Rotary Club of Letchworth Howard

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Hospice draws the winning hand

Garden House Hospice Services in Letchworth Garden City drew the winning hand at Letchworth Howard Rotary Club’s annual bridge drive on Friday March 15.

The event raised £1,000 for Rotary charities, with the Hospice the principal beneficiary.

The hall at Letchworth Settlement was filled with enthusiastic card players who, as well as enjoying an afternoon of bridge, were also treated to a sumptuous tea with sandwiches and home-baked cakes prepared and served by Rotary volunteers and friends.  There was also a raffle, which alone raised £370.

Guest of honour Amanda Roberts, Garden House’s Community Engagement Co-ordinator, thanked all the participants for their support of the Hospice’s services.  She outlined recent developments, notably the new frailty service in conjunction with the Lister Hospital, Stevenage, which is both easing pressure on the hospital by freeing up beds there and greatly improving the quality of life for those patients brought under its care.
The average length of stay for in-patients at Garden House, she revealed, was just two weeks, thanks to so many patients being able to return home after receiving the Hospice’s specialist help, as a result of which their resilience had been built up.  This was very much in line with the aims of Cicely Saunders, founder of the hospice movement, who aspired for it not just to provide places of safety for death but to help people to live.
Garden House could not operate and develop its services without all the backing it had from the public and from its 800+ volunteers, she said, and fund-raising events like this one were vital.
The Hospice was “extraordinarily grateful for your support”.

Pictures show: A break for tea and cakes, and Amanda Roberts (right) of Garden House Hospice Services watches as Rotarians Angela Silver and Alan Fraser call out the lucky raffle prize-winning ticket numbers.

A brilliant welcome for two new Letchworth Howard members

A magnificent Christmas lights display welcomed two new Letchworth Howard Rotary Club members for their induction into Rotary on 11th December.
Marian Cowdrey (left) and Kim Morrice were formally admitted to the club at its December meeting, a social evening at the home of former club president Colin Green and his wife Karen. Their home is renowned for its amazing Christmas lights display, which fills their garden every year.

Welcoming Kim and Marian into Rotary was Letchworth Howard president Paul Jeffery, pictured here between his two inductees.

Kim is a retired licensee, most recently at the Three Horseshoes at Willian, on the edge of Letchworth, and Marian a secondary school teacher,In addition to the formal induction and the highly enjoyable social evening with seasonal nibbles and drinks, a collection was taken for Garden House Hospice Services, which Colin generously matched to provide a total donation of £340.


Ukuleles bring Christmas cheer to Letchworth Howard and Inner Wheel

A ukulele orchestra formed the unlikely – and hugely enjoyable – centrepiece of Letchworth Howard Rotary Club’s annual Christmas meal with its sister organisation, Letchworth Inner Wheel, on 5th December. 

This year’s event, organised and hosted by Inner Wheel, was a grand success. A raffle raised £400 (with a further £50 added by Inner Wheel to bring it up to £450) for Garden House Hospice Care in memory of Mrs Anne Jarman, an Inner Wheel stalwart who was cared for at the hospice before her recent death after a long illness. Her husband, Arthur, is a former president of Letchworth Howard and was accompanied at the dinner by their daughter Cara. The donation is particularly timely as the Hospice launches its new frailty care service.  

A second raffle raised a further £287 to help Huntington’s Disease sufferers and for other local charity work.

The musical entertainment came from the Letchworth Ukulele Group, LALUKE, who delighted the diners as they played and sang a wide range of Christmas music, including carols that everyone joined in with


New president for Letchworth Howard

Letchworth Howard Rotary Club has inaugurated a new president and vice-president under a previously arranged job change part way through the Rotary year. Angela Silver, who had steered the club from the start of the year, stood down at the club meeting on Monday November 13, relinquishing her chain of office to Paul Jeffery, her successor.

Stepping up to the role of senior vice-president, ready in due course to take over from Paul, is Colin Green. Both Paul and Colin have had experience as Letchworth Howard presidents in past years.

Pictured at the meeting are Angela and Paul, his neck bowed as he receives the presidential chain of office from Angela.  Meanwhile Colin Green tries his new senior vice-presidential chain of office for size. 



Rotary and Inner Wheel dinner helps some of the world’s poorest children

Letchworth Howard Rotary Club and Letchworth Inner Wheel have given some of the world’s most deprived children a £500 Christmas present as a result of their joint annual Christmas dinner on December 5, with another £500 coming from matched funding from generous external donors.

