on a highly successful year 2017-2018. Two charities were the beneficiaries of the Club’s successful fundraising which had involved a highly successful disco evening, a quiz and Sports Day event as well as a Bingo evening. The charities receiving cheques from the £1363 raised were the local organisation Samphire and the International project supported by the Club called Life which provides, among other things, social and other support to children in Romania. Angie Murphy from Samphire thanked the Club members for their donation and indicated it would be used to alleviate the difficulties encountered by asylum seekers and others released from Detention Centre confinement. Maisie Batts accepted the cheque on behalf of the other charity. Owen also reported on joint events with the Rotary Club of Dover including being engaged in the annual Christmas collections and participating in the highly successful Christmas event at St Mary in Castro in which he read a lesson.

Robert Benson, headteacher of the Girls’ Grammar school, praised the pupils’ efforts and social awareness and expressed the hope that more and more students would become socially aware and engaged in the community. He particularly thanked Rotarian Gillian Pollard of the Dover Club, who has acted as link person between the clubs and mentor of the Interact club, for her support. The close connection between the two clubs was evidenced by the attendance at the Handover of President of the Rotary Club Dave Smith together with the Club’s President Elect Barbara Stapleton and Vice President David Fisher as well as Past President Peter Sherred.

The new team for the year 2018-2019 will be led by Abbey Tapley as President, Jake Dunne as Vice President with Fern Smith as Secretary and Daisy Lewis Treasurer.

Rodgers & Hammerstein Evening

02 June 2018

Members of the Rotary Clubs of Dover and South Foreland are celebrating yet another successful ‘Know your Blood Pressure’ Day as part of the Stroke Association’s campaign to raise the awareness of Stroke, its causes and consequences. On Saturday, in glorious warm sunshine and assisted by volunteers from the local ambulance service (SECAmb), Community First Responders and members of Red Cross plus Chris Scoble, Boots’ Pharmacist, hundreds of members of the public took advantage of a free blood pressure check either in the open air of Dover’s precinct or in the Parish Centre of St Mary the Virgin Cannon Street.

Ages of those taking advantage of the service, which was available between the hours of 10.00 and 4pm, ranged from 11 to 95. After the conclusion of the exercise President Dave Smith of the Dover club thanked the volunteers for what he called “a very good and rewarding day” before giving them tokens of appreciation for their voluntary involvement. The event was co-ordinated by Rotarian Tony Cook, a Past President of the Rotary Club of Sandwich but currently a member of the Dover Club, and the Rev’d Peter Sherred, a Past President of the Dover Club and former ambulance chaplain for Dover, was instrumental in securing the services of the professional volunteers so important to the day. For the third year in succession the Rotary Club of Dover has staged a successful summer event for the public of Dover this year based in the Town Hall on 2nd June when an evening of Show Classics was introduced by President Dave Smith featuring local youth talent. It was organised to benefit the work of local charity The Dover smART Project.

Members of The Dover Youth Theatre opened the evening’s events with a variety of extracts from popular shows. This troupe, comprising many very young participants, set a good standard for the rest of the evening. Founded in 1995 The Dover Youth Theatre was conceived as a means of expanding the opportunity for young people to learn more about drama and dance and related subjects.

Following a basket meal those attending were treated to an amazing and exhausting display of Irish dancing by members of the Dean Academy of Performing Arts (DAPA). Many DAPA teachers have performed at the highest level on the professional stage and can encourage and develop those students who have the ability and determination to pursue a career in the theatre.

The evening was rounded off by two very competent and powerful soloists Mark Yarrow and Alice Vane whose content included songs from Oklahoma!, The Sound of Music, The King and I, Carousel and South Pacific some sung as duets. The evening was rounded off with a rousing version of “You’ll never walk alone” with audience participation.

The Dover smART Project was established in 2013 and supports vulnerable and disadvantaged people though community art projects and was a winner of The People of Dover Awards in 2018. The Project was one of President Dave Smith’s nominated charities of the year which year has had a specific theme of support for the youth of the town.

Visit to Samphire Hoe

21 June 2018

Rounding off his very successful year as President of the Rotary Club of Dover Dave Smith chaired his last meeting of members and guests in the Education Centre of Samphire Hoe on Thursday 21st June2018 where the guest speaker was Partnership Officer of White Cliffs Countryside Partnership and Ranger of the Hoe, Paul Holt.

