David Vaughan 1956-2020


Rotarian David Vaughan sadly passed away on 2nd April. The rapid onset of his cancer in a matter of months and his untimely death has shocked and saddened us all.


David joined Berkhamsted Rotary in March 2017, he and his wife Jane having moved to the town from Billericay in Essex in order to be nearer to their family. Jane and David met whilst studying at Oxford; their daughter, Helen lives in Berkhamsted and their son Richard lives in St Albans.


David read Physics at Oxford; his subsequent 38 year career with Shell encompassed not only chemical engineering but also supply planning and economics. By the time of his retirement in 2016 he had qualified as a Chartered Member of the Institute of Internal Auditors and was appointed Internal Audit Manager with global responsibility for several of Shell’s business areas.


However, his career was only one facet of David’s life. He always had an interest in the people he met and indeed the community at 

large. David and Jane were active members of a church in Essex and became Street Pastors in Billericay; this group is part of a UK based Christian organization that offers reassurance, safety and support through listening, caring and helping people who find themselves vulnerable at night on the street. Upon their move to Berkhamsted they joined Sunnyside Church where they made many friends who were particularly supportive during his last few months as he and Jane faced the future.

Upon joining Berkhamsted Rotary, David had quickly established himself as a quiet, likeable and active Rotarian. His contribution to the life of the Club was such that in 2019 he was elected as Vice President and was due to be Club President come July this year. We shall miss David as a friend and as a modest but hugely effective contributor who embodied Rotary’s maxim of “service above self”. Our thoughts at this sad time are with Jane and the family. 

Matthew Minors 1976-2020

Rotarian Matthew Minors sadly passed away at Watford Hospital on 29th March, a victim of the Covid-19 virus

Matthew was involved in all aspects of community life in the town. He was a former Berkhamsted Round Tabler and in particular a key player in their Fireworks and Santa's Sleigh projects. He was involved for many years with the Court Theatre in Tring taking on roles both backstage and front of house. He always supported the Pepper Show raising funds for the Pepper Foundation.He helped at a great many of the Lions events in the town as well as supporting numerous other community organisations and projects.

Matthew joined Berkhamsted Rotary in 2008 and became a stalwart member of the Club, always willing to pull his weight and support others. He was instrumental in the transfer of Round Table’s Santa’s Sleigh to Rotary and hardly ever missed an evening bringing Christmas joy to the youngsters of Berkhamsted. 

His involvement in Club life was selfless and outstanding and for that reason he was made a Paul Harris Fellow, the highest award a Rotary club can give to a member.


Matthew was simply a super guy, well loved, always willing to help and always with a smile on his face. We shall all miss him greatly.  Our thoughts at this difficult time are with his parents Mandy and Richard and his two brothers.

If you would like to make a donation to the Pepper Foundation in memory of Matthew then click here https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/MatthewMinors

Berkhamsted Rotary 2020

Half Marathon and 5 Mile Fun Run

Many, many thanks to those who supported the Berkhamsted Fun Run. Although the day was cold all the runners appeared to enjoy the course and were happy with their times. We certainly enjoyed having so many people there and taking part. Hope to see you again on 7th March 2021.

We had a good entry for both races, which means we expect to raise a substantial sum of money for the charities and organizations our Rotary Club supports. Together with the many thousands raised by runners through individual sponsorship, participants helped make a significant difference to many lives as well as, we hope, enjoying themselves. 
Congratulations to our race winners who, once again, put in great performances. Men’s Fun Run Winner was Sha Janally of the City of Stoke AC with a time of 0:27:15, a small improvement on his winning time of last  year. Women's winner was Katie Ferguson of Leighton Buzzard AC in 0:34:16.  Fastest Junior girl was Jemima Byers of Dacorum and Tring AC in 0:35:39 and the boy's winner was Leon Doran in 0:32:36 although Oscar Loveday had a faster time of 0:29:54 but was awarded 3rd prize in the whole Fun Run race. Berkhamsted School won the Boys Challenge prize and Ashlyns the Girls School Challenge.

You can see the full results on our web site www.berkorun.com or for your particular result go to www.chipresults.co.uk.
If you haven’t already got photos of you running then have a look on the Adam Hollier web site where they have some excellent photos for you to purchase which is Visit http://tinyurl.com/u3hhsvo. You’ll need your race number to find your photos which you can get from the Chip results website if you can't remember.

We had over 500 entries for the Fun Run this year and we’re really pleased with the feedback and that so many have told that they want to run the race again.

It takes around 200 people to set up, run and marshal the event, so we’re also grateful for the support of local community organisations who rally round each year to help. From the Inner Wheel club to the ATC, from the Scouts and Guides to the police cadets, these and many other individuals and organisations contribute to making the event so successful. Thanks also to our sponsors and advertisers who help us defray the cost of such a big event, many of whom also ran in one or other of the races. Particular thanks to Taylor Wimpey as our lead sponsor and FFEI, Machins, OSD Healthcare and Everyone Active. Full details of our sponsors and helpers are on the race website.


Youth Speaks!

Pictured are the Youth Speaks team from Ashlyns School Berkhamsted that participated in the Rotary District 1260 Senior Final for students aged between 14 to 17 years. The final was held at Vandyke Upper School, Leighton Buzzard on Wednesday 26th February 2020.


