It’s been one amazing year at Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club with hundreds rabbits, reindeer and health checks being just some of the many activities the club has been involved with.
On Saturday the club celebrated the end of the Rotary year with a lovely evening reception at the Bird in Hand. And there was a lot to celebrate as the group of young professionals and volunteers have somehow managed to fit in 145 events over the last 12 months ranging from hands-on volunteering such as supporting FoodShare, to socials including walks in the countryside and plenty of pub visits, to fundraising for local and international charities, to networking!
Outgoing Club President James Berkeley had set some pretty high goals for his year, but he also wanted all members to have fun and make new friends, which was most definitely achieved!
One of the club’s key events of the year was a Health Awareness Day in February, giving advice to local Maidonians about blood pressure, healthy hearts, diabetes etc with the support of professional organisations. On that day alone over 100 people had their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels checked, 15 people were advised to visit their GP within a month and one was advised to visit their GP within a week. This just proves the value of that day, potentially saving people’s lives.
In a year where Rotarians were asked to “Be the Inspiration” – one of the highlights for James was attending Maidenhead’s Got Talent, organised by all Rotary Clubs in Maidenhead, at Taplow Court in March. He watched a young male singer in his early teens, nervously walk on stage and then blow away the audience with his incredible rendition of “My Heart Will Go On”. Earlier in the evening, James had met him & his classmate and was informed that their third performer, plus teacher hadn’t arrived yet. This young lad walked on stage, wowed the audience and when the applause raised the roof burst into tears. It was clear that he was truly overwhelmed by the reaction – which in turn resulted in a swift standing ovation! Definitely an inspiration for other young performers!
At the start of the year on July 1st 2018, the club set the goal of 1400 hands-on volunteer hours, and by the end of June the enthusiastic club had well and truly smashed this goal, reaching 2,190 hours! It’s not all been about volunteering our time, as club they have also raised over £10,000 for a variety of local, national and international charities.
The end of year party was a great celebration and the highlight was awarding a Paul Harris Fellow to one of our amazingly dedicated members, Claire Booth. Paul Harris founded Rotary in 1905 and clubs often recognise their members by giving a Paul Harris Fellow if they have performed above and beyond in their Rotary duties.
The recipient of this special award has made a long-standing contribution to Rotary. In fact, their Rotary journey started over 20 years ago in Rotaract. Claire was a very active member of Rotaract, taking on many roles within her own club and she was also very active on a District level. More recently, Claire was a founding member of Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club in 2012 and has either been on the club council or involved in key projects every year since the club began.
In the last couple of years Claire has made a key contribution to the club by leading the project to rebuild a school in Nepal after the devastating earthquake in 2015. She went off on a self-funded trip to Nepal in 2017 on behalf of Maidenhead Bridge Rotary. No one can argue she has done an excellent job moving this project forward almost single handily. Handling the fundraising, sorting out grants and keeping the club informed of the progress. The school was completed a few months ago, however there is still work to be done, and Claire is still taking the lead on the project for our club.
When presenting the Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary Assistant Governor Malcolm Granger said “Claire is quiet and humble. She has a heart of gold, is a good friend to many people and has very strong values and ethics for which she is well respected. She has dedicated at least half of her life so far to Rotary in one way or another and tonight I am delighted to give this Paul Harris Fellow to Claire Booth.”
In addition we welcomed our first honorary member, Martin Cabble-Reid, in recognition of his work with the Kevin Cruise Foundation, his continued support of Rotary and our community in the Royal Borough.
As out-going Club President, James Berkeley, handed the Presidency of the Club over to Costa Franceskides he commented “The end of the Rotary year is always a time for reflection and celebration. I have been immensely proud and honoured to lead the incredible group of young, innovative, social people who call themselves The Rotary Club of Maidenhead Bridge. In my 10 years as a Rotarian, I can honestly say it’s been a pleasure this year to be the president. We have achieved an incredible amount and this is testament to the hard work and dedication of the members.”
If you’d like more information about Maidenhead Bridge Rotary or want to get involved in volunteering please email email@example.com or call Lisa on 07876 341334.
A team of 13 took on a DIY SOS challenge on Sunday in support of The Britwell Youth Project. Donning protective eyewear, some wearing the ever fashionable boiler suit or lab coat, club members set off for Slough after their club meeting to pick up a paint brush and bring about change to this fantastic community project.
The Britwell Youth Project is based at the heart of the Britwell Estate in Slough, an area of significant deprivation. It is a youth project providing services for up to 400 young people per week. The centre offers services and projects to young people and these have included in recent years (dependent on funding availability):
The centre gets little to no funding at all and are just about covering costs to deliver the above aims and objectives. Our challenge was to make the building look nicer for all the users and to carry out some general maintenance tasks that sadly they can’t afford to do themselves. This included:
The team had lots of fun, helped by the yummy homemade chocolate cake brought along by club member Sarah! It was a big job to do, but in the 6 hours the team were there it was completed successfully and what a difference it made…instantly making the whole place seem brighter and much more welcoming.
