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August 2022

Channel Rotary’s Generous Gesture
to Young Carer Families

Some local Young Carer families will have a more enjoyable Summer this year thanks to the kind gesture of Channel Rotary club.  Twenty supermarket vouchers were recently presented to Tina Culver, local Young Carer Support Coordinator, by Club Secretary Bill Flavell.

Tina is a member of Imago, the organisation engaged by KCC to provide support for local children and young people who have special responsibility for family members.  She was most appreciative and personally distributed the vouchers to very grateful recipients.  Tina said:

“I received lovely feedback from the very appreciative families who said Channel Rotary’s kind gift had come at a time of need as the children were not receiving free school meals during the holidays.

The gifts have made such a difference to the families, some of whose quotes on receiving the vouchers were:

“Thank you so much, we have been going to the foodbank recently and this will mean we won’t have to do this this week.”

“This will free up some money to buy some text books the we have to get for college.  Thank you”

“Cannot believe the generosity”

Channel Rotary has worked closely with the Young Carer organisations for many years and, together with the other local Rotary clubs (Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh) we provide support and arrange events through the year for the youngsters and their families.  There are some 700 registered Young Carers in Folkestone & Hythe District and a sizeable number who are not registered.

For further information:  Brian Banks (Channel Rotary)
07929 331353  brian.banks@channelrotary.org.uk

PHOTO SHOWs:

Bill Flavell, Channel Rotary’s Secretary, presenting the supermarket vouchers to Tina Culver, Local Young Carer Support Coordinator with Imago


Channel Rotary Golf Day Raises £7000

This year’s tournament organised by Folkestone Channel Rotary was held earlier this year in support of local charities, in particular – Age UK South Kent with Dementia Services.

The event as usual, was generously supported by Sene Valley Golf Club, who closed the course for the day and allowed 42 Teams comprising 168 players to participate.

Unfortunately the weather was not good and torrential rain flooded the course by lunchtime, beyond the best efforts of the greens staff to control, requiring the difficult decision to abandon the Tournament and call in those intrepid teams that had defied the weather to set out on their round. There was, much to everyone’s relief, a consensus that this was the right response to the conditions and, if the buzz and atmosphere in the Clubhouse was anything to go by, a large number of players still managed to wring a great deal of enjoyment out of the day!

Thanks to the generosity of Sene Valley GC it was decided to try again. A new date of was set and Team Captains were invited to re-enter,and over half were able to do so. Those unable to do so were offered a complementary round of golf at Sene Valley

With organisers fingers firmly crossed, the Tournament finally got underway at 8.30 a.m. and to everyone’s great relief all entrants enjoyed the course in wonderful condition under clear skies, resulting in some terrific scores.

The winning team consisted of Chris Clark, Oliver Brooks, George Calver and Tom Harling.

Individual Mens winner was Oliver Brooks with Sue Timmins winning the Ladies prize

The real winners of course were the local Charities, primarily Age UK South East and Dementia Services, whose fund-raising efforts we are delighted to support.

Bill Flavell, Chairman of Age UK South Kent Coast remarked “ A tremendous effort in raising these funds under such difficult conditions, it will all go to help us provide vital services that are badly needed”

Photo Shows:

The winning team: Chris Clark, Oliver Brooks, George Calver and Tom Harling.

For further information: Mike Simmonds (Channel Rotary)

07968 740213 mike.simmonds@channelrotary.org.uk


Rotary Alpaca Treat For Young Carers


For further information:  Brian Banks (Channel Rotary)
07929 331353  brian.banks@channelrotary.org.uk

A group of Young Carers were treated to a fun day out by the four local Rotary clubs (Channel, Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh).  Together with Tina Culver, local Young Carer Coordinator, Assistant Victoria and Rotarians from all four clubs, they visited Hagueland, Burmash, for a splendid Meet and Greet the Alpacas experience followed by a delicious picnic lunch, both provided by the Alpaca Annie staff.  After lunch they spent another two exciting hours enjoying a menu of delights and challenges at the nearby Marsh Maize and Funyard.  Unfortunately the maze was closed because of the lack of growth due to absences of rain but this in no way affected the enjoyment of the excited youngsters. Most of them had never seen an Alpaca before and were delighted to participate in the various Funyard activities, many for the first time. At the end of a full day some tired but very happy youngsters, having made friends with fellow Young Carers, couldn’t wait to tell parents/siblings/guardians about their thrilling and exciting and adventures.

Tina, a member of Imago, the organisation engaged by KCC to provide support in the Folkestone and Hythe District for children and young people who have special responsibility for family members, thanked Rotary for arranging the outing.  She was thrilled at the positive feedback from the Young Carers, summed up by one of them who said “I was so worried about coming along but I am so glad I did”.

 PHOTOS SHOW:

The photographs show some of the Young Carers meeting a couple of the 80 Alpacas at Alpaca Annie’s and go-carting at the Hagueland Funyard


July 2022

Channel Rotary Supports Strange Cargo For their Charivari Day

Folkestone Channel Rotary Club has provided £500 to assist children to create and make  costumes for their annual Charivari Day. 

Channel Rotary`s outgoing President, Gary Calver has presented a £500 cheque to Brigitte  Orasinski, Artistic Director of Strange Cargo in continued support of the next generation of children and as part of our local community.

 Gary Calver, said: “Folkestone Channel Rotary is pleased to support Strange Cargo once again in putting on their Charivari Day on 16 July, this carnival brings joy and life, something that we all need as we leave lockdown behind us. Strange Cargo used the funds to help children to develop their artistic skills to make fantastic costumes for this colourful event, which has engaged hundreds of Primary School pupils each year”.

 In response, Brigitte Orasiniski, Artistic Director said: “2022 is Charivari Day’s 25th anniversary and after three years we were able to put on our normal parade.

As with all our activities, Charivari is free for people to join in and therefore relies on funding being secured from a range of partners. Strange Cargo would like to send their sincere thanks to Channel Rotary Club for their continued support of this important community project.”


Channel Rotary and Year 10 Mock Interviews at The Harvey

A very rewarding day was spent by 15 Rotarians and other local business persons interviewing year 10 pupils at Harvey Grammar school. The pupils had just been on a weeks work experience and the school wanted them to complete the exercise by exposing them to a live mock job interview. During the course of the day almost 150 pupils had had their interview. Channel Rotarians were very impressed with the standard of the candidates and the school should be congratulated on an excellent initiative.

Max Feaver for the school said “ We are really grateful for everyone giving up their time to give the pupils this unique experience. There is nothing like a real interview to provide that extra incentive”

For further information:  Brian Banks (Channel Rotary)
07929 331353  brian.banks@channelrotary.org.uk


Two Tons of Food Donated to Folkestone Foodbank

Photo Shows: (L to R) Channel Rotary members – Naomi Luckham of Folkestone – Food Collected
(Bottom) Anita Jones Deputy Mayor of Hythe & Mike Chinneck Lyminge Church

At the end of June, for three days, members of Folkestone Channel Rotary Club manned the entrance to Tesco supermarket, encouraging people to buy a little extra in their shop and donate it to the Folkestone Foodbank, a local charity for local people facing genuine hardship. The Rotary members were there in shifts from 9:00 till 6:00 each day, with two people per shift, making a total of 54 man-hours of voluntary work.

By the warmth of their personalities and the earnestness of their entreaties, Rotary members were able to persuade the general public to donate 165 large boxes full of goods, weighing 2,138 kilograms. Our splendidly generous partners, Tesco, not only allowed us to use their supermarket, but have donated 20% extra of the value of the goods. This is a much-needed cash supplement that helps with the running costs of the foodbank. All in all, the Channel Rotary members raised very close to £5,000 worth of food and cash.

It was astonishing and heart-warming that in the current economic crisis, with ever rising bills of their own, ordinary shoppers were still able to find the goodness within themselves to spend extra to help those in need.

Wendy Leinart the Foodbanks manager said “Absolutely amazing!! Thank you so so much for getting everyone involved and putting a great team together. Please pass on my gratitude to them all. Myself and the team at the warehouse are truly thankful to you all for your continued support and the great haul of much need food and supplies, your team worked hard to obtain for us. It’s wonderful to see our shelves filling up again as the collection is sorted and added to the stock”

Channel Rotary expect to be running the collection event again, at Cheriton Tesco, shortly before Christmas


Fabulous Romney Marsh Charity Bike Ride Raises Over £7000

One of the greatest pleasures of our annual 100 mile Charity Bike Ride is to quietly observe how much it means to each finisher whether they’ve completed the 30, 50, 80 or 100 mile routes.  The buzz of achievement is fabulous. This is not a race but a personal challenge to do your best.  The first 100 miler home was thrilled with his time at an average of over 20 mph. For another who finished the 50 mile route, it was her first time for 50 years since her teens.

We were blessed with a beautiful day, wind-free to start but with a rising breeze to contend with by the afternoon and that’s part of the exhilaration when finishing.  Comments like “what a fabulous route”, “the signage was great”, “the marshals were so helpful”, make the effort of organising the event so rewarding.  Some had cycled from home just to get a few more miles in.  Others had camped down the road on the night before.  Many take on the challenge because of medical conditions which they strive to keep in check.  One 80 mile cyclist had done his first ride of the year and was so pleased because he has lost 3.5 stone since January.  Two ladies arrived back saying “We have just talked non-stop for five hours.  It has been such a pleasure”.  Another lovely moment was when a cyclist who intended to join us but overslept came to pay simply because it was his intention to support our charity work.

At the finish in ever hospitable Star Inn at St Mary In The Marsh, there was a wonderful buzz around the garden.  Experiences were shared over refreshing drinks while music played.

With 250 cyclists, including two penny farthings and two tandems we raised over £7000 for charity.  Everyone had a great day and the good will continue as we distribute the funds to those in hardship and need throughout the locality.

PHOTOS SHOW:
Cyclists in action including an Intrepid Penny Farthing entrant


Channel Rotary Provides Direct Assistance to
Ukraine Using Links Through Romanian Rotary
and the New Earlscliffe Interact Club in Folkestone

Earlscliffe College Interact Club in Folkestone was founded in 2021 with the help of Channel Rotary and since then has forged ahead under the leadership of Founder President Iulia Lambrinon and newly elected President Yasir Idris. Iulia having a direct link with Timisoara Rotary Club in Romania has enabled a donation of £2000 from Channel Rotary to get directly to where it is needed in Ukraine

One of the Timisoara members is a doctor who has contacts and friends in Ukraine. So with the help of the Channel funds and others raised in Romania, shipments of urgently required medical supplies have been transported across Romania to the border where they are picked up and taken to where there is greatest need.

