Organ donations of another kind!


Thanks to all the kind people who donated funds that will go towards Katharine House Hospice and other Rotary Charities at the annual organ fundraising at Banbury supermarkets.

Thanks also to the supermarkets themselves for agreeing to the collections and to Rotarians – maybe especially Andrew Fairbairn and John Webb for their parts in making it all happen. (John Webb also brings along his own street organ in December to complement the Club’s.)

Funds raised this year amounted to the following:


Friday Tesco £1096.81
 Saturday  Sainsburys  £1536.12
 Sunday Morrisons  780.75
 Monday  Morrisons  £1046.03
 Tuesday  Sainsburys  1145.83
 TOTAL  £5605.54

This money will be distributed 75% to Katharine House Hospice, 15% to Banbury Air Cadets and 10% to other charities.

Rotary assists in Tour de Trigs – 7th Dec 2019


Members of Banbury Rotary Club actively supported the 50th Tour de Trigs night navigation walk on Saturday 7th December by manning Checkpoint 4 which was located at Farnborough Village Hall.

Charities benefit from “Six of the Best” concert – Dec 2019

On Friday 22nd November cheques for the profits from the ‘Six of the Best’ choirs at St Mary’s Church, Banbury (28th Sept)  have been presented to the benefitting charities:

  • Helen and Douglas House Hospice who support children and their families who have cancer
  • The Rotary Foundation (End polio now) that strives to and has almost succeeded in finally eradicating polio from the planet.

Many thanks to all those who organised, took part in or supported the concert.

Rotarians brighten up Banbury – Nov 2019

Part of awareness raising for Rotary’s efforts to rid the planet of polio is the “purple for polio” campaign.

Millions of crocus bulbs are planted by Rotarians across the UK.

As well as brightening up the days of late winter the carpets of purple  also draw attention to the effort going into finally rid the planet of this dreadful disease.

Some of you may be old enough to remember the epidemics we used to have in the UK.  Now it’s only Afghanistan and Pakistan where the virus still survives.

Banbury Rotarians take a break from planting duties!

Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) – July 2019

What are the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards?

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, or RYLA, is a leadership development programme run by Rotary for young adults. Whether you are a secondary school pupil, university student or young professional, RYLA will help you discover your potential and develop the skills needed to be a leader in your community, career and everyday life. Each RYLA course is sponsored by a local Rotary club or group.

What does RYLA offer?

RYLA programmes run between three to ten days and give participants the opportunity to:

  • Gain exposure to leadership scenarios
  • Explore problem-solving strategies as part of a team
  • Discuss and apply creative approaches to leadership and conflict management
  • Build confidence in yourself and what you can achieve
  • Meet new people and make lasting friendships
  • Learn how to arrange youth activities and community service projects at locally and internationally

Being a leader is not just about being confident enough to speak out and knowing what to say, it is knowing when to listen to others and understand. RYLA teaches this, and other soft skills, to help everyone to be the best they can be. Teamwork exercises bring people together from different walks of life in a safe environment where everyone can get to know each other without fear of exclusion or negativity. As with all Rotary programmes, Rotary members are appropriately DBS checked and risk assessments are carried out for all activities.

Who eligible?

The courses are open to people aged 14 to 30. You don’t need to be a high achiever with outstanding academic grades, just be willing to try something new through activity-based learning and discover new talents along the way, as well as having fun. RYLA programmes involve physical challenges so can be demanding. Some degree of fitness is required. More information can be found at the following website:

The Calvert Trust

Under the RYLA auspices, each year since 2012 the Rotary Club of Banbury has sponsored two students from the Griffiths Centre, Frank Wise School to attend the Calvert Trust, Exmoor.  This programme enables people with disabilities to achieve their potential through experiencing exciting, challenging and enjoyable outdoor activities. Students are transported to and from Exmoor by a Rotarian accompanied by a mentor from Frank Wise.  Their course starts at 4pm on Friday and they are collected at 10am on the following Monday.

The immediate challenge for participants is that, although the course is fully accommodated and catered, they have to be individually independent outside the carefully supervised daytime activities.  They are shown around the facilities for 30 mins by their accompanying Rotarian and escort before being left to fend for themselves ahead of their evening briefing by Calvert Trust staff. Griffiths Centre student do not generally have previous experience of living in a single room away from their family or school, nor organising themselves to such an extent. They are issued with mobile phones to record their experiences and, of course, contact their parents and school staff if necessary.

Over the weekend the students take part in adventures such as archery, canoeing, zip wire and abseiling, cycle riding and assisting other less capable participants in organised and social group activities both during the day and evenings.  After attending the course students have shown greater confidence, communication and independence and these skills have a direct influence on their subsequent selection for further educational or practical courses of instruction after leaving Frank Wise.

