The Rotary Club for Mid Hampshire

Webmaster: Hans Wustefeld

Sunday June 16th was a perfect day for running for the 430 runners that took part in the 16th annual Alresford Rotary 10k. Early morning rain cleared and the weather was fine and warm for the race itself. 


Before the main road race Sun Hill School organised three races for younger people around the field at Alrebury Park where the first three boys and girls in each race were awarded specially made chocolates medals from Chocolate Craft. All of the other runners received less edible medals.


Originally conceived in 2007 as a community running event, the race has grown over the years and was, once again, part of the Hampshire Road Race League series of races that take place throughout the year. The race numbers and UK Athletics licenses were sponsored by Prospect Fencing who have been supporting the event since it started.


The 10k runners followed the usual route through the town, past the watercress beds and out into the Hampshire countryside.


The water point on the race route was managed by the local Brownies, Guides and Explorer Scouts who did a fantastic job of organising, handing out and clearing up nearly a 1000 cups of water for the thirsty runners.


The men’s race was won by Fred Slemeck in 32.21 and the Women’s race by Katie Gunn in 39.41. All the results are available on the Event Chip Timing website.  

tudents from Perins School who provided invaluable support throughout the day. The winners of each age category received a commemorative trophy and a hamper of delicious local goodies put together by the Arlebury Cafe, and the runners up got a box of Chocolate Craft chocolates specially labelled with this year’s date.


The race is organised and marshalled by Alresford Rotary and all of the surplus from this year’s race is being donated to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.


The support of local businesses contributed greatly to the success of the event. Alresford Rotary thanks  The Watercress Company, Prospect Fencing, Chocolate Craft, The Arlebury Café, Hair Art, Winchester Blinds and Awnings and Tesco Extra Winchester.
Please contact [email protected] to discuss sponsorship opportunities.


The support of local businesses contributed greatly to the success of the event. Alresford Rotary thanks  The Watercress Company, Prospect Fencing, Chocolate Craft, The Arlebury Café, Hair Art, Winchester Blinds and Awnings and Tesco Extra Winchester.

Please contact [email protected] to discuss sponsorship opportunities.



Left: new President James Pinniger  Right: Past President Jon Pittam.


The new Rotary year started in July. James Pinniger  will be President for the next 12 months replacing Jon Pittam under whose enthusiastic leadership Alresford Rotary has continued to develop and flourish. 

Alresford Rotary is a lively, expanding group aiming to recruit more members and Friends. Our membership is increasingly diverse – no longer just old men!  Involvement with Rotary need not involve significant expense nor more time than you can spare. Please let us know if you feel you can help Alresford Rotary on a regular basis or on occasions such as the 10k run to make even more of a difference, both locally and internationally!


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Alresford Rotary joined the Watercress Way Trust on Sunday 28 April on the bank of the River Alre near the Eel House. The purpose was to inaugurate one of the 4 solid oak benches donated by Rotary for use along the Watercress Way.

The benches are sustainable and should last 60 years. The benches also recognise with a plaque the Newitt Trust bequest which Rotary donated towards the footpath repairs leading to the Eel House.

The Watercress Way Trust at the same time launched its bird trail songs. At each bench there is a QR code which allows visitors to play the song of those birds likely to be seen or heard at that spot. 

After the launch there was an opportunity to visit the Eel House.

Today, polio remains endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But it’s crucial to continue working to keep other countries polio-free. If all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children each year.

Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for more than 35 years. Our goal of ridding the world of this disease is closer than ever.

As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, we’ve reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.
Rotary members have contributed more than $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect nearly 3 billion children in 122 countries from this paralyzing disease. Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by governments to contribute more than $10 billion to the effort.


After months of challenges, trucks with ShelterBox aid are ready to enter Gaza through the Rafah border crossingwith the support of our partner Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP).

This is a significant milestone in what has been a complex situation. These trucks carry items vital for survival. 

The trucks are in a queue of up to 1,400 other vehicles. We hope our aid will cross into Gaza in the next couple of days, but the situation can be unpredictable.

Right now, the lives of 1.7 million people who are displaced in Gaza are at risk. Many are living out in the open, and people are dying from disease and starvation. This is preventable. It’s crucial that aid reaches people who need it.

To meet the desperately high need, we’re scaling up our response and have ordered more tents. But we still want and need to do so much more.

Support from Rotary club’s like Alresford means we can continue to grow our Gaza response.

ShelterBox and Rotary

Over the years Alresford Rotary has regularly made financial donations to ShelterBox and earlier this year in recognition of such financial support was delighted to receive a “ShelterBox Partner Club Bronze” award.

ShelterBox was initially established in 2000 by the Cornish Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard as its Millenium project and since then has provided disaster relief in at least 98 different countries supporting over 2.5 million people helping them to get back on their feet after hurricanes, earthquakes, conflicts, droughts, cyclones and more.

