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Crocus Planting

Crocus Planting

20 October 2018

Abingdon Vesper members planted 5000 crocus bulbs on the roadside bank of Abingdon Hospital to help publicise the Rotary initiative and funding to rid the world of Polio.

Crocus Planting Crocus Planting
KidsOut day at Cotswold Wildlife Park

KidsOut Day

13 June 2018

On Wednesday 13th June the annual local KidsOut Day trip took place to the Cotswold Wildlife Park, when a large number of disadvantaged children from special schools in our area, accompanied by their carers, enjoyed a day away from school in beautiful surroundings and were able to meet many animals at close quarters.

The event is sponsored by the Rotary clubs of Oxford North, Oxford Spires and Abingdon Vesper, and is but one of many similar days out organised nationwide by Rotary.

Presentation of a cheque

Thorngrove School Donation to End Polio Now

09 March 2018

Following a presentation by Hazel Benton, Pupils at Thorngrove School, near Newbury adopted End Polio Now as their charity for the Summer and Autumn Terms in 2017.

They held had a number of fundraising events which included selling purple crocus corms, purple pinkie crocus lapel badges and having cake sales. As a result of all of their efforts they raised £1,800 for End Polio Now, which becomes £5,400, with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 2 for 1 matched funding.

This will contribute to the cost of 27,000 doses of the oral polio vaccine. So, each pupil at the school raised the cost of immunising 120 children against polio. A super achievement. Congratulations to all the children and staff at Thorngrove School.

Richard and Hazel Benton, members of the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper, were presented with the cheque by the Head Boy and Head Girl at a whole school assembly.

Purple4Polio logo

World Polio Day

24 October 2017

Since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative nearly 30 years ago, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year in 125 countries to just 37 cases in three remaining polio-endemic countries, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria, in 2016.

To sustain this progress and protect all children from polio, Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million per year over the next three years in support of global polio eradication efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match Rotary's commitment 2:1. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralysing disease could return to previously polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk.

Planting crocuses in Albert Park

Local Rotarians are among millions across the globe who are highlighting World Polio Day to raise awareness, funds and support to end polio. To mark World Polio Day, Rotarians across Britain and Ireland have lit up iconic buildings purple and held other events for World Polio Day, as part of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland's Purple4Polio campaign.

In Abingdon, Rotarians from the 3 local clubs, supported by District Governor David Pope, have planted 7,500 purple crocus bulbs in Abingdon's Albert Park, which will give a large splash of colour for all to see in the spring.

Charter of Culham Interact Club

Offical Charter of Culham Interact Club

02 May 2017


A new Interact Club made up from young people aged 12 to 18 who attend the European School in Culham has been formed.

The Club has been working for the last two years to raise funds to support a school in Nepal, the Gatehouse, a charity for the homeless in Oxford, and the Sue Ryder home in Nettlebed. They are eager to continue with this and to work to help other good causes in the future.

On the evening of May the 2nd, the Culham Interact Club was presented with its formal Charter by Joy Arnott, the District Governor of Rotary International District 1090. This is an important milestone for the club. The Club received its charter certificate, the President, Charlie Sayers, the medal of office, and all members received an official pin badge.

So far the club has raised over £1,000 by holding a number of events at the school, such as cake sales and face painting. It also held a collection at Christmas for essential items such as toiletries and underwear for The Gatehouse, a charity for the homeless in in Oxford. Their next event is at the Culham Festival where they will again have a stall raising funds by selling cakes and face painting.

The Culham Interact Club is supported by the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper.

The Interact club has 17 members, and they look forward to continuing their events to raise funds for good causes. All of them attend the European School and will transfer to the Europa School in September, where the club will be based in future.

President Charles Sayers said, “It's been a great year. We have had lots of fun, and importantly helped those worse off than ourselves, whilst at the same time we have learnt how to work as a team and get the best from everyone.”

Joy Arnott presented the Charter, supported by David Barnett, President Elect of the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper, who said, “It's been great to help these dedicated young people learn how to become the good citizens of the future, and to continue to support those who join the club in the future”

The Charter took place in the Schuman Hall at the European School on the evening Tuesday 2nd May, and was attended by members of the Interact Club and their parents, the school staff who have supported the club and Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper and Rotary District 1090. There were around 50 people present.

Interact is an international organisation which brings together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of “Service Above Self”, the motto of Rotarians throughout the world. Interactors discover how serious leadership can be seriously fun.

