Meeting Information
The Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock
Grays Thurrock

Largest Rotary Club in Thurrock (est 1930)

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 1:00 PM
Orsett Hall Hotel
Prince Charles Avenue
Orsett, Essex RM16 3HS
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
This year saw 9 intrepid travellers from Grays venture East to Istanbul.  This was supposed to be a mystery trip in 2020 but due to Covid, it was delayed by 2 years.  It was a pity that many of the original number could not be there but the 9 that went enjoyed it thoroughly.  We won't bore everyone with all of the pictures but members can view them in the members pages.  Here are some samples.
A great night out with 26 people attending a meal at Feast in Grays High Street.

Grays Rotary Club today presented cheques totalling £10,700 to 5 chosen charities from its Christmas street & supermarket collections - Lauren Eagle-Allen representing Little Havens Childrens Hospice, Janice Gilroy representing Barnardo’s & John Brewer Head of Treetops School each received a cheque for £2,600. Each expressed their grateful thanks to the club.  Unfortunately Great Ormond Street Childrens Hospital and NSPCC were unrepresented but will respectively be receiving a cheque for £2,600 and £300 by post.

After lunch at Orsett Hall, the club thanked representatives from the local superstores Asda (Kim Morgan), Sainsburys (Will Doyle) & Tesco (Angela Mitchell) for their support and attendance together with Rotarian Steve Payne for building its new sleigh. 

Although unable to join the lunch, grateful thanks were also offered to Grayers Graphics for help with the sleigh paintwork and Smiths Orchard Garden Centre for their assistance in counting & banking the cash collected.

[Group photo left to right is Angela Mitchell, Lauren Eagle-Allen, Janice Gilroy, Adrian Alsop, Steve Payne, Kim Morgan, John Brewer, Anthony Hatton (Treetops Free School Head) and Will Doyle]


2022 has begun for the Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock with a notable accolade for one of its established members.

And the club presented its highest award, the Paul Harris Fellowship (named after the founder of the Rotary movement), to Rotarian Steve Payne for outstanding service to the club and the local community.

Steve single-handedly took up the challenge of building the club a new Christmas sleigh which performed flawlessly for Santa in December and is set to bring joy to borough children and help raise funds for great causes for many years to come.


Following a successful membership information evening in late November, the first of its new members Steve Quigley was inducted last week with more expected to follow.

Grays is proud to have a special relationship with the the Iserlohn club in Germany and with Voorschoten Leidschendam in the Netherlands.  In the past this has mostly been a social relationship but earlier this year the club in Iserlohn asked for our help following awful floods in Germany.  We were happy to help out and assist in buying a dehydrator to help the affected areas.

We have received a thank you letter from Iserlohn and below are some pictures of the work that we helped to achieve.

You can read the full letter by clicking on "Read more" below.


We would like to thank the people of Thurrock most sincerely for their support and generosity over the Christmas period. Our grateful thanks also goes to Sainsburys, Asda and Tesco for their assistance.

The club & its members have worked tirelessly to ensure this year‘s supermarket and sleigh collections (and our concert at Thameside Theatre) were successful armed with our new sleigh & following the 2020 Covid break so I am delighted to announce that we hope to donate over £10,000 in February to our 4 main childrens' charities Great Ormond Street Hospital, Little Havens Hospice, Treetops School and Barnardo’s.

Best wishes to all for a happy and healthy 2022.



Grays Rotary agreed yesterday to donate £500 to Thurrock Foodbank to help assist those in need over the Christmas period.
Although the funds were sent electronically for speed, President Adrian is shown below outside Thurrock Foodbank with a presentation cheque.
After missing last year because of the restrictions the Club Sleigh was back in action on the streets of Thurrock and Santa has a new Sleigh!
Club welcomes prospective new members. 
40 members, guests and prospective members on 25th November, enjoyed the Club and Membership Night at Orsett Hall.  This was the night to show prospective members what the Club was all about and members relished the opportunity.  The Gold Room looked beautiful for the evening, which started started with drinks and a general getting to know each other and was followed by an entertaining introduction by the President, Adrian Alsop and then with three amusing presentations on the clubs activity - Alan Peaford on the social side of the club, Kevin Watkins on International and the Tri-Partite with our associated Dutch and German Clubs and Iain Ramsay on our fundraising and Christmas concert, sleigh and collection activities.  You could feel the tension when Iain revealed a picture of the new sleigh - ahhhhhh, only to deny us with a picture of it covered by a sheet - ohhhhh.   The buffet was excellent followed by a superb demonstration from our Guest Speaker from St Johns Ambulance on how a defibrillator works.  Holly in full SJA para medic gear with a defibrillator and dummy held us all spellbound with the demonstration and was then bombarded with questions from the audience.  Speed is of the essence with any heart attack situation and we all went away with potentially lifesaving knowledge.  A Club donation to SJA was presented by Ray Smallcombe together with a vote of thanks.  The evening finished at around 10.00pm with closing remarks from the President.  After the evening the President said: "The evening was a great success and would hopefully generate new members to the club.
Some pictures from the evening:

The Club, in association with the Thurrock Music Hub and the Gateway Academy, were finally able to hold the 2020 Rotary Young Musician Awards Ceremony on 4th November 2021 at The Royal Opera House facility at The Barn, High House, Purfleet.   After brief speeches by Rotary Vice President Clive Page, former Mayor and Councillor Cathy Kent and Roy Dignum for the Thurrock Music Hub, the winners gave a short recital of their works, including one by pre-recorded video.  After the performances the Awards and Trophies were presented. 

