News-Archives 2023-4th Quarter

Borderland Rotary News and Reports in 4th Quarter 2023

Borderland Rotary brighten up the autumn in Oswestry

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Borderland Rotary sponsor kit for young footballer

Borderland Rotary have stepped up to help a young footballer, Tykhon Rodionov, with New Saints football kit so that he can further his footballing ambitions.

Jonathan Jones, from Borderland Rotary said, “The club was approached by the family of the young man, and it was unanimously decided that we should sponsor the supply of the football kit to give him the best chance of progressing - and just to enjoy his football. He has only been in this country since the Russians invaded Ukraine and it’s been tough for the many families that had to leave so suddenly. TNS Foundation have been helping many people to enjoy football, lots of other sports but are also involved in providing meals and general support for young people in this area”. 

The New Saints FC Foundation was set up as a charitable organisation with the aim of engaging with the local community to provide positive, sustainable football, sports, and educational activities for young people. They have certainly achieved much over the last ten years and now rank as the largest football foundation in the Welsh Football League, where New Saints compete. The Foundation’s involvement extends across many areas including education, health, social inclusion, equality, and they have had a most profound impact and made a big difference to the lives of people within Oswestry and the surrounding area.

Wow, what a Christmas parade

Oswestry’s big Christmas Parade was certainly an event to remember with a record number of floats and bumper crowds lining the streets. It was, in the words of Borderland Rotary President, Andy Boroughs, “It’s what wonderful memories are made of”.

The parade had over 50 floats this year and the festive level was off the scale with the streets thronged with merrymakers cheering and clapping as each vehicle went past and the children on the floats giving it their all, singing, dancing, and throwing treats to the expectant crowds.

Andy Boroughs continued, “It made me very proud to be a small part of this great endeavour and I was blown away by the enthusiasm of everyone involved – the clubs, the companies, the children and of course all the people who turned out and gave so generously. I do want to thank Olly Rose, Oswestry town mayor, for working with me to choose the winning floats but I have to say, every float should have won a prize”.

Lots of work goes into organising such a large event and few work harder to make it happen than Jonathan Jones who leads a great team from Borderland Rotary Club and beyond.

The winning floats are:

* Best commercial – Dapper Dogs

   * * Best non-commercial – Hope House

   * * Best Youth – Dance School of Rock

   * * Best children’s – Border Counties Gymnastics

   * * Best walking group – Oswestry in Bloom

We take cash at Oswestry Christmas Parade !

Borderland Rotary would like to make it clear that they will be only too happy to take cash at this Saturday’s Oswestry Christmas Parade which starts at 11am. There’s been some publicity implying that only electronic, QR code payments will be accepted but this is not the case. A Borderland spokesman said, “We set up the QR code payment system for the few people who no longer carry cash, but we will be out with buckets as usual and look forward to seeing lots of smiling faces at the parade. We’ve already had lots of cash donations from the shopkeepers and landlords around the town and we like to say a big thank you to them. Let’s hope the weather smiles on us too!” 

Every year, Borderland Rotary organise the parade for the community and to collect money for local good causes and charities, it also brings some festive fun to the town and has, in the past, attracted lots of people to the shops and bars in the town centre.

No Cash, no hassle at Christmas Parade

The Oswestry Christmas Parade, held on Saturday 2nd December, (not long now) brings joy and festive fun to the people of Oswestry and is now the biggest parade of its kind in Shropshire. It has been a local fixture for more than 20 years and of course, also raises money for local good causes and charities that find it hard to raise funds elsewhere. 

Jonathan Jones from Borderland Rotary, who organise the event, said “It’s great to see the fun, smiles and community spirit that the parade brings and the good folks of Oswestry have always been very generous but these day, people don’t carry cash so we’ve introduced a QR code which will be in shop windows on the route of the parade so that those that wish to help these good causes can pay via the QR code. Let’s just hope the weather is kind!”

Jordan Biggs, a regular at the Boar’s Head, was the first to donate via the QR code

Rememberance Day

Local Rotary Clubs place their wreaths at Oswestry War Memorial

RYLA students' presentation impress Borderland Rotary

Two students, Harrison Gillham, and Bohdan Bezpalyi from year 12 at the Marches School, Oswestry, presented an illustrated talk about their experiences and adventures at this year’s RYLA field course to Borderland Rotarians at the Sweeney Hotel.  RYLA, which stands for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, is held every August at Arthog Outdoor Activity and Education Centre on the North Wales coast.

During the talk they described some of the tasks they performed which ranged from walking hand in hand whilst blindfolded, team building, rock climbing, caving, raft construction and much more in between – and, they had to keep an eye on their budgets throughout as part of the challenge is accounting for the all the team’s spending.

Harrison said, “I was often out of my comfort zone but found that by facing the challenges head on, I was able to overcome any fears and enjoy the process”. And Bohdon added, “I discovered that you can sometimes lead from behind as by being more considered you can see the bigger picture and guide others”.

Paul Crosby, a long serving Borderland Rotarian who introduced RYLA from Australia to the UK in 2000, said “I’m proud to say that 750 students have benefited from RYLA since the turn of the century and although I have now stepped back from running the event, I still take a great interest in the project”.

