Together We End Polio

As you wander around Wolverhampton keep an eye out for the purple crocuses which have been planted by the Tettenhall and the City’s other Rotary clubs to raise awareness of our vaccination project which is helping to eradicate polio worldwide.

The polio virus is a highly infectious disease most commonly affecting children aged under 5. The virus is spread person to person, attacking the nervous system, and can lead to paralysis. Although there is no cure, there is a safe, inexpensive and effective vaccine – one which Rotary and our partners use to immunize over 2.5 billion children worldwide.

When Rotary started the campaign to eradicate polio, there were cases present in 125 countries worldwide, now cases have been reduced by 99.9% and just two countries remain polio endemic; Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Through the actions of thousands of volunteers working together with Rotary the eradication of polio is tantalisingly close and we want you to get involved and help us finish the job.

Email us at to find out more about joining or volunteering with Rotary to see how you can make a real difference locally, nationally and internationally.

If volunteering isn’t for you then you can still help us to continue to protect children around the world from this horrendous disease with a life-changing vaccine – which costs just 20p – by Donating now. For every pound you donate the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will donate a further two pounds.

September is Literacy Month

Rotary believes that education is a right for all and that it strengthens our communities – because of this promoting literacy in one of our core areas of focus.

The annual cost to the UK economy alone of adults leaving school without being able to read, write and communicate successfully has been estimated at £2.5 billion. That problem is likely to have been made worse in recent years as school children have been denied the education they deserve due to the impact of the Covid pandemic. 

In order to provide a safe environment for its pupils the Kings Church of England School in Tettenhall had to disband its library during Lockdown and once restrictions were lifted it became a priority for the School to open a proper library to help encourage a love of reading.

Tettenhall Rotary Club has been working with the School and its pupils to help re-open their library and to stock it with a diverse range of books from authors from a range of cultures and heritages reflecting the diverse backgrounds of the School’s pupils. The library has been designed to nurture the love of reading among all of the School’s pupils, many who may be without access to books at home.

With the help of The Rotary Foundation £4,000 has been donated to the project – a project which the School knows will not only improve pupil’s reading skills, but will also help to deliver better exam results. When we improve pupils’ literacy skills and help them to achieve better results, we create opportunities for them to continue in education, gain further qualifications and to access more, and improved, opportunities.

Doing Good in South Africa with the GOGO Project

Thanks to the contacts which Club member and Foundation Chairman Ivan Hill has developed with the Rotary Club of Knysna in South Africa we’ve recently been able to work with that Club on a project to provide some much needed welfare to vulnerable and needy children in the nearby communities.

Knysna have been involved with the “Gogo” project for some years. “Gogo” is ‘grandmother’ in Xhosa and pronounced ‘gorgor’. The Gogo project is a nationally run welfare scheme which effectively puts trained social workers (Gogo’s) in direct contact with needy and vulnerable black children.

The focus of the Gogo workers is on both education and welfare, with particular emphasis on HIV/AIDS. Each Gogo is allocated up to 20 children who are at risk – childheaded households, single HIV patients deserted by their spouse due to fear of AIDS, or single parents who have had to leave their homes due to alcohol abuse, physical violence etc.

The Matching Grant funding for the project of R.110,000 (£7,500) will fund Knysna’s Gogo activities for a year and will be spent on clothing (mainly warm underwear for the cold summers, May to August, and School Uniforms), food, health and sanitary requirements, with a very small payment to the Gogos to help them with buying shoes, as they have to walk several miles every day.

Currently, there are 6 Gogos involved, looking after 140 children with the support of Rotarians from the Knysna Club whotake turns at purchasing the week’s necessities and delivering the produce to the soup kitchens and the supplies to the Gogos.

Doing Good in the Phillipines

Rotary’s Group Study Exchange Program has over the years provided thousands of young business people with the opportunity to visit other countries and to experience the host country’s culture and institutions, to observe how their vocations are practised abroad, to develop personal and professional relationships, and to exchange ideas.

The relationships formed continue long after the visits end and Bob Cliff of the Rotary Club of Burslem and the members of the group that accompanied him during the GSE visit to the Philippines in 2006/7 have continued to work with the Rotarians they met delivering projects such as the Sight Savers initiative which have made a real difference to the lives of people in the area.

