District 1170 serves most of Devon. We currently have 48 clubs and over 1600 members. District 1170 is one cog in Rotary International, which is a global network of service volunteers. It is the world's largest service organisation for business and professional people, with some 1,240,000 members operating in 166 countries worldwide. |
There are over 59,000 Rotarians in Great Britain and Ireland in 1,836 clubs, helping those in need and working towards world understanding and peace. Itís a fulfilling role, and Rotarians can get involved as much or as little as their time will allow. Rotary is an organisation for businessmen and women.
In 2002/03 the Rotary Clubs of Devon organised over 300 fundraising events which provided £417,000 to assist charitable causes. Over the past three years, the 1,500 Rotarians in Devon have raised over £1 million to support 2,000 local and international humanitarian projects. About two-thirds of the money they have collected has been used for the benefit of charities in Devon.
The major beneficiaries of Rotary fundraising were the hospitals, hospices and medical services of Devon, which last year received £150,000. Rotarians helped to provide dialysis equipment, wheelchairs, defibrillators and physiotherapy units, as well as specialist equipment for the blind and disabled. A further £100,000 was distributed to assist Devon youth and community projects.
In addition to fundraising, many Rotarians are also working as volunteers for numerous organisations within their Devon towns and villages. Some drive community buses, organise local carnivals and environmental projects and help the aged with gardening and house decoration. Others are youth leaders, school governors and work in Citizens Advice Bureaux and Town Information Centres.
The major beneficiaries of our fundraising were the health services of the County. We gave £77,215 to four Devon hospices; £19,356 to assist the blind and disabled, and £52,698 to the Air Ambulance, St. Johns Ambulance, health centres and hospitals. This £149,269 was spent locally to improve services and acquire a host of much needed equipment, including dialysis machines, defibrillators, wheelchairs, physiotherapy facilities and specialist computer equipment for the blind.
Service was also provided by 298 Rotarians in driving the sick to hospital and giving help in organising activities for the disabled and those in rehabilitation centres. Kingsbridge organised the Annual Rotaproj Fun Day for 550 mentally disabled children, with the assistance of Rotarians from Clubs throughout the District, Dartmoor Vale invited 800 disabled and disadvantaged children, with their carers, aboard the Santa Special Train for a Christmas Party, and other Clubs organised sports events, days out and trips to the zoo and theatre for blind and disabled children.
Clubs donated £39,873 to school and youth service projects. The money was used to purchase computer equipment, books and musical instruments, as well as sports and playground equipment. The Rotary Life Education Caravan received financial and organisational help and our Coping with Life CD series was distributed to all Devon schools.
Personal support was provided by 298 Rotarians, who acted as school governors, teacher assistants, Youth Club and Scout Group leaders. They were also much involved in organising drug awareness and work simulation projects, as well as providing advice to young people on their career choice and job interview techniques. Rotary's Young Technologist, Young Enterprise, Young Musician and Youth Speaks programmes were well supported by 34 Clubs throughout the District. Youth exchanges, involving 8 students, were organised by two Clubs.
Although Clubs only donated £9,791 to assist the aged, 600 Rotarians gave of their time to entertain and help the elderly within their communities. Most of the funding was used to finance days out to National Trust properties and tours of our national parks and coastline, but, additionally, Clubs organised lunches, parties and visits to the theatre for the elderly. A few Clubs, however, endeavoured to assist old folk in a practical way, by undertaking the chores of gardening, house decoration and shopping. In this regard, 3 Clubs provided wheelchairs for the Shop Mobility Scheme. At Christmas, efforts were made to ensure that the lonely and needy were entertained at a party and were also the recipients of Christmas gifts and food parcels.
The involvement of Clubs in the work and activities of the community is considerable. Donations of £52,698 were made to organisations such as the British Legion, Citizens Advice Bureaux, sports clubs, drama societies, museums, and to assist with the building of community centres and village halls. Time was given by 416 Rotarians to assist with a variety of community projects. They ranged from carnivals to horse trials to village fayres and traditional events such as Tar Barrel Rolling and Lamb Pie Day. Rotarians manned CAB and town Information Centres, cleared rivers and leats and assisted their communities participate in the Britain in Bloom competitions. Bideford Bridge Club Members worked to enhance the open spaces of the Town by purchasing and planting trees and shrubs.
£33,710 was donated to 63 charities, of which £18,430 went in support of the Red Cross, Jubilee Sailing Trust, Alzheimers Society, RHIB, Stroke Association, British Heart Foundation and other medical charities. Favoured charities were the RNLI, Motability, British Legion, Childline and the Green Welly Appeal, which benefits farming families. Rotarians are regularly to be seen with collecting tins and also manning local charity shops, which provide a great deal of a charity's income.
An increasing percentage of funds raised by Clubs is benefiting international humanitarian projects and the work of Rotary Foundation, which is our own charity. This year, 1170's contribution was £104,303, which is £22,230 more than was given in the previous year.
Apart from Rotary Foundation, the major recipients of our monies were Sightsavers, Water Aid, Hope and Homes and Jaipur Limbs. We also supported projects in Turkey, Moldova, Monrovia, Romania, Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Brazil, Peru, Botswana, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Congo and many other countries.. Clubs provided 15 Shelterboxes and 310 Aquaboxes, which they filled with domestic equipment and foodstuffs.
In South Devon, the Teignmouth, Bovey Tracey, Dawlish and Totnes Clubs organised a 'Disaster Week' with local press support, which resulted in the provision of 230 filled Aquaboxes - an imaginative project, which gained much publicity for Rotary's international humanitarian work. Many Clubs are also involved in collecting items which help those in the developing world. Over 7,000 spectacles and 3,500 books were gathered by Rotarians to be sent to India, Africa and Eastern Europe.