Tuesday 17th March 2020
As your District Governor I am extremely concerned by the COVID-19 virus which is affecting communities across the world.
The District 1240 Continuity Team of Past, Present and Future District Governors met yesterday Monday 16th March 2020 to consider arrangements for future District Meetings and Training Events. Alongside this we are aware that a number of clubs have already cancelled or postponed events and are suspending Face to Face (F2F) club meetings.
Nationally and Internationally you will have all seen that Rotary GB& I have already cancelled Volunteer Expo in May 2020 and they have also cancelled all F2F meetings planned for March, April and May.
In addition, you will have received a joint letter for Rotary International President Mark Maloney and Rotary President Elect Holder Knaack in which they advise in the near term, we recommend that Rotary Districts and Clubs cancel or postpone meetings or events following the advice of national and local health officials.
The District team will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis with advice changing as it would seem hourly. Please be assured that the District Team will continue to monitor the situation closely.
2. District Matters
With immediate effect all District F2F meetings, training and events are cancelled or postponed until 4th May 2020. Below follows a list of meetings cancelled or postponed -
3. Club Matters
Individual Rotary Clubs will make their own decisions. The latest advice from Rotary International and Rotary GB& I is being circulated on a daily basis. In addition, we must follow the advice of the government agencies.
How and where Rotarians meet for meetings or events is a decision they will make. If clubs do continue to meet then I would urge them to follow the hygiene suggestions circulated by our government and Rotary GB & I.
If you do decide to cease meeting then I suggest that this information is placed on your website and/or Face Book with a contact person for other Rotarians to make contact with you.
If a club decides to no longer meet in person may I suggest the use of new technologies to make sure that you can still connect? Some clubs have already set up a Zoom account and Rotary GB& I are happy to assist clubs to set up 'GoToMeetings' or 'GoToWebinar'. Please contact email@example.com if you would like to consider these options for your events and the Club and District Support (CDS) Team will do everything they can to assist in scheduling and training for this.
4. Interact/ Rotakids
Clubs that are school based are governed by the school decision. We are told that young people are the lowest risk group, but if activities bring them into contact with vulnerable adults (which could be Rotarians) those contacts should be discontinued.
5. RYLA /LAMP
A LAMP Assessment weekend is planned for Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th April 2020. Following a review of guidance a decision will be made as to whether this will take place.
6. Other District Service Meetings
Following consultation with the leaders of our Service Teams such as International and Foundation a decision will be made as to whether there will be F2F meeting or a webinar meetings.
Our next District Support Meeting is set for 13th May 2020. A decision as to how this meeting will run will be taken shortly.
7. Other ideas and Comments
A suggestion as we won't be paying for meals, why no consider donating some or all of that amount to Foodbanks or other support organisations in your locality. This is already happening in other parts of Rotary GB&I.
WhatsApp is a very useful way of communicating within a closed group. This could be for your whole club or your Club Council or both. This enables immediate message communication and a simple method of responding. It is already used within our DG and DGE groups and has proved to be very useful.
Finally, further updates will be sent to you as appropriate. In the meantime, please stay safe and well. Together we will get through this and come out stronger.
Yours in Rotary Service,
District Governor 2019-20