Review of Rotary Year 2023/24

A Review of the Rotary Year with copies of the AGM Reports

                 Rotary AGM/Handover Report – June 17 2024 by President Kevin Gwilliam

Dear Fellow Cheltenham North - Rotarians.

My year is now ending, and I will hand over the baton shortly to Nigel.

My Presidency certainly started with a bang and without any warning, the club had to look at alternative venues due to several factors that The New Club wanted to impose on the club, restrictions in terms of use of space, a huge price increase and no choice in the meal. After a lot of research Maureen and her team did a fantastic job in securing the Queens as the new venue, which the club endorsed. Initially there were teething problems, but these have since been ironed out and I personally think we have a very good venue which suits the club’s needs. Maureen continues to do a grand job of liaising with the Queens and the club over the venue and meals and I am sure it will go from strength to strength.

As you know my main charity is to continue to support National Star’s new facilities, following Janets generous donation in her year. When it comes distributing raised monies, I would also like to continue to support Gwynne’s Community and Youth and Rosanne’s International work with their various sponsorship and support of local groups. Lots of thanks to both and their committees for the support throughout the year.

As Linda’s report say various small donation amounts totalling just under £4,000. have already been given out

I must also thank all participating Rotarians in their support of the children at Rowanfield and Belmont schools, Young Carers, Hamper Scamper, Shelter Box, School in a Bag, Kids Out etc throughout the year.

Organised fund-raising events has always been at the heart of the club’s programme. I believe the club has done well in these tough economic times to attract participation and more importantly parting with hard earned cash.

The first being the Wine Festival which had to be cancelled at days’ notice due to structural issues being discovered at the Pump Rooms. Steve and his committee manged to let all parties know in a very short space in time with most exhibitors returned on April 13th which was at the new venue the Fitness Centre of Cheltenham Ladies College. It was the unknown how successful it would be due to the change of date and venue, but it turned out to be well

attended and exhibitors were happy. Although monies raised were slightly down on last year, we still raised £6300. So well done to Steve and team.

The Carol Concert again proved to be popular raising £4700 so my thanks go to Gill and her team. We were delighted that Alex Chalk MP for Cheltenham (Secretary of State for Justice) could attend along with several other dignitaries. It was a great evening and I do hope Nigel will continue to develop this evening.

Thanks, must also go to Richard in rallying the troops for Fireworks and Love Thy Turf event where our support was needed for both events which raised £2690.

We were fortunate to be able to again take up the offer of hosting teas and cakes at the Snowdrop weekend. It has been several years since this took place due to Covid. Again, many thanks to all your hard work on the event and to the master bakers! An incredible £2965 was put into the charity pot.

About 170 people attended the Pendyrus Male Voice Choir concert held on May 18th which raised £600. My thanks go to John and Beth for organising this thoroughly enjoyable evening.

With everything going on in the country and a tough economic time we still manged to raise just over £17,000 in total for the year for all events. My thanks to all.

Regarding membership of the club, I am pleased to say that three new members joined during the year, bringing membership up to 40. Unlike many clubs we have a healthy club, but we must continue to try and grow Rotary.

It is proving to be hard to attract new members which from my various District and National meetings appeared to be the sad case also. Thanks goes to Tony as membership officer.

The club continues to support Cheltenham Future Club with several of our members joining their various meetings with Tony taking the chair. Sue must be congratulated in designing and managing their Garden project at Whaddon. I am please to say that this has now been built and officially opening.

Organising the various speakers is almost a full role. A role David has taken up with gusto and I would like to thank him for this, it is not an easy role.

Lastly, I must thank all fellow Rotarians in their support toward my year as President. It has certainly been a wavy ride during 23/24 with the various items that needed to be addressed but overall, it has as far as I am concerned been a good year and all Cheltenham North Rotarians must be congratulated in working together to resolve the issues, raise monies for our various charities and supporting the local community.

My Thanks and my Best Wishes to Nigel in his year as President to whom I will support as much as I can.

Kevin Gwilliam

President Cheltenham North Rotary Club - 2023/24

                                                      AGM Chair Reports 2023/24

Trustees (Peter Watson)

The Trustees have not had a formal meeting since the Business Meeting in March but have regular exchanges by email, telephone and in person. The Treasurer has asked for the Trustees authority to pay ‘non regular’ requests, this system works well and will continue for the rest of the year.