This is just one example of how the vast International network of Rotary Clubs can facilitate humanitarian need directly where it can make a difference. The President of the Romanian Timisoara club Daniel Lighezan said “ The support we have received from our fellow Rotarians and especially the Folkestone Channel club and their new Earlscliffe Interact club has helped immensely in the major task of aiding our neighbours in Ukraine”

For further information: David Rolls (Channel Rotary) 07774 962409; david.rolls@channelrotary.org.uk

PHOTOS SHOW:

Van loaded with medical supplies ready to be shipped to Ukraine and members of The Timisoara Rotary Club in Romania


June 2022

Channel Rotary Handover Night

An evening of skits, fun and of course a rundown on the years achievements provided a full and entertaining evening at Folkestone Rugby Club for the Channel members as Gary Calver handed over the reins and presidency to the incoming president Alan Myers.

Alan has been an active member of Channel for over 20 years will be well placed to lead the club for another successful year.

In the past he has been involved in some of the world’s most technically challenging tunnelling projects having been Construction Manager on the Channel Tunnel and Project Manager on the high-speed rail link to St Pancras. He was inducted into the British Construction Industry Hall of Fame in 2009 and lives in Sandgate with his wife Liz.


President’s Party

On a brilliantly sunny afternoon in June, Channel Rotary President Gary Calver invited the club members to his home for his end of term party.

This was the first President’s party for 3 years after the dreaded covid epidemic. It enabled members to enjoy a well-earned, relaxed fun afternoon following the hard work put in to fund raising over the past 2 years.


Channel Rotary Supports the Folkestone Rowing Club Ladies Cross the Channel Row in support of People with brain cancer

This summer the first female crew in Folkestone Rowing Club’s history (founded 1852) will row the Channel in memory of the Club’s greatly missed member Jenna Parsons who sadly passed away in 2019. Jenna’s parents are Club President Bob Watkins and Commodore Sally Watkins who introduced Jenna to the Club when only a few weeks old. Later, rowing was to become her passion. She started as a coxswain and soon earned her place as a senior rower winning race after race. Despite suffering from a brain tumour she still competed in the 2016 South Coast Championship. Her personality and steadfast determination made her an inspiration to everyone and her loss hit the Club very hard.

Channel Rotary is very pleased to donate £500 towards the Brains Trust Appeal in Jenna’s memory. Receiving the cheque from Channel Rotary President Gary Calver, Rowing Club Chairman Trevor Dawes said:

“Thank you to Channel Rotary for their donation to a charity which means so much to Folkestone Rowing Club after the sadness of losing a much loved and talented rowing member. Brain cancer is the biggest killer of children and adults under 40 but remains little known. The Rowing Club ladies are very pleased to support the Brains Trust charity and to help raise awareness through this rarely attempted cross Channel 22 mile row to France when wind and tide permit”.

Folkestone Rowing Club is keen to share its experience of the sea with as many people as possible and will be working with, and helping to fund raise for, a local community interest company which helps disabled people to experience and enjoy the sea.

This Cross Channel Row is an immensely worthwhile project and donations will be greatly appreciated. Please donate at the Club bar on Sandgate sea front or go to gofundme.com/f/folkestone-rowing-club-channel-challenge

For further information:
Peter Godden 07782 502689, peter.godden@channelrotary.org.uk
Trevor Dawes, Rowing Club Chairman 01303 248228 Contact Us | Folkestone Rowing Club

PHOTO SHOWS
Rowing Club Chairman Trevor Dawes and the Cross Channel team receive the cheque from Channel Rotary President Gary Calver


Folkestone Channel Rotary Awards Three More Paul Harris Fellowships

For further information:  David Jarvis 01304 784110

Channel Rotary was very pleased to award Paul Harris Fellowships to three Club members at its Annual General Meeting.  Paul Harris Fellowships are the highest award made by Rotary.  These three awards recognised members for many years of sustained commitment to the Rotary motto of ‘Service Above Self’ and their major contribution to the benefit of the community.  The awards were introduced by Founder President David Jarvis and presented by President Gary Calver.

BILL FLAVELL has served as a past President and is also currently the Club Secretary.  His work ethic is legendary and an example to everyone.  He was a central member of the Rotary Vaccination Team which managed all 700 volunteer marshals for the Covid vaccination programme and has also organised the Folkestone Santa Fun Run which was a central feature of the town’s Christmas celebrations.  Outside Rotary, he also finds time to provide leadership as Chairman and Trustee of Age UK Southcoast.

DEREK HARRIS is also a past President of the Club with 22 years of exemplary service in all aspects of Channel Rotary’s work in the community and internationally. He, too, was a central member of the Rotary Vaccination Team.  He has also made a substantial contribution to the work of the national mental health charity MIND for which he has received an OBE.

BRIAN BANKS has completed 25 years of committed Rotary service.  As one of the Club’s senior members he has given invaluable service to our Youth programme and to the wider work of the Youth Group of the four local Rotary Clubs with a special focus on the Young Carers in the community, ensuring that Rotary meets the needs of these most deserving young people.

PHOTO SHOWS

President Gary Calver (with chain of office) and Founder President David Jarvis (far left) present the Paul Harris Fellowships to (L to R) Bill Flavell, Brain Banks and Derek Harris


Channel Rotary helps Shepway Foodbank to Acquire Chiller and Freezer Equipment

Wendy Lehnert, Food Services Manager for the Shepway Foodbank, was delighted to receive a cheque for £1,000 from Channel Rotary recently.  She said:

“Our special thanks to Channel Rotary. This much appreciated money will be used to provide industrial chiller and freezer equipment in the warehouse to extend the Foodbank’s services into fresh produce to enhance the diet of people using our service.”

Wendy and her 25 volunteers expect to support around 5,000 people this year in the area from Lydd to Folkestone.  The Food Bank’s two vans collect donations from a wide range of supporters including supermarkets, community centres and schools.  Once sorted, these are taken to distribution centres for collection by local people on a voucher basis.  The much needed chiller and freezer facilities will allow more fresh food like meat, fruit, bread and vegetables to be stored and distributed.  In addition, a Pantry facility is being planned to further widen the food distribution service.  Find out what Shepway Foodbank’s urgent needs and drop off points are:  download the app www.bankthefood.org and select Shepway as your food bank.

Wendy and her dedicated team of helpers are always happy to hear from people who would like to volunteer to help them on an ‘as needed’ basis.  Please contact

foodbank@rainbow-centre-centre.org

PHOTO SHOWS

Channel Rotary President Gary Calver (right) presents the £1,000 cheque to Food Services Manager Wendy Lehnert (centre) with helper Ann Saxby (left)


May 2022

Well Deserved Award for Founder President of Folkestone’s Earlscliffe College Interact Club

Earlscliffe College Interact Club was founded in 2021 with the help of Channel Rotary and since then has forged ahead under the leadership of Founder President Iulia Lambrino.  Not only has it been active in the local community but a previous member has now founded new Rotaract Club in Bristol following her move to university there.  Locally, Earlscliffe Interact has provided funds for local charities and organised a series of webinars for young people on career opportunities and environmental matters.  All this was recognised when Iulia Lambrino was presented with an Achievement Certificate by Channel Rotary Past President Malcolm Stewart in the presence of Head Teacher Joss Williams at a School Assembly last week.  Also present from Channel Rotary was Gordon Robinson (Chairman of Community and Vocational Service).

The mantle of Interact President now falls to newly elected Yasir Idris who has exciting plans to increase membership and support the Folkestone community which he shared with the assembled pupils.  This includes an ‘In School Sleep Out’ inspired by the very successful event run by Channel Rotary with Porchlight in March.

Channel Rotary is delighted with the success of Earlscliffe Interact and wishes Yasir much success as President.  By coincidence, Iulia’s father is a member of a Rotary Club in Timisoara, Romania which lies close to the Ukranian border and with his help Channel Rotary is donating £1,000 to local humanitarian relief work with the many refugees.

PHOTO SHOWS:

(L to R) New Interact President Yasir Idris, Headteacher Joss Williams, Past Interact President Iulia Lambrino, Past Channel Rotary President Malcolm Stewart and Channel Rotary Community & Vocational Service Chairman Gordon Robinson.

For further information:  David Rolls (Channel Rotary)
07774 962409;  david.rolls@channelrotary.org.uk


Folkestone Channel Rotary Inducts Two New Associate Members

Further information: Nigel Hart, Media/PR Chairman: nigel.hart@channelrotary.org.uk

Channel Rotary is delighted to announce that Clare Grove and Mike Parry have joined us as Associate Members. Both are very experienced in marketing and media and are an excellent addition to our Media/PR team led by Nigel Hart. President Gary Calver said that: “Clare and Mike have already helped us with their knowledge and skills and we are very pleased that they have chosen to become Associate Members of Channel Rotary”.

Clare is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and has headed up DRIVE Marketing based in Folkestone for 9 years. She is highly experienced across a wide range of business sectors including new homes, automotive, education, healthcare, insurance, IT, legal, leisure and hospitality, recruitment, retail, telecommunications and travel. Clare is passionate about her work and speaks regularly to businesses, charities and schools about all aspects of marketing and events. She is a keen supporter of Kent cricket, and most weekends – come rain or shine – can be found pitch-side supporting her sons’ endeavours at cricket or rugby.

Mike has worked in the broadcast, branding, advertising and marketing industries over the last thirty five years and has already helped Channel Rotary as a volunteer with our annual Triathlon, Sleep-Out in aid of the homeless and the Folkestone Covid Vaccination Programme which inoculated over 250,000 people. He honed his skills with broadcasters such as ITV and Sky Television and then pursued a career in design and post-production through his own facility in Soho, London. Since then, he has worked for a wide range of clients including International Olympic Committee, Premier League, Football Association, Hewlett Packard and Volvo. He now has his own motion graphics and design company based in Folkestone’s Creative Quarter and has recently worked with Screen South (Folkestone), the Folkestone Triennial and BBC Arts New Creatives. Mike and his artist partner Sue moved to Folkestone in 2016, attracted by the area’s creative vibe and edginess! He enjoys walking his dog and is currently training as a watchman for National Coastwatch in Folkestone. He is a West Ham fan and loves local history.

PHOTO SHOWS

Induction of (L to R) Mike Parry and Clare Grove as Associate Members of Channel Rotary by President Gary Calver and Media/PR Chairman Nigel Hart


April 2022

Rotary Gives Giant Easter Treat To Young Carers

There are 900 selfless Young Carers in the local area, each one providing constant assistance and care to ill and disabled family members. Leisure time and enjoying the company of friends is very rare. The four local Rotary clubs (Channel, Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh) work closely with Imago, the organisation engaged by KCC to provide support for young people with this special responsibility.

