President’s Newsletter July 2017

Welcome to my first news post as your Club President. As we enter a new century as one of the oldest clubs in the UK we can look back with pride over our first 100 years. Our Centenary year was a tremendous success due in large part to all the efforts of Past President David Brunton, who will be a very hard act to follow as President.We live in turbulent times and Rotary is not immune to those pressures. However, using the 17/18 theme of RI President, Ian Riseley, “we know that we can do more together than we could ever hope to do alone.”

The greatest challenge facing all clubs is that of falling membership. Although our membership numbers have stayed largely unchanged over the last few years, if we are to remain an active club we have to attract new members who are committed to the principles of Service before Self. As well as all members actively recruiting, we will be exploring the option od setting up a Satellite Club and also working more closely with the other two members of the Leicester family, De Montfort and Novus.

As well as raising and allocating funds to our local Charities, we will be embarking on a major fund-raising campaign to provide equipment for an Orthopaedic Operating Theatre in Gondar, North-west Ethiopia. A number of events are planned for the year, starting with your President running in the footsteps of the legendary Haile Gabrselassie in The Great Ethiopia Run at the end of November. Much training needed!
As you know Rodney Spokes is moving to a higher plane and Jonathan Kerry will be taking on membership for this year. Nick Thomson will be taking over as Club Secretary—a role he has been carrying out over the last few months in any case.
If you have any ideas on how to improve the Club or contribute to fundraising activities then please share them with me.
I look forward to working with you all over the coming year and would encourage you all to both contribute as much as possible to the Club, but also make the most of what Rotary has to offer.


Richard Power



President’s newsletter May 2017

With just over a month to go to the end of my presidential year I thought it was time I updated my President’s Message.


My last message in November summarised various events we had arranged to celebrate our Centenary.  All were successful and well appreciated by those who attended.  Thank you to everybody who helped with those celebrations.


Since November we have returned to what could be considered a more normal Rotary year.  In December we enjoyed our Christmas lunch with family and friends and were entertained by our speaker, Ian Stringer of Radio Leicester football fame.  We also saw three new members join us in December.


In February we were invited to collect at the Botanical Gardens in aid of polio eradication.  This was appropriate as the Botanical Gardens were celebrating their crocus weekend and the symbol of polio eradication is the crocus.  We raised over £500 which when added to the matched donations by the Gates Foundation will be almost £1600.


I attended the Technology Challenge which took place at Leicester Grammar School in February.  It was great to see the enthusiasm of the young people and the engineering and science skills they demonstrated in completing their task.  Hopefully many of them will go on to have a STEM career.


Other young people’s events included various local, district and national competitions.  Young Musician saw many pupils competing in various categories.  Our solo violinist went through to the national finals in Cardiff and did very well.


We had one of our most successful years in the Minor Sports competition, reaching the semi-final.  Maybe it was just coincidence but the first time I participated we were knocked out!  Let’s hope we can go one better next year.


President Elect Richard Power is looking forward to his year in office and has been researching a project to provide equipment to hospitals currently being constructed in Ethiopia.  No doubt we will hear more about this project when Richard takes over the presidency.


Though it has been a challenge, it has been an honour to be President in our Centenary year.  I am grateful to those in the Club and beyond who have supported me this year.  It would have been an impossible task without their help.


David Brunton


President’s Newsletter November 2016

It is now four months since I took over from Immediate Past President Paul Bonnett, and what an exciting four months it has been!  Being President of the Rotary Club of Leicester is always a great honour but to have been invited to be President in the Centenary year is particularly special. 


During my first four months we saw the culmination of three years of planning and fundraising to create a Visitor Centre in Bradgate Park, when on 22nd September Sir David Attenborough officially opened the new facility.  The Visitor Centre unofficially opened in July and by the official opening, 25,000 people had passed through its doors.

The Visitor Centre is a great example of Rotary Serving Humanity and Rotarians are encouraged to visit and see what has been achieved.

Shortly after the official opening of the Visitor Centre we held our Centenary Dinner at the Grand Hotel.

The event took place on the 10th October, with 230 Rotarians and guests attending.  Over 40 Clubs were represented on the night, including the Edinburgh Club, which is the mother Club of Leicester, and the Rotary Club of Guimaraes, Leicester’s twin Club in Portugal.