Overall, the account is in good order. In mid-May there was over £23,000 in the Trust account. We have continued to give small sums to charities, including Belmont School and 2 amounts to Gloucestershire Young Carers. The latter is a charity which we have supported over the past years, is local and helps the young people of the area.

The Youth and Community Service has more than £1,350 left in the allocation for this year.

The Trust account has received gift aid and have also received a generous sum from the Jockey Club. Steve Wood has recently announced the Wine Festival proceeds are approximately £6,300 and the proceeds from the Male Voice Choir Concert will all be available by the 17th June.

There is £1,073 restricted amount for the Tree Fund, this excludes the amount received for Gift Aid. Overall, we have well over £10,000 in reserves, £4,000 of this to be carried forward into the next Rotary year. The amount Kevin will give to his Charities will be discussed at Council and approved by the Trustees and Members in due course.

The Trustees would like to take this opportunity to thank all Members for their help in fund raising and in particular Linda Pawley, our Treasurer, for all the assistance she has given us and the Club during the past 12 months.

Cheltenham Wine Festival (Steve Wood)

The Rotary year 2023/2024 has probably been the most difficult year that the Cheltenham Wine Festival has experienced. The 2023 event was scheduled to take place at the Pittville Pump Room on Saturday 28 October 2023. At 20.27 hours on Friday 20 October, I received an email from Steve Mitchell, Head of Events at the Cheltenham Trust. Some of the Wine Festival Committee were due to meet with Steve Mitchell on the afternoon of Monday 23 October at the Pump Room to discuss arrangements and logistics for the event. Steve’s email informed me that “Unfortunately, a structural risk has been identified in a recent survey (at the PUMP ROOM), and safety measures have been implemented with immediate effect to ensure the venue is safe. These measures include a series of scaffolding towers within the Main Hall and Apse, which have a direct impact on the capacity of the venue”. This did not sound like good news but it did not suggest that the venue was unusable for our purposes. We attended the planned meeting on Monday 23 October. On entering the Main Hall, the sight that we were met with comprised six substantial scaffolding towers, significantly reducing the floor space available. I asked Steve Mitchell how he saw our event working, to

which he answered, “honest answer, I don’t”. I could not but agree. We announced the postponement of the event to a date to be decided. At that stage we had sold 332 tickets. All ticket holders and the 24 booked exhibitors were offered the choice of a full refund or to roll-over their payments to the revised date. The postponement resulted in a lot of extra work, particularly for Maureen McVitty, who dealt with the ticket holders, and David Hearle, who dealt with the exhibitors. After significant consideration we decided that the postponed event should take place on Saturday 13 April at the Function Room at the Cheltenham Ladies’ College Sports and Leisure Centre. On this occasion we had 348 tickets holders and 24 exhibitors. The day was a great success and we had a lot of favourable feedback. From a financial standpoint, we expect the final profit to be something over £6,000, a big reduction from the £11,000 profit for the 2022 event but that was inevitable, given the irrecoverable costs involved for the cancelled event and the lower number of ticket sales.

Concerts Report Gill Rouse and John Phillip)

The Carol Concert (Gill Rouse)

The Carol Concert was held on Tuesday 19th December in the Princess Hall, Cheltenham Ladies College. It featured the Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Orchestra, the Cranham Handbell Ringers and the children’s choirs from Leckhampton School.

Just under 500 tickets were sold – Leckhampton School purchasing 240 of these. The bucket collection and sale of programmes raised £300 and the final figure was £4,703.00. Mark Cummings was the compere and Alex Chalk a special guest.

Most of the concert featured young people and the GYJO excelled in the second half.

Our planned soloists Tomos and Imogen Bowen were unfortunately not well on the night and we were very grateful to Jemima McVittie who helped us out at the last moment. All three young people are choristers at Dean Close School.

Putting on a successful concert involves a great deal of work on the day as well as beforehand. Huge thanks to John Phillip who stage managed the performance with the help of Nigel Gilhead.

Thank you to Vivien and Janet who organised the coffees and mince pies and to everyone who helped in any capacity. It was a real club event.

Choral Concert (John Phillip)

For the second year in succession, we invited Pendyrus Male Choir to provide a concert in support of our charities. Their programme of traditional and new Welsh and English pieces was supplemented by musical and operatic renderings by an outstanding local soprano, Cathy Keating.