Our latest venture was to treat 16 Young Carers to a Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Light Railway fun day out in April. Together with Tina Culver, local Young Carer Coordinator, Assistants Victoria and Lucy and Rotarians from all four clubs, the youngsters caught the train at Hythe and enjoyed the sight of recently born lambs and alpacas during their journey to New Romney, where a splendid lunch was waiting for them. Then, they visited the model railway museum, rejoined the train to Dymchurch and spent a couple of brilliant hours at the Amusement Park. Many of them were enjoying the excitement of the various rides for the first time. It was a tired but very happy group of youngsters that arrived back at Hythe having made friends with their fellow Young Carers and looking forward to telling their waiting parents, siblings and guardians about their amazing day.

Tina Culver thanked Rotary for arranging the outing and was thrilled at the feedback from the Young Carers. She provided the following quotes from three of them:

“It was such great fun and I met new people.”

“Such a great day. I‘ve done something really new as I’ve never been on the little railway before.”

“When is the next trip? It was great fun.”

PHOTO SHOWS:
Happy Young Carers at the Dymchurch Amusement Park with (L to R) Rotarians Collen Hill (Hythe), Brian Banks (Channel) and Rob Bryer (Folkestone).



Folkestone Town Mayor’s Community Award Given to Local Rotary Vaccination Team

Folkestone Channel Rotary is pleased to announce that the local Rotary vaccination leadership team was one of several people presented with a Town Mayor’s Community Award by Town Mayor Michelle Keutenius at the Town Hall on 31st March. This award is the Town Mayor’s way of showing appreciation to members of the community who have done something particularly noteworthy in Folkestone within their year in office, whether that be something that benefits their local community or the whole of the Town. The Rotary award was for a combined effort by the two Rotary Clubs in Folkestone to provide all the volunteer marshals essential for the Covid vaccination programme. Led by Joe Sullivan from the Channel Club with Bill Flavell and Derek Harris (also Channel) and Terry Cooke-Davies (Folkestone Club), they designed the booking system and installed it on the Channel Rotary website and then resourced the first group of volunteer marshals for the two Folkestone vaccination centres in only 4 days. Ultimately, 700 marshals were needed to support the 250,000 vaccinations carried out by NHS staff.

The vaccination programme was an amazing effort by everyone and shows what can be achieved when the NHS, Rotary Clubs and the local community work together so closely in a common cause. In the early days the volunteers and NHS worked through snowstorms, bitter cold and driving winds – particularly those in the exposed Civic Centre carpark – without a single complaint and always a smile and a welcoming word for the next customer. This sustained effort was recognised when Joe Sullivan, on behalf of Rotary and volunteers was presented to HRH Princess Ann at Dover Castle and by two awards of ‘Heroes of the Week’ by BBC Radio Kent; but the real prize was the quiet satisfaction of a job well done by so many people.

Both Rotary Clubs say a heartfelt thank you to all our volunteers and to all our colleagues in the NHS and other support services who worked so hard together to make the vaccination programme such a success. We hope this sets a direction for the future where more local people will enjoy the benefits and satisfaction of helping in our community, whether with Rotary or with the many other local charity and voluntary organisations.

PHOTO SHOWS

Folkestone Town Mayor Michelle Keutenius (right) Presents Her Award To The Rotary Team Joe Sullivan, Bill Flavell and Derek Harris (absent Terry Cooke-Davies Folkestone Rotary Club).


Channel Rotary Donation Supports Garden Plans For Folkestone’s Harbour Church

Further information:  Pastor Gareth Webber, 01303 211732   info@harbourchurch.co.uk

Gordon Robinson      07580 142466   gordon.robinson@channelrotary.org.uk

Pastor Gareth Webber of the Harbour Church in Black Bull Road was delighted to receive a £950 donation from Channel Rotary to help establish a new initiative in the church grounds.  He is a keen gardener and the church wishes to establish an allotment programme.  The connection was made by church members Hilary and Eddie Grimble who had volunteered to help Channel Rotary with the local Covid vaccination centres and been so impressed that they approached us for financial support.  We were, of course, delighted to say ‘yes’.

Hilary had suggested creating a ‘No Dig’ Allotment Area, similar to that already adopted successfully 3 years ago for the community garden at SAGA and managed by Leonie Wootton who has now volunteered to help with the Harbour Church projects.

There will be two new areas:

  • Community allotments behind the GP Surgery and to the rear of the church. They would be offered to local people, church members and patients at the Surgery who would benefit from working with other people.  The ‘No Dig’ method involves covering the existing grass with large sheets of cardboard which are then layered with topsoil and compost. Some fruit trees would also be planted in front of the church.
  • A pleasant, peaceful garden to the side of the church for community events with pleasant gardens, trees, flower beds and a sensory bed with scented plants and herbs.

Pastor Gareth said “We are so pleased with the donation by Channel Rotary.  Work will start soon with the arrival of warmer weather and it won’t be too long before the allotments and gardens will be in full flower and community use.”

PHOTO SHOWS:

  • Pastor Gareth Webber receives the £950 donation from Channel Rotary President Elect Alan Myers with (left to right) Gordon Robinson (Channel Rotary), Eddie & Hilary Grimble (church members). 

March 2022

Channel Rotary’s Sleep Out Heroes Storm Through Their £25k Target For The Homeless And Other Local Charities

On Friday 11th March at Three Hills Sports Park in Folkestone, Channel Rotary raised over £26,000 to be shared by Porchlight (the homeless charity) and our own local Rotary charities.  With funds raised by local supporters, sponsors of those sleeping out and donations given through Just Giving it was a wonderfully successful event.  The evening was topped by the extraordinary support of eminent local painter Shane Record from Folkestone’s Creative Quarter who completed a dramatic painting of the Old High Street live during the evening, amazingly in under 4 hours.  The pain was live streamed on Facebook watched by hundreds of viewers and bids were made from the room and online with a magnificent winning bid of £1,200.

The inspiration for the event came from Folkestone Academy pupil Samantha Gatland and her mother Lyn who had recently done a similar Sleep Out in London.  They mentioned it to Channel Rotary’s Fund Raising Chairman Joe Sullivan and he and his team grasped the idea with both hands to create an amazing evening in association with Porchlight, the charity that supports homeless people and those living on the streets.  BBC Radio Kent was so impressed that it requested an interview with Joe on the Pat Marsh Show next day and once again awarded Channel Rotary its ‘Hero Of The Week’.

The publicity certainly raised awareness of Porchlight’s work locally.  There are over 9,000 people on the streets in this part of the world and Folkestone is an area of special need.  

There was an air of happy excitement as guests listened to the various speakers and prepared for their night in the open air.  Channel Rotary President Gary Calver welcomed everyone and there were talks from Joe Sullivan, James Child (Porchlight), Michelle Keutenius (Folkestone Town Mayor), Folkestone & Hythe Councillor Jenny Hollingsbee with lots of good-humoured discussion.  Local author Denis Pepper added some historic sparkle from his historic book series about local Saint Botolph who was patron saint of travellers and homeless people as well as a friend of Saint Eanswythe.

Then the sleepers checked their sleeping bags, bobble hats, scarves, warm coats, extra socks, gloves, bars of chocolate and torches before settling into their recycled cardboard ‘tents’ (specially provided by London based cardboard manufacturer DS Smith) with the Channel Rotary and Porchlight logos proudly displayed.

The general view was that none of our sleepers would last long on the streets.  The extraordinary generosity of so many supporters plus recognizing the problems faced by rough sleepers kept everyone warm through the night.

This was an event run in with modern ways and technology.  Our friends from NE Timing (who help with our annual Triathlon each September) helped with the administration.  Channel Rotary’s PR machine went into overdrive with the help of another good friend Mike Parry.  Our special thanks to Jo Robinson, Terry Hardy, the gang from Earlscliff Interact Club led by David Rolls, members of staff from the Shepway Sports Trust and Three Hills Sports Park who were essential to our success, Streetz2Streetz mobile catering who provided free chips and a donation and to South Kent College students who donated soup, bread rolls and delicious sausage rolls.  So many acts of kindness on a great night.  Thank you everyone!

PHOTOS SHOW

  • Hi De Hi Happy Campers! Bedding down in the special cardboard tents.
  • Shane Record working on his amazing painting.
  • Folkestone Town Mayor Michelle Keutenius addresses the sleepers.
  • Streetz2Streetz providing freshly cooked chips for everyone.

Rotary Team Awarded Folkestone Town Mayor’s Community Award for Services To The Local Coronavirus Vaccination Programme

Folkestone Channel Rotary is proud to announce that the local Rotary team which managed the volunteers for the two Folkestone vaccinations centres has been included in the Town Mayor’s Community Awards.  The awards will be presented by the Worshipful Town Mayor Councillor Michelle Keutenius at a reception in the Town Hall on 31st March 2022 at 2.00pm.

This was a combined effort by the two Rotary Clubs in Folkestone.  Led by Joe Sullivan from the Channel Club with Bill Flavell and Derek Harris (also Channel) and Terry Cooke-Davies from Folkestone Club, they designed the booking system and installed it on the Channel Rotary website and resourced and managed the first group of volunteer marshals for the two Folkestone vaccination centres, all in only 4 days.  Ultimately, 700 marshals were needed to support the 250,000 vaccinations carried out by NHS staff.  It was an amazing effort by everyone and shows what can be achieved when the NHS, Rotary Clubs and the local community work together so closely in a common cause, in this case defeating the horrors of Covid 19.

In the early days the volunteers and NHS worked through snowstorms, bitter cold and driving winds – particularly those in the exposed Civic Centre carpark – without a single complaint and always a smile and a welcoming word for the next customer.  This sustained effort was recognised when Joe Sullivan, on behalf of Rotary and volunteers, was presented to HRH Princess Ann at Dover Castle and by two awards of ‘Hero of the Week’ by BBC Radio Kent; but the real prize was the quiet satisfaction of a job well done by so many people.

The two Folkestone Rotary Clubs would like to thank all our volunteer marshals who helped to make this possible.  Some of them have also helped with our local fund raising events.  We hope this sets a direction for the future where more local people will enjoy the benefits and pleasures of helping in our community, whether or not with Rotary or the many other charity and voluntary organisations.

