Dinner Meeting 10th July 2023 – Incorporating Project Rotary Governance SGM

Our dinner meeting was President Les Haswell’s first of his second time around as Winchester Rotary President; the first was in 2018 -19. Les welcomed our guests, Rotarian Robert May from Antwerpen-West Rotary, who presented Les with his club’s flag,and Sharon Foulston, guest of Immediate Past President, Deborah Macartney. The evening opened with an SGM to approve the structure of our club, following the Project Rotary changes.

The purpose of the SGM was to approve changes to Club Governance. These SGM  notes and Governance changes can be seen on our website on the dropdown menu under Club Documents, Reports and Minutes, AGM and SGM.

Following club general business, we were privileged to share with Immediate Past President Deborah, through her presentation entitled “Welcome to my World” an insight into her personal and professional life.

Her early, childhood “Playground Days” was surrounded by The Troubles of Northern Ireland: evacuations, street fighting, shootings, kidnapping, kneecapping, fires and gunfire – a truly terrifying environment for a young child.

Deborah, her mother and their two dogs finally escaped Ireland to the calmer world of Edinburgh where Deborah went to school from 1972 – 77. She even acquired, for a while,an Edinburgh accent.

Deborah said, she is a restless, progressive person, always looking to improve the lives of others through sheer hard work, determination, action and education. We have observed many of these qualities through her presidency of Winchester Rotary.

After her Edinburgh experiences, from 1983 – 1990,  she went to work at Churchill House Hospital which cared for mentally handicapped people who were living within a secure unit environment. Here a very young Deborah, through her perception, determination and empathy saw that many basic gestures of dignified living were missing for those she cared for.  An example: spoon feeding two people at once was replaced with knives and forks, a place at table and help with self-feeding. The aim was to prepare residents for integration into everyday society and independent living.

Deborah says she always has her eyes and ambitions fixed on the future, together with a desire to move forward, and make improvements for those she cares for and works with.  During 1990 – 99 her career progressed. She obtained her Masters Degree in Nursing and became a qualified nurse practitioner. She held a senior position in the Accident & Emergency Unit at Wexham Park Hospital.

1999 – 2015 Deborah refers to as her “Academic Years” when she attended the University of Surrey, became a Senior Teaching Fellow, Program Director – MSc/BSc, University Academic Integrity Officer.  She held the position of Executive Director for a patient safety company, she then worked for the Department of Health, the National Patient Safety Agency, creating education materials. 

Being ever restless, Deborah’s Professional heartbeat returned resulting in her appointment as Registered Manager/Matron at St Johns Moorside Dementia Nursing Home, Winchester. Under her guidance, Moorside was judged CQC Outstanding for dementia responsiveness projects.

Deborah is a Quality Assurance Consultant – keeping vulnerable people safe, a Visiting Lecturer on Dementia Care at Winchester University. In addition she holds the positions of Trustee of Trinity – Women’s services, domestic abuse, and Director, Great Lakes Peace Centre, Uganda.

There is still time for fun, travel and fundraising, including the Spinnaker Abseil, Snowdon Climb, a Dementia Walk and Firewalk.

In addition to many accomplishments, Deborah is a committed Winchester Rotarian – some may say the  most important of all.

Diana Brooks – with thanks to Deborah.

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