The money is going to boost the work of Mary’s Meals, the charity that serves nutritious school meals to children in some of the world’s poorest countries. It was raised through a raffle at the dinner accompanied by the auction of a glorious hand-made quilt created by former Rotarian Mary Rawlins. The raffle and auction produced £480, which one of the clubs’ members rounded up to £500. With the matched funding Mary’s Meals benefits with a total of £1,000.

The event, at the Broadway Hotel, Letchworth Garden City, was attended by some 60 people from the two clubs and their guests. They heard a short talk about Mary’s Meals from Keith Mansford, one of the charity’s volunteer helpers, and also watched a very moving film about the charity’s work in Liberia and Haiti.

Mary’s Meals provides a nutritious daily meal to 2.3 million children in 20 different countries. By serving the meals in schools using an army of local volunteers it not only ensures the children receive proper daily nourishment but also strongly motivates them to go to school to help secure their futures.

Assistance to Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust

On Wednesday 3rd of August The Essex & Herts Air Ambulance trust opened their new charity shop at 17 Eastcheap in the town centre and the Letchworth Howard Rotary Club was invited to attend on their special day.  Rotarians Dawn and Paul Jeffery can be seen 2nd & 3rd from the right.

It was a well organised event with several of their staff and other local dignitaries.  The shop was well stocked and a credit to them.  They did a trial business open day in the previous week and took £1847, the most they have ever taken in one day so they will be likely to keep the lease for a while !

Letchworth Howard looks to full programme despite pandemic

Letchworth Howard Rotary’s 2020-21 president sees a bright future for the club despite all the problems created by the coronavirus crisis. 

That was the optimistic message from Arthur Jarman as he laid out his plans for his presidential year at the club’s annual assembly on June 1.

 It was an assembly with a difference, as members met for their second online meeting thanks to Zoom and to club IT guru Colin Green who set it all up.  

Members were delighted to extend a big, virtual welcome to Mary Whitehead, District 1260 Governor, and Karin Weston, our area Assistant Governor who were logged in to the meeting. Taking his theme from Holgar Knaack, Rotary International president-elect, Arthur reiterated Holgar’s motto for the year: “Rotary opens opportunities”.  But he warned: “We need to prepare for: (a) being very optimistic, the restoration of activities to pre-pandemic requirements; (b) as is more likely to be the case, the introduction of social distancing and procedures for hygiene; and (c) the transfer of activity such as the quizzes or carol concert to online formats; or (d) the cancellation permanently of current projects and their replacement by quite different fund-raising activities.” 

Nonetheless, using Zoom for as long as necessary, there could be a great programme. Speakers from much further afield, and even abroad, would be invited to address the club. Members could enjoy short talks, performances, extracts from plays or concerts to enjoy together and then discuss.  We could review books or television programmes.  When permitted, he would explore the possibilities for resuming regular evening meetings over a convivial meal, suitably socially distanced if necessary, with our normal venue.  “I’m sure,” he said, “we can meet all the challenges and together live up to the Rotary International Theme for 2020-21.” 

District Governor Mary Whitehead paid tribute to the way the club had moved into the digital era.  “You should be proud of yourselves,” she said. The club had achieved so much in the past year under outgoing president Angela Silver and there was so much it was planning to do.” You’re a small club, but you’re thinking outside the box. I’m really proud of you.” 

Area Assistant Governor Karin Weston said it was lovely to be with Letchworth Howard again, albeit in a different format. She hoped to return to enjoy some of the speaker meetings via Zoom, and was especially keen on using that to bring in speakers from further afield.  She was also very interested in any plans to run the club’s regular fund-raising quizzes online via Zoom.  She was, she said, “very impressed” with how the club was approaching the coming year.  She made a special plea for the club to keep Foundation and the End Polio Now campaign in its sights in the light of their appeals for members to keep funding them.  Overall, she saw Letchworth Howard as “very forward looking” as it looked to keep going in the best way possible.


Letchworth Howard deals hospice a winning hand

Bridge enthusiasts played their cards right on Friday March 13 when Letchworth Howard Rotary Club’s bridge drive raised over £500 for Garden House Hospice Care in Letchworth Garden City and other Rotary charities.

The annual event has long been a fixture on the local bridge playing calendar and, despite the possibly inauspicious date of Friday the 13th, was once again thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part.

