THE NATIONAL president of Rotary Club paid a visit to Dorset as the county reaps the benefits of the organisation’s work.

President of the Rotary in Britain and Ireland Nan McCreadie stopped off in Poundbury during a whirlwind tour of Dorset and Somerset.

She spoke of the valuable aid the Rotary gives to international, national and local causes, which came into focus when the organisation raised £110,000 for victims of the recent severe winter weather.

The funding was raised from Rotary clubs across the country but because of the way the organisation works has been directed to those communities that need it most, with businesses along the Dorset coast among those to get a helping hand.

Nan – who was joined by husband Dennis, district governor Brian Kirkup and former district governor and Dorchester Rotarian Peter Noble – arrived in Poundbury after visiting flood-hit areas of the Somerset Levels.

She said: “I always say Rotary is for communities and that can be the local community, the national community or it could be the international community.”

Mr Kirkup said: “We have been able to respond and get people on the Dorset Coast back to work.”

In the past the local community in Dorset has helped the Rotary respond to disasters around the world in places like Chile and the Philippines with funds helping to provide things like Water Survival Boxes that are shipped out to the affected areas and provide immediate relief on the ground through Rotary’s international network.

Nan said Rotary was able to make a tangible difference and was almost always among the first on the ground after major disasters, with its set up meaning all donations given locally go to the cause they are intended for.

She said: “There are never any overheads, the money that is given to Rotary as a charity all goes on our projects.”

On her visit to Dorset and Somerset Nan was also keen to see the work Rotary had been doing with local schools and other projects it had supported in the area.

In Poundbury the Rotarians were given an introduction to the development by the Duchy of Cornwall’s Simon Conibear.

Nan said: “It’s a wonderful development and we have enjoyed seeing what is going on.”

Nan returned the following morning to welcome the formation of the new Dorchester Poundbury Rotary Club.