Community and Vocational

Community and Vocational Projects Team


Target: We volunteer our professional skills to serve others and promote integrity in everything we do. We address local needs and work with our community to bring lasting improvements


 Co-Chair – Doug WatkinsonDoug Watkinson

    • Likes: Running – although would never have said that 4 years ago, and holidaying with Sue preferably in America.
    • Dislikes: Not running, comments about Vocational
    • Invite to dinner: Not too bothered as long as the food is super-sized and preferably pork from one of my own pigs! If pushed Homer Simpson because we both see ‘all you can eat’ as a challenge!
    • Home: would like it to be Florida but will settle for Hitchin
    • Rotary: Been a member for almost 4 years. It is fun to do something together with my wife that is useful and gives back to the community

Co-Chair – Tracy Harvey


Community and Vocational Services

As a committee our focus is on serving the community, locally, nationally and internationally. We also run several initiatives in order to raise funds for projects. Our Vocational commitment to the club is about getting members engaged in projects and club events so that they feel inclusive. Vocational Services is also about utilising members skills and expertise to best serve the club helping to deliver success in everything we do.


Community Initiatives

Hitchin Helping Hands – Tilehouse club have supported Hitchin Helping Hands over the years, each year the club members serve on tables at the Hitchin Helping Hands AGM allowing both it’s members and helpers to enjoy the day.

Hitchin Pancake Race – This annual event run by Rotary Club of Hitchin Priory raises money for the Garden House Hospice, members of Tilehouse Rotary help Priory Club to distribute brochures.

Stagenhoe Sensory Garden – The Club has worked at Stagenhoe for several years to cultivate a Sensory Garden for the residents to enjoy.

Stagenhoe Christmas Gifts – The club shops for Christmas presents to ensure that all of the residence at the Sue Ryder Home have something to open Christmas Day.

Stagenhoe Post Cards – Club members send post cards to the residence of the Sue Ryder home from around the world. These are read out to residence and placed on a map of the world in the activities room. Seems like such a small thing but it brings the outside world into the home to help brighten up the day.


Fund Raising Initiatives

Bric-A-Brac – The Club runs three Bric-A-Brac’s a year in the Market Place in order to raise general funds for the Club, we collect Bric-A-Brac through out the year from Club members and the public to sell on the day.

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Christmas Charity Car Parking – The Club runs a charity car park the last two Saturday’s in December asking for donations of £3 for all day parking in the Priory’s Car Park off of Tilehouse Street in Hitchin. Local company’s allow us use of their car parks so that we can charitable funds.

Movember – Club members join in the national initiative to raise awareness and money to help beat Prostate Cancer. The event is run in club every other year so 2014 is the year of the MO for Tilehousians!

St Alban’s Charity Cycle Ride – This is an annual event run by the Rotary Clubs of St Albans; there are four fully marshalled routes, a 10 / 20 / 30 / 40. Each year the Rotary Club of Hitchin Tilehouse provides twenty plus members to help marshall this event.

Santa’s Sleigh – This event is run by Round Table to raise funds for local people in need at Christmas, Tilehouse Club takes two sleigh’s out for one night to help Round Table.


Vocational Services

The committee is exploring the possibility of sending a Vocational Training Team to Haiti in order to follow on from the great work being undertaken by the International Committee with their Haiti Water Project. The committee will be asking the Rotary Clubs on the ground in Haiti what would benefit the Haitian’s with the intention of funding a project that will deliver a sustainable solution to meet a particular need in Haiti. The intention is to send a team that would  deliver through training a particular skill that benefit the whole community.


Future ComVoc Projects 

If the above was not enough to convince you to join the Rotary Club of Hitchin Tilehouse which is a vibrant club of individuals who work together to better the lives of those in our local, national and international communities. Then these are some of the idea’s ComVoc is exploring as possible projects for 2014 / 2015.

UK Floods – Exploring a water based activity to raise funds for communities devastated by the floods, for some reason we think Kayaking down the Grand Union Canal from Birmingham to the Thames sounds like a good idea. Did not seem such a great idea when we found out how many locks there are!

Golf Day – In order to send out a Vocational Training Team to Haiti we will need to raise some money to fund the project, a Golf Day may be an enjoyable day out which also has the potential to raise the money.

Lend-A-Hand Day – This was an activity previously run by club to help individuals in the community by doing odd jobs such as pairing, cleaning and gardening. It has become increasingly difficult to get access to those people in the community. We are looking at whether we can get Lend-A-Hand up and running again and what it should look like.

Food Bank Collection Point – ComVoc has had conversations with the Trussell Trust who distribute two tons of food a month to the our local community Letchworth, Hitchin and Baldock. So when they opened a distribution centre in Hitchin September 2013 we thought we should get involved. Tilehouse club in partnership with Sainsbury’s Hitchin and Waitrose Hitchin have agreed to run a trail collection point at the two supermarkets on a Saturday this summer. This should give us a blue print for running further events.

Digital Inclusion Project – NHCVS is looking to run a community project to help the young and old to get online through a series of training sessions that will help people to understand the joys and pitfalls of being online. This will help people who what to use the internet to search for jobs, those who want to stay in touch with family and friends using FaceTime, Skype, email and Facebook. This is a huge undertaking so NHCVS has met with ComVoc committee to see whether we can assist them in delivering this ambitious project to the committee.

Hitchin Volunteer Army -This initiative run by a fantastic young mum Lorna Hemmings is very similar to the Club’s Heartfelt donations. HVA works closely with NHCVS so all of the work they do has been vetted by them, in the same way Rotary is work with the Family Support Workers. ComVoc and HVA will look at helping each other out where possible.


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