PHOTO SHOWS:
Joint Rotary Team who Managed 700 Volunteers At Folkestone Vax Centres (l to r) Derek Harris, Terry Cooke-Davies, Joe Sullivan, Bill Flavell 18.11.21 (2)The members of the Rotary Vaccination Team


February 2022

Founder Member of Earlscliffe Interact Club in Folkestone Inspires Formation of New Rotaract Club in Bristol

For further information:  David Rolls  07774 962409  f.rolls@sky.com

Folkestone Channel Rotary Club is very pleased to announce that a new Rotaract Club has been established in Bristol.  Rotaract clubs are set up under the auspices of Rotary and bring together people aged 18-30 to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun through service.  In communities worldwide.  Rotary and Rotaract members work side by side to take action through service. Today there are 11,000 Rotaract clubs with over 200,000 members in 189 countries.

The connection is Nicoleta Suruceanu who, in 2021, was a founder member and Treasurer of the Interact Club at Earlscliffe Sixth Form College in Folkestone, set up with the help of Channel Rotary for youngsters up to age 18.  Nicoleta is now a student at Bristol University and was so impressed by her Interact experience that she set out to establish a Rotaract Club there. 

In Nicoleta’s own words:

“I have moved from being a founder board member of Earlscliffe Interact in Folkestone to being a founder board member of the Rotaract Club Of Bristol on 30 November 2021.  I am incredibly proud to be Treasurer of the only, newly charted Rotaract club in Bristol and the surrounding district.  In my first few weeks at Bristol University, I started to miss the tight sense of community we had at Earlscliffe Interact. Thankfully, the Rotary Club of Bristol put me in contact with like-minded young adults.  A couple of months later, we were already attending our charter ceremony, growing in members and working on future projects.  I am so excited by what is to come.  The major benefits of being a Bristol based club include the endless opportunities for collaboration with other Clubs and projects in the local community and internationally”.

PHOTO SHOWS

  • Excited founder members of Bristol Interact Club at their charter event.

Folkestone Inner Wheel Celebrate 90 Years of Service

11TH February 1932 to 11th February 2022.

For further information: President Doreen Cooke-Davies folkestoneinnerwheelclub@outlook.com

On a beautiful Spring day, President Doreen Cooke-Davies and the members of the Folkestone Inner Wheel Club met on February 11th at the top of the Zig Zag Path on the Leas to celebrate 90 memorable years of service in the Folkestone community.  At precisely 2.30pm, President Doreen read out the minutes of the first ever meeting in 1932 together with the names of the founder members at that historic meeting held in the Westward Ho Hotel in Clifton Crescent.  Since those early days, we’re proud to say that Inner Wheel has spread to 104 countries with over 100,000 members of whom over 14,000 are in Great Britain and Ireland.

The occasion was marked by photographs taken by helpful passers-by.  First was actress and TV star Lesley Vickerage (‘Soldier, Soldier’, Inspector Lynley Mysteries etc) who was out walking with a friend and happy to help.  Second was the mother of 3 year old Isaac who was also walking past.  Isaac wished everyone ‘Happy Birthday’ and wanted to stay for the party! He was very happy to be given one the colourful balloons as a souvenir.  The celebrations also featured delicious blueberry muffins and ginger biscuits baked by Vice President Jane Flavell.  It was a wonderful gathering to celebrate all those 90 years of service and all the Inner Wheel members who had contributed so much.  It will be long remembered by us all.

Folkestone Inner Wheel has supported local charities and good causes with many thousands of pounds in donations during those 90 years such as, recently, the Kent & Sussex Air Ambulance, Food Bank, Macmillan Nurses (through our annual Frugal Lunch and coffee mornings) and providing Christmas food parcels and Shoe Boxes for local families.  At present we are supporting the Fifth Trust at Elham which provides experience, including woodwork, pottery, arts & crafts, and cookery, plus garden centre tasks for adults with special needs. www.fifthtrust.co.uk Folkestone Inner Wheel Club is a group of women who meet once a month at Ward’s Hotel to promote friendship; encourage personal service in our community and foster international understanding.  We also have enjoyable outings and, of course, raise funds for charities and good causes. We are always happy to welcome like-minded people who might be interested in joining us.  Please contact our Secretary Maureen Foreman at: folkestoneinnerwheelclub@outlook.com or www.innerwheeldistrict12.org.uk/clubs/folkestoneinnerwheelclub.html


Channel Rotary Winter Appeal Brings Christmas Cheer

Age UK South Kent Coast was delighted to receive our donation.  During the winter months, demand for support from the elderly in our area – for shopping, food parcels, collecting prescriptions and hot meal delivery – has continued to increase as have enquiries about where older people can obtain additional financial support in these difficult times.  The Chair of Age UK South Kent Coast, Bill Flavell, said:

“This donation has enabled the Charity to provide Christmas cheer and support to a good number of people whilst also giving a small gift to all the staff and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to keep clients safe and healthy.”

The Winter Shelter started in 2009-10 on behalf of the local Folkestone churches and has been run by the Rainbow Centre since 2011-12.  This year the Shelter will operate until 31 March and has been much more closely integrated into the Rainbow Centre’s Homeless Support Service, which provides professional support and seamless follow-up for shelter guests of whom there are currently 16.  Mary Stredwick, CEO of the Rainbow Centre said:

The Shelter is supported by over 100 volunteers and is deeply grateful to the donors, individuals, businesses and churches who contribute financially to sustain it.  While the list of supporters is endless, we especially want to thank the Folkestone Rotary Club and the Channel Rotary Club for their unwavering support of the Winter Shelter and the Rainbow Centre in general.


January 2022

Channel Rotary’s Executive Sleep Out on 11th March

Sleep-Out videohttps://youtu.be/nWDMLzqtKso

The Pandemic may be passing but there are still people living on the streets

  • Please Support Channel Rotary’s Executive Sleep Out on 11th March At Three Hills Sports Park In Folkestone in aid of Porchlight (the charity for homeless people) and Channel Rotary charities.
  • Great need in the Folkestone Area.
  • Our Organiser Joe Sullivan will join invited participants from local businesses, community bodies and charities.  You can sponsor him on Just Giving www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joe-sullivan4
  • Further information:        Joe Sullivan 07740 284236 ; sullijoe@gmail.com  

THE CHALLENGE ON THE STREETS OF FOLKESTONE

Folkestone Channel Rotary is dedicated to improving the lives of our local community.  During this winter we have supported South Kent MIND, the Folkestone Winter Shelter, Age UK, Young Carers and many others.  As the virus shows signs of weakening, our work with the vaccination centres draws to a close and we look towards helping with the fall out and serious new areas of need. 

Our next big project is with Porchlight, the charity for the homeless based in Canterbury.  Their working party for Folkestone has identified it as an area of great need.  High housing costs and people at risk of eviction following the crisis are just two causes of concern.  The aim of Porchlight and other charities supported by Channel Rotary is to break the cycle leading to rough sleeping and homelessness.  They help to bring people off the streets and to find a secure place to live and a means of supporting themselves.  Sadly, as we have seen with the pandemic, there is always a new cohort of people who drift to fill their places on the streets.

Together with Porchlight we are holding an unusual, sponsored, Sleep-Out with invited business owners, executives and community and charity leaders.  The evening will start with an informal networking session to share experiences, ideas and maybe even form some plans.  This will be followed by the Sleep-Out to experience in a small way what it is like to sleep rough and, equally important, consider how to spread this awareness to suppliers, customers and colleagues.  Our aim, through sponsorship and donations, is to raise £25,000.

We are delighted with how the campaign has taken off in its first weeks.  DS Smith, leading suppliers of sustainable packaging, have offered bespoke cardboard tents made from recycled material which they will recycle afterwards.  And we are grateful to Three Hills Sports Park for hosting the event and to Streetz2Streetz mobile caterer for the offer of some food for those taking part.  Our thanks also to Academy FM Radio (Folkestone) for helping to raise awareness and Shane Record the highly regarded local artist.


Use Your Local and Regional Media

Simon Jones of BBC TV South East Today interviews Joe Sullivan of Folkestone Channel Rotary Club at the central Covid vaccination centre in Folkestone

RIBI and District 1120 have continually stressed the importance of publicity of Club activities and events as a means of improving awareness and support in the community and as a way of attracting new members.

Folkestone Channel Rotary Club has a well-developed PR and Image operation through websites, press and social media channels in South East England and puts out, typically, around one release a week.  A recent example illustrates how helpful this can be.

Throughout this year Joe Sullivan of Channel Rotary has led the team from the two local Rotary Clubs (Channel and Folkestone) in resourcing and managing all 700 volunteer marshals necessary to support the two local vaccination centres.  In this time, nearly 250,000 vaccinations have been carried out.  Other Rotary Clubs in District 1120 have provided similar local services. 

Before Christmas, Folkestone was running at about 1,000 vaccinations a day.  But after Christmas the numbers dropped alarmingly to around 100 a day.  The reason wasn’t immediately clear but a growing belief that Omicron was less harmful was certainly a factor.  On January 4th, Channel Rotary was asked to use its media connections to get out an urgent message that vaccinations were still essential and walk-in facilities were operating.  Within an hour BBC TV South East had been in touch and the following morning Reporter Simon Jones and cameraman Tony Bull were on site interviewing and filming.  The outcome was excellent coverage on BBC South East News.  A live to air session following the national news at 1.30pm and further pre-recorded items following the national news at 6.30pm and 10.30pm.  This was followed by a live to air interview of Joe Sullivan by Anna Cookson on BBC Radio Kent’s ‘The Wake Up Call’.

The call for help didn’t take long to do.  The real investment was in building a network of personal connections with media people throughout the region.  Yes, it takes time, but the results are well worthwhile.


December 2021

Channel Rotary’s Festive Gesture to Young Carer Families

Some local Young Carer families will have a more enjoyable Christmas this year thanks to the kind gesture of Folkestone Channel Rotary Club. Twenty supermarket vouchers were presented to Tina Culver, local Young Carer Coordinator, by Alan Myers, the Club’s President Elect, on 7th December.

Tina is a member of IMAGO, the organisation engaged by KCC to provide support in the Folkestone and Hythe District for children and young people who have special responsibility for family members. She was most appreciative and personally distributed the vouchers to very grateful recipients last week. Tina said:

“I received lovely feedback from the families with very happy tears and shocked but pleased faces. Several families said that Channel Rotary’s kind Christmas gift had come at a time of great need as they were truly down to their last few pennies. The gifts have made such a difference to the families at this special time of year.”

Channel Rotary has worked closely with the Young Carer organisations for many years and, together with the other local Rotary Clubs (Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh) we provide support and events through the year for the youngsters and their families. There are some 900 registered carers in Folkestone & Hythe District and a sizeable number who are not yet registered.

