Shaftesbury Rotary Club’s Statement of Condolence on the Passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Posted by on Sep 16, 2022 in Events | 0 comments

It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, whose dedication to humanitarian causes and unwavering commitment to peace and the environment deeply inspired Rotary members around the world, especially those in the Commonwealth countries. The Queen was a supporter of Rotary’s polio eradication and humanitarian missions. She received the Rotary International Award of Honor, the organization’s highest recognition, in December 2013 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of her coronation. Her late husband, Prince Philip, was an honorary member of the Rotary clubs of Kings Lynn, Windsor & Eton, Windsor St. George and Edinburgh.
We join the international community in offering our condolences to the Royal Family and His Majesty King Charles III.

– Shaftesbury Rotary Club President David Britton


Posted by on Aug 15, 2022 in Events | 0 comments


Gold Hill Festival 2022 Press Release

A free day for all the family. The 3rd of July saw the second renamed Gold Hill Festival, Shaftesbury. Barton Hill continues to prove a perfect location for such an event with the stage taking centre stage. The stall holders together with street food vendors fitted nicely around the perimeter of the field. Leaving the central area for watching the great music and enjoying a picnic.  

Again, this year there was something for all the family, children’s rides, including a aerial trampoline, guess the number of bricks in the Lego caravan always a great attraction, Morris Dancing and a great skate boarding display by the renowned Jordan Rose.
There was a great line-up of 8 local bands/artists organised by our loyal compare Dan Evans. There was a great variety of music from folk, pop and rock bands including Conor Smith, LBVSK, No Fixed Abode, Pete Robson, Hummingbird, Cable Street, Steve Jones (alias Tom Jones) and closing out with Splinter the Silence. Steve Jones really delighted the crowd with his Tom Jones tribute act, with many joining in.
 We would like to thank our sponsors Bloomfield and Associates, Rutters Solicitors, Johnsons Hotel and Catering Linen and Western Marquees. We would also like to thank Mike Farrell for carefully towing up the Lego Caravan and having it as a popular attraction. Gold Hill Festival wouldn’t be what it is without the valuable help and guidance of Dan Evans.
Watch out for next year’s Gold Hill Festival.

11th – Guest Speaker – Dan Evans. The Battle of Agincourt 1415 – “Myths, Mayhem and Money – Part 2”

We learnt about Henry V and medieval power politics. Was he a war criminal?
Plate armour was very effective and not as heavy as generally believed, but it was expensive at £250K in modern terms. A knight’s warhorse was similarly costly.
The English archers were very effective and there were a lot of them – partly because they were cheap. Their entire supply of arrows – over half a million between them all – would only have lasted for ten minutes.
But the battle was over quickly. The French were too tightly pressed together, disadvantaged by shorter lances, plagued by English arrows and got stuck in the mud. So they fell over on top of one another.
Henry V ordered the killing of the French prisoners, including setting fire to the barn where they were held captive, because he feared that the French army would make a late rally. That would certainly have been contrary to the Geneva Convention – but considering the Ukraine – how much have things changed?”

25th – Business Meeting, Royal Chase

We discussed a wide range of topics including whether we could support more defibrillators at further locations around the town. The defibrillator at the top of Gold Hill was funded by ourselves. We think more of these devices around the community is highly desirable but we need to give careful consideration to their location.
We also discussed our end of year accounts and considered some donations. A further area of discussion was our recent Gold Hill Festival. We reviewed this and began to make plans for next year.

Open For Business – From the August/September Rotary Magazine

We would like to recommend the following article in the current edition of the Rotary magazine, entitled “Open for Business.

In the past, Shaftesbury itself hosted many bring-and-buy events via silent auctions. In response to the article, the question could be put forward as to whether Shaftesbury should attempt something similar to Frome’s bold approach in the future.


Posted by on Jul 14, 2022 in Events | 0 comments


A “Thank You” for Donations

Dear David,
We are writing to thank you and all the members of your Club for your hard work and generosity in making a donation to the Indian / Ukrainian Appeals.
We are always amazed and deeply moved by the way in which Rotarians throughout the District answer the call to help when others both in this country and abroad need our support. These last 2 years has been particularly difficult for all of us with the effects of COVID still being felt in this country and overseas. Now with the dreadful war in the Ukraine we are seeing millions being displaced and in need.
When the call went out to help those in need in India, the Rotarians of District 1110 were there to provide funds and support where required. The pictures from Ukraine again galvanised so many Rotarians to go out of their way to not only raise substantial funds but also to help in many other practical ways. These included collecting clothing and much needed supplies to actually delivering items to the border regions of Poland whilst also making contact with our colleagues and friends in Rotary Clubs in Poland and across the conflict zone.
Service Above Self is the motto by which Rotarians are seen and judged. The contribution that your club has made to these appeals, and in the very many other activities in which you are involved, exemplifies that motto and shows we lead from the front.
On behalf of the whole District Team we would like to say thank you and wish all your members and their families well.
Yours in Rotary,

