Rotary Club of Westhoughton – international visitors!

Today, the Team was delighted to host an event organised and supported by the Rotary Club of Westhoughton, which brought 16 young people from across the world to visit the Team’s Ladybridge Hall Base. Our guests, who were from the USA, Hong Kong, Portugal, Romania, Poland, The Netherlands, the Ukraine, Germany, Turkey and Denmark, were given an introductory insight into the activities of the Team, before being instructed on some basic team equipment. Small groups of people were shown the teams’ Trauma Sack and its contents, others were instructed on the use of the Bell Mountain Rescue Stretcher, and a third group had the opportunity to apply Vacuum splintage to an ‘injured’ limb.

The young people have a practice attempt of carrying one of their own!

Team member Peter Heeley acting as the exercise casualty

Team Members, Rotarians and their young guests then relocated to Lower House Car Park, Rivington, where a simulated ‘spot pick-up’ exercise was arranged. The young people were split up into two groups, each having to deal with and evacuate an exercise casualty back to the car park, and for once (in many months) the sun shone throughout!!

Back at our Ladybridge Base, our guests kindly made an entry in our Visitors Book (written in their native languages!) and they were all presented with Team Supporters Stickers. In return, Team Members were delighted to receive a Rotary Summer Camp ‘Petty Pool 2007’ pennant, which we will proudly display in the Base.

Excellent weather for the group photograph

The Team would like to thank our international guests for sincere interest in the Team, Andrea for bringing them along and supervising them during their visit, and particularly John Forshaw and Phil Wood from the Rotary Club of Westhoughton for their continuing support and enthusiasm for our Team.

A huge thanks also for the 7 Team Members who readily gave up their time to ensure our guests had a memorable visit.

With thanks to Phil Wood, Marketing Officer, District 1280, The Rotary Club of Westhoughton, we reproduce below an account of the afternoons activities from his perspective.
Thanks to Phil Wood for kindly allowing us to use the photograph.

Two members of the Rotary Club of Westhoughton sustained broken legs on Winter Hill on Thursday 2nd August, and needed medical assistance. Their calls for help were answered by a party of sixteen students from all over the world who happened to be in the area. The students had been medically trained, and provided most competent assistance before applying splints and bringing them down on stretchers. Even more remarkable was that they had been trained only an hour before!

Fortunately it was only an exercise, but the situation could have been real and the training to give new first aid skills was genuine. The students are a party from countries all over Europe, and further afield, who are attending a Summer Camp run by Rotary Clubs in this district. This day was organised by the Rotary Club of Westhoughton, who thought that rather than traipsing through lots of museums, it would be much more interesting to meet up with the Bolton Mountain Rescue Team and find out how they work.

The youngsters, most aged 16-17, had to learn basic assessment of a casualty, administering oxygen, fitting a vacuum splint to a broken arm or leg, and how to use a stretcher comfortably and safely. After practising these skills on each other and Rotarians, they went out onto Winter Hill to put it all into practice. Calls came over the radio, and they had to get out the right equipment and assess what to do. Two advance parties set off up the mountain to find the two casualties, and then radioed back to the main groups to get stretchers and medicines brought up to the scene. The groups then headed up the tracks to find their victims lying in agony on the ground. They made them comfortable and applied the vacuum splints, all the time reassuring them what was happening.

Coming down was a bit harder, as the team of six bearers bore their Rotarian loads, 100-150 metres at a time. Rotarian Alan Crompton said, “I felt very comfortable throughout the rescue, and being picked up and put down was done very gently”.

His colleague David Moores, a slightly weightier burden for the stretcher bearers, commented, “I had no fear at all about being rescued by these very intelligent and competent youngsters, and am extremely grateful to the Bolton Mountain Rescue Team for the thoroughness of the training they provided”.

These camps are run by Rotary Clubs in many countries around the world every summer, and this particular camp in our District has run for over 40 years. This year it brought together young people from Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Portugal, Ukraine, Romania as well as New York and Macau. For four days, they lived with Rotarians in their homes, and then for ten days, they travel around as a group, going to projects organised by various Rotary Clubs. Apart from this exercise, they visited the Reebok Stadium, Warburton’s Bakery and the Bolton Lads and Girls Club, and took part in many outdoor sporting activities. None of them knew each other before, and yet they make firm friends and often make plans to see each other again in future years.

This is one of the fantastic schemes that Rotary runs. British youngsters (generally between 16 – 21) can find out more about the camps that are running this year and how to apply for next year on or email

The stretcher carried by Neuza (Portugal), Ulya (Turkey), Silas (Macau), Georgy (Romania), Miko (Macau), Szofia (Romania), Fabio (Portugal), Denys (Ukraine).