Meeting Minutes


Meeting Minutes : Thursday 19th November 2015


This meeting, 19th November 2015, we invited the president, Frank Eliel, of our co-sponsor, Norwich Blackfriars Rotary Club. We also invited a previous Rotaractor Helen Vinsen, who now runs her own marketing business, MOA. Nathan Lomax spoke about his own marketing business. We also discussed the upcoming Christmas tree festival, and plans for the Rotaract launch.

     Frank Eliel & Norwich Blackfriars Rotary Club

Frank Eliel explained that his club, Norwich Blackfriars, was set up as an alternative to the pre-existing clubs, in that they meet for breakfast, rather than lunch or dinner. This then enabled them to better balance work, home and rotary. The club has been running for eighteen years, and since then they have aided a great number of community projects. Ultimately however, Frank believed that the central focus of Rotary is fellowship; being able to build friendships with other Rotarians and through those friendships, being able to do some good in the world.

     Nathan Lomax & his marketing business

Our website creator, Nathan Lomax, further spoke to us about his own business. He started off by declaring not all opportunities are good opportunities, despite some appearing to be the same. You never know which opportunities are good until you try them, but if you don’t put yourself out there, you’ll never know. At the same time however, we need to remember that not all opportunities are good opportunities, despite appearing in the same guise.

Nathan further explained his personal working experiences. He started off building one website per week, and is now able to build one daily. He emphasised ‘don’t underestimate the word of mouth’, for in Norfolk everyone seems to know everyone. Good news always spreads and can lead to more opportunities. His current projects include Baby Dragons, a platform to match young people with ideas, and investors with the same interests. He’s not only learning from his own experiences, but also he’s enabling others to follow in his footsteps, and to find a mentor and investor of their own. However, he doesn’t just leave it there; he makes sure that those young people searching for suitable investors, are also prepared to pitch their ideas and business plan, by offering a business investment course.

He went on to explain how the best way to market a business is through being connected and being immersed. You need to know the product you’re selling, and you need to have connections to help spread the word to the right people, even if it means spending seven hours learning how to knit! He further emphasised the advantages of LinkedIn as a networking platform – though he joked if you add too many people LinkedIn might suspend your account! He’s been able to build many connections from the site so far, as it’s a great way to expand your usual networks. Whatever happens though, Nathan believed you should always keep going, keep trying and never give up.

     Christmas tree festival

In the following weeks we will be participating in the Christmas Tree Festival at The Church of St Peter Mancroft. We have kindly been donated a tree to decorate by St Edmunds Rotary Club. We will be meeting to decorate our tree from 5:30pm on Monday 1st December. Everyone involved will need to bring a decoration of their own choice that best represents them. This will be a brilliant opportunity to promote the club and help St Edmunds Rotary Club to raise funds for their chosen charities.

If you want to help out / be there to speak to the public about Rotaract over the week of the festival then sign up for a shift here. Barry Catchpole has advised that: ‘around the base of your tree please provide identifying detail i.e. your company/charity logo and a moderate amount of information and advertising material’, so if anyone has any ideas for promotional material, please contact Jasmine Stone or Naomi Carter. The official switch on will be made by the Lord Mayor at a reception in the Church on Wednesday evening 2nd December (of which we will receive three invitations) and opened to the public from Thursday morning 3rd December until Monday evening 7th December. We will need to take down our tree Tuesday 8th December.

     Rotaract Launch

Ollie Merchant is currently exploring venues for the Rotaract launch event. We’re looking at the Roman Catholic Cathedral as a possibility, as it has the option for a buffet and it has a bar. We are still considering the aim of the launch, and whether to focus more on promotion of the club, or fundraising for our chosen charities. If we do fundraising, we discussed doing a raffle or tombola, which involves businesses local to the venue. Dates wise we’re looking at early February as it’s after payday. James has previously suggested that we try to keep the ticket prices as low as possible to encourage more people to come. We’re looking at potentially doing tiered pricing, and getting speakers from Mind and Asha Nepal viagra generique en pharmacie. Jack Rumsey is looking at possible bands for the event.


Naomi Carter is currently arranging a meeting to speak with Sarah, the media and fundraising manager of Mind, to discuss how we can best support the charity. We may be able to help fundraise or provide manpower for their 50th anniversary next year.

     Local activities 

Nathan Lomax is currently planning a black tie casino evening with his Norfolk club on 6th February – more details to come.

Ollie Merchant has been in contact with Build. They currently have opportunities to offer help to people who have trouble with disabilities, by being a friend and taking them out to events.


In terms of the Rotaract website, Andy Harrison has taken over the responsibilities of creating logins and profiles, so if anyone still needs one, please get in touch. We need volunteers from the club to post blogs.


We still have a variety of Rotaract roles left. Please see the Rotaract handbook for the listings, and get in touch with Kieran John if you would like one, or if you would like to create your own role.

     Helen Vinsen and her MOA marketing business

Helen Vinsen was part of Rotaract from 1989-1994. Her club met on Wednesdays and had a variety of speakers and social sessions. Helen was the sport and social secretary for one of the years. They created a programme of events for the next two months. They ran a large number of events during her time at Rotaract, including visiting the EDP, flying microlites and rock-climbing. One of the projects she recalled was playing basketball and jailball (a blindfolded ball game) with disabled children. She said that for her, Rotaract was all about volunteering for lots of things and making the most of good experiences.

She now owns her own marketing business called MOA. She’s most recognisable for her recent publicity work for Go-Go Dragons, to fundraise for Break. Her business is currently up for an award at the tourism awards for East Anglia, for the event of the year award. She’s currently working at Maddermarket Theatre, and she’s involved in the Norfolk Arts awards.