District Governor Paul Steele and District Governor Elect Bill Casey

13th – Final Business Meeting of the Year

On the final Business Meeting of Tim Cook’s Presidential Year on a beautiful summer’s evening, it was announced that after 38 years John Warner decided it was time to retire. Members thanked him for all the hard work he had put into the club. He was delighted to accept Honorary Membership and said he would continue helping out throughout the year.
The first item of significance on the agenda was the forthcoming Gold Hill Festival which was well on track with sponsors, stallholders and performers and promised to be a very successful fun day for all.
Youth Speaks and Young Chef were discussed, and dates had been set as 8th February for Young Chef and the provisional date of 26th January for Young Chef, all to take place at Shaftesbury School where this year a great partnership has been formed with Shaftesbury Rotary Club.
The return of KidsOut after a break for Covid was very successful with Yewstock School being taken to Longleat, all children returned.
North Dorset Cycle Ride was yet another successful day, with a minimum £6,000 made before the addition of individual sponsorship money. The committee thanked all the members and their partners/friends for all their hard work on the day.
Twinning with our Dutch Rotarian friends was going to place on the 9th of September with a coach laid on to take members to Stanstead Airport retuning on Monday 12th September.
Finally, The President’s Night will be a Curry Night at the Udder Farmshop on Monday 27th June 18:30 for 19:00pm. This will also incorporate President’s Handover.
We wish David Britton our incoming President a successful and enjoyable term as President.

“RotaKids” comes to Shaftesbury

A meeting was held with the Head Teacher and School Council at Abbey Church of England VA Primary School on 17th June. The School Council is made up of representatives from all year groups in the school. During a very constructive discussion, it was agreed that the school will run a RotaKids Club in partnership with Shaftesbury Rotary Club from September.
Various possible community projects for next year were also discussed. The young people present came up with lots of excellent suggestions. It was also agreed that the club would have approximately 16 members in the first instance.
RotaKids is a fun and exciting way for young people aged 7-12 to make friends and get involved with important activities in the community, all while having a great time in the process.
RotaKids clubs are based in schools, youth groups or community centres and with the help and support from teachers, youth leaders and the local Rotary Club, young people can gain a valuable experience in helping others and learning interesting, new things.
It also brings an exciting and practical approach to supporting and learning citizenship.
Those involved enjoy a boost to their confidence and self-esteem at a key age and develop and understanding of how their actions can impact on others. 

27th – President’s Handover

On a warm June evening, we gathered at 6:30 on the patio at The Udder Farm Restaurant for an evening to celebrate our presidents year. A great venue offering something different with a fabulous view, 30 of us gathered for a curry evening and no whinging or complaints, unlike us! The Beef and Chicken Curries were delicious as many of us showed by returning for seconds.

2021/2022 was not an ideal year for taking over as President as we emerged from Zoom meetings to Stages 1 to 4 of the roadmap out of Lockdown. The Cycle Ride, Gold Hill Festival and Golf Day were back in play with restrictions. Our longstanding relationship with The Fleur de Lys came to an end and we wish David, Mary and Mark well for the future as we settled into less regular meetings at The Royal Chase. Tim managed all the hurdles with ease, but acknowledged the support of his Chairs, committees and sub committees who prepared and ran the events and would have liked to name them all. Particular thanks to Win Harvey (Treasurer) and David Wynn Mackenzie (Secretary) who were a constant support and guide throughout the Year.

Bernard was even permitted to speak for a short while and managed to get in one of his many jokes before Tim Cook handed over the reins to incoming President David Britton. The ceremonial exchange of the Ribbon & Badge was dispensed with due to Tim’s injury whilst listening to The Eagles in Hyde Park.

Many thanks to Tim for his year as president and have plenty more jobs for him yet. We also wish David a successful year as incoming president and look forward to supporting him fully in that.


Posted by on Jun 12, 2022 in Events | 0 comments


7th – Youth Speaks District Final

The District Final took place on Saturday 7th May at The Mountbatten School in Romsey. A large audience gathered to watch the Senior and Intermediate competitions, with nine teams taking part. Shaftesbury School unfortunately had to withdraw from the Senior Competition at short notice, but The Blandford School Intermediate Team was very much in attendance. They competed with four other teams from Bishop’s Wordsworth School in Salisbury, Bournemouth School for Girls, St Anne’s Catholic School in Southampton and West Hill Park School in Fareham. The Blandford School team debated their motion “Should PE be taught in mixed or single gender groups?” with great eloquence. It was noticeable that they had worked really hard to perfect their delivery and content since the Area Competition. Chairperson Olivia Sharples, Proposer Tamzin Caves and Opposer Tyler Parsons all performed their roles really well, and were a credit to our Club and their school. Thanks must also go to their teacher Maisie Griffin, who has supported them so well throughout their Youth Speaks journey this year. The eventual winners of the Intermediate Competition were St Anne’s Catholic School with the motion: “Music Lessons should be mandatory for primary schools”. The winners of the Senior Competition were Crofton School in Fareham with the motion: “Is poetry more powerful than the novel?”