The 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 we know that our continued support is also much valued by them.

Nigel Randall, 29 July 2019





Rock Climb Achieved – July 2019

Charity Challenge

Banbury Rotarian Andrew Fairbairn has just completed a challenge to ascend the 1,000 metre sheer rock face of the Daubenhorn (Leukerbad, Switzerland). An 8 hour via ferrata route and the longest in the Alps.

Why? To raise money for two charities – a building project for a school in The Gambia and Katharine House Hospice, Banbury.

Education in The Gambia

Three years ago the Rotary Club of Banbury along with the Rotary Club of Tonbridge engaged in a project – spearheaded by Andrew and his wife, Marilyn – to fund a borehole at Prospects Upper Basic School, Mariama Kunda Village, The Gambia. It aimed to provide improved quality water thereby reducing health risks to pupils and staff. The borehole has been completed.

The school is currently expanding and has a two-storey building under construction but this can only continue as funds become available.

This project is being overseen by the Rotary Club of Bijilo and the ground floor and some of the walls are in place taking it to the stage of needing the structural concrete floor of the second storey to act as an interim roof over the three classrooms and examination hall to make it useable in the rainy season.

The school had sourced a donor offering 50% of the funds for this phase but that donor has withdrawn.

Banbury Rotary has donated £5,030.68 but is now seeking to fundraise a further £5,600 towards the approximate £10,600 needed.


Katharine House Hospice

Many people have cause to appreciate the services provided by this hospice in supporting a family member or friend. It not only provides accommodation and day treatment but is also active in care in people’s homes. More information is available on the following website –



If you wish to sponsor Andrew on the ascent of the Daubenhorn, you can choose for your donation to go to either or both recipients. If you are a tax payer then a Gift Aid form can be forwarded to you for you to complete in order that an additional 25% can be added to your generous donation.

If you wish to make a donation, you can either forward a cheque made out to The Rotary Club of Banbury and sent it to Andrew Fairbairn, Orchard Clare, Overthorpe, Banbury OX17 2AF (specifying which recipient you would like it to go to) or there is a JustGiving page for donations to Katharine House Hospice at

Please contact Andrew on either 07711 142887 or via e-mail at if you wish to have a guest speaker and/or are willing to make a donation to these deserving causes.  100% of your donation will go to the recipient(s). No amount will be deducted for expenses.

Alternatively, or in addition, if you know an organisation who would like a presentation regarding the ascent then please forward contact details to Andrew.

Rotarian. Andrew Fairbairn, Rotary Club of Banbury


Children Singing for Children Concerts – Nov 2019


The CSFC Concerts are now an established part of the Banbury Calendar.

Typically they consist of around 25 primary schools performing over a period of 4 evenings in St Mary’s Church, Banbury. The massed finale’s each evening are something not to be missed!

Organisational aspects are dealt with by Banbury Rotary who donate all the surplus from the admission fees to children’s charities. (Decisions on which are pending.)

The admission fee has been held at £5 / person for several years which is what it will remain at for the 2019 concerts on November 11th -14th.

So – if you want to inject an uplifting event into the potential gloom of the approaching winter, then get those dates into your diary!

The following dates are currently tentative

Allocated Evening
Monday 11 Tues 12 Wed 13 Thur 14
St Johns Priory Bishop Loveday St Mary’s Dashwood
Harriers Hill View Queensway St Joseph’s
The Grange Hanwell Fields Wroxton Orchard Fields
Carrdus School Deddington Christ’ Rawlins St Leonard’s
Shenington Middle Barton Bishop Carpenter King’s Sutton
Cropredy Greatworth Sibford Jnr Frank Wise
Chacombe NewBot-Charlton St John’s Prim (tbc)


Rotarians help out at Park Centenary – July 2019

Last weekend Banbury Rotary played their part in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the opening of the town’s first real park: the People’s Park.

The town council had organised a well balanced mixture of celebrations of the past whilst providing plenty activities (several free of charge) for children and adults of the present.
As usual Rotarians lived up to their reputation as ‘people of action’ by assisting with the event

Surinder Dhesi (current president of Banbury Rotary and Town Mayor Elect for 2020/21 ) noted that that the Park holds happy memories for  generations of Banbury families.

Mark Recchia (Town Clerk and  retiring Honorary Secretary of the Rotary Club of Banbury) was also present helping ensure things went smoothly.

Sir Tony Baldry attended in his role as High Steward of Banbury.


Tony Baldry, Surinder Dhesi and Mark Recchia at the celebrations.
Rotarian Alan Wolstencroft assisted with traffic control.