Arundel is a shining example of the way Rotary is changing, with a new form of leadership emerging.
The new motto is ‘be the inspiration’ and the Arundel club has made a great effort to get to the heart of the community, supporting charities, businesses, youth and sports clubs in the area.
New president Fiona Rose is keen to drive this further. She has been with the club for eight years and has seen it through some crucial changes.
Fiona was born in Kenya and lived there until she was 12, then moved to Sussex, her mother’s home turf.
Her life in Kenya was beautiful and magical but it was a country that had areas of extreme poverty, too.
Fiona said she witnessed several incidents which left an imprint and ensured she always put her humanitarian side forward. Whether it is service for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, planting for polio, donating for Dementia uk or supporting cancer patients, Fiona believes there is always someone who needs a Rotarian to help them through.
Having worked for the British Council, which sent her all over Africa, Fiona now has a small interior architecture firm based in heart of Arundel.
She has worked in countries in great conflict, helping leaders with negotiating, and found Somalia and Rwanda to be her biggest challenges.
Returning to England, she was offered a post at Sussex University as a lecturer in the same field. Then, after having her two sons, she returned to architecture, a safer vocation, she felt, at this point.
Fiona said: “I’m a firm believer in leading from the front. I’d never ask anyone to do anything I wouldn’t do. The members that have stood by me over the years all know me and know I’d never abandon them or their projects.
“Rotarians are hard to find. You need a genuine desire to help those in need, a driving force to handle the things you see and feel, be able to work through the unexpected and maintain a professional attitude to service at all times.”
This year, Arundel Rotary will be focusing more on local needs within the communities of Arundel, Angmering, Slindon, Barnham, Yapton and the surrounding hamlets.
Members and supporters will abseil down the castle walls for Chestnut Tree House, run the Brighton Marathon for Cancer United, an Angmering-based charity, provide engineering services and funds for Arundel Lido, carry on the beach clean movement in Littlehampton and Climping, bring an amazing band to Arundel to raise funds for the youth club, send two RYLA candidates to learn new leadership skills, keep up polio eradication, build new international relationships with Zanzibar and Portugal, run the Arundel Festival car park and, rumour has it, a crazy dragon boat team called the Rotary Dragons are racing to support the festival.
Internally, the club will also be competing in the Rotary sports and will be hosting several good speaker evenings, open to all, at The Norfolk Arms. The club will also be receiving a visit from the Czech Rotary club of Tabor, building on a strong union that has been ongoing for many years.
The club said with a vibrant, fun, busy year ahead and with the town firmly behind it, it would do great things - a new era for Arundel and District Rotary Club. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or vist www.arundelrotary.org