PHOTO SHOWS:

Alan Myers, Channel Rotary’s President Elect, presents the supermarket vouchers to Tina Culver, Youth Coordination Officer with IMAGO.


Folkestone Channel Rotary Sponsors Ambitious Local Youth Project

Thanks to a generous donation from Folkestone Channel Rotary, youngsters who attend the Folkestone Youth Project (‘The Shed’) in Bradstone Road will be starting an ambitious project under the watchful eye of Project Manager Ruth Tyler.  They’ll use the funds to buy materials to produce various pieces of art/sculpture inspired by the natural world.  These will be installed in the Urban Wilderness site in The Shed grounds.  The youngsters hope to hold an exhibition when all the pieces have been installed, involving taking images and getting them laser cut into metal and other materials.  They’ll upcycle the materials as much as possible.  The project will not only benefit the youngsters by giving them a worthwhile task during the winter months but will also enhance the environment for the local community.

Presenting the cheque for £500 President Elect Alan Myers said:

“We’re delighted to support the youngsters at The Shed in this way.  Its a fascinating project and should provide many absorbing hours for them.  We very much look forward to seeing the finished work.”

PHOTO SHOWS:

Alan Myers, Channel Rotary’s President Elect, presents the £500 cheque to three of the youngsters at The Shed one of whom is wearing Alan’s badge of office!


Food For Thought

Winter and particularly the festive season is a difficult time for many people including those who are unable to properly feed themselves and their families. This is where the many UK foodbanks play a very important part.  The Folkestone Foodbank is typical and provides an all-year round service.  At the end of November it holds a special 3 day collection at Tesco in Cheriton to help stock up for the festive season. Tesco customers generously donate a wide range of very welcome food items.

Channel Rotary has helped with the Tesco collection for a number of years. We draw customer attention to it, smile a lot and thank them with a cheerful Christmas wish as they leave their donations in the special collection bins.  We then move the gifts to an in-store area for onward travel to the Foodbank at the Hythe Football Ground.

This year a dozen Channel Rotary members took part working in shifts from 9am to 6pm.  The wonderful generosity of Tesco customers produced a magnificent total of 159 trays weighing 1,300 kg.  In the past collections tended to be dominated by baked beans and pasta but as customers become more familiar with the needs, there were many small, dearer, useful things.  They include toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap and razors as well as a good quantity of special items like chocolates and biscuits which are rare in the lives of Foodbank users and add a sprinkling of Christmas cheer at this special time of year.
Well done everyone.


New President Elect For Channel Rotary

Posted on  by channelrotary

Alan Myers has been elected to succeed Gary Calver as Club President in June 2022 and will be well placed to lead Channel Rotary in another successful year. Alan has been involved in some of the world’s most technically challenging tunneling projects having been Construction Manager on the Channel Tunnel and Project Manager on the high-speed rail link to St Pancras. He was inducted into the British Construction Industry Hall of Fame in 2009 and lives in Sandgate with his wife Liz.


Young Carers strike lucky at the Ashford Bowl!

Ten young carers from Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh were bowled over by their half-term treat from the area’s four Rotary Clubs – ten-pin bowling in Ashford topped off by lunch. It was one of four great trips organised this year by the Channel, Folkestone, Hythe and Romany Marsh Rotary Clubs for youngsters nominated by Imago, Kent County Council’s organisation that supports young carers.

Kate McNeice, Folkestone Rotary Club’s joint President this year, said: “It was so good to see these lovely young people who have extra responsibilities in their lives being just young people having fun.  Rotarians are privileged to make things like this happen – its the least we can do to help young people who care for family members in physical, practical and emotional ways.”

In the summer, young carers and their families went to a Hog Roast hosted by Romney Marsh Rotary at the local golf club where they also played at putting, croquet and other family fun games.  And the Clubs already have ready their next treats. Hythe Rotary has booked a trip to the Panto and we in Channel Rotary will take the youngsters on the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway in the Spring, with lunch and amusements included.


Folkestone’s Rotary Clubs Say A Giant Thank You To Volunteers

On 18th November, in a Giant Thank You organized by Joe Sullivan of Channel Rotary, the two Rotary Clubs in Folkestone hosted a special evening at Three Hills Sports Park attended by around 100 volunteers, sponsors and other supporters who have given so willingly of their time and resources to help make our fund raising and Covid management programmes such a success this year.  Despite the pandemic our two Clubs have raised around £80,000 for local charities in great need as public donations have fallen away, many families have faced hardship and school children have suffered from lack of IT equipment for home learning.  The funds were raised by events like the popular Folkestone Channel Triathlon and Folkestone Rotary Half Marathon.  In addition, a team led by Joe Sullivan has resourced and managed 700 volunteer marshals for the two Folkestone Vaccination Centres which have carried out 170,000 vaccinations so far.

Channel Rotary President Gary Calver warmly welcomed all the guests including representatives of the local councils, District Rotary and local businesses.  He thanked them all for their magnificent support through the year which had helped to make so many good things happen.  The vaccination programme alone had accounted for 20,000 man hours (roughly 1 person doing a full time job for 10 years).  On behalf of the two Rotary Clubs and all local volunteer marshals Joe Sullivan of Channel Rotary had been presented to the Princess Royal at Dover Castle recently with other senior representatives from Kent Rotary.

Ray Johnson, next year’s President of Folkestone Rotary, then reviewed their achievements.  He was followed by Folkestone Town Mayor Michelle Keutonius who shared her appreciation and gratitude for the amazing support of everyone concluding “Never underestimate the lives saved, and changed, by the efforts of everyone.  Volunteers don’t get paid because they’re worthless. Its because they’re priceless!”

Cheques were then presented to:

  • South Kent MIND
  • Shepway Sports Trust
  • Money Matters Folkestone

Joe Sullivan concluded the evening by passing his personal thanks to everyone and to the sponsors who had generously supported our activities including Folkestone Town Council, Folkestone & Hythe District Council, KCC, Roger de Haan Charitable Trust, FAS, Church & Dwight, SAGA, Jenners, Walkers, BBC Radio Kent and Academy FM, Folkestone Rowing Club and Rescue Centre.  He closed by issuing a new challenge to our volunteers saying: 

“We have enjoyed your company for the past year and hope you will continue to help us bring some happiness into the lives of less fortunate people.  You don’t have to join Channel Rotary but we hope you will remain as our very good friends.”

PHOTOS SHOW:

  • President Gary Calver of Channel Rotary presents the cheque to Simon Dolby, CEO of South Kent MIND.
  • to Dan Hume, CEO of Shepway Sports Trust
  • Joint Rotary Team Who Managed 700 Volunteers at the two Folkestone Vaccination Centres (l to r) Derek Harris, Terry Cooke-Davies, Joe Sullivan, Bill Flavell

October 2021

Three Channel Rotary Members Are Awarded Paul Harris Fellowship, The Highest Award In Rotary

Folkestone Channel Rotary was very proud to present Paul Harris Fellowships to 3 members on 13th October.  

Presenting the awards, President Gary Calver and Founder President David Jarvis said:

“It is a great honour to present these Paul Harris Fellowships.  This is the highest award that a Rotarian can receive and is named after the founder of the worldwide Rotary movement.  All three recipients are past Club Presidents and exemplify the Rotary motto and ideal of ‘Service Above Self’. Together they have contributed over 100 years of charitable service and commitment to the needs of the Folkestone & Hythe Community, nationally and overseas. They are truly the bedrock of Channel Rotary and we congratulate them.”

  • Peter Godden has given nearly 40 years of service and this award recognises the effective way that he has organised and contributed to Club events and activities like our annual Charity Wine & Wisdom Evening which regularly attracts some 200 Quiz Buffs.
  • Richard Mallinson has completed 40 years of dedication and commitment.  Like his fellow recipients, he has been involved with every aspect of Channel Rotary’s work both locally and wider afield.
  • Joe Sullivan has completed nearly 20 years of service and made an outstanding contribution to Channel Rotary, especially in Fundraising and Volunteer organization.  Joe was the leading figure in instigating and subsequently organising the popular annual Folkestone Channel Triathlon. This year he led the team that, in a matter of days, organised and now manages over 700 volunteers to support the two Covid-19 vaccination sites in Folkestone.

Paul Harris Fellowships are awarded under the auspices of the Rotary Foundation to which the 35,000 Rotary Clubs worldwide contribute in addition to everything they raise for charities locally. This is Rotary’s own international charity which has spent over £3 billion on good causes such as improving health and environment, providing quality education and alleviating poverty. Channel Rotary now has 10 Paul Harris Fellows.

PHOTO SHOWS:

  • President Gary Calver and Channel Rotary Founder President David Jarvis congratulate the new Paul Harris Fellowship holders  (L to R) David Jarvis, Richard Mallinson, President Gary Calver, Joe Sullivan and Peter Godden

Earlscliffe Sixth Form College in Folkestone Celebrates the Formation of its Own Interact Club Sponsored by Channel Rotary

Channel Rotary is delighted to announce that the formation of Earlscliffe Interact Club was recognised at an Evening of Celebration at Earlscliffe Sixth Form College, Folkestone on 1st October attended by 70 Guests including members of Interact, Rotary officials, local dignitaries, teachers, family and friends.  Interact Clubs are formed under the auspices of Rotary International and bring together young people aged 12-18 in nearly 11,000 clubs in 109 countries worldwide to develop leadership skills and support their local communities through charitable work.  In so doing, the members discover the power of Rotary’s worldwide motto of ‘Service Above Self’ and learn how leadership can be serious fun.

Despite the impact of Covid, Earlscliffe Interact Club arose in 2020 from a joint initiative between Head Teacher Joss Williams and Channel Rotary’s then President Malcolm Stewart.  Also influential in this decision was student Iulia Lambrino whose parents are both members of Timisoara Cetate Rotary Club in Western Romania.  As the Interact Club’s founding President, Iulia has enthusiastically driven it forward with the encouragement of her parents and the school.  The new Club has 28 members from 8 different countries and their recent charitable work includes providing Christmas gifts for disadvantaged children in Folkestone and donating £1,000 to Demelza House Children’s Hospice raised by Club members undertaking sponsored activities in their home countries during lockdown.  They have also organized a series of webinars on Career Opportunities with speakers from Channel Rotary.  Looking ahead they have several projects in mind including working with local Primary Schools to develop after school clubs and activities.

