Firstly, thank you for accepting me as President of the Rotary Club of Leicester for the coming year. I hope that I will be worthy of that honour. Thank you to Scott for his leadership over the past year and to all the Rotarians who have given service during that time.
The Rotary International President, Jennifer Jones, has set us the task of ‘Imagining Rotary’.
To me, this means that along with the 4 Action Plan points:
- Increase our impact,
- Expand our reach,
- Enhance participant engagement, and
- Increase our ability to adapt.
we need to be looking at how we can change, improve, revitalise and grow Rotary and our Club. We are already some way along that path and we will continue with the growth and development throughout the year.
Over the last year, our Club has gained 12 new Rotarians while, sadly, 10 of our members (mostly long-standing Rotarians) have retired. This is a 20% turnover in membership, so there is a lot of new energy, ideas and enthusiasm to be tapped into. I am keen that we encourage those new Rotarians as well as the existing core of the Club to be inventive and active through this year.
We need to build on the progress we have made with encouraging interest in what Rotary is and does and then convert that into new membership. In passing the membership baton on to Parmdeep, I know we are in safe hands.
Over recent years, we have built a stable of worthwhile projects that we are able to deliver annually and I would like us once again to deliver those and, where we can, find ways to improve upon them.
In addition, I want us to come up with some ideas for environmental projects and I have asked two of our newer Rotarians, Chetna Soochak Janari and Trusha Lakhani, to follow up on this.
My charity for the year is Focus, a Leicestershire-based charity that inspires young people, particularly those with difficult backgrounds or mental health issues, aged 13-25 years to develop the skills, confidence and aspirations to lead fulfilling lives and to make a positive contribution. As well as a programme of fund-raising and mutual profile-raising, I see opportunities for some of us to be able to directly help through our diverse life experiences.
As to fund-raising, Simon Gravett has agreed we should run a golf AMAM next spring/summer, Rob Bowman and Tim Alton are willing to take on another Music in the Park, Diana Esho will repeat the successful Women’s week tea party and Richard Power is taking on another gruelling challenge.
I am also having early discussions with Tara Pankhania about an exciting event she has in mind. All of these will need support from Club Rotarians and others to make them a success and I am always interested in more new ideas.
I hope we will have an enjoyable and successful year. Please feel free to come and talk with me if the mood takes you!
President Nick Thomson