Keynote Speaker – Tasmin Little CBE

Music – A Force for Good

After a career spanning more than 30 years giving concerts around the world, violinist Tasmin Little retired from the concert platform in 2021 to devote her time to broadcasting, writing, teaching and mentoring. During her career as an international concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician she performed in some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, Musikverein, Concertgebouw, Philharmonie Berlin, Vienna Konzerthaus, South Bank Centre, Barbican Centre, Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Lincoln Center and Suntory Hall. She has released numerous albums to critical acclaim, also winning the Critics Choice Award at the Classic BRIT Awards in 2011 for her recording of Elgar’s Violin Concerto with Sir Andrew Davis and the Royal National Scottish Orchestra. She has received multiple other awards, as well as a CBE for Services to Music in 2023.

Renowned for her gifts of communication and presentation, on and off the platform, during the early 1990s she pioneered verbal introductions during performance from the stage to audiences, and in 2008 her ground-breaking project “The Naked Violin” drew a global audience of half a million in a few weeks and resulted in The Southbank Show – the longest-running Arts show on British television – dedicating a full hour’s programme to following the project as she toured. She has appeared on, and made, many television and radio programmes; in February 2021, her 3-week series for BBC Radio 3, “Journeys with my Violin” was widely lauded and was ‘Pick of the Week’ in The Times newspaper. In January 2023, she was commissioned by Radio 3 to make eight programmes, which were aired later in the year.

Lucy Lewis – Lighting The Fuse

After sailing round South America on a tall ship Lucy Lewis joined the Army on the spur of the moment.  Training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in 1989 was followed  by being selected to become the first woman to operate as a Bomb Disposal Officer with the Royal Engineers.  She subsequently served with the Royal Military Police in Germany and Northern Ireland, retiring in the rank of Major to start a family.  In 2018, Lucy made history for a second time by becoming the first woman to be appointed University Marshal at the University of Cambridge and now leads one of the oldest Constabularies in the world.

Lighting The Fuse is a light-hearted talk about training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in the late 1980’s, bomb disposal techniques and dilemmas and then brings the audience up to date explaining how military training helps to tackle the challenges of modern University life.

Bob Maskall – My Vision for Rotary GB&I Future

I am a retired RAF officer and fast-jet pilot.  For the majority of my 30 years in the RAF I was a flying instructor and spent my working life teaching adults and passing on skills and information. I still work part-time as a military Flight Simulator Instructor.   During my career I was also a member of the RAF Presentation Team giving Public Relations presentations to large audiences of members of the general public.

I have 20 years of experience in Rotary and I have taken part in the organisation of Club and District events and have been involved with District Membership team for most of that time.  I was the District Visioning Facilitator 2013-2019 and spent 2 years as an Assistant Governor.  I had the great honour of being District Governor for N Wales and NW England during the year 2019 – 2020.  I have just completed 2 years as Head of the Rotary Great Britain and Ireland Leadership Team and spent much of the last two years training future District Governors.  In 2022 I was honoured to be a Training Leader for the online International Assembly and in 2023 I was chosen once again as a Training Leader but this time it was face to face in Orlando Florida. Upon my return from Florida, I was chosen as District Governor Elect for my new District as the current DGE had resigned.  I was a training Leader at Governor Elect Training in Manchester in September last year.  I take over as Chair of the Rotary Great Britain and Ireland Board in July 2026 and loo forward to sharing my vision for the future of Rotary GB&I with you all.

I am married to Kate, also a Rotarian, and we have 3 grown up children between us.

Sally Searle – Empowering and inspiring children in Bombolulu through education

Sally started a canvas goods repair and manufacturing company in Letchworth at the age of 19. She is a qualified business and finance professional.

After 15 years, the business was sold to a PLC and Sally started a retail business in Bedfordshire. After 5 years, she sold that too!

She then decided not to remain self-employed as working a 6 or 7 day week while bringing up 2 children was taking its toll on life. So she took a job as PA to the Head of Financial Control at DHL in Bedford. Unfortunately they soon learned that her background was indeed finance. Thus before too long Sally was working in finance again. Including as the Accountant to the charity wing of Exel (now DHL), back-office treasury, overhead accounting and finally as start-up accountant on new, major contracts. Fortunately, she was made redundant at 61 after almost 20 years with DHL and became a charity rep. Much more fun!

Sally started the Little Faces charity in 2011 and this has now morphed into Empowering Kids in Kenya. An educational charity based in Mombasa that provides secondary education to children who cannot afford to attend school. Sally is the Chair of Trustees and manages the UK end of the charity.

Synopsis of the talk:

Sally will talk you through the trials and tribulations of running a charity in another country – a 3rd world country. The impact the charity is having not only on the children at the school, but also the community as a whole. This charity gives hope where there was none. It provides an education where there would be no opportunity for these vulnerable children from extremely poverty-stricken families to attend a secondary school. The joy of success! The nightmare of fundraising to keep the charity alive.

She will be joined by Rotarians from Kenya. Rotarians that have been fundamental in the success of the school and supporting everything that it does for the children and the community.

This is truly a great example of Rotary creating hope in the world.

Chris Knight – DG 1070 – I am What I am

Chris is delighted to be asked to be part of the joint Districts 1080 and 1240 conference which is a wonderful example of Districts working together without any boundaries.  This is “The Magic of Rotary”

He is honoured to be asked, not only to welcome you as the District Governor of 1070 here  in his own District, but later in the day to share with you some of the highlights of his presentation “I am What I am”.