9th – Business Meeting

20 Rotarians and guests attended the meeting on 20th May to hear Tim Sale’s presentation “Electrified Vehicles UK – A Panacea?”
Tim was an engineer at Ford Motor Company for most of his working life before retiring recently. He was therefore able to speak with great authority about the pros and cons of electric vehicles, as we head towards the Government’s target date for all cars to be electric – namely 2030.
He outlined a range of advantages and disadvantages associated with hybrid, plug-In hybrid and fully electric cars, whilst contrasting these and the relative running costs of electric, diesel and petrol-powered vehicles. He also considered how efficient electric cars are, taking account of the use of scarce resources in their manufacture, their carbon footprint and their purchase cost.
He summed up his talk by highlighting that electric and traditionally-powered cars actually have similar running costs, if we discount the effects of taxation.
Several probing questions prompted further discussion about the use of alternative power sources such as hydrogen and the use of electric to power large vehicles and planes.
The Club would like to thank Tim for travelling down from London to deliver this well-informed and detailed presentation.

15th – Press Release – North Dorset Cycle Ride

On yet another damp and windy Sunday, cycle enthusiasts came out to support the 5th North Dorset Cycle Ride. At times we did see brief glimpses of the sun, but being situated on both Castle Walk and Castle Hill, we felt the full force of the wind. Again, this year, the event started with a rolling start, allowing cyclists to leave at their own chosen time slot

We have been, over the past two years, very lucky to have been sponsored by BV Dairy, who have not only supplied financial support but have supplied cyclists together with marshalls. Thank you BV Dairy. We would also like to thank Tesco for providing energy bars and bananas, which were handed out at the feed station on top of Bulbarrow Hill. We have also been lucky to have the continued support of Signrite who have provided the signage over the years.

We are also very grateful to James Thrift our official photographer who took the official photos and also helped at the start line.
This year we added an additional distance of 75 miles for those that wanted a bigger challenge. The additional distance took cyclists into the beautiful Cranborne Chase, taking them through Tollard Royal and then into the Chalke Valley. Add to this the beautiful North Dorset countryside, including Bulbarrow Hill and Milton Abbas makes this one of the most scenic cycle rides around.

We also replaced the 12 mile family cycle ride with a new event the 6 mile Family Fun ride. This was developed to make it more accessible for younger children, giving them a halfway rest point with refreshments and 5 skill tests to challenge the younger ones (as well as Parents!) in slow speed bike control, balance, riding single handed and bike positioning. The route took them through the newly opened Coombe House School and BV Dairy, before the final ascent of Gold Hill.
This year we were very lucky to have the services of Gillingham Wheelers, at the start of the ride, providing riders with any advice and help they required to get them going.
All rides terminated ascending Gold Hill, where a large crowd had gathered to cheer the weary cyclists through the finish line.

Cyclists on completion were greeted with music provided by Connor Smith, burgers etc by Dorset Farm Foods and coffee via The Really Tiny Coffee Company.
The main beneficiary of this year’s event will be again Prostate Cancer who were present to be on hand for peoples’ awareness of the charity. The remaining funds will go into the Shaftesbury Rotary Charity funds, which will be distributed to deserving local charities.

Shaftesbury Rotary Club would like to thank all the volunteers who came out to help on the event, including Shaftesbury School who provided car park attendants, Dorset Marshalls, Gillingham Wheelers, Connor White, Coombe House School, Tesco, Reed Marketing Consultancy, James Thrift, Signrite, Travis Perkins for barriers, Rob Beale Ltd. for Portaloos, Dorset Farm Foods, The Really Tiny Coffee Company, Mister Softee and last and very much not least BV Dairy.
Next year, with hopefully better weather, we aim to enhance the annual event more, so watch out for future press releases.

23rd – Club Assembly

Club Assembly is when the incoming President – David Britton for 2022/23 – introduces their team and plans for the next Rotary year, beginning in July.
On this occasion it was even more special as we inducted another new member Paul Filler.
David’s plans for the next year include prioritising growing membership and celebrating our club’s 60th anniversary. We are also planning to run Youth Speaks again, and to bring back Young Chef, both in association with Shaftesbury School. We also hope to start a Rotakids group for younger children.
We will also run all our usual events, the next of which will be Gold Hill Festival on Barton Hill on Sunday July 3rd.
If you are interested in becoming a member contact us through this website. We offer three free meals/meetings to anyone genuinely interested in membership.

A thank you from Aquabox

Dear Shaftesbury Rotary,
Thank you for your very kind donation of £500.00 which we received on 01/02/2022.
Your gift will support purchase of filter components and shipping costs. We and our partners in water-restricted regions greatly appreciate your contribution! Thank you for thinking of us.
From all of us at Aquabox


Posted by on May 17, 2022 in Events | 0 comments


4th – Social Evening at King Alfred’s Kitchen

A big thank you to Bernard and John for organising the long overdue Tapas evening at King Alfred’s Kitchen. The excellent service and attendance by our hosts Conrad and Heidi was warm and friendly. The Tapas dishes kept coming and the wine and beer blended into a really enjoyable evening and Bernard as usual contributed his unique brand of humour, all in all a most enjoyable evening which brought a taste of Spain into Shaftesbury on a cold winter’s night.

