Statement from DG Pauline Dean

This statement was issued on 17th March and reflects current government advice. This is changing almost hourly and this message should always be considered alongside the latest government advice.


District 1240 & COVID-19 

District Governor’s Message 

Tuesday 17th March 2020

1.    Introduction

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 - 

  • District Forum - Tuesday 17th March 2020 - a notice postponing this meeting has already been issued.
  • Regional Youth Competitions - Saturday 21st March 2020 to be held in Cambridge are cancelled.  District 1240 competitors of Young Musician, Youth Speaks - A Debate and Young Chef have been informed.   
  • District Leadership Training - Saturday 28th March 2020 - cancelled.  Documentation are being sent to the relevant Officers by District Governor Elect (DGE) Keith Brownlie.
  • District Quiz - Friday 3rd April 2020 - cancelled.  
  • District Foundation Seminar - Saturday 18th April 2020 - currently postponed with a new date to follow. DGE and District Foundation Officer Robert Macaulay are planning this event.
  • President Elect Training Seminar (PETS) - Saturday 25th April 2020 - postponed with a new date to follow. DGE Keith will notify all President Elects as arrangements are made.
  • After the 4th May 2020 we have - 
  • District Assembly - Saturday 16th May 2020 - we were looking at a later date, possibly with a District Forum meeting attached.  
  • District Handover - Sunday 28th June 2020 - the flyer promoting this event has gone out, but this too will be kept under review.  

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 info@rotarygbi.org 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,

Pauline Dean

District Governor 2019-20

District 1240