Pictures from Events taken throughout 2015

December
Santa Meets ASDA

We are fortunate to have not only the generous support of the Lower Earley residents but also the backing of local businesses. In this case ASDA in Lower Early kindly allowed us to invite Santa to meet their Customers and Staff in the lead up to Christmas. We're delighted to say that Santa received rave reviews and helped us raise around £1,500.

RC Ascot Christmas Meeting

It has become a tradition in our District for the Rotary Club of Ascot to hold a Christmas Breakfast meeting. The Salvation Army provided welcoming music as we gathered followed by our RIBI President Peter Davey who entertained us after breakfast with a mixture of serious and funny material.

Technology Tournament

Students from eight Schools assembled in Bulmershe School on Tuesday 15-Dec-15 to tackle a bridge building problem which occupied them all day. In the presence of the Mayors of Woodley and Wokingham students competed to design a model bridge which could open to allow the passage of tall ships. The event seeks to encourage interest in technology and engineering skills among students. It was organised by the Rotary Clubs of Loddon Vale and of Reading Maiden Erlegh.

November
Santa Arrives at Hare Hatch

Santa arrived in style at the Harehatch Sheeplands Garden Centre on Saturday 28th November. He travelled to the entrance of the Garden Centre on a Sleigh in the company of the Garden Centre staff in festive costumes. With Santa was an Elf in the form of Rose Burgess, President of the Rotary Club of Reading Maiden Erlegh. The Club has supported Santa's Grotto at Harehatch Sheeplands for many years and has always been impressed with the generosity of the public.

Rotary Supports Air Ambulance

On 24th November the Rotary Club of Reading Maiden Erlegh presented £2000 to the Thames Valley Air Ambulance charity during a short ceremony at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire. The Club raised this money by organising and running a golf tournament earlier in the year. Dr James Raitt said, “We wouldn’t be able to operate without the support of the local communities we serve and every single person who fundraises for us helps to save lives.” Rotary President Rose Burgess responded, “Our Club has been a long term supporter of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance because it is so important for saving lives in our local communities”. Photo (l to r): Dr James Raitt, Rotary President Rose Burgess, Rotarian Scott Trathen and paramedic Jo Meadham.

Rotary and ABC to Read

The Rotary Club of Reading Maiden Erlegh presented £522 to ABC to Read during one of its training sessions for new volunteers. The funds were raised from a very successful bridge drive held by the club, attended by 72 bridge players on 18 tables. The money will be used to support the new volunteers with the books and games that they will be using with the children as well as the hiring of rooms and training materials. Rotary Club President, Rose Burgess (pictured centre), said that the generosity of the bridge players had made this donation possible to such an important charity for the future of Berkshire children.

October
Broad Street Painting - Masterpiece

Children and adults were given some tutoring on painting like Van Gogh on Sunday 25th October 2015 in Reading Broad Street. Professional artist and member of the Rotary Club of Reading Maiden Erlegh, Yuliya Lennon, coached the budding artist in contributing to a painting in the style of the Dutch master.

Broad Street Painting - Bearly

Also in attendance in Broad Street were a large teddy bear and some Rotarian friends. The whole object of the event was to entertain and alert Reading Sunday morning shoppers to the Charity Art Fair being held at St Joseph’s College in Upper Redlands Road on Saturday 31st October and Sunday 1st November. Entrance to the fair will be free.

Broad Street Painting - The Masterpiece

Most of the proceeds from the sale of art at the fair will go to the Royal Berkshire Hospital Ultrasound Scanner Appeal and the remainder to other good causes supported by Rotary. When the painting was finished, Yuliya said, “It was really inspiring how the children enjoyed doing the painting and showed their creativity. “We plan to auction the work of art at the fair at the weekend”.

August
Chichester Theatre Weekend

In Rotary we enjoy a broad range of social events, some of our Club went to the Chichester Festival Theatre and made a sunny weekend of it.

Petanque in Marlow

President Rose - pictured right - and some of our sporty Members played Pétanque at Marlow in competition with other Rotarians from across the Thames Valley. It looks like they had a Boule!

RYLA 2015 Presentation

On Tuesday 4th August, Kimberley and Liam gave an engaging joint presentation of their experience to the members of the Rotary Club of Reading Maiden Erlegh. The Club funded their participation in a tough Rotary Young Leaders outdoor education centre week in North Wales accompanied by Rotarians Sarah Shears and Brian Hunt. Both Liam and Kimberley said that what they had experienced during the week and the leadership skills they had gained would have a very positive influence on their working lives.

Earley Green Fair

Sometimes we have fun, sometimes we fund raise, and sometimes we combine the two. At the Earley Green Fair we enjoyed the company of the local residents who generously donated both their time and money to help us support good causes.

