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…
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.
The Rotary Club of Windsor St George were asked by the event organisers if they can provide volunteers to help with the marshalling at the above event, being a horse lover but a marshalling novice of course I was more than happy to take a day off work and take part.
For those that don’t know there are three races during the day:
The 120km riders have a maximum of 10 hours to complete the race, all horses are subjected to a 40 minute cool down after each leg, the vet will then check their heart rate etc. and decide whether the horse can continue. This is a true test of Endurance for both horse and rider.
Half of the 70 volunteers, made up of mostly Rotarians from the surrounding clubs, but also students from Bournemouth Uni, Local Riding Clubs and the Royal Vet College, attended the briefing on the Sunday before this event. I’m pleased that I attended the session on the Sunday as we had a very early start the following Friday.
I arrived on site at 5.40am to grab my breakfast and picnic lunch, along with radio and orange high-vis ready for the days action and I was not to be disappointed. I was partnered up with Howard Smith from Ascot Rotary and we headed off following Malcom Wallace and other Rotarians to Ascot Racecourse.
We were shown the dog leg of the roadway that we had to marshal; there were 10 plus people on that part of the course. The 120km and 80km racers arrive through the car park, come along the Ascot Racecourse roadway past the entrance to the Golf Club under the tunnel, around the racecourse, back through the tunnel and out through the car pack back to Windsor Great Park.
As well as shouting to each other when horses were coming, when it was clear and when cars could go I also needed to shout each riders number to Howard so that they could be recorded. Well... trying to read the numbers from a group of 26 cantering horses was a challenge, but how Howard managed to write them all down so quick I’ll never know. In under an hour circa 80 horses and riders had completed this part of the course.
We all headed back to the main hub to be relocated to other parts of the course. This is where I left Howard and his fellow Rotarian Raymond Cheung and joined Ella Nunn from the Suffolk Hunt. Ella and I then spent the remaining 6 hours on our picnic chairs at the bottom of the long walk chatting to passers-by, enjoying the scenery and of course recording the rider numbers as they passed us every now and then.
A fabulous way to spend the day and next year’s date, Friday 10 May 2019, is already firmly in my diary. I nearly forgot, the Rotary clubs also benefitted from £100 for each volunteer so if anyone else would like to take part next year let me know and I will collate all the details to advise Windsor St George Rotary.
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