Guests included the RIBI President Eve Conway and her husband, and District Governor John Dehnel, both of whom spoke and proposed toasts on the night.  Responding on behalf of the guests was antiques expert Lars Tharp who was interesting and stimulating and recounted his memories of his Grandfather as a member of the Leicester Club and his Father who is still a member of the Oadby Club.  It was a splendid evening of fellowship enjoyed by everyone.

Our most recent celebration took place at Leicester Cathedral when over 50 Rotarians and guests attended a special Evensong service on 16th October to celebrate the Centenary of the Club and the achievements of Rotary worldwide.  The service was conducted by the Dean, David Monteith. The Bishop, Martyn Snow, spoke of the great achievements of Rotary locally, nationally and internationally.

Looking forward to the rest of our Centenary year we already have plans in place to deliver all the events we support.  These events include numerous young person’s competitions, RYLA, Kids Out and blood pressure awareness, Christmas lunches and many more.  I hope we can organise another theatre trip similar to last year’s visit to The Curve and another special Centenary event towards the end of my term as President.

I am grateful for all the support I have received from the Club members during my four months in office, and with continuing support I will continue to do my best in leading the Club for the remainder of my year.

David Brunton


President’s Newsletter May 2016

This is my last President’s Newsletter that I will write before handing over to Rotarian David Brunton as the incoming President on the 27th June 2016.


It is with both sadness and joy that I write this newsletter, sadness that my year has gone all too quickly and joy to reflect on what has been achieved during the year.

I set out our plan for my year which some said was too ambitious to achieve in the space of one year. I am delighted to confound those who thought that! Much has been achieved although there is always more to be done. I had to leave David something to do during his year!

I take this opportunity to recap on what has been achieved during the year and to sincerely thank all those involved in making, for me, a memorable year as President. Firstly we have raised in excess of £6,000 for my chosen charity, The Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Rutland Air Ambulance.

Rotarian Rodney Spokes and his Membership Team have done a great job to encourage new members to join the club and I am delighted to report that two new members have been recruited and three potential members have been identified. A first class membership leaflet has been produced and I am sure that this will pay dividends in the months ahead.

Rotarian Mark Sandall and his Club Service Team have been busy throughout the year arranging a number of both social and fund raising events, enjoyed by all those who attended. Of particular note was the Christmas Carol Concert, the social evening at Zephs, the evening at Sands Restaurant and the night at Curve in March. All these events have contributed to my chosen charity.

Rotarian Moira Bartlett and her Service Projects Team have been tireless in their activities, numerous youth service events, ranging from the hugely successful Technology Challenge day in February to Youth Speaks, Young Writer, Young Musician, Young Designer, Young Chef and many others. We can also not forget RYLA, Kids Out, Calvert and the Rotary Am Am golf tournament taking place in June. At this point I must pay special thanks to Simon Gravett and the golf section for their work on all golf related activities. Special thanks must also go to Immediate Past President Stuart Almond for all his efforts with the Super Hero Fun Run which now appears to be a regular annual event.

Thanks to Rotarian John Saunders and his Rotary Foundation and Benevolent Team for all their efforts. In excess of £4,000 was raised in one evening at the Auction of Promises, which has meant that we have been able to donate £3,470 to the Rotary Foundation Annual Appeal and £247.50 to Polio plus. Additionally donations have been made to a number of local charities.

Rotarian David Howard and his Communications Team have done a sterling job in producing and managing a new website which has significantly increased the level of enquiries being received by the club. Great work has also been done by Assistant Secretary Scott Gallacher on social media activity with both tweets and blogs!

Finally and by no means lastly, Rotarian David Brunton and his Centenary Project Team have been able to surpass the £150,000 target set to refurbish and equip the new Visitor Centre at Bradgate Park. The work does not stop here, however, the Midsummer Meander is taking place on the 17th to 19th June to raise additional funds with the official opening of the Visitor Centre taking place on the 22nd September. To mark the Centenary of the Club a dinner is being held on the 10th October and a Centenary Service is being held on the16th October at Leicester Cathedral.


My grateful thanks must also be given to Rotarians Roger Bowden, Adrian Keen and Scott Gallacher without whose help and support would have made my year much more difficult.


