Rotary Club of Rochdale

Rotary & Local Schools.

We have links with several schools, Wardle High School, Falinge Park High School, Oulder Hill Community School & Redwood School and St. James' Primary. A member of Rotary acts as a liaison officer for each one. Some of the activities are shown below.

Thursday, 25th of January, 2018.

For the first time, our club was responsible for organising a local Youth Speaks heat. The venue was Falinge Park High School. Rtn. Ravi Sharma led his team with particular attention to detail, resulting in a successful event - indeed we have been asked to repeat the exercise again next year.

The four schools involved were Falinge Park, Beech House, Oldham Hulme Grammar & Bury Grammar. Unfortunately, the Senior team from Oldham Hulme couldn't take part owing to illness, leaving just the two from Bury to fight it out to go forward to the next round.

The four intermediate teams all gave a good account of themselves, but only one team could go forward to the District 1285 Final at Frodsham in March.

The results... For the intermediate teams, Falige Park's team of Iman Kazmi (Chair person), Farah Khan, (Speaker) and Shannon Hitchings, (Vote of thanks), speaking about 'Golden Nuggets' were successful, and Bury Grammar's team of Sophie Parker (Chairperson), Hashim Tahir (Speaker) and Amaan Sadiq (Vote of thanks), speaking about 'Only a Game?' will also go forward to Frodsham. Hashim was unwell, and didn't want to appear in the team photograph.

Rtns David Smithard & Neil Williams were the time keepers, Rtn John Kay was the MC, Rtns David Acton & Mike Tomkinson were external stewards and Richard Rhodes was our contact at the school. Rochdale Inner Wheel looked after the interval refreshments.

PP John Cannell.

On 12 February 2015 our club had a visit from this year's Youth Speaks team.  This was a near real time flavour of the competition heats which are on the way. 

The title of the speech was" I'm worried ". This year the Falinge Park Team take a look at the sense of "Normality". The entire speech has been written by Ethan Marriot, Member of Youth Parliament for Rochdale. It takes a look in to the minds of teenagers and their struggle in life on the decision of conformity or to express themselves in their own manner and the perils that can bring. Ethan has participated in YS competition last year and got the Best Speaker award at District level. He has put a team together with Tahir Ali and Tabitha Rusden.  The students have spent several weeks writing, preparing and practising both during and after school and hope to progress in the latter stages of the competition. As a school  Falinge Park High have been extremely proud of their dedication and commitment during this time. 
The team also received a balanced feedback from the fellow Rotarians.


Rtn. Ravi Sharma.


Falinge Park School Award.

July 2013. IPP David and Ravi attended the school to present the Most Improved Student Award. the winner this year was Jamiliah O'reilly. Her name is on the shield. She also received a cheque for £25 and a replica shield to keep. They also saw the Growbags that the school is experimenting with.


 Kids Out – Gulliver’s World – 12th June, 2013
We all met at Redwood, Commander David, the kids, the staff, 9 Rotarians (4 from Rochdale East) and 1 Friend. Mobile numbers were exchanged – a difficult exercise for some Rotarians who have difficulty remembering complicated things. We arrived at Gulliver’s World glancing with some trepidation at the overcast sky.
Things started badly. The first ride we tried was in very shallow boats which were unceremoniously dumped into a narrow channel. Much water was shipped and the occupants, still very damp, rode on with their feet submerged. The excitement level was intense as we proceeded at a break neck 0.5 mph. What a disappointing start! Wet through and bored!
But things rapidly began to improve. As we further explored the Park, we discovered many more rides; some were quite sedate, which suited quite a few of the children and most of the Rotarians; others, like the roller coaster, were somewhat more adventurous. Some children insisted on going on them all and a few select Rotarians reluctantly accompanied them!
At least one Rotarian managed to snatch a short nap, no doubt worn out by command responsibilities and probably dreaming of grow bags!
At lunch time, we were royally fed with refreshments provided by Countryside Caterers, a.k.a. David and Sheila Acton.
The weather looked kindly on us and remained fine all day and we returned to Redwood late afternoon, tired, happy and, some of us, still wet!
Feedback from Redwood was very appreciative; everyone had a great time.