RYLA group on the water

Rotary Youth Leadership Award

16-23 July 2016


The Rotary organisation is about building a better society both locally and internationally, The Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper actively promotes that principle.

One way that it can help young adults is to promote The Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA), which is Rotary’s way of giving young adults at the start of their careers the opportunity to develop qualities of leadership, team working, initiative, communication and problem solving. RYLA is a week long course that includes activities such as abseiling, navigation, canoeing, sailing, high ropes etc.

Who can take part?

Young adults aged between 18 and 25, with leadership potential, from all backgrounds and experience are welcome to apply. The course is designed to develop the latent talents in candidates and to give them the confidence to contribute and become future leaders. Applications are particularly welcome from those who may not get the opportunity to attend a course such as this.

The course takes place at a specially adapted centre in the Snowdonia National Park, North Wales. The next date is 16 – 23 July 2016.

The cost

There is no cost to candidates as they will be met by the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper.

How to apply

If you are interested and would like to apply to be considered for a place on the July 2016 course, or would simply like more details, please use the Contact Form to giving brief details about yourself. We will then get back to you. Nominations of suitable candidates are also welcome from community groups and employers.

The closing date for applications is 28th February 2016.

More details can be found here:

"Hannah" on the Kennet and Avon canal

Barge Trips

11th June to 8th July 2016

The 2016 season of barge trips on the Kennett and Avon canal will be taking place from Saturday 11th June to Friday 8th July 2016.

More details can be found here:

KidsOut logo

KidsOut Day

8th June 2016

The 2016 KidsOut Day will take place on 8th June 2016. Members of the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper will be teaming up with other Rotary clubs to take children on a fun day out.

More details can be found here:

Junior competition winners
Senior competition winners

Photography Competition Winners

Autumn 2015

The Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper held a photo competition for young people living or studying in Abingdon, and entries were judged by local photographer Paul Viney from Paul Viney Photography.

In autumn 2015, the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper ran a Photographic Competition for young people (aged 7-21) living in or educated in Abingdon, as part of its outreach to youth in the local community. The challenge was to interpret the theme The natural world around us in a maximum of three photographs.

The overall standard of the entries was judged to be impressively high by local professional photographer Paul Viney. The awards made are, in the Junior category 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes to Heather W., Hannah H., and Scarlett A. respectively.

In the Senior category 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes went to Jemima M., Phoebe T. and Isabella P. respectively. Cheques and prize-winners' certificates were given out at school assemblies during February 2016.


Photography Competition

Autumn 2015

The Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper once again held a photo competition for young people aged 7 to 21 years living or studying in Abingdon-on-Thames. The theme of the competition was “The Natural World Around Us”.

Entries were judged by local photographer Paul Viney from Paul Viney Photography.

Teams racing in Rotary Dragon Boat Day

Rotary Dragon Boat Day

6th September 2015

The annual Rotary Dragon Boat Day was held beside the River Thames in Abingdon. Dragon Boat racing, craft stalls, BBQ, beer tent, tea tent, funfair, ... A great day out for everyone!

Visit the web site »
Chef demonstration

Abingdon Food and Drink Festival

7th June 2015

The second Abingdon Food and Drink Festival was held at the fantastic Miele Experience Centre.

Visit the web site »

Photography Competition

Spring 2015

The Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper held a photo competition for young people living or studying in Abingdon, and entries were judged by local photographer Paul Viney from Paul Viney Photography.


Dress a girl around the world

Spring 2015

Members from the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper recently donated pillowcases and other fabrics to the Oxford Embroiderers' Guild, to help them make dresses for girls in developing countries. To date, they have made over 150 wonderful dresses for the Dress a girl around the world project.

Chairperson Elaine Steele said that our contribution has made a big difference to the success of this initiative, and has said a big thanks to club members for all their help and support.

These photos show just a small sample of these lovely dresses that were made from donated materials. This is a fine example of when the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper has worked effectively within the local community to help others.

Visit the web site »
District 1090 Foundation Award

District 1090 Foundation Award

11th September 2014

Valerie Caswell presents President Ann Barnett with the District 1090 Foundation Award.

Dragon Boat racing

Rotary Dragon Boat Day

7th September 2014

The annual Rotary Dragon Boat Day will be held beside the River Thames in Abingdon. The aim of the day is to have fun whilst raising money for charity. There will be lots to do for the whole family - Dragon Boat racing, craft stalls, BBQ, beer tent, tea tent, funfair, ... A great day out for everyone!