11th – Business Meeting and Guest Speaker

A brief business meeting confirmed that arrangements are being finalised for the “Kids Out” day at Longleat for over 100 children from both Yewstock and the new Combe House School. Members were reminded about the Queen’s Jubilee tree planting ceremony on the 29th of April at Shaftesbury school.
April’s Speaker Meeting at The Royal Chase Hotel was a very sobering topic of Climate Change, highlighting some very serious questions, which need to be considered by all. Our Guest was Chris Horwood of Climate Change Activists, who has kindly provided us with a summary of his presentation.

We must point out that the views below are not necessarily those of Shaftesbury Rotary Club but the words are very thought provoking: –

Our civilisation, and even the continued existence of the human race is under threat. The best description of that threat is set out in Sir David Attenborough’s “A Life On Our Planet”, on Netflix.

The threat comes from climate change. And it has already started; the effects are already biting. The website ( motto: we don’t march, we plant trees), was started in order to organise volunteers to fight climate change. The science of the problem and the best method of fighting it are recorded there, along with links to information collected by scientists. These are not doom merchants; these are the people working with the best information that our civilisation has discovered.

We know the problem and fortunately we know what to do about it. All we have to do is do it.

The effect of climate change will be a much-reduced food supply and an enormous number of climate refugees. Sir David Attenborough said that he thought there would be 500 million climate refugees by 2050. A more recent prediction is 750 million by 2030.

The problem is too much carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. To fight it there is a two-pronged attack:
#1 stop burning fossil fuels
#2 draw down the carbon that is already there

The first of these, #1, is the province of governments. We could do it today. It would be painful, but we could do it. CoP26 failed to get the agreements needed to stop burning fossil fuels. It was not the fault of the developing nations. We failed to give them the money we promised to give and so they felt that they could not transition.

For #2, Sir David Attenborough says that planting trees is the best that an individual can do. Doing this as a group, working together is more efficient, much more productive and draws us together as community.

Not only will this help draw down carbon, but when politicians see that large numbers of voters want something, they naturally move in that direction. Politicians want to do what they see as right for the people.
Our MP came to the planting day in March. At the moment we are not using our votes to prioritise ecological issues. Most people do not yet recognise how severe the problem is. It transpires that it is up to the implementation of #2 to be a force in persuading governments to implement #1.

The tree planting group started at the Donhead St Andrew Fete 2021.
Advertisements were displayed on the day, resulting in two offers of land. Plant World of Gillingham donated 50 various saplings, Landford Trees gave 150 significant beech saplings and 25 sweet cherry whips, and a Rotarian gave over 100 chestnut saplings. So far this season 395 trees have been planted. This will draw down over 100,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide each year.

There is a suggestion for a Rotary Summer Sapling Planting Evening with wine and eats. The idea is that everyone plants at least one tree. It would be declared to Her Majesty’s Queen’s Green Canopy project, and participants would receive a copy of the certificate to proudly show to other friends. This would enable people to start a number of necessary conversations about climate change. It also fulfils the first of the “What can I do?” suggestions on the website.

We could then build on the success of this and encourage other Rotary groups to hold similar events. We need to spread this far and wide. 10% of the UK is woodland as opposed to 32% in Europe. To achieve the same level of woodland as our European neighbours we need to plant 6,000 million trees.

This is the solution. The problem is big, but the ability of Mankind is bigger.

A lot of people feel disempowered, feeling it’s all too big. The very natural reaction to that is to mentally turn away. It is a form of self-preservation: if you worry unduly about what you cannot change you will wear yourself into the ground. But this way WILL fight climate change.

So, is this hopeless? No, the house is on fire, but this shows you the emergency exit.

28th – Business Meeting and AGM at the Royal Chase Hotel, Shaftesbury

The April 22 Business meeting was combined with our annual AGM where Club Council members were confirmed and Committee reports were presented. We were pleased to confirm the vacant position of President Elect 22/23 as Paul Slimm, who was nominated and elected with a unanimous decision.

During the Business Meeting, Mike Farrow announced that Heerlen Rotary Club were keen to renew our regular twinning get together with Heerlen hosting Shaftesbury this time on the 9thSeptember to the 12th. All those interested were asked to register as soon as possible.

C&V Committee reported 2 dates to note, the 29thApril planting of the Rotary Jubilee Tree at Shaftesbury School and the 7thMay Youth Speaks District Final, with the area represented by Shaftesbury School and Juniors Blandford School.

With three weeks to go the Cycle Ride the committee asked members for their help in the organization and running of the ride. After the ride, the committee were aiming to entertain with music together with coffee and bacon baps, burgers etc.

Gold Hill Festival was well on track with Music and a well-known skateboarder organised for the day.

