Chepstow couple Simone and David Kilworth-Simmonds were delighted when their baby, Indy, was born in June last year.
However, immediately there was great concern since there son had been born with a rare congenital defect in which the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped.
Essentially Indy had only half a heart and had to receive surgery at just 8 days old.
Because of his ongoing frailty Indy requires ongoing clinical treatment with the parents needing to maintain a continuous liaison with the hospitals of Bristol, Cardiff and Newport who each contribute specialist capabilities. Mum also has to communicate with the GP, Dietician, District Nurses and others to ensure that the correct care and assistance are maintained.
Father David is an Emergency Ambulance Technician working 12-hour shifts, three days on and three days off.
Mother Simone still has to provide Indy with 3-hour feeds using a naso-gastric tube and this takes considerable time.
Grandma has been travelling regularly from Warwickshire to take Indy to the many clinic and hospital appointments. There is thus considerable pressure on the whole family.
Indy had a very successful second heart operation at Bristol Children’s Hospital in December and he returned home shortly after Christmas.
He is now very bright, lively and a healthy colour. Yet the underlying issues remain and the child must retain considerable ongoing medical care.
The family contacted the Chepstow & District Rotary Club seeking their support. Having considered the case the Club President, Richard Wickham, stated that this was clearly a most urgent case for a very deserving local family.
At a Rotary meeting on 22 January the President was pleased to present David, Simone and Indy with a cheque that will help provide some support to this deserving family.
At Abbey Mill, Tintern, on the evening of 3rd July 2018, Richard WICKHAM , was inducted as the new President of the Chepstow and District Rotary Club having served as the Senior Vice President for the previous year.
Richard practised as a vet in Canterbury while his wife, Anne, was a doctor. They are both long standing supporters of Rotary and Richard twice served as President of his Canterbury Club.
On retirement the couple moved to Woolaston where they were eager to continue with Rotary as a route to friendship and service to the community.
Richard thanked his predecessor, David Burr, for his efforts during his year as President. He reflected on an enjoyable and most successful year and presented a small gift to David and a bouquet of flowers to David’s wife, Joyce, on behalf of the Club.
Richard accepted the responsibility of President with enthusiasm and set out the aims and objects of his Presidential year. He plans to follow the four “F’s” – fun, fellowship, fund raising and finding new members.
He had generated a full programme of meetings, events and activities to ensure that fun and fellowship remain at the top of the agenda. At the monthly ladies’ evenings at the St Pierre Hotel speakers have been specially selected to be of interest to the ladies.
He stated that the key fundraising events of The Wye Run for classic cars, Giant Tombola on the Rotary Stand at the Chepstow Show and the Tintern Torchlight Carol Service would all continue with full support.
The last of the four “F’s” was Club membership which was undoubtedly the most difficult issue to be addressed and Richard appealed to all members to leave no stone unturned in addressing this problem.
He reminded everyone that the Club is well defined on www.chepstowrotary.org.uk where anyone interested may read of past and future events and obtain more information.
He encouraged any Rotarian who had a potential new member in the form of a friend, relation or neighbour, to bring them and their partner to one of the meetings or social events where they would immediately recognise the enjoyment and satisfaction inherent in Rotary. He stressed that all are welcome
Richard spoke of the overall cost of membership that might be of concern to potential new members. With that in mind, he had tried to ensure that during this coming year all the meetings, events and activities would be affordable and above all good value for money.
He then inducted Christopher WILSON as the incoming Senior Vice President and Geoffrey SUMNER as the Junior Vice President.
Finally, he reminded members that The Chepstow and District Rotary Club is a small, friendly Club with a big heart that punches well above its weight on many occasions. He looked forward to serving the Club as President to the very best of his ability after which the members were upstanding for a toast to Rotary and The Chepstow Club.[See photographs]
At their Business Meeting held at the Beaufort Hotel on Tuesday 5th June, President David Burr reminded members that a key aim of the Chepstow & District Rotary Club is to provide support in the community.
It was decided to benefit the following bodies to the extent stated below:
Bulwark Rangers towards the purchase of equipment for the Duke of Edinburgh awards - £250.
Singing for Pleasure Group to enable them to copy music and song sheets for their singing groups - £100.
Chepstow Rugby Club towards kit for the Under 11’s Section - £250.
Tutshill Baby & Toddler Group - £100
Aylburton Acorns Baby & Toddler Group - £100
Sedbury Baby & Toddler Group - £100
1st Chepstow Boys and Girls Brigade - £250
The Rotary Alzheimers Awareness Campaign - £150.
The President remarked that every one of the above voluntary organisations made a most valuable contribution to the local community and welcomed this opportunity to provide support to them.
Details of all of the Rotary support and activities are at chepstowrotary.org.uk
The President also highlighted the fact that the Rotary Club is an ideal medium for local people to enjoy a great social life while becoming involved in real support for their Community. [See photographs]