VJ DAY 75 -ROTARY PEACE MARATHON

Constant Rain fails to dampen spirits at the Peace Marathon

Despite rain throughout, the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day went ahead undaunted in Leighton Linslade with a Peace Marathon. Runners and walkers completed in excess of the traditional marathon of 26.2 miles. The baton containing the names of the men who made the ultimate sacrifice in WW2 started its journey at 11 am from the Leighton Buzzard War Memorial after the playing of the Last Post and it fell to Andrew Selous MP, Dave Bowater Town Mayor, Farzana Kharawala Deputy Mayor & Simon Marshall Rotary President to ensure the safekeeping of the baton on the first two and half miles of its journey around the local area.

The task of keeping the Marathon going then fell to a wide variety of individuals representing local charities and organisations and Rotary would like to say a huge thank to all of them, so in no particular order, they were MK Dons SET, OMM Solicitors, Town Mayors Charity, Dogs for Good, MS Society, Buzzards Inclusive FC, Naval Cadet Corps, Leighton Buzzard Hockey Club, Guides, Bedfordshire Community Policing Team, Scouts, SSAFA, Veterans BC, Daniel Bingley Invictus Games Athlete, Friends Within ( Mencap), Otters Swimming Club.

Multi Invictus Games Medalist and Veteran Daniel Bingley brought the baton home, completing the last leg to the War Memorial ably assisted by Veterans Andy Milne and Bob Gair, where the baton was received by the High Sherrif of Bedfordshire Sue Lousada DL and Chairman of the British Legion Mark Freeman.

As the day drew to a close Mark Freeman read the 76 names from the scroll which had been held inside the baton as it toured the area, this was followed by Arron Lansbury of Heath Band played the traditional end of day music “Sunset” drawing to an end a memorable nine hours of physical endeavour in memory of some very brave men.

At the time of writing the final outcome in terms of donations is unknown, however, early indications are that in excess of £2,500 has been raised to support local charities. To make a donation click our Virgin Money giving link

Rotary Club President Simon Marshal himself a veteran said

“Rotary is all about action in the Community and as we chart a course through these unprecedented times it was a real challenge to construct an event to both honour the sacrifice of a special generation and also to highlight again the tremendous depth and variety of community organisations we have in our very special town. As events were canceled all around us I wish to say a personal thank you to Leighton Linslade Town Council and Bedfordshire Community Policing Team the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire Sue Lousada DL and our local MP Andrew Selous for having faith in what we set out to achieve and for their unstinting support. A special mention also to all the organisations and charities who came together to form an informal Rotary Community Corps without whom the event would not have been possible, and finally to the people of Leighton-Linslade who as ever have supported us, we hope you are proud that our Town has been able to hold such an event in these challenging circumstances”

PEACE MARATHON

ROTARY MARATHON FOR PEACE

“ The Rotary Club of Leighton Linslade are delighted that within current government guidelines we have been able to join with partners and pull together an event to recognise the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day and the end of WW2

The event will take the form of a Marathon Relay which will visit most areas of Leighton Linslade and Heath & Reach, with the runners or walkers carrying a scroll containing the names of those from the area who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The relay will leave a town centre location in Leighton Buzzard after the playing of the Last Post at 11 am and finish at the War Memorial at 8 pm with their names being read and the playing of Sunset at 20:08.

Each relay leg will be 2,194 yards acknowledging across time the 2,194 days that  WW2 lasted with participants visiting a number of notable local sites, such as the site of RAF Stanbridge and Oxenden House the HQ of WW2 Radar operations.

Whilst members of the public are urged not to congregate in large groups and to observe social distancing we are encouraging people to come to their door or garden to give the participants a wave as they go past. Routes are included with this press release.

Opportunities to donate to Rotary and its local partner charities will be available via virginmoneygiving.com  and the support vehicle accompanying the runners and it is hoped key points including the town centre will have a presence all day to raise awareness and help facilitate donations as well, which will all be going to charities operating in Leighton Linslade

We are very conscious that we are living through unprecedented times so we hope our community will understand that arrangements will be subject to change, possibly at the last minute and that we will be continually monitoring government advice.

YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHER COMPETITION

The Beauty of Nature

Our first photo competition for students

aged between 9 and 18

Many thanks for all the wonderful photos entered in our new competition. We split into two categories Middle School age and Upper School age. The judging was very difficult so we asled for help in judging from the Leighton Buzzard Photographic Club

They have picked three winners in each section. Our winners will all receive prizes

1st £50, 2nd £30 and 3rd £10

Thanks to everybody for entering

 

 

YES WE CAN IS A WINNER

Richard Johnson could have hardly visualised the fantastic success of the Yes We Can programme when he first suggested it in July 2017 on becoming President of Leighton Linslade Rotary Club.

He never dreamt that within two years it would win a national award from Rotary.

Richard, said: “What has been achieved has been remarkable and I hope Leighton-Linslade can become a centre of excellence for disabled sport.”

National Rotary President Debbie Hodge attended to present the trophy, and a special mention was given to Dani Harding, of Mencap, and Christine Munford, president of Otters Disability Swimming for all their support.

Christine said: “I never think of my swimmers as disabled; their abilities are just different, and who knows what normal is? I think it’s brilliant.”

The programme continues to gain recognition with the recent award of a Cheering Volunteering award by Central Bedfordshire Council and a spot on Three Counties Radio.

Parent, Andrea Hadden, whose seven-year-old son has autism and attends Linslade Tennis Club, said: “I can’t take my son to mainstream lessons, but [at Yes We Can] Bertie went from barely being able to hold a racket to doing rallies. He really suffers from anxiety and wouldn’t be able to go to a school club beacause he would need one-to one supervision. Yes We Can has been a godsend. It’s made such a difference.”

Parent, Tony Proctor, added: “I am a dad and I have two children with disabilities. The Yes We Can campaign has given my children and others alike the chance to be included in sports activities and provides social activities which the children would not have other than school. It helps them learn new skills and also helps to keep them fit through movement, otherwise they would sit indoors due to their abilities; they don’t have many friends to play with in an outside environment. It encourages them to explore what is possible and enjoy life.”

The aim of Yes We Can is to provide affordable and sustainable sporting opportunities to the disability community in South and West Bedfordshire, and now Richard and the team are looking at ways of casting its net to a wider audience.

A new venture in MacIntyre School, Wingrave, is actively being explored to see if MK Dons can provide sports sessions in the school, which supports children and young people with severe learning difficulties, autism and other complex needs. And, of course, Yes We Can is always looking for other sports clubs who would be willing to join.

Clare Fitzboydon, chair of Leighton Buzzard Hockey Club, said: “It’s been really really good. It’s been great.
I first sat down with Richard from the Rotary Club to talk through particularly what we could do; it was very new for our coaches and we felt a little bit nervous.First of all we went and watched the Yes We Can Football at MK Dons which was helpful and reassured us. We looked at the details and thought – let’s have a go!”

Clare and her team looked at some of the work the hockey club already did with the junior section and broke it down – meaning it was a learning experience for the coaches as well as their keen Yes We Can players.

The new students have picked up the skills quickly and one young woman is now playing competitive games with an adult group on Saturdays.

Clare said: “It’s taught us to really embrace inclusivity and our members are fantastic. We held a game for our juniors and Yes We Can group and mixed the teams. I hope other clubs can look at what we’re offering and reach out.”

Richard would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved in Yes We Can, from the Rotary club and the community who donate at its events to Leighton Buzzard Mencap, Yes We Can’s seven sports partners, and its sponsors.

He said: “I want to mention in particular FAI Autos of Grovebury Road who have committed to sponsoring the football team for three years, and Osborne, Morris and Morgan who are funding our multisports days in the summer holidays. We also receive support from Tesco, Waitrose and other foundations.”

Rachael Shirt, FAI Autos’s communications coordinator who has managed the sponsorship relationship, said: “Having the opportunity to be involved in such an incredible initiative is truly wonderful; the dedication and unbridled passion Leighton-Linslade Rotary Club and The Buzzards demonstrate in everything they do is positively inspirational.”

Paul Lockhart, practice manager at Osborne Morris and Morgan, said: “It is both a pleasure and an honour to sponsor the Leighton Linslade’s ‘Yes We Can’ sports initiative. The Rotary Club achieve fantastic things within our local community, and by partnering up with MK Dons SET they are making a real difference to the lives of children, young people and adults that would otherwise have never been possible.”

However, the interviewees, of course, also gave special thanks to Richard.