29th – Tree planting for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee

On 29th April 2022 Shaftesbury Rotary planted a tree for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at Shaftesbury School. Our President Tim Cook wanted to mark the occasion but also wanted to benefit the environment and leave a legacy for the future. Shaftesbury School’s Head Prefects, Jacob and Paige were on hand to help. The tree is a Dawyk Copper Purple Beech. The Queen and Prince Charles last year planted a Copper Beech themselves at Balmoral to start off the planting for the Jubilee Canopy.

Group photo, left to right Landscaper Angela Burwick, Paige and Jacob (Head Prefects), Donna London-Hill (Head Teacher) Tim Cook (President of Shaftesbury Rotary), Paul Whiteman (Rotarian).
Below, an image of the tree planting:


Posted by on Apr 21, 2022 in Events | 0 comments


4th – Fascinating Aida at Salisbury Playhouse

All praise to our President Tim who arranged for Rotarians, wives and partners to dine at the Cote restaurant and then on to the Salisbury Playhouse. The show was “Fascinating Aida” and many of us had no idea of the shows content or the cast, just shows we need to get out more. This production in different forms has been been around for 39 years and it would be foolish to explain the show, sufficient to say that it was presented with songs and stories all of which were hilarious, controversial and right up to date. There was a well-deserved standing ovation at the end which was linked to an announcement that the producer would give all of the proceeds from the evenings show to the Ukrainian disaster relief fund. If you are intrigued then check out or any of the social media sites which are full of praise and many videos.

14th – meeting

The evening started by welcoming the District Governor Paul Steele and his wife Michele, visiting from Guernsey who during his year of office tries to visit all 69 clubs. A presentation of £5,000.00 was made by Rotarian Paul Slimm to Ian Bell, representing The Prostate Cancer Charity. This grant came from the 2021 North Dorset Cycle Ride and is the major fundraising event of the Rotary Year. The Club also joined with Shaftesbury Senior School to gift £2,000.00 to help relieve suffering in Ukraine.

Shaftesbury Rotary present cheque to Prostate Cancer UK
from proceeds of North Dorset Cycle Ride

A further presentation certificate was made to Tony Morgan by the District Governor as Tony has served the club for 50 years. He was also awarded a second Paul Harris citation for his commitment to creating the Rotary business partners scheme which is now the largest in the U.K. The club agreed to continue to fund the international “Shelter Box Charity” and our lead role in organising and funding with Gillingham and Sturminster Rotary Clubs, the “Kids Out” annual visit to Longleat. This trip is exclusively for the less able children of Yewstock School and the newly opened Coombe House School (site of the old St Mary’s school). The evening concluded with James Thrift, the Shaftesbury representative for the well-known William Williams Charity. James told us of its history, founded in 1621 with a donation of £3,000.00 being the farm of William Williams. The annual income of £141.00 was used to educate young boys in the town and nearby area. The Charity now owns a considerable amount of mostly commercial property and generates an annual income in the range of £300,000.00 to £400,000.00.
Donations are given to the following three groups: benefits in kind to people in need, for example carpets and white goods. The Charity does not provide money for repairs or rent; grants to organisations; and educational grants to individuals. These are dependent on the individual’s financial circumstances and are normally for 3 years of further education or an apprenticeship. Money can only be given to persons in the SP7 and SP8 post codes, in other words the three towns of Shaftesbury, Sturminster and Blandford. There are two Trustees from each town. Our local trustees are James Thrift and Alex Chase. There are also non-geographic Trustees. Small grants can be made rapidly at the discretion of the local Trustee while larger requests are taken to a full Trustees charity meeting. William Williams charity is always happy to work with rotary. President-elect David Britton gave the vote of thanks.

District Governor Paul Steele presents Tony Morgan of Shaftesbury Rotary Club with an award recognizing 50 years of service to the local community

28th – Meeting at the Royal Chase Hotel, Shaftesbury

We met for our monthly business meeting. Numbers were smaller than usual probably due to Covid but there was a very pleasant relaxed atmosphere. We learned that we have given away £19,123.58 to a variety of good causes in the last year – and we had fun doing it!
We continued discussions on our forthcoming events and have started to make plans for Rotakids, which seeks to involve young children of First School age in community work.
In a few days time we have a social tapas evening and we have begun to discuss arrangements for our 60th anniversary next year.

