Top Menu

Working with Young People

The Rotary Club of Towcester offers the chance for young people to develop personal skills, have a great time with like-minded young people and acquire a better awareness of problems that face the world today. The Towcester Club is engaged in a range of activities for young people in the area, including a range of Rotary competitions and activities.



Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a leadership development program run by Rotary. While participants can be any age, the Rotary Club of Towcester sponsors candidates over 18. RYLA events are typically 3–10 days long and include presentations, activities, and workshops that cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Leadership fundamentals and ethics
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving and conflict management
  • Community and global citizenship

2018 RYLA candidates: Holly Osborne and Jacob Mathews bothof whom work at William Blake House in Blakesley

Rotary Young Designer 2017

Kit Thurman - Cat furniture - wall-mounted - A Level winner

Kit Thurman – Cat furniture – wall-mounted – A Level winner

A Level and GCSE students from Sponne school presented their creations to the Rotary judges last week for the local heat of the Rotary Young Designer Competition 2017.

As always there was a range of highly creative and original ideas which the judges had to grade on technical merit, commercial viability, research, cost structure and ease of manufacture as well as the overall finish of the prototype presented.

The Rotary Young Designer competition integrates itself into the normal school curriculum that the students follow for A level and GCSE and it allows them to showcase their creations and receive constructive feedback on all areas of their design.

This year’s entrants were:

GCSE students:

Shaun McMillan – who designed a storage unit

Isabelle O’Dell – who created an educational and interactive table

Chloe Howkins – who designed a storage unit

India Leask – who designed a dog feeding station with built in storage space

Christopher Jones – who designed a coffee table with an in-built light

A level students:

Bethany Loosley – who designed a storage unit to hold make-up

Liam Thompson – who designed a portable instrument stand

Kit Thurman – who designed wall-mounted cat furniture

Brina Johnson – who designed an indoor sustainable plant feeding station for schools

India Leask - dog feeding station - GCSE winner

India Leask – dog feeding station – GCSE winner

Beanna Field – who designed a water-proof personalised instrument case

Freya Robinson – who designed a multi-functional table.

The judges this year were Bob Snedker, Dave Shield, Robert Davey and Roy Bricknell.

The first stage of judging produced 4 finalists who were:

Brina Johnson and Kit Thurman for A levels and India Leask and Chloe Howkins for GCSE.

After much consideration and discussion with each student to understand why and how they came up with their design and how they could build in any improvements the judges finally awarded first prizes to:

India Leask – GCSE for her dog feeding station. The idea behind this is to keep the dog water and food off the floor, bring the food up to a more convenient level for a dog to eat from -and to provide some storage space for treats and food. The prototype presented was finished to a very high level and was aesthetically very pleasing to the eye. It could also be very easily adapted to various different heights for various breeds so confirming a good commercial product.

Kit Thurman – A level – for her wall-mounted cat furniture. The driving force behind this design by Kit was the need to create a space for a cat which could be “dog free” – ie to create an area where a cat could go and play and dogs would not be able to gain access. The furniture consists of walk ways – play areas – a sleeping area as well as a feeding area. Being wall-mounted – it could be placed in any room and at any height for the convenience of the consumer. In addition – each area was an independent “station” and so the whole thing could in fact be sold in small kits – so each consumer could construct their own personalised cat furniture play area.

Both Kit and India will now be entered into the District final of the Young Designed competition which will take place at De Montfort University in Loughborough on Saturday June 17th. The winner of the district final will get 12 months mentoring from De Montfort University and the opportunity to take their creation to market.

Says Rtn. Roy Brickenll who organises the Young Designer competitor for the Rotary Club of Towcester, ” We are delighted with this year’s winners and we wish both Kit and India much success in the District Finals”.

The finalists - Chloe Howkins, India Leask, Brina Johnson, Kit Thurman

The finalists – Chloe Howkins, India Leask, Brina Johnson, Kit Thurman

the entrants

the entrants









Brina Johnson - sustainable indoor planting systen - A lever runner up

Brina Johnson – sustainable indoor planting systen – A lever runner

Chloe Howkins - storgae unit - GCSE runner up

Chloe Howkins – storgae unit – GCSE runner up
















Young Chef 2016


Frankie Hudson, Ellie Godwin, Lauran Windsor, Eleonor Barry, Rebecca Sutcliffe, Sam Butler, Rhiannen Butler, Jake Ginn, Josh Clarkson, Todd Walker

With the increasing understanding of the importance to health and well-being, many young people are now very interested in cooking and these days and cook very well. Additionally, recent government initiatives to bring cookery back into the mainstream school curriculum and the Jamie Oliver “Healthy Eating” promotion have added increasing status to the subject.