Whilst in the Philippines Bob became aware of the damage caused to the Atimonan coastline and fisheries by years of overfishing and by fishing methods which had involved the use of dynamite and cyanide and tight mesh nets which had destroyed the marine environment.

In order to tackle the damage and to help to revive the fishery the members of the Rotary Club of Atimonan Sunrise have been working with Rotary clubs around the world to develop a system of artificial reefs and with Bob’s assistance Tettenhall and nine other local Clubs came together this year to help fund work on a further four reefs.

Made of concrete and steel modules these artificial reefs promote coral growth, give shelter to marine life and serve as a fish nursery and are the basis for a future sustainable fishery and tourist/scuba diving attraction. Bob joined us tonight to report on the progress which has been made and on plans to designate the whole coastline as a Marine Sanctuary to be owned by the local community and to be patrolled by the Coastguard and the local community to ensure that the previous methods of overfishing do not recur.

GSE Team Presentation

Rotary’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) programme is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for businesspeople and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are in the early stages of their careers.

The programme is designed to develop professional and leadership skills amongst young adults so that they can address the needs of their communities in an increasingly global workplace.

Rotary provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country’s culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.

Rotarians in the host area provide meals, lodging, and group travel within their district, participants in the programme live with Rotary families during the exchange, thus learning at first hand all about living in the visited country.

In a typical four-week tour, team members participate in five full days of vocational visits, 15 to 20 club presentations, 10 to 15 formal visits and social events, two to three days at the district conference, three to four hours per day of cultural and site tours, and three to four hours per day of free time with host families.

Following a successful visit from a GSE team from Rotary District 5550 which spans Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan in Canada a team from our own District visited the prairies of Canada in May and June of this year

The team included Jayne Lawrence, a member sponsored by the Tettenhall Club and this evening she was joined by fellow team member Victoria Talbot and team leader Lorraine Boothman to tell us all about their experiences.

You can read a full account on the team’s blog but for a flavour of what they got up to here is a poem which Jayne penned at the end of the journey:

We landed in Winnipeg after a mammoth journey
It was night time in Canada but in England it was early!
Flying Manchester-Washington-Toronto-Winnipeg
We were absolutely shattered and ready for bed
A tour of Manitoba province was the place to begin
Brandon, then Neepawa and onto Dauphin
We crossed the border to Melfort along the way
And experienced rain, snow and sunshine all in one day!
That’s because we’ve toured Seskachewan too
As far north as Prince Albert and stunning Waskasieu
Saskatoon was the next place on our list
Where we stayed in a B&B for our time of rest
Next was on to Regina for lunch
Then Watrous and Weyburn – we’ve done SO much!
We finally came to our journeys last leg
A 6 hour trip back to Winnipeg
Staying for five days for District Conference
Presenting to a big audience to further boost our confidence
Never did I imagine we’d do so many wonderful things
We even tried shooting a shotgun at metal tins!
We saw museums, farms, and watched Ice Hockey games
In addition to our informative vocational days
We had lots of pot luck suppers and BBQs too
Trying waffles, maple syrup, Bison burgers and Ukrainian food
Never before have we eaten so much
Three course meals for breakfast, supper AND lunch
We’ve met mayors, MLAs and the provincial minister of health
Who all epitomise the Rotary saying “service above self”
We saw the venue of the brilliant country fest
Crikey – when we get home we’ll be glad of the rest!
We visited Wasagaming and found out it was just a name
Unlike our District Governor who thought it was a game
Dancing at a polka fest and visiting Hutterite colonies as well
Amazed at the things they manufacture, grow and sell
Whilst here we celebrated the Queens diamond jubilee
Wearing British flags, hats and feather boas for the world to see
Drinking coffee in Tim Hortons and shopping in Walmart
Our cases ending up even heavier than the start!
We saw bison, elk, deer, coyote but not the elusive Moose
We’ve been on radio, in the paper and on TV – yes, we’re famous!
What a wonderful trip, it sad it’s coming to an end
but what a fab experience and we’ve made so many Canadian friends
All of this thanks to Rotary members far and wide
All the individuals who wear their pins and badges with pride
People who help individuals and communities get a good start
All through the goodness of their own hearts
We’ve had a bearilliant time here in the Canadian Prairies
And are going home with such wonderful memories
Thank you to our hosts and especially Rotary
We’re heading home soon to have a cup of tea!

