Newsletter 71

Welcome to our weekly newsletter

This week we welcomed three guests - Penny Godfrey of Redmaids High School, Richard Aitchison of TFT and Nigel Linacre from WellBoring. Our speaker was Linda Cruse. 

We also welcomed back Steve Livings from his recent travells in India and wished David Wells, David Mander and Blotty many happy returns of the day with a quick burst of "happy birthday"!

To introduce the Nepalese theme, Mike Blott read a Nepalese Grace

Tonpa Lame Sangye Rinpoche To the teacher above all teachers, the Precious Buddha.
Kyopa Lame Damcho Rinpoche To the protection above all protections, the Precious Dharma.
Drenpa Lame Gendun Rinpoche To the guides above all guides, the Precious Sangha.
Kyabne Konchok Sumla Chodpa Bul I offer this to the three jewels, the rare and supreme objects of refuge

Grace was followed by Nepal-themed breakfast with talks from Jayne Tucker, outlining the Club’s draft International Strategy, and Colin Shurrock on our Nepal Vocational Training Project in Pokhara (slides available) followed by Questions.


Following the recommendation of Council, the President asked for and was given authority to sign the Memorandum of Understanding in relation to the Nepal Vocational Training Project on behalf of the Club, with no-one voting against and no abstentions.


Short update on David Gammon. The president has spoken with Pam. David’s condition is not improving very much. Assessments are being made this week to see if they can get him home, but David needs some stimulation, so if anyone is able to visit (preferably mornings) but probably not this week. 

Big Thanks to Peter Hilton for organising the excellent Visit to Aerospace Museum on 9 December. Peter is on a roll and will shortly be sending around details of a Christmas walk probably on 29th December.

Introduction of our speaker

Linda Cruse - Frontline Humanitarian

Linda gave an interesting and all too short summary of some of the things she has done since, in 1996, as a stressed-out single mom working in a job she hated, she suffered temporary blindness when she was driving along the highway in the middle of the night. This terrifying episode led to a blinding insight: what is the point of living if living has no point? Determined to make a difference, Linda began a new life.

She mentioned advice from Prince Charles about engaging with business for charity. If you go to a business and they offer a cheque – LEAVE IT ON THE TABLE! Instead ask for the business skills, the passion, the heart and soul – because that has a lifetime value.

Business leaders have the ability to engage with money but if they can engage with heart and skills they can make a massive impact. Linda gave examples of situations in which she has put this into practice.

Some people feel that they don’t have the requisite skills to make a difference, but the reality is that our Western education and business experience give us all so much more than so many of the people we might be helping. For example, critical analysis skills, applied intelligence, financial literacy and marketing all lead to development of effective business plans.

Linda emphasised the importance of getting each individual to engage and then described the project that she will be leading with Redmaids High School. This will involve a year of preparation to get the students “wearing the moccasins” of the country they will be visiting (i.e. Nepal), learning how to share their passions and their skills and opening themselves up to making connections and making friends. It will be interesting to monitor their progress.

Linda was presented with a cheque for £100 from the club towards the Redmaids High School trip in July next year.

Please click here to view the short video showing how a group of students from Claremont McKenna College, USA leave a positive and long-lasting footprint on a remote community in Nepal.

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

Shakespeare Schools Festival

Although it is a couple of weeks since this event you may be interested to see the feedback from the students to their taking part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival on 23 November as a result of the club sponsoring their entry.

Klaudiusz - "It was challenging learning all my lines as I was Romeo, but it was really fun and I'd like to do it again." 
Tarron - "The performance made me feel shaky, but proud! Next year I want a HUGE audience!"
Harry - "The best feeling is when the stage is black and the spotlight is on me."
Zianne - "The performance built my confidence! Next year I would like to do another performance."
Hana - "I want to be involved in the next performance. I want to make Elmfield famous one day!"
Maksims - "I feel fantastic!"
Oscar - "I feel really brave and, of course, I'd love to do a project like this again next year!"
Hugh - "At the start I was nervous, but by the end I felt confident and enjoyed myself!"

Have a look at the pictures on their Facebook page - click here.

The club received an email of thanks from Ben at the YMCA for the second cheque for £1,000 towards the Bridewell hostel project. They are planning a plaque on the top floor for the club and for Laurence, and we will also get a mention on a panel on the ground floor.

Hi Tim and John

Many thanks for this.  We’re very grateful.  And please pass on our thanks to your fellow Rotarians!

The payment arrive in our account this morning.

Kind regards, Ben

Ben Silvey, Director, YMCA Bristol
M 07881 244 953 


The events page of the website has now been updated to July 2018. If you have any up-coming events you would like adding please email Mary at

Up coming meetings

20th December – Christmas breakfast
3rd January – Simon Chapman – All Aboard
10th January – Membership Meeting
17th January – Liz Odell – Shelter Box
24th January - Lhosa Dhaly – Spike Island