Newsletter 126 - April 2020

The President writes:

Hello to the large number who receive this newsletter from Bristol Breakfast Rotary Club. Without needing to comment in general on the unprecedented circumstances, the first and good news I would like to report is that BBRC has resumed weekly meetings on Wednesday mornings, starting at 8.00 am and held on Zoom. These are proving to be technically easy and popular with approximately 40 members and guests taking part. In the absence of paid-for breakfasts at our popular Bambalan venue, many members are diverting part or all of their saved breakfast payments to a fund which by the end of April will already have accumulated more than £2000. The destination or these funds has yet to be decided, but they will go to support one or more local Bristol charities in their work to alleviate the varied and serious effects of the pandemic.

 The collective work of our various committees and project-related groups continues uninterrupted through the various on-line means of communication. However, the cancellation or postponement of our fund-raising events and the current inability of many charitable causes in the UK and overseas to utilise our intended support has put many plans on ice until the situation is sufficiently improved and more certain. This has enabled a reallocation of some of our funds and as an immediate action, we have given £1000 to the Bridge Learning Campus who have an acute set of problems to address in South Bristol during the pandemic.

Through theRotary network, we have received several requests for funds or for volunteering in relation to local Covid-related problems and I recommend two as well worth your consideration: Firstly, Arms Around Bristol - the Bristol Post Coronavirus Response Fund run by Quartet Community Foundation.

Secondly, an appeal for volunteers to carry out a very wide range of much-needed activities in Bristol. You may find yourself able and keen to help in one or more ways. This is coordinated by Age UK Bristol and the best contact is through Kay Libby their chief Executive on 0117 929 7537. You will be surprised at the range of opportunities to be a real help.

I hope you enjoy reading this newsletter. With everyone more housebound, it is more important than ever to keep informed and in touch in this way and my huge thanks go to Steve Livings for his energetic and skilful editing of every issue.

And if you are not a member of BBRC and would like to join in with one of our Zoom meetings on a Wednesday mornings, please be in touch by signing in at 8am on a Wednesday morning to Click here for Zoom

 It is a very easy and relaxed meeting to be part of and you will be hugely welcome.

Nigel Harradine

New Member

We welcome a new member to our club, Kate Skillman. She has joined at a time when we are using virtual meetings so in due course it will be great to meet her personally and enjoy our breakfast at Bambalan.

Bristol Sport Foundation

Last week, Ben Breeze from Bristol Sport Foundation told us how they interact with the community by providing a myriad of sporting opportunities to over 8000 children each week. Many of these young people live in the most deprived wards in our city.

Bristol Sport Foundation (BSF) promotes, funds and develops sport-based community programming on behalf of Bristol Rugby Community Foundation, Bristol Flyers Community Basketball, Bristol Jets Community Badminton, Bristol City Community Trust and the Bristol Sport Foundation itself.

Their strategy Active – Healthy - Happy, sets out how they work with national and local partners to ensure everyone in Greater Bristol can benefit from sport and physical activity. They have a dedicated team delivering truly life-changing work every day and with the support of our volunteers, corporate partners and the communities of Bristol they use sport and the power of their club brands to make a difference. 


Against a backdrop of increasing levels of childhood obesity and physical inactivity the intent is to help children to fall in love with sport and enjoy being active. They believe in the power of sport to change lives by growing confidence and raising aspirations. The Forever Sport programme helps primary schools deliver the best in Physical Education (PE) and sports coaching, whilst also helping with the pressures of assessment and investing in the upskilling of staff.

You can view a video of the work of BSF 

Click here for video


Bridge Learning Campus

We recognise the difficulty many families and children find themselves in this strange time. Children who rely on breakfasts at school, families who live below the poverty line. We at Bristol breakfast Club have donated £1000 to the Bridge Learning Campus (BLC)  to help support some of those at that school.


 Thanks from Liz Hackling Assistant Head of BLC 

“I hope you are all well, although I am sure that a Zoom meeting is not quite the same as your regular ones!

 I honestly am so grateful for your generosity - this is the best birthday present! I know you are all fully aware of the disadvantage that many of our students face and how this in turn impacts on their life chances. As a school we are doing our best to safeguard them and encourage them with their distance learning - something that has presented challenges in its own way. 

 Once again, your gift will enable us to support our children with their basic needs and go a long way in keeping them engaged with us as a school. 

 I will make sure you get updates as soon as term five kicks off and providing my camera works at a decent social distance will send photographs as well. 

 I truly will never be able to thank you enough”. 

