News from the clubs in the area
SOUTHPORT Rotary Club welcomed the “Vocational Training Team” from Australia - sponsored by Rotary in Australia in Rockhampton.
The five members of the team are headteachers and staff from special schools in Queensland and they were collecting information and best practice from young people with special needs in Southport and how provisions are made at the Atkinson, especially for autistic people.
Southport Rotary Club was delighted to organise the day and welcome the team at their weekly meeting at the Clifton Hotel.
They gave a presentation explaining how they won the right to be sponsored by Rotary and why they wanted to visit the Atkinson and Presfield School.
Their presentation also gave the Rotary Club an insight into Australia and their local Rotary Clubs.
The Rotary 9570uk.wordpress.com shows their blog as they spend time across our local District 1180.
Below is their blog following their day in Southport.
They also enjoyed a whistle stop tour of the town.
Our thanks go to Jan at the Atkinson for the very interesting tour, and Headteacher Tony Fay from Presfield.
“Our day began with a personal tour of the Atkinson Museum, Art Gallery and Library with Rotary President Michael Harrison and wife Dianne.
“We were once again enraptured by the amazing architectural detail in the buildings.
“The sense of history in the UK envelops us wherever we travel.
“We could visualise the ladies in their finest gowns, donned with fur and jewels arriving in their carriages then promenading down the street.
“It was a stark contrast to our Aussie town of Southport on the Gold Coast.
“Of special note in the museum were the additional features for the visually impaired.
“The artwork was brought to life by large print descriptions as well as special audio tags which described the paintings in vivid detail.
“Also available for use were hand magnifiers, raised prints, textured painting techniques and coloured overlays.
“Signage in the library also bore the words ‘Autism Friendly’.
“We received a warm welcome from the Rotary Club of Southport District 1180 and enjoyed lively banter over a delicious lunch.
“Rotary flags were exchanged and we entertained the audience with our stories of Australian history and culture.
“President Michael, wife Dianne, and past headteacher and fellow Rotarian Jim Taylor accompanied us to Presfield High School for students with Autism.
“Mr Tony Fay, head teacher, spoke passionately about the school’s provisions to assist his students to not only experience success academically but also develop self-confidence, social skills, self- regulation and life skills to carry them into the future.
“A Celebration Wall has a prominent place in the foyer with certificates and photos of students’ achievements.
“Preparation for being “job ready” is a priority as currently only 15-17% of students with autism end up in paid employment.
“Children with autism can be a real enhancement to employers if they have an understanding of how easily adjustments can be made.
“Students fundraise for trips, being heartily involved in the whole planning, marketing and event co-ordination.
“A recent trip saw the students travel to London for three days - a learning experience which had incredible value with students having to navigate the airport, tube stations, purchase tickets and to line up in queues, just to name a few.
“Parental involvement is encouraged and supported by the role of a Parent Support Advisor who co-ordinates events and functions for families as well as assisting parents with completing daily tasks such as registering for a bank account or accessing welfare.
“In the words of Head Teacher Tony Fay “Autism doesn’t define you embrace who you are and find your skill set!”
This message is certainly alive and well at Presfield.
The Rotary Club of Southport Sunrise recently raised much needed funds for Southport & Formby Special Athletes by ‘Adopting the Quiz’ at the Guelder Rose in Southport.
The very successful event was coordinated by Sunrise members Margaret Cotton and Lizzy Wilkinson.
Southport Sunrise would like to say a huge thank you to Claire and all the staff at the Guelder Rose for their help and support,8 60 and to Lesley Kirkbride at Tesco for donating some amazing raffle prizes.
The winning team was Maggie’s Misfits and much fun was had by all on the night!
Formby Rotary Club are celebrating their 50th anniversary.
They are looking forward to supporting charity Melanoma UK.
They are holding a quiz night on November 24 at Formby Hall and tickets are available by calling 07538 606117.
The Australian Vocational Training Team in Southport