Medical Detection Dogs and Covid-19

Back in those halycon pre-Covid-19 days Banbury Rotary used to have what we called “5th Friday Meetings” in  which included members partners could accompany them for an evening  meal and a talk. One memorable talk was given by the charity “Medical Detection dogs.

If I recall correctly they could be trained for two rather different roles:

  • diagnosis of a disease in a patient alerting medics to the presence of the condition – e.g. prostate cancer
  • management of diseases – alerting the patient to the need to amend their medication dosage  – e.g. diabetes

So – you may be interested to hear that the canine nose is now being investigated as a potential sniffer of Covid-19.

No swabs or needles or 2+ day waits for the results: just a friendly dog basically giving an immediate “Yes” or “No” response.

Obviously it’s early days to know whether Covid-19 induces a change in odour of humans that dogs can detect but we certainly wish them well in their efforts.

Click below to see the page on the Medical Detection Dogs site.



Club Pilates Classes – 19:00 Mondays

Pilates Classes for beginners – with Sakine

 A great Opportunity to stay physically and Mentally toned -Whilst raising money to help with the Pandemic Internationally

 Mondays 7-8pm on Zoom

Suitable for all ages and abilities


Rtn Sakine Faulkner is qualified to teach Stott Pilates matwork, and equipment Pilates.

Pilates is a safe exercise routine if instructions are followed correctly. Every participant should listen to their body and not complete an exercise if it creates any discomfort. However, after the first few sessions your muscles will ache as the muscles are beginning to strengthen.

 Peter Wilkins will send out the Zoom invites to all members prior to each session- just click on the link as normal just before the session. You will also find the link by logging in to the club members section of this website.

This is open to non-Rotarians too; such friends, family etc. that club members may choose to invite. (but take care not to spread the link openly).



In return we ask for donations to the Rotary Trust Account International Pandemic response, with a suggested donation of £5 per session (although more always welcome!)

Donations can be given by BACS or cheque. You should have received details in the emails from Peter.


  • Ideally you will need a yoga or Pilates mat and a cushion for under the head.
  • A ball of 20 cm diameter is also useful; (a towel or similar could be wrapped up in a bag and used instead).
  • Gym clothes or similar should be worn, with colours that don’t merge into the background.
  • The screen should be placed on the floor and perpendicular to the floor. So that Sakine can see you on the mat. The mat should be placed parallel to the screen so that you can see Sakine by turning your head only, and Sakine can see you from head to foot (about 2.5 meters from your screen should be the right distance).


‘Everyone should do Pilates until the day they drop’- Sakine

Zoom Advice – May 2020

Besides the main meetings a lot of sub-groups are meeting using Zoom.

Rotary has highlighted advice on how to set up and run these meetings safely.

You can download the full document here but some key points include:

  • Ensure you have downloaded the latest version of Zoom. Updates were made early April 2020 onwards to upgrade security functions.
  • Use a strong password and not the same one as you use for other online accounts.
  • Never share meeting details on social media or public forums, it allows public access into your meetings. Send your meeting invitations only to the people you want to attend.
  • Protect meetings with a ‘Generate Automatically’ Meeting ID (don’t use the personal one)
  • Always use a ‘Meeting Password’.
  • Always use ‘Waiting Room’ – Take control of who joins your meetings. Set this as a default, it allows the Host to see who’s in the waiting room and allows you to ‘admit’ them to the meeting.
  • Host to consider using ‘Mute everyone’ to block out any inappropriate noise during presentations.
  • Share Screen option – set “who can share screen” option to ‘host only’. This will give added control as to who can share screens, otherwise any participant can start sharing their screen during your presentation!
  • Screen sharing – As host, if you share your screen bear in mind what else you have open, close other windows/applications not required. If used, don’t forget to switch off Outlook pop up messages for email.
  • When in a meeting, think about your surroundings and what people can see and hear around you. i.e. family photos (particularly of children), loud music, TV etc. Why not experiment with adding a ‘virtual background’ for complete confidentiality (specific system requirements are needed to support this, so depending on your device/OS system, virtual background may not be a best option for you). Generic Rotary backdrops for use with online meeting platforms are available below under ‘Resources’.
  • Use the ‘Lock Meeting’ facility. When everyone is in the meeting, lock down the meeting room to prevent others from entering. To do this, click ‘Manage Participants’ on the on-screen tool bar. At the bottom of the listed participants, there are 3 options (Mute All, Unmute All, More), select ‘More’ and then select ‘Lock Room’ from drop down options.
  • Chat function and recording – If the meeting is being recorded, the ‘chats’ between participants can be recorded and downloaded. Even a private chat between two people can be downloaded by the host.
  • Inclusivity – remember, not everyone will be tech savvy. Offer help to members/participants to ensure they can participate in online meetings safely and stay fully inclusive in Rotary activities.

As many clubs are using Zoom it’s also feasible for you to visit some of their meetings if you contact them.

Rotary ‘Virtual’ Meeting – 2020

The next virtual Meeting is :

Friday Lunch Meeting

Time: 13:00 London

Date: May 1, 2020

Sign in to the  members section for sign-in information.

Breathe Easy Talk- March 2020

On Friday 6th March Jenny Smith and Diane Avery spoke about the charity Breathe Easy.
Jenny explained that her mother in law had problems with her lungs and she joined Banbury
Breathe Easy. Jenny started going with her to the meetings and the Chairman Rev Keith Wakely asked her
to become secretary. Breathe Easy is a support group for people with lung problems and breathing difficulties for all ages.

It is supported by the British Lung Foundation which was started in 1956. People with lung conditions and those who care for them often feel alone. Making friends is important and Breathe Easy provides
a good opportunity to enable this to happen. The membership includes ‘fit’ volunteers who help out as well as dedicated health professionals from the Horton Hospital.

The Group raise smoney for the British Lung Foundation which undertakes research but also provides funds locally for respiratory equipment at the Horton Hospital and for the Oxon Community Respiratory
Nursing Team.

AGM Meeting – 24th Apr 2020

The AGM will be held on Friday  24th April at 1pm by Zoom and email

Further information should have been received by email and is also available in the members section of this site which members can log into using the link at the bottom of the home page.


Global polio infrastructure & Covid-19

In every corner of the world, it seems that not a single person or community is unaffected by COVID-19. You may be wondering how to stay focused on our work eradicating polio when we are dealing with a pandemic caused by a virus for which there is not yet a vaccine — a situation similar to what the world faced with the poliovirus not so long ago.

The COVID-19 pandemic response requires worldwide solidarity and an urgent global effort. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), with thousands of polio workers and an extensive laboratory and surveillance network, has a moral imperative to ensure that these resources are used to support countries in their preparedness and response.

We can be proud that in the ever-connected world of global health, the polio infrastructure that Rotarians have helped build is already being used to address — and stop the spread of — the new coronavirus, in addition to serving countless other health needs. In Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, where polio personnel and assets have a significant presence, workers from all GPEI partners are engaged in surveillance, health worker training, contact tracing, and more. In 13 countries, polio volunteers have been deployed to address COVID-19 preparations and response.

We recognize that the COVID-19 emergency means that some aspects of the polio eradication program will be affected. While addressing the new challenges of today, the most important thing that Rotary members can do to continue the fight to end polio is to sustain our commitment. We are aiming to reach our fundraising goal of $50 million this year so we can work to safely reach all children with the polio vaccine. In the midst of a global pandemic, we understand that attention to polio eradication will be temporarily diverted, and this makes it all the more vital for Rotarians to remain strongly committed to fighting polio and not let our progress be eroded.

End Polio powers ahead – Feb 2020

The proceeds of many of Banbury Rotary fund-raising events includes a contribution towards the phenomenally successful End Polio Now campaign.

Only Afghanistan and Pakistan still continue to report cases of wild poliovirus, the remaining challenges to global eradication – amongst which the difficulty reaching children amid insecurity and conflict and weak health systems – have proven to be the most difficult.

In a final push to eradicate the disease for everyone and forever,  a delegation of Rotary International leaders from around the world traveled to Pakistan this week to meet with government leaders including Prime Minister Imran Khan, Minister of Health Dr. Zafar Mirza, Army Chief of Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Dr. Rana Safdar, head of Pakistan’s Polio National Emergency Operations Centre.

Our efforts are further buoyed by the news, on 22 January, that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would extend their long-term fundraising partnership, which generates up to $150 million annually for polio eradication. Under the agreement, Rotary commits to raising $50 million a year over the next three years, and each dollar will be matched with an additional two dollars by the Gates Foundation.
This expanded agreement will yield up to $450 million to hopefully complete the process of polio eradication from planet Earth.