We are sure the Immediate Past President, Andrew Bates, will not take offence with the opening expression. Yet for the new President, Melanie Hughes, of Rotherham Sitwell Rotary Club this has more than one meaning. Melanie Hughes took on the prestigious role of President for Rotherham Sitwell Rotary Club on 1st July this year, as the start of her Presidential year. She is the second lady president of this club and at 43, she is also the second youngest member of the club — and to top it off she is the second youngest President of the club in its 30 years of existence.
When asked why Melanie joined the club five years ago she replied, “I’m a Rotherham girl living in Chesterfield, but my heart is still very much in Rotherham. My family live here and I work here so I have close connections to this place. I joined because I wanted to make friends with people that have similar values to me. The people I have met welcomed me from the first time I attended a meeting. They are hardworking and have a positive passion for the town, that is commendable. All the members want to make Rotherham a town in which to be proud. The town has been feeling the stresses and strains of bad news and it’s about time Rotherham was given some positive attention. There are thirty-nine willing volunteers in this club that all think the same. We are always looking for new members because the more people we have in the club the more we can do for Rotherham and more friends and fun there is to be had.”
The club is celebrating thirty years in the town this year and has been a positive influence on the Rotherham community since its beginning. Recently the club has collaborated with Ray Matthews and two local businesses Eurovia and Fortem, to build a woodland path for the students at Newman School, their biggest project yet. The club has recently been awarded the Duke of York Community Initiative Award for all the hard work the members have put in to this town over the years.
Melanie plans to make her presidential year a year of friendship. Loneliness is a killer and a serious threat to the mental health and wellbeing of many people today. If you are interested in giving a little back to your community whilst building new friendships, visit www.sitwellrotary.org.uk and contact the Secretary who will help you join in the fun of Rotary.