Some years ago, a new acquaintance asked me what should have been a simple question: “What is Rotary?” I opened my mouth to reply and then stopped short with the realisation that I simply did not know where to begin. The problem wasn’t that I didn’t know what Rotary was. The problem was that Rotary was — and is — too large and complex to easily define. We are a member-based organisation, a club-based organisation, and a service based organisation; we are local, regional, and international; we are community members, business people and professionals, working and retired, active in nearly every country in the world. Every one of our 1.2 million members has a unique set of goals, experiences, and priorities; every one of us has a unique understanding of Rotary.
To me, Rotary is defined not by who we are, but by what we do — by the potential that Rotary gives us, and the ways we realise that potential in meaningful and lasting service. Rotary has been around for a long time: 112 years. In some ways, we’ve changed tremendously, as we’ve grown, matured, and adapted to the changing needs of our members and communities. In our fundamentals, however, we remain the same: an organisation of people with the desire — and through Rotary, the ability — to make a difference in our communities, and the world. We answer the question “What is Rotary?” with our actions, by making a difference through our service.
As an organisation, we recognise how important it is that the world understand what Rotary is, and what we do. At the same time, we know that it is more important than ever to allow our clubs to define Rotary service for themselves. As Rotarians, we have more flexibility than ever to decide how we want our clubs to meet, work, and grow. We’re focused more than ever on making sure that Rotary reflects the people it serves, with more women and a more diverse membership. And we’re working hard to ensure that Rotary remains the world’s pre-eminent volunteer service organisation, by emphasising long-term planning, sustainable service, and continuity in leadership on every level.
In 2017-18, we will answer the question “What is Rotary?” with the theme Rotary: Making a Difference. However each of us chooses to serve, we do it because we know our service makes a difference in the lives of others. Whether we are building a new playground or a new school, improving medical care or sanitation, training conflict mediators or midwives, we know that the work we do will change people’s lives — in ways large and small — for the better. Whatever motivation each of us had for joining Rotary, it is the satisfaction we find in Rotary that causes us to remain, the satisfaction of knowing that week by week, year by year, we are part of Rotary: Making a Difference.
Ian H.S. Riseley
President, Rotary International, 2017-18
With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering can be enormous. Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer. The right match can help you to find friends, connect with the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career.
Giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health. It can reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. While it’s true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day. Giving in even simple ways can help those in need and improve your health and happiness; and this is something we offer, and pride ourselves on, at Windsor & Eton Rotary Club.
Benefit 1: Volunteering connects you to others: One of the more well-known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people, animals, and organisations in need. And volunteering is a two-way street: It can benefit you and your family as much as the cause you choose to help. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills. One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area.
Benefit 2: Volunteering is good for your mind and body: Volunteering provides many benefits to both mental and physical health, such as:
Benefit 3: Volunteering can advance your career: If you’re considering a new career, volunteering can help you get experience in your area of interest and meet people in the field. Even if you’re not planning on changing careers, volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organization. You might feel more comfortable stretching your wings at work once you’ve honed these skills in a volunteer position first.
Benefit 4: Volunteering brings fun and fulfilment to your life: Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions. Doing volunteer work you find meaningful and interesting can be a relaxing, energising escape from your day-to-day routine of work, school, or family commitments. Volunteering also provides you with renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life.
Join Windsor & Eton Rotary Club and start your volunteering today...
The Dictionary 4 Life Project is free standing project working in association with the Rotary Club of Battersea, Brixton and Clapham (District 1130), Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland and Usborne Publishing Ltd.
In Windsor it is managed by Windsor & Eton and Windsor St George Rotary Clubs, with support from Rotary District 1090.
The Usborne Illustrated UK Standard edition Dictionary 4 Life comprises 1,000 illustrations, 10,000 entries and 20,000 definitions printed in full colour on leaflet grade paper from a sustainable forest and contains 288 pages. It promotes British English and encourages children to widen their vocabularies and improve their life chances. The project was initiated in 2007 and so far has provided more than 1 million dictionaries across the world.
By using dictionaries efficiently, children will explore spellings, meanings and derivations for example by using alphabetical order, abbreviations and definitions with understanding. One of the most positive aspects of being able to use a dictionary is that it helps to develop autonomy and confidence in the learner — one of the core goals of education. It promotes books and the printed word. It will be a “possession” for the child. It will enable both first and second language users to extend and improve the accuracy of their vocabulary. It should help children with their homework in secondary education. In some homes it may also form a reference work for all the family.
Windsor Rotary Clubs have been running this project since 2007 as part of their Youth Initiatives in the local community along with Youth Speaks, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, and supporting local Rotakids and Interact club(s).
Windsor and Eton Rotarian Derek Bishop, wearing his other disguise as Mayor of Eton, was a pivotal member of the restoration team, not only as part of the driving committee but also in designing and constructing himself the new bridge.
The watercourse restoration project was officially opened last Tuesday with the unveiling of a plaque by Lord Waldegrave of North Hill and a ribbon cutting at the bridge by Eton Mayoress Mrs Glenys Bishop.
What a fantastic community project, with partners galore contributing to what in effect re-established the island of "Eyot-tun", from which the name Eton is derived.
Following a recent talk at our Rotary Club by Tony Churchill the Founder of 'OKOurKids' we have decided to support the project by getting their book called 'Watch Out 'into all the schools in the area with Key Stage 1 pupils.
OK Our Kids is a community interest company that helps young children to deal confidently with the challenges and dangers of staying safe at home, in school and in the community.
Our mission is to help our young children deal confidently with the challenges and dangers of staying safe at home, school and in the community: to empower them with the skills they need to face everyday situations knowing what is the right thing to do and leading others by their example. We aim to achieve success in our mission through educational partnerships with schools, businesses, and community and parent groups.
‘OK Our Kids’ first Watch Out book was the inspired idea of Claire Annison, a serving Police Officer with Thames Valley Police, and Tony Churchill, a former Police Community Support Officer. Through their work in Primary Schools and the wider Community, Claire and Tony saw the need for a new initiative to develop resources specifically designed to educate, inform and empower primary school children to stay safe in the community and on-line. ‘OK Our Kids’ was then further developed by Tony and Lynn Churchill to provide help, guidance and counseling to schools and families that have already been affected by events involving child safety and protection.
How we are supporting the campaign
We have so far had a good response to our initial contact with schools and in the next few weeks we will take a copy of the book to those interested to encourage them to share with their pupils.
The book 'Watch Out' is a child's guide to everyday dangers, it is well written and illustrated in a way that the children will understand.
If you’d like to find out more about this project or support us please do contact us.
More details of OKOurKids can be found on www.okourkids.org.uk
The Community and Vocational Committee have supported the Windsor Observer newspaper annual Christmas Toy Appeal for many years through donations of new children's books. The books were given to children in need in the catchment area. In 2018 the newspaper did not promote this appeal, so to ensure our commitment to the community and to ensure local children received gifts at Christmas, the club decided to donate books to DASH, a charity which helps victims of domestic abuse.
The books were selected by Rotarian Martyn Gorton's wife Diana, who is a former teacher and school librarian and had contacts with the trade.
We were very pleased to donate over 60 new books to cover ages from babies to teenagers, this year adult books were also purchased for the Mums and Dads. This is just another example of our club doing good in the world and making a difference locally.
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