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Meet the Governor!

We were delighted to welcome newly elected District Governor Allan Smith to our meeting this week. Allan lives in Jersey so he has a lot of travel to do to meet the majority of clubs in the District.

The DG highlighted the Rotary International theme for this year “Be the Inspiration” and how it can be adapted at a District and local level. His own target is to encourage clubs to increase community service  in their area and internationally and for all clubs to try and achieve two additional projects in the year.

Allan highlighted the importance of media, and how, if they will not help   we can make our own publicity in using local contacts as well as social media.  He also went into detail regarding the youth competitions that Rotary run and our club actively promotes and runs.

Above all, he urged all members to enjoy Rotary and Be Inspired.

On behalf of the club, Rotarian Steve Parsons proposed a vote of thanks to the DG for coming over to see us.

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Passing the Baton

At the end of a highly successful year it was time for President Ro Clark to hand over the Presidency of Swanage & Purbeck Rotary to New President Linda Winter.

On a glorious summer’s evening in the gardens of Dave & Mary Pike, over 60 Rotarians, Partners, friends and colleagues gathered to enjoy a splendid buffet prepared by our excellent caterers Bliss Food Co and witness the changing of the guard.

President Ro reflected on the many highlights of her year and the very positive increase in members that will help the club to continue to run and support the many events that it is involved in, before handing over the Presidential jewel. President Linda looked forward to maintaining the momentum of the past year and continuing to increase our profile and achievements.

She also passed the President Elect jewel over to Steve Parsons and welcomed Deirdre Selwyn as the new President Nominee

Earlier in the evening, there was still time to welcome two more new members of the club as Susan Treadwell and Mike Bonfield were inducted as full members, bringing the overall club membership up to 42.

There was also a special recognition award for Dave Whitton for his tireless efforts in supporting the events and activities of the club over many years.

Now it’s back to work as the Summer Fête is looming large on the horizon and preparations are well underway. Let’s hope the wonderful weather that we are enjoying continues!

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Fundraising Success!

Club members gathered with organisations who have been supported by Swanage Rotary, and organisations that have supported the club’s activities, on 13th June to commemorate another successful year of fundraising, with almost £21,000 raised up to the end of April 2018.

Over 65 people, including Swanage Town Mayor Mike Bonfield, crammed in to Swanage Conservative Club to enjoy a sumptuous buffet laid on by Rotarians Sue Whitton and David Pike.

This was followed by an on-screen presentation highlighting the events and activities of the year, including the Summer Fête, Santa Sleigh, Christmas Market, Young Musician and Young Chef competitions, Swanage Walks and the Purbeck Pirate Festival amongst many others. Even the ‘Beast from the East’ got a mention!

While a significant amount of our fundraising has already been distributed, we were able to present a number of cheques on the night amounting to over £4,000 to Swanage Foodbank, Barry Audley on behalf of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, Swanage & Purbeck Development Trust aka The Centre and Admiral Nurses.


We were also proud to be able to award a Paul Harris Fellowship to Kim Gallagher for her sterling efforts over many years to The Centre in particular and the youth of Swanage in general.

During the evening, Rotarian Hubert Pierce was presented with a certificate marking 50 years as a Rotarian.

The night concluded with a networking opportunity for those present to find out more about the various activities that Rotary is involved in, amongst which are Foundation, Community and International.

All agreed it was a most successful evening and a good showcase for Rotary’s contribution to the community

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Down on the Farm!

The club’s final meeting of May was an outing to Cedar Organic at Rempstone Farm in Corfe Castle. Rotarian Mo Andrews reports.

The farm is run by a couple of passionate organic farmers who have chosen to become organic as they believe it to be the only way of assuring environmental considerations and sustainability.

The visit was very successful, with clubs members hearing all about the background and principles of the farm and seeing many of the animals.

The visit included a trip round the farm in its purpose-built tour carriage. As you can see from the photograph, this was hugely enjoyed by everyone present and really helped to show the efforts that the farm have gone to in order to achieve their aims.


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Pirate Invasion a Roaring Success

The much anticipated arrival of swarms of Pirates over the Bank Holiday weekend, coupled with magnificent weather that was not forecast, made the Third Purbeck Pirate Festival a huge success.