Run on behalf of Eurotunnel the Hoe hosts 90,000 visitors a year making it one of Dover’s busiest tourist attractions. Paul reminded those present that part of the site was the location of the original attempt to build a Channel Tunnel in 1880 and a second unsuccessful attempt in 1970 which was aborted on financial grounds. The industrial heritage of the area also included the siting of the first Kent coalfield in the Shakespeare Cliff Colliery, which eventually failed due to flooding issues that incurred loss of life, as well as the creation of the railway line between Dover and Folkestone in the nineteenth century.

Reclaimed from the sea by the spoil from the successful Channel Tunnel development the area of land which now comprises an impressive nature reserve derived its name from a competition which was won by the late Gillian Janaway wife of the present Secretary of the Rotary Club Philip Janaway. The nature reserve now boasts some 1200 Early Spider Orchids, 28 species of butterfly and 200 species of birds as well as being a haven for newts, grasshoppers, adders and other small animals and insects.

An obviously enthusiastic promoter of the joys of the Hoe Paul told of the large numbers of school children who visit the site many of whom have either never visited the countryside before nor, indeed, seen the sea. Among the guests at the lunch and talk were members of the local Inner Wheel Club and Dover Mercury Reporter Sam Lennon.

The Education Centre was originally part funded by the Rotary Club and as the last cheque presentation of his year Dave Smith gave a cheque for £200 to Paul Holt for the acquisition of a log splitter used by volunteers who weekly attend the site to split logs. A previous splitter had just recently broken. John Hunnisett proposed a vote of thanks in which he praised Paul’s talk and the passion he shows for this unique piece of England that is Samphire Hoe.

Rotary Beer Festival

22 June 2018

It was a beautiful weekend in Dover - perfect for our 8th Annual Charity Beer Festival.

Here are a few pics...

Presidential Handover

28 June 2018

We marked the turning of the Rotary Year on 28th June as President Dave Smith handed over to President Barbara Stapleton.

We were delighted to welcome new member Rtn Ian Wright, joining us from the Rotary Club of Canterbury, who was supported by a gaggle of Canterbury Rotarians.

Rtn David Fisher is now President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Dover, and Rtn Tony Cook is Vice President for 2018-19. Past President Phil Janaway continues as Hon Sec and Rtn Jeremy Cope as Treasurer.

We thank them all for their Rotary service.

[Photo: Martin Collins]

[Photo: Martin Collins]

[Photo: Martin Collins]

Richard Barton, Team Malawi

12 July 2018

The thirst for education among the young in the African country of Malawi was emphasised during a lunchtime talk to our members. Guest speaker was Richard Barton, 49 years a UK teacher now retired, Chairman of the charity Team Malawi which is heavily engaged in providing educational facilities in the former British protectorate then known as Nyasaland. The population of the South East African country is now around 17 million.


Mr Barton, accompanied by his daughter Annie, told of the charity’s latest project of raising £11,500 to provide a primary school. He gave examples of how education was helping children in their careers.


He showed pictures of overcrowded nursery schools and open air secondary schools where there was a dire shortage of pencils and paper. Only one per cent of the students went on to further education - and only then if they and their families could afford the fees.


Responding to questions, he said there were signs of increasing Chinese influence, especially in the provision of roads and infrastructure.

Team Malawi - Annie Barton-Hodges (Fund-raising), Richard Barton (Chair) and our President Barbara Stapleton

Rtn Gillian Pollard, President Barbara, Interact President Abbey Tapley & Mrs Anne Griggs of DGGS

Visit to Fort Burgoyne

09 August 2018

On Thursday 9th August a party of club members together with representatives from the Rotary Club of Sandwich and Inner Wheel Club of Dover were given an in-depth tour of one of Dover’s great defensive structures (and probably the least well known) - Fort Burgoyne at Guston. The summer drought had just ended and much of the day was subject to heavy rain but this did not deter those who had signed up for this particular event and who gathered at the impressive parade ground of the Fort in the early evening as the weather eased. Robert Hough, volunteer with the Land Trust, guided the tour party round the exterior elements of the Fort using the former gun ramps to walk over the Casemates and inspecting substantial former gun emplacements before taking an internal tour of the massive structure viewing the casemated rooms which had been used for a variety of purposes from Officers’ Mess and quarters to barrack rooms and servants’ quarters, storerooms, kitchen, beer and wine cellars and other facilities for the garrison stationed at the Fort. The party was taken down a further floor and via a long illuminated tunnel to the lower level of the centre caponier. The tour was accompanied by an excellent talk by the Robert who explained the history of the Fort and its various features as the tour party proceeded round the structure.

