Berkhamsted Rotary & the Covid 19 emergency 

The Club has taken a decision to suspend weekly meetings in the light of the coronavirus outbreak. It's a great shame that we are also having to cancel or postpone forthcoming fundraising and community projects such as Dacorum Young Artists, Veterans Out and the annual open air Gilbert and Sullivan concert at Berkhamsted Castle.  


However there are members who are not in the "at risk" groupings who will find ways to help in the community. As our traditional fundraising activities have been put on hold, we are also seeking ways to help three local organisations who are very involved in helping vulnerable residents in Berkhamsted. We'd really value your help so please click the box below to find out more.

Meanwhile we hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe and look forward to resuming our normal Rotary activities when it is safe to do so.  

 a message from our Club President, Derek Simpson

Club news...................

  • RIP Rotarian David Vaughan

  • RIP Rotarian Matthew Minors

  • Rotary Half Marathon and Fun Run a great success

  • Brilliant student performances at Rotary's "Youth Speaks" competition

  • Rotary distributes £9500 to the 2019 Santa's Sleigh charity collectors

  • Berkhamsted's Swan Youth Project receive £1500 to revamp their IT equipment

  • Wheelpower at Stoke Mandeville receive £1000 to refurbish specialist wheelchairs

  • Tools for Self Reliance are helped with a £500 donation

  • Young chefs from across Dacorum demonstrate their skills

Go to our news page to find out more about these news items

Pirate Ship Sunk by Coronavirus

The planned annual Gilbert and Sullivan Concert at Berkhamsted Castle, organised by Berkhamsted Rotary, has been cancelled after the performance company, Illyria, have announced the abandonment of their whole two-month performance season, due to the risk to attendees and their performers at the mainly outdoor performance sites throughout the UK.

The planned performance of “HMS Pinafore” was planned for Sunday, 12 July and would have been the eighth holding of the popular annual event, which sees up to 500 picnicking attendees enjoy a performance by the well -known professional small-cast company, Illyria.

Rotary Committee member, Tom Ritchie, who leads the organisation of the event, added “This is a sad loss of a community event at the Town’s historic castle. It also removes the fund-raising potential of any event surplus, which goes in support of Rotary’s local, national and international good causes. We definitely intend to return next year.”

To see what you will be missing then follow the link to Illyria's recent youtube performance

Students at TRING PARK SCHOOL raise funds for Musical Instrument Library

Tring Park School for the Performing Arts staged ‘Kipps’, a fresh take on the classic musical ‘Half A Sixpence’, at their Markova Theatre in February.  They generously invited Berkhamsted Rotary to sell the tickets for the Tuesday night performance and agreed that the profits should be used to fund an exciting new charity.

Tring Park School have a justified reputation for staging excellent performances and we were not disappointed! The audience was blown away by the energy, enthusiasm and sheer professionalism of this cast of young people and we owe them a big thank you!

The charity that will benefit is a planned Musical Instrument Library to be based in Berkhamsted. This will allow pupils at schools in this area to borrow instruments and receive music lessons.  It is aimed at children who might not otherwise be able to afford to buy an instrument, or to pay for music lessons. A similar project in Hemel Hempstead was started four years ago, and is now a great success. 

If you can help by donating unwanted musical instruments then click here for more information.

Young Chefs excel

This year’s Dacorum round of the annual Rotary Young Chef competition took place on 13th November at Kings Langley school.

Twelve pupils from 8 schools took part and

worked hard to produce a two-course meal for two people in two hours, all for less than £15. The competition was judged  by Paul Patterson, Head Chef at Ashridge Management Centre and Michelin starred Chef Grant Young 

This year's winner was from Ashlyns School with second and third placed students from Kings Langley School.

Dacorum Young Artists Competition enables local schools to encourage the talents of their Year 4 & 5 pupils. The achievements of each participating school are recognised by a ‘Best in School Award’. 

The pupils placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall also receive financial awards to put towards art materials. 

Recognising the demands on their time and resources, the Competition lets teachers choose their own themes to support the overall curriculum. Whether your school has participated in Dacorum’s Young Arts Competition for 9 & 10 year olds before or not, 2020 is the year to make sure your pupils’ creative talent is publicised. Whist the date of the competition is now currently uncertain due to the coronavirus outbreak nonetheless

see here for details and how to enter

Tools for a living

Lying around in sheds are many tools that may look worthless but to people in Africa with skills and drive, a good set of tools can help them earn a living for themselves and family.

For many years Berkhamsted Rotary Club has helped find a good home for tools that are no longer needed. So if you have any unwanted hand operated woodwork, metalwork, construction or maintenance tools please let us know. We also take sewing machines, gardening and power tools.

Following refurbishment by two local charities (Tools for Self Reliance and Workaid) the tools are made into artisan kits and shipped to vocational training centres in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.

At these centres, vulnerable and disadvantaged people acquire skills enabling them to start their own business. Through this the cycle of poverty is broken. 


Our stall on Berkhamsted Market last month attracted generous donations from people who are have been spring cleaning their sheds and garages. However you can still ring Peter Wilkinson on 01442 871536 who will be happy to arrange collection from your premises.

We also took the opportunity to present a cheque for £500 to Rob Levine who is the Chairman of Work Aid in Chesham. The cash will be used to ship the refurbished tool kits out to West Africa.