Shouting Out For Rotary

Town Criers have been shouting out the news for centuries and were the main means of communication at a time when most people could not read or write. Proclamations, local bylaws, market days, adverts, were all proclaimed by the local bellman or crier.

This evening we were joined by former Rotarian Mayor of Kidsgrove John Parsons – currently the Town Crier of Nantwich and of the Lord of the Manor of Rode – to tell us about the history of Town Crying since its introduction to England at the time of the Norman Conquests.

Whilst Mayor of Kidsgrove John was instrumental in bringing back the town’s Crier after a gap of over two hundred years – the town having been banned from having a town crier after violence flared up between the former office holders.

Since becoming a Town Crier himself John, a diabetes sufferer, in addition to his duties to his Lord and Town spends much of his spare time speaking to Clubs and Societies to talk about the history of Town Crying and raising money for Diabetes UK and other charities.

Return of the Past President

Its good to have Past President Sammy Chung back with us.

Sammy was our President in 2013-14 but family commitments overseas have kept him away for some time so tonight was the first opportunity that we have had to thank him for his service to the Club.

President Rob had the pleasure of presenting Sammy with his Past Presidents medal and a Commemorative Engraved Tankard.

Young Citizen of the Year 2015 – Ramnik Uppal

Wolverhampton Young Citizen of the Year Award Winner Ramnik Uppal is a conscientious, hardworking and motivated student.

Ramnnik has consistently demonstrated a positive attitude, achieving exceptional academic success whilst at the same time working tirelessly to support her school and local community. A gifted student Ramnik was successful in achieving 11 A* grades at GCSE and continued this success at AS level with 6 at grade A and with expectations that she will go on to achieve A* in all of her A2 level examinations.

She has natural leadership skills, having been appointed Head Girl at Wolverhampton Girls’ High School and contributes greatly to school, relishing the opportunity for responsibility; having organised peer mentoring sessions, led groups of prefects at events, delivered speeches, attended governors’ meetings and welcomed new students. She runs activities with young children for her Sports Leadership Award and is also a keen debater, speaking at competitions.

Ramnik completed “The Challenge” with the National Citizen Service, becoming an ambassador for them; helping other teams design a campaign raising awareness of a local hospice and supporting fundraising. Since March 2014, she has volunteered weekly at a residential care home, working with dementia patients as well as volunteering at a local Barnardo’s store.

In making the award to Ramnik the judging panel recognised the selfless way in which she gives her time so freely, helping others and demonstrating her caring nature, and making a positive impact on her local community.

Young Citizen Awards – Alfie Baugh

Rotarians are community champions who stand up for our communities both locally and overseas. We support those who need help, we strive to improve lives and we bring about positive change in our neighbourhoods.

Well by those measures Wolverhampton Young Citizen Award finalist Alfie Baugh, despite his relatively young age, has all the makings of an exceptional Rotarian.

Photo credit – Woverhampton Mayor

Through his fund raising activities Alfie recently raised £680 for comic relief by making red nose cupcakes and selling those over two weekends from home. He printed off over 100 flyers and posted them to all his neighbours and streets in the local area and also told all his friends and teachers. Many people to his house just to donate money because they liked his flyer. Alfie also approached a local Tettenhall estate agent, Peter James and asked him to match whatever he had raised and Peter was delighted to say yes!

Alfie is a very motivated, confident and caring boy and not only does he raise money for charity but he also writes a weekly newsletter for all the residents in his neighbourhood helping to pull the community together. Nuns from the convent near to his home contribute a weekly prayer to put in the newsletter and a neighbour writes an astronomy column. For bonfire night last year Alfie sent a newsletter out asking all his neighbours to meet up in the park and each bring a firework. He got all the neighbours together and arranged a street firework display which was a great night and all the neighbours joined in. Everybody in the neighbourhood knows Alfie, he takes everyone’s dustbins in on bin day, he also helps a disabled lady who lives just over the road and litter picks in the street.

Alfie is proof that age is no barrier when it comes to making a positive change in our neighbourhoods.

Young Citizen Award – Kashmire Hawker

The Wolverhampton Young Citizen Award looks to recognise exceptional contributions made by the City’s Young people to our community.

For the past 18 months competition finalist Kashmire Hawker has been a young leader with Changing Young Lives (CYL), a rights based organisation working with children, young people and adults to stand up for their rights and be seen as people first, irrespective of their disability.

Kashmire is an extremely passionate young man who wants to tell the world what young disabled people can achieve. He has led practice development sessions in Wolverhampton with a range of professionals across health, education and social care to improve services, challenge practice and raise their expectations of young disabled people. He has co-produced and co-delivered a national training programme around Special Education Needs & Disability (SEND) reforms – work which has helped to inform young disabled people nationwide about the new laws and how it affects them to enable them to take control of their own support and decisions about their lives.

Kashmire’s goal is a career in politics and he has recently been re-elected as vice chair for the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP).

Kashmire goes the extra mile in standing up for young disabled people, ensuring their voices are heard and he is working to create a fairer and more inclusive society in which himself and his peers can participate and belong.

Young Citizen Award – Gursonia Kaur Clair & Anisha Aujilay

Its the first time that here has ever been joint nomination for the award but Gursonia Clair and Anisha Aujilay have always worked together to put the needs of others above their own.

