Category Archives: Communities

Devizes Rotary help out at Julia’s House Family Christmas Cracker event

On Saturday 2nd December the Devizes Rotary Food and Fun team team were in action at the Julia’s House Family Christmas Cracker event which was held at the Braeside Education & Conference Centre in Devizes.

Although there weren’t as many visitors as was hoped, many of those that did attend took full advantage of the hot food on offer from Devizes Rotary to warm up against the winter chill.

A few of the younger visitors also had  a go on the ‘Rotathalon’ games that were there, namely Splat the Rat, Loop the Loop and  Desktop Skittles. It turned out that there were some budding future champions among them!

All the profits raised by Devizes Rotary have been donated to Julia’s House which has been supporting Wiltshire families with life-limited children for three years via its home-based community care. The new hospice in Devizes now gives them access to further specialist end of life care and social opportunities at the Devizes centre.

A note from Graham Mitchell , Chair of Friends of Julias House Devizes

Hello Cliff,

On behalf of Julia’s House I would like to thank you and your team for providing some excellent hot food for us on Saturday, it really went down well. We really appreciate your support, and look forward to working with you again on future events.

Kind Regards,


Rotarians help at the Devizes Tree Festival

Devizes groups celebrate Christmas and help raise funds for local children’s charities.

Once again, Devizes Rotarians have played their part in the organisation and management of the 2017 Christmas Tree Festival. Not least however, has been the contribution made by Rotarian Terry Bazeley, who masterminded the project management from its very beginning. Terry’s personal contribution in time and commitment cannot be understated.

Help was on hand from Rotarians Jean Allen, David Hogg and President Alan during the latter stages of setting up when, over three days, children from Devizes schools and infant groups, members of clubs, societies and businesses arrived at St John’s Church to decorate their sponsored trees – all sixty of them!

Rotary too, sponsored and decorated a tree – as Devizes Rotary have done on two previous occasions. While many of the trees are wonderfully and thoughtfully decorated, Rotary’s theme this year was to celebrate ‘Rotary around the World’. With our tree displaying flags of many nations our strap line stated, ‘Rotary in Devizes and in 35,000 other clubs throughout the world’.

The trees will be judged by MP Claire Perry, and while we don’t expect to win a prize, we hope that our tree will tell  a story of Rotary’s worldwide ‘Service above Self’ promise.

The Festival will be followed on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th December with a Christmas Bazaar in both Devizes Town Hall and St. John’s Church. Rotarians will be busy during the Bazaar cooking and serving food and in doing so, raise funds for the nominated charities.

All money raised from the Tree Festival and the Bazaar will be donated to charity, with 25% going to St Johns **Omnes ad Unum fund and 75% awarded to local children’s charities*.

The Christmas Tree Festival at St John’s Church, Long Street, Devizes, runs from Saturday 2nd December through to Saturday 6th January and can be viewed between 3.00pm and 5.00pm on each day when all trees will be lit and when they can be seen to best advantage.


*The Festival and Bazaar is supporting: –   Canon’s House, Devizes & District Opportunity Centre, Bradbury Manor, Julia’s House, 3rd Devizes Scouts, Devizes & District Girl Guides, Wiltshire Young Carers, Rowdford Charitable Trust, Caen Hill Countryside Centre, Wiltshire Sight Zoom Club.

**Omnes Ad Unum (All for One) Devizes is a group which was set up in   2015 with members from St. John’s Church and the local community of Devizes and surrounding areas.  Omnes Ad Unum is a group operating within the charitable status of St John with St Mary Devizes to raise funds for both the Church and importantly for good causes within the wider Devizes Community. Events are organised throughout the year, with 75% of the funds raised being donated to local organisations and charities.


10,000 purple crocuses planted as part of End Polio Now Campaign

Last Saturday Devizes Rotary organised the planting of a further ten thousand purple crocuses on The Green in Devizes. Mayor Nigel Carter joined them, family members and members of Devizes Town Council to help in a nationwide bid to plant six million crocus corms in the lead up to World Polio Day on 24th October.

Rotary, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have been working together since 1988, then, in 2007, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joined them in their campaign to eradicate polio. The campaign has since reduced the number of polio cases by 99.9 percent, and has reached more than 2.5 billion children with the appropriate vaccine. Rotary, with matching funds from the Gates Foundation, has contributed more than $1.6 billion.

The crocuses planted on The Green in Devizes are a symbolic representation of the children around the world receiving immunisation, and they are purple to signify the purple dye that the children dip their finger into to make sure no children are missed.

If you would like to contribute to the work we’re doing go to

Devizes Rotary SuperChoir gives a fun performance at the town’s Community Hub opening

On Tuesday of this week, hundreds of people enjoyed the official opening event of theDevizes Community Hub and Library. The afternoon was a real community celebration, with activities for children, a bake-off cake competition, and superb performances from Devizes Rotary SuperChoir, and St Matthews Junior Choir, Rowde.

John Thomson, cabinet member for communities and libraries, said: “This fantastic new hub is part of Wiltshire Council’s programme of investment to create community campuses and hubs across the county.”

Devizes Rotary President Alan Martin was flattered to hear the choir introduced as ‘The Devizes SuperChoir’! In addressing the gathering at the opening of the event, President Alan was able to say how proud he and his colleagues in Devizes Rotary were of their SuperChoir, now in its fourth year.

Representing the 160 strong choir at the Community Hub, and singing a selection of songs first heard when the 2017 SuperChoir performed at Dauntsey’s school in July, were children from Southbroom, St Nicholas and Wansdyke Primary schools.

Once again, Devizes Rotary is grateful to their Artistic Director Carol Berry who, with the support of husband Chris, ensured the children were well rehearsed and ready to give a snapshot performance of Devizes Rotary’s SuperChoir.

Rotary is also very grateful to the mothers and teachers who gathered to support their children at the opening.

Some feedback from Graeme Morrison, Wiltshire Council’s Devizes Community Engagement Manager:

I would just like to add my sincere thanks, on behalf of Wiltshire Council, to all the children who took part in the SuperChoir yesterday at the hub, and to those schools that helped facilitate that. It was wonderful to see and hear the children in the new Community Hub and Library. I really hope they enjoyed performing as much as everybody enjoyed listening.

I’d also like to say a special thanks to Alan, and especially to Carol and Chris, for helping to make this happen.

All the best


Thanks from the Devizes Opportunity Centre

Following the presentation of the cheque made recently by the Devizes Lions Club and Devizes Rotary to the Devizes Opportunity Centre (click HERE for details) I received the following letter of thanks from Graham Gaiger:

It’s lovely to be able to help such a worthy vause, and thanks once again to all concerned for their great support.

Best wishes


Raising cash for Hurricane Irma victims

Many thousands of people have been affected by Hurricane Irma over the past couple of weeks. It destroyed around 90 percent of the Caribbean island of Barbuda, and devastated vast areas of St Martin, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, South Eastern Bahamas and Florida. Authorities in St. Martin said 95 percent of the French part of the island was destroyed.

Image result for hurricane irma 2017

Devizes Rotary therefore arranged a street collection last Thursday which raised £568.66 due to the generosity of the Devizes public. This has already been sent to the ShelterBox charity, who are continuing to ship much needed supplies to help alleviate the enormous suffering caused by the hurricane.

Devizes Rotary will send a further £500 in the next few days to help with that effort.

A big thank you to all who contributed so generously to the collection, and if you’d like to make your own contribution please go to