Originally called Castle Hill Fort it was renamed by Queen Victoria after Sir John Fox Burgoyne, Inspector General of Fortifications, who died in 1871. The Fort itself was built between 1861-1868 with a primary function of defending Dover, specifically the castle, as a land front fortification but it also served as barracks for various regiments stationed in Dover from time to time. Designed to prevent enemy occupation of the high ground opposite Dover Castle it was a line of protection for the latter on its landward side and was edged by a deep ditch. Although probably obsolete by the turn of the twentieth century it was provided with large guns during World War Two and other protective measures, such as blast walls, but survived the conflict unscathed and remained in use in varying degrees to the late 1950s since when it has been largely unused. In recent years, released from the military, it forms part of the Land Trust’s property portfolio. The Land Trust is a national land management charity aiming to restore and maintain the site for community use as much as possible. The Trust arranges various opportunities to tour the historic structure, which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument of National Importance, otherwise it is closed to the public.

Organiser of the tour party Peter Sherred, Past President of the Rotary Club of Dover, said “it was an unforgettable opportunity to discover so much of Dover’s rich hidden history. The labyrinth of the tunnels and buildings underground was a real eye-opener and the external fortifications were also a great surprise. So often we take our local surroundings for granted and do not cherish their value as we should. It is only when we visit such an amazing historic military structure as Fort Burgoyne one realises just how blessed we are in Dover with such diverse historical sites. If only we could secure the resources to fully realise their potential!” Thanks were expressed to Chris Valdus, Fort Burgoyne Heritage Project Manager, and Kirsty Lee, White Cliffs Countryside Partnership Ranger, for enabling the visit.

Cheque Presentation

14 August 2018

Immediate Past President Dave Smith and President Barbara Stapleton have presented cheques to Dover SmART Project, Dover RNLI and Walmer RNLI.

Dover SmART Project was IPP Dave's nominated charity for 2017/18 and the funds will be used to cover running costs for the charity's van during the forthcoming year. 'Three's Company' (Judith Smith, Peter Whibley and Julia Mook) kindly donated their fee from our recent Presidential Handover to Dover SmART Project, too, and this will go towards a new printer. A huge thank you to them for ther generosity which will support the charity's work with groups such as Young Carers.

James Clapham, Coxswain of Dover Lifeboat, received the RNLI's cheque, the proceeds from our 2017 Carol Service at Dover Castle.

Dover Community Regata

26 August 2018

This year's Dover Regatta was adversely affected by howling winds and eventually torrential rain. In what was the hottest summer for many years it was perhaps the one weekend you wouldn't want to have chosen for such an event. Even the day before and the day after were not quite so bad as the Sunday itself!

Still, a stalwart band gathered at the seafront at 7.00am to erect the gazebo and roll-a-ball game. The morning was quite busy, although breezy, and a modest amount was raised for our international charity Team Malawi before we took the decision to strike the set at 1.00pm.

Here's to next year...!

Beach Clean

15 September 2018

A glorious late summer morning for our beach clean with the Rotary Club of South Foreland at St Margaret’s Bay and Samphire Hoe. Around 40 Rotarians working together to improve our environment, placing Service Above Self as always.

The event was organised in conjunction with the Marine Conservation Society and was part of their Big British Beach Clean Weekend. As well as the clean itself, a 100 metre stretch of each beach was surveyed and litter itemised and recorded. The data has been recorded and can be viewed on MCS website.

Rachel Gainsford, Grandmentors

25 October 2018

The experience of the more elderly can greatly help younger people, especially those who have had not much chance in life.


This was the message given to members of Dover Rotary Club by Rachel Gainsford when she spoke about the work of Grandmentors, a scheme initially started in London in 2009.