Headteacher Joss Williams welcomed the guests including:

Folkestone Town Council – Deputy Mayor Councillor Nicola Keen
Earlscliffe College – Mrs Julie Fish (co-founder of the College)
Rotary District 1120 – Immediate Past District Governor Brian Dunne & Jean Shrubb (District Youth Lead)
Channel Rotary – President Gary Calver, Immediate Past President Malcolm Stewart & David Rolls (Interact Liaison Officer)
Folkestone Rotary – President Kate McNeice
Hythe Rotary – President Liz Dearden
Timisoara Cetate Rotary – Mr & Mrs Radu Lambrino and friends Mr & Mrs Dusan Filipa
Eastcliffe Interact – President Iulia Lambrino, officers and members.

Mr Williams explained the ethos of the school and his pleasure at the opportunity to involve pupils in charity and leadership tasks under the Interact banner.  Once the project got underway it had been like a force of nature sweeping through the school.  It was a pleasure to recognise how well the school’s motto “This is my life.  I will make it count” chimes with Rotary’s “Service Above Self.”  He congratulated Iulia and her fellow students on the way they had embraced the concept and its practical application.  He concluded:

“We are delighted that our Interact Club has started so strongly and very proud of our links with Channel Rotary.  It is wonderful to have some concrete examples of Service Above Self to talk about in assemblies and conversations with pupils.  I look forward to the continued success of this wonderful venture.”

Responding, President Gary Calver thanked Mr Williams for his warm welcome.  He said how much Channel Rotary appreciated being able to work with the school and its pupils through the Interact Club.  Their commitment shone through in their achievements so far.  He looked forward to a long and happy relationship.  He then welcomed the guests from Rotary District 1120 (Kent, Sussex, South London, Gibraltar) and from the other local Rotary Clubs recognizing the close working relationship with them.  He also gave a special welcome to Iulia’s mother and father Mr and Mrs Lambrino and their friends Mr and Mrs Filipas who had travelled from their home in Romania to support Iulia.  As is traditional when Rotarians from different clubs meet, there was an exchange of club banners between Dr Calver and Mr Lambrino.

President Gary also congratulated the Earlscliffe team and Channel Rotary Liaison Officer David Rolls who had worked tirelessly with Iulia to establish the Club and put on the evening’s celebration.  With this level of commitment he was sure that the Interact Club would flourish for many years to come.

President Gary then welcomed Iulia and her leadership team to the stage and congratulated them on a tremendous first nine months:

  • President                Iulia Lambrino
  • Secretary                Maria Toma
  • Vice President        Trevor Justin Oguchi
  • Treasurer                Nicoleta Suruceanu

Rotary Immediate Past District Governor Brian Dunne then presented the Earlsclife Interact Club’s President’s chain to Iulia to great applause saying:

“I am delighted to make this presentation especially as this is the first Interact Club to be chartered in District 1120, with its 70 clubs, since the easing of Covid lockdown and probably the first in the UK.  Congratulations to Earlscliffe College, our new Interact Club and Channel Rotary for developing such a close relationship during the pandemic.  Special congratulations go to President Iulia for her idea of forming the Club and her determined efforts to ensure it succeeded.  I’m sure the Club will thrive under her Presidency”.

President Iulia said how grateful all her members were to have such strong support from the staff and pupils of Earlscliffe College and the members of Channel and District Rotary.  They all looked forward with great enthusiasm to supporting the local community and building on this in their future lives.

The evening concluded with an excellent informal buffet provided by the College.

PICTURES SHOW

The Earlscliffe Interact Name Plate which will be displayed on the College building.
Channel Rotary President Gary Calver exchanges banners with Radu Lambrino of Timisoara Cetate Rotary Club in Romania
Earlscliffe Sixth Form College Head Teacher Joss Williams welcomes the guests.
All the members of Earlscliffe Interact with Guests from Channel Rotary and Immediate Past District Governor Brian Dunne.
Presentation of the Interact Chain of Office by Rotary Immediate Past District Governor Brian Dunne.


CHANNEL ROTARY MEMBER JOE SULLIVAN MEETS PRINCESS ANNE AT THE COVID ‘THANK YOU’ AT DOVER CASTLE

Joe Sullivan of Channel Rotary and other District Rotary representatives are introduced to The Princess Royal

Folkestone Channel Rotary Club is proud to announce that our member, Joe Sullivan, was one of those presented to The Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Lawrence at Dover Castle on 30th September when they thanked front line NHS workers and volunteers for their magnificent contribution during the Covid pandemic.  Working together from February 2021 under Joe’s leadership, Channel Rotary member Derek Harris and the Folkestone Rotary President Terry Cooke-Davies had built the system to manage the volunteer marshals at the two Folkestone vaccination centres in only 4 days and then recruited and organized the volunteers from then on.  It was a massive undertaking and at peak there were nearly 700 volunteers on the register.

Needless to say, with many people returning to work, it is becoming more difficult to maintain an adequate number of marshals and new volunteers are always welcome.  Please contact weflavell@hotmail.co.uk   07860 269512.

For security reasons there was no pre-publicity of the Princess’ visit and it was an outdoor event being the safest way in Covid times. Among those represented from the armed forces were:

  • Headquarters Army 11 Brigade
  • 36 Regiment Royal Engineers (Maidstone)
  • 1st Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles (Folkestone)
  • 3rd Battalion The Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment (Canterbury)
  • 600 Sqn (Auxiliary) RAF

Organisations representing frontline services in addition to NHS were

  • Border Force Agency·
  • Dover District Council·
  • HM Coastguard
  • Kent County Council
  • Kent Fire and Rescue Service
  • Kent Police
  • Kent Search and Rescue
  • Medway Voluntary Action (with representatives from other Charities that played a key role)
  • RE:ACT Disaster Response
  • Rotary UK

As The Princes Royal arrived, the combined Bands of The Princess Of Wales’ Royal Regiment and the Brigade of Gurkhas played the Royal Salute and then continued to play throughout the visit.

The tour took about an hour longer than scheduled as The Princess Royal, who was on her third engagement of the day, seemed so genuinely interested in everyone.  In the case of Rotary, she enquired about how we have responded to new areas of need following Covid and especially about volunteer work at vaccination centres.

The Lord Lieutenant of Kent Lady Colgrain, preceded The Princess and introduced each person.  Through the afternoon people also spoke about their work with the Vice Admiral, Dover MP, Chair of Kent County Council, Dover Town Mayor and The High Sheriff of Kent.

The Rotary District for Kent and Sussex estimates that 50.000 hours of voluntary work has been completed since Covid-19 started.  Of this the two Folkestone Rotary Clubs have provided some 20,000 hours, primarily managing the volunteers for the two local vaccination centres but also including their other work such as helping schools in various ways and supporting Young Carers, Age UK, the Food Bank, the Churches Winter Shelter and many other deserving causes.

As both the Princess and her husband left, they sent their thanks for all that the volunteers had done throughout the pandemic.  Their relaxedl and friendly approach left no doubt that it was made out of a desire to learn and an awareness of the hardships caused by the pandemic and the efforts by so many to support their communities.


Channel Rotary Winter Fund Appeal

Please Donate Here https://bit.ly/ChannelWinterFund

For further information please contact:

Derek Harris 07799 065917; derek.harris@channelrotary.org.uk

Channel Rotary has been raising funds to help the less fortunate people in the world for over 40 years during which time we have donated many hundreds of thousands of pounds to all kinds of charities and especially for those people in need in our local area.

Many of us at wintertime like to make a donation to help others but need an easy way to do it. Maybe you are a pensioner who the government helps every year with a winter fuel allowance but perhaps don’t have the same need and would like to find an easy way to give some of it to a worthy cause.

Well, we have identified at least two organisations that fit that bill including Age UK which helps the lonely and vulnerable, the Folkestone Churches Winter Shelter which helps those who are homeless and on the streets, and the Food Bank which helps those who just don’t have enough to live.

So please donate to our CHANNEL ROTARY WINTER FUND and know that our Rotary Club will make sure it reaches those in most need this winter.

Please Donate at https://bit.ly/ChannelWinterFund


September 2021

Presentation to Rotary Young Artist Competition Winner

Earlier this year, Anushka Sharp, a pupil at St Augustine’s Roman Catholic Primary School, Hythe, won the local Rotary Young Artist Junior competition and was runner-up in the Regional competition. The theme of the competition was “Wild Nature” and Anushka produced an outstanding painting of a hedgehog. Sadly, she had to be presented with her prizes outdoors, away from the school, because of Covid restrictions.

Fortunately matters have now changed and Headteacher Mrs Nicola Clarke arranged for Anushka to be presented with her now framed winning entry and prize certificates at school assembly on Friday, 17th September. David Jarvis of Folkestone Channel Rotary Club (which organised the competition) made the presentation. Collen Hill of Hythe Rotary Club, which has links with the school, also attended. Both Rotarians took the opportunity to compliment Anushka on her success and express the hope that it would encourage her and her fellow pupils to enter one or more of next year’s Rotary youth competitions, details of which will be provided in due course.

Headteacher Mrs Clarke said “I am proud and delighted at Anushka’s impressive accomplishment in a wide field of entrants from hundreds of primary schools across the region. I hope her success and its publicity could act as a catalyst for greater interest and participation in future Rotary youth competitions by pupils from all local


Folkestone Channel Triathlon is another Super Success

Folkestone Channel Rotary Club’s fourth Triathlon took to the water and roads of Folkestone on 5th September, once again under the leadership of Club maestro Joe Sullivan.  The response of the athletes was excellent and plans are already in hand for the next one in September 2022.  The Channel Tri is now well established in the South East calendar and this time it attracted people from a wide area including visitors from Australia and Poland.

Local personality Matt Morsia from Hythe (one of the best known fitness gurus in the UK) opened the event.  He has over 2 million subscribers on his You Tube channel ‘Matt Does Fitness’, 900,000 on Instagram and is just publishing his new book.

200 enthusiasts of all standards from beginners to fully experienced swam, cycled and ran.  Based at the Harbour Arm, the Channel Tri showcases the major developments in the Harbour area, the Town and our amazing coastal and countryside scenery during the swim, cycle and run phases.  The athletes took to the water like ducks with the protection of canoeists from the Folkestone Rowing Club and Folkestone Rescue Service.  The pleasant sun later in the morning added to the enjoyment.  Triathlons are about challenging yourself.  Not many have a genuine sea swim and for some athletes this was their first experience of choppy water and they had the comfort of knowing they were being safely watched over.  The same drive and commitment was evident in the cycle and run phases and there were some powerful, personal achievements as athletes conquered the route and their tiredness.  Every finisher was presented with a smart medal as a permanent reminder of a very enjoyable day.

