Fordingbridge Rotary Citizen of the Year

It is with great pleasure, that Helen Tague has accepted the annual award of “Citizen of the year”, from Fordingbridge Rotary.

Helen was given the award in recognition of the years that she has been involved on many local activities, all of them on a voluntary basis. Helen’s involvement has been varied and includes St Mary’s Church, the Fordingbridge Museum, the Business Forum, the Flower Club, Inner Wheel and Fordingbridge Twinning Association.

Helen was the Town Clerk for years, and as such, was a founder member of Fordingbridge Twinning. She became Chairman for a while, and has been active in the twinning Association ever since. She is still on the Twinning Committee. It is highly opportune that she will be joining some of the Rotary members on their proposed visit to Vimoutiers next July when the 40th anniversary of Fordingbridge being twinned with Vimoutiers, will be celebrated. (In France, only an hour’s drive from Caen)

Helen is nominated for all her hard work in the community, thus becoming a highly respected member of the community, well known and recognised. As with previous Citizens of the year, Fordingbridge Rotary will be adding her name to the board of honour, kept in Fordingbridge Town Hall.

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Blood Bikes

Last Tuesday evening, 11th May, Fordingbridge Rotery was treated to an excellent highly interesting talk about “Blood Bikes” (see attached photo)

Robert Smith, from “Serv Wessex”, part of the National Association of Blood Bikes, explained what the organisation is like and what it’s like to be a blood biker. One of Fordingbridge Rotary members, is one of the 130 volunteers, that ride and drive for the organisation. It was explained that all the bikers, and drivers, have to be re-assessed every two years.

The organisation is responsible for transporting blood, blood products, human milk, some controlled drugs, and medical equipment, mainly for the NHS, and sometimes in conjunction with Air Ambulance, covering the areas of Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire. It is always on the lookout for fund-raising activities and opportunities. These “Blood Runners” are 100% volunteers, and run solely on charitable donations. All the dispatchers, riders and drivers donate their own time and fuel, to provide a free service. They come from all walks of life.

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Verwood Rotary hosts Fordingbridge and Ringwood

Welcome to Verwood

Last Tuesday evening, 20th April, Verwood Rotary hosted Fordingbridge and Ringwood Rotaries, to a virtual "get-together", courtesy of Zoom, naturally.

It was a presentation by Anita Rigler, on how she and her colleagues set up "VoW", "Verwoodians on Waste", their way of cleaning up Verwood and greatly increasing how much Verwood re-cycles. She organised a business plan, funding, insurance and a website, and soon discovered, she said, just what and how much can be recycled if one tries. She managed to get their MP involved, along with local schools.

She talked about future plans, which included ways of recycling so-called "disposable coffee cups",  a publicity plan, fayres, carnivals, workshops, demos, and are aiming for "plastic free Easter and Christmas": all very commendable ambitious and impressive, it has to be said.

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Jeremy Prescott’s talk on Violette Szabo

Last Tuesday evening, Fordingbridge Rotary was joined by members of Verwood Rotary, via the medium of Zoom, of course. They were treated to a very interesting talk by regular speaker, Jeremy Prescott, who delivered a  presentation on Violette Szabo and how she was awarded the George Cross posthumously, having been executed by the Germans, at Ravensbruck Concentration Camp, in early 1945.

Rotarians heard all about her life as a child and how she married before being sent off to France as an agent, being part of the SOE (Special Operations Executive). Previously to that, she had joined the Women’s Land Army and the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS). Once she had joined the SOE, she underwent concentrated highly focussed arduous training and several missions before capture in Nazi-occupied France and interrogation.

She became the second woman to be awarded the George Cross, bestowed posthumously in December 1946.

She was the subject of the novel and film “Carve her name with pride”, which was later turned into a film in 1958

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