About the
Rotary Club
of Retford

The Rotary Club of Retford was formed in 1937 and has established itself as one of the most active and highly subscribed clubs in the UK.

The club currently has over 70 members ranging in age from 30 upwards but there is no minimum age requirement for membership. Our members come from all walks of life, but primarily will be professional people, business or community leaders. In addition, we also have a corporate membership scheme which enables local businesses to engage more effectively in their corporate responsibilities. The club engages in a number of philanthropic activities throughout the year and seeks to benefit local, national and international charities, community organisations, families and individuals. We raise and disperse in the region of £100,000 every year. 

In addition, the club conducts several social events each year for its members, their families and friends. The club has a thriving social programme and friendship and fellowship are at the heart of everything that we do. In addition to the many organisations and individuals whom we support, we are always interested in new projects and good causes, in particular where these will benefit the local community or youth groups.

Our members have a wealth of knowledge and experience from business and the professions and our support can be service orientated as well as financial. If you have a project or cause that you think is worthy of support then please contact us. 

Although we are a thriving club we are always on the lookout for new members. The easiest way to join our club is via the sponsorship of an existing member. However if that is not possible, you can apply to join the club directly by contacting the club secretary. Potential corporate members should also contact the club secretary. 

Meet The Team - Our 2023/24 Club Officials

Mary Danby - Club President
Marjorie Crookes - President-Elect
Mary Saddington - Club Secretary
Neil Grayston - Club Treasurer

Youth Services Committee

The Youth Services Committee has always been very active in raising funds and in giving personal time to support the enormous number of groups and projects to help young people in our community.

Our annual events include our wonderful Festival of Remembrance which is a sell out annual event in the community and our very popular stall on the Christmas market.

Again this year we have supported a sailing event at Daneshill Lakes giving local schoolchildren an opportunity to try something new.

We held a Young Artist’s competition earlier this year with the theme of the Coronation and displayed the entries alongside the Retford Art Society's exhibition in St. Swithun's Church.

We always try to respond positively to requests for help to give our young people a helping hand  and to encourage them in their projects.

Dave Cartwright (Chair) July 2023

Community Committee

The Community Committee focuses on how Club members might support the local community by undertaking events and raising funds for local charities.

One of our major themes for 2023/24 will be to support the establishment of a Memory Cafe in the Retford area and to investigate activities that could relieve loneliness in our local community which is highlighted as a considerable problem and is known to affect wellbeing.

We will also be examining how we can interact with other key stakeholders in the local community such as local authorities, schools, voluntary sector and local charities to make more effective use of our scarce resources and make a difference for residents.

We personally get involved in several events within Retford

Retford Charter Day - The Club always tries to support this occasion by having a stall and organising a fund-raising opportunity to support a local charity

Retford Christmas Market - As with the Charter the committee will again participate with a stall but with a more festive theme. Many of our members are only too happy to dress in a variety of Christmas outfits all of which add to the occasion.

Street Collections - at least once a year the Club will hold a street collection in Retford and are always overwhelmed with the amount of support from our local community. Our Christmas collection has become a highlight as we have been fortunate to be joined by some reindeer, kindly given by Jennie Woodcock of Haughton Park Fram

Royal British Legion - we have been privileged to join the teams of poppy sellers at several supermarkets in town and we have also organised for several years an annual Festival of Remembrance, just like that held each year at the Albert Hall in London

In Spring 2024 we are also trying to organise a fashion show with proceeds going to the local Hospice and building on last year's successful Music Festival will be planning to hold another one in Autumn 2024

Rob Morrison (Chair) July 2023

International Committee

Rotary is an international service organisation that works to improve the quality of life for all people.

Retford Rotary Club has as International Committee that exists to do good in the world and promotes understanding, peace and improves the life conditions for people of all ages and cultures. To this end we have supported financially Polio Plus, through which Rotary is working to eradicate polio from the world.

