Apr 222020

The picture shows boys from the Sunshine Centre in Naivasha Kenya. It was taken last July when two of our members, Di Trimm and Chris Keeble with their spouses Malcolm and Marion visited and worked at the Centre for two weeks.

Footsteps International Charity started the Sunshine Centre nearly 20 years ago to provide accommodation and schooling for boys who were living on the streets of Naivasha.

How things have changed following the spreading of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Kenyan Government has told children’s institutions to link children back with their relatives where possible to reduce crowding and decrease the risk of spreading. Most of the boys have some family who can care for them, but those who do not are being cared for by staff members.

The boys who have been sent back to their families are at great risk because they are likely to revert to the street for their survival. The very reason that they were encouraged to go to the Centre in the first place.

The Centre staff acted fast and very soon were able to take emergency supplies to 10 families and this has increased, providing them with flour, beans, bars of soap and green vegetables from the Sunshine Centre Farm.

To support this action the Rotary Club of Gravesend donated £500 to Footsteps International which was matched by Rotary District 1120 to make a total grant of £1,000.

To see how Sunshine Centre are continuing to manage at these times please go to their website www.footstepsinternational.org

More about Footsteps and Rotary

Chris Keeble

Mar 172020

On Friday 13th March 2020 the Thamesview School Year 11 students made presentations on designing and marketing a hat. It was part of their assessed course work. Their presentations were made to three panels of assessors. Rotarians John Baker and Tony Muckley sat on two of the panels. The theme of the presentations was to describe the process of designing, costing and pricing of hats as part of a pitch to engage the panels as prospective retailers in stocking the products.

The types of hats ranged from beanies and baseball caps to flat caps. Market research helped refine the target customer base and the design, including the logos and strap lines. The students were very much aware of the power of media vehicles and celebrity endorsement for creating awareness and demand for their products. Overall, the standard of presentations was impressive.

Nerys Sandy, KS4/5 CEIAG and Student Support Coordinator, organised the event to be very efficient and professional. Students were assessed against criteria that would be important if pitching to an established retailer.

John and Tony reported back to the Gravesend Rotary members. They considered the event to have been a refreshing, enjoyable and rewarding experience. Nerys Sandy sent thanks for Gravesend Rotary’s support and said: “feedback has been extremely positive and students feel the whole process has been a great addition to their Business qualification and using external people enhanced the whole experience”.

Members of club have so far this year participated in three such activities at the School and look forward to doing more.

Tony Muckley

Feb 172020

On 31 January, Rotarians Tony Muckley, Brian and Ruth Portway supported Thamesview School as interviewers for the mock interviews of Grade 10 students. The event was expertly structured and coordinated by Ms. Nerys Sandy, KS4/5 CEIAG and Student Support Coordinator.

About 140 students selected one of four proforma jobs ( Vehicle Mechanic, Administration Assistant, Trainee Hairdresser and Assistant Benefits Officer), completed application forms and were interviewed. 

Tony Muckley said: “ The students were well prepared and interesting. The enthusiasm, articulation and academic standards of the students shone through and they were a credit to themselves and the School.”

On 6 February, Brian participated in the School’s Dragons Den event. There were presentations by  students from the School Council on pupil support ; the Eco Club on recycling and the Wellbeing Club on creating a wellness garden area. The Dragons had a hard task and commended the students on their creativity and planning. The Eco Club project was chosen.

Gravesend Rotary welcomed the opportunity to support Thamesview School as part of its ongoing drive to work with schools in a range of ways and projects in step with the evolution of the local social and business communities.

Tony Muckley