‘Rotary must leave a legacy for those behind us’ was the message from a leading West Midlands Rotarian on a visit to a Shropshire Rotary club. Rotarian Les Goodchild, a past president of the Rotary Club of Newport Lite and membership lead in the Rotary district which covers Shropshire, was a guest of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club whom he addressed on membership growth and retention.

“I feel most passionate about Rotary – we do such a good job,” Les told members of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary. Enjoy club meetings and impress people. Find out what a prospective member needs. Make sure you welcome people from all backgrounds. Women are an untapped source of membership.”

He went on: “How do we grow Rotary? Each one of you bring one. If everyone brought just one member to the club you would double the membership. Getting them involved in community projects is the best. That’s going to be more successful than bringing them to a dinner meeting. Success I’ve seen is ordinarily born from involvement. Think about diversity, equity and inclusion. If you look at yourselves as a hub and look at growing Rotary in whatever form it takes, look in the longer term, not just short term.”

He urged the club to consider Rotaract and getting the message out there at a young age. “If you can make that connection, it is a very good way of getting schools on side. All of us have an innate need to be a Rotarian and Rotaract is another avenue worth exploring.”

Deepshikha Kapoor, who succeeds Les in the district membership chair in July, said she had always been made most welcome by Rotarians, right from her days as a Rotaract member in India. “You have given me a warm welcome and you will have lady members coming to join your club,” she predicted.

Les Goodchild (far left), Deepshikha Kapoor (centre) and Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club president John Yeomans (far right) with a group of members.

Julian Wells

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