We raise funds at times of international disasters and are involved in providing emergency clean water and shelter in areas when disaster strikes, through Aquabox and Shelterbox projects.

For nearly 30 years now we have been supporting young children in South Africa by providing preschool breakfasts, school books, facilities, clothing and and equipment. The project is known locally as ‘The Bread Fund’ as we originally supplied bread to feed the children, although now we provide fortified porridge. The project has grown each year and we now support 10 different schools in the KwaZulu-Natal region.

Also projects recently supported include:

• Lend with Care – which makes small loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries, and helps them work their way out of poverty.

Rise to Shine - this Foundation supports the education of young people in Kenya who otherwise would not have the funds to attend secondary school.

• Bees for Development – the charity helps remote and poor families to earn essential income to meet their basic needs. It encourages farmers to make simple beehives so that more people can harvest and sell honey, turning natural resources into sustainable livelihoods.

• Mercy Ships – which deploy hospital ships to some of the poorest countries in the world, delivering free healthcare to people in desperate need.

Fund-raising events have taken many forms over the years but recently we have enjoyed:

• a 60's evening with karaoke and quizzes

• an antiques and flea market stall

• a race night with a St. Patrick's Day theme, pie and peas

• a 100-square fundraising game

Ange King (Chair) July 2023

The Percy Laws Management Committee ( PLMC )

A number of years ago the club was fortunate to receive a generous bequest from the family of Percy Laws, who was a founding member of The Rotary Club of Retford and a prominent local resident. Through management of this bequest the Percy Laws Management Committee receive funds from the Percy Laws Trustees that enable it to make a difference to individuals, families, groups and local organisations. This is with the aim of supporting and improving life opportunities locally.  Working reactively and proactively, assisting and giving a helping hand is central to our committee decisions.

Applications for assistance are directed to us via the club website and from other committees within the Club who require match funding. They are diverse in nature with a broad range of ages and requests.  We give careful consideration to them all. Projects and people recently assisted include:

At a community level, we are pleased to have been able to help both small groups and societies that support, inform and educate, and also various other groups that provide assistance for the service user with their health needs.

The committee also maintains links with stakeholders from larger organisations that reach out to the more vulnerable in our local community such as The Food Bank, New Roots, Hope and Women’s Aid.  Examples of recent support include:

A financial pledge to a young man to realise his dreams of working within a disadvantagedcommunity in Borneo

Enabling another young man to represent his country in acompetitive swimmingchampionship in Canada

The management committee has also supported local schools to improve the educational experience for the pupils. We have helped to fund a wellbeing garden, the upgrading of equipment and the regeneration of play areas that will benefit children both educationally and socially.

 The Committee members feel extremely privileged to be able to uphold the philanthropic ideals that Percy Laws and his family envisaged when setting up the bequest.  Our goal is to maintain these fundamental values with each application we receive.  

Viv Montgomery (Chair) July 2023

Tuxford Legacy Committee

Tuxford Legacy Committee

In 2010 Mr and Mrs Coddington of Tuxford made a lifetime gift to the Rotary Club of Retford. The Rotary Club of Retford Trust Fund holds the proceeds of The Mr and Mrs Coddington Trust Fund. The Tuxford Legacy Committee was set up in 2010 to administer the distribution of funds of the Mr and Mrs Coddington Trust Fund for the Rotary Club of Retford. The members of the Rotary Club of Retford must approve the disbursement from the Fund at a club business meeting. The purpose of the Fund is to assist the needy and the local community in and around Tuxford. It should cater for the needs of local organisations, support the arts and promote community spirit.

The initial expectation was for the fund to last 20 years. The effect of the financial climate over the last 12 years will probably reduce that expectation to possibly 14 years. The Tuxford Legacy Committee over the 12 years has distributed approximately £37,000 to many organisations, individuals, groups,
schools, projects in Tuxford and the local area.

Roger Stenson (Chair) July 2023