THE section of the River Thames running through Maidenhead was given a spring clean on Saturday by all of the town’s Rotary Clubs assisted by its sea cadet unit.
Members drawn from the Rotary Clubs of Maidenhead, Maidenhead Bridge, Maidenhead Thames and Maidenhead Rotaract scoured the river bank for litter between Boulters Lock and the M4 at Bray, while sea cadets from TS Iron Duke in Mill Lane took to the water in launches to clear litter from the river itself.
In parallel to the clean-up, Claire Booth and Sushi Gow from Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club ran a stall in the High Street giving information to members of the public about how to reduce their carbon footprint and live more sustainably.
The initiative was part of a Thames Valley-wide Rotary project which saw all clubs whose areas include the Thames turning out to clean up their stretches of the River. The day was also used to highlight an international Rotary campaign called End Plastic Soup, which aims to stop single-use plastics being dumped into our waterways and oceans by 2050.
The Maidenhead clean-up was organised by a team from all four Rotary clubs led by Rotarian Gurdial Singh.
He said: “It was a fantastic day and shows what can be achieved when Rotary Clubs join forces with each other and work with community groups. Rotary would like to say a huge thank you to Maidenhead Sea Cadets for coming on board with the project and providing such invaluable help.
“While we picked up a respectable amount of litter from the river banks, many areas were actually reasonably clean so well done to the people of Maidenhead for being environmentally aware and taking their litter home with them. Thank you to everyone for their support on the day.”
THE town’s four Rotary Clubs will be teaming up on Saturday for a spring clean along the River Thames.
Members of the Rotary Clubs of Maidenhead, Maidenhead Thames, Maidenhead Bridge and Maidenhead Rotaract will be collecting litter from both banks of the river between Boulters Lock and the M4 at Bray.
They will be supported by Maidenhead sea cadets who will be manning boats to allow Rotarians to also clear litter from the river itself.
Meanwhile, a separate team from Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club will be manning a stall in the town centre to raise awareness of environmental issues and promote greener alternatives to help people reduce their carbon footprint.
The project is part of a Thames Valley-wide Rotary initiative which will see clubs which cover stretches of the river from Oxford to Windsor turning out to clean up their sections of the Thames.
As well as reducing litter and its impact on the environment, the day also aims to promote a major Rotary programme called End Plastic Soup which has the objective of stopping single-use plastics being dumped into waterways and oceans worldwide by 2050.
Sushi Gow from Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for all of the town’s Rotary Clubs to join forces for the good of our community. By working together we can make a real difference and also raise awareness of important environmental issues.
“Last year Rotary added protecting the environment as a new core area of focus so this will be only the first of many initiatives locally, nationally and internationally as we turn the same energy and determination that has led to the near eradication of polio to reducing the impact of climate change.”
Rotary is the world’s largest volunteer humanitarian organisation with 1.4 million members in 46,000 clubs across the globe. Together they work to make the world a better place is areas such as promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water and sanitation, protecting mothers and children, supporting education, growing local economies and protecting the environment.
Boundary Walk raises £15,000 for 39 charities
Almost £15,000 was raised for 39 different charities by walkers taking part in the 40th Rotary Club Boundary Walk on Sunday.
More than 350 participants stepped out in aid of their favourite causes for the annual sponsored walk. While most completed the traditional 13-mile circular route around the town, others followed a new 5km family route introduced this year to ensure the event was accessible to walkers of all ages and abilities.
The highest single amount of sponsorship was £2,500, raised by a 55-strong team led by Rotarian Gurdip Bahra in aid of the Makindhu Dental Project, which provides vital dentistry to a rural community in Kenya.
The event is based on the tradition of ‘beating the bounds’, a walk around the boundary of the old Maidenhead borough which dates back to the town being given its charter in 1582.
It is organised jointly by the Rotary Club of Maidenhead and Rotary Club of Maidenhead Bridge which deployed nearly 60 volunteers to man checkpoints and marshal road crossings along the route.
This year saw the Boundary Walk return to business as usual after being held in a special ‘bubble’ format last year due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Event chairman Jim Howles said: “Despite the number of walkers being down, which we think is due to people still being cautious after lockdown, the amount raised for good causes was absolutely fantastic and up there with some of our busiest years.”
Fellow organiser Lisa Hunter added: “It was really wonderful to be back for our 40th anniversary and to see the happy, smiling faces of those taking part.”
Maidenhead MP Theresa May once again joined walkers for the start of the walk, along with Royal Borough Mayor, Cllr John Story, and Rotary district governor Karen Eveleigh.
Mrs May said: “It’s great to see the Boundary Walk back to normal. It is such an important feature of the Maidenhead year. It’s lovely to see so many people coming along and participating. It’s really important that people are out today raising money for charities as they have found it really difficult during the pandemic as most of their fundraising events have not been able to take place.”
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 events 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 get in touch today.
We hope you enjoy reading it and if you, or anyone you know, would like to get involved with any of our volunteering opportunities, or attend one of our meetings, please do get in touch; and feel free to share our newsletter with others too.
Members of Maidenhead Bridge Rotary and Maidenhead Rotaract joined forces on Saturday to spread a little cheer this season. The team, all socially distanced from each other, created 114 hampers filled with festive treats including mince pies, stollen, biscuits, jam and of course no hamper is complete without a chocolate Father Christmas!
The recipients of these hampers are the elderly who usually attend the annual OAP Christmas Party hosted by Maidenhead Rotaract, which sadly, but for obvious reasons, couldn’t go ahead this year. Other recipients are people who Maidenhead Bridge Rotary have been supporting since March due to having to self-isolate and were chosen as they will be on their own this Christmas.
Lisa Hunter, event organiser, commented “It was such a lovely morning, working together as a team to bring a smile to people’s faces this Christmas. There was a real buzz in the room and I was very proud to be a part of it knowing that it will make a difference to someone locally.”
The team have already had some lovely messages back from the 114 people they delivered hampers to, some of whom were speechless when they saw the gift on their doorstep, and that’s what it’s all about, spreading some festive cheer in what has been a very difficult year.
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