Following this meeting, we received this lovely message of thanks from our guest speaker, Paul Filler:

“May I please say thank you to the President and attendee’s for making me most welcome as a guest at last nights meeting. I look forward to meeting more of you in two weeks time and I will of course remember my pound coins!
Very best regards,


Ukraine Press Release

At Rotary, we are deeply concerned by the devastating situation in Ukraine and the escalating loss of life and humanitarian hardship there. Continued military action against Ukraine will not only devastate the region, but also risk spreading tragic consequences across Europe and the world.
As one of the world’s largest humanitarian organisations, we have made peace the cornerstone of our global mission. Following a meeting on the 28th February with Rotary International General Secretary, John Hewko, which included more than 40 Rotarian leaders from Ukraine and neighbouring countries, plans have been put in place for Rotary to respond and support the horrific and ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
On a global level, a central disaster response fund is being launched, which will be coordinated through The Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees. Our efforts will principally focus on refugees escaping the war.
There are many existing infrastructures that we can work through to reach those most in need, including the Rotary Action Group for Refugees and Intercountry Committees.
Collaboration has also begun with ShelterBox, our global partner in disaster response, and they are in direct contact with Rotarians in Eastern Europe. As well as ShelterBox, Rotary is also in contact with other emergency response organisations including Red Cross and the United Nations to ensure our efforts are complementary and coordinated. In Great Britain and Ireland, we have established an operational taskforce, which will be led by Allan Smith, Rotary GB&I Humanitarian Disaster Response Lead. This will give Rotarians, who are always so quick to respond with support in situations such as this, a central point of contact and assistance through their District International Team.
In addition, we have our own Rotary GB&I Disaster Recovery Trust, which can also act as a vehicle for channelling donations that can be used for the recovery phase of this crisis. An appeal will be established in due course.
Rotary International will be communicating directly with all members around the world and will advise Rotarians on how they can provide humanitarian relief via My Rotary.
Our thoughts are very much with the people of Ukraine, and our fellow Rotary members. Rotary will do everything in its power to bring aid, support and peace to the region.
Shaftesbury Rotary Club has immediately responded to the call with a donation of £2000 to Rotary GB&I Humanitarian Disaster Fund. If you would like to contribute as well, then please contact us at
Our website, which has received some 60,000 viewings, will give you an insight into what we do. We are very proud of our Mission Statement “At the Heart of the Community”.


Posted by on Mar 21, 2022 in Events | 0 comments


7th – Speaker Meeting

We met at The Royal Chase Hotel and had a very interesting and inspiring talk from June and Martin Hull who run Shaftesbury Car Link, a not-for-profit community transport organisation, who offer transport services to people of all ages in the SP7 area, where public transport is either not available or cannot be accessed. They do a fantastic job ensuring that people who have no transport and would otherwise struggle to afford to pay for a taxi, can get to medical appointments, collect prescriptions and see other people so they are not isolated. They run the Car Link with the help of volunteer drivers and an administration assistant. They were extremely busy when Covid hit and continue to be busy. Those who nominated Shaftesbury Car Link were impressed by the care and time that those at the car link put into helping people, and their cheery nature, helping people in the community travel, who would otherwise be isolated and unable to travel. In recognition of their contribution towards the community of Shaftesbury we awarded them the Shaftesbury Rotary Caldwell Award 2021.

14th – no meeting!

16th – Social Evening

Our 1st new year social “Party” with wives and partners or should I say “gathering” and what a great start. We all met at Sheena and Bernard’s gaff better known as the Retreat which is their beautiful home as well as their business base. On arrival we were warmly welcomed with a choice of drinks and the conversations in particular flowed between wives and partners who have not had the opportunity to meet for many months. At the appointed hour our hosts called us to order to be served our Bangers & Mash and this was followed by a choice of lemon and meringue pie or bread and butter pudding. A super evening and all credit to Sheena and Bernard for organising and being excellent hosts.

17th – Night of the Great Debate – Shaftesbury Rotary’s Youth Speaks Competition

Teams from Shaftesbury, The Blandford and Gillingham Schools took part in Rotary’s Youth Speaks competition on 17th February at Shaftesbury School. Each team had a Chairperson who managed the debate, a Proposer who put forward their motion and an Opposer, arguing against it.
There was an Intermediate competition, with students aged 11 – 13 years old and a Senior competition, with students aged 14 – 17 years old.
It was fantastic to see the effort the students put into their debates, arguing their points well in front of a judging panel and having to field questions from the questioner. If that was not enough, they did so in front of an audience and within a time limit – quite daunting for the students, but they all did an amazing job.
The winning team in the Intermediate Competition included Olivia Sharples, Tamzin Caves and Tyler Spencer from The Blandford School, whose topic was “Should PE be taught in mixed or single sex groups?” and the runners-up were Olivia Pretlove, Seth Collis and Seth Young from Shaftesbury School whose topic was “Reasons for and against allowing entry to refugees and asylum seekers”.
The winning team from the Senior Competition included James Joshi, Isaac Clifton and Gift Catesby from Shaftesbury School whose topic was “Should citizens have a moral obligation to break the law?”. The winners will go through to the next round of the competition which takes place in March.
Many thanks to Shaftesbury School for hosting the event, all the students for taking part, their schools and teachers for supporting them, the judges: Rachael Gale – local teacher; Simon Hoare MP; and Cllr Pauline Batstone, and the questioner Virginia Edwyn-Jones.
The event was run by Shaftesbury Rotary Club in partnership with Shaftesbury School, and in conjunction with Gillingham Rotary Club. We will be running the competition again next year.
If you want to know more or to get involved with Rotary, please contact:

