When visiting The Trinity Church of England Primary Academy, King Artaxerxes – better known as Devizes Rotary President Alan Martin – looked forlornly into his empty tankard during a short performance at recent whole school assembly.
Worried that his wine had been poisoned, he took the opportunity to discount such worries and instead talk to the school about their recent SuperChoir performance at Dauntsey’s School.
All who had taken part stood proudly among their peers before the youngest, Chloe and the oldest Isla, came forward to receive a memento of their SuperChoir experience.
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
For many of us, understanding the problems that the homeless face every day is difficult to understand; some of us are perhaps, too judgmental. That is most definitely not the case of the 40 or so volunteers who give their time to support to the homeless and others in our town who have complex social issues. These issues range from being socially isolated, to those facing a variety of different difficulties such as debt or mental health problems, to substance abuse or perhaps alcohol addiction.
Rotarian Iain Wallis introduced John Saunders from Devizes OPENDOORS who gave an enlightening presentation on the work undertaken by the charity – including welcoming up to 25 or so guests to breakfast, lunch or dinner on three days each week. He went on to say that more than 120 individuals have come through the door in the first half of this year.
Providing a meal, three days a week is just one aspect of OPENDOORS work. In addition to freshly cooked meals, the drop in centre (which is in The Parish Rooms in Long Street) offers a secure meeting point, shower facilities and advice on a range of issues from professionals.
In addition to providing a meal three days each week, a fourth weekly session called NEXT Club has recently been introduced. The NEXT club provides an opportunity for those in need to do things together and aims to provide individual, tailored support through a befriending scheme. In due course OPENDOORS wants to offer the homeless a temporary shelter in the winter months and long-term hostel accommodation.
OPENDOORS is entirely funded by grants such as that from the Wiltshire Community Foundation, from donations, from churches and fund raising – which includes an annual jumble sale and a winter sleep-out! Even with generous support from three local supermarkets, the charity still needs to raise some £16000.00 a year.
The number of questions posed at the end of John’s presentation, was testimony to the interest he generated. Clearly Rotarians were indebted to John Saunders for taking time to explain the work of OPENDOORS. The vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Tom MacMeekin.
President Devizes Rotary
Here’s a note from David Lamb regarding the recent talk given to Devizes Rotary Members by Phil Bevan, Headmaster of Devizes School.
Tuesday evening’s meeting on 19th September gave a good attendance of members and guests the chance to welcome the recently appointed head of Devizes School Philip Bevan as speaker. He brought us up to date on what was happening at the school, and its plans for the future, very well illustrated by a visual presentation.
In passing he mentioned the event some years ago when an escaped lion invaded the school and we could not help thinking how that would have been dealt with by current health and safety.
Most impressive photos of the November memorial day event around the quad were shown along with a lonely duck breaking the ‘no walking on the quad rule’. We all got the clear impression of someone who is leading from the front with an excellent relationship with his pupils and staff. Certainly two of his pupils who were working at The Crown that evening received a bit of a surprise when he arrived, but the exchanges between them later illustrated this excellent relationship.
Hopefully Devizes Rotary can cement a useful contact with Phil and Devizes School for the future.
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.