This week was our latest membership drive night.
The evening was to give an insight into Rotary and specifically into some of the key project that we as a club support.
With Rotary, is about what we do, the differences we make, and the satisfaction we get from being able to make those differences for so many.
The formal part of the evening was a series of short presentation for speakers from club members or the representative from organisations that we have supported financially, giving us short five-minute presentations, sharing the benefits that Bayside has made to them.
 

Shelterbox – Rotarian Peter Kavenagh

Days for Girls

Christ Church community meals program

Rotary Youth Exchange –( a Parents perspective)

Barwon Health Patient Transport Service (BHPTS)

 
Final summary from jo was to encourage Bayside to searh for great people to join us.
If you are interested Bayside Contact details are on this page.
 

Shelterbox – Rotarian Peter Kavenagh

Peter along with Simon are also Shetlerbox Advocates/Ambassadors Shetlerbox and Rotary are official Project Partners in international disaster relief.
 
However, Shetlerbox is a registered charity independent of Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation.
 
By working together with Rotary, Shetlerbox are able to collaborate and combine resources to ensure that they can support more communities in desperate need of shelter after disaster.
 
Rotarians and Rotary clubs like Bayside Geelong across the world support Shetlerbox in a variety of ways, from raising funds and awareness to providing support on the ground during response to a disaster.
 
This enables Shetlerbox to work more effectively and reach more communities around the world.
 
Peter gave a novel insight to the workings of Shetlerbox to the meeting using the very slick Virtual Visitor Centre tour of the operations in Cornwall UK at https://www.visitshelterbox.org/virtual-visitor-centre/ so rather than giving a narrative we recommend you follow the link and learn all about it.
 

Days for Girls

Our next speaker was Rotarian Telsa Stubna who is the leader of a local the Days for Girls team.
 
Telsa who is a Days for Girls strong supporter and hands on maker of Day for Girls Kits gave us the drum on this very worthwhile program.
 
Days for Girls increases access to menstrual care and related education, cultivating social enterprises, mobilising volunteers like Telsa,
 
Days for Girls aims by doing this work that we can shatter stigmas and limitations for women and girls. Creating a world with dignity, health, and opportunity for all.
 
Days for Girls began in the USA as a volunteer-run organization.
 
What began in November 2008 as a small yet passionate group of women (and some men!) has rapidly grown into a robust network of more than 50,000 volunteers around the globe.
 

Christ Church community meals program

Our next speaker was Jan MacGowen
 
Jan is the driving force behind the Christ Church community meals program.
 
Jan is a friend of the Bayside Rotary Club and the club is a strong supporter of the program both financially and hands on assistance.
 
The program was set up almost 30 years ago by Father Barry Smith who was the vicar of Christ Church at th time to provide a breakfast program initially. 
 
This has evolved over time, albeit because of an increase in the need for this program to support those in most need (singles, couples and most concerning families).
 
Today the program has expanded to be breakfast every day and 2 evening meals a week servicing over 1000 breakfast and 1000 evening meals each month with over 100 volunteers.
 
The program also has a sub program where from 12noon to 2pm they run an Emergency food cupboard where those in need may come and collect non-perishable food items IT IS IMPORTANT to note the Christ Church Community Meals Program is funded totally by donations from the community.
 

Rotary Youth Exchange –( a Parents perspective)

Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) is a Rotary International student exchange program for students in secondary school.
 
Since 1929, Rotary International has sent people around the globe to experience new cultures.
 
Currently, about 9,000 students are sponsored by Rotary clubs every year.
 
Typically, students are sent to another country for a year-long stay, generally living with multiple host families during the year and being expected to perform daily tasks within the household as well as attend school in the host country
 
Our next presentation was not about the mechanics of Rotary youth Exchange (which if you want to know that aspect of RYE go Here)
 
Alieen and Rick Brown the parents of Coner Brown who the Rotary club of Bayside Geelong’s current youth exchange student in Germany since January Gave the meeting an insight into the program from an angle we don’t normally get to explore.
 
The lead up tasks and emotions that the student and more interesting the parents on the journey to saying goodbye to your child for a year in a foreign country in the care of a Rotary host family you don’t know.
 
Rick and Alieen gave an honest and a little emotional view of the journey to Coner’s flight out in January and how Coner has matured even as part of the selection and preparation phase of RYE.
 
They spoke also on the opportunity for Coner to grow even more whilst away. Given the all potential benefits of RYE it was obviously a brave step for the parents and well as the student).
 

Barwon Health Patient Transport Service (BHPTS)

Our final speaker was Rotarian Jo White who spoke on the BHPTS that she is involved in personally as a driver and that the club supports financially.
 
The report below is directly from Jo’s presentation notes:
 
“I would like you to put yourself in some one else shoes for a moment You are unwell, you are alone with no family, and you don’t have any friends that can help you. You have daily medical appointment and you are a pensioner so taxi fares are out of the question. To me that equals Sadness and STRESS, and when you are sick and alone that is the last thing you need".
 
ENTER ‘The Barwon Health Patient Transport Service, it provides a free service for patients who do not have access to safe or reliable transport.
 
The Service may be the only option for patients with no support system or family to transport them to appointments they need to attend each day or week. ‘Barwon Health are extremely fortunate to have a fleet of 4 vehicles and a team of 30 dedicated volunteers who donate their time to deliver this essential program.
 
These volunteers are community members themselves who want to make a difference in the lives of others who need help.
And happy to say, I am proud to be one of them ‘The Patient Transport Service is not funded by Barwon Health and relies on the generous support of the community to continue this vital program.
 
This year Rotary Club of Bayside donated $5000, (that is a lot of sausages) to this fabulous project.
 
Money that keeps the wheels turning so to speak. Last year more than 10,680 trips were made.
 
Volunteers spent 18,000 hours transporting patients.
 
I start at 7am and finish when I finish, that could be 2 or 4pm.
 
As a volunteer driver I enjoy meeting the people I collect and take back home after their appointments.
 
We chat and sometimes I am the only person they get to speak too, apart from their Dr and nurses.
 
Its an eye opener seeing what some people lives are like, and that alone makes me see how fortunate I am.
 
Without the likes of Bayside Rotary Club this program would not exist.
 
So, from all the patients that are transported each week, I would like to say a very big thank you to all the Bayside members for making it possible”.