PEOPLE in their 20s will be asked to help out their local community following ‘speed-dating’ sessions.
Sam Cobley, 26, president of the Oxford Rotaract club, is organising two speed-dating nights later this month to attract new members and see if there are enough people to establish another club in nearby Abingdon.
“I think more and more people want to help out these days rather than sit idly by,” he said.
Rotaract is an offshoot of the global not-for-profit community organisation Rotary and is for 18 to 30 year-olds.
It was originally formed in response to Rotary being “seen as an old men’s club”.
The Oxford Rotaract branch — which has 10 ‘Rotaractors’, as well as older Rotarians — holds one or two fundraising events for charities annually.
This year, the club is supporting The Gatehouse, an Oxford-based charity that offers food and support to homeless people.
“We try to focus on local charities that have an impact on the local community,” he said.
Other charities it has supported in the past include SeeSaw, which provides support for bereaved children after the death of a parent or sibling, and the Windle Trust, which offers education and training opportunities for people in Africa.
The Oxford branch also holds monthly social activities, such as paintball, go-kart racing and wine tasting, and does volunteer work.
Mr Cobley, who works in marketing at drug and alcohol testing company Alere Toxicology, joined the Oxford branch two years ago after moving from Birmingham and seeking to make new friends outside work.
But it was a work colleague in Alere’s customer services team, Sarah Field, 25, who introduced him to Rotaract.
Miss Field helped revive the Oxford branch four years ago and is currently membership officer.
Mr Cobley and Miss Field plan to help set up a new club in the town if there is sufficient interest.
The first speed-dating night will be held next Thursday at the Britannia Inn in Headington.
The second is on Wednesday, April 30 at the Crown and Thistle, Abingdon. Both events start at 7pm.
Oxford Rotaract club is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Oxford Spires, one of four Rotary clubs in Oxford.
There are about 60 Rotaract clubs across the UK with 800 members.
There are about 1,780 Rotary clubs across the country with about 52,000 members.
- Go to oxfordrotaract.co.uk for more information.