This month our guest member is Rotarian David Pratt talking here with John Isles
John: Rotarian David thank you for joining us and I want to use some of the Speaker slots this year to tell our members more about each other and use the traditional “Rotary Job Talks” in a slightly different way. So can I start by asking you tell us about David “the man”.
Well, I am married to Christine we have moved from Farnborough to our present house in 2001. I was persuaded to become Sales Director of a small company to break into the evolving IT sector. Unfortunately the day we moved they wound the company up. Excellent way to start your own organisation which we did straight away. Chris started HR & Diversity Management she is well qualified to run the HR Consultancy we set up.
I then developed my interest in Utility Warehouse (UW), an organisation that helps people save money on money they have to spend anyway – household running expenses.
Just recently Chris has had an increase in interest in the Workplace Bullying aspect of her business. Sadly we have seen an increase in the number of teenagers committing suicide through Cyberbullying over the Internet. So, I have backed off UW to help Chris stop this horrible aspect to the internet. Now we are both concentrating on the HR aspects of our lives to help people and organisations that are suffering from any aspect of Bullying, Harassment or any other harmful practices.
We have 2 sons, Simon and Jason. Simon the elder has just got married and lives 100 miles north of Vancouver in Canada. Jason is also married and we have 2 grandchildren.
John: That’s great do you have time for any hobbies and other interests?
David: Well together we have taken to caravanning. When Spring and Summer come around again we will take weekends away in places like the New Forest and the Wye valley. Since we now have 2 Cocker Spaniels it also gives us time for them and the walking we do is good not only for them but us too.
I am also a would be Hacker and Slasher at Golf. Every year I make a New Years’ resolution to play more Golf. Otherwise, I am a beleaguered supporter of Portmouth Football Club, but having played and referreed at Rugby Union follow both Harlequins and Bath. Again if I could find less things to do on a Saturday would like to attend games of both sports.
John: A busy man so why did you join Rotary when you could have used the excuse you were too busy?
David: Looking back to 2003 when I joined Swindon Old Town Rotary Club I guess I have a leaning towards helping people so I became involved. I went onto the Foundation Committee. Whilst I understand the need for other committees to run the local club and its contribution to the community, to me Rotary is all about Foundation. It is the largest Charity in the world and it makes the biggest impact on humanity needs the world over. I am all about making a difference too and this is probably my reason WHY.
Why did I leave Old Town after being its President only a year previously. Well apart from a big disagreement and fall out with the current President I found that there was to be no Foundation Committee. This was a complete anathema to me.
I was so upset with these goings on that I resigned from Old Town and intended to leave things be with Rotary for a year or so. However, other than my wife there is another woman that seems to have an effect on me. She finally persuaded me to stand for President of Old Town and when she found out that I had left, made a bee line for me and persuaded me to join the eClub. Thank you Charlotte!
However, I did know Tim and with some added persuasion I was happy to join. Then I was delighted when Janice asked me to take on Foundation. So, all that remains is for us to develop ways in which we can all have some fun and make a real positive contribution to worldwide humanity. We have made a good start with the Foundation draw. After just 3 months we are putting good money into Foundation.
It is my objective is to get every member in the eClub, to take at least 1 chance to win the eClub monthly jackpot. It is only £12 a year and the return currently stands at £20. So, come on lets make a difference not only in our District but also in the world.
Second plea is for all members to come up with acceptable ideas to raise more money for Foundation. When I joined the eClub, Tim said he wanted to strengthen the member’s business activities. Many members have their own sources of income. Let us put up a page on the website for members to promote their businesses. This will become a referral type of page where other members can find products and services they need at any given time. When a member buys something, a small proportion of the proceeds can be donated to Foundation. OK it needs some further thought, but the seeds may well be there.
It would be good if each member could come up with 1 new idea. It’s the ideas we need, not the fully thought through implementation.
John: Thank you so much for sharing this insight and I’m sure we should all want to support you on eliminating “bullying” across the UK and the World and of course Foundation. Thank you.