District 3190 GSE Team Farewell Rally

Rotary’s Group Study Exchange is a scheme which enables teams of young people from one country to experience the culture and different ways of life of another country. Typically teams of 5 from another country, headed by an experienced Rotarian, spend four weeks touring a Rotary District in UK, living with Rotarians’ families for one week before moving on to another part of the District. Later, a reciprocal Tour from UK to the other country will take place.

Each day, events and visits are organised for the Team, enabling them to experience local businesses and ways of life, together with more relaxed times visiting places of interest and leisure. Each Team member also has opportunities of experiencing work in his or her own chosen profession, as part of the Vocational activities arranged.

Throughout October a Team from District 3190, Bangalore, India has been touring our own District taking in  168 different locations, including Ironbridge Museums, Lichfield Cathedral, Lilleshall National Sports Centre, the Black Country Museum, RAF Cosford, several Mayors’ Parlours for ‘welcome’ receptions, Molineux Stadium, Keele University and a Pub Quiz at The Crooked House, Himley to name but a few.

Evenings were spent either with their ‘host’ families or visiting local Rotary Clubs, giving presentations covering their own local area in India (Bangalore) and each individual’s work. The Team also gave a major presentation at the Rotary District’s Annual Conference in Torquay.

For their Vocational days, Anuradha Hebbar (a Tax Advisor and Advocate) spent time with different local Chartered Accountants’ practices around the region,

Archana Sahay, who heads up the Corporate Social Responsibility function for a major IT multi-national, had a day with the CEO at a Social Housing group’s HQ, a day with the Chief Executive of “Little Hearts Matter” and time at Capgemini UK plc.

Pradyumna Radhakrishnan, who works in IT Programme Management, had a day with a Marketing Company, another with Stafford Chamber of Commerce and a day with Alpha Design Marketing Consultancy.

Suresh Sthanikam, an HR Consultant, had a day with Keele University’s Human Resource Department, another with Stafford Borough Council and time at other HR companies.

The Team was lead by Rotarian Prakash Nagesh, a Member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Bangalore Peenya.

At tonight’s “Farewell Rally”, which the Tettenhall Club had the pleasure of hosting, the Bangalore Team gave glowing accounts of the tremendous hospitality and kindness shown to them by everyone connected with their Tour, including, most of all, the various families who had welcomed them into their own homes and “treated them just like one of the family”.

The team were particularly enthusiastic over their Vocational Days, saying how much they had learned and how much valuable experience had been gained. With their wider knowledge, they are relishing the chance of putting new ideas into practice when they return home to India.

Lenny Henry

Congratulations to our Honorary Club member Lenny Henry who is to be awarded the freedom of his home town of Dudley.

Councillor David Sparks, leader of Dudley Council who will make the award, said:

“It is with great pleasure that we are offering one of Dudley’s proudest sons the Freedom of Dudley.The council wants to bestow this honour on Lenny to recognise his services to entertainment and also to recognise his outstanding contribution to charity.”

One of the Founders of the Comic Relief charity which has raised hundreds of millions of pounds to help alleviate poverty around the world Lenny has helped the Club to raise thousands of pounds to help local good causes and the recognition is well deserved.

A Royal Education

Promoting education is one of the core aims of Rotary and the Tettenhall Club is proud to work with a number of local schools in Wolverhampton to help in their work.

Tonight we were joined by Mark Heywood, the Headmaster of the Royal School in Wolverhampton, to talk with us about the School’s approach to the education of its pupils and his belief that education may well best be kept out of the classroom.

Mark explained that the Royal’s approach was not only about delivering academic success but as importantly about developing their pupils character and ensuring that they left with the life skills necessary to ensure their success in the world.
In order to foster an atmosphere where students characters can develop they are given the opportunity and encouraged to engage in a wide range of extra curricular activities. These activities are designed to provide them with challenges which will allow them to learn by taking risks, to develop team working and leadership skills and to empower them to take responsibility and to make decisions for themselves.
Many students take part in expeditions both within the UK and internationally and Mark shared with us stories of the students achievements. An important element of these expeditions and extra curricular activities is to help students understand the importance of helping others. Recent expeditions have seen the students constructing and refurbishing classrooms in India and building a play ground for the children of a South American village. 
We’ve had the opportunity to witness at first hand just how successfully this approach works with the members of the Interact Club which was formed recently at the School and which is already helping to make a positive difference in its community. We wish Mark and his team at the School every success are looking forward to working with them and with the pupils in the future.