Almost everybody has heard about Rotary Clubs but how many of us know what they’re about?
Rotary International has more than 34,000 clubs worldwide and one of them is based in West Wickham. In the spirit of Rotary across the world the club provides service to others, promotes integrity and aspires to advance world understanding, goodwill and peace.
West Wickham Rotary sees itself as a friendly club with men and women as members. They are a range of ages with a variety of careers and interests. Their motivation for being part of Rotary may vary but they are like-minded people who enjoy fundraising for communities both close to home and internationally.
It’s not all serious at West Wickham Rotary as they enjoy social events and they visit their sister club in Sedan, France every other year and act as hosts to them in the alternate years.
Their annual firework display, which is one of their major fundraising events, attracts up to 3,000 people and the Christmas collections with Father Christmas are well know but they do respond quickly if they hear of a natural disaster. They support several charities including Juvenile Diabetes, Demelza, End Polio Now, MSF and St Christopher’s Hospice.
West Wickham Rotary Club was formed in 1934 and to celebrate their 50th anniversary in 1984 they raised over £5,000 for local charities and £2,000 for the Polio Plus Campaign.
There have been many notable achievements over the years including raising funds to build a games room in Cheyne Hospital in 1972, promoting a four day careers exhibition at the Arnham Gallery in Croydon and in both 1979 and 1984 they staged a four day Leisure for Pleasure exhibition promoting arts and crafts. For over 40 years the club has contributed to supporting pupils at the Starchi School in Kenya.
With overall membership of West Wickham Rotary Club both ageing and dropping in numbers it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to carry out the projects that they’d like to but they are able to make significant contributions to local charities with the revenue from the Bonfire Night and Christmas collections.