In addition to the bridge tournament, there was a raffle that alone raised £180 and participants also enjoyed a sumptuous home-made afternoon tea prepared and served by Rotarians and their partners.

The hospice is the principal beneficiary from the event, while other Rotary charities will also benefit.

Pantomime outing fun

 Local children receiving support from Home-Start Hertfordshire, the charity that helps young families through challenging times, again enjoyed a happy outing to the pantomime this January with a helping hand from Letchworth Howard Rotary Club. Much fun was had by all, as you can see from the Home-Start Facebook page below. We’re glad everyone enjoyed it.


Mentalist keeps Letchworth Rotarians and Inner Wheel members guessing

Astounding feats of mind-reading left members of the two Letchworth Rotary clubs – Letchworth Howard and Letchworth Garden City – and Letchworth Inner Wheel both bemused and entertained at their joint pre-Christmas dinner on 2nd December. Working with audience members picked at random mentalist David McGuire kept everyone guessing as he unfailingly identified seemingly random numbers and words picked by his volunteer helpers.The evening, at the Broadway Hotel in Letchworth Garden City, was organised this year by Letchworth Howard. It also featured a lively musical entertainment from the Bygrave Handbell Ringers. The early Christmas spirit among diners resulted in £382 being raised for Garden House Hospice Care in Letchworth through a raffle, the auction of two splendid patchwork quilts made by Letchworth Howard member Mary Rawlins, and, to conclude the evening, the sale of table decorations created by fellow Letchworth Howard member Val Aitken.



Letchworth Howard event helps young cancer sufferers

CLIC Sargent, the UK's leading cancer charity for children, young people and their families, will benefit by more than £800 thanks to a Christmas concert sponsored by Letchworth Howard Rotary Club on 27th November.
The event, Sounds of the Season, featured City Chorus, one of the area’s leading musical ensembles, with a programme of Christmas music old and new performed at Letchworth Garden City Free Church.  Among the highlights was a performance by local recording artiste and YouTube star Eirra of her own composition Alive. She is one of the many young people CLIC Sargent has helped. She received a rapturous reception.

With hot mince pies – generously donated by the Letchworth branch of the Morrisons supermarket chain, which has made CLIC Sargent its charity of the year – and wine and soft drinks on sale to complement the glorious music, audience members were lavish in their praise for what was widely agreed to have been a terrific evening.

The photographs show the full Choir, and of Eirra giving her performance.

Letchworth Howard scores bullseye for Hospice

Letchworth Howard Rotary Club scored a bullseye for Garden House Hospice Care at the club’s darts marathon evening on 14th November, which raised over £3,500 with the Letchworth Garden City based hospice the principal beneficiary.  Other Rotary charities will also receive donations as a result of the event.

The event
 attracted well over 100 participants, with 19 teams of five darts players and scorer competing to see which could score the most in an hour.  So popular did the evening, at the Broadway Hotel, prove that the darts had to be spread over two sessions to enable all the entrants to take part. 

The pictures show one of the top-scoring teams, the wonderfully named We Drink and We Throw Things, the ladies’ team Just a Trim, and an entry from Letchworth Howard Rotary Club itself.


The last photo shows a winner of one of the many spot prizes, with that T shirt nobody argued !














A smiling welcome for Letchworth Howard’s new vice-president

It was smiles all round at Letchworth Howard Rotary Club’s November 4 meeting when new president-elect Arthur Jarman was formally inducted as vice-president. Doing the honours is the current president, Angela Silver, while club secretary John Bush looks on approvingly. When he succeeds to the top role next year it will be Arthur’s second time as club president.

Arthur is a former top executive with the National Union of Teachers and has been a local councillor in North Herts and a governor of the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, the charitable body that is responsible for ensuring the continuing vibrancy of the world’s first Garden City, maintaining its distinctive atmosphere, and devoting the profits from its large property and farming portfolio to improving well-being in the town. 

Letchworth Howard keeps it in the family

It was all in the family at Letchworth Howard Rotary Club’s handover evening on Monday July 1 when president Tony Silver stood down at the end of his year of office – to be succeeded by his wife, Angela.

The sun shone – mostly – and threatened rain held off as Rotarians and guests enjoyed a garden party at the home of club member Colin Green and his wife Karen to mark the Rotary year end.

