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Spring has Sprung for Polio Awareness

While most people have been huddling up at home during the cold and dark winter months, hardy Swanage Rotarians have been busy trying to add a splash of colour around the area.

Hundreds of crocus corms have been planted, and despite the unwelcome visit of the ‘Beast from the East’ (twice!), they are now in bloom and adding a riot of purple to many areas of the town.

It’s all part of the ‘Purple for Polio’ campaign, an International Rotary project aimed at raising both awareness and much needed funds to help eradicate this terrible disease from the world. We are so close now, only two countries still have the disease uncontrolled, and a final push is required to complete the job.


More details of the campaign can be found here.

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Swanage Rotarians Carry On Regardless!

The weather may have taken a nasty turn for the worse, but nothing stops Swanage Rotarians from carrying on with their planned activities and there’s been quite a lot going on over the past week or so.

At our meeting on 21st February we were delighted to welcome PCSO Iain Leslie and his wife Kerrie to our meeting. Iain has been recognised for his superb work in the local community by being awarded a Rotary Dorset Police Award and the picture shows President Ro and Community & Vocational Committee Chairman Maggie presenting Iain with his certificate. Iain spoke passionately about how much he feels welcomed in the local community and how much he enjoys working and living in the area.

Last Saturday (25th) saw the Silver Sunday Saturday event, postponed from October 2017, take place at Emmanuel Baptist Church with 80 friends. At the same time, Swanage and Purbeck Rotary took the opportunity to celebrate Rotary’s 113th birthday which was reached earlier last week.

Afternoon tea with delicious cakes and sandwiches were greatly enjoyed as was the music kindly provided by Jacqui, Angus and Amanda. The celebration birthday cake was made by Wendy Quayle and was cut by President Elect Linda Winter and Rotarian Hubert Pierce. The event was provided free of charge but guests did make generous donations for Dementia Friendly /Admiral Nurses and £ 130.75 will be added to their funds.

Organisers Rotarians Maggie Hardy and Mo Andrews would like to thank all those who contributed to the very successful afternoon in any way. See our Facebook page for more photos.

Then, at our meeting this week, and despite the sub-zero temperatures and howling gale, we decamped from our usual venue to meet at The Knoll House Hotel in Studland. This was actually the meeting venue for the very first meeting of Swanage Rotary back in 1959. Aside from it being a Fellowship event, to which more than 30 people attended, we were delighted to welcome another two new members to the club – Tracy Tennant (the new General Manager of the Knoll House), and Chris LeFevre, who has recently moved to Purbeck and has transferred to us from Abingdon Vesper RC.
Tracy and Chris were formally inducted and welcomed to the club and both were invited to say a few words. With the formalities over, everyone present enjoyed a sumptuous two course meal from the Knoll House kitchen, followed by coffee and tea.

Grateful thanks goes to the management and staff of the Knoll House for hosting us so well and we look forward to Tracy and Chris integrating fully into the club and its activities.

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Young Musicians Steal The Show

Last weekend (18th February) saw the running of the District Young Musician Competition, held this year at Talbot Heath School.

Those present, including the Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset, were treated to an exceptional array of talent from both instrumental and vocal performers.

It’s hard to believe how young the performers are when the quality of performance is so high, and huge credit goes to them all for providing those present with such an excellent day.

Swanage and Purbeck Rotary were delighted to receive a letter of thanks from the Deputy Lieutenant for the way that they organised the event (huge thanks to Rotarian Linda Winter for taking it on) and we had another reason to be pleased as the winning performer, Sally, was the winner of our own club event held just a few weeks ago.

More from the event can be found on our Facebook page here.

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Still Branching Out!

Back in December we told you about the initiative from the Woodland Trust to plant more trees around the country, and in our area four of our membership braved the cold conditions to start that process locally.

Not satisfied with that, however, they were out again recently for a second tree planting session! It was a morning of sunshine and laughs and the occasional stone/ rock (!), which are merely an occupational hazard.

It is hoped that in years to come future generations will be able to enjoy the fruits of this labour.

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Living Well?

The speaker at our most recent club meeting was Tracey Hudson from LiveWell Dorset.

Tracey explained the background to the setting up of the organisation, being to help people in Dorset live healthier lives. It was established by Public Health England and has operated in Dorset for three years. It focuses on key pathways – stopping smoking; alcohol reduction; weight management and becoming more active. For each of these pathways, Tracey explained the measures that are being taken and the help that is available to the public. The majority of referrals to date have been regarding weight loss.

Much of the service points people to help that is free or funded, depending on the extent of help that is required. Other areas of help may require some investment but the help that is provided carries regular ongoing support and follow-up over a period of up to a year in order to ensure that people have the best opportunity to make long-term changes for the better.

Tracey took questions from the floor, including those around how outcomes from the programme can be measured and how large food corporations can be persuaded to stock more lower fat and lower sugar products.

More information is available on their website.

On behalf of the club Dai Hounsell thanked Tracey for a most thought-provoking talk.

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Local D & E Group Going from Strength to Strength

Rotarian Jenny Hynan reports on a local success story that’s helping to develop the skills of young people.

I visited the D of E meeting last Tuesday and presented a cheque for £500 to Dave Pratten and Pete Meteau the leaders.