But it doesn’t stop there, Rotarians are returning in two weeks to tackle the outside container, where the centre hosts cycle workshops, giving it a brand new coat of paint to protect if from the elements (very much needed given the wonderful British summer we’re experiencing of late!).
Club member and event organiser, Lisa Hunter, commented “We really enjoyed this DIY SOS challenge, it was so much fun and what’s great is we know it will be a massive help to the centre and is a practical way for us to contribute to the community an give up our time for good causes.”
Maidenhead Bridge Rotary would like to say a massive thank you to AkzoNobel Decorative Paints who very generously donated all the paint for the project, making it all possible!
Sound like fun?
If this project sounds like fun and you want to get involved in volunteering then get in touch with us today…
Remember, if you're not a member of the club yet, then we’d also like to extend an invite to you and your friends to join us at one of our fun upcoming meetups to find out more about what we do and how you can get involved. Remember we’re a very relaxed, flexible and friendly club so you don’t have to commit huge amounts of time to get involved. It’s a great way to meet new people, try out new activities and give something back to the local community. Check out the list of upcoming events on the back page of the newsletter, if you’d like to join us just let me know.
Another fantastic day in Burnham Park for the annual Donkey Derby. Yet again the weather was great and the park was full of stalls, food vendors, beer tent, the WI selling cakes, the Lions Train, a full set of fairground rides and stalls.
The highlight is always the Donkey Racing complete with tannoy commentary and the Tote taking the bets. There are 7 races throughout the afternoon and the riders are the girls from Windsor Horse Rangers. They really get into the spirit of the event although the last word as always belongs to the Donkeys. If they don’t want to run – they don’t. If they want the rider to get off - then they bounce them off, in fact one highlight this year (if you can call it that) was seeing a donkey half-run decide it was hungry... so it abruptly stopped, lent down and his rider did a roly-poly over its head and onto the grass! Not content with doing this once, it did it twice!
Our role on the day is not as energetic or liable to injury but it does require patience as the donkey's really do live up to their reputation of being rather stubborn!
We organise the kids Donkey Rides, always very popular, the queue doesn’t shorten all day. Lots of Mums and Dads wanting their tiny tots to get a great picture. 5 and 6 year olds who have been every year coming back once again!
Thanks to everyone who helped on the day. We will be back next year.
This year children enjoyed the many activities on offer including bouncing like bunnies on the inflatable slide, having their faces painted, playing skittles and trying their luck at the coconut shye. Of course the main attraction was hunting around the park following clues to answer the Easter-Themed quiz so they could be rewarded with chocolates.
This is the 7th year the club has run the event and it gets bigger and better each year, and this year was no different, proving to be a huge hit with local families and a great success, with more than 800 people joining in the fun, the most to ever attend.
Families sent time playing and enjoying the sunshine, whilst decorating bunny masks, seeing how many marbles they could get inside the flower pot under timed conditions and of course sampling the lovely ice cream and other food on offer.
For the first time we were joined by Eagle Claw Kung-Fu School who put on a superb demonstration with their Lions, as well as a Kung-Fu masterclass. This really brought everyone together and shoed the amazing skills of the children at the school.
Event Organiser Adam Hunter, commented “We have had a great day with excellent support from the local community. We’re thrilled with the number of people who came to enjoy this superb park in the centre of town, and join in the fun. Here’s to doing it all again next year!”
Dozens and dozens of Easter Bunnies came to life in the Nicholson Centre at a special Easter craft session yesterday as Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club brought fun and laughter into the town centre.
The community-based club organised the free session to give our young Maidonians a chance to let out their creative sides without creating a mess at home and were thrilled to see so many people, young and old, transform their masks into very impressive bunnies!
Adam Hunter, Club Member and Event Organiser, commented “It was loads of fun and great to see the smiles on everyone’s faces as they went crazy with glitter, cotton wool and feathers! We’re really looking forward to seeing all our newly created bunnies hop down to Grenfell Park on Easter Saturday to join in the free Easter Family Fun Day”.
This is the fifth year the club has organised this free craft session as a pre-cursor to their FREE Easter Family Fun Day, being held in Grenfell Park on Saturday 20th April from 11am to 3pm, which is aimed at young families with children aged 0 – 12 years old. During the Easter Fun Day the club will be holding an Easter egg hunt, face painting and many other children’s activities. Throughout the day there will also be fun children’s activities such as singing and dancing. They’ll be fairground rides, ice cream and plenty of chocolate, so this really is an event not to be missed!
