News for RC of Manchester

Maeve Pittway RIP

It is with great sadness that we were advised of the passing of Maeve Pittway in Stepping Hill Hospital on Sunday 31st December 2023. 

Maeve was the widow of long standing club member David Pittway until his passing 8 years ago. Maeve was a past president of the Inner Wheel club of Manchester , which was the first Inner Wheel club in the world. She had planned to join the celebrations for the Inner Wheel club centenary events in January 2024,but sadly will now miss these. We shall greatly miss her cheery smile and kind words when she used to join us for all of our club fellowship evenings and other club events.She was a long-time supporter of Manchester City FC and used to go to the Etihad Stadium with her daughter ,Sara to watch them play. Maeve so enjoyed being a mother, grandmother & great grandmother ! Condolences  were sent to Daughter & Son and all their families.



Francis House Xmas Collection

22nd December 2023

Members of the Rotary Club of Manchester spent the day at Tesco, Parrs Wood collecting for Francis House children's hospice. The customer's were most generous and Tesco most helpful . We even had a visit from their mascot "Francis Mouse" 


Wood Street Mission Xmas Gift Appeal

The Rotary Club of Manchester supported Wood Street Mission one again with Christmas presents and books for the children of families in Manchester & Salford. 

The photograph shows many of the gifts ,totalling £750 ,that we took to this amazing charity that has been in existence  for 154 years.

Rotary World Polio Day 24th October 2023

Rotary World Polio Day fundraiser ,organised by the RC of Newton & District Jubilee , was held at the Raj Indian Restaurant in Culcheth .Even the lighting had been arranged to be purple in recognition of the colour the immunised childrens pinkie finger is coloured after immunisation.

A great night was enjoyed at this District event - with approximately 90 attendees from clubs in our District 1285 . It was supported by four of our members - President Robin Graham , PP's Roy & Julie Chapman & PP Peter Hartley. The event ,which included a raffle and auction raised a total of over £700 -which ,when supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will turn the amount raised to over £2100  !  A brilliant result!!



Fellowship at Tangs, Cheadle Hulme  - 7th October 2023



Another evening of good food and fellowship was enjoyed  one again at this favourite restaurant. Thanks to Indra for arranging !






Forthcoming open Days at Francis House Hospice

Our next Open Day is on Saturday 4th November 2023

Twice a year, in the Spring and the Autumn, we open the doors to offer guided tours of Francis House and Francis Lodge.

Tours conducted by members of the care team reveal the incredible facilities on offer including the creative therapy room, cinema rooms and two state-of-the-art Snoezelen multi-sensory rooms providing soothing sounds and tactile experiences to the children and young adults who come to us with a range of conditions.


"Walking around it immediately felt like you were at home rather than a hospice. Every single staff member we met was warm, welcoming and clearly cared greatly about the job they did and the children and young adults that they supported. We were taken aback by the facilities on offer. For me, it was incredible to see the thought put into accessibility. No matter what disability a young person may have, they would have the option to use the sensory rooms, the computers, and all other equipment because of the accessible technology. A truly humbling experience and one that has inspired me and all on the charity committee to raise as much money as possible for Francis House."

Rick Gilbert, Neuven Group

Built in 1991, our home-from-home environment now boasts digital equipment in all of the bedrooms to cater for the growing needs of the children and young people.

Beautifully furnished family flats within the grounds enable parents and family members to relax close-by whilst their child is lovingly cared for by our hospice team.

We support more than 550 families from across Greater Manchester and in 2014 we opened a further seven bedrooms in Francis Lodge for teenagers and young adults.

We invite anyone wanting to learn more about the care that we provide to come along anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Refreshments and merchandise will also be available to purchase in the hall.

No children or young people use the Hospice for respite during the Open Days.



On Friday 18th August I was collecting for Francis House Children's Hospice at Tesco , East Didsbury

I was joined by Keith ,another supporter of the charity that lives around the corner from the Hospice. 

