The Club assists other local charities’ fundraising by offering them stalls free of charge at annual Spring and Autumn Fayres in the Town Hall,with Club members selling refreshments to cover the cost of the Hall hire. Financial and personal support is given to Northdale Horticulture, a charity providing work and social involvement for vulnerable adults. The Club also supports regional Games for Disabled People, and provides transport for the athletes. Cinema events are held regularly in elderly care homes and local schools. The Club helps youngsters, by running debating competitions for primary schools, funding youth leadership courses to develop individuals’ confidence and character, hosting an annual young musician competition and gala concert, and annual technology tournaments to encourage school children’s interest in science and engineering.
The Club also funds a programme to help pupils who are struggling in the school system. Rotarians frequently carry out collections in the High Street and in supermarkets in response to disasters, sending substantial sums in recent years to flood-hit areas of the North, and Shelterboxes and Aquaboxes to disaster-hit areas around the world.Rotary is a world-wide network of clubs who can channel charitable funds securely and directly to the point of need. For 6 years Northallerton Rotary Club sponsored student teachers in Zambia, who without help would not have been able to attend teaching college. Other international projects have provided clean water and sanitation to remote schools and villages, and contributed to sand dams, which allow precious water to be stored in sand for future use in dry seasons. Since 1985 large amounts of money have been donated to the Rotary/World Health Organisation project to eradicate Polio worldwide. Only a tiny number of cases are now being reported in just 3 countries, whereas Polio was endemic in most countries when Rotary took on the challenge. For many years we have collected, sorted and shipped thousands of unwanted spectacles to be reused in African countries, transforming people’s lives. Finally, for the last 7 years Northallerton Rotarians have taken part in providing computers and training to schools in remote regions of Nepal, visiting every year and building strong relationships. After the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal, the Club immediately reinforced a link with the Rotary Club of Himalayan Ghurkhas in Kathmandu, through whom cash was sent to bring shelter to the homeless. Subsequently, on their advice the Club funded a herd of goats and associated buildings and fencing for a community in a high mountain valley. As the goats reproduce rapidly, the “goat bank” is providing sustenance to an ever-growing number of people. Being a Rotarian is more than meeting regularly for a convivial lunch and companionship. It gives members the opportunity to contribute strongly to the community. New like-minded members are always welcome.