Make a Difference!

Hello and a very warm welcome to my newly relaunched blog. I'm Paul a 40 year old family man from the UK. In this complex, information overload 21st century world, too often we lose sight of what's really important. Here I want to celebrate life, share inspirational stories, throw the spotlight on charities and causes close to my heart. Looking forward to sharing this journey with you all.

Monday, 12 December 2011

A World wide swim to End Polio Now!

Today I want to tell you all about an extraordinary new charity event on 25th February 2012 being organised by my Rotary Club. On one day around the world, many thousands of swimmers will swim at the exact same hour, to break a world record and to raise funds to eradicate Polio, You can find all the details at

Sorry I've been away so long, but it really seems a very appropriate time, today being 41st birthday to make a return to writing on this site and to share with you some very exciting news.

After 15 long but successful years in the IT industry, after much careful consideration I've decided to pursue a completely new career in the charity sector. As you may have seen from my previous articles I've been looking for ways that I could make a difference. Now I'm very certain I've found it!

Since January 2010, I've been a proud member of my local Rotary Club in Grantham, Lincolnshire, and this has truly opened my eyes to an incredible range of local and International Charity projects. Rotary International has an incredible 33,000 clubs and 1.2 million members worldwide, made up of professional and business people from all walks of life all dedicated to putting service to others above self.

One shining example of that is our club's annual Swimarathon event. Over 3 days, each February (thanks to support from local business sponsors) we manage to book up every lane of our local swimming pool. Teams of 6 swim for an hour and are sponsored, and all of the money raised goes directly to local charities. Last year alone we raised an amazing £46,000 and over the full 22 years the event has been run we have raised over £500,000.

As 2012 is Olympic year, being hosted right here in the UK, we wanted to do something very special. So we came up with the Rotary Global Swimarathon. Basically, we've invited the whole world to join us on 25th February 2012 (closest Saturday to Rotary's 107th anniversary) to raise money for our global EndPolionow campaign .

Since 1985, where there were more than 350,000 cases of Polio recorded, Rotarians have worked tirelessly to raise many millions of dollars for and support immunization programs. Through these efforts, the number of cases of Polio has dropped to less than 2,000 and from 104 countries it now remains in just 4 countries - Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Nigeria. We are 99% of the way there and have an unprecedented opportunity to make Polio only the second disease (after Smallpox) ever to be completely eradicated.

As the most IT literate member of the club, I've spent the last few months running a social media campaign on facebook and twitter to get the event known across the world. Very proud to say the project has grown far beyond even our wildest initial dreams. We now have not one but two global event ambassadors. The incredible Penny Palfrey http://www.pennypalfreyproject.organ Australian Open Water Ultra Marathon Swimming world record holder, and UK Paralympic and World Champion Swimmer Fran Willamson .

With just less than 3 months to go , we already have more than 30 clubs across all 6 continents of the world signed up to join us http://www.rotaryglobalswimarathon.organd are fully expecting the figure to rise to over 100 with more than 30 countries being represented. The amazing thing is that the world record requires every one to swim at 12:00 - 13:00pm G.M.T, which means that in New Zealand for example they are swimmming at 1am on 26th February, and in the East coast of the US there are open water swimmers taking part at 4 in the morning! We have schools, sports and swimming clubs , even triathletes lining up to join us, but the great thing is you only need to be able to swim 100 metres to be a world record breaker.

From starting out as a distant dream, by a small local Rotary club, we have managed to create an event that has captured the imagination of people all around the world, and we hope to make it a permanent fixture on the charity calendar.

Finally i'd just like to share with you a couple of videos all about the event. Remember you don't have to be a Rotarian to take part - we can help you with all the details. Come on in the water's lovely.

Penny Palfrey Australian event ambassador

Fran Williamson UK Event ambassador

Swimarathon chair Roger Graves

Goes without saying, all earnings from this article will go direct to Rotary International End Polio Now campaign. Thanks for reading!!

Read more:

Friday, 30 September 2011

One Day. One Big Swim. One Goal - End Polio Now -25th February 2012

Hi Paul here, finally back in the land of blogging - have I got a great story to tell though!

As I posted last February, I've found a whole new and fantastic way to make a difference with Rotary International - an incredible network of 1.2 million members in over 200 countries doing service and charity projects in their communities locally and overseas. And as you'll see below - our Rotary Club have got a very special event.

Imagine swimmers in dozens of countries across all 6 continents of the world coming together on one day to swim and raise funds which will help us complete the mission to finally eradicate Polio from this earth

Come take a look!

Welcome to the Official Rotary Global Swimarathon Blog!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

First the local pool next stop the world - ROTARY SWIMARATHON!

Having achieved my Rotary membership on 24th January, I'm very excited that I'm about to take part in my first major fundraising event, which is the Swimarathon, taking place over this coming weekend Friday 4th -Sunday 6th Feburary. This is a longstanding annual event run by the Rotary Club of Grantham, and attracts thousands of participants throughout the weekend. Teams of up to 6 , swim in a lane for an hour at a time over at the Grantham Meres Leisure Centre, and collect sponsorship for their efforts.

Since it's first running in 1989, its raised a remarkable £500,000 which goes towards the eradication of Polio worldwide as well as to support local and community charities. Last year alone the total amount raised was some £49,000 and its popularity has continued to grow.

So much so that for the year 2012, there are plans in place for a Global Swimarathon to take place on the Rotary International day of 25th February. At 12pm GMT, the plan is to get as many Rotary clubs as possible across the world to take part in a one hour swimarathon. The hope is to establish a new Guinness World Record for the most people swimming at the same time

More to follow on the Global Swimarathon, but for now please, please take a look at the swimarathon website to get an idea of what it's all about. And if anyone really wants to see me in my trunks, I'll be swimming in the Rotary team on Saturday evening. Even better if you would be so very kind enough to sponsor me!!

Here are the links - Thanks!!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Good to be back!

Well it's certainly been a while since I've blogged!

Back out there in "the real world" over the last few months, I've been making some significant and positive changes to really improve my health and wellbeing.

It took another period of being stressed at work and seeing the blood pressure and weight creep up again to make me come to the realisation that I really had to do something about it.

So I've had some time out to revaluate my priorities, get myself mentally and physically back into shape. I've been fortunate enough to have spent a significant period of time working from home both before, during and after the christmas holidays which has really given me the chance to get things back into proper order.

Having got back into balance, I've been able to shed several pounds in weight, and really get all round fitness much better. In fact I've already learned so much I've decided to set up a separate blog to chart my progress and offer real-world proven advice at - no followers as yet so if you'd like to take a look I'd really appreciate it.

I've improved the way I go about tasks, both in my work life and personal life. Instead of always trying to do everything at once and flitting between jobs, I've got a much more methodical and less stressful approach worked out.

In the context of this blog and what I'm trying to do here, I came to the conclusion that in order to feel in myself that I'm really out there making a difference, it's time for me to find a way to volunteer my services to the local community. I'm very excited to say that I have found something very special that is going to become a lifetime commitment.

Hopefully some of you out there will be aware of Rotary International and the work they do. Essentially, it's a network of some 1.2 million business professionals in some 33,000 diferent clubs around the globe, volunteering their time to help out both locally and internationally. I'm very proud to announce that as of next Monday I will be inducted into my local club in Grantham.

So with all the fantastic ongoing projects they are involved in including a global eradicate polio campaign, there's going to be plenty for me to report on over the coming weeks and months. Also, hoping to link up with as many fellow rotarians as possible in the online community, and maybe convince one or two others to join up - believe me they are an amazing group of people!

Time for me to catch up with the blogging community again - catch up with you really soon!!