Comments after the show were uniformly laudatory. Some felt that the concert was even better than that of 2023.

The organizing committee of Vivien Barr, Bernie Campbell, Duncan Ivory, Linda Pawley, Beth Phillip and I are very grateful to those members who assisted us in selling tickets and providing much needed help in preparing the venue and managing the various roles on the night.

Linda has promptly pulled together a preliminary estimate of revenues. Ticket sales were 25% lower this year and in the absence of sponsorship the sum available for distribution to charities approximates £600.

Youth and Community (Gwynne Tucker-Brown)

We have continued to support the several different projects in which we are involved thanks in the main to our fantastic committee and supporters.

1.Belmont School

Anne continues to work hard as a friend of the school and is involved in all their Fund-raising activities. We have donated £400.00 towards a dedicated Football strip with the Rotary Rondell on it. We are now topping the donation up to cover the whole cost of the strips.

The next fund raiser is the Summer Fair which is on Saturday July 13th. This event is managed by the committee with extra help from the Club. Our role is in the Kitchen overseeing the Burgers and Hot Dogs!

2.Young Carers

Vivien leads this initiative.

There is a project at The Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival on Sunday June 23rd. We are hoping to support them at their stand in 2 hourly slots. Our role would be handing out balloons and stickers to children and literature to the adults.

A donation of £100 is in the process of being given to the Young carers for the purchase of small Tombola prizes which will be bought by Vivien and I and delivered to them. This event is being held at Over Farm and is a Fun Day for the young carers, running for 2 sessions in the morning and afternoon.

3.Kids Out

Liz will be contacting District after the Kid’s Out day on June 12th to see if we have been given a donation which we can use to take 80+ Rowanfield School children to the pantomime. In case this doesn’t happen, we have ring fenced £850.00 to cover it.

4.CCP Summer Initiative

CCP are providing Activity Bags for children of struggling families who are unlikely to be having a holiday. These bags will contain colouring books, crayons, skipping ropes Bubbles etc. We are giving a donation of £100 for the purchase of these items.


We are hoping that we will have more success in identifying a candidate early for next year.

6. Rowanfield

The ‘Reading Scheme’ has gone very well this year and we have a good team who go to the school on a regular basis.

The school needs support for the children’s Pantomime trip in December. This event has to be booked up in the February and the costs of transport rise year on year. We are awaiting the ‘Kids Out Day’ to take place before requesting a grant. This was the case last year when an allocation of £10 per child was made from District. The number of children for this year is around the 90 mark.

Move More

This is a proposal by Janet which was discussed at length at our meeting. It is a project for Activity days to be held in the summer holidays for children in the 6 -12 age range. To be confirmed.

International (Rosanne Cole)

We have sent School In a Bag £1,453.00 for school bags for Shree Kalinka Higher Secondary School in Tenkampur, Nepal. We have also sent a cheque to Shelterbox for £590. This will be the second Shelterbox our Club has funded this Presidential year.

Where has the money come from? £1,500 has come from our Charity Fund, the remaining £543 has been raised by our very successful fundraiser Consign it to Auction. This is where items ‘our children don’t want to inherit’ are donated for sale. These are then sent to auction, if suitable.

I must once again mention the help we have received from Nick Boukett and his Team at Harper Field (formerly known as Stroud Auctions) and Lucy and her team at Moore Allen and Innocent in Cirencester. Both companies waive their Vendors Commission, which can be up to 20%, and this has saved us in the region of £600 since we started this Fundraiser.

Environment and Public Image (Sue Jenkins)

Richard Purdon asked if we could replace the failed trees on Lynworth Green. Having inspected the site, I see that 3 of CBC’s Whitebeam trees could be replaced, but the council tree officer Chris Chavasse, recommended that we wait until the autumn. The reason why they failed was because they were not watered, because the council would not pay for watering, so they would have a better chance of survival if planted in the autumn.

The tree planting season has now finished so we have an opportunity to see if there are alternative locations that could be planted, or there may be other environmental projects that we could support.

Public Image

Kevin & Tony have been instrumental in setting up a Satellite Rotary Club, Cheltenham Future, to provide younger, low-cost club, for more active members with an opportunity to improve the less advantaged areas of their town.

This club suggested building a community garden associated with the Cornerstone Jubilee Garden in Whaddon. The prominent open location meant that an amateur garden would not be suitable.

