Inspired and uplifted by Big Society in action

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IN LAST week’s article I gave a flavour of what I was going to be up to during a busy day of meetings in and around Horsham on Friday, April 15.

I mentioned that I was to have a number of meetings with local people and organisations and one of them was with representatives from the Rotary Club of Horsham. I thought readers would be interested in learning more about what we discussed as it was a very positive and exciting meeting.

Peter Lake and John Le Rossignol were keen to tell me about two new schemes being developed by Horsham Rotary.

The first is ‘Set4Success’: working with local schools, sports clubs and businesses, Horsham District Council and the charity, SportsAid, they will set up, generate and manage funds to encourage and support young talented sports men and women throughout the district.

It’s all about helping youngsters now so that they might become the champions and Olympians of the future - and that goes for both able-bodied and disabled local athletes.

Fund-raising events will be organised to generate donations. There’s a lot more to Set4Success than I have space for here but if anyone wants extra information please visit www.horshamrotary.org.uk.

I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on its progress as I accepted the Rotary Club’s kind invitation to become a patron of the scheme.

The second programme is ‘Making a Difference’ and is all about doing just that for individuals, families and not-for-profit organisations in and around Horsham. Each month Rotary will make £1,000 from their funds available for small donations or small items, as well as practical help.

Anyone can apply - just go to the ‘Contact Us’ section of their website and explain what you need, why and how it will ‘make a difference’.

Obviously not all requests will be granted but if Rotary can’t help they will, with the applicant’s permission, publicise the request in the local media to see if someone else can.

Examples of recent grants have been a donation to a baby and toddler group; modification to a wheelchair and grants to local charitable support groups.

If anyone reading this would like to donate, you can find out more on the Rotary website or just send a cheque made out to ‘Rotary Club of Horsham Making a Difference’ to Rotary Club of Horsham, Birkdale, Greens Lane, Mannings Heath RH13 6JW.

I felt inspired and uplifted at the end of that meeting. The Rotary Club really is going to make an impact on a lot of people’s lives, one way or another and, dare I say it, it’s what the Big Society is all about!

FRANCIS MAUDE

MP for Horsham