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Bexley’s Rotary Club calls for new members to join and make a difference

PUBLISHED: 13:02 15 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:16 15 March 2018

Bexley Rotarians on a visit to Hampton Court. Picture: Bexley Rotary Club

Bexley Rotarians on a visit to Hampton Court. Picture: Bexley Rotary Club

Archant

Each Monday evening, members of Bexley’s Rotary Club meet to discuss business and charity events, as well as to organise new fundraising initiatives.

Bexley Rotary Club on a visit to Green Sands distillery. Picture: Bexley Rotary ClubBexley Rotary Club on a visit to Green Sands distillery. Picture: Bexley Rotary Club

Among the dedicated members include men and women from all kinds of backgrounds, from ex-teachers to police officers.

Profound member and secretary, David Brenchley-King, explained the flexibility of the club, and dispelled other myths surrounding the international humanitarian organisation.

He said: “Often, people think women can’t be members, or that you have to be from a particular background.

“People also tend to think that once you’re a member you are obliged to attend every meeting and every event.

“However this isn’t true - anybody, regardless of religious background, age or gender is welcome in Rotary Clubs, for as many or as few times as they like.”

Bexley’s Rotary Club is made up of committed members, headed by President Chris King and Vice President Michael Smith.

Spanning a diverse range of backgrounds, the Bexley club undertakes fundraising for charities, as well as other community-based projects, with their main fundraiser being the annual Christmas collection, when Santa’s sleigh travels around Bexley for 12 evenings in December.

Early morning collections are also made at this time in several stations across the borough, and quiz nights and silent auctions take place.

The club also know how to intersperse some fun and relaxation between raising money for charities.

As well as their weekly meetings, where the opportunity to dine and mix socially is provided, meals out and visits to shows and other interesting places are also enjoyed by members.

David said: “We always like to make sure members are also having fun and enjoy what they’re doing.

“We arrange outings so there’s also a strong social feel within the club.”

The team help out at events run by local charities any community projects, providing support to schools and disability groups across Bexley.

Most recently, the club agreed to support two local schools - Pelham Primary School and Joyden’s Wood Infant School, by funding an innovative reading scheme.

Bexley Rotary Club are also trustees of Veterans Club, Our Hidden Gem, in Bexleyheath.

Chris King said: “The club is open to anyone who lives in the Bexley area and is over 55.

“Facilities include snooker, table tennis and bowls.”

Originally founded in 1905 in America, there are globally more than 35,000 clubs, made of members who unite to take action and create lasting change, with the aim of tackling worldwide problems.

Locally, clubs work to contribute towards these global aims, as well as supporting the community.

Rotarians also have their own international charity, The Rotary Foundation, which celebrated its centenary last year.

Tapping into a global network of members who invest their time, money and expertise into projects, the clubs have seen significant change come about from their dedication, including efforts to eradicate polio.

David added: “For more 30 years, Rotary has been working hard to end polio.

“Although there’s no cure for the disease, immunisation is possible and works, and that’s why we want to make sure every child can receive this.

“When Rotary started the campaign to rid the world of polio in 1985, there were 125 endemic countries, now there are three - Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.”

Although global cases of the illness have dropped significantly, remote and rural areas are the hardest to reach, and it requires at least three years of no new cases being reported in order to declare the world polio free.

Despite the challenges, Rotary Clubs are continuing to work hard to fund for this cause.

Bexley’s Rotary Club have many loyal and prominent members, but are calling for more to join and help them achieve new charitable goals, as well as make some new friends and enjoy fun and varying activities.

New members are always welcome, and are able to come along to a couple of meetings for free before joining.

Any queries regarding becoming a Rotarian should be directed to the chairman of membership, at hapcie@yahoo.co.uk.

Applications are welcomed from all walks of live or professional backgrounds.

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