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Eleven Rotarians, hitherto unsung heroes are this year’s Champions of Change following nominations being made by their District Governors. They epitomise efforts made in one of the two categories for International or Domestic projects.

The four Rotarians who will receive an award for their volunteer work, primarily focused on addressing humanitarian concerns within Great Britain and Ireland, are:

  • Grant Stephen of the Rotary Club of Duns, Berwickshire, Scotland worked to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s Scotland, with steps being made for Duns to be recognised as a dementia friendly town.
  • Therese Brook of the Rotary Club of Chichester, Harbour has played a key role in the Welcome Boxes project, which provides families who are relocated following instances of domestic violence with essential food items for their new accommodation.
  • Alison Sutherland of the Rotary Club of Cardiff Bay has worked with refugees and asylum seekers in the Welsh capital. Working with a local help centre, programmes are in place to help provide the centre’s residents with methods of integrating within their new communities.
  • Kevin Walsh of the Rotary Club of Brampton & Longtown, Cumbria organised a project to provide mountain rescue teams with updated equipment including an automatic chest compressor for climbers who had suffered heart attacks.

The following seven Rotarians will receive an award for their work internationally:

  • Ian Dow, of the Rotary Club of Aberdeen St. Nicholas, had hands on involvement with the club’s Education in The Gambia project, which has provided teacher training and educational equipment for a fishing village in the country.
  • Robin Hamilton of the Rotary Club of Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland whose involvement with the Kalimpong Project has helped tackle the problem of human trafficking in North East India by providing shelter homes and Vocational Training Centres.
  • Joy Palmer-Cooper of the Rotary Club of Alnwick has been involved with Project Sri Lanka, whose initiatives provide long-term community development for areas hit by the 2004 tsunami.
  • Barry Pollard of the Rotary Club of Harrogate Brigantes has developed and led a project, which improves education in rural Nepal, with a particular focus on IT.
  • Roger Neuberg of the Rotary Club of Oadby organised a project, which provided 32 motorcycle ambulances to eastern Uganda, to reduce instances of women losing their life during labour, as well as responding to other emergency calls.
  • Himansu Basu of the Rotary Club of Northfleet with Ebsfleet led a team of Rotary members who travelled to India as part of the Collaborative Action in Lowering of Maternity Encountered Deaths (CALMED) project.
  • Peter Bradley of the Rotary Club of Edgware & Stanmore has helped to raise over £1 million following the Ebola outbreak. As a result of Peter’s contribution, Liberia has become Ebola-free with schemes in place to train new medical professionals.

This year’s awards are taking place at the House of Lords, on Wednesday 20th April and will be hosted by Baron Inglewood of Hutton in the Forest in the County of Cumberland.

Minister for Civil Society and MP for Reading East Rob Wilson will be presenting the awards. Mr Wilson has a keen personal and professional interest in encouraging people to engage in social action, volunteering and the Big Society Initiative, a key principle of Rotary.

It’s never too early to be on the look out for a fellow Rotarian who deserved to be recognised in next year’s Champions of Change. Talk to your Assistant Governor or District Governor and tell them about your nominee and their great work. You could be sitting next to one.

News article from RotaryGBI

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