It was an excellent evening enjoyed by all and shows the strength and capability of young musicians in the Thurrock area.

The winners were …

ZARA SAVEL  -  Beginner instrumental

MELITA KLYVYTE -  Highly Commended Inst.

LAURA SYLEMANI  -  Intermediate Vocal

NEDA BIKUS  -  Intermediate Instrument

INDRIT SYLEMANI  -  Highly Commended Inst.

ELLIE ROSE CLARKE  -  Advanced Vocal

SAMUEL LEE. -  Advanced Instrumental and Young Musician of the Year Trophy.

Sam Lee
Sam Lee with Cathy Kent and Clive Page
All of our winners
Grays Rotary Club was represented by Adrian Alsop and Ray Reynolds at the Remembrance Service on Sunday where a wreath was laid on behalf of the club.
A group of Grays Rotarians enjoyed an excellent lunch on 17 October at Smiths in Wapping
Our President and his wife hosted the annual Presidents Weekend in Kylesku, Scotland from 1st to 4th October and great fun and companionship was enjoyed by all. 
24 members, partners and guests travelled up by car, train or plane to convene on the Friday in The Ceilidh Place Ullapool for a bite to eat and a tutored tasting of two very impressive and award winning local gins followed in the evening by a fish and chip supper at the impressive Kylesku Hotel.  
Over the next two days, the group enjoyed, walking to deserted castles and lochs; fascinating open air talk by a local historian in Lochinver; a bracing walk along the coast from Clachtoll Beach escorted by the Assynt Ranger taking in the Iron Age Broch; visit to the Stoer Lighthouse with the stunning views out towards the Outer Hebrides; spectacular minibus tours around the dramatic scenery of the Drumbeg Coastal Loop; a demonstration of pottery making and painting and yes a bit of shopping at Highland Stoneware; locally made pies, shortbread and cakes in the newest built Eco home in Assynt; and even a boat trip around the loch in front of the hotel to see the highest waterfall in Europe.  Of course, throughout, everyone tasted the local fare, fantastic locally caught fish, crab and langoustine and partook in the local tipples – silly not to.  
On the Monday the President wished everyone a bon voyage after a hearty Highland Breakfast, which we had been served every day at the hotel.  
Special thanks go to fellow Rotarian Iain Ramsay and his wife Hilary for organising the whole trip and their good friends Phil and Jackie who were on hand the whole time to ferry the entire party around in three minibuses.  After so long in lockdown it was great for the Club to get away for a long weekend and enjoy each other’s company in this outstanding part of the UK
Today we celebrated the life of Rotarian Frank Harrison.  Frank was an active member for over 10 years.  Frankie was always a colourful character who enjoyed a laugh and a joke.  Frankie, you will be missed by us all.
Sunflower room for Grays Police Station
On 31 August club President, Adrian, met with Jules Bottazzi (Office Manager Investigations) & Sam Culf (A/DI) at Grays Police station following our £425 donation made during lockdown.
Sunflower rooms are friendly rooms full of soft furnishings, toys & games and are being set up in a number of areas including Grays so that young children & the vulnerable who find themselves temporarily in a Police station do not feel so stressed or traumatised.
Jules and Sam were very grateful for our Rotary support and once the Sunflower room is complete they will let us know.
On Saturday 25th June, a team of walkers from Grays Thurrock Rotary Club supported the Challenging MND charity by walking in their sponsored ‘Big Gibbo Walk’, in Thorndon Country Park.  The charities mission is to give those suffering from the debilitating motor neurone disease an opportunity to create amazing memories which will last with them forever. 
It was a hot summer’s day in a beautiful park and the walk, around a pre-determined route, was enjoyed by all.  Our 10 walkers each walked 10 km, achieving the 100Km target for Grays Thurrock Rotary Club.  The event itself raised over £20,000.  Our Club easily met its fund-raising target already raising £555.00 which increases to £672.50, with Gift Aid.  There is still time to donate to make that amount even more impressive (go to:   Of course, this is in addition to the £250 already donated by the Club to Challenging MND following an excellent talk given us by the charity.  It was also good to meet members of the Rotary Club of Brentwood, who were on marshalling duties throughout the day. 
Grays Rotary Club President, Adrian Alsop said after the walk, “a great achievement by all for a worthy charity, showing the true spirit of Rotary”.   After the walk, many retired to a fellow Rotarians house for reviving food and drink.  Many thanks to all our walkers and to those friends and family who supported them on this sponsored walk.
Following an interesting & moving talk by Alex Gibson & Andrew Cappart of Challenge MND, 10 members of Grays Rotary are walking 10km each at Thorndon Park on 26 June to support this worthy Essex based charity.
President Adrian Alsop who is leading the walk has set up the Challenge MND Virgin Giving page re the club and is hoping to raise a group target of £500.
He commented that Rotary does not just make charitable donations and in addition to the £250 already donated to Challenge MND can also provide local support where appropriate as ‘People of Action’. This cause resonates with us particularly as one of our members also has Motor Neurone Disease.
If you would like to make a contribution to this worthwhile cause, our Virgin Giving page link details are as below.
Grays Rotary help out with local gardening project.  A clip from the Thurrock Gazette below.
Ormiston Park Academy Garden Project
The club has recently made a donation of £250 to Ormiston Parak Academy to help start their Garden Project. A group of students, and teacher Sharon Grimmond, were welcomed at Thurrock Garden Centre last week to buy various items such as soil, plants and seeds to get started. Elaine Stevens, Chairperson of the Communty Service Committee was also on hand to help out with suggestions as to what to buy. The club will also assist on site at the school to give further advice.
We wish them well with their project!
May 2022
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