As part of the Charity Committee at Tettenhall College for the past year their ideas and actions have been an integral part in helping to collect over £7000 for various charities, including CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young), Compton Hospice, Macmillan Cancer Support and Children In Need. They are the first to volunteer for the charity events and often use their own money and time to arrange events, giving their time freely despite being under pressure with schoolwork.

Gursonia and Anisha have also undertaken fundraising for Cancer Research UK — including a fun run, hot dog sales, and lunchtime discos — all under their own steam as part of their D of E scheme. Break times see Gursonia and Anisha staff the pupil tuck shop and at lunchtime they volunteer to run a games club for Reception pupils, so that they can learn all about team work, taking part and the aspect of winning and losing.

They are both hoping to go into the field of medicine after their A Levels and tutors believe their outlook in helping others will stand them in good stead. The College is understandably proud of the pair and of the excellent example which they set for other pupils.

Young Citizen Award – Sophie Evans

Although its called the Wolverhampton Young Citizen Award nominations aren’t restricted to young people living in the City.

Finalist Sophie Evans lives just over the border in Sedgley but as her Grandparents live in Bilston many of her activities have always been in Bilston.

A member of the scouting movement from the age of 6 Sophie represented the Wolverhampton East District at the World Scout Jamboree in Norway in 2011 and as a member of Wolverhampton East District Explorer scouts has become a young Leader and, as of this year, an assistant Cub Scout leader and continues to give her time freely.

The scouting movement changes lives by offering 6- to 25-year-olds fun and challenging activities, unique experiences, everyday adventure and the chance to help others so that we make a positive impact in communities. The work which Sophie does helps children to reach their full potential by developing skills such as teamwork, time management, leadership, initiative, planning, communication, self-motivation, cultural awareness and commitment – helping young people to get jobs, save lives and even change the world.

Sophie now attends Halesowen College where she hopes to continue with Childcare, being motivated and aspiring to work with disabled children. In addition, she works with special needs youngsters, having given her time to support many fund Raising activities with a group who meet in Prouds Lane Bilston helping to raise the £2000 required each year to maintain and run the building. She consistently offers her help willingly and has a real passion for helping and supporting young people.

Cyril Randles – Tettenhall’s Local Neighbourhood Plan

Just a little over a year ago West Wolverhampton witnessed one of the UK’s first ever Neighbourhood Plan referendums with overwhelming support being given for the proposed Plan

The Plan was the result of hours of work by local volunteers  as part of the Our Place Our Plan consultation carried out by the Tettenhall Local Neighbourhood Partnership.

Following adoption of the Tettenhall Local Neighbourhood Plan future commercial, and residential, development of the area for the next generation now has to comply with the Plan.

Whilst the City Council has discontinued the Local Neighbourhood Partnerships in the City the work of the Tettenhall LNP continues thanks to the hard work of local volunteers – operating as  part of the Tettenhall & District Community Council (TDCC) – who have been active in ensuring that the Plan and the opinions of local people are properly taken account in relation to planning applications and that money lodged in support of section 106 planning agreements is properly spent for the benefit of the community.

Tonight we were joined by Cyril Randles, Chairman of the TDCC and one of the instigators of the Tettenhall Local Neighbourhood Plan.

In addition to its planning role the TDDC also acts as a forum for community issues providing networks, support and communications for local community groups and organisations.

It’s all work carried out by volunteers such as our own Club member Les Bouts and to ensure that the TDCC can continue in its work Cyril is looking for more volunteers to help with its work and if you think you can help he’d like to hear from you.

With the potential for the Greater Birmingham/West Midlands Combined Authority initiative to take decision making further away from local communities the TDDC is now exploring support in the area for the formation of a Parish Council to help ensure that Tettenhall can continue to hold onto what has kept it special .

Keep an eye on the Tettenhall blog for details of the launch of the TDCC’s new website which will feature details of its activities.

Wolverhampton Youth Orchestras Pre Tour Concert 2015

The six Rotary Clubs of Wolverhampton have been supporting the Wolverhampton Youth Orchestra and the Wolverhampton Youth Wind Orchestra for 22 years now and the Orchestras annual pre tour concert has become a regular feature of our calendars.

The support which the clubs give to the concert together with the support of local businesses ensures that all of the Orchestras members are able to take part in their annual summer tour no matter their families financial circumstances..

This years tour sees the Orchestras taking part in music festivals throughout Central Spain.

An established part of the concert is the award of the various certificates of excellence which these talented young musicians have earned during the course of the year and special congratulations went to Wolverhampton Young Musician of the Year Antnio D’Souza.
Our thanks got to Conductors Keith Sedgebeer and Ian Brailsford and to all of the members of the Orchestras for a wonderful evenings entertainment.

Be a Gift to the World

Each new President of Rotary International sets a theme for his year in office and our new President, K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran’s theme is ‘Be a Gift to the World’.

Ravi asks us all to give thought to how we want to spend our time on this earth and reminds us that we won’t be remembered for the efforts that we put into making our own lives richer or our own status higher and that in the end, our worth will be measured not by how much we acquired, but by how much we gave away.

Rotary helps us find a path to living richer, more meaningful lives, by encouraging us to focus our attention on the things that matter — and helping each of us find our own way to be a gift to the world.

Through Rotary, we can  make a genuine difference in the lives of others and in our world.

Through Rotary, we can leave behind something real and lasting.

If you’d like to give something back and to start making a difference in your local community and in the world then why not take a look at joining Rotary yourself.