July is the start of the new Rotary year and outgoing Club President Geoff Mathews marked the end of his year with a well-attended evening at Ye Olde Bell, complete with a BBQ and musical entertainment.
What is a Rotary Club? What does it do?
Retford Rotary Club is friendly and welcoming, and members strive to help people in need, to help the local community and also to reach out internationally. At the same time the atmosphere is highly sociable and there is an emphasis on fun and enjoyment.
There have been many projects – some with the purpose of fundraising and some to bring benefits to the local community. Some of the local events organised have been a Music Festival, the first Retford Santa Run, a Victorian Christmas Fayre, a charity golf day, the Swimathon, a school sailing day and a children’s art competition.
Members marshalled at the Osberton and Thoresby Horse Trials and participated in the Retford Christmas Market. There were two street collections organised in response to international emergencies which enabled donations through DEC to flood relief in Pakistan and provided for a significant number of shelter boxes to be sent to the victims of the Turkish / Syrian earthquake.
The RotaKids project is active within 12 schools, and as well as the trees donated to those schools, the Club also carried out other tree planting projects. Members have also completed litter picks, learned about recycling, and have recycled shoes and computer equipment.
Numerous donations have been made by the Club. Just some of the local beneficiaries include Bassetlaw Food Bank, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, Bassetlaw Hospice, Bassetlaw Focus on Young People, the Aurora Centre, Daneshill Sailing Club, West Markham Church, Tuxford Church, Stephen House Retford, Hope (for the homeless), Women’s Refuge, A Retford Food Hub, New Roots, All Hallows Church, Torworth Community facilities, Branching Out, Riding for the Disabled and school reading books.
Beneficiaries from national charities were the Motor Neurone Disease, the NSPCC, Dementia UK and the Children’s Heart Unit Fund. Members also supported the local Poppy Appeal in Morrisons.
On the International front the Club made donations to The Bread Fund, Shelter Box and AquaBox. Since the start of the Ukraine War in February 2022, the Club has forwarded over £16,000 to assist Ukrainians in many ways.
Club members also enjoy social activities including walking groups, a strawberry farm visit, plum picking, bowls and golf tournaments, ten pin bowling, a visit to a recycling centre, a mastermind quiz, musical evenings, a race night and an antiques evening. There have also been many interesting speaker evenings.
During the meeting on 3rd July the Presidency for the following year was handed over to Mary Danby who is looking forward to building on the successes from last year.
Retford Rotary Club is welcoming of new members and happy to arrange for people who are interested in finding out more to join members at a meeting and see what it is all about.