Andrea added: “Richard and his wife Sandra – I can’t praise them enough. They come and watch, talk to the parents and they have such a passion for the children. It’s not about them just setting something up. They really care and that comes across. I would say to parents definitely give it a try. Some people hear ‘disabled’ sports and think it just means physical disability, but its a disability group for everybody, whether its physical or whether a child has autism, aspergers – it’s for children in a special needs setting.”

Anyone who wishes to either take part in disability sport or assist the Rotary Club and its current partners in delivering disability sport, should contact the Rotary Club via its Facebook page or website, or call Richard on 01525 211484.

 

Yes We Can wins National Rotary Award

Leighton Linslade Rotary Club President Nick Inwards said

“Bringing home any trophy is a Fantastic achievement, bringing a National Trophy to Leighton Linslade is Monumental and almost unheard of. Helping to change people’s lives is truly Remarkable

Rotary is making a real and lasting difference to communities”

MAY FAYRE 6th May 2019


Its nearly May and time for our 30th very special May Fayre with lots of fun planned for the High Street and Parsons Close from 10am and lasting the whole day until 4pm.

We’ve organised lots of fantastic entertainment including fantastic BMX displays, a marching band,Philleas Fogg drifting by, a strong man and clown ans displays by local community groups. Don’t miss the fly past by a World War 2 Dakota just before 4pm.

All the favourites will be with us with fantastic entertainment at the Marke Cross, a giant Fun Fayre in the High Street with lots and lots of stalls. The park will be full of entertainment including giant inflatables, music, charity stall and the fantastic Rotary Burger Stall.

Don’t miss the fun, come early as its bound to be busy and bring your sun screen to enjoy all the fun of the day. 

See you all soon and have a wonderful day.

FREE ENTRY YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHER COMPETITION

  • Demo Image

Its spring time and a great opportunity for young photographers to go outside with cameras or phones to take two fantastic photos recording the ‘beauty of nature’. We have prizes for the two age groups and will display the winning photos in a Rotary event later in the year. Don’t be shy, entry is free and can be completed on line.

MAY DAY 2018

MAY DAY FAYRE BREAKS ALL RECORDS

The grey of dawn was just breaking over the town as the Rotary team gathered to complete preparations for the towns 29th May Day Fayre. The sky was clear and record temperatures were forecast. Over the next few hours we were busy welcoming exhibitors, setting up stalls, checking the sound system, liaising with the Police and organising our volunteers. As the town clock struck 9, all was prepared and people started to trickle through the High Street and rec. The May Fayre was under way.

Let me take you back almost a year to July 2017 when Dave Edwards called together his team to start the planning for this years Fayre.      Yes, it’s true it takes almost a year to plan and organise, Dave has always been the moving force to make the May Fayre such a wonderful success, it’s probably the largest outdoor event in Bedfordshire with over 20,000 people attending this year.

Our aim has always been to make the May Fayre a special day out for young and old. A chance to enjoy the Fun Fair and the kids inflatables. A time for local community groups to have the opportunity to have a stall in the High Street or Parsons Rec to showcase their activities. I love to spend time at the Market Cross and enjoy the fantastic entertainment from our community on show throughout the day. All our commercial partners pay substantial contributions to take part in the day. The profits of the day go to fund the professional entertainers in Parsons rec, the balance is used to support the many charitable activities across the wider community. During the day club president Richard Johnson OBE presented cheques to our local branch of the NSPCC and to the Otters Disability Swimming Club a founder member of Rotary’s Yes We Can disability sports club. We also send our thanks to MK Dons SET for again supporting us with their football stadium and to our Buzzards football team who show their skills in a game.

So what was new on the day?

The endless sunshine was a real bonus making the splash park a real draw for families to hang out and enjoy the fun and a picnic. Our biggest innovation was the development of our food village. We kept our favourite of the Rotary Burger Bar and added hot food franchises ranging from Caribbean to Asian food choices. The new Rotary tea tent was a massive success as was the beer tent provided by the Leighton brewery. The crowd relaxed and enjoyed the great sounds of our steel band and the display from Spectrum Community Arts. The kids loved our strong man and the stilt walker. The performances of the gun dogs was simply entrancing they were simply wonderful as were the ATC with their display and the terrific performance of the fire cadets, how did they manage in their heavy uniforms and equipment in the scalding heat.

As the day drew to a close the team started the long process of packing up. In the distance Dave Edwards was heard to say:

‘it’s time to start planning for next year’

We hope you all had a fantastic time, see you next year?