Visit the web site »
ShelterBox logo

Concert in aid of Shelterbox

22nd May 2014

The 2014 Rotary Scholars organised a concert in aid of ShelterBox at the Holywell Music Room in Oxford.

Prize winners Stan and Justyna Majewska

Photography Competition

Spring 2014

The Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper held a photo competition for young people living or studying in Abingdon, and entries were judged by local photographer Paul Viney from Paul Viney Photography.

The topic for photographs was Abingdon-on-Thames, with an emphasis on the Thames. For example landscape, flora and fauna, people, life on or by the river.

Primary school prizes:

  • 1st Prize £50: Melissa Reeves
  • 2nd Prize £30: Justyna Majewska
  • 3rd Prize £15: Alex Horsham
Secondary school prizes:
  • Commended. Prize £30: Stan Majewska

Rome Twinning Visit

Rome Twinning Visit

23rd to 27th May 2013

Members of the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper, along with members of the Rotary Clubs of Breda Mark & Aa, and Sophia Antipolis visited the Rotary Club of Roma Castelli Romani.

Read more
Members of the winning quiz team

Vesper triumph again!

24th April 2013

Another successful evening's quizzing for Vesper as our team defended their title at the annual Rotary Quiz Challenge organised by the Rotary Club of Henley Bridge.

Competing against 11 other teams from Rotary clubs across the area, we triumphed in a closely fought competition, coming through in the last round to win by three points.

Ably led by President Elect Colin, the team comprising David and Ann Barnett, Stephen Goss, Linda Staniford, Sulwen Vaughan and Colin's friend, Simon, retained the Henley Bridge tankard which we won last year and have now won four times in the last six years.

Roll on next year - who knows, if we win it again we may get to keep it!

Trevor Bailey shows off his new hand cycle

Hand cycle

16th April 2013

Fifteen years ago local resident Trevor Bailey was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) at the age of 29.

Trevor approached The Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper for help in raising funds for a hand cycle and a solid frame wheelchair that could be attached to the cycle that would allow him to go on long bike rides with his family and to increase his independence. The club approved a donation of £750 to help fund this and Trevor raised the balance of the funds through a variety of sources including a sponsored cycle at the local leisure centre.

Trevor visited the club in April 2013 to demonstrate his new purchase and to thank the club for their support.

Members of the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper

Planting at Caldecott Primary School

12th January 2013

Abingdon Carbon Cutters (ACC) has been working with Caldecott Primary School and South Abingdon Children's Centre to raise money to develop a stimulating outdoor learning environment.

Thanks to the generous support of Abingdon Vesper Rotary, which paid for essential groundwork at a cost of £1,500, planting began on Saturday, 12th January. With the enthusiastic help of 20 volunteers ranging from parents, teachers and school governors to the Mayor, councillors, Abingdon Vesper Rotarians and members of ACC, a heroic amount of work was achieved in chilly conditions. An orchard, native hedge, trees and a hazel copse were planted in the first phase of this project.

A truly community effort, the project was delighted to receive financial support from the Jubilee Tree Fund through the VWDC. ACC would also like to thank Bunkers Hill Nursery for donating hedging plants and Ringrose Tree Surgeons for a load of wood chippings.

Delivery of matresses to Mubende Hospital

Delivery of matresses to Mubende Hospital

6th June 2012

Delivery of matresses to Mubende Hospital, recieved by the hospital adminisrator in the presence of Rotarians Robert Muyonjo and Noeline Nankabirwa. Three local radio stations represented the media for reporting in the news.

District Governor Niall Blair (left) presents President Chris Le Fevre with this year's International Banner

District Governor presents International Banner

1st November 2011

District Governor Rotarian Niall Blair attended Vesper's Club meeting and presented President Chris Le Fevre with this year's International Banner.

Judy Goodall from Chilton Wives presents a cheque to President Diane Clarke

Presentation by Judy and Norman Goodall on behalf of Chilton Wives

24th May 2011

Following a presentation by Hazel King to the Chilton Wives on Richard and Hazel's trip to the NID, Chilton Wives chose Polio Plus as their charity of the year. They held a cryptic quiz and quiz evening, raising over £640 for PolioPlus.

