Fordingbridge Rotary President Handover

Last Tuesday evening, 13th July, at the end of the Rotary year, was the evening of Fordingbridge Rotary’s President’s annual handover, and despite the state of the CoronaVirus (but unlike last year), this year it could be done face-to-face, albeit properly socially distanced. The chosen venue was the Old Beams Inn at Ibsley.

The two photographs depict the handovers from President Toni to the new President Will, and from the new President Will, to the new Vice-President Derek. A guest Rotarian, Chis Peak, from Gloucester Rotary, was present, in the guise of the father of the new President. Chris had clearly been primed to ask some interesting questions. Will felt that it ‘s a great honour to be asked to be Fordingbridge President this year, and has a clear image of what he wants the club to be. This includes such issues as engaging with and supporting local groups who are already doing excellent work in the local community, ensuring that the membership is effectively active and encouraging the Club to grow its membership.

If you feel that you belong to a group who could benefit from the Fordingbridge “offer of assistance”, or you would like to learn more about the club, please do contact Derek Ayling Here

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Members of Fordingbridge Rotary Tidy Streets

Members of Fordingbridge Rotary were becoming somewhat concerned at the untidy and unkempt look that greets visitors to Fordingbridge. The only official action that seems to have taken place recently, is the use of weed killer, which doesn’t seem to have solved the problem. Road sweepers haven’t been seen for a while, and hence dead weeds outside buildings and no swept pavements seem to be the order of the day.

Fordingbridge Rotary made a start on the bridge, the high street and Salisbury Street two Thursday evenings ago, and continued with the High Street and Roundhill last Thursday 1st July, until “the town was done” as it were. So far, there have been a number of positive tweets and Facebook messages. Additionally, passers-by were frequently coming up with comments like “good on yer”, “I take my hat off to you” and “the town looks so booootiful now, after only a few hours of your chaps’ time!”, all this going to suggest that Fordingbridge Rotary members were not alone in their thinking. One passer-by even presenting each member working on the town, with a box of chocolates. (Isn’t it nice to be appreciated!)

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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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