Twelve inspirational Rotarians were presented with a Champions of Change Award to celebrate their contributions to society – both in the UK and internationally.

Minister of Civil Society Rob Wilson, who presented the awards at the House of Lords, said how “politicians have a lot to learn and admire from your incredible work.”

Meet the twelve Champions of Change 2016:

  1. 93-year-old Harold Robson: A special award was given to Harold following his recent zip-wire across the River Tyne, through which he showed age is just a number while also raising over £5,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society. Currently the oldest person in the UK to have done it, Harold intends to do it again when he turns 100 so that he can be the oldest person in the world to have done a zip-wire challenge.
12 Champions of Change Politicians Can Learn From

Harold became the oldest zip-wire rider in the UK

  1. Therese Brook has played a key role in the Welcome Boxes project, which provides families who are relocated following instances of domestic violence with essential food items for their new accommodation.
  1. Grant Stephen worked to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s Scotland, with steps being made for Duns to be recognised as a dementia friendly town.
  1. Alison Sutherland has been working with refugees and asylum seekers in Cardiff. Working with a local help centre, programmes are in place to help provide the centre’s residents with methods of integrating within their new communities
  1. Kevin Walsh organised a project to provide mountain rescue teams with updated equipment including an automatic chest compressor for climbers who had suffered heart attacks.
  1. Himansu Basu played a part in the Collaborative Action in Lowering of Maternity Encountered Deaths (CALMED) project, which involves the continued training of doctors and creating community awareness schemes by working with women’s groups and Rotary Government partnership meetings.
  1. Peter Bradley helped to raise over £1 million following the Ebola outbreak. As a result of Peter’s contribution, Liberia has become Ebola-free with schemes in place to train new medical professionals.
  1. Ian Dow was involved with his Rotary club’s Education in The Gambia project, which has provided teacher training and educational equipment for a fishing village in the country.
  1. Robin Hamilton helped tackle the problem of human trafficking in North East India by providing shelter homes and Vocational Training Centres with the Kalimpong Project
  1. Roger Neuberg organised a project which provided 32 motorcycle ambulances to eastern Uganda to reduce instances of women losing their life during labour, as well as responding to other emergency calls.
12 Champions of Change Politicians Can Learn From

One of the Rotary-provided e-Ranger motorbike ambulances. Photo: Rotary Club of Oadby

  1. Joy Palmer-Cooper has been involved with Project Sri Lanka, whose initiatives provide long-term community development for areas hit by the 2004 tsunami.
  1. Barry Pollard developed and led a project that improves education in rural Nepal, with a particular focus on IT.


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Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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