Newsletter 102: Dragon Boat Breakfast

Welcome to our Newsletter (19th Sept 2018) 

Special Edition – Dragon Boat Festival 2018

Last Wednedsday we celebrated yet another successful Dragon Boat Festival by holding our special presentation breakfast at the Bristol Hotel.

The Dragon Boat Festival is now 17 years old having been initiated by Rotarian David Gammon (see picture right) in 2001 who masterminded it for some 12 years using professional event organisers ‘Gable Events’ who are the largest dragon boat event organisers in the UK.The day, usually held at the beginning of June, has raised thousands of pounds for some great causes.

5 years ago Rotarian David Wells took over the running and organising the Festival. Bristol Breakfast Rotary Club has made this a large event in the Bristol calender. In this 17th year Bristol Breakfast Rotary will have raised over £700,000! for many good causes.  The Club shares the proceeds on a 60/40 basis with 60% going to a main headline charity and 40% to Rotary charities both locally and abroad.

This year our headline charity was Caring in Bristol - helping homeless people 365 days a year.

Caring in Bristol is an effective local charity working to support homeless and vulnerable people in Bristol 365 days a year. For the past thirty years the charity has delivered projects locally that support this vision. These projects include a night shelter providing rough sleepers with a safe alternative to a night on the street. In view of the recent increase of rough sleeping in Bristol the charity's objectives in 2018 are to recruit more volunteers and to increase its capacity from 15 to 25 beds by the end of the year.

President Roger Key was pleased to hand a cheque for £27,000 to CEO of Caring in Bristol, Ben Richardson.

Caring in Bristol say the monies raised by Bristol Breakfast Rotary Club will pay for:

  • 2,777 bed nights – covering 52% of the year
  • An out of hours, on call system ensuring they never have to close their doors
  • Put plans in place for expansion of the number of beds intitially to 18 and eventually 25.
  • Extend the provision with a new breakfast project
  • Working with local cafes and businesses to provide early morning support for those staying at the 365 Shelter
  • Helping those who are new to homelessness or working, to remain integrated wirthin their community.

More details of this charity's work can be found at:

This year 30 teams supported the Festival participating in the races and by raising money through sponsorship and energetically taking part in the heats. Many have taken the opportunity to wear fancy dress and make a spectacular show of the whole event. There is also an element of competitiveness and for the second year running the event was won by Avon Fire and Rescue Service dressed as “The Cockleshell Heroes”.  They were incredibly consistent winning all their races in less than one minute each time. Avonmouth Shipping Services Team was second (in their first year participating). The University of Bristol Team came third.

Teams were also very competitive with their fancy dress which helps to make the day a real spectacle. The Fancy Dress Prize was won by the National Composites Centre Team as ‘One in a Minion’ with Simmons & Simmons Team runners up as ‘Bees’.

We presented one exceptional fundraiser, Andrew Tromans who for the fifth year running has raised the highest individual amount, with an engraved star trophy.   This year Andrew personally raised £3004, which is amazing. In the last 5 years Andrew has personally raised over £12,000 and his team over £23,000. (see below Andrew centre of picture)


President Roger Key on behalf of our club presented cheques to District Governor, Joan Goldsmith one for £2000 for Rotary’s own charity, Rotary Foundation and another for £1000 for the End Polio Now Campaign.



This year the Bristol Samaritans Team raised £3208, which is a record for them. Bristol Samaritans provide completely confidential and emotional support 24 hours a day by telephone, face to face, email and letter and allow callers to talk openly about their problems. We were delighted that Maggie Cameron and Andy Maxwell of Bristol Samaritans were at the breakfast. The money they raised will make a significant contribution to their running costs.


Join the club...

Membership is currently open if you would like to join our friendly pro-active group!
If you'd like to come along to a Wednesday morning meeting please email us at

Looking ahead to 2019

Prepartions are underway for the 2019 Dragon Boat Festival. Let's make this the biggest, most successful EVER!

If you know of any businesses that might like to enter a team please let us know. Or maybe you know someone (it might even be you!) who'd like to have a go but needs to find a team?

There is a strict limit to the number of teams that can enter - so register your interest early to ensure a place next June!