District Governor Elect Niall Blair (right) congratulates Andrew Bartholomew on receiving his Paul Harris Sapphire

Rotarian Andrew Bartholomew presented with a Paul Harris Sapphire

24th May 2011

At tonight's club meeting, Andrew was presented with a Paul Harris Sapphire by President Diane Clarke in the presence of District Governor Elect Niall Blair.

No-one has done more to earn an award like this in our club's history. The work Andrew has done has largely revolved around the villages surrounding Mubende in Uganda. Originally this was the provision of tools for farmers and then goats. He has provided his Happy Animal talks to trainers at Kulika's training centre near Kampala (including on one occasion a group of nuns) and village groups around Mubende.

When our involvement developed into micro credit, he then provided training for them on basic business skills and how to make best use of the loans, linking this to the farming/animal husbandry skills. Every group gets at least three presentations - Happy Animals, micro credit introduction, refresher. He has been back several times to some of the groups.

The contribution Andrew has made to the communities around Mubende is immense and cannot be quantified. His work has led to a huge improvement in the quality of life for so many people by giving them skills and support. It is no exaggeration to say that his work will have helped to prolong and in some cases save lives.

There can be no better example of Rotary's motto Service Above Self and how Rotary changes lives through direct action.

President Diane Clarke presents Louise Thomas with her Paul Harris fellowship

Rotarian Louise Thomas presented with a Paul Harris fellowship

24th May 2011

At tonight's club meeting, Louise was presented with a Paul Harris fellowship.

This was richly deserved for all the work Louise has done as a member of the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper. Over many years Louise has very diligently helped with organisations such as the local Stroke Club and Helen & Douglas House, given her time judging for the Rotary Youth Speaks competition, coordinated the organisation of the stalls at the club's Dragon Boat Event and helped with many other Rotary activities.

Louise's nature is such that she is always willing to help if she can and is the epitome of the motto of Rotary Service above Self.

The Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper presents members of Reading Quest with a cheque

The Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper sponsors Reading Quest

February 2011

In a world where reading is not just a way of burying yourself in the newest novel, but also an essential skill needed to gather new information, some of us are left out.

The Oxfordshire based charity organisation Reading Quest, set up 1997 by Penny Tyack, has truly taken on the quest of teaching those children who fall behind to read. Using tried-and-tested methods, Reading Quest helps children who struggle with the early stages of reading. They are given a course of intensive, structured, one-to-one daily sessions in school over a six-week period, and involvement from family and carers is welcomed.

Reading Quest volunteers are thoroughly trained by the former school teacher. They are called in by schools and help the children individually to read, letter for letter, phoneme by phoneme, word by word, sentence by sentence until, eventually, the child masters the text all by themself.

After Penn's speech in 2010, the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper decided to sponsor training sessions for volunteers.

End Polio Now logo

End Polio Now

February 2011

In February 2011 there will be an appeal for donations to help the End Polio Now campaign. In order to highlight the continued need to raise funds to end the spread of this dreadful disease, blooms of purple crocuses will be on display in and around Abingdon.

This is part of Rotary International's UK initiative and it is hoped that in October Rotarians and helpers will be able to beat the world record for mass planting of bulbs. Over 3 million bulbs have been ordered to meet this commitment.



December 2010

Being homeless
is no fun.
Being homeless
on the run?
Being homeless
falling from all walks of life.
Being homeless
painful reasons, trouble and strife.
Being homeless
does anyone care?
Being homeless
no fresh underwear.
Being homeless

Well, Abingdon Vesper care with underwear!

Each Christmas for the last 5 years we've taken pants off our members (fresh clean ones of course!) and given them to O'Hanlon House in the centre of Oxford. Underwear is one of the items of clothing that is rarely donated but always needed so we have focussed on an annual undies collection of pants, bras and socks. With cash donations we also purchase toiletries and items of warm clothing. Whilst our main collection is at Christmas, members support O'Hanlon House with clothing throughout the year.

Soldiers collecting shoeboxes

Christmas Shoebox Appeal

4th October 2010

Abingdon Vesper Rotary Club answered the call for the need to spread a little happiness at Christmas time to the British troops serving out in Afghanistan over Christmas.

There is a requirement for Christmas presents to be sent, these must be gift wrapped and presented in a shoe box and the whole package has to weigh not more than 2kg.

