Rotary President!

When I joined the Rotary Club of Shrewsbury, I had just moved into the local area and searched online for a local organisation that I could join to get to know people in the area but more importantly an organisation that would enable me to get involved in the local community.

6 years later and I have become President for this Rotary Year July 2019- June 2020.

It is such a privilege for me to become President and it gives me a real opportunity to make a big difference in our local community.

In my year I choose the projects that I want the club to support. These are the projects that I have chosen.

Shrewsbury Academy, Sundorne Campus has been identified as one of the lowest performing schools in the country in fact has been in the bottom 20 for the past 2 years. The project is (in association with Shropshire Music Service) to see all eight Year 7 classes at Sundorne Campus have music lessons with the musical instruments provided free of charge. The aim is to transform and inspire the pupils through orchestral music with the lessons starting in September 2019. In addition to the classroom-based activities, there will also be out of school clubs to enable the pupils to learn other instruments and we hope to develop music groups for the whole community. As part of the programme, the University Centre will be involved to monitor the effect of the project on the pupils’ achievements.

My international charity is Music Action International based in Manchester, Music Action International transforms lives destroyed by war, torture and persecution. Their highly specialist team of international musicians are trained to support survivors, using music as a creative tool to reduce trauma and connect divided communities. Their values and ethos fit perfectly with Rotary promoting peace through music in parts of the world that are torn apart by war and conflict. They have also offered to connect the children of their project with the children of our music project in Sundorne.

One bug bear that I have, is wasted medical equipment and medication. I see it all the time with clients and more recently with my sister who received a very large delivery of home dialysis equipment which turned out to be unsuitable, however once dispatched they were unable to return it (I believe worth thousands of pounds) just wasted. Inter-care medical aid for Africa collects unused medical equipment and distributes it so it is not wasted and so I would like to be able to facilitate the collection of what would be otherwise wasted, medical equipment for this charity in our local area.

I am in the process of setting up an informal Friends of Rotary group in partnership with 2 other Rotary clubs in Shrewsbury. It will be mainly a social group that will meet once a month but members will be encouraged to support Rotary projects, we are going to pilot our first meeting on Tuesday July 16th at 5.45pm at The Peach Tree and absolutely anybody is welcome to join us so please do come along you will be very welcome.

It is a very exciting year ahead and I hope it will be a very successful year.