Latest News

On this page is a round-up of some of the last 12 month's activities and new announcements.  We hope that as well as being informative our readers will see that we enjoy what we do.  Want to come and join us?  All you have to do is  email and we'd be delighted to meet you.
Rotary members along with pupils from Nelson Academy and the Montessori School, and the gardens team from the Borough of King's Lynn and West Norfolk planted crocus corms in the Community Orchard Garden.  These will produce a splendid display of purple crocus to celebrate the enormous success of Rotary International's 'Purple for Polio' campaign which together with the Bill Gates Foundation and the World Health Organisation has almost eradicated polio from the world.  We also planted some corms, with the help of pupils from Hillcrest on the Howdale.
Here are some pictures of the Memorial Gardens plantings and the Community Orchard to which we have donated two trees.


Shelterbox is on the scene in the West Indies and in Mexico.  For updates visit their Facebook page


Our annual charity golf day was a roaring success.  This year it was at Swaffham. The winning team were K Clifford , I Osler , D Leake and B Sewell .  We had a nearest the pin competition on two par 3’s for a litre of whisky each . The individual prize winner was Maggie Ward with 38 points showing the men how to do it . Lots of raffle prizes were generously donated by our members , enough for 1 prize in every two tickets bought!  We introduced a special “ shot “ called a mulligan , basically you buy a voucher for £5 before you start to play and you can use this voucher once if you make a cockup of your tee shot , a lot were bought and used !!!  All in all a successful day.  Lots of enjoyment but more importantly lots of money raised for good causes.


Tesco have chosen us as a candidate for support in their 'Bags for Life' competition.  If you are shopping in Tesco, Downham Market, during September and October you will receive a token disc from the cashier - please place this in our slot at the box near the exit.  If we are successful this will provide funding for our 2018 Technology Tournament for 13 to 18 year old students from local schools.
A huge welcome to our 5 latest members; from the right Anne Guymer, Julian Snape, Jackie Westrop, Richard James and Robert Waring with President Martin Chilvers


Once again our hardy crew looked after you at the car park entrance and exit.  We saw thousands of you at this fantastic annual charity event and your attendance helped raise money for local good causes.

Another great day at Downham Market Festival activities on the Howdale.


The crew at the recent Crucial Crew week at King's Lynn Fire Station where life and safety awareness scenarios are delivered to groups of 8 - 11 year olds.  During the week over 600 children pass through.  A very rewarding experience for both them and the Rotarians helping from local clubs.

The final winner of our £25 voucher draw  for Dent's Barn Cafe was Jean Bowman from March.  A special thanks to Dents for hosting our charity envelope competition for the last two months and congratulations to our winners during that time.  The money raised is going into our fund for local good causes so thank you to all those who donated.


The next schools Technology Tournament will take place in November.  See a report on our 'Youth Projects' page for more information.


This plaque will very shortly being proudly displayed at Koravatichi School in Belarus following Rotarian Carole Samuel's and her team's efforts to improve conditions for the descendants of the terrible Chernobyl nuclear disaster.  You can read more about the project further down this page.


Some of the winners from our Technology Tournament day in March.  See our 'Youth Projects' page for details about the annual Tournament.  Photos courtesy of Philip Laver, Rotary Club of Littleport


Our working crew (see lower down this page) worked hard to plant this display which is now beginning to be seen in its full glory.  See below for an explanation of what its all about

Rotary world wide have been working hard to eliminate the scurge of polio.  It's almost done with just four countries left with some identifiable cases.  The battle mustn't stop - Rotary have raised over £1 million with the pur
ple crocus campaign.  We have beautiful silk crocus button holes available in exchange for a donation to End Polio Now.  Please email us to request your button hole and become somebody who is doing something about defeating this awful disease.

How effective are we beingWell 37 polio cases were reported worldwide in 2016 (74 in 2015).  Here are some more figures;
Wild polio virus - 2: Eradicated
Wild polio virus-3: No cases since November 2012 (in Nigeria)
Vaccine derived polio virus-1: No cases reported for January 2017 (3 cases reported in 2016, all in Laos.  20 cases worldwide in 2015)
Vaccine derived polio virus-2: No cases reported in January 2017 (4 cases during 2016 and 12 cases worldwide in 2015)

We are so close to success.  Please support us.

The Rotary purple crocus campaign continues.  Be somebody who supports us in the fight for eradication of polio worldwide.  We're nearly there.  See the home page for details of how to get your purple crocus buttonhole.  Below is 'the gang' getting ready to plant out crocus bulbs ready for a huge display very soon!

We raised over £3,000 at the 2016 Hilgay Raft Races which was split between the Sue Ryder and Big-C charities.  Here is a lovely letter received from Big-C


Well done to Rotarian John Ebbage's daughter Katherine Whitmore who encouraged friends and acquaintances to fill 39 'shoe boxes' with useful items for children and households Eastern Europe as part of the Rotary Shoebox Appeal.

If you want to learn more about the appeal visit


Downham Rotary’s work to help the “children of Belarus” has now received recognition from Rotary Foundation, the body which funds international Rotary projects. Downham’s project, led by Carole Samuel, began in the Spring of 2013, with the aim of improving the lives of children who live in the path of the radiation cloud that blanketed their area of Belarus when the Chernobyl power plant exploded. The explosion was over 30 years ago, but the land and water sources here continue to be contaminated, causing cancers and severely weakening children’s immune systems. President Elect Martin Chilvers is picture with Carole above.

Some of the children at Korovatichi school where Carole's team have been instrumental in raising the funds and pushing through refurbishment.

Some of Santa's little helpers (or should that be gawd 'elp us) on our stall at the town Christmas Lights lighting up fair.


Martin Chilvers, our President Elect, presented cheques to the value of £1,340 each to David Cole of Nelson's Journey and
Heather Blyth of Sue Ryder.  The money was the total raised by our magnificent raft teams and all the folks who supported Hilgay Raft Races 2016.

Have a look at our Events Page to see the dates for Hilgay Raft Races 2017.


Karen Roberts, Area Organiser, East Anglia, for CLIC Sargent, came and spoke to the Club at our meetomg on the 7th November. 
CLIC Sargent is asking organisations to make donations of £170 - the initial sum the charity gives to families when they learn their child has cancer. Karen spoke about the financial, clinical and emotional aspects of families dealing with childhood cancer and the ways CLIC Sargent supports them.

It's that man again!  Our President Elect, Martin Chilvers, presented Karen with a £170 cheque from the Club.