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Our First Pelsall 5k/10k Run…

Right at the start...

It was great to wake up this morning knowing it was likely to be a nice day, with no rain, plenty of help, and a fair number of runners. Well we weren’t disappointed with over 150 runners registering to take part, and more marshals than we’d
expected. We had a great turnout from the Air Cadets and members from several other Rotary Clubs. We also had local Bloxwich councillors Sean & Julie Fitzpatrick who were amongst our qualified first aiders (none of whom were, thankfully, needed).

Our two events ran side by side, and the first winner was in the men’s 5k, crossing the line in just over 15 minutes.
The 10k winning men’s time wasn’t much over 32 minutes so was also pretty fast. All the times will be found shortly on the CAMBA events website; our thanks go to them for arranging the details of today’s race for us.

In amongst the runners we had representatives from many local and not so local running clubs, people of all ages, and a number
of runners raising monies for charities including one lady, Kathy, who at age 70 is aiming to run 70 races before she reaches 71 – given that won’t happen until September and this was race number 64 that’s looking like a target she’ll reach with ease. She was a genuine inspiration, and finished the 10k run alongside our own Steve Holmes (who volunteered to run at the back so we know when everyone was home) and an army of cadets who were cheering her along. You can read more about her efforts on her blog. You could also help her raise funds through Just Giving here.

A final figure is not yet known, but should be around the £1,500 mark, which is an excellent total; thanks to everyone for the support, and we’ll confirm the final totals and recipients very soon. All of the photographs from the day are on Facebook and you’re welcome to share and/or tag them.

And now, the planning can start for 2015!

Bloxwich Carnival Royalty Selection


Now is your chance to become one of the members of Bloxwich’s Royal Family for 2014-15.

The 2014 Bloxwich Carnival Queen, Princess and Rosebud will be selected at Bloxwich Library Theatre on Thursday 24 April at 6pm.

Contestants MUST live in the Walsall/Bloxwich area and their Parents/Guardians pay their Council Tax to Walsall Council. Contestants must be within the stated age limit for the competition they are entering for by the qualifying date; Queen (16-24), Princess (11-15) or Rosebud (7-10).

The Carnival Queen, Princess and Rosebud will be required to attend the Carnival Day, Saturday 2 August 2014, and winners, in particular, the Carnival Queen will be expected to attend community events during their year including Carnival Royalty Selection 2014 and Senior Citizens’ Party. The Carnival Queen automatically becomes a member of the committee and will be expected to attend regular meetings.

It’s a big responsibility, but also a great opportunity to take part in the local community, so why not download an application form and enter now?

Entry forms are available in three formats:

Entry is now open for our Pelsall 5k/10k


Entry forms for out upcoming 5k/1ok fun run are now available.

The run, which takes place at 11am on Sunday 13 April, should be a lot of fun, and all proceeds will be going to local charities.


Crocuses point to Spring arriving


There’s a big splash of purple bringing colour to Bloxwich right now.

A few years ago a new campaign was launched by Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland to promote our ongoing efforts in the worldwide drive to eliminate Polio. The purple crocus was chosen as it is generally in flower around the time of Rotary’s birthday, on 23 February each year, and the purple colour matched the dye painted on the fingers of children in other countries who had been immunised against Polio.

We here in Bloxwich planted crocuses in the garden/lawn at St John’s and All Saints, and also around our tree in the Bloxwich Park (Thanks to Tracey for the picture).

The tree, originally planted to mark Rotary’s centenary, is now surrounded by a band of the beautiful flowers. We’re just one of many hundreds of clubs around the UK who have supported this awareness campaign. This has now expanded into a worldwide crocus campaign with themed pin badges.

This year despite the terrible weather recently the crocuses have performed well and are nicely in bloom for 23 February, helping us to celebrate World Rotary Day.

Meanwhile the campaign to end polio continues; there are an ever reducing number of cases, and there are just three countries remaining where Polio is endemic. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of work required to complete our goal, but it increasingly appears to be in reach, and when it is achieved it will make Polio only the second disease to be eradicated worldwide by the intervention of people.

Meanwhile, enjoy the colour they bring, and here’s hoping for a better Spring!

12 Days of Christmas: Suzanne Payne

Another year, and another 12 days of Christmas draws to a close. For our final donation this time around, we have chosen Suzanne Payne, who is currently in training to prepare to climb  Mount Edith Cavell, to raise funds for the Cavell Nurses Trust.

Edith CavellEdith Cavell was a British nurse, celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from both sides without distinction and in helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during World War I, for which she was arrested. She was subsequently court-martialled, found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. Despite international pressure for mercy, she was shot by a German firing squad. Her execution received worldwide condemnation and extensive press coverage. She was 49 at the time of her execution. You can read more about her on Wikipedia.

The Cavell Nurses’ Trust, (formerly known as NurseAid), was originally set up in 1917 following the public outcry that followed the Edith’s death. Many members of the public sent donations in memory of Edith and these formed a source of funds still used by the Trust to help nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants in their time of need.

They provide vital support to all UK nurses during very difficult times, offering help to registered nurses, midwives, health care assistants, student nurses and retired nurses who have given a lifetime of caring and compassion.

We wish Suzanne well with her climb of Mount Edith Cavell, a mountain located in the Athabasca River and Astoria River valleys of Jasper National Park, Canada, and the most prominent peak within Alberta. If you’d like to join us in supporting her, you can do so via the Just Giving Page. We wish her, and all the people we’ve supported this time around, all the best in her efforts.


