Rotary Club of Sherwood Forest
Bras to Africa
Anne Brooks is a Health Commissioning Manager and introduced to the intrigued members of the Rotary Club of Sherwood Forest, ‘Bras to Africa’, a charity which works with the ‘Smalls for All’ charity. When visiting war zones, natural disaster areas and camps for displaced people she became increasingly aware of how not having underwear impacts on women and children. Poor and oppressed women and young girls often have very little clothing, and this leaves them open to exploitation and abuse of all kinds, but particularly sexual assault and, worse, rape. Subsequent pregnancies and children born from these rapes to someone who is so poor, then drags them down further, leading to further exploitation. Wearing underwear signifies that person has a protector — often with some income — making these girls less of a target. If they can go to school or work, they stand a chance of being unharmed and being able to make better choices in life which assists themselves, family members and the local economy as they become able to support themselves through work and industry. Anne, with her work in the health community in the UK, together with her colleague in the medical profession, have been supporting this charity, supplying lightly worn bras and new knickers to be sent to where they are needed in Africa and to camps and villages where poor women and girls live. ‘Smalls for All’ is also supporting parents who send their young girls, as young as seven years old, away to school to escape the horror of female genital mutilation, still a cultural practice in some areas. They now have over 20 girls with family and community support trying to make this mutilation a thing of the past. The Rotary Club members decided wholeheartedly to support this cause, with some members of the Inner Wheel of Sherwood Forest also present that evening, and so please watch this space for ways you can also donate items — maybe after Christmas gifts you need more space in your drawers!
The club’s Proms Concert at the Dukeries Academy in November raised a great sum (final totals yet to be announced) for local charities again this year. Pupils from the Academy sang and played, the Community Voices and the Community Band also showed their expertise and, of course, Susan Kilner and Jonathan Pryce sang, enhancing the programme further. A traditional raffle was held, and then a coin collection to the tune of ‘Pennies from Heaven’ — this year these coins go to the Royal British Legion as the commemoration of the end of WWI continues. Local businesses sponsored the event by the means of adverts in the programme — with the main sponsor Jones and Co — for which the club are very grateful. Their thanks go to all the musicians and Rotarian Malcolm Bevan for making it happen again. It was a brilliant night.
After assisting the local RBL to sell poppies at Tesco and Waitrose, Rotarians took part in the various civic and church ceremonies on 11th November and laid wreaths at Edwinstowe, Ollerton and Walesby, to remember the fallen in all conflicts. We will remember them.
Thanks to the generous people in our area, the club’s Christmas collection outside Ollerton Tesco the last weekend before Christmas was a great success. They raised a total of over £1,400 from kind donations at Tesco and at the Ollerton Village Residents Association (OVRA) Carols in the Memorial Gardens earlier in December. These funds will be distributed to various local groups as usual in the next few months — be assured they all go to very good causes. Thanks to Tesco and OVRA for their assistance.
District Governor Meeting
Sherwood Forest Rotarians had a joint meeting with Rotary colleagues from the Ravenshead and Blidworth club where District Governor, Cheryle Berry MBE, spoke about the message from Rotary International and her own aims for her year in office. Cheryle is very keen on promoting the Community Save a Life website, where you can sign up and complete on-line first aid training enabling you in the basic skills to potentially save a life before the Emergency Services arrive. Please go to www.virtual-college.co.uk/prepared where you can sign up and access the training — this is certificated by QUALSAFE and is free. Cheryle and Community Save a Life are endeavoring to get a ‘life-saver’ on every street in the UK. Both organisations and individuals can sign up.
Christmas Message Meeting
Rotary members, with their Inner Wheel colleagues and guests, attended the Christmas message meeting in December. Reverend Anna Alls from Bilsthorpe was the speaker and gave a very humorous and thought-provoking view on how Mary being ‘with child’ would have been communicated by a teenager today. They enjoyed a tasty meal as always at South Forest Leisure Centre, and a raffle raised £180 for the Ollerton Community Band, who entertained with sing-along carols and Christmas songs. An ‘instead of Christmas cards’ collection raised £55.00 which will go to the John Eastwood Hospice.
Forthcoming speakers booked for the next six months include a local author of crime novels Trevor Negus, a night with Scenes of Crime, learning about the Webb family of Newstead, Peter Young — an auctioneer, a visit to Laxton Mound on May day and much much more. Please contact Secretary Stella Herbert on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07712 884487 for more details. The club welcomes visitors at any time, but especially to their last meetings of the month events — please email Stella or speak to any Rotarian. The club meets at South Forest Leisure Centre, in Edwinstowe on a Wednesday evening, at 7.00pm. See them on Facebook too www.facebook.com/Rotary-Club-of-Sherwood-Forest-273940476077102. Rotary serves your community, much of the funds they raise go to local organisations and charities.