Local Girl Sarah Gaylard Gives Talk On Kilimanjaro Climb

Posted by on Feb 16, 2019 in international, Slideshow, Vocational | 0 comments

Farnborough Rotary Club helped to sponsor local girl Sarah Gaylard to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

On Thursday 14th February, Sarah came to our club lunch to give a presentation.

Below are the slides from her presentation.

Community Award cheque finds good home

Posted by on Feb 11, 2019 in Community, Slideshow | 0 comments

Last month we gave our Community Award to the Singles Social Group.  Along with the award was a £250 cheque for a charity or good cause of the Social Group’s choosing.  They selected the Camberley All Night Café and went along last Friday night to hand over the donation.  This is their report.

So, here’s the thing – 

A few months ago we got approached by someone who said they wanted to nominate our group for a ”Community Service award”

Why, we wondered ? The reply was it was because of how we all supported each other here in the group …. looked out for each other emotionally and socially. 

It’s easy to get lost in a spiral of loneliness, it can hit at any time to any of us and it seems that we as a bunch of like minded people actually take the time to care about each other – it’s just what we do, no other agenda and for no other reason than just to hope our contribution makes a difference to someone’s day.

Anyhow we only went and won the award and with it came a cheque for £250 – we could donate it to a worthwhile cause of our choice.

We put up a poll shortlisting two of the smaller local charities

Your votes were cast and the decision made – Camberley All Night Cafe came out the winner

Last night we found our way there and handed over the money.

Humbling is one word I’d use, inspiring is another

Tucked away in a scout hut in Camberley, volunteers cook a warm and tasty dinner and pudding for whoever arrives through the door. The guys and girls are offered a warm bed for the night, showers and a safe space in which to relax. Breakfast is also available after which the Cafe closes for the day and the whole thing starts again in the evening.

Night in, night out, seven days a week this little hut serves as a sanctuary from the world in which anyone of us could find ourselves in.

We’re not so different from those at the Cafe…. we’ve all found our way here, we’ve all found the support we’ve needed and we’re all just a little bit less lonely because of it – exactly the same as those that found their way there.

There’s a massive thank you to you guys from all the folk at Camberley All Night Cafe and a warm welcome awaits if you fancy volunteering anytime.


Pay it forward lovely people. …. 
we are so blessed to have each other


Posted by on Feb 11, 2019 in international, Slideshow | 0 comments

Farnborough Rotary Club member Katy Harris has been chosen as 2019 International Champion of Change for her 6 years of outstanding work on a school project in Lugala, Uganda. The project gives children living in extreme poverty in slum areas the opportunity to break out and fulfil their potential.

Katy’s involvement included the teaching, teacher training and the school building and facilities. Her enthusiasm, skills and her practical experience as a teacher and head teacher guided the project towards successful and highly praised developments in the school’s curriculum, educational achievements and better lives for its students.

The award has been made by RIBI – Rotary International in Britain and Ireland. Katy will be honoured at the Rotary Champions Award Ceremony at the Nottingham Council House on 10 May. The Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Nottingham will host the awards and make the presentations alongside Rotary International President Barry Rassin.

The Child Promotion School, Katy and the students’ homes

Farnborough Rotary Club President Michael Smailes said “We are delighted. We’ve been following Katy’s progress and she’s a great ambassador for the project, clear sighted and with a vision for its evolution. Katy faced strong competition from both the south east of England and the UK and Ireland as a whole and it’s great our nomination succeeded.”

Katy said “It’s so humbling. It’s a lovely honour and I’m so grateful for the support from my club and the Aldershot based charity Karuna Action. Karuna means compassion in Hindi and that is what this work is all about.”

Katy lives in South Farnborough and was a teacher for 38 years. Early in her career she taught locally at St Peter’s School where she returned as interim head for two terms following her retirement as head teacher of Preston Candover Primary School. She joined our Rotary Club in 2015, making her mark chairing the Vocational Committee and will be club president in 2020-2021.

Report from Jim Thomson

Community Award to Singles Social Group

Posted by on Jan 25, 2019 in Community, Slideshow | 0 comments

Farnborough Rotary Club – Community Award to Singles Social Group

Farnborough Rotary Club recognised the great work of the Facebook based ‘Singles Social Group – Fleet, Farnborough, Farnham and Surrounding Areas’ by presenting it with its Community Award.

Jim Thomson from the Rotary Club said “This award recognises the impressive and practical help and support the group gives its members in dealing with single life.  Many of its members are recently divorced, separated or widowed, often with responsibility for young children, or short of money, or both. Some cope with serious health issues, occasionally life limiting.  It is a safe space to discuss such issues and, indeed, to chat and know they are not alone. It was a pleasure to discover all they do in the local community. It very much ties in with Rotary International in Britain and Ireland’s nationwide focus on loneliness.”

