Rotary Logo-01

What is Rotary?


We are a small group of friends who are committed to helping others by enjoying ourselves. It helps if you are outgoing, prepared to get stuck in, perhaps go abseiling, run a music festival or dress up in clown suits to raise money, but it’s not essential. What is essential, however, is a sense of fun, a purpose and a commitment to our local community.

We have a busy social, fundraising and community action program, and you are invited to join us at any of our events if you, too, would like to get to know more about us. Rotary has a stuffy image, and it isn’t “Cool” to be in a Service Club. The truth is, it couldn’t be further from the truth. You will find a wide range of talented people from every walk of life, who get together a few nights a month to have a drink, share some jokes, and help others.

Each month we try to have a social event; Virtual F1 racing, Clay Pigeon Shooting, and farmyard barbecues have all been featured in our calendar, but this is balanced with some fundraising and, more importantly, raising our awareness of community issues by listening to the experts.

We invite professionals from all disciplines to come to a talk with us, and through listening to Airline Pilots, Care workers, Marketing executives, Young students and a plethora of others, we learn more about our world and what we can do to make an impact. Every year we have a few major fundraising events, but this is not prescriptive; if you want to do something different, you will find others who will come along and help.

Shaftesbury is part of a worldwide organisation and is guided by policy and procedure, but we are autonomous in our everyday activities. We choose when and where to meet, how we run our club and who we decide to support by involvement or finance. As part of Rotary International, there is a structure which we work within and report when necessary. Shaftesbury Rotary is part of a local grouping which includes Blandford, Gillingham, Sturminster, Wimborne, Ferndown, Swanage/Purbeck and Wareham.

This group will often work together, competing in sports and socialising. There is a communication path from individual clubs or groups to our ‘District 1110‘, who in turn deal directly with Rotary International Great Britain & Ireland (RIBI) and have the overall responsibilities for all UK Rotary Clubs. Finally, RIBI responds to Rotary International (RI) in the USA.


September 30, 2024
“I am a member of Shaftesbury Rotary for fun and friendship while at the same time feeling I am doing something worthwhile for our community.”
Rotary Member
“My family business moved from London to Shaftesbury and Rotary was the ideal connection to enable my wife and me to become part of the community.”
Rotary Member
“I did like the openness of how Rotary works, nothing secretive, and the information was clear and positive with no hidden surprises.”
Rotary Member
“The rotary club provides a unique and fun way to do good for your local community and also raises money for major charities.”
Rotary Member
“I particularly warmed to the understanding that Rotarians recognised the priority of family, business and then Rotary in that order”
Rotary Member
“This was a unique opportunity in a small town to join a worldwide club and enjoy the company of Rotarians from so many different backgrounds”
Rotary Member
New Phillip