For more information and to be kept up to date on rides and attractions click here
What an amazing night of simply stunning talent. From dancing, to choirs, to opera, to African Drumming our young performers were simply the best at the annual Maidenhead’s Got Talent showcase on Friday 1st March.
The charity event, organised by all of Maidenhead’s Rotary clubs, saw performers aged six to 22 appearing in a matinee and evening show at Taplow Court, in Cliveden Road. The event featured pupils from five of the area’s primary schools, solo artists and a number of performance academies, totally over 500 performers!
The purpose of the event is to provide an opportunity for performers in schools and local groups to get experience of being on stage and performing to a large audience. There’s lots of talent in Maidenhead and it’s something we should be proud of.
A massive thank you to everyone who came to support the youngsters, to all the performers and all our amazing Rotary Volunteers who make the show possible. We're still adding up all the donations but it looks like, with your help, Rotary in Maidenhead will have raised £6000 to support the charitable projects we do locally, nationally and internationally. So a massive thank you from us!
The Rotary Club of Maidenhead Bridge invited town residents to pick up some health tips and information alongside their shopping this weekend. Over 100 people took us up on our offer, receiving blood pressure checks, cholesterol checks, diabetes checks as well as advice on exercise, healthy eating and mental health.
We took over a unit in the Nicholson Shopping Centre from 10.30am to offer advice and information on getting fit, eating healthily, the effects of high cholesterol and how to manage it, diabetes, and the risks of high blood pressure – all completely free of charge with no obligations.
Neil Gow, event organiser, commented “After having their blood pressure checked 15 people were advised to visit their GP within a month and one was advised to visit their GP within a week. This proves that these events really do potentially reduce ill-health and perhaps save lives.”
The event also offered free cholesterol checks and blood sugar tests; the team gave advice on how to lower cholesterol levels and avoid contracting diabetes, which is an increasing healthcare concern. 80 people had their cholesterol levels checked with 50% of them being told to get further tests and advice from their GP due to higher than normal readings. An additional 3 people were told to seek advice about the potential risk of diabetes after our blood glucose tests.
In addition Rotarian Victoria Williams, a therapeutic coach and mental health practitioner from Hope-Rio Wellbeing, spoke to people about mental well-being, tips on reliving stress and anxiety and signposted visitors to organisations that can provide additional support.
Another popular feature of the event was an onsite consultation on good posture from Laura Rigby from Berkshire Health Clinic. Laura not only gave advice to the public, but her team were on hand giving massages to people as they waited to be seen by the clinical team.
Adam Hunter, assistant event organiser commented “This event is so important to the local community. Providing a confidential, free, drop-in service whilst people go about their shopping. One way our club and the Rotarians in it are making a difference.”
Fit for February is just one of the many local community based activities carried out by the Rotary Club of Maidenhead Bridge, alongside a free Easter family fun day in Grenfell Park and a close working relationship with FoodShare helping to feed the hungry in Maidenhead and the immediate area.
It was a race to the finish line at the annual Reindeer Race in the Nicholsons Centre on Saturday.
Organised by Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club for the sixth year running, the festive, fun-filled event pulled in the crowds to watch competitors wind toy reindeer and sleighs across the finishing line.
Races lasted approximately 5 minutes each and brought lots of laughter and fun to the masses. Shoppers also go to meet Bruno and Patch, mascots from the charity Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, where all money raised at the event will be donated.
This year we had extra special guests join in the fun in the form of two puppies in training. Ozzy a one-year old Black Labrador and Leighton a five-month old Cocker Spaniel stole the hearts of many shoppers and were only too happy to roll over and have their tummies stroked! Both dogs also loved their larger-than-life-sized mascot friends with Ozzy playfully tugging on Patch’s tail!
Adam Hunter, Rotarian and event organiser, commented, “The dog mascots definitely help to pull in the crowds and to see the joy on children’s faces as they rush to give them a hug is priceless. Thank you to the generosity of shoppers the day raised over £200 for the charity, which we are thrilled about”.
It’s been an amazing 12 months at Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club with numerous charity challenges, reindeer and health checks being just some of the many activities the club has been involved with.
On the 23rd November the club celebrated their sixth birthday, and there’s lots to celebrate as the group of young professionals and volunteers have somehow managed to fit in more than 190 events over the last 12 months ranging from hands-on volunteering such as supporting FoodShare and the Waterways Project, to socials including walks in the countryside and plenty of pub visits, to fundraising for local and international charities, to networking!
The club organises several key events each year including the Easter Family Fun Day in Grenfell Park which now attracts over 800 local families each year, as well as the annual Health Awareness Day in February which gives advice to Maidonians about blood pressure, healthy hearts, diabetes etc with the support of professional organisations.
The members of our club are an amazing group of people; they inspire me and motivate to help make the world a better place
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