We’ve had tremendous feedback including:

  • “Very well managed and the marshals were so helpful and friendly.’
  • “I just wanted to say a big thank you for a really well organised, safe, fun GoTri today.  I did it with my son in law and grandson and it will provide great memories, and a sense of achievement!  A big thanks to all the marshals, volunteers and staff, who really made it such a great experience, and gave us encouragement and friendly advice and instructions!  I really don’t like running but I did it with a smile!”

Channel Rotary President Gary Calver and Organiser Joe Sullivan were delighted with the outcome saying.  “This has been another excellent event.  Once again, we are grateful to everyone who helped to make it such a success including the athletes, our wonderful marshals, volunteers and our sponsors particularly The Roger De Haan Trust, FAS, SAGA, Kent County Council, Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Folkestone Town Council, Jenner Construction and Walker Brothers.  Its a little early to know how much we’ve raised but we expect a sizeable amount for a range of local charities including South Kent MIND and Shepway Youth Trust.”


August 2021

Local Rotary Clubs Provide Happy Fun Day For Young Carers

For further information:  David Rolls, Channel Rotary, 07774 962409

The four local Rotary Clubs of Channel, Romney Marsh, Hythe and Folkestone joined forces on15th August to host a day of fun and games at the XIXth Hole Clubhouse at Littlestone Golf Club.  The sun shone and the day remained dry as about 60 Young Carers and their families from all over the district gathered to enjoy a variety of games and a Hog Roast.

The event had become a regular fixture in the calendar of all four clubs before the Covid pandemic put a stop on large gatherings last year and so it was with great pleasure that we were able to run it again this year.  The children enjoyed playing mini football, target boules, bowling and skittles and one young lady enjoyed the quoits game so much, she kept coming back and eventually amassed a total score of well over 6,000 points in the course of the afternoon.  There was also a putting competition with prizes for the lowest scores returned by a girl and a boy plus a special reward for a ‘hole in one’ by a youngster who thus made himself the envy of many of the adult golfers present.  Unfortunately, he was considered too young to be made to buy a round of drinks for all present, the usual ‘reward’ for such a feat. 

Numbers were a little down on the last time the event was held in 2019 but the feedback from all who came along was very positive and reflected the hard work put in by the four clubs, the staff at the XIXth clubhouse, the LGC which again allowed the use of their grounds and car park and Kent Young Carers Organisation who coordinated the invitations and liaised with the families that attended.  We sincerely hope that we will be able to host the event again next year and look forward to welcoming back our new friends and further extending the hand of Rotary friendship.


Channel Rotary Cycle Challenge Donates £3,200 to South Kent Mind

Gary Calver. President of Folkestone Channel Rotary (left) presents the £3,200 cheque to Simon Dolby of South Kent MIND

Channel Rotary’s very successful Charity Cycle Challenge on Romney Marsh in July has donated £3,200 to help South Kent MIND to develop its support for local people facing mental challenges. The cheque was presented by Channel Rotary President Gary Calver to South Kent MIND CEO Simon Dolby at SK Mind’s premises in Mill Bay, Folkestone.

President Gary Calver said:

“I am very pleased to present a cheque for £3,200 to South Kent Mind from the monies raised by the recent Cycle Challenge organised by Channel Rotary Club. South Kent Mind has supported the residents of Folkestone and Hythe for over 30 years. The Covid pandemic has had a major effect on mental health, both directly and indirectly. Channel Rotary is very pleased to contribute to the work of SK Mind in supporting local residents and look forward to working on future projects together.”

In response, Simon Dolby, CEO of South Kent Mind said:

“We are so grateful to Channel Rotary. The funds from the Cycle Challenge will help us to support people in Folkestone who are trying to re-connect with life after being isolated through lockdown. For people suffering from anxiety and depression this has been a particularly tough time, and the workshops and counselling we are able to provide thanks to Channel Rotary will be immediately put to good use.”


July 2021

Anushka Sharp St Augustine’s RC Primary School In Hythe Wins Rotary Art Competition

The four local Rotary Clubs (Channel, Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh) are delighted to announce that Anushka Sharp (age 9) has won first prize in the Junior Section of our annual Rotary Young Artist Competition and come runner-up in Rotary’s much larger South East District competition.

Anushka is a pupil at St Augustine’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Hythe and loves painting. This is a great achievement when you consider that there are 72 Rotary Clubs in our District (Kent, Sussex, South East London and Gibraltar) all closely associated with hundreds of primary schools. Over the years, local schools have had a strong record of success in these District and National Rotary competitions.

The theme of this year’s Young Artist competition was “Wild Nature” and Anushka produced an outstanding painting of a hedgehog.

David Jarvis, Founder President of Channel Rotary (Folkestone) and organiser of the local competition presented her with a voucher for £30 and a painting kit beside the Military Canal in Hythe last week. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to make the presentation at a school assembly because of Covid restrictions.

Collen Hill, Past President of Hythe Rotary Club, attended the presentation and is arranging for Anushka’s winning entry and her Local and District prize certificates to be specially framed for her.

Sam Newton, Dylan Kendal and Kaspar Dart, all pupils from Sandgate Primary School in Folkestone, were also highly commended in the Local competition.

Congratulations to our prize winners and all our entrants.

PHOTO SHOWS
Anushka Sharp receives her prizes from David Jarvis of Channel Rotary


Channel Rotary Club’s 12th Marsh Cycle Challenge A Great Success

350 riders from all over the South East weren’t deterred by the uninviting grey, wet weather from 7.30am on 4th July when they set out on their chosen 30, 50 or 70 mile circular routes. Aged from 9 to early 80’s, and including 2 penny farthings and 2 tandems, they tackled the quiet, fully marshalled roads through the picturesque Romney Marsh countryside.

Fortunately, the weather picked up and the returning riders were greeted by bright sunshine. The Ride has been based at The Star Inn at St Mary In The Marsh for the past 12 years and it was a pleasure to see so many people relaxing in The Star’s garden for a well-earned pint and a bite to eat. This wasn’t a race day but everyone received a souvenir medal and there were some creditable times despite the early weather.

Many of the riders had very personal reasons for taking part such as the memory of family and friends who had been victims of Covid-19. Together, they helped us to raise over £7,000 much needed funds for South Kent MIND and other local charities.The introduction of the 70 mile route proved very popular and drew many compliments from cyclists. We are keen to add a 100 mile route next year.

Our grateful thanks to our sponsors FAS Financial Services and the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, Star Inn landlady Terri and Channel Rotary partners, family and friends for all their invaluable support. Also, to Simon Dolby from South Kent MIND for his excellent video.


June 2021

Channel Rotary’s New President Gary Calver

Malcolm Stewart Hands Presidency Over To Gary Calver

Channel Rotary’s new President is Dr Gary Calver who joined the Club 7 years ago and succeeded Dr Malcolm Stewart on 30th June. He was welcomed at the Club’s traditional Handover Night attended by over 70 people on Zoom. Dr Calver has lived in the area for nearly 35 years, mostly in Folkestone and more recently in Hythe and worked as a GP in Folkestone for 31 years before retiring as Senior Partner at Sandgate Road Surgery. He also had a career in medical politics sitting on the British Medical Association GP Committee and the Kent Local Medical Committee as well as involvement in many Health Authority bodies over many years. He will continue to Chair of the Cameron Fund which is the national GP Charity.

Gary and Sarah have been married for 38 years and have 3 married children and 2 granddaughters. He is an enthusiastic rather than talented golfer and enjoys long walks in the Kent countryside. He also belongs to a knowledgeable wine tasting group. He said:

“It is a great privilege to be President of Channel Rotary. The Club has achieved so much during its 40 years and has raised around £1 million for local and international causes. Our strength is in our friendship, commitment to the local community and our way of not taking ourselves too seriously. This was never more evident than over the extraordinary 18 months when Covid affected all our lives. Nevertheless, with outgoing President Malcolm Stewart’s leadership, the Club has thrived, embracing new technologies and innovations to ensure our weekly meetings and social events continued and to raise over £33,000 for charity and local good causes. I now intend to build on this incredible success in my Presidential year.”


Castle Hill Community School Prizewinner in Channel’s
Young Photographer Competition

Many congratulations to the Young Photographers at Castle Hill Community Primary School in Folkestone who won prizes in Channel Rotary’s competition. Each one has received a Certificate and cash award for their achievement.

First prize: Spencer Caldwell (Monkey Peas On A Tree) £25
Second prize Oliver Smith (Duck Drying Its Wings)) £10
Third prize (joint) Jack Smith, Teddy Blanche and Jaden Cottle £5 each

The entries were judged by well-known photographer Mrs Beatrice Auger. She particularly liked the first prize winner ‘Monkey Peas Growing in a Tree’ saying “Congratulations to Spencer Caldwell for thinking ‘outside the box’, searching for his photograph and getting into a good position to take the image. Well done.”Oliver Smith was also commended for his picture of Duck Drying Its Wings which “would not be easy to capture with such a sharp image”.

Mrs Auger commented that “Photography is a lovely hobby which can be enjoyed at any age. It helps you to see things in many different ways and makes us more aware of our surroundings both locally and more widely in the world. Thank you and well done to you all.

”The Prizes were presented by Dr Malcolm Stewart, President of Channel Rotary at a Zoom assembly involving 14 classes. Headteacher Peter Talbot thanked Channel Rotary for organising the competition and said how much the school valued its relationship with the Club.

The subject for next year’s competition will be ‘Folkestone – a seaside town’.


Channel Rotary Sponsors New Interact Club At Earlscliffe Sixth Form College in Folkestone

Channel Rotary President Malcom Stewart visited Earlscliffe Sixth Form College in Folkestone recently to formally recognise the formation of a new Interact Club based at the College.

It arose from a joint initiative last year when Head Teacher Joss Williams and Channel Rotary President Malcolm agreed to set up the new Club.

This was, in part, driven by Iulia Lambrino a student from Romania who, as the Club’s first President, has enthusiastically driven its formation and charitable work with the encouragement of her parents who are both Rotarians in Romania. Iulia has been ably supported by her leadership team in the College.

There are 22 students in the new Club from 8 different countries. Their recent charitable activities include providing Christmas gifts for disadvantaged children in Folkestone and donating £1,000 to Demelza House Children’s Hospice. The funds were raised by Club members undertaking sponsored activities in their home countries during lockdown.


May 2021

Channel Rotary Provides Exciting Skywalk For Deserving Youngsters

Further information: Brian Banks, brian.banks@channelrotary.org.uk More than a hundred pupils from some of Folkestone’s primary schools are being given a surprise treat by Channel Rotary this month – an exciting SkyWalk Adventure at Folkestone Sports Centre They are all young carers who look after a parent and/or sibling(s) when not attending school and so treats like this are rare.

