Rotary clubs give a boost to fire service’s smoke alarm initiative

A cheque for over £5,000 has been presented to Suffolk Fire Service towards providing more fire alarms for vulnerable householders in the county.

It has come from the Rotary Club of Stowmarket Gipping Valley on behalf of other Suffolk Rotary Clubs and was presented to Dave Collins, area commander of the Suffolk Fire Service, at a recent meeting of the club.

Peter Andrews who co-ordinates the project with colleague Arnie Bennett mentioned at the meeting that its association with the Fire Service stretched over 12 years.

Other Rotary Clubs have joined Stowmarket Gipping Valley’s efforts for the past five years and in that time together contributed over £33,000 with the help of Rotary’s Foundation District grant. Also at the meeting were members of the Harleston Rotary Club in Norfolk who in co-ordination with other Norfolk Clubs have raised £15,000 for the Norfolk Fire Service.

Mr Collins, in his address to the club, mentioned how important smoke alarms were in the prevention of potential tragedies that the partnership of Rotary Clubs in Suffolk with the Fire and Rescue Service was very important part of the equation. In particular the Stowmarket Gipping Valley’s inception of the scheme had led to a long term relationship with Rotary.

Another surprise at the meeting was the presentation of the highest Rotary honour, the Paul Harris Award, to Arnie Bennett and Peter Andrews who were congratulated by immediate Past President Shirley Miller (pictured above) on a well-deserved reward for their incredible work since the Fire Alarm Project was launched.

They have visited virtually every club in Suffolk with the Smoke Alarm presentation and also quite a few clubs in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex.

Mr Andrews said that the Smoke Alarms project had led to the Rotary Club of Stowmarket Gipping Valley being awarded the District 1080 Publicity Cup for 2019-20.

The Rotary Club meets every other Thursday evening at the Cedars Hotel, Stowmarket, and if you want a taster of what they are about whether you be young or old, male or female you would be very welcome.  Just contact Richard Tingey ( for more information.

Pictured above is Philip Freeman, current president of the Rotary Club of Stowmarket Gipping Valley, presenting a cheque to Dave Collins (left), area commander of the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.

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