Dougie Pipe

Five minutes with…

Dougie Pipe

President

Rotary Club of Felixstowe

When did you become President of the Rotary Club of Felixstowe? How long have you been a member?

My presidential year commenced in July 2020, having joined the Rotary Club of Felixstowe in March 2017. I served a year as second vice president and then a year as first vice president before becoming president.

How have you continued to support local charities during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Over the last 12 months, we have concentrated our support on the leading charities that serve our local community.
Donations have been made to the BASIC Life Charity to support food banks, the Salvation Army support for their Christmas Lunch initiative, Citizens Advice, general donations and individual donations to local schools.
In conjunction with our sister club, the Rotary Club of Felixstowe Landguard, we share the cost of providing ‘Dictionaries 4 Life’, an illustrated dictionary that we distribute to every year 4 pupil in the six primary schools in the Trimley, Walton and Felixstowe area. We also supported the National Rotary Charity’ Kids Out’, and provided eight Kiddies Christmas Toy Boxes. Each box contained £75 worth of age-related toys and was given to disadvantaged children in refuge in the Felixstowe area.

Has the Rotary Club of Felixstowe had to adapt/change over the last year?

Our club has had to embrace change because of the pandemic, particularly in respect of meetings. Our weekly lunch meetings have been replaced by Zoom calls and when not in full lockdown we launched a socially distanced Prom Walk, observing the rule of six.
Ever vigilant, President’s Lunches for six were also introduced, where I would invite five other club Rotarians to join me for lunch at the Orwell Hotel.
Our annual International Night went virtual, and we raised a very impressive £2,200 through donations from members and others. The beneficiary of these funds was Global Sight Solutions – an organisation that operates in third world countries, setting up and equipping eye hospitals to carry out minor and major eye surgery for local people.

As we start to return to the ‘new normal’, what is the Rotary hoping to achieve over the next 6 – 12 months?

The most challenging issue for our club during this pandemic has been fundraising, so when we return to the ‘new normal’, this must be the key focus of our efforts. From the Boxing Banquet to the Fun Run and bringing Rudolph to town at Christmas these are all Felixstowe favourites and fingers crossed as restrictions lift we can get some of these back up and running.
Such a huge amount of support comes from the logistics industry and for this, we’re hugely grateful. The Rotary Club of Felixstowe was founded way back in 1926 and we’d love for it to thrive for many years to come. For this to happen we need younger members of Felixstowe’s business community to join us and bring their new ideas and visions to ensure that Rotary remains relevant, so if you’re interested to get involved, we’d love to hear from you.

For more information or to find out more about becoming a member, please get in touch with the Rotary Club of Felixstowe.