Usually they meet twice per month at the Swanage Youth Hostel but at the moment, due to refurbishment there, they are meeting at The Centre.

The theme of these evenings is to prepare the youngsters for the expedition part of the D of E Award by giving training in survival, food nutrition and cooking for the gruelling conditions that they will need to encounter for their expeditions, which are part of the D of E Award. Guidance is also given to the youngsters on the other parts of the award, such as life skills, community service etc.

Swanage Rotary has been sponsoring the D of E Group in Swanage since their formation three years ago and had previously sponsored the D of E at Carey in Wareham, where Swanage youngsters would attend together with youngsters from the Wareham Area.

The D of E in Swanage has grown and grown with a full list of 40 youngsters on their books undertaking Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. Last Tuesday there were 33 youngsters attending with at least 6 leaders and helpers.

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A Hadrian’s Wall Holiday

Our speaker this week was John Patrick, who works at the Swanage Museum, and who came to talk to us about Hadrian’s Wall.

John’s trip to Hadrian’s Wall took place in the Summer of 2017, with a group of 23 people who took part in a week long guided tour. John gave us a brief history of the Emperor Hadrian and his time in Britain, when he had the wall built to repel the “barbarians from the North”!

John’s tour started in Segedunum, known today as Wallsend, at the eastern end of the wall. Much of the wall at this point is no longer there but the footprint of the fort sites have been recovered from housing that had previously been built over it. John explained in detail how the wall would have looked when it was first built.

As the group headed west over subsequent days, more of the wall has been preserved and John showed us photographs depicting fine examples of some of the key forts, turrets and artefacts that remain along the route of the wall. Vindolanda is the “jewel in the crown”of Hadrian’s Wall and the best preserved fort on the entire route. Excavations continue at this site to this day, where many leather shoes, Roman coins and tools have been discovered.

As the week wore on, the tour continued along the route, visiting landmarks such as Corbridge, Poltross Burn, Willowford and Harrow’s Scar. Eventually reaching Birdoswald, the tour encountered the longest remaining preserved stretch of the whole wall.

There were a number of questions from the floor, following which Rotarian Deirdre Selwyn proposed a vote of thanks to John for such an informative and interesting talk.

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Back to School!

For our first meeting of 2018, we were delighted to welcome Head Teacher Tristram Hobson, Chair of Governors Amanda Rowley, the Head Boy, Head Girl and one of the Senior Prefects of The Swanage School who came to talk to us with an update of what is happening at the school.

In March 2010 there was a meeting about local education reorganisation in the Swanage area. It was strongly felt that we should not use secondary education in Swanage. The Free Schools initiative, brought in by the new Government, was the opportunity to press ahead with the plan. It was also intended to develop a sense of community in the area.

The school is not under the control of the local authority, but part of Educating Swanage, and aims to develop children’s skills. The environment is conducive to learning and preparing students for life and the students have taken ownership of the school.

Student Leadership is important within the school and students are encouraged to participate as much as they can. This includes acting as ‘Big Brothers’ and ‘Big Sisters’ to those new to the school, to help them settle in. The school also runs events such as their annual fair and has a variety of sports and activities available to students. Rotary itself has been supportive in assisting with the catering club at the school.

The school undertakes a number of charity fundraising activities over the course of a year, supporting local as well as international causes. They work in the community too, helping to litter pick and keep the town tidy.

Head Teacher Tristram Hobson spoke extremely eloquently about how the school has developed from its original idea and how important it is that is it represents the dream that was formed a little over 5 years ago. He added that times change and it is important that the education provided adapts to the times and gives the students the confidence and ability to work as teams in the future. Tristram closed by showing a slide show demonstrating a flavour of what the school offers and provides, what it has achieved and what it hopes to achieve in the future.

On behalf of the club, Rotarian Jenny Hynan thanked Tristram, Amanda and the students for coming to see us and updating us about the school.

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Christmas Breakfast Brings Joy to the Big Day

Rotarian Maggie Hardy reports on a morning of fellowship and joy at a special time of year

Guests, Rotarians and Friends came together at the beautifully decorated United Reformed Church Hall on Christmas morning to enjoy fellowship, a delicious cooked breakfast and excellent music provided by the Buckle Family and Friends.

Mother Christmas visited during the morning
and distributed presents kindly donated by Chococo and Inner Wheel.

Supported, with grateful thanks, by Corbens Estate Agents over 200 invitations were sent out across the community and increased publicity raised the profile of the traditional breakfast, set up by the club over 50 years ago and which continues to bring together those alone at Christmas, by providing transport and companionship at this special time of year.

We were delighted to welcome the Mayor and Mayoress, Cllr. Mike Bonfield and his wife Audrey to share the festivities and who also helped with the washing up!

Rotary is very grateful to the Co-op, Budgens and Costcutters for kindly donating provisions to support the breakfast, to the URC for providing the hall, and to all who helped, supported or were involved in this well received, successful morning event. We say a big “Thank you”.

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Merry Christmas!

As 2017 draws to a close, we would like to thank everyone who has supported, attended, bought from or donated to Swanage & Purbeck Rotary’s activities over the course of the last year.

We have been so delighted with the support that we have received and continue to receive from the local community, which enables us in turn to use the power of Rotary to help as many people and causes as possible.

From all of us to all of you, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Successful New Year 2018.

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