Among the guests were representatives from various organisations the club had fund-raised for during the year, who were presented with ceremonial cheques. Sue Plummer, chief executive of Garden House Hospice Care in Letchworth, received a cheque for £2,883; Faith Hojeer from Herts Home-Start, the charity that helps families with young children, was presented with a cheque for £500; and Ray Shakespeare-Smith, chairman of Helping Herts Homeless, received a cheque for £205.

The club also welcomed Sean Abbiss and Peter Mountney, winners – both on points and in level of sponsorship moneys – of its darts marathon evening in November, who were presented with their prizes. 

The event came a day after club members had enjoyed a fascinating visit to the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance base at North Weald, which left everyone far more knowledgeable about the invaluable work of the air ambulance service. The only sadness was that the ambulance normally based at North Weald had been called out just as club members arrived, continuing its vital life-saving work rather than being available to inspect.

The pictures show:

1. Guests at the Garden party.

2. Darts winners Sean Abbiss (in the dark shirt) and Peter Mountney receive their prizes from outgoing Letchworth Howard president Tony Silver.

3. Sue Plummer, chief executive of Garden House Hospice Care, with Tony Silver

4. Faith Hojeer, from Home-Start Hertfordshire, tells Rotarians and other guests a little more about the charity.

5. Tony Silver presents a ceremonial cheque to Ray Shakespeare-Smith, chairman of Helping Herts Homeless

6. Having told guests that the Rotary president’s chain of office was actually deceptively heavy around the neck, outgoing Letchworth Howard president Tony Silver has difficulty removing it as he passes the presidency on to his wife, Angela.

Club gains Rotary public relations award

Letchworth Howard Rotary Club has been named winner of the 2018 public image award in Rotary District 1260, which covers 59 Rotary clubs across a wide swathe of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
Mike Thorpe, the district public relations supremo, was a guest at Letchworth Howard’s meeting on Monday April 1 (and no, it wasn’t an April Fool joke) to present the trophy shield.
Our picture shows Mike (right) presenting the award to a clearly very happy David Walker, who is responsible for Letchworth Howard public relations.


Letchworth Howard quiz raises £1,500

They may not have known all the answers but enthusiastic quizzers came up with the right result on Saturday March 30 when Letchworth Howard Rotary Club raised around £1,500 for charitable causes.

The principal beneficiaries from the club’s annual quiz night will be Garden House Hospice Care in Letchworth Garden City and Mary’s Meals, the charity that provides a sustaining daily meal to over 1 million schoolchildren worldwide who would otherwise stay hungry or be unable to attend lessons.

With 14 teams of eight players, St George’s Church Hall was filled to capacity as they tested their knowledge across a wide range of topics and enjoyed a luxury ploughman’s supper during the midway interval. The fund-raising was boosted by a raffle that contributed £243 to the total.

The picture shows contestants enjoying a good tuck-in as they get their brains in gear for part two of the quiz.

Race fans deliver £400 prize for Letchworth Howard pantomime outing

Letchworth Howard Rotary Club’s annual pantomime outing for under-privileged children was the clear winner at the club’s race night on January 26, which produced net proceeds of £400 to pay for this year’s visit to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage.

The evening included a bumper raffle which saw one lucky punter have no fewer than three of the tickets in his strip of five drawn for a prize.  He insisted that two of them be discounted and tickets re-drawn.

Working in conjunction with Home-Start, the charity that helps families with young children, the club had already taken 22 local children and nine accompanying adults to the Gordon Craig show earlier in the month.


Hospice scores again at darts marathon

There was another great score for Letchworth Garden City’s Garden House Hospice at Letchworth Howard Rotary Club’s darts marathon evening, which raised an estimated £2,000-plus for Rotary charities with the hospice the principal beneficiary.

The event, at the town’s Broadway Hotel on November 15, attracted some 70 participants playing in 13 teams across two sessions in a lively, fun-filled atmosphere.

The full financial results will not be known until January when all the sponsorship monies come through, but the total is thought to have been at least £2,000, including about £250 from the raffle.

The club has another charitable event coming up.

On January 26, is a race night to raise funds for the annual pantomime visit for under-privileged children organised by the club. Other Rotary charities will also benefit.

Tickets are £10, which includes supper (though it’s bring your own drinks). The evening starts at 6.30 for 7.00, See our Special Events page for details.


tea at bridge

Raffle at Bridge 





Shop open day





Dart line
we throw thingsjust a trim
Hall of darts

Arthur VP

Award for PR

Quiz night 2019

Horse Racing ?

Darts 1

Darts 2