Sunday, 13 June 2021

Henley Rotary Club

MEMBERS welcomed Monty Taylor as their speaker at their lunchtime meeting on Tuesday.

MEMBERS welcomed Monty Taylor as their speaker at their lunchtime meeting on Tuesday.

He is chairman of trustees for the Colostomy Association whose national headquarters are in Reading.

The 14 people present were fascinated to hear that there are 100,000 people in the UK with a stoma, 20,000 of whom belong to the association.

There is a 24-hour helpline for people needing reassurance and practical advice on how to live with a colostomy.

Mr Taylor explained that this is a bit of a taboo subject and their members needed to understand that it is “not the end of the world”.

Modern products allow people to live a near normal life and Mr Taylor spoke about his own experience travelling the world and enjoying many activities, including swimming.

He also gave examples of children as well as adults who are coping well with their condition. The old image of smelly leaking bags is now very outdated.

The UK is well provided with equipment through the NHS but this is not true in parts of the third world.

The association has therefore set up an additional charity, Ostomy Aid, which distributes bags abroad that are surplus to needs in the UK or have been replaced by newer models.

Mr Taylor explained that, with 6,000 procedures a year, there is a continuing need for support. The charity raises about £400,000 a year and has six permanent staff. Some money comes from suppliers who advertise and sponsor the Tidings magazine for members.

The club was able to help with this funding by making a donation of £400.

After a vote of thanks from Barry Prior, a cheque was presented by club presidentJohn Grout.

At the previous luncheon meeting members were entertained by a masterly talk by Richard Walker on the work of the Malawi Orphan Fund.

The trust was founded in 1992 by the Rev Chipeta, who was an orphan himself. Now aged 92, he is still the head of the fund. He started with 20 children and now caters for 650.

Out of Malawi’s population of 16 million, nearly two million children are orphaned, mainly due to malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and Aids. In many cases, children raise their own brothers and sisters but the Government assists with about £6 per month.

Education is undertaken by volunteers up to secondary school level.

The trust is trying to start a vocational training school, enabling the children to learn a trade and to be self-sufficient.

The club’s international chairman, Maria Bunina, decided to donate £300.

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