Rotary’s Future Vision

Founded in 1917 The Rotary Foundation is Rotary’s own charity. The mission of the Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.

We’ve always taken pride in the efficient way in which the Foundation is run which helps to ensure that all of the money that we put into the charity is used for charitable purposes rather than being gobbled up in administration fees. Money raised for Foundation is deposited with the charity for three years and the interest earned on the money during that time covers all of the cost of administering the charity.

To make sure that the Foundation continues in its mission to help more people a number of changes are going to be made in the way that the charity operates and this evening the Club was joined by Assistant District Governor Ashley Gray to explain this Future Vision Plan.

Concentrating on six main areas of focus

  • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution
  • Disease prevention and treatment
  • Water and sanitation 
  • Maternal and child health
  • Basic education and literacy
  • Economic and community development

the Future Vision Plan will simplify the way in which Foundation operates, reducing administration costs and making it easier for Rotary clubs to work together locally, nationally and internationally to deliver projects which realise the Foundation’s mission helping to change the lives of millions for the better.

This Close

The members of the Tettenhall Rotary Club have joined with Rotary Clubs around the world to meet the challenge laid down by the Gates Foundation to match its 200 million dollar contribution towards the cost of eradicating Polio.

The money raised from thousands of events held by Rotarians around the globe means that this disease is now on the verge of eradication. The latest Rotary campaign highlights just how close this is.

Visit the This Close website to add your support.

Charity Golf Day

14 Teams braved the blustery, high winds at Worfield Golf Club to support our Charity Golf Tournamment today but the scenic surroundings inspired some excellent golf, together with the occasional watery graves on the 9th and 18th holes!

With 18 holes of golf, pre-match bacon butties, post match dinner and entertainment everyone enjoyed a great day, which was rounded off with the award of prizes for the Best Team Score, Nearest the Pin, Longest Drive and a Booby Prize. But the real winner was Rotary International’s Foundation Charity Polio Plus Fund which benefited from the day’s proceedings to the extent of £2,250.

At the Prize Giving, when thanking all who had taken part and contributed to the financial success of the day, the President of The Rotary Club of Tettenhall, Jim Murphy explained that the day’s proceeds would be used towards the Club’s ongoing efforts in support of the Rotary Foundation Charity ‘PolioPlus‘ programme which aims to eradicate polio from the world and which to date has raised some $163.4 million towards Rotary’s latest US$200 Million Challenge.

These contributions will help Rotary raise $200 million to match $355 million in challenge grants received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The resulting $555 million will directly support further immunization campaigns in developing countries. Since the PolioPlus program’s inception in 1985, more than two billion children have received oral polio vaccine, with only 4 or 5 countries throughout the world still reporting cases of Polio.

Our thanks go to all who sponsored and supported this very worthwhile event and in particular to our main sponsors Decantae Mineral Water, TATA Steel, Business Report, Keith Bradshaw and Barclays Business and to the organisers of the day David Cave and Chris Kraushar.

District 7030 GSE Team Visit

During their visit to the region GSE teams are given the opportunity to experience some our Midlands institutions and to get a feel for the way in which we live our lives. Clubs within the District take turns in hosting the team for a day to show them something of their area.

Today Tettenhall had the pleasure of hosting the visiting team from District 7030 and to give them a choclaty taste of life in the country’s second city, Birmingham.

As well the opportunity for little shopping the day took in a tour of Cadbury World, one of Birmingham’s leading attractions, and a visit to the BBC Studios at the Mailbox in Birmingham so that the team could see the preparations for that days Midlands Today news programme.

Check out the teams facebook page to see how they spent the rest of their visit.

GSE Team Presentation

As part of the GSE programme teams visit a number of Rotary Clubs within the District in order to make presentations giving Rotarians a glimpse into the life of the team members and of their country.

This evening the visiting team from District 7030 made their presentation at the Rotary Club of Wednesfield.

District 7030 covers the Eastern Caribbean and members of the visiting team were representing sponsoring Rotary Clubs in Dominica, Barbados, Grande Terre Pointe Des Chateaux and Liamuiga (St Kitts).

There’s no doubting that the team come from a truly beautiful part of the world and their presentations were all the more impressive given the short time which the team had had together before flying to England. They are great ambassadors for their nations and for Rotary District 7030 and we are grateful to them for the insight which they gave us into their lives.