Rotarians from Abingdon Vesper Rotary Club contacted local businesses and informed friends in order to spread the news that they were seeking support. To their aid came some retail businesses in and around Abingdon:

  • Outdoor Traders provided empty shoe boxes
  • Clarks shoe shop provided empty shoe boxes
  • Boots provided toiletries
  • Millets Farm Shop provided sweeties
  • Frost Garden Centre provided Christmas cards

Thank you to all the businesses that responded so positively. Without their support it would make the job of getting Christmas boxes prepared so much harder for the Rotarians.

Along with this support Rotarians and family members donated of books, toiletries, games, sweets etc, as well as financial donations which were turned into Christmas time goodies.

Rotary members packing shoeboxes

A massive thank you has to be extended to Mrs Susan Jenkins of Sutton Courtney who teaches at Wycombe Abbey. She and the girls of Shelborne House (aged between 12 and 17) Wycombe Abbey decided that action was required. They baked and sold cakes which raised £200. This kind donation was given to the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper which was to be used for the Christmas Shoe Box appeal, further purchases of Christmas gifts for the troops was made with the donated money.

In order to ensure that the boxes were ready in time, on Sunday night (3rd October) eight Rotarians and friends gathered at an Abingdon home to prepare and make up as many Christmas Shoe boxes as possible. At the end of the 3 hour stint over 50 boxes had been completed.

More boxes were collected making the total 73 boxes. Ute Liersch and Sulwen Vaughan delivered the Christmas boxes to the Rotary Club of Bourne End and Cookham for onward shipment out to Afghanistan in time for Christmas.

The Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper at the Abingdon Air Show

Abingdon Air Show

2nd May 2010

The Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper attended the Abingdon Air Show to promote the club and its activites, and to inform people about forthcoming events organised by the club itself, and by other clubs in the local area.

Left-Right: David Pope, John Moland, Mira Malovic-Yeeles, Terry Kenyon, Sulwen Vaughan, Christopher Impey, Bob Taylor

St George's Day Celebrations

22nd April 2010

District 1090 covers a wide region with numerous Rotary clubs. Therefore it has been necessary to group the clubs into zones to ease the administration and networking of clubs.

Abingdon Vesper is in the Maroon Zone, which is made up of:

  • Abingdon
  • Abingdon Vesper
  • Oxford
  • Oxford Isis
  • Oxford North
  • Oxford Spires
  • Woodstock

The clubs within the Maroon Zone work together on some joint projects and an example this year was the End Polio Now appeal in February. All the clubs organised an event to highlight the issue of polio and raise funds to eradicate the virus.

Not only do the clubs meet to work together for joint causes but there is an element of fun injected into the relationship.

On the 22nd April there was a joint dinner for all the members, 86 members celebrated St George's Day at Wolfson College, Oxford. The guest speaker was Sir Peter Dobson.

End Polio Now logo

Thanks For Life - End Polio Now

27th February 2010

It is over 28 years since the last case of Polio in the UK. In 2010 Polio, a disease for which there is no cure, is still however a harrowing reality for children in 4 countries (Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan).

On Saturday 27th February, Abingdon Vesper and Abingdon Rotary Clubs joined forces to collect money outside Tesco Abingdon as part of the ‘Thanks for Life’ project, a project involving the clubs and members of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland, aimed at helping to eradicate polio throughout the world.

A total sum of £500 was raised, enough to pay for 1400 children to be immunised against Polio.

Santa sitting in his Abingdon Vesper sleigh outside Tesco

Christmas charity collections

12th, 19th, 20th December 2009

Father Christmas, assisted by members of the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper, appeared outside Sainsbury's in Didcot and Tesco in Abingdon to collect money for Rotary Charities. A magnificient total of just over £1250 was raised - thank you to everyone who contributed.

Proceeds from these collections will be used to enable us to continue our work with the disadvantaged in our local community and abroad that is illustrated by other pages on this website.

The new Bruce Trust Barge called <em>Rachel</em>

Life Jackets

19th September 2009

On Saturday, 19th September over 200 people, including users, hirers and donors, attended the launch and blessing of the new Bruce Trust Barge Rachel at Great Bedwyn Wharf.

President Sulwen Vaughan presents life jackets to David Bruce

As part of the celebration Sulwen Vaughan, President of the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper, officially presented the 34 inflatable life jackets to David Bruce as Chair and founder of The Bruce Trust.

This makes a total of 42 life jackets that Abingdon Vesper have donated to the Bruce Trust.