Basking in almost wall-to-wall sunshine, events on Sandpit Field, as well as the Pirate Parades through the town and the skirmishes on Monkey Beach, kept thousands of visitors entertained throughout the weekend.

Rotary ran their hoop-la and darts stall in the main arena, raising several hundred pounds for good causes, and were also involved in marshalling the parades on the Saturday and Sunday.

A huge effort by the members of the Rotary Club eGroup ensured that the weekend ran
perfectly and grateful thanks are also due to Rotarian Deirdre Selwyn who co-ordinated the organisers brilliantly and the ever-present Rotarian David Pike.

Roll on next year’s event me hearties!

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Birds of Poole Harbour

Rotarian Jenny Hynan introduced our speaker this week, Paul Morton, who came to talk to us about his environmental education charity.

His interest in wildlife started with amphibians (all six native species can be found in Dorset). But he soon got bored with looking at just six species so he moved on to birds.

After a few years, he decided to give his interest up and became a sail rigger, travelling all round the world, but the interest in birds never went away and in 2005 he came back to his first love. He applied for a job at Arne as Education Warden and was successful in getting it.

He soon realised that there was no dedicated group looking at the bird life in the Poole Harbour area, while there were other groups in Portland and Christchurch, so after several attempts to get other people involved, and with the help of Mark Constantine (the founder of Lush) in 2012 the ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ website was born.

Initially, the site was intended to merely showcase the wildlife in the area, but has become so much more thanks to the installation of a webcam and pictures taken from the footage, which now appear on the site. Many examples of the commonly found bird life can be seen as well as some rarities such as egrets and other birds from as far away as North America.

Paul’s enthusiasm was infectious and his talk kept the audience captivated as he explained how the charity has grown and developed over recent years, and continues to do so. The charity has fully engaged with the RSPB and The National Trust, who are referenced on the website.

Fundraising helps to provide access and opportunities for more and more people to enjoy the wildlife that’s on our doorstep, with more areas being opened up all the time.

The most recent development for the charity has been the opening of an engagement centre on Poole Quay, which allows many hundred more people to find out about everything that is going on around the Harbour.

Further details of the work of the charity and some of the important sightings can be found on the charity’s website.

On behalf of the club, Rotarian Chris Lefevre thanked Paul for giving us a very interesting talk this evening.

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Walking for Dementia Awareness

Rotarian Maggie Hardy, Community Committee Chair and event lead, reports on a wonderfully fulfilling day in the sun!

SWANAGE WALKS, held on May 5th 2018, was organised and run by the Community Committee of Swanage and Purbeck Rotary Club in support of Dementia Friendly.

From an original idea of Rotarian Hubert Pierce, the Rotary Community Committee organised a walk for all at the King George’s Playing Fields in Swanage.

Supported by the Swanage Area Dementia Friendly Community team, Swanage Town Council and Swanage Carnival Committee, a sub group was formed to facilitate the event for Dementia Friendly, the charity of this year’s Town Mayor Mike Bonfield and our own Rotary Club President Ro Clark.

The event attracted generous support from the Swanage Town Band, Kevin Burke (Children’s Entertainer), pupils from the Swanage School, who designed and painted a Dementia Friendly design on the graffiti wall at the field, and ‘Scooby Crew’ who provided a bouncy castle.

A Treasure hunt, organised and led by Rotarian Dai Hounsell, provided an excellent focus to the Walk around the half mile radius of the field which highlighted the lovely views across the Purbeck hills and the steam trains of the Swanage Railway.

The excellent weather of the day encouraged more people to the beach than to the walk so the hoped for donations to Dementia Friendly were not great BUT the increased profile to wide areas of the community and the coordinated working of several organisations made it a memorable and happy occasion which could be repeated in future years. We were delighted that our newly appointed Admiral Nurse Rachel was also able to pop in and show her support.

The “icing on the cake” for me was the invitation to attend an Assembly at the Swanage School which focussed on Dementia and the effects on individuals. The event also celebrated the Dementia design painted on the graffiti wall by two school pupils and which received so much interest from school members.

A whole school is now aware of dementia – a priceless benefit of community groups working together!

