Council and Committees

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Photo by Alyce Henson. © Rotary International

Council

Normally meet every month and is chaired by the President supported by Senior Vice President, Vice President, the Chairs of Committees, Treasurer, Secretary and two elected members. Decisions that have not been previously mandated are put to the next club business meeting for majority approval and then actioned. The Club operates with five standard committees, Club Services, Community & Vocation (joined together) and International and Foundation (also joined together).

 

In addition we currently have three fund raising committees which are Rotary Gold Hill Fair, Rotary Golf Day and our latest addition the North Dorset Charity Cycle Ride, these major events plus some smaller activities raise on average 14 thousand pounds a year!

 

Over the past 50 years we calculate having raised over £450,000 at today’s value to mainly local and national/local based charities which includes specific international projects such as eradication of polio and shelter boxes.

 


Club Service Committee

This committee is the engine room of the club it focuses on strengthening fellowship and ensuring the effective functioning of the club. It helps to organise and coordinate our own social activities and between other local clubs to build friendships and relationships for the whole family, not just Rotarians.

We have broken down the functions so that as many committee members as possible are involved with the running of the club.

  • Arranging speakers usually twice a month to give a talk on their specialisms – these include charities that we have given or asked to support financially. Our own members also will give a talk on their job or a specific interest/hobby
  • A sports and entertainments promoter keeping the club socially active – with the target being once a month for an event away from our normal venue
  • Sergeant at Arms to keep the club in fun – fines of £1 for being late, not wearing the Rotary lapel pin, picture/profile in the media and any other alleged misdemeanor

 


Community Committee

Community is the easiest to understand as its purpose is to support the local community be it another group or individuals, we have given our support and encouragement varying from children’s nursery projects through to days out for senior citizens and everything inbetween.

Here are just a few examples of where we have given our support over the years:

  • Air Ambulance
  • Kids Out
  • Swimming pool
  • Castle Hill/Cedars
  • Senior & Junior schools
  • Westminster Memorial Hospital

 

We will also support local/national charities and these have included Cancer Research and Prostrate Cancer.

Yewstock School


Vocational Committee

Vocational service in its widest sense exists to encourage Rotarians to serve others through their jobs and professions and to promote the highest ethical standards. In practice this has given Rotary the opportunity to organise vocational events and competitions such as Youth Speaks, young musicians, interview techniques, job seminars and work experience. Some of these activities we share with our neighbouring clubs.

In many clubs the committee will take the pulse of the community and offer the clubs expertise in support of community needs and sometimes help to resolve contentious issues.

 

This approach was highlighted in David Cameron’s (former Prime Minister) “Big Society” project which drew the following response from a prominent Rotarian.

 

“David Cameron has no need to reinvent the wheel. The spokes for his Big Society project already exist in more than 1,800 Rotary clubs and 55,000 Rotarians who volunteer their time, talents, professional skills and energy to improving the lives of people in their communities. Rotary is a huge resource to empower communities, redistribute power to the people and foster a culture of volunteerism. The expertise is already out there”

 


International Committee

Much of the committees work is allocating our modest funds to those people abroad in the greatest need, often following national disasters where we contribute to the Rotary led shelter box and aqua box charities. We will also support local young and older people going abroad to work with disadvantaged people on community, environmental or ecological projects.

 

In addition we do like to support the smaller and lesser known charities and these have included over the years Water Aid, Polio Plus, Jaipur Limbs, Vision Aid, Dental Aid, Tools for Self-Reliance, Shoes Boxes, Smile Train, Hope and Homes for Children, which following a passionate talk by the founder Mark Cook back in 1997 this club agreed to give all the support we could. It is to the credit of a great Shaftesbury Rotarian John Enderby (deceased 2014) that Rotary Great Britain & Ireland adopted the scheme and continues to raise many hundreds and thousands of pounds, this charity was also supported by the British Government.

 

This committee is also responsible for arranging and maintaining our long term twinning partnership with our Dutch Rotarian club in Heerlen. This alternates between the two countries on an annual basis and this year they shall be visiting us.

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Photo by Monika Lozinska. © Rotary International


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Foundation Committee

This committee works hand in hand with the international committee and the ambitious role of the Rotary foundation is to enable Rotarians world-wide to advance goodwill and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education and the alleviation of poverty.

 

We play our small part in supporting this great charity through our contribution to the polio campaign to eradicate polio within the next 2/3 years. Rotary’s involvement in this project has been running since 1979 and has recently attracted the attention of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation who have donated several hundred million US dollars.

 

In addition there is the opportunity for the committee to support Group Study Exchange (GSE), ambassadorial scholars, grant application for special foundation projects and Vocational Training Teams. Details of these activities are available on the Rotary International Britain and Ireland website.