In early February ShelterBox contacted Alresford Rotary to advise that it was responding in Gaza, “providing lifesaving emergency shelter and other essential items to thousands of people in Gaza who have lost their homes. In makeshift displacement centres there is severe overcrowding, disease is spreading and people don’t have what they need to protect them from the harsh weather. Items like tarpaulins and rope will help people repair damaged buildings and make shelters watertight. Blankets, mattresses, pillows and floormats will help people stay warm. We are also providing washing sets, water carriers, kitchen sets and items like nappies, toothbrushes and sanitary items. 

Up to 1.9 million people in Gaza are displaced. People have no choice but to shelter in community buildings like schools, makeshift shelters or out in the open. As a humanitarian organisation ShelterBox must remain neutral and a-political. We go wherever in the world the shelter need of civilians is the highest, right now that is in Gaza“.

If you would like to learn more about ShelterBox have a look at: and international support – Alresford Rotary (
The modest contributions that Alresford Rotary has been able to make over the years to ShelterBox have only been possible because of the support the local community has given to its events and Alresford Rotary is most grateful for that.

Heartbeat staff were delighted to have a visit from David, Diane, Richard’s , Andrew, and Mick from Alresford Rotary, where they had a tour of Rotary Heartbeat House and met with some of the residents.

The Alresford Rotary members decided to donate £3000 to help towards the funding of Carpets in the stairwells of Heartbeat House. 

Heartbeat House Patient Support

Owning and operating a facility for people with loved ones on the Cardiac Wards. Heartbeat House is a 25 bedroom “home from home” adjacent to the hospital and provides accommodation for up to 35 people at any one time and is available to anyone whose relative is an in-patient in the Wessex Cardiac Unit.

Thank you, thank you for braving the storm!
Despite the best efforts of Storm Ciarin and its aftermath, there was a brief dry period on the evening of 3rd November enabling a crowd estimated at in excess of 3000 to take part in Alresford Rotary’s 31st annual torchlit procession, bonfire and spectacular fireworks display staged by the famous raising thousands of pounds, which over the next few months will enable Alresford Rotary to boost its support of local and international needs.
The annual event has deservedly gained the reputation of being a “not-to-be-missed” event over the years. That reputation reflects not only the efforts of Alresford Rotary led by its President Jon Pittam but also its many friends and supporters.



OUR SUPPORTERS AND FRIENDS   (with apologies for any notable omissions) 

Paul Daubney, Geoff Amey of Complete Garden Construction,  Hinson Hire, Colin Appleton, Tim Morgan and R.C.H. Morgan Giles, Angie Graham and The Swan in Alresford (for the Guy), Hampshire Fire and Rescue, Portswood Pallets (for bonfire pallets), first aiders L P Medical Services, Sound Barrier Systems (for the P A Facilities and sound), Alresford Tennis Club (for use of its lighting) and New Alresford Town Council (for the use of Arlebury Park).

Alresford Rotary also thanks all who attended and looks forward to the community’s support of its annual Christmas tree sale 2024 to be held from 8.00 a.m. on Saturday 7th December in Broad Street.


Master Gardener Rotarian James Silvester and his Rotary team landscaped the front garden of Perins School as a community project.

Spring has Sprung early at Perins thanks to  Alresford Rotary! 
Last year Master Gardener Rotarian, James Silvester, and his Rotary team kindly landscaped the garden at the front of Rousseau as a community project.
Today representatives from Rotary came in to meet with the Head of School, Mark Nevola and MAT Estates Manager, James Topping to see how the garden is progressing.
The Rotary continues to support the Perins MAT across various environmental projects throughout our school sites, for which we are incredibly grateful. As part of the project at Perins School, purple crocuses were planted, symbolising the Rotary campaign to end Polio in the world.


Having agreed that the proceeds of its highly successful 17th annual Rotary 10K run in June would be donated to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, members of Alresford Rotary enjoyed an enlightening visit to the air ambulance’s base at Thruxton Airfield at the end of September where they met the on-call crew and were given an in-depth insight into the work of the HIOWAA.
The tour ended with Alresford Rotary President Jon Pittam presenting a cheque for £3500 to help continuation of the air ambulance’s life saving service. This was only possible because of the contribution from all the runners who participated from all over Hampshire and beyond and reflects the wonderful support of Alresford Rotary’s activities from the local community and further afield.

What happened to your Christmas boxes last year!

For many years local schools and other organisations and individuals in the Alresford area have taken part in the Wessex Rotary Christmas Shoebox scheme, generously giving presents to disadvantaged and displaced children in Eastern Europe. This year boxes will be sent to Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and Ukraine. Rotary is often asked what happens to the shoeboxes once they are collected and although, being a worldwide organization, Rotary has always been able to ensure the boxes reach their intended recipients, better feedback has been needed and has now been achieved! Click on: to see what happened to your boxes last year.

