January to March 2009

27th March 2009

The annual Community Service Awards ceremony took place on the 27th March 2009. Pleaseclick HERE for a link to a report in the Projects section of this website.

The following is a press release issued after the meeting:

A WILDLIFE group has earned a prestigious community service award - together with a cheque for £200 to help it with its work.

Pugneys Swan and Wildlife Sanctuary, led by Jenny Beecher, was presented with the Wakefield Rotary Club award at a special dinner at the New Brookhouse Club on Thursday (March 26) by the mayor, Coun Jacqui Williams - and now the club as a whole has accepted an invitation to visit the sanctuary in the near future.

Rotary community service chairman Peter Clarke said: "It has not been an easy decision but this year we felt that Jenny Beecher and the sanctuary should be honoured for all the work they have done, not only by responding to calls for help from all sections of the public, including local vets and other organisations, but also for dedicating 365 days a year to looking after countless animals and birds, rehabilitating them for return to the wild wherever possible."
Jenny first began looking after sick and injured animals about 20 years ago and in 2001 Pugneys Swan and Wildlife Sanctuary gained charitable status.

Mr Clarke said: "So impressed were members of the community service committee by the work undertaken by Jenny and her friends that we decided this year to double the usual £100 donation."

The mayor said she was pleased that the award had gone to Jenny for two reasons. First, the sanctuary was in her ward and secondly she has been keen to visit for several months.

Coun Williams paid tribute to those who volunteered their time in so many different capacities throughout the district. During her year in office she had had the chance to meet many people and organisations in the Wakefield area who were so willingly doing so much unpaid work to help others.

Mr Clarke added: "Last year more than 750 animals and birds passed through the Pugneys sanctuary and this year looks to be heading towards a much higher figure. This puts a strain not only on financial resources but keeps the 40-plus volunteers very busy. At present they are looking after 54 hedgehogs, several swans, ducks and other birds, a fox cub and other animals."

Dogs for the Disabled user Darren Brook receives at cheque from club president David Pickover. With them are Rotarian Roger Cressey, Rowan Martin and Millie12th March 2009

MILLIE the Labrador-cross was the star of the show when she demonstrated her hard-won skills by drawing the raffle at a Wakefield club meeting.

In return she gently accepted a cheque for £100 for Dogs for the Disabled - before it was handed to someone with a bank account.

Millie is a dog that is used to helping people - and to promoting the cause of the charity that trained her.

She is the constant companion of wheelchair-user Darren Brook, from Outwood. He was guest speaker at the meeting at the New Brookhouse Club with Rowan Martin, northern fundraiser for the charity.  She brought with her Buckley, a black Labrador puppy sleepy after a hard day's training.

Rowan explained that the charity trains specially selected dogs - Labradors or sometimes Labradoodles - to help disabled children and adults live life more independently. Each animal is trained in practical tasks such as opening and closing doors or helping a person dress or undress.

Dogs for the Disabled have recently opened a new centre at Nostell. "This will enable us to train more dogs to be paired with people in West Yorkshire and across the North of England, as well as better supporting our existing partnerships in this area," said Rowan.

It takes two years to train a dog at a cost of about £20,000, for which there is no government support.

The cheque was presented by club president David Pickover and a vote of thanks to the speakers - and to Millie and Buckley - was proposed by Dennis Edwards.


Wakefield president David Pickover hands over the cheque, this time to Darren Brook. Left is Rotary club honorary member Canon Roger Cressey with Dogs for the Disabled fundraiser Rowan Martin helping to keep puppy Buckley awake.


10th March 2009 


Please follow the link to see the story in the Projects section of this web site.


8th March 2009

Please follow the link to see the story in the Projects section of this web site.


19th February 2009

GSE team members Geoff Brown, Julie Hoole, Lisa Welford and Lynn Starsmore with President David Pickover on 19 Feb 09GROUP STUDY EXCHANGE TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

IF the people of Southern California didn't know about Sandal Castle and the Battle of Wakefield, they do now.

McMillan head and neck cancer specialist nurse Julie Hoole, who lives in Sandal, was one of a team who went to the States on a group study exchange sponsored by Rotary's Yorkshire District 1040. Julie was backed by the Wakefield club and on Thursday (19 Feb 2009) she and other members of the team were at the New Brookhouse Club in Sandal to talk about their experiences.

In the course of their visit last October and November, they promoted Yorkshire to a series of welcoming groups of Americans, while each of them looked at vocational areas relevant to their jobs.

The team was led by Geoff Brown, from Bradford Blaise Rotary Club, and the other members, apart from Julie, were Lynn Starsmore, from Hawes, Lisa Welford, sponsored by the Knaresborough club, and Tim O'Dowd, a paramedic from York, whose work commitments prevented him from being at the Wakefield meeting.

Julie said that she had wanted to understand how the health services worked in the States. "I found you have to have money to have health," she said, describing the way the insurance system worked.

She had been particularly interested in oncology services in California and she found the UK was ahead of America in terms of her speciality, head and neck cancer. There was a gap in specialist nurse care, illustrated by the fact that in Palm Springs she was offered a job.

"I turned it down," she said, "There's still so much to do over here.

"We talk about the postcode lottery but my visit reinforced my view that we have a great service. I work with a wonderful team."

Canon Roger Cressey raises a glass with club president David Pickover8th January 2009 - New Year's Message

WAKEFIELD Rotary Club has rewarded one of its honorary members with the highest honour it can bestow - for the second time.

Canon Roger Cressey, former chaplain at Pinderfields Hospital, was presented on Thursday with a clasp to the Paul Harris Fellowship medal he first earned for his year as club president in 1990. His second award was presented by president David Pickover when the canon delivered the traditional New Year's Message to Rotarians and guests at the New Brookhouse Club. The award is named after the founder of the Rotary movement.

Mr Pickover described Canon Cressey's influence as a ‘beacon' to the club whose members wanted to recognise his continuing spiritual help to them and the wider Wakefield community, for which he cared so much.

In his address, the canon called on the club to set up ‘a sort of local Prince's Trust' with more of the money members raised each year going towards targeting youngsters in Wakefield, especially those who were underprivileged.

He asked for a fund that would promote young talent in the fields of the arts, music, sport and what he described as ‘inventions'. "How wonderful it would be to be involved in watching and enabling vibrant, talented youth, giving them the chance of success, even fame, through Rotary," he said. "I would love to see this club supporting these young people and giving bursaries. That's why I am so glad that our arts festival is to continue. Rotary will be seen as a flag of hope and possibility, at least for artists," he added.

Canon Cressey later said Wakefield's youngsters needed to have a forum, rather like television's Dragons' Den, where they could talk about and display their talents. "They would probably come up with some startling ideas that Rotary could help ensure did not pass into oblivion," he said.