I love organising the Rotary Youth Speaks Competition every year because it allows our young people to shine.
This year Trevelyan Middle School & St Edward’s Royal Free Ecumenical Middle School fought for the Intermediate prize and Windsor Girls fought for the Senior prize amongst themselves in the prestigious Jafar Hall at Eton College. What a story to tell at dinner parties in years to come.
Teachers are very busy people with lots of demands on their time so they need to have a real passion for Youth Speaks to give it the time and commitment required. Thankfully, this year the new English teacher at Windsor Boys came and watched the competition and said she would bring boys teams next year… hurrah, they are engaging again… would love to see Dedworth Middle School join in if anyone reading this has any influence?
The topics for this year’s debate were:
All the students gave an amazing account of themselves, sharing their thoughts on their chosen topics with passion and belief normally only seen on TV when a CEO is fighting their corner. Richard Allen of the Green Room led our Intermediate judges and gave each team a clear summary of their performance, enthusing all to keep debating. The Intermediate winners spoke on “Money can’t buy happiness” with George Burden as Chair, Fiona Winters Proposing the topic and Anushka Sagar Opposing.
Edward Shekiluwa, chair of the other team, won the Best Speaker prize with his very engaging performance using his god given smile to light up the room.
David Knowles-Leak chaired the senior judges and underlined the importance of taking part being character building and that all local schools should join in. The younger team from Windsor Girls won again this year on the topic of “Mobile phones have a positive impact on today’s society”. Chaired by Olatz Bulson-Roman, Proposed by Scarlett O’Shaughnessy and Opposed by Lydia Sampson we all turned our phones to silent mode so we hear the debate ;) Scarlett won Best Speaker and so walked away with oodles of Amazon vouchers so she can buy more books, videos and mobile apps!
Because of circumstance, 2 teams from each category are going forward to the next round to be held in February where they will be competing against teams from Ascot, with the winners going through to the District Finals in March in Marlow.
As Chair of the Youth Committee I am exploring an idea of how I can take the energy from this competition and bottling it for the wider community to help young people find their voice.
Chair of Youth Committee
Windsor and Eton Rotary Club, Community and Vocational Committee are pleased to support DASH for the second successive year.
As a charity, DASH works within a framework that acknowledges the gendered nature of domestic abuse and addresses root cause issues of violence against women, which are embedded in the historical and cultural unequal status of women in society. Weaved within all their practical work is a commitment to help each victim explore and understand their experiences and the effects upon them and their children, build upon identified skills and strengths with a view to build their resilience, confidence and self esteem.
They support all those within our community affected by Domestic Abuse by delivering a range of specialist services that will break the cycle of abuse enabling individuals and families to thrive.
As a Rotary Club we have supported them on numerous occasions and were pleased to present them with a selection of books to deliver to people being supported in time for Christmas. The books purchased will cover a variety of children’s age groups and also parents who are equally in need of support. The picture shows just a selection of the books which have been donated.
Last night saw over 100 Windsor & Eton Rotarians, their partners and friends enjoy a festive-themed Christmas Party at The Castle Hotel in Windsor and much fun was had by all... as the photos show! We were also joined by our District Governor Frank Quinn, who seemed to enjoy pulling his cracker!
Guests arrived to a fabulously decorated grand staircase which led up to a drinks reception where glasses of bubbles were enjoyed by all! A sumptuous 3-course dinner was served in the grand ballroom whilst festive tunes played in the background and guests enjoyed each others company, exchanging the usual aghast faces as the traditionally cheesy cracker jokes!
After dinner entertainment ensued with a music quiz, guessing the year the number one hit was in the chart, with grand applause to anyone who manged to get them right! Of course no Christmas party would be complete without some dance-floor fillers, and guests were not disappointed, quickly leaping up to join in such classics as YMCA and All I want for Christmas...
A superb evening catching up with friends, enjoying festive cheer and simply having fun! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!
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...
Monday night’s evening Rotary Meeting doubled as a Valedictory Meeting for the Inner Wheel Club of Windsor and Eton. Five former members attended the evening meeting, these were Mary Weaver (Last President), Jane Clark, Jean Davis, Diana Gorton and Pat Preston; where President Ralph of the Rotary Club paid a tribute to the Club its members and the constant support given to Rotary. Mary Weaver responded and thanked the Rotary Club members for the invitation.
The Inner Wheel Club of Windsor and Eton was founded in 1939 and has continued uninterrupted until recently, when declining numbers led to the reluctant decision to bring the Club to an end, but not before the 80th anniversary was reached.
DG's Handbag Campaign
.A number of the Windsor & Eton Rotary Club members and partners went off to enjoy a very special evening at the famous Bel Canto Restaurant in London on Thursday, 24 October. The evening arranged by the clubs social committee (part of their exciting social events programme) was a superb mix of an excellent three-course dinner intermixed by young waiting staff that were in fact also very fine voice-trained Opera singers.
During the evening a good number of popular opera pieces were sung to resounding rounds of applause, and at one point all were invited to participate (it can be confirmed that this showed there are no potential opera singers in the club!).
Rotarian Bernard Hawkes, a member of the social committee, commented ‘this was truly a great fun evening, even our non-opera lovers enjoyed every moment, one even commenting – “I’ve been converted to opera from this”, we all made our way home at the end of the evening, on relaxed highs from the evenings entertainment’.
Over the weekend of Friday 11 October to Sunday 13 October a group of Rotarians from Munich visited London, under the leadership of Katharina Bareiss, a past member of Windsor & Eton.
On Friday they came to Windsor where they were met by Rotarians Adrian Benge, David Osmond, Kevin McGarry & Colin Coombs. We did a tour of Windsor Castle and St George's Chapel and then had lunch together in the Two Brewers. A short walk on the Long Walk and then Katharina led her party on a whistle-stop tour of Windsor!
It was lovely to catch up with Katharina and meet some new friends...Rotary really is an international organisation that connects the world!
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).
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