The Dome Challenge
Monday 23rd February, and Fred Riches and Alan Wolstencroft braved the cold in Greenwich, but the sun was shining and just a few clouds in the sky as the first group gathered in the anteroom to watch the safety DVD before donning our safety gear – jacket, shoes, harness and link which we needed to attach to the chest-level wire that’s mounted beside the canvassy, bouncy walkway that leads up to the top viewing platform and down the other side.
We hadn’t realised the Dome measurements and positioning were all planned in relation to time. It’s 365 metres circumference and 52 metres in height, with twelve of those spikes sticking out – and all as close as possible to 0 degrees longitude.
We were a group of about 16 with a leader. The first bit goes up a one in three slope, so you’re digging your toes in and leaning forward while pushing the link along the wire with one hand and holding on to another safety wire/rail with the other.
Then it evens out gradually till you reach the top. There you’re allowed to unchain yourself and look around on all sides of the viewing platform. Highly recommended for the summer! Brilliant views over the Thames and across London.
However, the weather decided to do the dirty on us and just as we reached the top a large black cloud chucked a mixture of sleet and hail at us through the rising gale. I have a lovely video of two ladies who helped organise the event reading a congratulatory message from a leading international Rotarian. Picture’s great. Sound = loud crackling wind… Hey ho!
Then it was back onto the wire link for the clamber down, perhaps the most strenuous bit, because the last bit is one in three slope as well and pulls on your thighs while you try to keep your balance.
Overall a really good experience – and thank you very much for helping use reach our sponsorship targets.
Two of our intrepid members, (Fred Riches and Alan Wolstencroft), will be walking the O2 Dome to mark Rotary Day and raise funds for good causes.
February 23 marks the 110th anniversary of Rotary and our two colleagues will be raising funds for the “Roll Out The Barrel Trust” (www.rolloutthebarrel.org), the Rotary End Polio Now campaign (www.endpolio.org), and our Sierra Leone School projects.
You can sponsor them on the Just Giving (https://www.justgiving.com/Fred-Riches) & Virgin Giving Money (http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=alanwolstencroft), websites.
We wish them both every success.
Ebola in Liberia
The Rotary Clubs of Banbury and Banbury Cherwell are combining with the Marlow Club to address the desperate situation in West Africa.
They are working with the Rotary Club of Monrovia in Liberia where already thousands of people have died in the Ebola outbreak, and the number has continued to rise.
Liberia, followed by Sierra Leone, are the worst hit countries.
The crisis has led to panic, rioting and fear. The hospitals are not equipped to cope; many have no gloves, no masks, no fresh water, even Doctors are dying!
The Rotary Club of Marlow, have been in touch with the Rotary Club of Monrovia, Liberia’s capital city. They have commenced action with vigour, good sense, and with a real knowledge of what is needed.
They found, can you believe, that the largest hospital in Monrovia had not even one standard Ebola protective garment.
By August 16th, the Rotary Club of Monrovia have given local hospitals 3000 surgical gloves, 10,000 examination gloves, 100 buckets with faucets, and petrol slips for the rapid response vehicles.
Further, they have embarked on a global campaign to raise USD $100,000.00 for this cause. They are engaging with local churches to raise funds, and to distribute the required items.
The Collection at Castle Quay Shopping Centre on Saturday 11th October raised £741.24 and we would like to thank the people of Banbury for their generous donations.
Almost £20,000 has been raised by Rotary Clubs in District 1090 and all the money will be passed to the Rotary Club of Monrovia.
Waterloo School Sierra Leone Update
Waterloo School latest update Posted on 18 June 2014
We were well on track to complete Phase 2 BEFORE the rainy season started BUT due to losing a week of progress when Moneygram prevented me from transferring funds we have been unable to get the building painted – everything else is however finished.
Although this is very disappointing, when I set out on this project in January I never thought we would have got this far this quickly so I am trying to stay positive despite my frustration.
The school is however in the process of having ALL the furniture made for Phase 2 and this should be completed fairly soon.
I would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has donated and supported me with this project and as soon as the rainy season abates we will complete the building.
The next Phase will be the construction of extra toilet facilities at the school.
Sierra Leone update
“making a real difference in Sierra Leone”
Liverpool Community School, Waterloo, Freetown.
I apologise if there is a little repetition in the Newsletters BUT I am constantly adding people to my mailing list and need to make sure they have some background regarding the current project.
The project plan is to build and equip 8 classrooms, an office/storeroom, & 2 toilet blocks.
The first block of 4 classrooms was built & equipped with furniture in just 10 weeks.
Work began on the second block of 4 classrooms, incorporating the office/storeroom, on March 27th and this was the progress after just ONE week!!
Now, 5 weeks after starting, the block is built
& TODAY they finished the roofing.
As a direct result of my presentation at Torquay Conference I have received donations of £2,170 and with the donation of £3,000 from Banbury Rotary Club I now have ALL the funding in place to complete the building of the 4 classrooms.
Rendering, fitting the ceilings, installing the windows & doors, screeding the floors will all take place in the next couple of weeks and the last stage will be painting internally & externally.
We are well on track to complete the building before the rainy season starts at the end of May !!
With donations from a couple of recent talks, some local donations and a pledge for £500 I will also have adequate funding to pay for all the furniture for these 4 classrooms.
The next phase will be the building of 2 toilet blocks which will happen after the rainy season giving me time to raise more funds.
Currently I haven’t had to take advantage of the loan I was offered but it’s still there IF I need it.
To everyone who has contributed to this project and enabled so much to happen in such a short space of time – I am truly grateful for your help.
If what “WE CAN” do helps change the lives of just a few people then the effort is well worth it.
THANK YOU for helping me to continue to “make a real difference”.