The scheme links younger people, including those who have been in care, with a mentor who has gained a lot of experience during a longer life. She also explained that the organisation also linked young asylum seekers with mentors.


Rachel, based in a centre in Melbourne Avenue, Dover, said younger people appreciated the difference about receiving help from volunteers compared with getting advice from people they knew were getting paid to do so.


One of the scheme’s greatest problems was geographical, with mentors and mentee living a distance apart. Mentors were checked, and trained, before beginning their volunteering duties.

Community Centre Clearance

10 November 2018

A good number of Dover Rotarians took the opportunity of some fine weather on two successive Saturdays to clear some overgrown greenery at St Radigund's Community Centre. 17 bags of green waste were removed, as well as some larger branches. The Club is grateful to Dover District Council for arranging to remove the waste.

The Centre is now in a very presentable state, with an improved sight-line when exiting the site onto Poulton Close. A great example of Rotary in action in the local community.

Remembrance Sunday

11 November 2018

President Barbara laid a wreath at the War Memorial in Dover on the 100th Anniversary of the First World War Armistice.

Quiz Evening for Team Malawi

22 November 2018

Cullins Yard was the location of a quiz run by the Rotary Club of Dover to raise monies for an international project where club members are currently working to support Team Malawi a family-run charity whose aims are education and the relief of poverty in Malawi. Club members are seeking to raise £3000 towards the cost of building a classroom at a primary school in Northern Malawi and have also pledged to support a woman studying to become Northern Malawi’s first female Clinical Officer. The club is raising £2000 towards her fees until she graduates and the club intends contributing also towards the cost of reading books for the primary school costing in the region of £500.

The quiz evening was so popular it was sold out long before the event with many local people participating having seen the event advertised on Social Media. A raffle was organised by Jeremy Barford, a Past President of the club, raising over £400 while the evening raised over £1100 in total towards the costs the club has pledged to raise. Guests were welcomed by Stephen Yarrow, Chairman of the International Committee of the Club, as well as by Barbara Stapleton, President.  A spokesman for the club said “this popular event was hugely successful in providing a most enjoyable social evening while raising a substantial sum for the cause we are supporting”. President Barbara Stapleton thanked Jim Gleeson, proprietor of Cullins Yard, for his support of the event by making his premises available and thanked retired solicitor Peter Sherred for organizing the evening with his wife Mary and for acting as the host/quizmaster. Mary Sherred and their daughter Victoria acted as the collators and markers of the quiz for the evening.

Another event is planned for the Spring of next year which will be a barn dance in St Margarets Village Hall.

Christmas Lights Switch On

01 December 2018

On Saturday 1st December members of the Club braved inclement weather all day to support Santa Claus as he made a visit to the town on the day of the switch on of the town Christmas lights in Dover. Despite the wind and the almost continuous rain members of the club were collecting money, in Cannon Street throughout the day, for charitable purposes while Santa welcomed children, large and small, into his grotto giving all of them a small Christmas gift. A club member said, “We were pleased to support Santa on the one hand and raise money for worthy causes on the other hand at the same time. The weather was not at all kind to us but to see the expressions of happiness on the faces of the children as they saw Father Christmas and were able to talk to him and receive a small gift was an absolute delight. It made the effort more worthwhile”.

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Martha Trust – transforming lives


Carers UK makes life better for carers.


Some of the events throughout 2018


100 years of Rotary in Dover


Annual Dover Regatta


A list of Presidents since 1922


Fellowship ia a one year Rotary trial period. Without fully committing to join the club, you can experience the incredible work and friendship that lives within Rotary. Fellowship allows you to join in on social activities as well as our projects.


Some of our work throughout 2017


A history of the 100 years of Rotary


An overview of some events from 2022


Our friends of Rotary are a great group of volunteers, who give their time freely to help and support the work of Rotary Club of Dover. For personal reasons they cannot commit for being Rotarians but share the same principals of helping others.


Some of our work throughout 2016


Everybody should have access to good food. Everybody values community. Your Local Pantries provide both – and more.


The Zest programme offers a range of creative activities and inspiring resources for people living with dementia and their families and their loved ones.


An overview of events from 2019


The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. With your help, we can make lives better in your community and around the world.


Rotary believes in developing the next generation of leaders. Our programs help younger leaders build leadership skills, expand education and learn the value of service.