Best wishes 


Work of our International Committee

  • Vocational Training Programme – Pokhara, Nepal
    • We are supporting a programme to help bright students from disadvantaged backgrounds gain a higher level qualification in subjects that can help rebuild the country after the major earthquake that affected the region in 2015
    • Some club members visited Pokhara University in Nov 2019 to meet the student in our pilot study and senior lecturers at the University
  • Prithvirupa School, near Pokhara, Nepal
    • We provided a donation to help towards the construction of new school building
    • Some club members visited the school to see the project’s progress and meet school pupils and teachers
  • Bharabhuri School Meals, rural Nepal
    • We are providing financial support to provide meals for poor children in rural Nepal to encourage school attendance
  • Motivation
    • We are working with Motivation to provide mentoring and financial support in Africa and Asia
    • The original project has been impacted by the Corona Virus Pandemic and we are in active discussions to find out we can best help this charity to support people in the best possible way at this problematic time
  • Maji Safi School, Kenya
    • We provide regular donations to this school near Mombasa to dig wells for water, benches for the school and sanitary wear to encourage girls to continue education
  • Water Survival Box & Shelterbox
    • We provide financial support and visits to pack boxes on an ongoing basis
  • Bridges to Prosperity, Rwanda & Uganda
    • In 2019 our Charity Golf Day helped raised over £4,000 to pay towards the costs of building low suspension bridges in rural communities that are normally cut off by rivers at times of flood or larger ravines
    • Projects to build these bridges saves lives at times of flood and greatly improve connections and prosperity for communities
  • End Polio Now, Rotary Foundation and Disaster Recovery Fund
    • We are one of our district’s largest funder towards these Rotary charities helping a variety of deserving causes throughout the world
  • Our club is happy to assist  other Rotary Clubs in the UK, Europe and beyond
    • At present we are contributing towards a Rotary Global Grant for a schools sanitation project in India for Rotary Club Prague
    • Other projects under consideration also include establishing peace studies at a new university in South Sudan and a pilot study into encouraging electric cooking in homes in Nepal where internal smoke pollution costs thousands of unnecessary deaths every year

Cooking in Nepal

The Club has approved a payment of £500 for the Electric Cooking Feasibility Study in Nepal but this has not been paid yet and we are going to put this on hold until Covid 19 has passed.


Cooking with gas and electricity is something developed countries take for granted, but for many people living in rural Nepal, traditional wood fires are still the only option.

According to the World health Organisation over 4 million people a year die globally due to illnesses caused by household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels such as wood, crops and animal dung. The smoke that is released from burning wood contains harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide, as well as small soot particles that penetrate deep into the lungs.

After many hours of exposure every day, year after year, these substances can cause a number of potentially fatal illnesses, including pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease and lung cancer.

Dr Saroj Pokhrel is a physician at the CIWEC Clinic in Pokhara, Nepal, and has experience treating patients who have respiratory illnesses caused by smoke inhalation. “Most people are involved in cooking two times per day, lunch and dinner, so with that kind of exposure in 5 or 10 years they can easily have COPD,” Dr Pokhrel said. “After more years, they may get lung cancer.”

The risk is more severe for women and children. Women spend the most time preparing meals, and often have to take care of the children at the same time.

“The men are working on the rice field, so there is no one to look after the children, so mothers have to carry the children with them even when they are cooking,” Dr Pokhrel said.


Barabhuri Playground - A little bit of Joy – Colin Shurrock

Barabhuri basic school is within the Annapurna Conservation area of West Nepal and is approximately 25km from Pokhara close to the SETI river. Children attending the school come from very poor Dalit and Magar families. Malnutrition remains a serious problem. Bristol Breakfast Rotary Club has provided funds for various projects at this school since 2011.

In November 2019 some members of the club visited the school.  The welcome from the children, staff and trustees was amazing and much appreciated. Clearly the beautiful garlands took time and care to produce.  Colin Shurrock’s favourite moment was the beautiful dance performed by the children. 

Colin’s daughter, Wendy noticed that they had no playground equipment and that the swings were broken. Subsequently with help from friends, Bristol Breakfast, Rotary Club and Llangollen Beavers and others she raised the funds to repair the swings.

A big thank you to all who helped

Check our events page we are holding virtual meetings at 8am every Wednesday morning. 

Dragon Boat Festival 2020 has been cancelled but we will be back in June 2021

Our Golf Day has been postponed and will take place at Clifton and Bristol Golf Club on 15 October 2020.



We are now living in unprecedented times; our lives have been turned upside down, and businesses have been forced into a place full of uncertainty and confusion. Unsurprisingly, we see many examples of the true British spirit emerging daily, as we find ourselves challenging the negative narrative and fake news that’s being bandied about the news and social media channels.

Technology is allowing us to facilitate the move to home working for those whose role supports it.  For some this will prove to be a significant change in how they manage their lives, how they remain focused and more importantly, how they maintain their levels of wellbeing and motivation.  Our technological and connectivity abilities are second to none, and to ensure that we all remain engaged and motivated is the ability to communicate remotely.   

We at Rotary are embracing the technology and thank Willem Pietersen for investigating how we can still hold our meetings, albeit virtually and for Geoff Mayall in seeking speakers who are happy to deliver their talks via this medium. So far, we have held two successful meetings via Zoom and the first with our fellow Rotarian, Binod from RC Fishtail in Nepal. Please join us at 8am on Wednesday mornings by signing in here