For the third year in a row Ashlyns from Berkhamsted won through to the District 1260 final, having come through our local heat organised jointly with the Rotary Club of Hemel Hempstead.  This was no mean feat considering that the Ashlyns teams were amongst the youngest entering the competition 


Ashlyns School                                "Britain’s Responsibility in the World"

Roundwood Park School.                  "Life is not a Competition"

Samuel Whitbread Academy             "Is Feminism outdated in the 21st Century?"

Mark Rutherford                              "Are we heading towards a Dystopian Society?"

Dame Alice Owen                            "Does the U.K. have a Democratic Deficit?"

Bishop’s Hatfield Girls                      "Are Single Sex Schools more effective than Co-Education?"

The content and the standard of presentation from all participants was nothing short of breath taking; there were very few notes in evidence from any of the teams. All teams did themselves and their school proud. In an incredibly close competition the winning team going through to the Regional Final to be held in Cambridge on 21st March was Roundwood Park School from Harpenden. Congratulations to them and indeed to everyone who took part.

Santa raises £9500!

A BIG thank you to all the collectors who helped in December – all 180 of them! There were some 24 organisations involved and both collectors and the residents seemed to enjoy Santa and his new brightly lit sleigh.


From the Festival of Light on 24th November, Santa went out almost every night in December up to Christmas and the static float beside the Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve was especially popular for photos of the children with Santa.

On 14th January, Berkhamsted Rotary were able to distribute the money raised, some £9500, to the participating organisations including St Mary’s Northchurch, Swan Youth Centre, ATC, Ashlyns School, The Vale Musical Society, DENS, Take 2 Tangent, Westfield Parents Association, Happy Days, Home Start Herts, Daisy Cave Foundation, Gaddesden Place RDA, Berkhamsted FC, Berkhamsted Inner Wheel, Bridgewater School Association, Little Gaddesden School, Girl Guides, 1st Berkhamsted Scouts, the Hockey Club, Potten End School, Potten End Scouts, Great Gaddesdon School, the Glee Club and the Pepper Foundation.


The Sleigh Committee is already beginning planning Santa’s December 2020 visit and  would welcome new groups to help and raise funds the local community organisation. Applications should be made by email to:


Tools for Self Reliance

Peter Wilkinson hands a cheque for £500 to Tony and colleagues to help run Tools for Self Reliance a small charity that provides a safe and caring working environment where volunteers, including those with Learning Disabilities, can refurbish donated old tools transforming them into working tool-kits for onward distribution to developing countries. We thank you folk in Berkhamsted who help us to help them by donating your unwanted tools for us to process. If you have any unwanted tools please contact Rotarian Peter Wilkinson on 07816 863216 and we will collect them. 





At the Guttman  Stadium Stoke Mandeville, President Derek hands a cheque for £1000 to CEO Martin McElhatton with Wheelpower fund raiser Leah Lewis looking on. The charity provides opportunities for disabled people with spinal injuries to play sport and lead healthy active lives.


Our donation helps Wheelpower refurbish the sports wheelchairs vital to their mission to carry on the work of Dr Ludwig Guttman founder of the Paralympics.


check out this fantastic charity at  https://www.wheelpower.org.uk/

Swan Youth Project (SYP)

President Derek was pleased to hand a cheque for £1500 to SYP Chairman Melanie Llewellyn to help them purchase the equipment they need to re-engineer their current Computer Room. The Swan Youth Project provides excellent youth services in the heart of Berkhamsted, a meeting place where local teenagers can enjoy being each other’s company, join in various activities, relax and broaden their horizons. It is housed in the old Swan Hotel/pub. Swan Youth Project are changing their name soon so watch out for announcements. In the meantime check out https://swanyouthproject.co.uk

We have supported Heal Nepal via the Leprosy Mission to the tune of £2500 which has attracted matched funding from the UK Government.  This allowed the mission to purchase a motor bike and laptop for outreach into remote areas of Nepal.

See the update we have recently received about this particular project.

Eleven aspiring young chefs from across Dacorum worked hard to produce a two-course meal for two people in two hours, all for less than £15. Their work in the kitchen and their final dishes were judged by Paul Patterson from Ashridge House and Grant Young.

The judges commented that the standard of the food produced by the competitors improved each year and that they were particularly impressed by the quality of the desserts this year.  


The overall winner was Abi Southwell with her meal of Four Cheese Ravioli with Tomato Basil Cream Sauce followed by Mini Pavlova and Cream with Fresh Fruit. The runner up was Abigail Brightman. Both students went on to compete in the District Round of the competition in February.

This year’s Dacorum round of the annual Rotary Young Chef competition took place on Wednesday 14th November at Kings Langley school.

Dacorum Young Artists 2019

This competition, a combined effort by the Arts Societies and Rotary Clubs in Dacorum, aims to encourage art in primary schools, specifically in years 4 & 5. There are no themes and few rules so busy schools can enter the pictures that their pupils are producing during the academic year.


Sixteen schools took part in 2019  All 400 entries were displayed at Astley Cooper School in Hemel Hempstead.  There was a  “Best in School” trophy for each school besides the prizes for the best three paintings overall. Every child who had an entry received a certificate.

Overall winner Oscar Baker of Bridgewater School Berkhamsted is shown here receiving his First Prize and a gift voucher for £60 from the Mayor of Dacorum Rosie Sutton. Bridgewater School also won the Best School Trophy.                         read more