The  Young Chef Competition fits perfectly into the prevailing mood and offers students an outstanding opportunity to demonstrate their acquired knowledge and skills.

The first stage of the Rotary Young Chef competition 2016 took place at Sponne School on November 25th 2015. There were 10 candidates as seen in the picture above. There was an amazing array of menus which would sit comfortably in any restaurant! You can view the menu’s here.

The students are judged on a range of criteria from the actual food itself – complexity and final taste, presentation, kitchen cleanliness etc. As always the standard was very high and our three judges had their work cut our narrowing it down to the three winners.


Thanks as always goes to our fabulous judges and we must not forget the dedication and hard work of Emma Livesey the Food Preparation & Nutrition Teacher at Sponne School.

The Rotary Club of Towcester also works with many local Primary schools including:

  • Towcester C.E
  • Nicolas Hawksmoor
  • Greens Norton
  • Silverstone
  • Paulerspury
  • Whittlebury
  • Potterspury

In collaboration with these schools, we sponsor and run Rotary Young Musician, Rotary Young Artist, Rotary Life Education and Rotary Stars. Details below:

Nicolas Hawksmoor - a Rota Kids School

Nicolas Hawksmoor – a Rota Kids School

Paulerspury CE School - a Rota Kids school

Paulerspury CE School – a Rota Kids school










Rota Kids

A Citizenship club for primary school children, which reinforces this important part of the school’s curriculum programme. It’s a club, in the school, that undertakes projects to benefit others, the environment etc. RotaKids enhance their skills in working together, numeracy, management and thinking about the needs of others. Our club actively supports them with appropriate resources and skills. Three local schools will be starting their clubs directly after the summer holidays.


Rotary Young Musician 2017

Soloist winner Emaily Ramplin

Soloist winner Emaily Ramplin with Towcester Mayor

On January 22nd, Towcester Town Hall was filled with many local, talented students who competed to win the Trophies of Young Musician – Soloist, Ensemble or Group.

The Rotary Club of Towcester was delighted to welcome Adjudicators Lincoln Noel and Heidi Carascon – who were amazed by the standard of both instrumental and vocal talent displayed on the day – and they both thoroughly enjoyed watching, advising and finally selecting the winners – who will now go through to the Rotary District Final of the Young Musician Competition in March 2017.

The winners were:

Emily Ramplin from Towcester Primary School who took the Soloist Trophy after her beautiful voice enchanted the audience singing Castle on a Cloud and the Zip a dee doh dah.

Nicholas Hawksmoor Quintet took the Ensemble Trophy with an unusual but lovely rendition of Yellow Submarine and Yesterday by the Beatles.

Finally, the Group trophy was won by Silverstone Primary School Choir whose enthusiasm and passion for the songs they sung: Wild Mountain Thyme and The Wreck of John B left the audience and the judges delighted.

Ensemble winners Nicholas Hawksmoor School

Ensemble winners Nicholas Hawksmoor School

Although the other students may not have won a trophy, they all did remarkably well and provided a glimpse of the musical talent that will be coming to the fore in the coming years.

As a Rotary Club, the Towcester Rotarians are thrilled to be able to stage such an event- not only to showcase talent, but also to offer the opportunity for young students to learn new life skills and experience performing in front of a live audience.

For details of our other Rotary Youth Competitions please contact:

The Rotary Club of Towcester meets weekly at the Saracen’s head and is always delighted to welcome new members. Please contact:

Group winners Silverstone Primary School Choir

Group winners Silverstone Primary School Choir with Lincoln Noel and Heidi Carascon

Young Artist and Young Photographer 2017

The Rotary Club of Towcester is delighted to announce that Mike Novakovic of Watling Street Galleries has framed both the winning Young Artist and Young Photographer winners for free!