28th – Business Meeting at The Royal Chase

The invasion of Ukraine was uppermost in everyone’s thoughts and so we agreed to make a substantial donation. This was finalised after the meeting at £2,000. We also agreed a donation of £1,500 to Rotary Foundation. This is Rotary’s own international charity. We then agreed £500 to to continue PolioPlus Rotary’s work with various partners, including Bill Gates, with the aim of eradicating this dreadful disease. We are so near to success.
There were congratulations all round for our very successful Youth Speaks event.
Our recent Bangers and Mash evening had raised £190 for BooBs. This was matched with another £190 from our charity account.
There are further social events in the near future – a trip to Salisbury Theatre and a Tapas evening.
All of our forthcoming events – the Cycle Ride, KidsOut and Gold Hill Festival are well in hand.
We also agreed a donation of £2,000 from last year’s golf event to go to CRUSE.
So that was a lot of money from our charity funds going to worthwhile causes, but a lot of social fun too. If you would like to join us in this please make contact through


Posted by on Mar 3, 2022 in Events | 0 comments


24th – Meeting

It seemed strange meeting again after so long a break – and at a new venue – the Royal Chase. Our new meeting venue offers us much more space and so we hope to make good use of this in the future. We continued our Visioning process looking in particular at recruitment of new members. We have a number of ideas of how to do this in the future. Hopefully this will include some sort of high profile event. Meanwhile our current plans for the Cycle Ride and for our Youth Speaks event, to be run in association with local schools, are making good progress. We will also soon be meeting once more to make plans for this year’s Gold Hill Festival.

Kids Out Letter

Dear Shaftesbury Rotarians,
On behalf of us all at KidsOut, I would like to say a huge thank you for the £100 donation, to go towards the Rotary Christmas Toy Box Initiative. This is a wonderful contribution and I would ask you to pass on our sincere thanks to all those involved for their generosity and support.
Christmas is always tough for families in refuge, with this year harder than usual. Most children arrive at refuge with only the clothes on their back, restricted to a single room with their mother and siblings. Mothers struggle to provide basic essentials, let alone toys for their children at Christmas.
The Rotary Christmas Toy Boxes provided 5435 children in Refuge with brand-new toys to support mental health and make the world a little kinder.
“Refuge life can be difficult, especially for families, and the added pressure for parents to ensure their children have presents to open on Christmas morning causes a lot of stress and upset for our mums – especially if finances are tight. However, your toys mean we can provide our amazing families with the opportunity to have a lovely Christmas Day… please know your toys will be put towards making a child smile this Christmas.” – Refuge support worker
KidsOut is the fun and happiness charity and we believe every child deserves to build happy memories. If you would like further details on what we do, please visit our web page
Thank you once again – your support makes a real difference.
Sandra Doherty
Head of Children’s Services


Reminiscing – January 2020

Casino Night – The Sepsis Trust

Shaftesbury Rotary broke out the Black Tie and Ball Gowns for the annual fundraising on behalf of the Sepsis Trust. It has become a tradition to get together for a Casino Evening in the depths of Winter to add a bit of sparkle to our lives. 15 couples attended the evening and pitted their wits against the dealers on Poker, Blackjack and Roulette. Gambling was strictly prohibited, participants were playing with a fixed quality of chips with the aim to have some fun and win one of the 3 magnificent prizes that had been donated.
David, Rob and Emma volunteered to be the dealers and kept the evening moving with some exciting games.
As everyone had generously contributed towards the food and drink it was difficult to get the second session going after the meal, but once started it was almost impossible to stop. In fact, the Poker table started for a 3rd session after the prize giving.
The magnum of Champagne was won by Judith on a single chip on the roulette table which broke the bank – and she said she’d never played the game before!
The second price went to Steve who had been down to his last chip before his luck turned and ended with a credible 2nd place.
It a cliché to say that fun was had by all, but the biggest winner of the night was the Sepsis trust as we raised £350 in donations.
Many thanks to the participants, the cooks who provided such fantastic food and Sadie and Martin who hosted the event.

Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Here we have an interesting article from the Rotary magazine:
At Rotary, we understand that cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture is essential to realizing our vision of a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change.
We value diversity and celebrate the contributions of people of all backgrounds, across age, ethnicity, race, colour, disability, learning style, religion, faith, socioeconomic status, culture, marital status, languages spoken, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity as well as differences in ideas, thoughts, values, and beliefs.
Recognizing that individuals from certain groups have historically experienced barriers to membership, participation, and leadership, we commit to advancing equity in all aspects of Rotary, including in our community partnerships, so that each person has the necessary access to resources, opportunities, networks, and support to thrive.
We believe that all people hold visible and invisible qualities that inherently make them unique, and we strive to create an inclusive culture where each person knows they are valued and belong.
In line with our value of integrity, we are committed to being honest and transparent about where we are in our DEI journey as an organization, and to continuing to learn and do better.


