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
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.
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”
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.
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 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?
Saturday was a wonderful day for our MK Buzzards as they joined with many other teams for a day of inclusive football with MK Dons SET for a series of fun matches before travelling to the Dons game against Doncaster at the stadium in Milton Keynes. It was simply fantastic at half time to join with all the other disability teams and parade around the ground to meet the crowd.
Our team meets on Tuesday evenings at 6pm at Gilbert Inglefields Academy in Leighton Buzzard, we are looking for new members to join our team simply call Dean on 01908 622937 to find out more. Its FREE to play.
Tennis joins our club on the 19th April.
We are really excited to announce the start of disability tennis as a new sport for the club. Sessions are being held every Thursday at 6pm at Linslade Tennis Club , Mentmore Road, Linslade with club coach Sara. You just need a pair of trainers as all equipment is being provided. We even have an indoors practice room in the event of rain. All the sessions are free to join contact:
Bowls comes to town on Sunday 22nd April
Thanks to the support of Leighton Buzzard Bowling Club, our second summer sport joining the club is Bowls. We hope you watched the Commonwealth Games on the TV and have seen how much fun it is. Our club will meet every Sunday in Grovebury Road Leighton Buzzard at 10am. Don’t worry if you haven’t played before because lessons will be given and we will provide all the equipment. Just remember to wear a pair of trainers. Yet again we are pleased to announce that you can join and it is FREE.
To learn more contact
YES WE CAN……..
The YES WE CAN…… disability sports club was established by the Rotary Club of Leighton Linslade to provide a wide range of sporting activities for Leighton Buzzard and the wider district and thanks all its partners for their fantastic support.
Can you answer this question?
How many times a day was the pillar box in Market Square emptied in 1906?
Then you should enter the BRAINS OF LEIGHTON LINSLADE
Join us for the 15th year of our very popular team quiz.
Its a great evening as teams of four contest for best team, best club or best business.
The evening is full of fun questions and has a break for a really tasty hot meal and desert and includes a vegetarian option. Drinks are available at your table and are served by our volunteers.
Make up a team with your friends and colleagues and help us raise money for our local NSPCC.
Recently he extended his vision with the support of the Rotary club to undertake the funding of disability sport in our community for a minimum of three years. This exciting project is supported by five partners, Families United Network, Mencap, MK Dons SET, Silver Arrows and long term provider of swimming in Leighton the Otters.
Leighton Buzzard Mencap is a voluntary organisation founded in Leighton in 1968 for people with a learning disability and supports young people in their Hi5’s and 18 plus groups
Families United Network (FUN) is also a voluntary organisation and has a purpose designed centre in Luton supporting children and young people across Bedfordshire living with additional needs or disability.
We have christened the new club, YES WE CAN …… as we believe this is just the start and with the support of our fantastic sporting community we can include many more activities in the future.
The project is kicking off this Saturday with the launch at the Scout Centre in Grovebury Road. We are delighted that our local double archery para gold medal winner Jessica Stretton MBE is opening our project.
Our project is about helping all young people with a disability, we are looking forward to seeing them play football at Gilbert Inglefield School, Archery with the Silver Arrows and supporting the long standing programme of the Otters at Tiddenfoot. Sport should be enjoyed and open to all and that’s how its going to be in our community
Yes we Can …… Is open to all young people with a disability, please come and join its going to be fun.
Please contact us at:
or message us on Facebook at
We are looking for new partners to join us and develop our project further, why not phone Dick on 01525 211484 to find out more.