Aug 29, 2020 by


10th – Zoom Meeting

We met again by Zoom and heard a presentation by Julian Pritchard and Justine Elmendorff from the Friends of the Westminster Memorial Hospital. We have supported the Friends in the past – most recently by “buying a part” of their new electric car. This is their novel scheme to make donations more interesting by listing the cars components and seeking donors for each bit!
On this occasion we were told about the history of the Westminster Memorial Hospital and of the League of Friends. We heard about the impact of Covid, and the support and donations the staff have received.
Following the campaign to keep the hospital open it was recommended that it should continue on a short to medium term basis and the Friends are actively working to ensure its long term viability is beyond question.
The Friends have recently changed their legal standing to become a CIO which allows them to own property. They have purchased an adjoining house and converted this for use by the Reablement team and are addressing known issues with the hospital specifically parking and access. There are plans to use the garden of the house for a road to allow one way traffic flow to access the hospital so avoiding current difficulties.
The Friends are also raising funds for two electric powered, wheel chair carrying vehicles to help the Reablement team with patient transport. This is on-going but of course Covid has complicated matters.


4th June 2017 – Presidents Lunch

Presidents night, or in this case afternoon, Sheena — my wife, had the idea of lunch & tea, (we have done black tie in the past) the venue, Larmer Tree Gardens, the best kept secret in Dorset.

Fifty two Rotarians, partners, and friends joined us, including our District Governor Chris Slowcock and his wife, Yayu, Assistant DG, Debbie Dunford, Presidents from Hamstead Rotarty, Kensington & Chelsea Rotary and Blandford Stour Rotary clubs, plus a number of Gillingham Rotarians. I would like to think it was a great afternoon, even the weather was kind to us, the afternoon started with drinks on the patio, lunch was planned for 12-45pm and it started to rain and 12-40pm!! Lunch served, a few speeches and things to mention, then time to wander and look at the beautiful  gardens, a few games on the lawn then time for afternoon tea of cakes and scones with cream and jam — can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Please visit our gallery for a selection of photos

24th – Zoom Meeting

We met as is now usual by Zoom.

Our speaker Gwyneth Millard told us about Global Sight Solutions – GSS was founded in the 1990’s. All GSS helpers are Rotary volunteers. Excepting some publicity expenses all money received by GSS goes towards its central purpose of building hospitals in third world countries. Fifty such hospitals all displaying the Rotary brand have been built in the last ten years alone. GSS works with local Rotarians on projects which receive Global Grant support. Its purpose is to treat avoidable causes of blindness. Hundreds of millions suffer from this worldwide. Causes can be as simple as the need for spectacles or as familiar as cataracts. Other causes are specific to the tropics such as River Blindness – which is preventable by immunisation or Trachoma which causes blindness by scarring eyelids leading to blindness and misery from corneal abrasions.
Further information can be found at

Gwyneth promised to research the questions which followed her talk and has supplied the following information.
How is the quality of the hospitals measured? – They are assessed by an annual medical quality audit which is supported by a recognised eye hospital management programme, designed by a respected third party in the field of eye care. Additionally there is the statutory annual financial audit
Who makes the decisions regarding the work of GSS? – The five Trustees
What is the current status of the first hospitals that were built? – Some have remained modest with no expansion plans expected. Others have not only expanded but have built their own larger premises. Several others are intending to expand to their own larger premises having seen the success others have enjoyed. One was literally blown away in a storm several years ago and that community is now served by other Rotary eye hospitals. One other was knocked down for road widening and the community is served by a Rotary eye hospital circa 40 KM away”

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