John May, Abingdon Vesper's Barge Trip coordinator, said “ They were most grateful and many of those present came up to me to say what a wonderful benefit the life jackets would be. We have improved the safety and enjoyment for many, many people on future trips. ”

KidsOut day at Cotswold Wildlife Park

KidsOut Events

June 2009

The Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper is a keen participant in The Rotary KidsOut National Day Out. This is the largest single day out for disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.

Over 28,000 children from all over the country take part - thanks to over 750 Rotary Clubs throughout Great Britain and Ireland who work with local schools and special groups to make this happen.

Team LeFevre

ShelterBox Challenge

18th-19th April 2009

For the second year running, The Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper took part in the ShelterBox Challenge to raise money for the ShelterBox organisation.

ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity specialising in emergency shelter provision.

ShelterBox logo
Team LeFevre joined a total of 38 teams and 152 contestants in the fourth annual Dartmoor Challenge. The Challenge involved navigating a 30 mile course carrying a 40kg ShelterBox containing everything needed to complete the course and survive and camp overnight on the moor (tent, food, cooking equipment, etc).

To date, Team LeFevre has raised around £1600, meaning that another 3 ShelterBoxes can be distributed to disaster areas around the world.

Four Rotary Club members gardening at Abingdon Community Hospital

Gardening at Abingdon Community Hospital

10th March 2009

Following on from the work in November, we have started the development of a number of wildflower patches. The first of these is in full view of Ward 2 where we planted some 300 snowdrops, 150 wild daffodils and 50 Summer Snowflake bulbs. Patients and hospital staff should get some pleasure out of this little development this year, but it will grow better and better with passing time.

Meanwhile, we are raising plants (cowslips in particular, but others as well) from seed to provide something colourful for people in Ward 1 to see out of their dayroom windows, and another phase of the wildflower project will aim to provide plenty of colour close to the sitting out area at the end of Ward 2.

End Polio Now logo

End Polio Now

21st January 2009

Bill Gates increases his challenge grant to Rotary by $255 million - a total of $355 million - for the eradication of Polio. See Rotary International web site for more information.

Santa sitting in his Abingdon Vesper sleigh outside Tesco

Christmas charity collections

20th, 21st, 23rd December 2008

Father Christmas, assisted by members of the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper, appeared outside Sainsbury's in Didcot and Tesco in Abingdon to collect money for Rotary Charities. A magnificient total of £1546.50 was raised - thank you to everyone who contributed.

Proceeds from these collections will be used to enable us to continue our work with the disadvantaged in our local community and abroad that is illustrated by other pages on this website.

Three Rotary Club members gardening at Abingdon Community Hospital

Gardening at Abingdon Community Hospital

10th March 2009

Braving the cold weather, nine volunteers from the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper descended on the grounds of Abingdon Community Hospital armed with forks, spades and much enthusiasm. Their aim was to carry out some basic garden maintenance - clearing weeds and fallen leaves, some digging of beds and the planting of Spring bulbs in tubs and beds.

President-Elect Sulwen Vaughan, one of the volunteers, stressed that this will be an on-going commitment as part of the Community Service obligations of the Club.

Teresa Revell, Support Services Manager for the site, was enthusiastic “What a fabulous job the Rotarian gardeners have done! Thank you very much - the tubs look great”

We look forward to a colourful display of bulbs in the Spring which will cheer patients, staff and visitors alike.

President of the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper, Richard Benton, presents a cheque for £2000 to Sharon Hylton of OXPIP

Local Family Charity Benefits from Dragon Boat Event

8th July 2008

The Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper recently held a presentation evening at the Four Pillars Hotel following the annual Dragon Boat Race Event, which was held on the River Thames in May. Representatives of the teams who participated were presented with shields and certificates. Many thousands of pounds will be raised in sponsorship by the participants and this will benefit a wide variety of charities both local, national and international.

A raffle was held alongside the Dragon Boat Event and this alone raised £2000 for the local charity Oxford Parent Infant Project, OXPIP. The cheque was presented by Rotary President Richard Benton to the OXPIP Fundraising and PR Manager, Sharon Hylton.

OXPIP (the Oxford Parent Infant Project), a registered charity since 1998, works within Oxfordshire to help parents and babies develop more loving and secure relationships.

OXPIP has now been able to extend its services into South Oxfordshire (based from Didcot). With the generous donation received from The Rotary Club of Abingdon, OXPIP will be able to continue to support the families based in Didcot and work to reduce the waiting list.

  • For more information about OXPIP and the work they do, see the OXPIP web site.

