Service Above Self
Rotary Club of Taunton
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Tuesday 3rd October 2017, 12.55pm at the Racecourse. President Roger welcomed Rotarians to the first meeting of the month. He also gave a warm welcome to our speaker for the day Rhoda Groody from the Conquest Centre. President firstly dealt with Rotary business. He congratulated Tony Dowsett on winning the Taunton Rotary Golf Championship. He also thanked Tony for organising same and for the meal in the evening at Taunton and Pickeridge Golf Club, which was enjoyed by members of Inner Wheel and guests of Rotary members. President informed members that Huish College had been accepted as Corporate Members and a certificate would be presented. Tony Murray then reminded members of Oscar Sitoli who we sponsored 10 years ago in conjunction with LISIEUX Rotary Club. Oscar is a good communicator and contacts Tony on a regular basis. He is now a teacher and his village has benefitted greatly from his skills. He now has a son called Timothy and is doing well. This has been a very successful joint sponsorship and it has been suggested after 10 years something similar should be brought to fruition. Dates for the diary. 31st October Oake Golf Club dinner and entertainment (provided by Rotarians). Please bring your partners and friends. (Music Hall theme). 11th November. Concert. Help needed shortly in selling tickets. President Roger then introduced Rhoda Groody. Rhoda gave an excellent talk and outlined the work of the Conquest Centre, which is situated on the A358 at Norton Fitzwarren. Conquest began its journey in 1965.It provides a wide range of horse based activities for ages ranging from 3 years to 83 years who have disabilities. This benefits their health and well being. She emphasised that their work focuses on ability rather than disability. They provide 220 activity sessions per week for adults and children with disabilities. Conquest Centre is a fully equipped equine Centre with a herd of 13 horses.They have eight staff, one full time and rely heavily on volunteers. Over the last twelve months they have had 131 volunteers. Currently there are 69 active volunteers and 22 students who are gaining skills and undertaking accredited qualifications (BHS stage 1 and RDA grades). Conquests work is far reaching with horses and gives terrific scope to people with all types of disabilities and other additional needs. They also have a cafe open to the whole community which is run by trainees who have additional needs offering them the opportunity to gain work and life skills.Rhoda and her staff including all volunteers do a terrific job in giving children/adults suffering from disabilities and additional needs a real purpose in life. This is a place that sometime in the near future must be visited to fully understand this valuable work. Thank you Rhoda. A vote of thanks was given by Nigel Handbury.