Copyright © Paul Murphy 2021

Cheltenham Rotary and the Environment

Rotary International are encouraging all Rotary Clubs around the world to ‘do our bit’ towards improving the environment and to lead the way forward by setting a good example. We at Cheltenham Rotary don’t need much encouraging. We are only too aware that our impact on our planet needs to be improved.

As part of this, we have re-launched our environmental front. We’ve been active in this important area for several years, and now we’re moving up a gear by reaching out to the local community and especially to school age children.

Our first headline action was to arrange a children's poster competition to coincide with the Cop26 Conference in Glasgow. Harry and Emily Murphy, the grandchildren of one of our Rotarians, have helped to design the certificates that will be awarded at school assemblies this week. The winning posters were selected on artistic skill, but with a specific emphasis on a stark understanding of the very real dangers facing all of us, and all living creatures, and it was clear from the entries that the children really do comprehend what the future will be like .... or can be like if we don't take urgent action.

While we at Cheltenham Rotary realise that involving children is crucial, we aren't just relying on the youngsters. The club are leading the way by setting a good example. As well as planting 100 trees and thousands of Crocuses around the town, Cheltenham Rotary have recently paid £1,000 to have a failed African well re-opened, thus saving water having to be transported long distances, and of course protecting many, many lives.

We have several other projects in the planning stage too. The first being another children's competition. This one is part of a major Rotary Great Britain & Ireland initiative, looking for young environmentalists who are leading the way, either by large scale litter picks, persuading family,  friends and schools to use energy more wisely or perhaps by arranging to grow food rather than have it shipped here from abroad. Cheltenham Rotary are hoping that some of the finalists in this important competition can be found in our area and we have asked local primary schools to join us in seeking that special child, or group of children, or maybe a whole school. As it's a national competition, winning through to the final stage won't be easy, but just being involved will be a reward in itself.