Dec 032015

The club met representatives of local charities to hear about their work and to present them with donations. The money was raised from our local community through the On Your Bike sponsored bike ride in April. Cheques totalling over £3,000 were presented to:

Age UK North West Kent
Alzheimer’s & Dementia Support Services
House of Mercy
Gravesesham & Dartford Phab Club
Waterside Family Support Centre
Hive Hope Food Bank
Hi-Kent (for the deaf & hard of hearing)

A few weeks earlier £7,000 was given to the ellenor for its hospice services.

Nov 082015

2015 Search & rescue

At our regular monthly dinner with partners and guests in November we were  given an insight into the workings of the KSAR and in particular the training and operation of the canine section of the service.

Jo Kenny, pictured with her dogs Bryn, a 10 year old Border Collie and Sky a 6 year old Hovawart are trained to search for specific missing persons, then return to their handler when the person  is found and guide the handler to the site.

Searching for hours at a time they will be rewarded for a ”find” with their particular favourite treat…. For Bryn this will be chasing a ball or a game of tug of war with Jo …for Sky a piece of cheese is ample reward..

The Service operates throughout Kent and in searching fields, woods and open spaces as well as rivers and lakes etc. is the lowland equivalent of the Mountain Rescue Service . All members are volunteers with full or part time jobs and are liable to be called out at any hour of the day or night.

KSAR is funded by public donation and Rotary President John Dyke, when handing Jo a cheque from the club members said that “To help the men and women providing such a valuable service to society is a privilege”

Bob Denby

Sep 152015

The three clubs of Gravesham meet annually for the  Gravesend Rotary Petanque Cup and on previous occasions the elements have almost defeated them. But this year the temperature rose,  the  drinks were cooling and the barbeque  was enjoyed by all.   So we didn’t win…that honour went to our daughter club of Gravesend and Meopham but who cared when the fun, food and fellowship was so  good. It really was an enjoyable  and relaxing day  and we promise we will try harder next year.

Bob Denby

Jun 042015

Hive Hope foodbank 2015 May sDeborah and Jeff Keys with a band of willing helpers open up the Hive Food Bank every  Wednesdays and Thursdays to help local residents  who cannot quite make ends meet.

On Thursday 4th June 2015 the Hive Food Bank celebrated its 1st birthday and  Deborah and Jeff Keys welcomed the President of the Rotary Club  of Gravesend John Baker who presented them with a  cheque to mark the event.

In thanking President John for the club’s  continued support Deborah said  “the day  has brought mixed emotions. We are glad that we are able to help those who cannot manage  but are sad that the need is there.

“We operate independently from the Trussell Trust in Gravesend ” she said, “we fill a local need not only for food but also for guidance towards other organisations that can help those in need”.

Since June 2014 around 1,000 clients have been helped and bags of food have been collected from  organisations such as Sainsbury’s Pepper Hill Superstore, local churches and shops  together with donations from the general public

“We help our clients as long as possible” said Deborah, “the majority are able to get back on their  feet within a month but we cannot let families and children starve just because we have reached a certain date in a calendar. We do not duplicate or encroach on the wonderful work done by the Trussell Trust in Gravesend but the need is such here in Northfleet that  anything we can do is welcome.

President John Baker  said that “Our club was formed over 80 years ago to serve the people of Gravesend. Today the needs of our local community is still our prime consideration and we are proud to be able to help Hive Hope whenever we can .

Bob Denby (photo John Dyke)

May 052015

Our Club responded quickly to the needs of Nepal following the disastrous earthquake. At our meeting on 27 April we decided to hold a street collection. The licence was obtained and the collection held on the following Saturday. There was a fantastic response from the townspeople of Gravesham. A total of £1,431.27 was collected between 10am and 4pm. The money has been sent to ShelterBox to support its work there. Thank you Gravesham.

Mar 162015

BreathEasy presentation 2015Recently the Club presented BreatheEasy Gravesham with a cheque for £200. Acknowledging this, its Treasurer said

“On behalf of the BreatheEasy Gravesham group I would like to say a very grateful and sincere thank you, to all of the Rotarians for thinking of us and nominating the BreatheEasy Gravesham groupfor another gift so soon after your earlier very generous donation. Once again our sincere thanks to you all, as this money will allow us to support the residents of Gravesham who suffer with breathing difficulties.”

BreatheEasy groups are local groups which support the British Lung Foundation.

More at

Jeff Glover

Mar 142015

International quiz 2015The winning team at our annual International Quiz night  look pleased with their prize….a bottle each and a couple to spare!   This year the evening raised nearly £400  which will be sent to Medecins Sans Frontieres to help in the fight against the ebola disease in West Africa.

 Bob Denby

Mar 092015

Civic day 2015The Mayor of Gravesend Councilor John Caller and the Lady Mayoress Mrs Sue Caller  were guests of the Rotary Club of Gravesend for the club’s annual Civic Day lunch on Monday 7th March.

In his address to the members, the Mayor said that during his year in office he had been most impressed by the amount of work that went on behind the scenes to help those in need. He said that “Throughout the Borough  there are groups of  volunteers quietly working  away to make other peoples lives that much better. None of them seek recognition for what they do but all are improving  the quality of life for so many people and deserve the  thanks of everyone in Gravesham.

He thanked Rotary for its continued  support for the many smaller charities through it’s annual “On Your Bike”  sponsored cycle ride  and said that once again this year both he and the Lady Mayoress intended  to take part.

Bob Denby

Mar 072015

Marie Curie collection 2015 sShoppers in Gravesend last Saturday  7th March generously supported the Marie Curie Cancer Care  Daffodil Day collection.

Rotary Club members were out in force in the town centre selling daffodil badges for the charity and raised over £350.

Founded in 1948 to nurse cancer patients in their own homes Marie Curie Cancer Care,  now has hospices and research facilities throughout the UK and supports over 40,000 terminally ill patients and their families.

Pictured giving her pocket money to help is  6 year old Jaslene from Bean with a Rotarian helper.

“The fine weather  put everyone in the mood to help a good cause”,  said Rotarian club organiser Duncan Hiscock ,” our club has been raising funds for Marie Curie for over 15 years and once again we would like to thank all who supported us.”

Bob Denby

Feb 252015

ShelterBox at Wrotham Road SchoolPupils, parents and staff at Wrotham Road Primary School with Christmas collections and non-uniform days have raised £600 to help victims of disasters. This followed a recent visit to the school by members of the Rotary Club of Gravesend who told the children about the Shelterbox scheme which provides help for disaster victims who have lost everything.

Last year Shelterboxes were sent to 26 areas world wide and since the scheme started 13 years ago over 160,000 families have been helped in 270 different disaster areas.

The Head teacher of Wrotham Road School Mrs Green is pictured on the left with the Shelterbox cheque and when thanking the children for their contribution the President of the Rotary club John Baker (on the left of the world map) said that “once again the children of Gravesham have shown how generous and kind hearted they are to others less fortunate than themselves. Somewhere a family who had nothing and no hope, now have a safe place to sleep and the tools to help them make a new life…all thanks to the children of Wrotham Road”.

The Rotary Club Shelterbox co-ordinator Chris Keeble (pictured right) added that “the club members are willing to travel to any local group, club or business who wants to find out more or go to our website”

Bob Denby