Letter: Rotary club in desperate need of new members

Soham Staploe Rotary Club is in need of new members, without which the club risks folding.

Soham Staploe Rotary Club is in need of new members, without which the club risks folding. - Credit: FACEBOOK/SOHAM STAPLOE ROTARY CLUB

We need members!

Soham Staploe Rotary Club is a friendly group of local people in the Soham area who enjoy raising money for charity.

We need new members to help continue our work. Why not liven up your post-covid social life and join us?

We run the annual Soham Beer and Music Festival (which raises around £5,000 each year for local charities), and over the last five years has raised £39,405 in total.

We also do Christmas street collections in aid of Magpas, which have raised over £10,000 in the same period.

We have held quizzes, horse racing evenings, duck races, stalls at local fetes, etc.


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We help with the Ely Fireworks display and the Ely Rotary Clubs with their Aquafest.

We also have social evenings, which have included trips to the greyhound racing in Peterborough and the Greene King brewery in Bury.

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During covid we have been meeting on Zoom but, in normal times, we meet once a week for dinner at the Maid’s Head in Wicken, but there is no obligation always to attend.

So, why not join us to make new friends and kick start your new social life? It is all good fun and very worthwhile.

Any commitment, large or small, would be very much appreciated.

To find out more, please get in touch with me via alan@thehall.co.uk or 07787411181) and take a look at our Facebook page.

Perhaps start by joining a Zoom meeting to get an idea of what we do. I look forward to hearing from you.

Alan Chilcott, membership secretary


Aquafest Duck Race

Sadly, no Aquafest this year but we thought we would have a bit of fun and are launching a virtual duck race.

There are cash prizes of £200, £100 and £50 to be won.

Ducks cost £3 and the Race starts on July 4 and runs until July 25 . Winners will be notified by email.

Proceeds from the race will go to local charities and good causes.

Aquafest will be back on 3 July 2022. To enter the race go to: https://www.balloonrace.com/Aquafestduckrace

Look forward to seeing you all next year on July 3.

Viv Doji, The Rotary Clubs of Ely


Open gardens

Now that the dust has settled, I can give you some facts about the open garden day that was held on June 6.

We would like to thank all of those that supported the event, and hope that you enjoyed your visit to our gardens.

Much hard work was done by the gardeners to prepare for an afternoon that seemed to fly by.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their hard work.

There was a good atmosphere in our garden, with people being able to
enjoy meeting, even if it was still under Covid-19 restrictions.

This did mean some queueing, but the weather was warm and the wait was short.

We estimate that we had around 450 people visit the gardens, raising £3,299
for the NGS, and £475 for other charities.

If you live in Ely and may be interested in joining the group opening, we'd love to hear from you. 

Please contact me via our local website www.elyopengardens.com and I'll talk to you about what is involved.

We look forward to seeing you again next year.

Ken Ellis



War Widows campaign

As it was recently Armed Forces week, I would like to bring to your readers attention a campaign being organised by the War Widows Association.

From April 2015, all widows who married or cohabited retain their Widows pension for life, widows whose partners died between 1973 and 2005 had to forfeit their pension on marriage or co-habitation.

The War Widows Association is campaigning to have the pension reinstated for approximately 200 widows who are affected by this.

Unfortunately, the Rt Hon Stephen Barclay MP Chief Secretary to the Treasury has written to the Chairman of the War Widows Association saying the reinstatement cannot be allowed because it would set a precedent amongst all other pension schemes.

I wrote to Stephen Barclay in January 2021 asking him which other pension schemes would be affected but he has failed so far to answer my question.

I am calling upon your readers to support our campaign, we are not asking for the pension to be back dated just for the pension to be reinstated.

Diana Haine


Do you have a nightmare neighbour?

I am a casting researcher working on the Channel 5 TV series The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door.

The series features a wide variety of neighbourhood issues and disputes, from all across the nation, and we are looking for people to take part.

We are keen to hear from people in your area who are currently having problems, but also those who may have historical had issues/disputes.

Email: neighbours@avalonuk.com or call 0207 598 7392.

Naomi Abel-Hirsch


Charity services

Versus Arthritis are active in Cambridgeshire, excluding Peterborough Unitary Authority Area.

Services are likely to include the following: local Versus Arthritis support groups, online physical activity sessions.

It will also feature local information hubs/tables at sites such as rheumatology depts, networking events and libraries and working with health care and other professionals.

All services include offering peer support, information and people can chat and get advice from the Versus Arthritis Helpline and find up to date information on Versus Arthritis Website.

Such activities and resources can enable people to learn more and make informed choices about self-management.

Would you like to share your experiences of living with arthritis in Cambridgeshire, plan services via a focus group, are you sociable and a good listener?

Why not make contact and have a chat about helping to provide these services and reach many people with all forms of arthritis by volunteering?

People from all areas of Cambridgeshire are welcome to become volunteers and lead local support groups and help provide these services and support people with arthritis.

Roles and time commitments can be adaptive depending on individual circumstances, training and some expenses paid.

Please contact Chris Preston, living well coordinator for East Anglia, via 07834 418472 or email c.preston@versusarthritis.org

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