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, however 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 2020 Club Officials

Andrew Avery - Club President
Geoff Matthews - Club Vice President
Mary Saddington - Club Secretary
Mike Davis - Club Treasurer


Youth Services Committee

Our 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.

Every year we have a sailing event at Daneshill lakes for local schoolchildren, hold a Young Artist’s competition (which this year had over 250 entries), and send secondary school children on a youth leadership weekend (RYLA). We have supported youth cricket clubs, Guides and Scouts, ATC, school community gardens, Young Chef competition, Me and Dee charity, KidsOut charity, a school running track, youth club equipment, assisted at school fairs, sponsored talented individuals to help further their aspirations and much more.

This year we had a purple crocus planting competition to promote awareness of worldwide polio eradication and donated a bag of corms to twenty six schools! We initiated Rotakids in local schools which offers exciting projects to help children to think of their communities and of how they can help others.

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.

Teresa Critchley (Chair)

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 10 years will probably reduce that expectation to possibly 15 years.

The Tuxford Legacy Committee over the 10 years has distributed approximately £30,000 to many organisations, individuals, groups, schools, projects in Tuxford and the local area.

Roger Stenson (Chair)

The Percy Laws Management Committee ( PLMC )

Some years ago the Club received a generous bequest from the family of Percy Laws who was a prominent resident of Retford and also a founding member of the Club in 1937. Through management of the bequest PLMC receives funds from the Percy Laws Trustees to provide financial assistance in and around the Retford area.

The PLMC is a committee of 6 members of the Rotary Club of Retford who have been voted on to the committee by the Club members for a 3 year period and who meet to discuss and consider applications and requests for donations from individuals, families, local organisations etc.

This year, due to Covid 19 we have less funds than usual to allocate, and we have various pledges for projects that are on hold as things are on shutdown.

However we have given financial help to a student who is moving to London to be Parliamentary Staffer to an MP as part of her degree in politics. We have also pledged money to Eaton Church to make a part of the church into a community area.

Mervyn Waring (Chair)

Community Committee

The Community Committee focuses on how Club members might support community events, whilst raising funds for local charities.

We personally get involved in a number of events within Retford, e.g.

Retford Charter Day – The Club always supports this occasion by having a stall. The Community Committee will take responsibility for part of the stall and will organise a fund raising opportunity which might be a game for the children, a raffle or tombola. The raffle is particularly popular as it often includes a hamper full of chocolate.

Retford Christmas Market – As with the Charter, the committee will again participate in the 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 adds 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 enough to be joined by some reindeer, kindly given by Jennie Woodcock of Haughton Park Farm. This obviously causes great excitement amongst our youngsters.

Currently, we should be actively planning our involvement in the Christmas activities, but will have to be cautious in view of the guidance relating to COVID19. Already we know that we will not have the reindeer this year, but promise that they will return next year.

We have also been pleased to support other organisations, e.g.

Daneshill Sailing Club –We have sponsored two days each summer for two schools to experience sailing under the strict guidance of the local sailing club, which is a Royal Yachting Association training centre.

Sturton Stride – We have provided Marshalls to support the many entrants to this annual 5k run around the village, raising funds for their local community.

Royal British Legion – We have been privileged to join the teams of poppy sellers at a number of the supermarkets in the town. We have also organised, for a number of years, an annual Festival of Remembrance, just like that held each year at the Albert Hall in London.

The Little Theatre – For a number of years, we have taken some local pensioners to the Pantomime at the Little Theatre.

Retford in Bloom – It is wonderful to see how our town can look by the wonderful flower displays placed along the main roads and walkways. We have been delighted to support this venture.

As stated above it is currently difficult planning any events in view of the restrictions relating to people grouping together and so we are now giving some thought to what can be achieved in 2021, when we hope that things will be back to normal.

Mary Saddington (Chair)

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 the past 25 years we have been supporting young children in South Africa by providing preschool breakfasts, school books, facilities 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.

• 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 had:

• Film Quiz Night

• French Evening

• Christmas Market Stall

• January Jolly – an event including sketches, fun activities and a meal

to name but a few!

Derek Turner (Chair)