Welcome to our new District Governor Graham Ogden DG for Rotary year 2021 -2022

My theme for next year is “Know Your Community”. 

Chris Firth IPDG hands over the chain of office to DG Graham Ogden

We have a strong Continuity Team in District 1100 and I have great hopes that we will “Grow Rotary” in the coming year and beyond.

I know that many clubs have been as active as they could be during the pandemic. Where need has been identified they have and have been giving great support to helping out . This includes supporting foodbanks and helping with vaccination arrangements. Many have been supporting other agencies and charities that have been working with those who have been struggling to make ends meet.

I encourage all Rotarians to go out and find out what has been going on in their community. We need to identify changes that have not yet been recognised

The emphasis in future is to undertake more hands-on service in our communities. However we need to raise our profile so that Rotary becomes widely known. We need people to see Rotary as a respected organisation capable of helping people with problems, challenges and difficulties.

Working with young people

I would really like to see us re-engage with young people. This will be challenging since they will need to catch up on academic work. It would be great to involve them with projects including our Youth Competitions and interviews for university, apprenticeships and jobs.

The new Rotary Area of Focus is “Environment and Sustainability”. It is an area very much to the front of people’s minds. Both young and old alike are keen to help to reduce our carbon footprint. As well as reduce the damage to the planet. Rotary can help provide support and organisation for projects that help to progress these goals.

Club Plans for 21-22

When attending a number of District Assemblies I was impressed by the positive and far-reaching plans. All these have demonstrated a ‘go forward’ determined attitude. They contained such things as:

  • Greater engagement with schools and other organisations
  • Increased use of all types of media to raise the profile of Rotary
  • Working with other Rotarians
  • Increasing the number of members
  • Arranging social events as soon as it is allowed.
  • They have also recognised the need for us to support our own charity, the Rotary Foundation. Foundation provides the grants we use to fund Rotary projects both at home and abroad.

Alongside the Assistant Governors, we are developing Teams of people at District to support all Rotarians. Next year we have teams in Membership, Public Image, Foundation and we have established an Environment Team.

Although we have not been able to identify a District Youth Lead yet though the team of Youth Competition Leads are here to give help and advice. Anne Bartholomew will be the Youth contact for the District. She will be working with colleagues in neighbouring Districts to try and develop more joint working.

Growing Rotary

To “Grow Rotary” we need to support the existing clubs in their endeavours to attract new members. And to engage with as many people as possible. Led by Drewe Lacey, the District Membership Team will be working closely with our Public Image Team, led by Andy Jarrett. They will be there helping clubs to explore a number of different initiatives and possibilities.

We have fared better than many other Districts during the past year. we need to now need to drive forward and work to increase the Rotary presence in our District. From what I have seen we can do this.

Annual Conference

After giving it careful consideration the 2022 District Conference will be a virtual event .  There are a number of reasons for that decision.

  • Conference numbers have been reducing over recent years and less than 10% of Rotarians in the District have been attending.
  • Nearly double the number of attendees, as might have been expected at a face-to-face session, were attracted to year’s Conference
  • Some people have also said that the cost is high at an in-person occasion.
  • By offering a virtual event, we can make it available free to everyone in the District and beyond.
  • It can be viewed on a dedicated platform for a year enabling it to be viewed at club meeting, at home or wherever people wish to see it.

Moreover the intention is for the content to continue to inform, advise and enthuse but clearly, the social element is missing. We aim to address this by holding next year’s Handover on a Saturday evening, at a venue in Cheltenham, with a dinner and entertainment. If they wish there will be the opportunity for people to stay overnight.

The conference will begin on 15th March 2022 and the Handover will be held on Saturday 25th June 2022.

I am very much looking forward to my year and to working with all club and District colleagues. As we enter the post pandemic period it will gives us the chance to get out there and take this District forward. Let’s grab the opportunity.

Graham Ogden

District 1100 Governor 2021/22