IT is the world’s oldest service organisation which boasts more than one million members worldwide.
But a Bolton arm of Rotary International is always on the look-out for new members to join.
The Rotary Club of Bolton Daybreak — so called because it meets at 7.30am each Wednesday at the Britannia Hotel in Beaumont Road — was founded in 1992 and became the first Rotary club in the region to permit women.
It is one of seven different Rotary clubs in the borough, and fundraises for a number of different charitable causes locally, nationally and internationally.
Led by club president Philip Riding, Bolton Daybreak currently has 11 women and 19 men including four honorary members.
Mr Riding and communications secretary Ray Jefferson say they would also like to recruit some younger members.
Mr Riding said: “Rotary is a service organisation which started off in America more than 150 years ago. It initially started out with one person per profession, but that disappeared many years ago.
“People still think that you have to be a certain type of person to join, but that’s not the case any more.
“We are democratic, totally apolitical and non-religious. People can get involved with ideas from others or bring something new to the table.”
The club has worked on a number of projects since its birth in 1992.
Mr Jefferson said: “I was president for two years when the club started.
“I joined because it was the first of its kind in the region to admit women. We have always tried to keep a healthy balance of men and women since. Over the years we have highlighted a number of projects, in the local area and also internationally.
“Rotary is at the forefront of the vaccines to eradicate polio. That project is 15 years old. Bill Gates got behind it and matched the money we raised.
“When I was young, polio was a serious disease but now it only exists in four countries in the world — mainly war-torn areas where it is difficult to get the vaccines.
“Another international project was started by one of our members, Elizabeth Tatman, who went over to Romania and helped set up a toy library over there.
“She also worked with the local hospital there and took equipment over which was bought for by the club.
“Locally, we have been responsible for the Bolton toy library which has helped deprived families in the area.
“Also with the authority of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, we have a fire awareness project where we go into the homes of people who would like advice about fire safety and fir smoke alarms.
“One of our members, Derek Horner, was interested in helping those with dementia.
“He helped the Bolton’s Dementia Support Group by cataloguing a room full of DVDs and putting it all into a database. Sadly he died last year but we have continued helping them by updating it.”
A big project that the club is involved with is the building of sand dams in Kenya.
Mr Riding said: “Everyone has seen the footage on TV of the women with the buckets who take their children and walk for miles just to find water.
“These sand dams can hold up to 20 million litres of water and it’s the most cost effective of its kind, which is a year round supply for 1,000 people.
“The project has been going for nearly three years and it has been really successful.”
Mr Jefferson said: “While we would like people to join our club, we would be happy if anyone joined another Bolton club, depending on where they live and when they can meet up.
“If you want to help others, all you have to do is turn up to our Wednesday morning meetings. If you like what we do and we feel you are able to bring something to the table then we will invite you to join.”
For more information, contact Bolton Daybreak by calling 01204 692932.