Rotary Clubs up and down the country are growing like never before and one of the biggest Clubs in Sussex – ‘Cuckfield & Lindfield’ – is leading the way with a new generation of members to boost up the older long standing team.
The club formed in the 1980s from a group of 30 and 40 year old business people, who wanted to be a part of a networking group whilst giving a bit back into the community.
Those founder members are still the back bone of the club 30 plus years on and are the brains behind many of our money raising efforts, which equates to around £20,000 plus a year for various charities.
The Rotary Club of Cuckfield & Lindfield is going back to its roots and is now expanding with some good local business people and some retired.
The new generation, as they are known, include local estate agent Jaime Wallden, 45, of Mansell McTaggart; mortgage broker and insurance consultant Karen Looker, 47, of Strawberry Finance; property solicitor Kirsty Perryman-Best, 37, of ODT Solicitors; will writer and trust consultant Sean Collins, 52, of Meridian Wills; and trusts and wealth and inheritance tax adviser Hugh Castle, 38, of St. James’s Place.
It is not just local business people joining the club - a couple of people new to the district wanted to get involved with the local community and meet people.
David Russell, 42, who with his wife and three children recently moved to Lindfield - David runs a teacher training agency for Colleges. Also, in Lindfield, neuroscientist Professor Judith Pratt ,61, has joined from the University of Strathclyde.
A retired Lindfield resident Roger Johnson, 75, formerly in data processing with ICL, has also joined and thrown himself straight into a very busy role on Community and Vocational Services.
We are proud of the surge of interest from new members, who are already inspiring us with their fresh enthusiasm and volunteering.
Rotary is an International club and our club motto of ‘service and friendship’ sums up what it’s all about. For many years, the public’s perception of Rotary is that it is often considered as an elite club of retired individuals or another funny hand shake group, but our new generation would urge you to make your own judgement and do as they have done and come along to a few of our weekly meetings at the Bent Arms in Lindfield and find out for yourself whether or not you could do a bit to help out. Unlike some networking groups, being a member is relatively cheap, there is a small annual subscription and you just pay for your dinner (£12) if you come to a meeting – that’s it.
You can do as much or as little as you like such as :- Raise money at Lindfield Bonfire Night or help with our annual darts marathon. Run a coconut shy or a mulled wine stall at village events. Help with reading lessons in local primary schools or even visit the school in Haiti where we are sponsoring a teacher.
Whether you have just moved into the area, started a business, recently retired or just bored and need something to do with a little bit of your valuable free time, you are more than welcome to come along and get an idea of what we do and how you might help.
The club is involved in many local, national and international causes and our 40 plus members are split into Committees who organise the various events. New members would not be thrown in at the deep end (Roger would dispute this, although he was perhaps in the wrong place at the wrong time!). As you can gather, we don’t take ourselves too seriously, we just have fun whilst giving a bit back.
As mentioned, we meet every Tuesday evening, so if you wanted to come along then please ring 07866 536277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Report and picture contributed by David Wilson, Rotary Club of Cuckfield & Lindfield.