Dean Sherriff.


Success for Rochdale Schools!

Wardle High & Falinge Park both have entered the Youth Speaks Competiton this year. At the District heats, both schools took part. Falinge were elected to go forward to the District Finals at Frodsham, which took place on Sunday the 3rd of March 2013.

Falinge came second in the Intermediate section, and will now go forward to the Regional Finals in Preston on Saturday the 23rd of March. The team also received awards for the Best Speaker and the Best Vote of Thanks. The team consisted of Kavee Ferdous, Chairperson, Ethan Marriot, Speaker and Maria Ferdous, Vote of Thanks.

Wardle also entered the Young Musician competition, with three entrants, one instrumental and two vocalists. One of the vocalists has won through to the next stage, which is in Clitheroe on the 17th of March. Tim Hudson played the violin, and the judges must have had great difficulty in deciding who to put forward, as Tim's performance was very good indeed to my un-trained ear.
Keiran Mills and Emma Konnanov were the vocalists, and Emma won through.


Update - the next rounds...

The next round of the Young Musician competition was held in Clitheroe on the 17th of March. President David, myself & our spouses went along to support Wardle's entrant, Emma Konnanov. We enjoyed an excellent afternoon of music, to a very high standard. Emma, unfortunately was outclassed this time. Afterwoulds she commented that she had enjoyed the challenge and felt stronger after the experience. This, of course, is what it's all about....
The next round of Youth Speaks was the next weekend, Sunday the 24th. I couldn't be there, but President David went over to Preston to encourage Falinge in their attempt to progress to the national finals. However it was not to be. Again, the very high standard of competition was too much. But I'm sure that they'll be back next year to try again!
PP John.
PP John.


Thursday, 31st of January, 2013.

President David accompanied by Ravi Sharma & PP John Cannell, went to Bedford High School at Leigh to support Wardle High School and Falinge Park High Scool in the Youth Speaks District heats. Falinge succeeded in going through to the next round at Frodsham in March. Wardle, also with a new team, were not so fortunate, but promised to return next year and try again with better preparation.


Thursday 3rd of May, 2012.
President Joan, accompanied by IPP John Cannell and President elect David Smithard, visited Wardle High School to present awards to the Young Chef contestants, who took part in the District finals on the 6th of February. We were made welcome by headmaster Dr. Graham Wright and introduced to the year 7 assembly area, where the presentations took place, introduced by teacher Emma Butterworth, who organised the heats in school.
The winner at Wardle, who went on to represent the school at the District Finals was 11 year old Hannah Timperley, who received a set of Chef's Whites and a certificate. She was mentioned specifically by the judges for a fine effort at her first attempt.
The runners up, who also received certificates, were Iona Hendry, Niamh Hendry, Helen Mather and Eleanor Drysdale.


Tuesday 8th of May 2012. Falinge High School.

Falinge High School Rotary liaison officer Ravi Sharma, accompanied by Rotary President elect Dr. David Smithard and Immediate Past President John Cannell, today attended their afternoon assembly to present this year's 'Most Improved Student' award.

The award this year went to Crystal Campbell, for her greatly improved maths. As is often the case, you don't know what you can do until you really try, which Crystal did, and overcame her difficulties.

Crystal is the 10th student to win this award which is presented to just one student each year, so it is a significant achievement.

Wardle High School Presentation Evening, Thursday 22nd of November.
I accompanied President David to Rochdale Townhall to present the Most Improved Student Award this evening. We were taken to the Great Hall, where one of the school bands was playing. We later found out that this was their first public performance. As expected, they were very good, and will, I'm sure, be contest winners in the future.

Headmaster Dr. Graham Wright told us in his introduction that the school had enjoyed its best ever GCSEs performance, beating or being very close to other schools in the borough. Good news indeed.

The Most Improved Student this year was Louise Johnson, who exeeded all expectations in her GCSE results. She intends to go into the 6th form and on to university to study nursing.