The new club had no money, but set about selling Mistletoe at a Christmas Fair and collecting at a Cheltenham Town football game. In June 2022 it was the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and an opportunity to celebrate Her Majesty’s long reign with a Jubilee Garden. The then Prince of Wales, now King Charles, was keen to create a Green Canopy of trees across the country as part of the celebration, and we were fortunate to find 4 sponsors for these 4 trees. Members set about filling out forms to with obtain various grants from Enovert, CBC Jubilee Grant, GCC Build Back Better and Rotary District Environment grant, we were able to raise sufficient funds to make this community Garden reality.

Appropriately, our distinguished guest to open the garden, Edward Gillespie was appointed as Gloucestershire’s Lord Lieutenant by the late Queen and is now the King’s representative.

This project has provided plenty of interactions with people who knew nothing about Rotary, and provided a physical environmental improvement for the community in a prominent location with Rotary branding. Both the project and the opening event has cost the club no money. By using the varied skills of members and other volunteers we have achieved positive publicity for Rotary and Whaddon.

All of us have different skills to support events e.g. Snowdrops, where my core skill of washing up was instrumental in making it a successful day. So, everyone has something to offer and we must show the public what we do.

The Cheltenham North club has increased its public visibility by moving to the Queens Hotel. This location allows the public to see us meeting, dining and listening to various speakers. However, it is important to ensure this image does not act as a barrier to potential younger and more active members, who we require for our future fund-raising activities.

Website (Clive O’Gorman)

Club Website

Between the main Template site and the Rotary Data Management System we are currently up to date. Details of the full list of Officers and Committee members for 2024/25 will be added in due course.

Overall, the website relies on information from all members to keep it current and interesting. The site is successfully being used as a link for the purchase of tickets for Club events.

I am grateful to Michael Rouse for providing so many pictures of events that greatly assist to make the site more interesting for prospective members.


Details of the meeting dates to the end of 2024 are now on the website and show the Host allocated for each meeting. Speaker details are added when available.

Rotary View

The Rotary View project, amongst other things, is scoped to reduce the level of duplicated data stored across the various Rotary databases.

There will always be a need for us to keep our own databases/data sources, such as Club and District Committees etc:

The Current Rotary View Roadmap has nine phases and currently we are at phase three, so we have a long way to go.


A reminder has been issued to all members concerning the use of their personal data by Rotary.

Club Equipment.

With the help from members a full review of Club equipment was carried out and the information reviewed by Club Council. Where necessary appropriate actions were taken which included disposal of certain outdated items that were no longer required.

Consequently, the amount of required equipment going forward has now been spread across several members so we do hope that those members will be happy to continue to store the items they are currently holding.

The Club Secretary will retain a copy of the list of equipment for reference purposes. This will be updated every few years.

Membership (Tony Pawley)

Summary: I have nothing surprising to report but list some points below.


à 40, of whom 18 (45%) are female, plus 3 hon. members

à we’ve lost about 20 members in past 4 years, mostly through age, infirmity or death

à sadly, Sally Whittal will be leaving 30/6/2024 (moved to Siddington, Cirencester)

à attendance at meetings: typically, 20 to 30.

New Members 2023-24 (3)

à Duncan Ivory (through the Pawleys), Di and Steven Mills (through Maureen)

Prospective members (0)

à I have received no other membership enquiries – I cannot understand why members of RCCN cannot put forward any names of their contacts as potential members.

à District Digital Marketing Campaign in Cheltenham yielded no new members for us.

Impediments to recruitment (from our own contacts and the Digital Marketing Campaign)

à our meetings seen as time-consuming and costly (typically c.£1,000 p.a. including sub, meals, drinks, travel, projects and events)

à our dinner meetings seen as not sufficiently project-driven

à our activities seen as “same old projects run by same old people”

à our high average age

à lack of diversity of members (not intentional but perhaps expected)

à overall benefits of being a Rotarian not sufficiently apparent.

