Newsletter 128 - June 2020

Another highly successful year for Bristol Breakfast Rotary Club.


President Nigel's Message

As the proverbial saying goes, time has certainly flown during my year as president. It has of course been a year like the apocryphal game of football, one of two halves- pre and post Covid. It is naturally a time for retrospection and I must report that my strongest feeling is of a huge appreciation for the members of this club who put so much into it and achieve such impressive and enjoyable results. Before becoming president, it had been some years since I was on council and I had forgotten just how much work goes on behind the scenes to make the club the thriving venture which we all enjoy. Inevitably, our Rotary year ends with a lot of plans for raising funds, having fun and dispensing assistance in areas of great need, enormously modified, postponed or cancelled. However there have been substantial and   silver linings. The club has continued to thrive with attendance on Wednesday mornings being significantly greater than normal. The club has shown itself to be flexible and imaginative in successfully adapting meetings, fund raising and social events to a new on-line environment. These are innovations and lessons which must not be lost as the virus recedes and even when - we hope -  it has been beaten into an adequately full submission. I am confident that when we return to scrumptious breakfasts and face-to-face contact we will also add in many of the advantages of Covid-enforced on-line encounters. BBRC has a deserved reputation for being Active and lively. My parting shot as President  is to report how much I have re-learnt the obvious - that the more we put in, the more more we get out. I shall certainly follow that dictum in my post-Presidential Rotary years and I strongly encourage all BBRC members to join me in putting in that little bit more and experiencing the results for themselves, for the club and for Rotary at large

Best wishes to all




We are a vibrant and energetic club and really believe in 'Service above Self'. All of our members are to be congratulated as all have contributed in one way or another to our success. We have recently held our AGM and reflected on the good causes we have supported throughout the year. Building on well-established relations with local education, charity and community organisations, the Club has funded and participated in a wide variety of events in the last year both locally and internationally. At the same time we have had a great deal of fun.




Swift Inclusive Swimming Gala

Working with other Rotary clubs in Bristol, we made a significant contribution to the funding and organisation of this hugely successful gala for disabled swimmers held at Horfield Sports Centre in October.

Rotry inclusive swimming gala

Young Carers

A group of eight young carers, children with important caring responsibilities for other family members, had a half term break at Barton Camp outdoor centre near Winscombe Barton camp is a charitable organisation which provides facilities for needy children to enjoy such breaks. Individual Club members also made donations of clothing and equipment to Barton Camp for use by their visitors. 

You can view this short film made by young carers and volunteers who are coping with social isolation Coping with Covid19

Rotary kids out logo

Kids Out

We took 150 children from special schools in Bristol to a fun packed day and picnic at cattle country in South Gloucestershire. We joined over 1000 young people from across our district who normally wouldn't get such a day out. It was great to see the joy on these young people’s faces playing and enjoying the company of many others.

Bridge Learning Campus

The Club has worked closely throughout the year with Bridge Learning Campus in Hartcliffe. We have supported a school breakfast project which has provided free food through the year for kids who arrive at school without having had breakfast. Club members Alan and Debbie Rogan also provided a commercial toaster for the school to use in making breakfasts. Additionally, the Club made available funding for a character education project organised by the school for the benefit of older pupils.

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards

As in previous years, we supported two teenage school children who attended a five-day residential leadership development course in the Forest of Dean. We worked closely with south Bristol charity Youth Moves in selecting and mentoring the two candidates who gave a very moving account of their participation on the course to our members in January.

Crocus Planting to celebrate World Polio Day

The eradication of polio worldwide has been a major international Rotary initiative over many years. The purple crocus is the symbol of that campaign and the Club planted 4000 crocuses in Temple Gardens in central Bristol on World Polio Day last October. End Polio Now</p

Elmfield School for Deaf Children

Members Sue and Willem Pietersen organised a BBQ evening at Westbury on Trym village hall including a presentation by leading experts in the field of cochlear implants, attended by the Lord Mayor. This was a key part of a campaign to raise funds for creative arts psychotherapy sessions to address mental health issues faced by deaf children. Elmfield School for the Deaf


For our International Committee the highlight for 2019 was a wonderful trip to Nepal in November, little did we know how soon such travelling would become a distant dream!

During the year the club has supported projects in Nepal. Providing meals for children at Bharabhuri School, continuing our vocational programme by providing higher education for student, Ashik to complete a degree course in Electrical Engineering and helping finance the building of Prithvirupa School. For many years we have partnered with our friends at Fishtail Rotary Club in Pokhara to enable these projects.

We have for many years supported Rotary’s own charity the Rotary Foundation and the more recently set up Rotary Disaster Response Fund. Rotary members and the Rotary Foundation play a unique role in disaster recovery and rebuilding efforts. Working closely with partners and other organisations that specialise in disaster relief, Rotary members lead projects to support every phase of a community’s recovery.

 Rotary supports three phases of relief

  1. Immediate response - our local clubs and partners immediately offer helping hands and supplies.
  2. Short term assistance where clubs and districts help affected communities wherever we can through funds and materials to re-establish day to day operations.
  3. Long term rebuilding where clubs plan and implement projects that rebuild affected communities.


