Newsletter 123 - January 2020


Bristol Breakfast Rotary Club Nepal Visit 2019 (Derrick Royall)

 The club visit was planned as part sight seeing and part Rotary work, to build on existing links with Rotary Pokhara Fishtail. We found Nepal a beautiful and fascinating country that is faced with many challenges, particularly following the 2015 earthquake.

 One of the objectives of the visit to Nepal was to seek advice and guidance regarding the appropriate vocational training element of our Vocational Training  programme. To this end we met with the Nepal Engineers Association, PEEDA, ROKPA the Vice Chancellor and Dean of Engineering and his team from Pokhara University and Pokhara Chamber of Commerce and Industry PCCI.


We stayed four days at ROKPA Guest house in Kathmandu. The Guest House was not only an “oasis of calm” but part of a charity reaching out to street children and women in Kathmandu. The site included a children’s home and vocational training centre linked to the Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality.  The main aim of this college is “Leadership quality so that students are able to work in the international market with high effectiveness.”

 Kathmandu was very crowded and polluted yet still offered cultural gems such as three Durbar Squares, the Boudhanath Stupa and the Swayambhunath Stupa.



 Colin started our visit by attending the Gurka Rembrance Day service at the British Embassey, followed by a visit to Nepal Engineers Association. During our time in Kathmandu we visited PEEDA (People, Energy & Environment Development Association) to find out more about joint work with Bristol University to help save lives lost due to internal pollution caused by poorly ventilated wood stove cooking, which is prevalent in most rural Nepalese communities. As a result, we are working on a pilot project between PEEDA, Bristol University and Rotary Pokhara Fishtail to introduce electric induction cooking to a rural village in the Pokhara vicinity.


After Kathmandu we travelled to Pokhara, Nepal’s second city, and were treated Royally by our Rotary hosts at Fishtail. We attended a Rotary meeting in Pokhara where we provided a short presentation on Bristol and our Rotary work in both England and joint projects around the world. We then spent a very enjoyable couple of hours over supper and drinks at a local hotel.


BBRC has recently donated funds to help build an extension at Prithvirupa School and we were privileged to see the building work in action and to meet the lovely pupils and dedicated staff at the school, a very memorable experience.


After this we went to Pokhara University to meet with the Dean of Engineering and his whole team to find out how we could work together to support degree level vocational training in Nepal. We are already supporting one underprivileged student to fund his four-year degree course at Pokhara University, and we had a lovely hour or so meeting Ashish and his fellow students.

 The next day we were treated to a fantastic trip and lunch at the Rupakot Resort with stunning views of the Annapurna Mountain Range. We were meant to visit the day before, but the President of Bangladesh was visiting that day. We were able to enjoy a wonderful lunch at the same table as the president the day before.


The same day we met with the Pokhara Chamber of Commerce to learn more about challenges facing businesses in the area. We heard that the  major challenges were lack of accessible funding, retention of quality employees, infrastructure and pollution. We are currently considering on how we can work with Rotary Pokhara Fishtail to help alleviate some of the problems over the longer term with sustainable solutions.

 There was also a visit to Bharabhuri School to follow up on Rotary support to the Pahar Trust that helps feed schoolchildren in this rural community.

 The rest of the visit was then a sight seeing trip with many enjoyable moments, including watching the sun rise over the mountains at Sarangkot Hill, visiting the Peace Stupa and Mountain Museum in Pokhara and then on to Bandipur for trekking and a stay in a beautiful preserved village, where Rotary was also highly visible.

 We then arrived a Chitwan National Park and stayed at an Eco Hotel on the river bordering the park. A two day stay included river and jeep safaris to see local wildlife including Rhinos and Crocodiles although a tiger sighting proved to be elusive.


We left Nepal feeling tired but happy that we had been able to see such a beautiful country and some of our own projects in action. You can never truly learn about anywhere unless you visit the place and we will be working to put in place plans to support Nepal with a clearer understanding of the needs and wants of the Nepalese people in our areas of focus.

Derrick Royall

Chair BBRC International & Foundation Committee


The Bridge Learning Campus

Our Rotary club has had a long relationship with the Bridge Learning Campus (BLC) at Hartcliffe for the past 17 years. We are proud of this association as it is rather a unique place providing education and learning for children experiencing their first formal learning in nursery provision up to age 16 years when students leave having taken a full range of GCSE examinations. This an ‘all through’ school and the Bridge was the first of its kind in Bristol. The school is part of Trust in Learning Academies a multi-academy trust which supports other Bristol Schools providing direct support and challenge to ensure that its vision and commitment to its local community is achieved.

Recent academic research by University of Bristol shows a lack of opportunities for young people living in disadvantaged areas has resulted in stark differences in progression rates to higher education, ranging from 8.6 per cent in Hartcliffe in South Bristol to 100 per cent in Clifton in West Bristol.

 Historic and class-based factors further compound the situation, with young people from the more disadvantaged areas being less likely to receive good advice about access to higher education and related careers.

Furthermore, the majority of young people from the more disadvantaged areas of the city are likely to be the first in family to progress to higher education and even the first in their family to progress to post-16 education. Their families do not have the knowledge or contacts to help them navigate the system.

Leading this research Professor Ros Sutherland of the University of Bristol, said: "Bristol is considered to be a prosperous city with an educational system that on average performs well. In reality, Bristol has more areas categorised as being in the most deprived 10 per cent in England than other cities in the country, with stark differences in educational opportunities for young people depending on where they live".

