Tim’s Trek Day 5
Club member Tim Bryce continues his Walk of the Thames Path from Lechlade to Teddington in London.(125 miles), raising funds for our ongoing project in Sierra Leone, establish by Alan Wolstencroft, this year’s Club President, for developing Education – helping to finance, classrooms, equipment, sanitation and clean water.
President Alan joined him for part of the walk at Abingdon. Read the full story at http://banburyrotaryclub.org.uk/?page_id=4052
Calvert Trust Expedition
On the morning of Friday 15th July, Club members and partners visited the Griffiths Centre (GC) building at Frank Wise School.Â This kind invitation had been extended in acknowledgement of Club having sponsored two GC students each year since 2012 to attend the Calvert Trust, Exmoor. After serving refreshments, students Tim and James gave a short presentation on their recent experience at their activity weekend with the Calvert Trust. There, participants with physical, sensory and learning disabilities can experience exciting, challenging and enjoyable outdoor activity adventures such as archery, canoeing, zip wire and abseiling, and assisting other less capable participants in organised and social group activities.
The immediate challenge that Tim and James faced was that, although the course was fully accommodated and catered, they had to be individually independent outside their carefully supervised activities. This was the first time that either student had been away from their regular home and school comforts and support of familiar staff or family, or having to organise themselves to such an extent without prompting. Truth be told, James found it quite difficult to cope with his newfound independence and had some behavioural difficulties initially. However, after encouragement with GC staff over the phone, and with Tim’s support, James recovered to take full advantage of the weekend. This experience will prove invaluable in the near-term as James is about to leave Frank Wise to take a three year placement at a further education establishment in Cornwall that will train him in the hotel trade. Tim has another year at GC after which he hopes to take a place at Banbury & Bicester College.
It has always been very satisfying for Members to hear direct personal feedback from this project, normally during a routine Friday talk. Club is extremely proud to have worked with students and teachers from the Griffiths Centre at the Frank Wise School, and the Calvert Trust, Exmoor, and the Youth Services committee has recently recommended to Council that this sponsorship should continue in 2018.
The West End comes to Banbury
Last Saturday, to celebrate the start of a new Rotary year, 200 people packed the theatre at Tudor Hall School, and witnessed a “West End” concert. Simon Adkins (originally from Banbury and currently the resident choreographer of 42nd St in the West End), Alison Dormer & Clare Rickard accompanied by Rob Cousins performed a wide and varied range of songs from the Musicals, many of which the three have performed in during their time as Musical Theatre professionals.
Newly installed President of Banbury Rotary Club, Alan Wolstencroft, who was instrumental (pardon the pun) in setting the concert up stole a line from Jersey Boys (Simon was in the original West End cast) and said “Oh What a Night”!
All four performers donated their time, appearance fee and expenses to support Banbury Rotary Club’s concert which was raising funds for Alan’s Africa Sierra Leone schools projects and Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign. Simon said “it was great to be back in Banbury, seeing family and friends, performing with three great people and helping Alan & Rotary raise funds for two great causes”.
Alan said “Rotary’s theme this year is “Rotary – Making A Difference”. The concert was a great way to start my year as President and I owe an immense debt of gratitude to the four professionals for putting on such a great show, and giving freely of their time, and I must also acknowledge the wonderful support we received from Tudor Hall School and the local businesses who donated items for the raffle and auction”.
PHOTO: From left to right: Alan Wolstencroft, Clare Rickard, Alison Dormer, Simon Adkins and seated Rob Cousins
Warriner Practice Interviews 2017
The final part of the Practice Interview Programme (PIP) conducted by Club this year was concluded on Wednesdays 5th July when 5 students from the Warriner School were interviewed for a second time as part of the competition to find the student who most impressed. All 5 students were worthy of their second interview, and each performed well.
In the end the 3 interviewers (Ashley and Rosemary Bedding, and Nigel Randall) easily agreed that Bethany Parish came across as the most impressive student, mainly because she showed that she was able to take full part in her school education whilst following her love of both stage and technical aspects of the theatre in school and AmDram productions, girl guiding and maintaining a social life whilst at the same time juggling her complex young carer duties for her single mum (who had mental and physical difficulties) and younger brother. In addition, she was already discussing with Oxford Brookes how she could study for a future career in the theatre whilst fulfilling her carer responsibilities. It was a very humbling experience speaking to her, more especially as she was only 15 years old.
My thanks go to all Rotarians and Friends of Club who volunteer to conduct the PIP interviews at BGN and the Warriner each year, and without whom this scheme would not be possible. Older Club members may recall that the late Rotarian John Meeres imported PIP from his previous Club ‘up North’ over 12 years ago. Below is a recent email from the Careers Leader at the Warriner that will hopefully endorse why the programme remains so important:
I would like to formally thank you and your colleagues for your valuable contribution to the careers education of our new Year 11 students. The interviews are the final careers activity of the year, following work experience and an enrichment day, and I have received a resounding positive feedback from all students which I would like to pass on to you.