Along with a certificate the Social Group received a cheque for £250 which they asked to be donated to the Camberley All Night Café.

Beverly Edmunds-Jones and Helen Farrier, two of the group’s administrators, received the award on behalf of its members.  Beverly said “We are thrilled and hugely proud to know Farnborough Rotary Club recognises our efforts as a social group in creating a safe haven for all single members to know that they are not alone and are supported.”

“It’s a fantastic feeling to know we are all part of a community that has made this happen and it reinforces our beliefs that we are all always striving to do our best to support each other and hopefully doing the right thing most of the time.”

“We thank the Rotary Club for this award and on a personal note I am hugely proud to be involved with and part of such a fantastic group of people, lots of whom have become such precious friends.  We look forward to an amazing new year.”

“We now have some 750 members, growing daily, of all ages from twenties to seventies.  We run it entirely voluntarily. There are no charges for membership or running costs. The group does not seek financial or other support from external agencies.  We welcome new members. Find us on Facebook.”

Farnborough Rotary Club President Michael Smailes presents the Community Award to Beverly Edmunds-Jones and Helen Farrier of the Singles Social Group. Rotary Community Committee Chairman Kevin Hopgood looks on
Beverly and Helen talk to Diane Bedford, a former President of Farnborough Rotary Club
Beverly and Helen with their certificate
Beverly and Helen talk to Pam Tunnicliffe, a former President of Farnborough Rotary Club
Helen, Beverly and President Michael with the cheque for £250 which the Singles Social Group members asked to be given to the Camberley All Night Café.
President Michael, Beverly and Helen with Jim Thomson who proposed we give the Community Award to the Singles Social Group

£15k Raised In Annual Christmas Float Collections

Posted by on Jan 3, 2019 in Christmas, Christmas Collections | 0 comments

PRESS RELEASE 31/12/2018


Farnborough Rotary Club members praised the town’s residents for their outstanding generosity towards December’s Annual Christmas Float charity collections.  President Michael Smailes said “At a time when many people are having to tighten their belts we collected an amazing total of £15,000 from our daytime collections in the shopping areas and evenings touring residential areas.  We are truly grateful to everyone who supported us and for the generosity of Farnborough residents.  As we do every year we ensure every penny goes out to deserving causes and charities, mostly local.”

“We collected on 11 days in Farnborough town centre, North Camp and at several out of town stores. We are very grateful to the Princes Mead Shopping Centre, B&Q and Costco in Farnborough, together with Marks and Spencer’s at The Meadows and Waitrose in Frimley, for allowing us to collect on their premises – it made a big difference.  We also collected on many local roads over 19 evenings supported by Santa Claus and his merry team of elves.”

“The Rotary Christmas collections have become a local tradition as they have been taking place for many years, and we also appreciate the warmth of the welcome we receive.  It’s so rewarding when parents remember the excitement they felt when they were young and now bring out their own children to experience the same joy.  And it cheers us up no end to see the brilliant decorations on the town’s houses.  Sadly a heavy downpour meant we had to cancel one Saturday evening but members and friends rallied round to reschedule the collection the following week.”

Farnborough Rotary Club is extremely grateful to the friends and partner organisations who supported our collections, as their enthusiasm and practical assistance helped ensure a successful outcome.  In the coming weeks the club’s members will allocate the money raised to worthy causes and charities.  Typically around 30 groups benefit immediately each year.  A small amount is held back to meet urgent needs arising during the following months.

Farnborough is one of several clubs in the area reporting similar success this year.  Rushmoor and Aldershot Rotary Clubs also operate in the borough and the Fleet, Hart, Camberley and Ash & Blackwater Valley clubs in the wider area.  All welcome people motivated and with time to give to work for the wider community.

Santa and the Mayor wish us well

Posted by on Nov 29, 2018 in Christmas, Christmas Collections, Community, Slideshow | 0 comments

Santa Claus dropped into Farnborough to join the Mayor of Rushmoor, Steve Masterson, in wishing the Club and its President Michael Smailes well for its annual Christmas Float collections in aid of mainly local charities. Also in the picture is Andrew Lloyd who runs the club’s Christmas collections operation.

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Collections start on Sunday 2 December; full details are available here.

Ugandan Visitors

Posted by on Nov 29, 2018 in international, Slideshow | 0 comments

Joel and Pamela from Uganda visited us to say thank you for the 2 donations they have received from Farnborough Rotary.

Joel is the director of a school which he set up to serve the children from a local slum area.

The school now numbers over 500 children and the money given to them helped buy IT and science equipment.

Pamela, President Michael Smailes Joel and Rotarian Katy Harris