Rotarian Diane Clarke presents a cheque for £2000 to Carl Undery of the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust

Presentation to Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust

24th June 2008

On Tuesday 24th June 2008, Rotarian Diane Clarke of the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper presented a cheque for £2000 to Carl Undery, Income Development Manager of Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust (TVAC) at the Four Pillars Hotel, Abingdon. This money was raised by the Club selling raffle tickets for the Dragon Boat Event in 2007.

Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust's new EC135 Eurocopter

The Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust was launched in June 1999 and flies, on average, four times a day to provide a vital service aimed at getting people treatment within the 'golden hour' - the period of time when people have the best chance of surviving a serious incident. TVAC recently reached a remarkable landmark having flown its 10,000th mission, representing a huge number of lives saved and this is a very humbling thought. But TVAC's service comes at a cost - approximately £1.7m a year. With no funding from the Government, NHS or National Lottery, it depends on fund raising like Vesper's Dragon Boat Event to keep running.

A man wades through water carrying a ShelterBox on his head

Burma cyclone

6th May 2008

ShelterBox has responded rapidly to the need for shelter and water purification for the Burma disaster victims.

Below is the ShelterBox press release - shelter for 6640 people has been sent.

“May 6th - Myanmar (Burma): ShelterBox responds immediately to the devastating cyclone to hit Myanmar. 22,000 lives are reported to have been lost and 95% of houses are destroyed as the cyclone swept in-land after several days at sea. 224 boxes left from the pre-positioned site in Dubai over the weekend, 220 boxes have left from Melbourne, Australia and a further 200 boxes with two tents each were packed this morning at the ShelterBox HQ in Helston, Cornwall. A team of four SRT members are making arrangements to assist with the difficult distribution of vital aid”

Two members of the Abingdon Vesper team carrying a ShelterBox

ShelterBox Challenge

26th/27th April 2008

Four intrepid members of the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper undertook the 2008 ShelterBox Challenge on Dartmoor on April 26 and 27. They walked across Dartmoor for two days carrying a 25 Kilo ShelterBox which carried all they needed to survive the Challenge.

The ShelterBox Challenge is in support of a key Rotary charity, the ShelterBox Trust. ShelterBox Trust provides immediate relief for disaster victims all over the world and can get aid to victims within 48 hours.

A ShelterBox is a rugged container that holds a tent and other emergency aid for an extended family of up to 10 people. ShelterBox has so far since 2000 sent boxes to almost 40 countries and provided emergency accommodation for around 500,000 people.

The Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper ShelterBox team have undertaken to raise at least £1,000 in sponsorship money for the event.

A red pair of pants with smiley faces on

Pants for Christmas

22nd December 2007

Oxford has the worst record for homelessness in the UK outside London. Homelessness can arise for many different reasons and can happen to almost anyone. For homeless people Christmas can be pants. Or not as the case may be....

This Christmas the Club supported Oxford Night Shelter - with pants (and socks). In the weeks up to Christmas we ran a pants appeal, as the clothing items that homeless people often need most are fresh underwear and socks and people rarely donate these items. Several dozens of pairs were delivered by Lucy and Steve to the Night Shelter on Saturday, 22 December. See the Oxford Night Shelter web site if you'd like to help the Night Shelter too.

You may think we've finally flipped over the edge this year but at least you now know what to do with those presents from Aunt Mildred that don't fit!

Santa sitting in his Abingdon Vesper sleigh outside Tesco

Santa's Sleigh

December 2007

Just before Christmas Abingdon Vesper was joined by Father Christmas and his sleigh outside Tesco in Abingdon. Shoppers were entertained by Father Christmas and carol singing. Over £300 was collected in aid of Rotary charities.

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Liana Del Papa at her graduation ceremony

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in Abingdon

December 2007

Liana Del Papa from Ramsey, NJ USA was sponsored by her local Rotary Club to serve as a cultural ambassador to the Abingdon Vesper Rotary Club while pursuing a Masters degree in Forced Migration at the University of Oxford.

Rotarian Andrew Bartholomew talking to a group of villagers in Mubende

Trip to Uganda

October 2007

Five members of Abingdon Vesper travelled to Kampala and Mubende in Uganda, visiting projects and renewing friendships with Elijah Kyamuwendo from the Kulika charity and his colleagues. The greater part of our trip was spent at Mubende, a town some 100 miles west of Kampala which has been the centre of our past work in Uganda.