The star attraction, who came to assist for the last hour was Francis Mouse , the charities' mascot .Rachel Nasiri (the mouse)  kept up her dancing for the whole hour which certainly helped stop the children to watch and the parents to donate ! We collected almost £170 for the charity



On the  3rd August 2023 we had a Fellowship outing to the RHS Bridgewater Gardens at Worsley. In total there were 13 of us enjoyed an afternoon at the amazing gardens. 

Photos are already on the website :-

We got an email the evening before asking if we could meet a special guest from the Ukraine . Viktor Smyrnov , a blind athlete of the Paralympic swimming team from the Ukraine ,who was in Manchester for the championships joined us along with a couple of friends ,who could translate .Viktor is a multiple Paralympic champion of the World and a European champion. He has gained numerous National awards including the Hero of Ukraine with order of Golden Star (Oct 2004) . He has competed at 2 Paralympic games, winning 10 medals - 5 of them gold in the 2004 summer paralympics

Viktor is also president of the Rotary Club of Slavyansk, Ukraine - a club that was chartered in 1999

Members were able to ask Viktor lots of questions via the interpreter over lunch

Peter Hartley  August 2023




Chevening Scolarships are the UK Government's global scholarship programme ,funded by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office & partner organisations. .The Scholarships are awarded to outstanding scholars with leadership potential.

One such Scholar is Nirhad Sarmini and he and a colleague joined us on the 10th August as they are studying at Manchester University

Nirhad , who is from Syria , gave us a thought provoking talk & update on the earthquake response and current situation in Syria - A Rotary disaster appeal that our club supported .

PETER HARTLEY  August 2023


On the 13th July 23  Glass Crumpet visited the Club. Founded in 2022 Glass Crumpet is a Manchester based comedy group with an ethos of making comedy available to everyone, regardless of income. 

James Tangye, Tom Roberts, Will Rice, Justin Glenister & Elena Courtney are Glass Crumpet!

James & Justin were jointly awarded the Mike Craig award by Susan Craig (a member of our Club) & the RC of Manchester for comedy writing. All the members of this group attended and told us of their plans to appear at the Edinburgh Fringe in August  & possibly start a podcast, as well as using social media & getting gigs wherever they can.  Future plans include registering as a Limited Liability Partnership & using their platform to promote important societal discussions about men's mental health issues as well as providing a platform  for female comedians , LQBTQ and  those with ethnic minority backgrounds .

Some videos of their work:-

P HARTLEY  July 2023




On the 12th May 2023 President Robin, Roger & Christine Walker and Secretary Peter had lunch at The Aspire Restaurant , Trafford  - A venue our Club have had numerous fellowship events at. Apart from enjoying lunch ,the purpose was to present the tutor in charge , John Pitt , with a certificate, photograph & set of chef's knives from our Club before he retired at the end of June 23  .It was in recognition of his amazing skills at teaching the students at the College. The certificate from our Club read " For outstanding service to the students of Trafford College"  


Happy Retirement John !





Francis House Childrens' Hospice held their open day on the 15th May 2023 . It was a brilliant opportunity to have a look around this amazing facility that help so many children, young adults & families cope with the challenges they face. It was a humbling experience seeing the generous gifts of toys , computers, musical instruments and much more that the public and companies have given to make life that little bit more enjoyable as they cope with their various health problems. Francis House supports approximately 2,000 people at any one time with respite care, home care, sibling support, end of life care and emotional and bereavement support .It was an opportunity to meet ,once again, the CEO Revd David Ireland ,Kate Puc  & Julie Williams from the fundraising team. Our last contribution was helping them with their Easter Chick appeal.


Peter Hartley           


The Rotary club of Manchester recently had The Right Rever end Prof. David Walker, Bishop of Manchester as our speaker. He gave an interesting talk giving his ecumenical journey leading up to his appointment in 2013 as Bishop of Manchester. In the photo he is greeted by President Robin Graham and Mayor of Trafford and Rotarian Chris Boyes.