Our past President, Roger Key, chose the charity Bridges to Prosperity to be the beneficiary of our Corporate Golf Day at Clifton and Bristol Golf Club where we raised over £4000 which provided the funding to help bridges in remote communities in Rwanda. Bridges2Prosperity


Our current president, Nigel Harradine, organised a superb Concorde Dinner evening at the Aerospace Museum, Bristol. A wonderful dinner eaten under the wings of the iconic Concorde with one of its longest serving pilots revealing how it was to fly this supersonic aircraft. The evening raised over £4000 to help The Great Western Air Ambulance charity. GWAAC


An unpredictable year - The year has turned out unpredictable with having to move from our home at Brasserie Blanc, Cabot Circus and finding a new venue at Bambalan on the City Centre. We were settling into our vibrant meetings with excellent breakfasts when the world seemed to come to a stop and the Covid19 virus was to affect everyone’s lives globally. We entered a period of lockdown, ‘Stay at Home’ was the message from government. However, Bristol Breakfast Club is not one to be defeated but being fleet of foot was almost immediately up and running by using technology and virtual weekly meetings using Zoom.  Everyone has been pleasantly surprised that we continue to have excellent speakers, able to enter chat rooms to socialise and meet new guests and old friends and continue in our fellowship.


Service before Self - This has proved a difficult time for many people especially those in the more deprived wards of our city and inequalities in all respects have become more transparent. For us as a Rotary Club we have had to cancel or postpone our major fundraising events. We have risen to the challenge by the generosity of our members, many of whom have gifted the monies they would have spent on breakfast to a special Covid fund to help those in our city less fortunate. We really believe in ‘Service before Self’.

In April we have given £500 each to two foodbanks in North and East Bristol. We have given £2000 to Youth Moves, (Youth Moves) a charity helping disadvantaged children across South Bristol. We have then provided another £1000 to our adopted school, the Bridge Learning Campus to help the children and families from one of the most deprived wards in our city.

Speakers have been an essential part of our meetings and we have been fortunate that many come forward to speak at our virtual meetings.

We started our month with friends from the Rotary Club of Dronfield updating us on the projects in Nepal.


Matt King, editor of Bristol 24/7 provided an insight to an independent online newspaper, offering news, common features for the city of Bristol. It has over 200,000 monthly visitors to its website. It is now based at the Paint Works, Arnos Vale, and publishes contents seven days a week from freelance journalists and bloggers from around the city.


Our major beneficiary in the past year was Caring in Bristol. This charity provides a great service to all the homeless in our city. We fundraised £25,000 and this enabled the charity to provide beds throughout the year at their project at the Friends Meeting House near Cabot Circus. Our friends from Caring in Bristol were able to update us as to how that money was spent.


Talk on Brain Tumour Research

Melanie Tiley of the Brain Research Trust told us of the vital work her charity does. Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. What's
more, they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other
cancer... yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been
allocated to this devastating disease.

Brain Tumour research is holding ‘Wear a Hat Day with Flowers’
launched for Friday 19th June. This is the information on the Brain Tumour
Research website which has a few ideas on:

The research they fund is in jeopardy so they would be incredibly grateful for
anything you can do to support Brain Tumour Research so they can keep research
working during this challenging time.

Water Survival Box

More recently Rotarian Hugo Pike provided an update on the work of the Water Survival Box the initiative of the Rotary Club of Chelwood Bridge. It arose following six months of continuous work after the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean during which 3,200 Aqua boxes were packed with items donated by members of the public. Water Survival Box provides the humanitarian need when a disaster strikes around the world where these boxes can help a family survive by using the water filter to provide fresh water and the many contents of the box to build shelter.




Why not join us for our weekly meetings

We are holding weekly virtual meetings via Zoom you are most welcome to join us every Wednesday morning at 08.00am just click here RCBB Zoom Meeting


Future Meetings:

Wednesday 10 June 2020 - Clara Charlesworth talking about the Power of Kindness in Challenging Times

Wednesday 17 June 2020 - Danny Cox PR manager Hargreaves Lansdown - Covid19 and the Stock Market

Wednesday 24 June 2020 - President Elect, John Whittaker - Club Assembly - the year ahead

Wednesday 1 July 2020 - Club Handover - new Rotary Year with new officers. 

Wednesday 8 July 2020 - James Freeman MD First West of England - Covid19 and Public Transport

Wednesday 15 July 2020 - Claire and Sam - The Elmfield School for the Deaf Project


Do you use My Rotary

Check out this video My Rotary to help set up an account. 

What is MY Rotary
MY Rotary is a resource on the Rotary International (RI) Website available to all Rotarians. You can learn:  more about members and Rotary, how to manage your club, exchange ideas with others, the Rotary Foundation and much more!
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Do you shop with Amazon? if so you can help Bristol Breakfast Rotary Club raise funds by signing up to Amazon Smile 
To change your charitable organization:
  1. Sign in to on your desktop or mobile phone browser.
  2. From your desktop, go to Your Account from the navigation at the top of any page, and then select the option to Change your Charity to Rotary Club of Bristol Breakfast Trust Fund.
  3. Select a new charitable organization to support.