Can you think of a good reason not to be involved? For copies of the scheme leaflet, boxes or further details please contact [email protected] Filled boxes must be ready for collection by the week beginning 30th October.

Which Rotary events contribute to most of our fundraising? The Alresford Bonfire, Fireworks and Torchlit Parade remains our largest fundraiser. A lovely evenings’ weather helped boost attendance to several thousand happy local visitors. The fundraising continued with the Rotary Annual Christmas tree sale on Broad Street and our sell out, ‘Probably Mid-Hampshire’s Quiz of the Year’. The Alresford 10K Run again proved popular although the hot weather was a bit much for some. These, plus several small fundraisers across the year helped boost our charity coffers.

Where does our fundraising money go? The good news is that 100% goes to good causes in the form of local or international charities. None goes to fund our club operations.

Where have we donated our funds this last year? On the international side, we have made use of our global Rotary family (the worlds largest volunteer organisation with 1.4 million members globally). Rotary is well positioned locally in both Ukraine and Turkey/Syria to assess the real needs and we channelled our funds to where it’s needed most. Through this we provided shelter for the homeless and support to those displaced.

Which local charities have benefitted this last year? We have supported several local charities. Local to Alresford we supported new tools for the Men’s Shed and supplies for the food bank in Alresford run by Winchester Basics Bank. We also funded lunches for the Alresford Lunch Club for the Senior Citizens and supported new coaching sessions for children in Alresford run by Winchester Youth Councillors. We also supported the Watercress Way by funding new benches.

Rotary is a broad supporter of Wessex Heartbeat, that provides visitor support and research funding for the Cardiac Unit at Southampton Hospital. Alresford Rotary this year pledged support for updating Wessex House infrastructure.

The 10K Run proceeds went this year to Hampshire and IoW Air Ambulance, a vital service for the area. In addition, we have made smaller donations including to Sun Hill School Eco-Accreditation, Perins School and the Alresford Scouts.

We would like to thank all those who supported Rotary events this past year. Without your support we would not have been able to make such a real difference to those charities mentioned above. If you would like to find out more about volunteering at a Rotary event or becoming a member to benefit also socially, please email us at [email protected]


6 Rotarians and 2 partners went on this walk, hoping for better weather than the rained-out plans the previous week.  Starting at Oakhanger and avoiding the road closures and trench digging the team moved out past the radar domes of RAF Oakhanger heading for Binswood. The wood is owned by the Woodland Trust which provides ‘free public access for quiet, informal recreation and our woods are managed to make them accessible, welcoming and safe’.

Binswood is an ancient semi natural woodland, national park, registered common land and site of special scientific interest.

The target butterfly was the silver washed fritillary which suddenly appeared as the sun came out on one of the drives. Other butterflies were abundant including small skipper, brimstone, large white, small white, small copper, holly blue, red admiral, peacock, speckled wood, ringlet, gatekeeper, meadow brown and marbled white. Also seen were brown hawker, emperor dragonfly and common darter.

Making a circuit through the woods the group returned via Short Heath Common, and its pond with water lilies, for a group photo. Followed of course by beer and lunch at the Hanger pub in Oakhanger.


…. Or along the Arle footpath, Mill Hill to the Eel House, there is a surprise: new information boards along the route to inform and be enjoyed by children and adults, residents and visitors alike, because the river has an important story to tell about the many built heritage assets along its banks and the wildlife.

The project to ‘capture’ this story – called ‘The Arle: History, Heritage & Future’ – was possible thanks to the Watercress & Winterbournes Landscape Partnership Scheme, backed by Heritage Lottery funding, and with additional contributions from The Alresford Society, New Alresford Town Council, New Alresford Town Trust and Alresford Rotary.


Your Support Makes a Difference!

“Probably mid Hampshire’s Quiz of the Year”

lived up to its “modest” billing, selling out with more than six weeks to go before it took place on 31st March and in the wonderful surroundings of Itchen Abbas and Avington Village Hall, all present made good use of the bar, enjoyed lasagne from Soles Butchers and generously supported the evening’s raffle, hoping to win one of the five prizes, each worth at least £50. In addition to a hamper of food and drink prepared by Becky Smith of the Arlebury Café, raffle prizes were kindly donated by Nony Kerr-Smiley, independent freelance estate agent (supporting Alresford businesses Suzie Watson, the Toy Box and Wild Bunch), and IVC – “Cars chosen with care”.

