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I attended the annual Rotary 1090 District Conference earlier this year in Torquay, and listened with great interest and humility to speakers who have achieved their goals, despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Clearly all those listening over that weekend would have reacted differently, depending on their own experiences and circumstances. I noticed a few with tears in their eyes, many with broad smiles and some, like me, in deep and serious contemplation.

Weeks earlier, Bjorn had asked me to take on the Chair of Youth Services for his year, and I almost immediately refused, stating that I had very little experience with children apart from bringing up my own three offspring, and I had absolutely no interest undertaking Youth. Bjorn persisted and after a great deal of thought and consideration, I still declined! Then, feeling a little sorry for Bjorn, a few days later, very reluctantly agreed.

Now, sitting in this conference hall listening to these inspirational people I felt a rush of adrenalin and a determination to ‘do my best and seek my own goals’. After speaking to Albert, David and John, I soon decided on a course of action. RotaKids!! Start a Rotakids club. Now, I am all too aware of my own failings and limitations, and realising I needed a softer voice and character to help me with RotaKids, I approached Shaena.

Shaena’s reaction to my suggestion to join Youth, was met with as much negative enthusiasm as my own initial thoughts, so I employed Bjorn’s arm twisting techniques with Shaena, and boy O boy did that work. Shaena came on board with an energetic zeal that surprised me and for which I am truly grateful. Shaena will be taking the lead with RotaKIds.

It gives me immense pleasure to announce the formation of The Rotary Club of Faringdon & District’s first RotaKids Club. Enrolment has started and the first meeting of Rotakids will be on Wednesday September 17th, 4.30 to 5.30pm. Venue across the road from The Bell Hotel, Faringdon, in the Pump house.

Sincere thanks must also go to Kealy Whenray of the Pumphouse Project, for her enthusiasm and willingness to give her time and enormous experience with Youth in our area. And to the

Interactors, who have agreed to support RotaKids by attending and helping at meetings, this in addition to their great work with Young Carers at Faze, which clearly must continue.

So, in answer to my question. Why go to District Conference? – Because it inspires us in our Rotary work. The theme of Conference was

– and on this occasion - John Nightingale Chair. Youth Services

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