We’re in The Guardian

Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI) have joined forces with The Guardian newspaper for a special supplement in which Rotary and its activities are publicised. One of our pictures features in the article – Andy is there collecting tents at the V Festival. The whole article is readable by clicking the image below:

Andy collecting tents

Hopefully the article will result in membership enquiries increasing – without new members it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain our calendar of activities. If you’d like to find out more, please contact us.

12 Days of Christmas: Mellish Engineering

Mellish EngineeringFor our penultimate day of our 12 Days of Christmas for 2013, we’ve selected a page set up by Mellish Engineering Services to raise funds for the Stroke Association.

The page has been set up in memory of Christine Rattenberry; in the words of the page owner:

“This year (2013) Christine Rattenberry (Mom) suffered 3 seperate strokes across 9 months ranging from a mild intial stroke to the third and final one in August, which finally lead to her sad passing in October (2013). Christine fought very hard and showed true strength and courage, she never gave up, always stayed positive and made us all very proud until her last moments.  Christine took an active part at Mellish and supported us all in every way, Christine was extremely proud of what her family and friends have acheived! (and still continues to do today).

I feel this challenge really fits Christine’s view on life and how she lived her own life, challenging, testing, but great fun with a huge sense of acheivement!

So dig deep, and take into consideration that this challenge will have not only her son and friends taking part but Andrew (65 years of age), widowed husband who misses Christine dearly everyday.”

The Stroke Association provide high quality, up-to-date stroke information for stroke patients, their families and carers.

Every year there are approximately 152,000 strokes in the UK. That’s one stroke every five minutes. Most people affected are over 65, but anyone can have a stroke, including children and even babies.

Stroke changes lives. It can have a huge effect on both individuals and their families.

You can help support the work of the charity by supporting Mellish Engineering as they take on The Major Series in March 2014. You can do so via the Just Giving page in the usual way.

12 Days of Christmas: ERR Wolverhampton

With a few exceptions, we’ve generally concentrated on individual efforts in our 12 Days of Christmas posts. So for a change, today and tomorrow, we’ve picked a couple of local companies whose staff have banded together to raise funds for good causes.

Today we’ve selected ERR Wolverhampton, who collectively did a ‘Leap of Faith’ to say ‘Balls to Cancer‘.

Aerial ViewThrough this parachute jump, they have collectively raised (so far) 83% of their £2,500 target, and are one of the Balls to Cancer charity’s biggest fundraisers on Just Giving.

This is a relatively new charity, whose primary is to raise male cancer awareness and to support male cancer education and research. One of the primary issues health professionals face when looking to men’s illnesses is the tendency for men not to report health issues until the symptoms are quite advanced. This makes treatment more difficult for most if not all cancers, and reduces the likelihood of survival/recovery.

The charity has a helpful guide for men to check for testicular cancer.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to join us in supporting the staff of ERR towards their target total, you can of course do so by donating through their Just Giving page.

12 Days of Christmas: Black Country Cycling Clubs

BCCC Halloween HowlerFor Day 9 we have a combined effort with a page set up by Stephen Moreton. The event was a ‘Halloween Howler’, and was a sponsored cycling event supported by local cycling clubs and stores, to raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-shortening inherited disease, affecting over 10,000 people in the UK. You can’t catch or develop cystic fibrosis, it’s something you’re born with and most cases in the UK are now diagnosed soon after birth.

It is vital that people with cystic fibrosis receive appropriate healthcare, enabling them to live longer, healthier lives, and this is one of the aims of the Trust.

Stephen and his colleagues have so far raised just over £300, but more is always welcome, and you can add to that total by visiting their Just Giving page and clicking the Donate button.

12 Days of Christmas: Julie Teale

Our selection for day 8 of our 12 Days of Christmas is a little different in some ways. Julie Teale set up the page in 2009, but she and others have continued their efforts since then. As is often the case, we find it much easier to use her words:

“Our lives changed forever on the 15 September 2009; this is the day that our precious 23-year-old Daughter Zoë was taken from us by a silent killer called ‘SADS’.

ZoeZoë was only 23 when she died suddenly in her sleep. She worked as a fitness instructor and was fit and healthy prior to her death. As far as the family are aware there have been no cases of sudden death or cardiac problems in the young in either of our families.

Zoë spent the day before her death with her sister, and the evening laughing and joking around with her family and best friend Ben. We were all unaware of the devastation that was to come; she didn’t have any symptoms of any illness. Zoë died suddenly in her sleep that evening.

The family were only made aware of ‘SADS’ (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome) after Zoë’s death. We also learnt that tragically 12 young lives are lost each week as a result of this, recent research not yet published has increased this figure to 36, the numbers of deaths may be higher because records are not kept and coroners will often pass deaths off as natural causes due to the time and cost factor of researching further to find specific causes of death.

It was more distressing to learn that lives could be saved if children were screened with a simple ECG scan, this would detect conditions and allow them to be treated, again costs and lack of specialist cardiologists prevents this from taking place.”

So Julie and others have dedicated time and effort in memory of Zoë to raise funds for the CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) Charity to fund the cost of ECG screening sessions for young adults throughout the West Midlands, to help save lives and prevent other families going through this tragedy.

The combined efforts of those involved have taken the total raised so far to just ove £69,000 – a truly brilliant figure, and one which we’re pleased to be able to add to in a small way today. If you’d like to add more, you can, as always, do so via the Just Giving page.