The quiz questions were testing with “Ferrets Forever” coming through on the rails by playing their Joker (for double points) in the final round to amass a total of 72 points out of 90 and defeat Abraca-Tabrah by 2 points. A separate Table Top quiz was won by the Downers. “A good time was had by all” and most importantly more than £1600 was raised for Rotary’s support of the humanitarian relief endeavours in Ukraine

10K run

This year’s road race will start at 10.00 a.m. at Arlebury Park on Sunday 18th June. The main event will be preceded by a children’s fun run for those aged up to 11 years old. For further information please see 

Rotary is for all!

Alresford Rotary is a lively, expanding group aiming to recruit more members and Friends. Our membership is increasingly diverse – no longer just old men!  Involvement with Rotary need not involve significant expense nor more time than you can spare. Please let us know if you feel you can help Alresford Rotary to make even more of a difference, both locally and internationally!

Can Rotary help you?

Thanks to your supporting our fund raising events Alresford Rotary often has funds available to support “good causes” but it can only assist those of which it is aware! Please contact us if you think Rotary may be able to help.

 Helping keep Alresford tidy!

For many years Alresford Rotary has litter picked at various locations and along Tichborne Down and Sun Lane and did so most recently on 11th February. On Sunday 5th March (in conjunction with the Town Council’s litter picking day on 4th March) Alresford Rotary will from 8.00 a.m. be tidying up Broad Street. All very welcome to join in!  

Please let us know at any time if you can help Alresford Rotary make even more of a difference, both locally and internationally or if you think Rotary may be able to help you!

Sun Hill Junior School ‘Great Alresford Bake Off’

Prize winners with Rotary Judge Richard Barnes
Once again Rotary sponsored a successful baking competition for the Junior School with a fantastic response and amazing cakes and biscuits. Judging was tough but Rotarians Richard and David, with school judges Amy and Sue recognized the high quality and superb presentation of the winners. Well done to all the children that entered.

Winning Cake


The next competition is for the Rotary Young Chef ‘Bake Off’ taking place soon at Sun Hill Junior School.


Some 25 Junior School students entered the recent Alresford Rotary Club Youth Art Competition. Such was the quality of the entries, that the club enlisted the help of local artist Julie Hepenstal to make the final decision.
Rotary president David Marshall attended Monday assembly to present book token awards to Lauren, William and Nia, and Lauren’s winning entry will be submitted to the Regional and possibly the National Rotary competition.

‘They display drawing skills, great use of colour and imaginative ideas. Well done everyone who entered. Keep painting ‘ – some of Julie’s comments.
Thanks to Amy Craig, the Perins MAT, and Julie Hepenstal

Making a Difference to Your Community


A visit to Ropley’s newly reconstructed St Peter’s Church was greeted with a hugely warming welcome by Rev Clare Welham. For anyone not aware, the church was almost burnt to the ground 8 years ago and has recently re-opened with a somewhat stunning merge of old and new.
Our visit was to view the beautiful vintage nativity figurines donated by Alresford Rotary member Hans Wustefeld replacing the church’s own that was lost in the fire. To complete the display new stables funded by Alresford Rotary creates a peaceful nativity scene.
A warm welcome awaits everyone at St Peter’s, whether a church regular or otherwise, this blissful space is very special, it is a must for a visit, its doors are open on a regular basis, so if you are passing through pop in and say hello to Rev Clare Welham who is leading the way towards making this beautiful space an essential and well equipped Ropley community hub.
The nativity scene was presented to the Rev Clare Welham by David Marshall, President of Alresford Rotary, and Rotarians Kim Boog and Hans Wustefeld. 

How can Alresford Rotary help YOUR community?

Please let us know! Rotary prides itself in continuing and developing community focus not only in New Alresford but also in the surrounding area, not only S024 but also GU32, GU34, RG25 etc postcode areas. If your community has a need we may be able to help, but that’s not a possibility unless you contact us.

How can YOU help Alresford Rotary?

If you want to improve your community let us know. We’re a lively, expanding group aiming to recruit more members and contacts. We’re open to all – our membership is increasingly diverse, not just old men! Rotary is for all!  Involvement with Rotary need not involve significant expense nor more time than you can spare.


Give back time!

We at Rotary share an interest in protecting our common legacy: the environment. We are committed to supporting activities that strengthen the conservation and protection of natural resources, advance ecological sustainability, and foster harmony between communities and the environment.  

Access to quality care

Rotary is especially dedicated to ending polio and since 1979 its members have donated money, lobbied governments, provided practical support to deliver polio vaccines and volunteered at national immunisation days in all corners of the world.

Community support

It’s often said that society works better when communities work together. From food banks to flood relief, marathons to festivals, Rotary is always making a difference in our communities. The opportunities with Rotary are endless

Now is the time to volunteer

Find out more about what we do for communities around the world:

                                                        Click on one of the blue boxes