Every few weeks Thame Hub will be featuring an article on various people in Thame who serve the Thame Community. This is your chance for the people of Thame to find out a little bit more about you or your business.
If you’d like to feature in these articles then drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For our eighth instalment of the series we are talking to Marius Ciortan, from the Rotary Club of Thame to find out a little bit more about what the Rotary Club do.
For our readers who are not sure what Thame Rotary club do – can you explain a little bit more of what you are about?
We are a group of enthusiastic, fun-loving and active volunteers who give our time and skills to serve communities both in Thame and neighbouring villages, as well as overseas.
We are for communities and for making a difference. Being part of Rotary involves more than just giving something back to the community. It’s about you personally helping it to prosper and making some great friends along the way.
When were you founded?
Rotary Club of Thame is a member of Rotary International which was founded in 1905 in Chicago and is now one of the world’s largest international volunteering organisation with 1.2 million men and women as members. There are 33,000 clubs in 200 countries and geographical areas. Our Rotary Club of Thame will celebrate its 50th birthday in October 2018.
It’s amazing what Rotary Clubs can achieve by working together, either locally or globally, to maximise impact. Polio eradication is a wonderful example of the international power of Rotary. When Rotary embarked on a seemingly impossible mission to eliminate this dreadful disease there were 1,000 new cases every single day. Now there are just a handful so we have nearly completed the task.
Our Thame Rotary members take a pride in constantly supporting Rotary Foundation, our own Rotary International charity which has funded polio eradication worldwide among many other projects.
How many members do you have?
We have got 23 members from a wide variety of backgrounds. It is great to have such a diversity of thoughts and ideas within our club.
We warmly welcome new members, women and men, irrespective of ethnic, religious or gender background. We are not only proud of our diversity, but we also mean it, as 3 of our women members reached the top position as Presidents of the Rotary Club of Thame in the past 5 years.
Can anyone join and how do people go about joining?
Absolutely, we are open to women and men who want to use their experience for the benefit of others. Volunteering is by far, the number one thing people put value in when considering joining Rotary.
For example, a nurse will help us in measuring blood pressure on Know Your Blood Pressure Day, a digital marketing executive will give us a hand to reach out to younger generations through social media, a teacher will be of help in reaching out to local schools, or a member with engineering or project management background would be able to lead a water sanitation project in Africa.
Anyone interested to join could phone us on 07764 85 49 49, or click on the “Interested in joining Rotary” button of our website: www.thame.rotary1090.org
Any prospective member will then be invited to participate to at least 3 club events or meetings in order to meet the members and get hands on experience on what Rotary Club of Thame is all about.
What types of activities do you do?
Our community activities include to name just a few, a charity sky dive by our club President, Erroll Bateman, in July 2017, Know Your Blood Pressure day on 22 April, Tools Collection for Africa near Thame’s Market House on 20th May, Senior Citizens Tea Party in December.
We meet 3 times a month in an informal atmosphere, at the Spread Eagle in Thame where we hear talks from inspirational speakers or plan our community and fun activities. Meeting attendance is not compulsory, as our members’ family and work commitments come first. We are flexible enough to fit around your life. Can’t make it to every meeting? Not an issue, we’ll see you at a future meeting.
We also have lots of fun! We are for socialising. We have had garden parties hosted by our members, darts evening at a local pub, watched theatre at Mill At Sonning, attended birds of prey demonstrations and tested our precision skills with clay pigeon shooting and archery. We have got something to offer for everybody’s budget or taste.
How can the people of Thame request your help?
We are for making a difference. Our volunteers have been helping stewarding Thame Carnival, Thame 10k and Thame Food Festival over the past years. We have supported Thame Lions Santa fun run at Christmas. We have worked together with Thame Inner Wheel and Thame Town Council in organising Senior Citizens Christmas Tea Party.
We are for communities. We have helped our local people to help themselves. Our Thame Swimathon annual event at the end of February provides people of Thame and neighbouring villages the opportunity to fundraise for their favourite cause. We have fulfilled all requests from Thame Swimathon teams to allocate 50% of their funds raised towards their favourite charity or community project. Our 6th edition will take place on Sunday 25th February 2018.
What’s your favourite part of being a Thame Rotary Club member?
Getting together with my Rotary team mates, having fun and carrying out events for our local community. Through the network of Rotary Club members in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire which Thame Rotary opened for me, I have acquired public relations and website content management skills which – later on – I was then able to share with newer members from other Rotary Clubs across Thames Valley.
What’s in store for 2017?
In addition to the events mentioned earlier, we are going to host our charities cheque presentation in June and will join Thame Lions in displaying a stall at Thame Food Festival in September.
We are aiming to involve younger people by organising competitions like Best Young Chef or Young Musician. We are continuing to explore further engagement with local businesses for the benefit of the community.
We are going to continue to have inspirational speakers like Chris Rattenbury, former powerlifter who represented Britain at a number of international competitions. He is Wheel Power’s Ambassador and his talk will take place on 17 May.
What’s your favourite thing about Thame?
I love Thame and its neighbouring villages for its community spirit. I had the opportunity to meet so many extraordinary community oriented people and make new friends since 2004 when I moved in the area.
What would you say to anybody who’s interested in joining Thame Rotary?
There are so many other exciting activities and projects which we have not started yet, as we need more human resources. We are looking to welcome “doers”, not just “talkers”, people who are ready to roll up their sleeves and finalise community projects.
If you are passionate about volunteering, if you are interested in supporting and connecting with your local community, or getting involved in international projects and meeting with a group of like-minded people, we would love to hear from you. What are you waiting for? Ring us on 07764 85 49 49, or click on the “Interested in joining Rotary” button of our website: www.thame.rotary1090.org and send us your contact details.
I would encourage you to connect and follow us via www.facebook.com/thamerotary
Thanks to Marius for letting us interview him, for more information on the Rotary Club of Thame you can visit their website at www.thame.rotary1090.org .
Thanks also to Mark Hewitson for taking the photo for this featured article. For more information on Mark Hewitson photography, please visit his website at www.markhewitson.co.uk.
Read Mark’s behind the scenes blog in the “Portrait of Thame” series here.