None of the above could have been achieved without the support of every member of the club, which for me, will be the lasting memory that I shall take with me to the “back benches” and for once I will be able to sit and enjoy my lunch without getting indigestion!


I take this opportunity of wishing Rotarian David Brunton all success with his year as President and know that we will all give him the support and encouragement that has been given to me to make our Centenary Year one to remember.


My sincere thanks and appreciation to you all.


Paul Bonnett


President’s Newsletter March 2016

Presidents Newsletter

March 2016


As I sit down to write this newsletter I wonder where the last nine months have gone, which leaves only three months of my Presidential year to go before handing over the chain to our incoming President, David Brunton. One member did remark to me only recently that you must be “de mob” happy as your year is coming to an end. I have to say quite the contrary! Much has happened over the last nine months and for that I am very thankful to all those members who willingly give of their time and talents in line with the Rotary motto of “Service above Self”


2016 marks our Centenary year and a number of events are planned to celebrate this milestone. Fund raising continues for our Centenary project for the redevelopment of the Visitor Centre in Bradgate Park, with two major events planned. The first of which is the Centenary AMAM Golf Tournament on 15th June 2016 at the Leicestershire Golf Club. Teams of four are encouraged to enter. All the details can be obtained from Rotarian Simon Gravett at Our other major fund raising event is the Midsummer Meander over the weekend of the 17th to 19th June, a non – stop relay walk of the Leicestershire Round. All details of this event can be obtained from Rotarian Richard Power at

The official opening of the new visitor centre will take place on Thursday 22nd September 2016 by the patron of our appeal, Sir David Attenborough. Plans are well advanced for this event.

To celebrate our Centenary, the first club in District 1070 to do so, we are holding a Centenary Dinner on Monday 10th October 2016, in the presence of our RIBI President together with a selection of past members of our club and representatives from a number of the clubs that we have sponsored over the last one hundred years.

Away from our focus on the Centenary, the Club has been active in a number of different areas. A very successful Auction of Promises evening was held which raised in excess of £4,000 to go to Rotary Foundation. A joyous evening of Carols and Music hosted by the South Leicester Salvation Army raised in excess of £1,000 for my nominated charity, The Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance. Donations have also been made to Little Faces, Help for Heroes, Kids for Heroes, DEBRA, Inter-Care, Prost-Aid, Life Education Centres and the E-Ranger project.

Other events planned for the remainder of the year include a visit to Curve to see Breakfast at Tiffanys with dinner and a visit from the cast after the show. On the 22nd March a Charity Night is being hosted at Sands Restaurant with all proceeds going to my chosen charity. An evening of music and fellowship is taking place on the 20th April at Zephs.

For those who are more energetic a Superhero Fun Run is taking place on Sunday 17th April at Abbey Park in Leicester. Full details can be obtained from We are very grateful to The Sturgess Motor Group, the Fitness Bank and Edward Hands & Lewis for their sponsorship of this event.

A significant amount of work has also been put into a number of different competitions for young people, ranging from Young Chef to Young Musician, Young Writer to Youth Speaks and Young Designer. I must acknowledge the tremendous success of the recently held Technology Challenge Day at Leicester Grammar School. Over 120 students gathered from 6 different schools to take part. The day was a great success due in no small part to the efforts of Rotarians Derek Sadd and Colin Derrick. My sincere thanks to both of them.

Although our Club is one of the largest in the District we are always trying to increase membership through a diverse range of business and leisure interests. Further details about membership and the club can be found on our website,

I do take this opportunity to thank all members for their support and fellowship and I wish you and all your families a very happy and peaceful Easter.


Paul Bonnett

President Rotary Club of Leicester.

New Presidents Newsletter July 2015



2015 TO 2016



29th June 2015


At the heart of our Club plans

The theme set by the incoming R.I. President

Rotarian K R “Ravi” Ravindran


“Be a gift to the World”


We can achieve this


  • Service above self
  • Fellowship with all that we encounter
  • Diversity we welcome all
  • Integrity we do what we say we are going to do
  • Enjoyment we have some fun along the way



Chairman Rodney Spokes

  • Continue to ensure we attract and retain new members.
  • Mentorship of new members – make them feel welcome
  • M4B meetings – encourage potential members to attend
  • Engage our members – use their skills.