The event concluded by 20:15, allowing us to spend some time talking to the headmaster and other staff members. There is a positive interest in taking part in several of the Rotary sponsored competitions, and I will keep in touch with the school to ensure that things go according to plan.

PP John Cannell.

ROTAKIDS Club at St James ' School
Our club has recently formed a Rotakids club which is based at St James'Primary School in Wardle on the Pennines side of Rochdale.
Through a link with our Vocational Chairman Allister Holt various visits were made by members to the school and a Club presentation resulted from
Head Teacher Catherine Aden .The school has for some time been increasing pupil participation in school affairs and on various school management committees.
An example of this was in the pupils having the final say when it came to the upgrade of the playground.
The Rotakids certificate was presented to the school recently by President David Smithard(see photo) and joint activities are planned.
A particular mutual interest is in the Environment and a project for 'Climate week' in March 2013 is being planned

Fairtrade Coffee Morning at St James School Wardle 28TH Feb 2014

The pupils at St James are raising money to buy school uniforms for children aged 12 to 14 at a school in Namibia. They have found out that attendance at school there drops off after the age of 12. School uniforms are handed from child to child, year after year, but because there is no one aged 12 or over to hand down a uniform, and they can’t afford to buy one, the children just can’t go to school. St James’s pupils thought this was one problem which could be solved quite simply - provide uniforms and enable the Namibian children to continue their education. They have a Rotary grant of £250 which they must match, and they decided to hold a coffee morning as a start towards their goal.

It was held on Friday 28th February in the school hall, during Fairtrade Fortnight. Living so close to the school I was able to attend their assembly before the coffee morning proper started. Their speaker was Jan Hicks from Fairtrade Rochdale who spoke wonderfully well, and really engaged the children. She was full of interesting information and they all listened attentively. I certainly learned a thing or two. The assembly was also attended by many parents, Friday morning assembly is open to anyone who is interested, and on this occasion we were graced by the presence of the Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale.

After the assembly the children filed quietly back to their classrooms and the room was set up with tables and chairs. Some of the older children stayed behind to help and to serve coffee and cakes. All the tables were filled with parents and Rotary members who came to support the event, and was much noisier than at any time the children were there! The coffee and cakes were extremely good and the children very polite and helpful, we all enjoyed the pleasant low key atmosphere of genial interaction. A great many cakes and buns had been made by the pupils and school cooks for sale to the pupils during breaks and lunch times, also to raise money for uniforms. Fortunately I had pre-warned our President of this fact so he was able to bring a container to carry his supplies away from the school.

The event was a huge success with many more people attending than last year. Their efforts raised about £270.00 which exceeded their expectations and is enough to match the Rotary grant. Catherine asked me to thank all the members who supported the coffee morning and a big thank you to those who sent donations because they couldn’t be there.

This is a school we can be proud to call our Rotakids School.

 Joan Elbourn (PP)





Redwood school Events.

Rochdale Rotary club have had a long association with the Innes School and since the reorganisation of Special Needs teaching to Redwood school on the Oulder hill site we have continued to keep in touch .We have supported them in their educational programmes particularly the workshop activities producing high quality jewellery and banners to mention just a few aspects.
2 events recently were the much improved student awards for year 10 and a fun day out at Camelot theme park.
Our liaison Rotarian is Past President (twice!) Dean Sherriff
Photographs show the well deserved recipients of the awards for 2009 and 2010.
Rotarians accompanying the children to Camelot were able to remember their own childhood again

On 7th April Headmaster Stuart Pidgeon ,Dave Butterworth Youth Development Coordinator and Garry Smith Physical Education and Healthy lifestyles Coordinator came to show the Rotary club the wide range of activities now available at Redwood.This includes a Youth club enjoying all sorts of activities including traditional art activities,enjoying music of various kinds,keeping fit and more unusual sports for young people such as golf .Also a holiday club has been formed providing an opportunity for young people with special needs to take part in a week of fun.

Sponsors of the Youth club have included local entrepreneurs and businesses and anyone wishing to find out more should contact Stuart at the school.



Contact Information

Rotary Club of Rochdale

Masonic Buildings
Richard Street
OL11 1DU

Tel: 01706 767409

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