Charity fundraiser honoured in top awards

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Harrogate Rotarian Barry Pollard has been honoured with Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s Champions of Change award for his outstanding work in the community.

Barry was chosen for the award after he worked with the Rotary Club of Himalyan Gurkhas to supply 10 secondary schools in the Panchamul Valley with IT equipment.

“This involved not just supplying PCs but also the power to run them and connect them to the internet,” said club spokesman Brian Souter.

Andrew Jones MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough accompanied Barry when he joined 10 other previously unsung Rotary heroes to receive his award at a ceremony hosted by Baron Inglewood at the House of Lords.

Baron Inglewood, who is an honorary member of Penrith Rotary Club, described the event as a “great initiative in promoting the values of Rotary not only among our Lords and leaders but also within the Rotary world.”

Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson presented the awards after he demonstrated keen personal and professional interest in encouraging people to engage in social action, volunteering and the Big Society Initiative, a key principle of Rotary.

The minister said he was “humbled” by the projects recognised and believed “we need more organisations like Rotary driving change and reform.”

Nominations for the awards were in two categories — domestic and international — and were invited from across Rotary’s 26 districts, which take in 1,800 clubs and 50,000 members.

Winners’ projects ranged from work tackling the problem of human trafficking in India to raising money and awareness for families affected by domestic violence here in the UK.

Peter Davey, president of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, said: “Barry’s work is invaluable in helping improve education in the Panchamul Valley and he is a very worthwhile recipient of one of this year’s awards.”

Peter said he hoped all would be inspired.