Students enjoy weekend courtesy of Bexhill Rotary

Deborah Holter, pastoral manager at Bexhill High, flanked by William and Essie
Deborah Holter, pastoral manager at Bexhill High, flanked by William and Essie

Every year Bexhill Rotary Club sponsors two young students from local schools to attend the Arethusa Venture Centre in Rochester for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA).

RYLA is run by Rotary as a weekend residential course for selected young people aged 14 to 17 years. The course covers tasks both in and out of doors to build individual self-confidence and the development of leadership skills giving each participant the opportunity to face and carry out new personal challenges covering communication, problem solving, conflict management and building self-esteem.

This year Bexhill Rotary Club sponsored Essie Mitchell and William Edwards, who are Head Girl and Head Boy at Bexhill High, and after being introduced by Bexhill Rotarian Dave Tollett recounted their RYLA exploits when they attended at the beginning of April. Essie and William explained that there were a good number of other participants on the course, mainly from Kent, and they spent the first few evening hours after arriving on the Friday to get to know them all. On the Saturday they split into groups and were charged to do a presentation on all aspects of Rotary, including covering Rotaract and Interact. During the weekend they were encouraged to develop teamwork through various exercises one of which was a rather scary high wire, they also struck up some new friendships with the others on the course.

Both Essie and William said how grateful they were to have been selected to go on RYLA which they thoroughly enjoyed and from which they derived much benefit and self-confidence. At the end of an action packed weekend, they both received certificates which will prove to be extremely helpful additions to their CVs when they eventually go into the big wide world for work. In summing up, president John Cooper praised the two youngsters for their pluck in coming to speak to the Rotarians and added, “It must be daunting to stand up to talk to an audience at their age and they acquitted themselves well without any apparent nerves and with plenty of polish. Their school must be very proud of them, as they should be of themselves.” To find out all about how busy Bexhill Rotary Club is and what Bexhill Rotarians get up to, just go to