Newsletter 57

Welcome to our weekly newsletter

Over the last two meetings we were joined by Gillian Hayward and Rob Carter of Young Enterprise, the UK’s leading charity that empowers young people to harness their personal and business skills - and Nick Struge of Set Squared, which creates an environment to develop growing businesses of an entrepreneurial nature.

Club events updated

Please note that we have updated our Events Page, which runs until the end of October.

If you have any events that you would like included please email Mary at

Please visit to see what's on for the coming weeks

Visit Czech Republic hosted by Prague International Rotary Club

Thursday 5th - Sunday 8th October 2017

As you will know, Bristol Breakfast Rotary is twinned with the Rotary Club of Prague (International).  For the past few years we have organised and exchange between our two countries and this year it’s our turn to visit them.  These visits not only allow us to meet our fellow Rotarians and gain an insight into their projects and activities, but are also great fun!  They are extremely good hosts and all speak excellent English!

After spending the first night in a small hotel on the outskirts of Prague, on Friday morning our hosts will take us to of the South Bohemian UNESCO protected town of Cesky Krumlov (, described by Lonely Planet as;

“one of the most picturesque towns in Europe. It’s a little like Prague in miniature – a Unesco World Heritage Site with a stunning castle above the Vltava River, an old town square, Renaissance and baroque architecture”

We will be stopping for some sightseeing and short walks on the way and will stay in a hotel in the area. Saturday and Sunday will be a mixture of sightseeing and walking.

If you are interested in joining the visit, please let me know, indicating whether your preference would be for longer more “serious” hikes or shorter walks, or if you would prefer mainly sightseeing.

This is a visit not to be missed!

Mary Whittington

A talk from Young Enterprise

This week we heard from Gillian Hayward YE Manager and Rob Carter, Chair of Trustees for Young Enterprise the UK’s leading charity that empowers young people to harness their personal and business skills.

They make the connection between school and the world of work, enabling young people to develop the knowledge and attitudes they need to succeed, building on 8 key skills:

  • Communication
  • Confidence
  • Financial Capability
  • Initiative
  • Organisation
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Resilience

Last year they delivered 250,000 learner experiences with young people aged 4-25. Integral to what we do are our 7,000 business volunteers who share their experiences in the classroom and make up our local volunteer boards.

What they offer:

They offer something for every year of education from our Primary Programmes to our Secondary Programmes (including our year-long Company Programme) to the university-level Start-up. They are the UK’s leading figure in personal and business skills and we work with 3,482 educational centres across primary and secondary, delivering over 4 million learning hours each year.

 Through their hands on employability and financial education programmes, resources and teacher training they want to eradicate youth unemployment and help young people to realise their potential. Find out about their plans for the future - 2015/19 Unlocking Potential Strategy or

Summary of a Talk by Nick Sturge

Wednesday 10 August 2017

After introducing himself and giving details of his background as an engineer who had worked for Inmoss and then been part of a highly successful technology startup, Nick said he discovered he had a particular interest in people and their involvement in technology.

He gave details of the context in which he operates. Bristol had and economy underpinned by excellence in a number of sectors, which included financial services, making semi-conductors, aerospace, the creative industries.  Bristol is a diverse community in which to up to 92 languages are spoken but although it has been highlighted as the number one place for growing business, it is 129th for overall prosperity and there was a gap to fill.

He is involved in the Set Squared incubator, which creates an environment to develop growing businesses of an entrepreneurial nature. 

The Bristol SETsquared centre, set up by the University of Bristol and based at Engine Shed in the heart of the Enterprise Zone, is the largest of the SETsquared centres and is home to around 65 innovative ventures. See

Part of the education was to make it clear that someone setting up a business may not end up running it.  However those involved at the incubator were interested in creating successful businesses and prepared to give firm advice to business owners to stop the business if it did not appear likely to succeed.  Up to 30% of businesses would not get past that initial stage.  However, this meant that the incubator had significant success in enabling the remaining businesses to develop successfully.  Over the last 12 months or so, external investment into those businesses within the incubator had increased from £48m to £73m.