July
Watercress Line Lunch

The Club's social life is almost as important as its charity and community support activities. On the 26th July a group of Rotarians from our Club enjoyed lunch whilst travelling on the Watercress Line in Hampshire.

RBH 10k Walk Stewarding

Rotary Clubs don't always fund raise for their own causes, we often support other charities and good causes as well. Members of our Club volunteered as monitors and parking attendants at the Royal Berkshire Hospital's fundraising 10k 'Walk for Wards' on Sunday 19th July.

Golf Day

We believe that it is possible to combine work with play, here we have four of the many teams of men and women who enjoyed a round of golf that raised £2700 for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance and other Rotary charities. Organised by the Rotary Club of Reading Maiden Erlegh the tournament was attended by 67 golfers in 17 individually named teams. The winning team was Kerry London Hopefuls who had the best overall score which was seven points clear of the runners-up.

June
Club Handover

All Rotary Clubs change their executive team each year to ensure the injection of new ideas and the continuation of well established support to the community. Rose Burgess, our incoming President for 2015/16, has taken over from Colin Moir and will manage the Club for the coming Rotary year that runs from 1-July-15 to 30-June-16. She said, “I am very proud to be a Rotarian and with my new team I am really looking forward to helping improve the lives of many people. Rotarians are enthusiastic people and really enjoy putting something back into society and having a great time doing it."

Last 2014-5 Council Meeting

The Rotary year runs from 1-July to 30-June so each summer we see the end of one President's time in office and the beginning of the incoming President. Part of that handover is the final Club Council Meeting which is traditionally a social event to celebrate the Council's hard work during the previous twelve months. Here we see our outgoing President [standing centre] and our incoming President [third from right] clearly enjoying memories of yet another successful year for Reading Maiden Erlegh.

Shakespeare Evening

Rotary isn't all about fund raising and charity work, we also have a varied and entertaining social life. These are pictures from the Shakespeare evening we enjoyed at Stubbings House, Maidenhead. The play was Henry IV Part 1 and as you can see from the pictures we made a real knight of it!

Woodley Blood Pressure Day

We had the pleasure of supporting Blood Pressure Awareness Day on Wednesday 17-June-15 in the Woodley Town Centre. In association with the Stroke Association we took blood pressure readings from 119 members of the pubic. 19 were advised to see their GP as a routine appointment, the remainder being OK required no further action.

Woodley Carnival

Not only do we run fund raising events we also help other organisations too. Here we see five of our Members, including our 2015/16 President Rose Burgess - third from left - having a great time and raising finds to support the local Community.

Woodley Pagoda Sale

The Club likes to get out and about with its fund raising especially on a sunny day. The Pagoda in Woodley Centre provided an excellent opportunity to promote our Club to the local community and have some fun into the bargain. All that and delighted to find that we had raised £600. However, we didn't stop there because there were a few items left that we were able to donate to the local charity shops. Win win all round! The icing on our fund raising cake were a few "Golf Related” items that will be used to raise funds at our forthcoming Charity Golf Day.

April
Talk by Paul Massara, CEO of npower

One of the many benefits of belonging to Rotary is that so many interesting people are pleased and willing to speak at our Club meetings. Pictured here with our President Colin Moir is Paul Massara, CEO of npower. For more details about the Company that Paul runs visit http://www.npower.com.

Visit to National Gallery

On the 18th April members of the Club were treated to a conducted tour of the National Gallery in London by Rotarian Yuliya Lennon. Yuliya - also a member of Reading Maiden Erlegh - is both a talented artist and an expert on art history. This is an excellent example of what Rotary calls Vocational Service, part of which encourages members to share their professional knowledge and experiences to enrich the lives of their fellow Rotarians.

March
Young Musician Competition District Final

The Young Musician Competition District final was held on Sunday at St. Joseph’s College, Reading. The winner of the Vocalists section was jointly sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Loddon Vale and Reading Maiden Erlegh.

Young Musician Competition District Final

The winner of the Instrumentalists competition played the piano. The South East Regional final will be held at St. Joseph's on 26th April. Both winners and runners-up will compete in this.

Donation to Mercy Ships

On 31-March-15 the Rotary and Inner Wheel Clubs of Reading Maiden Erlegh donated £3,200 to Mercy Ships - www.mercyships.org.uk. The money was raised from a Swimathon that was held at Leighton Park School with participation from both Clubs generously supported by friends and family. The Clubs would like to extend their thanks to Leighton Park School who donated the use of their Swimming Pool. Pictured here are Inner Wheel President Sarah Reynolds, Rotary President Colin Moir, Dr. Alan Budd of Mercy Ships and Rotarian Paul Cunningham who orchestrated the Swimathon.