Rotary was privileged to lead this event and thanks everyone involved in raising awareness of Dementia.

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Raising Disability Awareness

For our first speaker meeting in May we were delighted to welcome Hannah Fielding, who is a volunteer with Diverse Abilities.

The charity was founded in 1955. It started operating in the local area when a volunteer from Brighton came to Bournemouth and realised that there were no facilities available for people with learning and physical disabilities. Hannah herself has been volunteering for around 7 years and brought along her helping dog Hudson.

It is Dorset’s disability charity and has expanded in our area to support a number of areas of disability. One of their outlets, Langside School, caters for young people with complex learning and physical disabilities. They care for individual needs and provide a wide variety of opportunities for the children in their care.

Lily’s Place is the charity’s respite centre and has to date raised £370,000 to modernise the building and make it suitable for the charity’s needs, amongst which are sensory tents and themed rooms targeting more specific conditions.

Coping with Chaos is the play opportunity, allowing both children with special needs and those with other disabilities to play together in a safe environment.

The charity also supports adults, many of whom have been brought up from children through the organisation’s work, and who continue to benefit from the services that the charity is able to provide and will continue to provide in the future.

The charity needs to raise thousands of pounds a day to continue to provide all its services and 83p from every £1 goes straight to the charity’s services.

Hannah is an inspirational speaker who has not allowed her own disability to prevent her from getting involved in helping others and telling people about it. She directly involves herself in the fundraising for the charity and has even undertaken a skydive which raised over £5,000.

On behalf of the club, Rotarian Maggie Hardy gave a vote of thanks for an excellent talk. More information about the charity is available from their website.

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First Impressions Matter!

Swanage Rotary has been able to attract a significant number of new members to the club in the current Rotary year, so we thought we’d ask one of them, Chris LeFevre, what attracted him to the club.

“I joined Rotary in 2008 as a member of the Abingdon Vesper Club in Oxfordshire. One of the great advantages of being a Rotarian is being able to visit Rotary clubs around the world. Wherever you happen to be you can go along to the meeting of the local club and you find an instant network of new friends and contacts. It is also an excellent way of getting to know a particular town or area. I took advantage of this opportunity when visiting Swanage and when we decided to move to Purbeck I had no hesitation in requesting a transfer of my membership to the Rotary Club of Swanage and Purbeck. The process is very straightforward and I was made most welcome from the very start.

My former Club prided itself on punching above its weight with a number of major projects. Swanage and Purbeck seems even more active with an incredible number of events running through the year making Rotary a real part of everyday life in Swanage. I have also been impressed by the innovative Business Partners programme run by the Club and the strong commitment to the welfare of all members. I’m looking forward to getting actively involved and, I hope, making a positive contribution to this awesome Club!”

It’s great to hear that we seem to be doing the right things in attracting membership to Swanage Rotary and we look forward to Chris and our other new members playing an active part in the activities and events that the club runs.

Thanks Chris!

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Understanding Dementia

We were delighted to welcome Rachel Murray to our meeting on 28th March, who is the Purbeck Admiral Nurse dedicated to our area of the country.

Rachel works specifically in Dorset and explained where the understanding of dementia is today. Around 36 million people have Dementia around the world, of which at least 850,000 are in the UK, and this figure is set to increase in the coming years.

The condition was called the quiet disease by former Prime Minister David Cameron and it’s easy to understand why when statistics show that family members save the nation £17.4 billion by providing care at home, out of sight and often therefore out of mind.

Rachel explained some of the early signs to look out for, such as problems with word finding, lack of concentration and withdrawal. There are over 200 subtypes of dementia and affects a wide cross section of the community including outwardly otherwise healthy individuals such as professional footballers.

Admiral Nurses were started in memory of a gentleman known as Admiral Joe, who loved sailing but sadly contracted vascular dementia. Rachel expanded on the care that was available and where Admiral Nurses fit in to the overall picture, known as the ABC Tiered Model. The service provides partnership working, specialist assessment support for carers and supportive education. It is very much a family and relationship centered approach.

On behalf of the club, Rotarian Mo Andrews thanked Rachel for a most inspiring and uplifting talk. More information is available on the Dementia UK website.

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