Welcome to our web site

Please explore the site and learn more about the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper.

These are just some of the things we do...


Welcome to Abingdon Vesper!

My name is Astrid and I have the privilege of being Abingdon Vesper’s President this year. Together with my husband Ben I have lived in the UK for more than 30 years, and we raised our two daughters here. I work as a translator and I am passionate about languages, travel and aquarobics. I also love Rotary, the work that this worldwide organisation does and the principles it stands for . I was lucky enough to be a Rotary Youth Exchange Student to the USA when I was young and thanks to Rotary I have made new friends in Abingdon, in the UK and all over the world!

The Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper is a small and friendly team of enthusiastic men and women of all ages, who live and work in and around Abingdon-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. We want to make a difference in our community, both locally, nationally, and internationally by taking action and giving back to our communities. As a team we organise fun activities to raise funds, and as a team we decide which worthy causes we want to support.

Before the lockdown, we met every Tuesday at the Hilton Garden Inn, but since March 2020 we have been meeting every 1st and 3rd Tuesday evening of the month at 8.00pm on Zoom and we intend to continue meeting this way until we are happy to meet in person again. If you want to join us on Zoom, please contact me so that I can send you the link.

One of my main aims for this Rotary year is to help clear up the environment, not just by litter picking in Abingdon, but also by actively supporting the Rotary initiative called End Plastic Soup.

Our biggest fundraiser is the Abingdon Food & Drink Festival, which normally takes place in June. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have had to cancel this event. Therefore, we are raising funds in different ways, not just individually, but also online, until we can meet again.

What do we do with the money that we raise? Many, many things!! Have a look:

Work with local groups

This includes:

  • Helping DAMASCUS in Abingdon with its work with young people and their families
  • Supporting a Christmas lunch from old people who would otherwise be on their own
  • Working with the homeless in Oxford, providing clothing during the winter
  • Making scrubs for the NHS during the the covid-19 pandemic
  • Litter picking as Rotarians in Abingdon

Canal boat trips for disabled or disadvantaged groups.

Each summer we hire a specially built canal boat for four weeks and take groups of disabled/disadvantaged people for a day on the Kennet and Avon Canal.
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Festival Spirit

We were instrumental in starting Festival Spirit, now an independent charity that, with the help of our members, takes people with life-limiting illness or major disability to music festivals. This year the charity will be taking groups to three festivals. All three of its trustees are members of Abingdon Vesper.
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Working in Africa

We have worked in the Mubende district of Uganda for over twenty years. From an initial project to provide hand-tools, our support has included a well for fresh water, mosquito nets for the hospital, mattresses for hospital beds, training in animal welfare by qualified UK vets, and development support for schools. We have provided business support and now have more than 50 microcredit schemes in the area which through many small loans give a huge number of people a hand up in improving their farming or starting their own small business to allow them to provide for their families. Members of our club have regularly visited these projects over the years.
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Disaster relief

We work with Rotary’s partner ShelterBox to provide a stock of emergency boxes which can be shipped to disaster areas anywhere in the world.

Eradication of Polio

More than thirty years ago, Rotary International vowed to rid the world of polio. Today polio is endemic in only two countries and the goal of total eradication is in reach. Abingdon Vesper members have regularly taken part in National Immunisation Days in India.
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If you can support us, please donate using this link

Astrid Nielsen-Schuurmans
President, 2020-2021