Posted by on Dec 21, 2021 in Events | 0 comments


5th – Rushmore Golf Club

We met at Rushmore Golf Club for our Christmas lunch celebration with partners and guests. We were sad not to be at The Fleur but it would not have been possible to accommodate our numbers in comfort there, and certainly not in a way that would have been acceptable in a pandemic.
The food was excellent. Rushmore has a new chef. He really did us all proud. Our personal choices of main course and dessert were followed by coffee and some of the best chocolate truffles I have ever tasted!

Bernard – ever the comedian – amused us with some anecdotes, jokes and a game themed around Christmas humour.
There was good company, entertaining conversation and we left happy with the usual seasonal good wishes.

Pictured From the left. David Britton President elect. Tim Cook President. Past President Steve Uden.

13th – Meeting at the Fleur

We met for the last time at La Fleur de Lys. We enjoyed an excellent Christmas meal and as a special treat a dessert. We usually only have two courses. There were some items of business to deal with including donations to charities, and arrangements for events next year.
We then thanked Mary and David of the Fleur for their loyalty and support over the last eighteen years. We made a presentation of gifts to them and gave a gratuity to the staff.
We then spent the rest of the evening enjoying conversation and good company. We left with seasonal wishes to all, but with a feeling of sadness, that we would not be meeting at the Fleur next year.

Farewell from the Fleur

David, Mary & Marc of La Fleur de Lys here in Shaftesbury have very much enjoyed these past 18 years hosting the Shaftesbury Rotary Club, indeed many of the members have become our Friends
over this time.
However due to current personal circumstances & the need on our part as we get older to have a better work-life balance we had to make the very difficult decision that we could not commit to hosting as many Rotary meetings here on Mondays as we have done in the past. Mutually with this in mind, Shaftesbury Rotary Club reluctantly decided it would be better to relocate to a Venue that could accommodate a greater number of Meetings on a Monday evening.
We fully understand this position & whilst it is sad when things come to an end, we fully understand this decision & we extend our warmest best wishes & thanks to all members of Shaftesbury Rotary Club past & present for the times we have shared. We trust we will continue to see each other as Friends & even on the odd occasion as Private Customers here at La Fleur.
With all our Best Wishes for the Future & if you ever need our help or circumstances Change our
door is always open.
Kindest Regards
David, Mary & Marc


Posted by on Dec 7, 2021 in Events | 0 comments


8th – Speaker meeting

We met in the Fleur restaurant and dealt with some immediate items of business, after which we listened to a fascinating talk from Dan Evans regarding the battle of Agincourt. Dan is better known to most of us as the organiser of the music programme at Gold Hill Fair but he is a man of many talents including being a medievalist. His talk was entitled “Myth, Mayhem and Money”.
Myth because much of what we learnt at school and more especially what Shakespeare told us is wrong. Mayhem because the outcome of the battle in large part came down to the confusion of the men at the front of the French army, being trodden into the mud and unable to escape from more enthusiastic knights and soldiers behind trampling on them. Money – well we learnt the real costs or present day values of running such a campaign, or of buying yourself a suit of army and a charger to ride.
The secret was to avoid battle if you could, because you might lose or get killed. Instead you should lay siege to wealthy towns. You could then plunder and rampage and take hostages to be returned in exchange for a hefty ransom.



22nd – Business Meeting

Tonight was a business meeting. We discussed donations and updated on our events for next year including our Cycle event in May, and the Gold Hill Festival. We will be having to change our meeting venue so we discussed plans for this, together with recruitment ideas to attract new members. So! – if you are interested please make contact:

The real value of Rotary

Here we have an interesting article in this month’s Rotary magazine.

ROTARIANS are known the world over for humanitarian service and the good we do in the world to ‘Serve to Change Lives’. But rarely do we talk about the value of the Rotary network, which spans over 200 counties and territories worldwide, itself. That network of over 1.4 million Rotarians and our younger Rotaractors all join together to exchange ideas and take action. The recent events in Afghanistan have evidenced that. We have three Rotary clubs in Afghanistan and are in regular contact with them to ask for the best ways we can help. The connections that drive and strengthen Rotary arealready at work as members network with each other, and our partners, to provide aid to refugees who have fled the country and are resettling elsewhere. For those interested to know more try our Rotary Action Group for Refugees, Forced Displacement and Migration –
We also expect to see many new project proposals for more sustainable long term humanitarian aid.
Thankfully the current situation in Afghanistan has not halted our progress in our efforts to eradicate polio. Just one case of wild polio has been reported this year. As conflict in Afghanistan quickly evolves, we must advocate for the children of Afghanistan and ensure that polio immunisation remains a high priority so that the gains we have made against polio do not diminish. We look forward to working with our polio eradication partners and the Afghan people to completely eradicate polio. In summary, we work with leaders on the ground at the point of need and mobilise a global network to help solve those problems addressing both immediate and longer term needs. As members of this global network we also benefit from lifelong global friendships ourselves too.
“Together we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change, across the globe, inner communities and in ourselves.”
The real value of Rotary is priceless!