Rotary Club of Reading

Why I am a Rotarian

About seven years ago I gave a talk to Reading Rotary Club about a local charity for the homeless at which I volunteer. I do not know what the Rotarians thought of my talk (although they still help the charity in many ways) but I was so impressed by the warmth of feeling and the work that they did that I immediately applied for membership.
Once inducted I was encouraged to have a look at the various teams into which Rotary clubs are divided -- including, Youth, International and Community - and I decided that this last was the one that suited me best. The team engages in projects helping homeless and other underprivileged people. We decorated a disabled lady's house, cleared an old lady's garden as well and raised funds for various local charities. We also take people suffering from arthritis to their monthly meetings and we sell poppies each November.
More ambitiously, just before I joined, the Club built Centenary House in Reading, which provides flats for seven otherwise homeless people and which is administered by a local charity. The project was financed with the aid of a mortgage that is now paid off thereby freeing rental income from the project to be donated to local good causes. Not content with that success we are now engaged in helping a local charity that assists women who are in danger of violence. We are building them an annexe that will provide accommodation for seven vulnerable families.
Our Youth Service team has helped with reading in schools, installed raised beds in a school for children with disabilities and each year through Life Learning provides dictionaries for children as they move from primary to secondary education. Each year we send young people to a week's leadership course in North Wales, a project in which our Club is heavily involved. Internationally we have raised money for a sand dam and for hospitals in various developing countries as well as contributing to Rotary's 'Shelterbox' scheme that provides immediate relief to victims of disaster such as the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean. Also, a few years ago a party of Rotarians including members from our Club travelled to Pakistan to assist with the programme of vaccination against polio, which campaign was instigated by Rotary International in 1979 and which has led to the near disappearance of the disease worldwide.
As well as each being endowed with a large dollop of altruism, Rotarians are social animals. We meet weekly for lunch at a local restaurant and these are not the ultra-formal occasions of yesteryear. We have visiting speakers, some but not all of whom may be seeking our help for their organisations. We have parties, weekends away and biennial exchange visits with our sister club in Normandy.
All of this is based on my own experience of Rotary but there are Clubs up and down the country, including eight in the Reading area, where men and women of varying backgrounds meet at different times on different days and do great work. If you are already a Rotarian I send you greetings. If you are not and this account of my experience chimes with you, then Rotary may be for you and I recommend that you visit website by following the link.

Eric Moyse - President of The Rotary Club of Reading - October 2017

Related links

• Rotary in the UK Go visit >