Club Service

Chairman Mark Sandall

  • Minor Sports
  • Social events during the year
  • 8th September visit to Bradgate Park
  • 18th December Christmas Carol Concert
  • 21st December Christmas lunch
  • 20th April social evening at Zephs
  • District Conference


Service Projects

Chairman Moira Bartlett

(An Active Club is an Attractive Club)

  • Youth service and numerous activities from Youth Speaks to the Technology Challenge
  • Kids Out
  • RYLA
  • Calvert
  • Rotary Golf Tournaments


Rotary Foundation


John Saunders

  • RI Foundation
  • Benevolent Fund for local Charities
  • End polio now still continues
  • Ambassadorial Scholars



David Howard

  • New website – maximise use of this excellent site
  • Social media to keep our name out there
  • Improve our P.R. and relationship with local media
  • Continue to have a diverse range of quality speakers
  • Improve our strike rate with District News and Events


Centenary Project

David Brunton


  • Target to raise £150,000 – progress to date £100,000 raised.
  • Two grant applications awaiting outcome in August/September
  • Foundation grant application in process
  • 8th September visit for club to Bradgate Park
  • Fund raising activities being planned
  • Visitor Centre official opening Sept 2016


Key Strategic Objectives

2013 to 2017


  1. Grow the membership of the club from the current figure of 72 back to a minimum of 80 by 31 May 2017.


  1. Fully support our Centenary Appeal for the proposed New Visitor Centre for Bradgate Park and look to raise our target of £150,000 over the next three years.


  1. Continue to support local worthwhile charitable causes through service, commitment and monetary support.


  1. Support Rotary Foundation and other Rotary initiatives, when thought applicable.



Key to achieving objectives

“Service before Self”

New ideas always welcome!


…………. and finally


My charity of the year is


The Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance


Their vision is clear: We want children to grow into adults, we want adults to live longer and we want bereavement through trauma to become rare.

Presidents News Letter

Fellow Rotarians

Welcome to our bi-monthly news letter.  I hope that many of you are enjoying our new website.  In its early stages of development it is important that you let us know what you like about it, what we can do to improve it and what you would like to see more or less of.

I am pleased to say that our Centenary Project funding, to extend and renew the visitors Centre at Bradgate Park, has risen from £70000 to £92000 since my March news letter . Whilst on track we still need a big effort to achieve the target of £150000 by the end of this year.  Our  next key event, in collaboration with the Bradgate Park Trust, is an evening performance of Shakespeare’s  “A Midsummer Nights Dream” , on the 21st of June, in the atmospheric ruins of Lady Jane Gray’s House.

Rtn. David Brunton, who is Chair of our Centenary Project Committee, is currently keen for Rotarians to back the recent Aviva Community Fund bid we have made for £10,000.  To vote for our project you will need to register on the Aviva Community Fund Website.  You then receive 10 Votes, which I hope you will choose to give to our project  Please ask family and friends to vote for us too – mine have already.  Please note that voting will close on the 30th May.       

On April 14th at Sands Restaurant in Glenfield our Curry evening was a great success, raising £1244 for the Presidents local charity Heart Safe – Leicester & Leicestershire.  Staff from Next brought some great raffle prizes.  Consultant Doug Skehan, who leads the Heart Safe project, was joined by members of his team from the Royal and provided an update on their work.  Thanks for making this happen go to Sanjay the owner of Sands for excellent food and not least to our own Rtn Debbie Alderstein . 

Our Technology Tournament at Leicester Grammar School on March 6th was a great success as you will have seen from some of the pictures on this website.  22 teams of 4 aged 14 to 17, including one for the accompanying teachers!! took part, from Oakham School, Beauchamp College and Leicester Grammar. The groups spent 5hrs grappling with the invention and building of a device, from a “flat pack” of unidentified useful parts and powered by a small battery, that could carry a small load along a “high” wire across a  “ravine” and safely drop it on the spot. For older pupils there was an additional challenge to bring their device back to the start .  All the teams completed a device and a surprising number finished their journey along the wire.  Leicestershire if not Britain certainly has got talent!! 

Thanks must go to Rtn Derrick Sadd for building the prototype in his kitchen and Rtn Colin Derrick his partner in crime, seriously though, doing a great job in bringing this Rotary tournament to Leicestershire.  They were ably assisted on the day by several Rotarian judges/advisers and Rtn John Saunders with his camera.  The enthusiasm of the teachers from all the schools and the young people, leave no doubt in my mind that next years Technology Challenge will be eagerly awaited  and somewhat larger.