Florence of Nicholas Hawksmoor School who won best Artist and Ruby Landymore also of Nicholas Hawksmoor School who won Young Photographer, are absolutely delighted.

Both Florence and Ruby’s winning works will be entered into the Rotary Young Artist and Young Photographer District Competition (covering Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire) which will be held in May this year.

The Towcester Rotary Club is delighted with these achievements and wishes them both much success in the District finals and extends it many thanks to Mike for his generosity:

Watling Street Galleries

Florence and Mike
Ruby and Mike

Young Writer 2017

On Friday April 21st, the Rotary Club of Towcester was delighted to present four young students with prizes following their entries into the Rotary Young Writer competition 2017.

The theme this year was “reflections” and the students had to submit an original piece of work of not more than 500 words. Our Judges this year were published Author Geoff Iley and Rtn. David Reed.  A number of criteria were used in judging the winners including creativity, accuracy (grammar!), and appeal. The judges were extremely impressed with the submissions – 13 in total from students at Nicholas Hawksmoor School and Towcester Primary School. There were very few points dividing the first from the third place winners and both judges expressed their belief that all of these students would go far in their studies!

So – the winner was Grace Goram of Nicholas Hawksmoor school – and she received a set of 6 books of the Dork Diaries.

Second place went to Leo Mullins from Towcester Primary school who received a set of 5 books of the World of Norm.

There were actually two third prizes given – as it was impossible to choose between them – so both Hannah Goram of Nicholas Hawksmoor School and Lillie Golding of Towcester Primary School received a book each written by David Walliams.

Rtn. David Reed said: “The Rotary Club of Towcester would like to thank Towcester Library for so generously donating all of the prizes, as well as providing us with space to present the prizes on Friday and displaying all entries in the library for members of the public to read.  In addition, of course, our thanks go to Geoff Iley for his invaluable advice to these young writers and his time in judging. You can see the entries this week in the Library. Grace’s piece will now be sent to the District competition which will be judged in June this year and we wish her much success”.

You can read the winning pieces below.

Grace Goram- first prize

Grace Goram- first prize

Leo Mullins - second prize

Leo Mullins – second prize

Hannah Goram - joint third

Hannah Goram – joint third

Lillie Golding- joint third

Lillie Golding- joint third

the winners with judge Geoff Iley

the winners with judge Geoff Iley

all entrants

all entrants

By Grace Goram

Grace Goram

By Leo Mullins

Leo Mullins

By Hannah Goram

Hannah Goram

By Lillie Golding

Lillie Golding




Life Education

An initial concept started by our club some years ago, now operating as an independent charity, but still supported by our club, the highly trained educators visit primary schools, utilising a purpose designed mobile classroom. The sessions are linked to the National Curriculum’s programmes of study. The techniques and strategies are designed to:

  • Increase a child’s sense of self worth.
  • Encourage positive attitudes towards themselves and their health.
  • Recognise the risks associated with all drugs, including medicines, tobacco and alcohol.

Rotary Stars

Local head teachers are asked to nominate children who have been exceptionally good citizens by helping others, the environment, their school, community etc.

Our club presents those who are felt to have met the criteria’s with a badge, certificate and gift voucher.

Sports Aid Grant

under 8's football teamIn 2016 the Rotary Club of Towcester sponsored the Towcester under 8’s football team by purchasing their new kits.









Rotary is able to offer many other opportunities to the “New Generation” including Youth Speaks, Young Writer and Young Musician.  But not all the opportunities are on the basis of competitions, there is also a wide range of vocational help and the opportunity to receive assistance with forming Clubs for juniors. These include Rotaract which helps with the development of organisational and leadership skills in young people. For those of 18 years and over Rotary offers a young leadership opportunity in the form of a week long residential placement on an outdoor leadership course paid for by Rotary.

If the above has interested you and you have some time to give to the local and international community whilst enjoying fellowship with like minded people, then Rotary may well be for you. All we ask is that you are established in your trade, business or profession and of good reputation. You do not need to own your own business or be a high flyer. If you fit into that description then ask yourself, “why am I not a member of Rotary?” Rotary opens a world of opportunity and satisfying volunteering and social activity. Interested? Then contact the Rotary Club of Towcester.

We look forward to hearing from you.