Chris has been a Rotarian since 1991 but his involvement in Charities started when he was age 10 and has continued to this day

His professional role in life is a celebrant covering Naming Ceremonies, Weddings and Funerals which is a continuation of being an accomplished After Speaker, Commentator and MC at many events throughout the UK

Chris would like to thank everyone for their support over the years and especially this year when he is entrusted to be District Governor in 1070.

“None of this would have been possible without the constant support of my wife Jayne who here this weekend to support me.”

Rotary Foundation – Doing Good in the World

Seamus Grant is Derry-born with over 20 years’ experience as a fundraiser firstly within the Credit Union sector, raising funds for a number of financial inclusion projects particularly in urban and former coalfield areas. He then moved onto the Development team at the University of Leicester raising funds for medical research programmes and community engagement initiatives.

Since early 2023, Seamus has been visiting individual Rotarians and Clubs in the UK and overseas to gain a better understanding of the Rotary movement and the amazing effect of District and Global grants throughout the world, as he continues to settle into his role as Major Giving Officer for Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland.

His main role with The Rotary Foundation is to assist UK Rotarians who wish to reach Major Donor level at $10,000 or above or Rotarians who want to leave a Bequest to the Foundation and to steward the many UK Rotarians who have already reached higher levels of Major Giving.

Tom Hunt – Before selling the company in January 2021, Tom was the Managing Director of PPM Software Limited which was formed on the 1 August 1998 and supplied software to medical consultants in private practice in the UK. Prior to this Tom was MD of a company supplying software to the textile industry and before that he was a partner supplying software to the newspaper industry.

Tom has been involved in running companies supplying specialist application software for over 30 years.Prior to this Tom spent 8 years working as a Field Technician repairing computer systems and before that spent 11 years in the Royal Air Force.

Tom has been a Rotarian for 34 years, in five clubs across 4 districts, and has been President 3 times, an Assistant Governor, District Foundation Chair, District End Polio Now Co-ordinator, District Sports Chair and a member of the District Membership and Visioning Teams.

Tom is now a member of Ludlow Rotary in D1210 and is, of course, a member of the District Foundation team. From the I July 2022 Tom is the Endowment and Major Gifts Advisor for all of the UK, on behalf of The Rotary Foundation.

Richard Bowdidge, Chair of Trustees and Founder – The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation

Richard is Tom’s Father and Founder of The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation. He is the Chair of the Board of Trustees and takes an active role in the management of the Foundation as well as developing and implementing the strategic vision alongside the Chief Executive Officer and the rest of the Board. In addition, Richard takes an active part in managing and creating fundraising opportunities, including events and especially corporate partnerships.

Richard works for a Lloyd’s insurance broker in London and has worked in the insurance market for some 30 years. Richard has recently taken on the role of Colchester Ambassador.

Lindsay Hurrell, Fundraising Lead – The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation

In January 2021, Lindsay joined The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation after dedicating 17 years to the charity sector, initially with prominent national organisations and later with smaller ones. Prior to her charitable work, she served Essex Police for a decade. Lindsay’s commitment to the charity sector, particularly to The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation, is profound. Bringing fresh perspectives and extensive experience, she contributes innovative ideas to fundraising and marketing. Having experienced the loss of her own mother to cancer, Lindsay empathises deeply with those undergoing similar journeys. She understands the invaluable support charities provide to both individuals and their families during such challenging times. Lindsay acknowledges the crucial role of Foundation in supporting teenagers and young adults living with cancer.

About The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation

Did you know that seven young people aged 13-24 years old are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK.

Tom Bowdidge was one of those young people.  He was just 19 when he passed away from Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumour with extensive peritoneal disease.

Tom realised that more help and support was needed, specifically for teenagers, young adults and their families whilst living with a cancer diagnosis.  So, in 2014 The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation was formed.

Val Howe – Coats4Kids

Val Howe is the immediate past president of the Rotary E-club of District 1070 and the project leader for the Coats4Kids team. Val is married to Steve Howe, past district governor of District 1070, they have two daughters, seven grandchildren and two dogs, so life is often hetic in the Howe Household. Val was a founder member of the E-club which was chartered in 2015.  The e-club runs differently from a traditional club, being project led.  The Coats4Kids project demonstrates the power of Rotary perfectly, one Rotarian who spots a need, together with fellow club members, other clubs and now

Other districts can really make a difference.  Val is looking forward to sharing the journey with you and showing you how you can be involved, one simple act of kindness can make  a world of difference to a child’s life  and future prospects  it really is amazing.

About Coats4Kids

Coats4Kids is now in its third year, the aim is to provide a brand-new warm winter coat to primary aged children whose family are not able to provide one, at the start of the Autumn term. We have noticed that children who are given “Charity Box” coats by schools are often bullied or teased, the playground can be a terrible place if you are already vulnerable.  Children from impoverished families are often withdrawn, lack confidence and have low self-esteem, if you are cold and sometimes hungry its impossible to achieve your best learning.  Schools have the funding to run breakfast clubs to feed these children, but rarely if ever, have enough funding for the one thing these children would really love.  A brand-new warm winter coat just like their peers.  We hear daily from schools who write saying “the children walk a little taller and are so excited to show off their new coats”.  Most of these children have probably NEVER owned something brand new in their entire lives.  This one small thing can affect their learning outcomes and ultimately their earning potential as adults.  Please stop for a moment and think how you feel putting on your new winter coat and stepping into the cold.  Have you ever considered that before?