Each youngster will be presented with a voucher for the recently opened, very popular SkyWalk where they can let off steam to their hearts content. There are many young carers in our community and all these very committed youngsters fully deserve some special attention. The arrangements have been made with school Head Teachers and each school will distribute the Skywalk vouchers to their youngsters, many before the schools break up on Friday.

In the words of one Head Teacher: “What a superb way for Channel Rotary to bring joy to some of our dedicated pupils whose often demanding home commitments are mostly unknown. It is much appreciated by everyone”.

Tessa Stickler, General Manager of Folkestone Sports Centre echoed these sentiments:“
We are delighted to support Channel Rotary’s treat of a SkyWalk session for all of these amazing young carers. Your fantastic work in the community is enabling these young people to enjoy this new adventure activity which I’m sure they will appreciate and enjoy”.

The Skywalk is a safe, fun, aerial course set 20ft up with 2 levels and 22 obstacles; and it is suitable for all ages over 1.2m tall and under 114kg. The experienced instructors provide briefings and safety equipment and are with people all the time in case help is needed.


Charity Golf Day Raises Over £8,500 For Local Charities

Folkestone Channel Rotary Club’s annual Golf Day has raised a magnificent £8,500 for deserving local charities and good causes.

Organiser Mike Simmonds thanked everyone most sincerely for their incredible support which has broken all records this year saying, “I`m delighted to tell you that between our 200 golfers, sponsors and donors over £8,500 has been raised all of which will be distributed to small, less well known, local charities and good causes whose fund-raising efforts have been very badly affected by Covid-19. These are the unsung heroes and support for them is priceless. My grateful thanks to all our players, sponsors, donors, Sene Valley Golf Club and staff, and Channel Rotary members and partners. Our players have had a wonderful day but the real winners are the small, local charities and good causes”

Channel Rotary President Malcolm Stewart said, “This has been a wonderful day with all our players enjoying their golf and raising a record sum of money to help our local community.”

Golfers from all over the South East enjoyed their day despite the showery rain and wind at Sene Valley Golf Club, Hythe with its panoramic views over the Channel. The course was in good condition and the greens ran true although slow after overnight rain. During their rounds, the golfers had the pleasure of Covid compliant food and drinks at the Half Way House and were able to relax in comfort on the Club House patio after finishing their round. As a permanent reminder of a great day, each team of four had their photograph taken on the first tee both with their face masks on and off before they teed off. This is a friendly event and some golfers have played every year since it started nearly 20 years ago.

Honours Board

Men’s Team Winners Clark, Harris, Calver & Carling
Mixed Team Winners Brouwer, Potter, Hinds & Hinds
Ladies Team Winners Dicks, Lloyd, Ellis & Price
Individual Winner Men Ross Savage
Runner up Chris Clark
Individual Winner Ladies Lisa Brouwer
Runner up Linda Dicks


April 2021

Commanding Officer Of 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles Joins Channel Rotary

Channel Rotary is proud to announce that Lieutenant Colonel Edd Oldfield QCVS, Commanding Officer of the Ist Battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles, has joined Channel Rotary as an Honorary Member.  The induction took place at Sir John Moore Barracks, Folkestone on 28th April.  Lt Colonel Oldfield was appointed CO of 1RGR in August 2020 and has wide experience in various operational theatres including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Sierra Leonne and Northern Ireland.

Inducting Lieutenant Colonel Oldfield, Malcolm Stewart President of Channel Rotary said:

“We’re delighted that Lieutenant Colonel Oldfield is joining Channel Rotary.  He continues a tradition dating back to the early 2000’s that the resident Commanding Officer of ‘the Gurkhas’ has joined our Club and we have enjoyed a close and mutually supportive relationship which has benefitted the Shepway community and various community projects in Nepal.  Many local residents will remember seeing Gurkha soldiers taking part in our annual charity fund raising events.  In recent years, Channel Rotary has supported the Nepal earthquake appeal, the Gurkha Welfare Trust and the Gurkha Memorial Fund’s work in Folkestone and in Nepal alongside its support for local charities including, in the past year, over £25,000 for good causes such as Age UK (Folkestone), Folkestone MIND, Shepway Sports Trust, local schools and many other smaller good causes. 

Responding, Lt Colonel Oldfield said:

I am very pleased to join Channel Rotary Club and to be associated with its work in the community and look forward to building on the strong and lasting friendship between 1RGR and the Club.”


February 2021

Hero Of The Week

We are pleased to let you know that the two Folkestone Rotary Clubs have been nominated as Hero Of The Week by BBC Radio Kent.

This is for our support to the two Folkestone Vaccination Centres with Joe Sullivan, Derek Harris and Bill Flavell of Channel Rotary and Terry-Cook Davies of Folkestone Rotary to the fore supported by a great team of Rotarians and local volunteer marshals.


Folkestone Rotary clubs Combine to Support the NHS with
Volunteers and Logistics for Folkestone Vaccination Centres

In anticipation of mass Covid vaccination, the 1700 UK Rotary clubs had been mobilising to provide support.  On Wednesday January 20th Joe Sullivan of Folkestone Channel Rotary Club received a request to help with volunteers for the centres at the Civic Centre (drive-in) and Debenhams (Folca walk-in) in Folkestone.  In addition to Channel Rotary members, Joe’s first call was to Barry Pluck at the Shepway Sports Trust based in the local Three Hills Sports Park who in turn contacted 43 sports related clubs asking for volunteers. The response was immediate and massive.  Within an hour emails were flooding in.  Derek Harris OBE, another Channel Rotary member, started combining all the emails into a database and before the end of the day nearly 100 volunteers were signed up as marshalls.

Dr Terry Cook-Davies, President of our friends in Folkestone Rotary Club and an internationally respected expert in project management, agreed to join the Channel Rotary team to establish the vaccination booking system.  People kept volunteering and in only a couple of days Derek and Terry had built the necessary systems to manage the 250 volunteers. The team was also joined by another Channel Rotary member Bill Flavell, a very experienced businessman, who supervises the volunteer rota which is hosted on the Channel Rotary website.  The two vaccination centres sites are now supported by 35 volunteers every day as part of this great, national vaccination effort.  The satisfaction is enormous.

As a result of this immense coordination with the NHS, the Civic Centre vaccinates 500 people a day and Debenhams 1000 people a day working 12 hours daily, 7 days a week.  Our volunteers are thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to help with this enormously valuable community project.  They tell us how much they like the experience of being marshals and the whole positive atmosphere of the vaccination centres.  They are buzzing with excitement.

All this coordination has been established on the invaluable links developed between Channel Rotary and the local civic and business communities in making the Folkestone Channel Triathlon into a major sporting attraction http://www.channeltri.com . Even during the pandemic, the Triathlon raised £11,000 which was donated to local mental health charities, school hardship funds and technology to help school pupils with on-line teaching at home.

Our sincere and grateful thanks to the Shepway Sports Trust, Jenner Construction, Folkestone District Council, Sainsburys, the Clifton Hotel (for coffee at the Civic Centre) and to all our volunteers for their help so willingly given.

PICTURES SHOW:

  • Dr Gary Calver (Channel Rotary) Completes A Questionnaire Prior To Vaccination at the Civic Centre
  • Edwin Beddy (Channel Rotary) with NHS Staff at Debenhams

December 2020

Clap your hands for Folkestone Channel Rotary Club member Alan Myers!

  • £3000 raised by his daily charity swims in the English Channel.
  • 30th Anniversary of Alan’s major involvement in building the Channel Tunnel.

This week Alan finished 28 days of charity swims in the English Channel off Sandgate Beach near Folkestone and has raised £3000 for charity. His Rotary friends thought this was a great venture and have supported him throughout. He’s also been supported by a large number of worldwide followers on Facebook and Instagram from Australia to Canada via Greece and Sweden.

This hasn’t been a simple challenge. Alan’s been through all the sea conditions you can imagine from flat calm to 8ft seas, driving rain, howling winds and freezing temperatures – but he hasn’t missed a day. Nothing daunted he kept going, driven on by the thought of raising much needed funds for the Celia Blakey Cancer Care Unit at the William Harvey Hospital (where his wife and several Channel Rotary members have received excellent care) and local Channel Rotary charities.

Tuesday 1 st December was also a memorable day for Alan as the 30th anniversary of the British and French drilling teams, breaking through in the Channel Tunnel. Alan was senior tunnelling manager and the second Brit through the hole to greet his French counterparts followed by the Secretary of State for Transport Sir Malcolm Rifkind. In his study he has a piece of rock broken off the very last piece that separated the UK and France. He gave that last piece to Margaret Thatcher who had just resigned as Prime Minister. It was, in all ways, a memorable day in world tunnelling history and some readers may have heard Alan recalling vivid memories on BBC Radio Kent on Tuesday afternoon.

Would he do the swim again? “Probably not” he says with a big grin. “It’s not been easy but it was all in a wonderful cause and the proceeds will be so helpful to our local charities when funds are very short due to Covid. It’s a strange thing – 30 years ago I was in the Tunnel deep under the English Channel and for the past month I’ve been swimming over it!”


Folkestone Channel Rotary Club Member Awarded the OBE in the New Year Honours

Channel Rotary is proud to announce that our member Derek Harris (left) has been awarded the OBE in the New Year Honours for his exceptional services to UK charities and charitable fundraising.

Said Channel Rotary President Bill Flavell:

“We are all delighted to hear of Derek’s award. For ten years he was Sales Director for Age UK, doubling the number of shops to 200 and greatly increasing their impact and contribution. Such was his commitment that, when he could have retired, he took on a similar role in the mental health charity Mind as a Director of Minds Matter Trading Activities. Mind provides advice and support to anyone experiencing a mental health problem and campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health. In the seven years until he stepped down this month, the annual turnover of the retail shops had effectively doubled underhis stewardship

“Derek joined Channel Rotary in 2001 and was our President in 2009/10. He has also held other senior responsibilities including directing our popular annual Santa Run. Throughout, he has worked tirelessly for the Club and for the charities and good causes we support locally, nationally and internationally. He exemplifies in every way the Rotary motto of Service Above Self.”


2020 Folkestone Channel Triathlon

The third year of this event was another great success. This has now become a key event in the Folkestone calendar incorporating a sea swim from Sunny Sands beach, a cycle route from the town around the Alkham valley and a run along the sea front. All finishing at the magnificient harbour with the exciting developments on the harbour arm. 

The 4th Channel Tri will be held on Tri 5th September 2021

www.channeltri.com