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January 2022

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.


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.”


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.”


  • 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.


  • 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.


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.


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   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

For further information please contact:

Derek Harris 07799 065917;

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

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.

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, 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.

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