25 October 2016
We began to engage with the Rotary club fairly early on in our partnership. We attended the 2014 THET conference which provided inspiration in the form of a workshop that covered fundraising strategies, as well as local stakeholder engagement.
The main issue was that our partnership did not have a very high profile locally, either within our hospital or in our local community. We also had no certainty that we would secure funding after the project end which is set for February 2017.
We presented to Ipswich-Orwell Rotary Club in December 2014, October 2015, July and September 2016. In October 2015 we also presented to Woodbridge Rotary Club.
In March 2016 we were invited to attend a drinks reception with local business leaders and our local MP and former Health Secretary, Ben Gummer, who has over many years been very supportive of both Ipswich Hospital and The Rotary Club. We also met with MP Ben Gummer separately, in his constituency office.
Immediately our profile was raised because we had spoken to these influential people. We also had increased press coverage, specifically in The East Anglian Daily Times and the Ipswich Star, through a Rotary-Orwell contact.
We did face some challenges however, as the vision to involve the Rotary Club and seek wider support, as well as additional funding was not universally shared within the team. This led to some debate and delay, but eventually it was seen to be a good idea for the future of the partnership.
After presenting twice, and without asking for any money, Rotary-Orwell asked whether they could support us financially. They organised a fundraising event in July 2016 and prior to that held a raffle; the two events raised over £700 for the project!
As the July fundraising event (Rotary Mastermind Competition) was held in collaboration with the other three Ipswich Rotary Clubs, it has led to friendly contact with these clubs as well as Ipswich-Orwell. The partnership’s involvement has also helped raise awareness of the great work of the Rotary Club and Rotary International.
We feel that we have to a certain extent solved this problem. There is a much greater understanding and awareness of our partnership both within our hospital and our community, and we have established good links with five of the local Rotary Clubs.
After our next visit, in November 2016, we will have a clearer idea of the next steps with the partnership. We will be maintaining our established links with Rotary, with a view to maintaining or even increasing their involvement in the future.
Rotary Club and Rotary International consist of
neighbours, friends, and community leaders who come together to create positive, lasting change in local communities and around the world.
One of the most important lessons we learned was that asking for money straight away is not necessarily the best way to maximise fundraising, neither is it the best way to forge longer term relationships with potential funders and local opinion leaders.
These things take time and it is important to nurture the relationships.
Differing occupations, cultures, and countries give Rotary a unique perspective. Rotary support a variety of causes both at home and abroad. They are specifically identified and targeted to maximize local and global impact.
Rotary uses its network of resources and partners to focus service efforts in promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, and growing local economies.
As such this ethos ties in very nicely with Health Partnerships.
If you would like more information on the work of the Rotary Club and Rotary International, please visit https://www.rotary.org/en/about-rotary