Bristol Breakfast Rotary Club has supported 150 pupils including the BLC  to attend the annual ‘Kids Out’ event at a cost of £4000. An event organised by Rotary clubs throughout District 1100. More recently we provided the school with a commercial toaster (personally funded by Rotarians, Alan and Debbie Rogan)and £1500 for the current school year (£500 per term) to purchase bagels and foodstuffs each morning feeding some 90 children each school day who have not eaten before attending school. We have also supported the Harry Potter literacy project- including a trip to Harry Potter World to reward successful students on accelerated reading programme (£750).

Today we are really pleased to support the school's Charter Programme with a contribution of £1000 and a promise help the mentoring of pupils. 

The Campus has seen lots of incredibly positive changes over the last few years and seeing students go from strength to strength academically. Six young women have recently passed their examinations and interviews to gain bursaries to attend the Red Maids High School and a further two to attend Bristol Grammar school this is a first for them.

However, more and more students are struggling to assimilate themselves into the world of work or further study when they leave to move on. There are many reasons for this, changing expectations around careers and entry requirements, a different social landscape and more often than not a lack of role models for them to aspire to follow in the footsteps of once they leave education.

In order to try and improve the chances for young people, a great many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds, the school is trying to develop a more formalised character education. This program takes the form of a school charter which will help scaffold students and nurture their intrinsic motivation, build resilience and improve their ability to self-regulate and apply themselves, no matter what life throws at them. The hope is that they will improve the chances of success in whatever career they choose and increase their employability later on. It also includes a huge focus on getting back to the community and becoming a good citizen. They are hoping to use this to facilitate the development of student empathy and the ability to understand life from other’s perspectives.

Each student in year seven will have the opportunity to work towards six key values.

Community - developing as good citizens and giving back to the local area.

Confidence and Courage - developing confidence in everyday activities and getting used to pushing the limits even when the going gets tough.

Creativity - by developing creative approaches to problems, working in different subjects to think outside of the box.

Competition - trying their best to be the best

Communication - by developing the ability to communicate effectively no matter the situation.

There will be a complete set of activities on each strand working towards an overall Bronze, Silver or Gold award.

Bronze – helping out at three school events for example parents evening, sports day or getting involved with anti-bullying.

Silver – helping out in the local community, volunteering over a prolonged period of time, for example Hartcliffe farm, or Reading and a residential home.

Gold – organising large-scale volunteering/charity fundraising activities over the course of 12 months.

The charter is launching with a residential kicking off with team building sessions on being good a good communicator by giving presentations and planning work within the community. This is based at Kilve court and Outward-Bound Centre allowing them the opportunity to try things never tried before and for money also will be there first time away from home.

If you are willing to give some time the school is looking for mentors to share their skills and experience with pupils.If you want to help contact:Assistant head teacher, Marie Hazel  -






Dragon Boat Festival 2020

7th June 2020

Can you help by providing a team. Talk to your contacts to see if they would enjoy a fun day raising money for the Green House and other Rotary Charities. To enter a team and more information:  


This year our main charity will be the Green House, Bristol  who provide free therapy to those who have suffered from child sexual abuse.

The Green House believes that every victim of sexual abuse deserves the opportunity to heal and recover from their experiences. The Green House aims to offer a centre of excellence where survivors of all ages and backgrounds can access free, specialist counselling to help move forward with their lives. Founded in Bristol, they have been pioneering therapeutic provision for over 30 years. Each year the charity works with over 300 men, women, and children in the aftermath of sexual trauma.

 Youth Moves

Our first speakers in 2020 , Alistair Dale and the two young people who were our RYLA candidates during 2019. All proved to be inspirational speakers with the two young people sharing their life stories and how becoming a part of Youth Moves had changed their lives. 

Youth Moves is an incredible youth work charity that believes passionately in the difference great youth work relationships between young people, aged 8-25 years old, and youth workers can make to the lives of young people as they grow up. 

Youth Moves works with young people, families, schools and communities across South Bristol, but specifically targets work with groups and individuals within those communities who need our help the most. They worked with 1000 children and young people last year. 

Many of the communities they work in are within the most deprived within the UK, but they aim to focus on strengths and to build upon these enabling young people to take responsibility for their actions, make positive choices and do things for themselves, so that ultimately their lives are changed for the better.

They provide a range of services including youth club provision, one-to-one mentoring, youth participation programmes, targeted outreach and group-work, positive activities and social action/ volunteering opportunities.

Youth Moves aims to intervene early where possible and to provide long-term opportunities and pathways, working with clear evidence of need and agreed success criteria. They have been nationally recognised for the impact they make more recently as the winner of the CYP Now Youth Work Award in 2015, but they are proud of being local and rooted in our community.

Their goal is to support young people to make a successful transition to adulthood, through providing high-quality programmes and interventions that help them to make a long-term difference to their lives.

The chairy is looking for truastees. If you feel you could help please conatct Alistair Dale -

The Rules an art exhibition by Douglas Karson

Douglas Adam Karson is an American-born artist based in Bristol, UK. he is a member of Bristol Breakfast Rotary Club.  He embraces the spectrum of what it means to be alive and embodied. Yoga, geometry, balance, people and process are recurring themes.  Racism, violence and ignorance left deep marks on his psyche from his upbringing in Arkansas, U.S.A. These marks are reflected in the marks he makes through his compulsive creativity.

Painting in New York from age 20, his art education comes from passionate self study.  An avid sportsman, a neck injury left him numb down his left side with his identity in crisis.  Art and yoga were critical components on his healing journey. Embracing the journey is crucial to his indefatigable drive to create.