On Sunday 10th May the Super Hero fun run, organised jointly by ourselves, the Leicester De Montfort, Leicester Novus and Rotaract Clubs, took place in Abbey Park. We featured in the Leicester Mercury on Monday 11th after a successful day.  The runners raised around £2000 for  their charities, but at this stage it is too soon to know how much we have made for the three charities i.e. Charity Link, Twenty Twenty and LOROS.  From our club thanks must go to Rtn Sue McEniff for organising the web site, marketing and publicity,  the 11 Marshalls we contributed  and especial thanks to Rtn Robin Sturgess on behalf of the Sturgess Motor Group our main sponsor.

Over 30 Rotarians and partners visited Norman and Underwood on May 5th where we learned about and saw lead sheeting being made, using a process which is little changed since the Egyptians and before.  Known for their work on Cathedral Roofs at home and abroad their Chairman John Castleman brought us up to date, describing the Company’s pride and honour to have been chosen to provide the lead lining for the inside of Richard the III’s Coffin,  personally fitted by John.   

In short 

  • Congratulations go to Des Cloak and Bob Rawlinson for their Paul Harris Fellowships for their outstanding service to  Rotary and the  Community of Leicester and Leicestershire
  • The Club will be making  donations of over £4000 to local Charities this month.
  • Kids Out 10th June at Wicksteed Park, Kettering. Volunteers please see Rtn Mark Simpson .

This will be my second, but also last news letter as Club  President.  We shall be welcoming in Rtn Paul Bonnett as President on 29th June.  I am having a thoroughly enjoyable year in office,  but without the support of my fellow Rotarians it would have been a very daunting task.  

President Stuart













Presidents Letter March 2015

Fellow Rotarians

It is my privilege to welcome you to our updated website. Over the next few weeks we shall be populating the site with sections for : – Members, The work we do in our Local Community, our Centenary Project, our Meet 4 Business Lunches, a Brief History of our Club and Links to the world of Rotary. As the site grows we would value your comments to help us on our way. Here are some of the events to come in the next few months.

So far we have raise over £70000 of the £150000 plus for our Centenary Project to extend and renew the Visitors Centre at Bradgate Park. We will need a substantial effort to enable us to make the target by the end of this year. A fund raising fun run in Bradgate Park on the morning of 21 June is planned followed by an evening performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. All the proceeds from the fun run and tickets sold for the evening event will go towards the Centenary Project. We encourage you to bring family and friends to join us in these events.

A Curry Night is on April 14th at Sands Restaurant in Glenfield, to raise money for the President’s Local Charity “Heart Safe” The programme aims to ensure that every young person passing through secondary education in the City and County Schools is provided with training in Emergency Life Support. Both to operate a Defibrillator and apply Manual Resuscitation. We had a great demonstration by Doug Skehan Consultant Cardiologist from the Royal last November !

The annual Super Hero’s 5k & 1k charity fun run and walk in Abbey Park, in conjunction with our daughter clubs Leicester De Montfort and Leicester Novus, is on May 10th.This is our second year and we look forward to all club members supporting us by spreading the word, if not participating. Proceeds go to Charity Link, Twenty Twenty and Loros

A collection at Morrison’s in Leicester on Friday 6th March, to raise money for, the Marie Curie Charity daffodil appeal. Let’s see if we can best last year’s £712.

At the same time Colin Derrick and Derik Sadd have arranged a “Technology Tournament” at The Leicester Grammar School, Great Glen, with some 20 teams from Oakham School, Beauchamp College and the Grammar School. That too takes place on 6th March between 9.00am and 3.00pm

Kids out trip to Wicksteed Park, Kettering for severely disabled Children from Leicester Special Schools 10 June 2015. A great District 1070 Rotary event. Let Mark Simpson know if you wish to join us on the day.

We are sponsoring Kim Francis from Rotarian Tim Lee’s Business, Cornerstone Insurance,  for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) at Grafham Water, Huntingdon, 25 July to 1 August. This event challenges the mind, the body and some would say the soul, on land and in the water for 7 days. Many past participants consider it life changing when addressing the club on their return.

President Stuart