“So, what is RYLA?” Paul continued, “Well, the young entrants are divided into teams and given the overall task of setting up a business and are faced with all the physical and mental tasks that this entails. They earn RYLA Dollars for each task and must decide how best to reinvest these funds to buy and prepare materials for the future tasks. It’s a big challenge and not for the faint hearted but it appears that being suspended over rivers, lashing rafts together or trying to find novel answers to cryptic questions, really does bring out the best in people!”

Every year, local RYLA students have been sponsored by Borderland Rotary.

Residents and visitors to Oswestry enjoyed a wonderful fireworks evening.

This is the first time the event has been held in the town’s Cae Glas Park, which hosts many events through the summer and was a central feature of the recent Britain in Bloom awards. Oswestry won gold and ‘Best large town’ in the prestigious national competition.

The fireworks evening was organised by Oswestry Town Council in partnership with Borderland Rotary and was a free event with donations welcome to local charities.

Despite the wet and muddy evening, large crowds enjoyed the low sound fireworks, live music, fire breather and street food.

Oswestry Town Mayor, Councillor Olly Rose commented. “It was lovely to see so many people in the park braving the British weather! We are really pleased with the low sound fireworks, which still provide the ‘wow’ factor without causing too much noise, which can cause distress to people, local pets, and wildlife.”

Copy from Oswestry Life  Photo by Grum

Borderland Rotary go on Greek awayday – like Mama Mia?

Borderland Rotary visited the Meze Greek Restaurant in Ellesmere on Wednesday for an awayday social evening, and a good time was had by all. 

Andy Boroughs, President of the Club, said, “It was a little, and I mean a little, like a scene from Mama Mia, the musical and film, and I was tempted to break into ‘Knowing me, knowing you, aha!’ the old Abba favourite, but luckily members restrained me. It was a great social evening and a very good turnout. But seriously, although the main purpose of Rotary is to serve the community, there is also a fellowship and social aspect.  I’m not sure how many people realise that planning, then running local events and raising and distributing money and services can be very rewarding and lots of fun as well!  So, if you’d like to be involved with events such as Oswestry Fireworks night, The Christmas Parade, the Borderland Mountain Bike Challenge, why not come and join us – just Google Borderland Rotary - Oswestry and find out more at the website”. 

Borderland Rotary meet every Wednesday evening – usually at the Sweeney Hotel.

Borderland Rotary welcome founders of The Soma Space

Rotarians listened with interest as Jo Hazell-Watkins and Kevin Braddock explained what Soma Space is and what they plan to achieve. Kevin set the scene and said, “Jo and I come from different disciplines but share a common aim and belief that we can develop the Soma Space, a studio for movement and mental health, into a force for good in our community. Ten years, even five years ago people did not talk about mental health problems but, at last, they are being recognised and addressed. I am a Psychotherapist while Jo is a qualified Personal Trainer, and we believe that together we can help people to deal with many problems by sharing their issues and gaining inner strength both physically and mentally. We now have a permanent base in the Memorial Hall and have been busily painting and preparing for our formal opening on Wednesday October 25th – and I think we’ll be just about ready”! 

Jo continued by saying, “We use the slogan, ‘Movement for Mental Health’ as we both think that there are many day-to-day issues such as depression, post traumatic stress disorder and lots of other conditio

ns that can be treated either drug free or in a complimentary programme by joining others and setting a path for change. We have raised enough money to get us started by crowd funding, but we hope to get continued support until we are up and running. We have seen great interest in the project from both the medical profession as well as from people who would like to attend. It’s all been very exciting”.

If you would like to know more about The Soma Space, it’s at The Memorial Hall, Smithfield Street, Oswestry SY11 1EZ 

 Kevin Braddock & Jo Hazell-Watkins

Borderland Rotary’s Macmillan Coffee Morning a great success

Borderland Rotary held their annual MacMillan Coffee Morning in Bailey Street, Oswestry last Friday and were thrilled that it was such a success but with 270 delicious muffins, supplied by Sean Evans from the Sweeney Hall Hotel and coffee from Lynda and her Mean Bean Coffee Machine Van, what did they expect.

Harry Richardson, who organised the event on behalf of Borderland said, “There are a lot of people having a really tough time out there at the moment – what with the financial crisis that’s hitting everyone – so I’ve been so pleased that local residents have spared the time and the money to join us for coffee and support this great cause. I’ve had my own brush with cancer, so I really appreciate it in a very personal way”.

This year the total raised was just over £700 which is a little up on last year’s figure.

Harry continued, “It’s great that we have the support from Sean at the Sweeney and Linda from Mean Bean as well as from Oly Rose, the town mayor and many members of Borderland Rotary Club – thank you all!”.

Support for Well-Being Centre

Harry Richardson presented a Borderland Rotary cheque to support the new Well-Being Centre in the school. The pupils were full of ideas of how the money could be spent to help the centre. In addition the school welcomed the idea of Borderland Rotary providing two small bookcases of pre-loved children's books to the Well Being Centre for children to use.

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Borderland Rotary brighten up the autumn in Oswestry

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