Bulmershe Interact Charter

Another new Interact club was formally recognised by Rotary with the presentation of a charter certificate on Friday 27th March at Bulmershe School. This is the second local Interact club to be recognised this month, the first being at Maiden Erlegh School The picture shows a group of the Bulmershe School Interact Club's members with President Colin Moir of the Rotary club of Reading Maiden Erlegh, President Trevor Barber of the Rotary club of Loddon Vale and three Rotarians of the Interact support team. The two Rotary clubs’ members are supporting and mentoring the young people.

Maiden Erlegh Interact Charter

Maiden Erlegh Interact Club was chartered on Friday 13th March 2015. Pictured here with Rotary President Colin Moir are the incoming President and Vice-President. The new Interact Club has been working since January to raise money to buy a Defibrillator for Loddon Primary and a bench for the Peace Garden at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. Interact gives students ages 12-18 the chance to make a real difference while having fun. Every Interact club carries out two service projects a year: one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding.

Thames Valley Joint Services

On Tuesday 3rd March 107 representatives from 19 Service Clubs within the Thames Valley enjoyed an after-dinner address by the Rt. Hon Theresa May MP, Secretary of State for the Home Office. The meeting, held at the Holiday Inn in Winnersh, Berkshire, is an annual event organised by the Rotary Club of Reading Maiden Erlegh with the aim of sharing ideas and fostering cooperation between the service clubs of the Thames valley. In the photo left to right: President Colin Moir, Rt Hon Theresa May and President Elect Rose Burgess.

February
Swimathon for Mercy Ships

On Sunday 22nd February ten Rotarians, eight Inner Wheel Club members and three other supporters swam a total of 1210 lengths (18.5 miles) of the Leighton Park School swimming Pool. The Swimathon, organised by the Rotary Club of Reading Maiden Erlegh, raised over £2500 for the Mercy Ships Charity. Mercy Ships is an international charity that currently operates the largest non-governmental hospital ship in the world (the Africa Mercy). This ship staffed by volunteers provides free health care, community development projects, community health education, mental health programs, agriculture projects, and palliative care for terminally ill patients from the world’s poorest people. More information at: www.mercyships.org/who-we-are/our-ships/the-africa-mercy/

Young Musicians Competition

Nine talented teenagers, singers, violinists, flautists and pianists, displayed their skills as they competed in Rotary’s national Young Musician competition on Saturday 7th February. This event was jointly hosted at St Joseph’s College, Reading by the Loddon Vale and Reading Maiden Erlegh Rotary Clubs. Four young people were chosen to compete in the second round of this four-stage competition that will take place on Sunday 15th March, again at St Joseph’s College.

January
Liberty of Earley

Rotarian David Cotton (right) hosted a wine and cheese tasting evening at the Liberty of Earley Residential Home. Approximately 40 residents, families, and volunteers were taken "through the seasons" by David who introduced them to wines representing Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Christmas, accompanied by cheeses to match the wines. He was supported by a team of volunteers from Rotary and Inner wheel who prepared, poured and served the cheese and wine. The residents thoroughly enjoyed the evening and made a £50 donation to our Charity funds to show their appreciation. This event is one that cements the close bond we have with the Liberty of Earley since it was opened some 20 years ago and where several of our Rotarians regularly volunteer.

Alexander Devine

President Colin Moir (centre) presented a cheque for £5000 to Julia Philipson (right) of the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service. In return Julia Philipson presented a Certificate from the charity in appreciation of the donation that was raised from the Reading Art Exhibition organised by the Club under the Chairmanship of David Cotton (left). The Club had previously supported the charity from funds generated by a trolley dash.

Mercy Ships

Dr. Alan Budd, accompanied by his wife Margaret, gave an engaging talk about the work that Mercy Ships performs for the communities of Africa that have no other access to medical services. As Mercy Ships volunteers for over 20 years Dr. Budd received an MBE in 1999 for his services to medicine in Berkshire. The ship is 450 feet long, has 8 operating theatres, a ward with 82 beds and a multicultural crew from 40 countries. 480 people live on board at any one time and some have been volunteers for over 23 years, although some people go for shorter periods of 2 weeks. They perform eye and dental surgery, surgery on cleft lips and palate, vaginal and orthopaedic surgery and on tumours of the face and ears.

Caricature Evening

On Tuesday 6th January, Caricaturist, Paul Vale entertained Club Members with his lively description of the art of caricature. While demonstrating his technique he also produced excellent caricatures of two Members, one of them illustrated here.

Winter Walk

On Sunday 4th January a group of Rotarians, partners and one dog braved the mud and mist and enjoyed a five mile walk near Sulhamstead followed by convivial lunch in the Spring Inn.