Students commented that your team made them feel at ease and that they have developed a greater understanding about the purpose of an interview. This education is invaluable in terms of developing the confidence of young people to progress in the big wide world. Many students admitted to feeling very proud of themselves at have conducted themselves well and really appreciated the verbal and written feedback that was sensitively given. The certificates were well received and I don’t think we should underestimate their value either as there was a palpable sense of pride as students received them.
I framed the certificates for the finalists and these students gained a lot of respect from their peers who were pleasantly surprised that it was not ‘the expected’ finalists and that the ultimate winner was perhaps in their eyes now someone who has risen significantly in the whole school’s estimation. Bethany burst in to tears when accepting the news she had won and if you and your colleagues look on the Warriner Facebook page for will see (as well as pictures) that the comments from her relatives are a pleasure to read. Her personal confidence will no doubt have received a significant boost. She no doubt has a fantastic future awaiting her.
Finally, my apologies for the Mock exams inconvenience: no one was more disappointed than myself at the problems it caused but thank you for the flexibility and patience demonstrated by your magnificent team. Your work is much appreciated by students, the wider Warriner community and myself.
Yours sincerely, Nigel Smith, Careers Leader
Hands Across the Water
Banbury Rotarians Fred and John, and our visitor Rotarian Don Healey from Indianapolis, USA who came to our recent club meeting during his recent visit to his relations in Brackley.
Don sent us a significant contribution to our “End Polio Now” concerts campaign that was held in the spring this year.
He was welcomed by Fred who organised the concerts and John who received his contribution on behalf of the club, and was heartily thanked for his donation.
Don said he always considered Banbury to be his second home due to his family connections and knew he was amongst friends when he came to see us as he loved the fellowship he found in Rotary especially from Banbury folk.
A Night at the Musicals
featuring West End performers Simon Adkins & Alison Dormer
Saturday 8th July
7.30pm Tudor Hall School
Raising funds for
Banbury Rotary’s Sierra Leone Education Projects
Rotary’s End Polio Now Campaign
To book tickets click here for the Ticket Ordering Page
Party for the Blind and Partially Sighted
Members of Banbury blind and partially sighted groups enjoyed a magnificent afternoon tea at Wroxton House Hotel. Welcomed and thoroughly spoilt by John Smith, his family and staff. Nigel Deakin and Ian provided entertainment on guitars with jokes and a sing-a-long of well known 1920’s tunes. A vote of thanks for the hospitality was given, everyone looking forward to this annual event again next year.
SIR CHARLES POLLARD QPM – MY PART IN POLICING : 40 MOMENTOUS YEARS THAT CHANGED THE UK
Sir Charles Pollard QPM – 40 Momentous Years that Changed the UK
7.00 pm for 7.45 on Friday 2 June 2017
Tudor Hall School, Wykham Park,
Banbury, OX16 9UR,
(with kind permission of the Headmistress, Wendy Griffiths).
Sir Charles Pollard has been an eminent figure in policing, both nationally and internationally, and still works in the Justice system today. Retiring in 2002 from Thames Valley Police, the largest non-metropolitan police force in the country, he had earlier progressed through the middle police ranks in London and Sussex during one of the most turbulent periods of recent history, during which time he was personally involved in many of the key policing events:.
Sir Charles began his career at the age of 19 in 1964 as a constable in the Metropolitan Police and was selected for the ‘fast-track promotion course’ at Bramshill Police College. From there he took an LLB at the University of Bristol. Through the 1970s and 1980s he pursued an eventful and successful policing career in London and Sussex and in 1991 was appointed Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, covering 3 counties with a population of over 2.5 million.
The talk will include, among other things, his personal experiences of the policing of public disorder, crime and terrorism. We look forward to welcoming Rotarians, local Parishioners and the General Public.
Tickets – Talk only £10.00
Talk and drinks reception hosted by Sir Charles £20.00
To book tickets click here – Ticket Ordering Page
Mary Eckert, runner-up in the Banbury Young Musician senior singing section went one better in the District Finals last Saturday, winning the competition and securing a place in the forthcoming regional finals to be held at the end of March.
The Tudor Hall student impressed the judges with her virtuosity by singing “Vedrai Carino” by Mozart, “Somewhere” from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story (the piece she sang at one of this month’s Purple4Polio Concerts at St Mary’s Church Banbury) and “Per La Gloria D’Adorarvi” by Giovanni Bononcini.
The Power of the Internet
We have a Rotarian from Indianapolis who keeps in contact with us and comes to see us when he is in the UK. This is what Rotary is all about!
We recently had our P4P concerts (purple for polio) in St Marys’ Church in Banbury and raised £2000-00 towards our target for the year from this club. We hope to raise upward of £7,000-00 for this cause before the year end for the polio eradication programme.
To get back to our friend Don Henley, he not only watches our website but also becomes involved in some of our activities so THANK YOU DON for your input and as a visit from you is now on the cards for this year we will buy you lunch and a good pint of bitter, together with bit of banter and a lot of fellowship.
Greetings from our club to all your members in Indianapolis East Rotary Club, but don’t invite our lot for a free meal as they will eat the restaurant out of food!
See you in June/July.