Social media

à our Facebook Group is regularly updated by Gill Rouse but needs more ‘followers’

à it helps to promote our image, advertise events and should attract new members

Cheltenham Future Rotary Club

à actively supported by several RCCN members; Tony Pawley acts as Chairman for the fortnightly meetings to free-up the President

à recruited 3 excellent new members, though none has enough time to take office

à projects-driven: community garden in Whaddon, led by Sue Jenkins, is a great success; next project, at Oakmead School, is being formulated

à alternating breakfast and twilight meetings, with optional food and drink each time, are valued and enjoyable, but most members find it hard to attend both

District support

à District has a dynamic new Membership Lead who is full of ideas

Attendance Report (Maureen McVitty)

Date Rotarian Guest

31st August


September 25 1

2nd October 29 1

16th October 31 1

30th October 42

6th November 26 1

2oth November 23 1

4th December 59

18th December 29 1

15th January 25 1

29th January 32

5th February 19 1

15th February 28 1

4th March 25 1

18th March 27 1

15th April 30 1

29th April 39

2oth May 26 1

343 172 13

Welfare (Maureen McVitty)

Following the unsustainable costs proposed by the New Club, for our meetings, an exhaustive search for new premises was carried out by a small committee of Rotarians. By an overwhelming majority the Queens Hotel was selected with the acceptance of changing the meetings to a Monday evening. A contract was duly signed to set the cost of the meetings to £25 per person for 12 months. This included a choice of two main courses, dessert, fruit salad or cheese and biscuits plus room hire and media equipment. The first meeting was held on 18th September 2023 and Queens have proved to be amenable to requests for changes to the menus. We now have a rolling 4 week menu and members notify their choices by the Thursday prior to the Monday meeting. Since the move we have had 13 Rotarian only meetings and 4 guest evenings, with an average of 26 Rotarians attending the meetings. Absences resulting from holidays, illnesses and conflicting meetings. Currently we do not have any welfare issues.

Foundation (Richard Purdon)

There were 3 highlights of the Rotary year 2023/24.

Firstly, the committee was increased by 100%. Chairman Richard welcomed his new team member PP David Rees.

They had an in-depth discussion about the role of this expanded committee at a Wine Tasting meeting.

Secondly, the Club celebrated World Polio Day by inviting 2 classes from St Johns Primary School to plant 500 crocus bulbs minimum in Sandford Park. We even had the DG for the year to oversee the planting. We can confirm that the resulting growth was in line with our contribution to the EPN fund.

And also, under the EPN banner, a Print was offered of the 2013 placing for the Mile of Coins, which was generously bought by an anonymous bidder.

Thirdly, at the business meeting of March 2024, a background of the History of the Foundation was given to all members present. Subsequent to this, the next Council meeting discussed the commitment that the Club should give to Foundation in 2024/25 and beyond.

The minutes stated that” the arrangements remain the same as they are, and in summary to allow individual members to support Foundation if they so wish”.

The committee noted this Council generosity and will plan the forth coming year accordingly.

It can be reported that the My Rotary Table of Club and District Donations for the current year up until early May 2024 are: -

The Annual Fund $ End Polio Now $

Cheltenham North 372.46 167.72

District 1100 39,740 22,502

Treasurer's Report 

If required a copy of the Treasurers Report can be obtained by contacting the Club Secretary using the "Contact" section on the Home Page of this website

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'What We Do' Main Pages:

The Rotary District 1100 June 2024 Newsletter A complete version with Pictures is available from the Club Secretary. See Contact Section on this website Home page.


Tht Cheltenham Rotary Clubs are providing Community Grants to Local Organisations. See "Details for more information.


The slides from the presentation given by the President for 2024/25 at the Club Assembly 17th June 2024


An overview of Rotary and the activities of the Rotary Club of Cheltenham North


A Review of the Rotary Year with copies of the AGM Reports


The Club Officers 2024/2025 See "Details" for information.


The Club Committees for 2024/2025


The Carol Concert is held Annually in Cheltenham For more about this event please see "Details" below


Details of the Charitable Donations made by the Cheltenham North Rotary Club


This is a summary of our activities over the past twelve months. You can also view our Club Bulletin in the "What we Do" area of the Home Page of this website.


The Cheltenham Wine Festival will take place on 13th April 2024 in the Function Room of the Cheltenham Ladies' College, Health and Fitness Centre, Malvern Road, GL50 2NX. Tickets now available See "Details" (An ideal Present)


The Club Bulletin is Issued on a regular basis usually every Month


Please Note the the Meeting Notes for Club Meetings are only available in the Member's only area. Details of Club Meetings are available using either the Contact form for the Secretary or the Future Events Area on the Home Page.


Selection of Photos from Various Events


An overview of the Objects and Mission of the Rotary Foundation.