As part of the education programme, they were keen to ensure that businesses were made aware of how they fitted into the “bigger picture” i.e. the real world that they would have to enter once they came out of the incubator.  Part of the development programme was to ensure that the business would survive this transition into the outside world.

Alongside this he was involved with the “Engine Shed” which was a partnership between the University of Bristol and the City Council.  Engine Shed has been created to generate and encourage innovation through collaboration and networks. The partnership was run on a profit-making basis and although some of the profits were distributed back to the investment partners, approximately one third was invested into projects, which were within the discretion of the management board.  The Engine Shed provided premises for a number of key organisations within Bristol such as the LEP and was set up in such a way as to provide opportunities for these organisations to develop relationships with each other in the interests of the wider community.

In addition to meeting areas for business members, it also provided meeting rooms for external hire.

At the moment approximately £30-£40k was spent on projects which would encourage long-term sustainable economic growth. The three areas in which these investments were concentrated were “capital” “talent” and “innovation”.

So far as capital was concerned, one of their key strategies was to release Angel investment capital generated by Bristol business owners and to encourage them to invest this into other local businesses.

There was recognition that talent was tight.  However there are opportunities to increase diversity and these were being embraced.  They were also running programmes to generate greater ambition with children in primary and early secondary years which involved various children going round business environments in the hope that they would be inspired and encouraged to think that the world of work was something exciting and interesting inspiring them to think more about their future and how they will achieve it.  They recognised that they needed to do the same for the teachers and there was a long term programme to develop this.

The club handed Nick a cheque for £100 towards a charity called Bristol Initiative Charitable Trust in connection with their project called My Future My Choice.

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

Anyone for (Real) Tennis?  

David Mander is arranging another real tennis tester session on Thursday 7th September from 18.00 to 21.00. If you'd like to have a go please contact David.

Please support a really fun evening. Elvis is Keith Davies, a strong Rotarian, who gives his time free so that Rotary clubs can raise funds. It is Bristol Rotary's centenary year and they are trying to raise vital funds for the "Meadow Vale" project (rebuilding facilities and services for a very deprived and poor part of the city).

So why not combine helping Rotary and have a fun night out!? We have a very good venue at The Redgrave Theatre in Clifton and due to Keith's generosity we can keep the price down to £12 a ticket.

Please could members buy some tickets - and also go further and help promote it. Elvis is very much Rotary target group and, as you can imagine, very popular with the ladies (and Keith plays to this in his act). There are plenty of fliers and posters which I can send or distribute to you. The flier pictured above uses the theatre as the point of contact but you can get people to come back to me on my email or call me on 07879 473438.

Jim Currie, Bristol Rotary Club

Here is an update on Southmead Hospital's next event for the Prostate Cancer Care Appeal.  

This week they have launched the registration for the very first Amazing Abseil Adventure, where people are invited to abseil over 100ft down the side of our Brunel Building to raise money for Southmead Hospital Charity.

Registration, up until the 21st August, is only be £25 and from the 22nd August the price will rise to £35. Once signed up, they ask people to raise a minimum £100 for the Charity.

For more details and to register please visit the website

The RC Severn Vale are organising a walk in aid of the Alzheimer's Society on 3 September.

The Rotary Club of Severn Vale has chosen the Alzheimers Society as one of its main charities for 2017/18 and is organising a Memory Walk event in support of AS on Sunday 3rd September in Frampton on Severn.
Frampton is a beautiful village and walk participants will have the opportunity to see numerous sights along the famous Village Green and alongside the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. The main walk is approximately 5 miles long and everyone is welcome to join in for a minimum donation of £5 per person. For those with young children or wanting a shorter walk, there will also be a 2 mile walk option.
To register please contact as below (to help us preparing refreshments etc) or you can register on the day with a cash donation at the Frampton Village Hall  (between 10am - 11am)
We would be delighted if you could join us.
Registration and enquiries to Clare Medland
Tel: 07770 302539   email: