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.

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.


Darts Evening – Jan 2020

Banbury Rotary put a lot of effort into raising money for, and helping out in, the community – but they also have a lot of fun!

January saw the Darts Event at Banbury Cricket Club.
Breathtaking action from President Surinder seeking to hit the board saw everyone run for cover!
In the final, Rotarian Helen Morris beat Harry Matthews winning the darts trophy for the second year in a row!

Thanks to Rotarian Nigel Yeadon for doing a brilliant job organising the event including a fish and chip supper for everyone!


Cherwell resettles refugees – 1st Nov 2019

On 1st November Banbury Rotary Club members received a talk about how Cherwell is participating in the “Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme.”

In September 2015 the UK Government agreed to resettle 20,000 refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria who have registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Turkey,Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt

As part of the Government’s efforts to achieve this, Cherwell District Council agreed to accommodate 12 families within the district.There are currently 9 families resettled in Cherwell District with the 10th family arriving soon.

Cherwell District Council have worked via an organisation called ‘Connections’ to help new families sort out accommodation, school places, language classes, employment and health issues.

Numerous Rotarians or their partners are engaged with this scheme.

If you are interested in making property available for such families  please make contact on 01295 753766 or 01295 227004 or via e-mail

If you are interested in volunteering for the scheme please contact Connection Support on 01865 711267 or .


Timely talk on Middle East – July 2019


Our speaker on 19th July 2019, Robert Aplin, gave a fascinating talk about a period of his life serving in the middle east with the Jebel Regiment, Sultan’s Armed Forces at the time of the Dhofar Rebellion and general political unrest in Oman. He emphasized the complexity of this region of the world and  the approach of the British – including use of special forces working alongside locals – to achieve change by winning “hearts and minds” rather than just raw military power. It was a fascinating insight into what Robert described as ‘in some ways a secret war which received little coverage in the British press.‘

The talk turned out to be particularly well timed given troubles in this general area being the main news this week.

Medical Detection Dogs Talk – April 2019

Fraser Liversage spoke to the club about “Medical Detection Dogs” and he brought his two dogs with him.
It was an incredibly interesting presentation and a taster for a longer talk he will be giving us on a Fifth Friday evening meeting in August in the next Rotary Year.
You can learn more about these dogs here.

Cotswold Distillery Visit – 20th April 2019

There was no club meeting on Good Friday but on Saturday 20th a group of members went to the Cotswold Distillery for a very enjoyable visit and tour – many thanks to Nigel Yeadon for arranging the trip.

Walking the beat to Nirvana Talk -15 Feb 2019

Mervyn Edwards was a fascinating speaker and gave us an insight into how he moved from being a bus driver in Banbury to a firearms office charged with protecting Margaret Thatcher!

Mervyn was born and bred in Banbury and joined the Thames Valley Police after being a bus driver for Midland Red. In his talk he gave us a summary of his book “Walking the beat to Nirvana” starting with his first posting with TVP which took him away from Banbury and spending 15 years in three different ranks as a specialist firearms officer.

His book details his experiences which include protecting Margaret Thatcher when she returned to Chequers after the Brighton hotel bombing in 1984.

Hegave us a fascinating account of his career ending up with him being responsible for developing the UK’s tactics for dealing with Chemical, Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) terrorist threats, ending his career as a Chief Superintendent. He was also earlier in his career responsible for the policing of the Newbury Bypass protests.


Recruiting Gurkhas Talk – 18th Jan 2019

Rotarian Rupert Kipping took us through a series of photos taken  in Nepal. These included remote villages hanging on the edge of mountains with houses perched on ridges. and a a sick lady being transported in a basket on the back of a Nepalese man with the help of a forehead : a local ambulance!
Gurkha pensioners took on as many as sixteen youths as potential Gurkha recruits and trained them up.

Rupert’s general medical duties included carrying out a grading physical and mental fitness: a classification system that meant potential recruits needed to achieve 100%, if they  were not to be rejected as so many wanted to become Gurkhas.