Romaro (Romney Marsh Rotary) here again to update you on what has been happening lately, it has been quite busy this month starting with a visit from Nathan Tough from Porchlight, a leading Kent charity helping the homeless of the county including those here on the Marsh. They help people who find themselves homeless for whatever reason by providing accomodation and helping them back into work by running classes in basic English and maths and assisting with application forms for CSCS cards, writing CVs and generally providing support. Nathan explained that contrary to popular belief, the majority of homeless people are not alcoholics, drug users or ex convicts but are on the streets because of relationship breakdowns or mental health issues, they have often exhausted the use of friends sofas and been turned away from by private landlords who are reluctant to take people now that they can no longer get payment of the housing benefit direct from the government (it is now paid direct to the claimant). Last year the charity helped 84% of the 700+ people they found to move into permanent accomodation which then meant they could register with a doctor (not possible if you have no permanent address) and get some pride and stability back into their lives. Our club is rightly proud to have been able to help this very worthy cause with a donation of £500 (and a club calendar!)
We were also pleased to help out with car parking duties for our fellow Rotarians in Lydd running their annual 10k race, and were delighted to receive a raid on one of our regular club nights from Folkestone Channel Rotary Club at which we were very nearly outnumbered! We welcomed 14 visitors from Channel (about 25% of their membership) along with 16 (about 75%)of our own. Pennants were exchanged between our President Stephen Hagues and theirs Alan Myers (pictured below) and a good time was had by all. The developing theme is one of greater co-ordination with all of the clubs in the area to maximise the fund raising potential of each, something which it is hoped future presidents will be able to develop further in the years to come. To that end, the presidents of eight clubs in the area met to discuss possibilities and exchange ideas over a lunch in Folkestone and have decided to make it a regular forum and to introduce their respective successors as their own year in office comes to an end at the end of June.
We also forsook our home territory to join other clubs in our Cinque Ports Group in a raid on Tenterden, again a very succesful and enjoyable evening but the main social event of the month was a Partners Night held at the recently refurbished Ship Inn in Dymchurch. The venue proved to be a good one with 12 couples in attendance all of whom enjoyed a good meal accompanied by a modest intake of aperitif, wine and ale followed by the usual fight over who had previously agreed to drive home!
Our thoughts now turn to welcoming our friends from the Rotary Club of Geksenkirchen in the Westphalia district of Germany. Our International Leader, Suru Patel, has a full programme planned with a dinner on the Friday evening, a day trip to Chatham Dockyard on the Saturday followed by a barn dance in the evening. I hope we can all take the pace and send them home happy but tired on Sunday. Finally we have been working on our website and it now contains a diary of upcoming events and meetings and details of menus offered for the coming weeks. It will always be a ‘work in progress’ but it is developing nicely so why not take a look at www.romneymarshrotary.co.uk
What’s coming up?
Forthcoming activities and events include..
Regular club meeting and dinner every Thursday at Littlestone Warren Golf Club; 7.00 pm
5th April; Presentation on Victim Support from Citizen’s Advice Bureau
27th April; Welcome dinner for our visitors from Gelsenkirchen Rotary Club at The Ship, New Romney
28th April; Visit to Chatham Dockyard and evening barn dance
10th May; Presentation from CARM (Caring All together on Romney Marsh)
27th May; Walking Treasure Hunt of New Romney
How do I join?
New members are always welcome, please contact Sarah Day on 07513 403398 or check out our website – www.romneymarshrotary.co.uk where you can also find out a little more about who we are and what we do.