More than a Christmas organisation...

Olympic shooting silver medallist another interesting speaker at a Rotary meeting with Mr Coates
Olympic shooting silver medallist another interesting speaker at a Rotary meeting with Mr Coates

Leigh Rotary Club raised a magnificent £12,000 through allowing Father Christmas to use their float as he visited areas of the town just before Christmas.

That might be the Club’s most visible activity but all year round members are heavily involved with the community as well as enjoying themselves at a variety of meetings and social events.

President Barrie Coates takes us through just some of the activities the Club has been involved with during 2011.....

“The float is our main money raiser but we also support many local initiatives.

For instance Rotary funded the start up of Compassion in Action, a Lowton based charity that provides furniture, other equipment and support to vulnerable families.

We started and still support Thursday Turtles, a young carers’ group, where children, who look after relatives 24/7, can get a little respite and have fun as other children do.

We have built a playground in Higher Fold and contributed towards a football pitch in Pennington Park.

We have provided kit to a number of junior football teams and equipment to Abbeyfield, a sheltered accommodation for older people. We are the lead club in a project to refurbish a village in Ghana. But Rotary is not just about raising money and supporting initiatives. Rotary’s motto is ‘Service above Self’ and we try to practice it so you will find Leigh Rotarians volunteering in churches, schools, hospitals, Citizens Advice Bureaux, youth groups, associations for the elderly and many more voluntary organisations. We try to give back to the community a little of what we have received.

Rotary is often perceived as an ‘Old Man’s Dining Club’ and this is partly true. We do meet weekly to have a simple meal together, to listen to speakers, to discuss and plan our work and to enjoy each other’s company. Many of us are getting a little long in the tooth but we do have younger members and there are Rotary Interact Clubs for teenagers. We do not believe in being miserable so we try to introduce fun into everything we do.

We are proud to be Rotarians, members of a worldwide service organisation, and we are proud of the work we do. We are grateful for the support that you give us and you should be proud of the contribution you make.

We would like to hear from people who believe that they can help either as collectors on the float or as full members of our club. We also need new ideas regarding fund-raising and also from organisations who could benefit from our involvement either by a donation or by volunteering.

Once again, thank you for your support which is greatly appreciated by us and by the people you thereby help. I and all the members of the Rotary Club of Leigh wish all of you a Happy New Year”.