A Potted History of the
Rotary Club of Haywards Heath

The Rotary Club of Haywards Heath was mothered by the East Grinstead Club and in its turn has mothered the Rotary Clubs of Burgess Hill and that of  Cuckfield and Lindfield. It founded a local Probus Club. The Charter Night was held with 15 members  on 5th.November 1932 in Griffins Garage, Haywards Heath with President Henry Taylor a local Veterinary Surgeon in the chair.  For many years it was a luncheon Club but in recent years it has switched to  become  a twilight club and now meets on a Monday at 6.15 p.m. Lindfield Golf Club. The first lady member was  introducted in 2003.

At the time of its formation there was a recession in the building trade and the Club used the expertise of its members to develop a low cost Housing Association known as Franklands Village . Members have continued to serve on the Board of Directors and
when a  block of flats was added in 1991 the Club constructed a Rose Garden for the residents use.  The Club has been instrumental in the formation of  the local branch of the Citizens Advice Bureau and many Mid-Sussex leisure facilities.

From the 1970’s Holidays for the Elderly was a great venture run by the Club. Elderly persons were escorted to and from an Eastbourne Hotel.The scheme was open to all Clubs even beyond our district. An annual presentation of an award to some unsung personality for their work to the local community is now given in memory of the founder of this scheme. Elderly people are taken to Amateur Stage Productions.

A film Entitled “The Town in which we Serve” was commissioned in 1970.  This  was an excellent historical record of the times but it has sadly has been lost.

A Leisure Exhibition has been run in association with the Education Authority. Personal Service in all its aspects has always been at the heart of all Club Activities. During a mass immunisation
campaign against Measles members delivered the vaccine to clinics to schools as far away as Cralwley. Now help is given at the Princess Royal Hospital by transporting patients wishing to attend the Chapel on a Sunday .One of the most recent (2003) project  undertaken was that of a pond clearance and construction of a walk way for those attending the  post head injury charity Headway .

On the International scene the club has for many years supported the Goodwill Childrens Home in . A strong link has been forged with the Terneuzen Club in Holland . Help given to Third World countries has continued on an ad hoc basis while Water Aid has been  continuously favoured as worthy of  support. A member staying in a Romanian orphanage was supported with aid material in 1989.

For many years the Club was unique in sending a large party stag to the RIBI Conference but the wind of change is blowing-in comparison the District Conference has been poorly supported- will that change too? All District Sporting
activities are well supported and there are several “in house” competitions as well-but advancing years have led to the abandonment of the annual Stoolball match against Inner Wheel!

The Club’s main sources of income are at Christmas from a postal appeal and collections at different points around the town, from an annual Car Boot Sale and a Race night. We aim to make fund raising fun from a variety of social events.

Youth Activities are strong –Youth Speak is well supported by local schools and applications are processed for RYLA and similar projects. A cafe for youngsters called “Bytes” has been opened in the town in support of youth workers and there is an annual Book Service Award for pupils whose names are put forward by the schools for outstanding service  in the community. Kids Out is a must.