The Inaugural Meeting of the Rotary Club of Thornbury was held on Friday 30th April 1971 at the Ship Hotel in Alveston.
Thornbury Rotary Club has served the community since 1971 and sponsors many local projects. Fifty years ago, thirty-one founder members met at The Ship Hotel, Alveston for our Inaugural Meeting Ceremony, under the Chairmanship of the Rotary International Representative and District Governor. Later in that year our Rotary Club had commenced the journey towards our formal Charter Evening.
We help and support our community by making use of members' personal skills and professional experience. We raise funds to donate to local, national and international projects and charities.
We usually meet Wednesdays (excluding Bank Holiday weeks) at The Ship, Alveston. On the first and third Wednesdays a 45-minute business meeting starts at 6.30pm - on others there is a dinner meeting, usually with guest speaker, at 7.30pm.
Whilst we have adapted and evolved in our approaches to charity funding, we have continued in other roles in organising such important events as “Kids Out” and “Young Musicians” to mention a few.
Add to this our assistance to other groups in running such events such as the Carnival, Fireworks Display and Christmas Lights Switch On. All these things are, of course, a mere snapshot of support our Club has provided to both the local community. Indeed, also to those Communities in need across the Globe with projects such as “Lend with Care” and “Tools for Self-Reliance”. We even support two giant APOPO rats searching for land mines!
Making the most of modern media we have just revamped our Club Website, as well as having a Facebook Page. Using these mediums to reach out into the Community to highlight our work and hopefully attract the next generation of Rotarians.
This appeal was established to deliver grants quickly to small community groups, voluntary organisations and charities in the Thornbury area who were finding it difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic situation put a significant strain on these organisations, causing real problems.
Many were finding their resources stretched by unprecedented demands on their services.
They had been starved of their traditional sources of funding, their ability to raise funds was severely restricted, and the effects of COVID-19 will be felt long after the pandemic has subsided.
Your donations helped those most in need in our community. The number and size of these grants depended on your generosity.
All funds have been donated to local charities and organisations. For a list of those who benefited, please see our website: www.thornburyrotary.org.uk.
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a leadership program coordinated by Rotary Clubs around the globe. Each year, thousands of young people participate in this program.
Young people ages 14–30 are sponsored by Rotary Clubs to attend the event run by the club's district committee. Participants are chosen for their leadership potential. Rotary Clubs and the Rotary District cover all expenses for the participants.
The format of the event varies from district to district, but commonly take the form of a seminar, camp, or workshop to discuss leadership skills and to learn those skills through practice. Rotary clubs and districts select participants and facilitate the event's curriculum.
RYLA aims to:
Every RYLA program covers the following core topics:
For more information please use this link.
Candidates who aspire for a fun time while learning please contact Thornbury Rotary Club Secretary via the Club website (www.thornburyrotary.org.uk) for information.
“Kids Out” is part of a National Rotary day out for children with special educational needs held in June.
Competitions such as Youth Speaks, Young Musicians with activities Rotary Youth Leadership Awards RYLA and many more.
For more information visit our website: www.thornburyrotary.org.uk.
Tools for Self Reliance
Thornbury Rotary Club continues to support "Tools for Self Reliance". This charity established in 1980 has a mandate to work with local organisations in developing countries to relieve poverty amongst local populations.
It helps in practical ways, giving Artisans and Craft Workers the necessary basic hand tools and providing vocational skills and business training in rural areas to allow them to earn a living and survive.
There are of course tools that cannot be used, things like imperial spanners, hydraulic jacks, typewriters, domestic power tools, most gardening tools except for heavy duty spades and shovels.
They require basic hand tools from the carpentry, plumbing, building, engineering and electrical repair industries.
If you can help please contact Rotarian Robin Cole-Morgan on 01454 414281 or contact the Secretary using the Club website.
The Iron Lung
Since 1985, Rotary’s key humanitarian priority has been to rid the world of polio.
Rotary spearheaded the campaign at a time when there were over 1,000 polio cases a day in 125 countries, paralysing and even killing children. Today, the number of cases is down by 99.9%.
Over the last 30 years, Rotary has donated US$2 billion to the eradication effort and has protected over 2.5 billion children from the disease through vaccination programmes. Inspired in part by Rotary’s volunteer commitment and fundraising success, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was launched in 1988
This remarkable partnership which includes Rotary, World Health Organization, UNICEF, the US Center for Disease Control & Prevention and, more recently, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Rotary members continue to be key players in many aspects of the polio programme including on the ground in several countries as well as fundraising and advocacy. Failure to eradicate polio could result in as many as 200,000 new cases worldwide every year within a decade. Rotary members in Great Britain and Ireland have been huge supporters of End Polio Now and you can be part of making history.
For our part Thornbury Rotary is helping to educate people and youngsters in particular about Polio by making available a replica Iron Lung.
The Iron Lung exhibit was built by Roger Frank of the Rotary Club of Upper Eden in Cumberland and exhibited by him all around the north of England for many years, educating the modern generation about the scourge of polio and raising funds for Rotary's "Polio Plus" and successor compaigns.
Thornbury Rotary exhibited it at the local Tesco store in February 2018, attracting the interest of hundreds of shoppers and raising over £1200 - far more that a bucket collection would have netted. In collecting and returning the trailer it was discovered that Roger was about to retire it, having served its purpose in his area.
The Club has acquired it with financial assistance from Rotary District 1100 and is making it available for exhibition and educational purposes.
Exhibiting the Iron Lung
The photograph above shows the Iron Lung Exhibit in its trailer. The exhibit is totally self-contained including an electricity generator.
It can be towed by any vehicle capable of towing a light caravan or trailer. On arrival just lower the stabilisers, open the doors and switch on!
Members of the Rotary Club of Thornbury carried out a survey in 2016 of hearing loops available in the town. The purpose of the survey was to identify and encourage installations that operate to the benefit of those with hearing aids.
People with hearing aids can have a problem hearing accurately or understanding speech, particularly in the presence of other noise. This is because the aids, while amplifying the sound, do not compensate for the reduction in discrimination that also occurs with deafness. A hearing loop provides an additional signal, detected by t-coils in hearing aids, which greatly assists the understanding of speech.
As well as encouraging managers of facilities and business premises to consider installing loops, a leaflet has been produced to make hearing aid users aware of where useful loops are. You can click here to download your copy of the leaflet, and it is now available generally in the town, at the town hall, library, hearing aid dispensers and other premises. Clear advertising of the availability of a hearing loop is a great benefit to otherwise reticent hearing aid users, of which there are many!
This survey has been carried out very much as a one time activity. Any information on new loops or other observations can be advised to the Rotary Club by email to: or text to 07902 291401.
Further information and a copy of the leaflet can be obtained on the Rotary Website.