24th March 2023

The Urban Crew event  took place today with 11 primary schools going to  Manchester Communication Academy for a ‘business day’.  Each school has a task (such as making and selling keyrings /door hangers / badges /Easter cards  ) and has a teacher to help and guide them to succeed in their task. Five members of the Rotary Club of Manchester  (President- Robin Graham / Sarah Withington / Helen Roberts/ Barbara Rosenthal/ Peter Hartley ) and Sanni  Adedokun (A  rotary club member of Omole Golden, Lagos, Nigeria) attended and went to each school group , to see how they are getting on, ask questions and offer ideas, but in particular to see which school team works best together.  Then after lunch schoolchildren , teachers and our members go to look at each group and buy the items they have made using fake money. The children in the groups get quite vocal as they all try and get the attention of the customers to try and sell their product. The winning groups are scored on how successful they have been  in promoting their product and a key factor is how they have worked together as a team . Prizes are chosen for the top three  groups  which also include their turnover  & profit .

A brilliant event that is a joy to see them so well behaved and all intent on being a winning team !






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The Rotary Club of Manchester supported this initiative again this year. Members and friends, very kindly, donated money that enabled me to buy Cadbury Crème eggs from Tesco, as they were the cheapest source this year.

I spoke to the manager at Tesco, Handforth Dean and, having explained the cause for fundraising, they very kindly donated 480 eggs that I had in my trolley , which would have cost £190 !

I was able to deliver a total of 1170 crème eggs to Francis House!

Francis House has a team of volunteers that knit or crochet little chicks and an egg is put inside each one. They are then sent to schools and companies that sell these for between £1 and £2 and the monies all go to the Hospice. They have a volunteer base of friends that deliver these on trays and then collect the monies at a later date before Easter. There are four members of our club that assist with this – so thank you very much!

So, our crème eggs could be worth approximately £ 1300- 1400. A remarkable achievement for a superb cause. 

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  Kate Puc & Julie Williams with our delivery                 A couple of knitted chicks

Francis House Children’s Hospice have their next open day on the 15th May 2023 when the public is invited to see how the donations help to support hundreds of families from across Greater Manchester







Our Club has been sponsoring a girl  in Tanzania for a number of years 

I attach the latest photograph of Happy Juma Suma   and an update on her and her family

Please click the link to open update

If any member wishes to send her a letter or communication, please send to me and I will onforward  to Plan International




Peter Hartley   16th Feb 2023


 The First fellowship of the New Year

Our first fellowship meeting in January 2023 was at Piccolino Restaurant in Bramhall .Ten club members enjoyed the ambience and excellent food and ,as a bonus, the food was half price during the month !

Thanks to Indra Gupta  for organising the event & to the members that supported it 



Wood Street Mission Christmas New Toy and Book appeal

A brilliant response from our members to our Xmas 2022 appeal for children of families on the books of Wood Street Mission,Manchester to receive Xmas presents that may otherwise have received none !

The photo below shows some of the toys and books taken to Wood Street for parents to choose presents for their children.

A superb result with gifts totalling over £550 . Thank you to those members that supported this amazing charity



Francis House Children's Hospice Festival of Xmas Trees 2022


The Francis House Festival of Trees opened on Saturday October 29 2022, with the aim of encouraging members of the public to place bids on the trees, each packed with vouchers, experiences, signed baubles, hampers and handmade gifts. All proceeds go to Francis House Children's Hospice

One again the Rotary Club of Manchester donated a tree along with decorations and gifts. 

 The tree was tastefully decorated in the bold Rotary colours of blue and gold, and the tree would have topped up anyone's tipple cabinet very nicely!

Included with the tree was :-

A bottle of Glenlivet Founder's Reserve Single Malt Scotch Whisky

A bottle of Chivas Regal 12 year old blended Scotch Whisky

Three bottles of limited edition Bolton Gin Co. Blue Raspberry Gin, created in commemoration of 100 years of Rotary in Bolton 

2 x Queen Elizabeth ll memorial tree decorations

This tree went to the highest bidder - which was £130 !



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