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Welcome to the Rotary Club of Upper Eden
Home of the Yomp and the Rotary Iron Lung

Who We Are

We are a friendly group of people from the Kirkby Stephen area dedicated to helping others less fortunate than ourselves. As one of thousands of Rotary Clubs spread around the world we are part of a well established structure that helps us fulfill this aim. We are motivated by the Rotary motto - 'Service Above Self'. We invite you to join us.

See what we doing right now


We meet each Tuesday at 7.30pm . Visitors from other Rotary clubs are assured of a warm welcome. If you would like to attend one of our meetings please inform our secretary so that we can amend our catering facilities.

Download Meetings Programme (pdf)


We meet at the Upper Eden Rugby Club in Kirkby Stephen.

How to get there


Greetings from our 2017-2018 President Richard Todd

We meet on Tuesday evenings at the Rugby Club in Kirkby Stephen, at the wilder end of the unspoiled Eden Valley in north-east Cumbria, where we enjoy a two course meal and perhaps a drink or two. Our club started life 38 years ago and this year we have achieved record membership of 35. We have recently welcomed our first two lady members, and more are anticipated.

I am sometimes asked ‘What is Rotary?” For me the answer is neatly presented in one of Rotary’s stated aims, - “Development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service”. Our meetings are friendly, with plenty of banter, and in keeping with modern times there is nowadays much less formality. A strong camaraderie is developed which enables us to work together enthusiastically in making the world a better place, whether it be in the local community or in contributing to the international achievements of the hugely influential Rotary organisation worldwide. The eradication of polio is the largest of these initiatives, we work together with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and we are almost there!

We never seem to be short of entertaining and inspirational speakers at our meetings, and we also arrange outside visits, sporting fixtures against other Rotary clubs, and evening walks. To get an idea of some of the things we did last year click on Diary 2016-17.

Much of our time is spent organising fund raising events, of which the main one is our annual Yomp Mountain Challenge. This attracts people from far and near to walk or run the full 23 miles, largely over exposed open fell, or the 11.5 or 6.5 mile versions. It takes a lot of organising and marshalling – why not come and help us? Better still, if you think that you might like to be a part of what we do come along to one or two of our meetings or events. You will be very welcome.

Wherever you live - consider joining Rotary to help make a difference. It is truly amazing how individuals can join together to move mountains. Wherever you live - we will point you in the right direction to join Rotary.

Wherever you live - Contact us.

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Members of the Upper Eden Rotary Club are drawn from the market town of Kirkby Stephen and surrounding villages in the upper Eden valley. Like all Rotary clubs, Upper Eden Rotary Club members represent a diverse group of professions who work to address various community and international service needs and to promote peace and understanding throughout the world.

Download List of Members (pdf)


All Rotary Clubs have committees to help drive projects forward.

Download Committee Framework (pdf)

Members usually cycle through different committees over the period of their membership.

Download Committee Memberships (pdf)


The Inaugural Meeting of the Upper Eden Rotary Club took place on 15th May 1979 at the Shap Wells Hotel and was attended by all 29 Founder Members. Nearly 4 decades later we are still going strong.

Download Early History of UERC (pdf)

Download List of Past Presidents (pdf)


Our diary records what we do week in week out to ensure the club operates effectively to support good causes..

upper eden rotary club 2018

President: David Whitehead.

upper eden rotary club 2017

President: Richard Todd.

upper eden rotary club 2016

President: Ian Udale.



Rotary is an organisation of like-minded people united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

Rotarians are required to encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help to build goodwill and peace in the world through fundraising and active involvement in projects where appropriate.

Rotary International

Rotary International is a collection of more than 31,000 Rotary clubs located in 166 countries. There are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians in these clubs. Rotary International is one of the world's largest service organizations dedicated to supporting humanitarian projects on a global scale. It sets the standards, goals and aspirations of all Rotary Clubs and manages a range of international humanitarian projects which individual clubs can support.

rotary international logo

Object of Rotary

The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:

1. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service.

2. The promotion of high ethical standards in business and professions; The recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society.

3. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business, and community life.

4. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

uerc rotary logo

Who We Help

We help others at home and abroad. Below is just a small selection of projects we have supported by means of our fund raising activities.

upper eden rotary club africa

At UERC we are avid supporters of Rotary's Africa Hope project that works with Hope and Homes for Children to alleviate children's despair and deprivation.

Great Northern Air Ambulance
upper eden rotary club ambulance

UERC are proud to support the Great North Air Ambulance Service that strives to minimize response times through the provision of a helicopter ambulance service.

WaterAid Aquabox
upper eden rotary club aquabox

Water-Aid, a charity committed to the provision of long-term water supplies, estimates that 25,000 children die every day from the effects of drinking polluted water. The Rotary solution is to send Aquaboxes to disaster areas. UERC regularly helps by funding aquaboxes.

upper eden rotary club polioplus

Rotary International is attempting to eradicate Polio from the face of the earth by immunizing all of the world's children against polio via PolioPlus. UERC raises funds for PolioPlus by show-casing the Rotary Iron Lung.

upper eden rotary club shelterbox

Shelterbox is a Rotary initiative that provides emergency accommodation and survival equipment to disaster victims worldwide. Aid is delivered in the form of a ShelterBox that contains a 10-person tent and survival aids to help a family of 10 survive for at least six months. UERC supports this charity by funding boxes.

Talking Newspaper
upper eden rotary club talking newspaper

Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Upper Eden work on the Talking Newspaper in Cumbria. This initiative provides a much appreciated service for the blind.

Vision Aid Overseas
upper eden rotary club vision aid

Upper Eden Rotary Club supports the work of Vision Aid Overseas, a charity dedicated to helping people with poor eyesight in developing countries.

Age Concern
upper eden rotary club elderley

Each year over 200 Christmas gifts for the over-eighties are distributed around Kirkby Stephen and the Upper Eden Valley by the Upper Eden Rotary Club.

Local Schools
upper eden rotary club schools

We like to help out in our local community as well as overseas. The Kirkby Stephen Grammar School Business Challenge is an annual event sponsored by the Upper Eden Rotary Club.

Rainbow Trust
upper eden rotary club rainbow trust

The Rotary Club of Upper Eden has appealed to Rotarians to support the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity by purchasing Festive Cakes made by the Cumbrian award winning cake maker, Country Fare. We sampled them. Delicious!


How We Do It

Often we send money raised by fund-raising activities such as our annual Yomp Mountain Challenge. At other times we undertake ambitious enterprises ourselves like driving trucks across continents to deliver aid.

Yomp Mountain Challenge
upper eden rotary club yomp

The Yomp is our major annual fund raising event. It is an organised 23 mile walk or hike on the fells surrounding Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria. We also organise a Half Yomp and a Short Yomp for those that prefer shorter distances.

Rotary Iron Lung
rotary iron lung

Roger Frank of the Upper Eden Rotary Club conceived and rallied the idea of manufacturing, promoting and monetizing the Rotary Iron Lung to raise funds towards the worldwide eradication of polio. Club members demonstrate the Iron Lung at events around the country.

Ankoma Ghana
upper eden rotary club ankoma

UERC has established links with a remote small village called Ankoma in the Kwahu District in Ghana. Club members travelled to Ankoma to deliver medical supplies. The construction of 2 school toilet blocks and a further block in Abisu No.2 were adopted as worthwhile International Projects for the Club.

Col du Turini Car Rally
upper eden rotary club col du turini

UERC took part in a Classic Car Rally organised by the Rotary Club of Antibes to increase the awareness of Rotary International's PolioPlus program. £12,000 was raised to support polio victims throughout the world.

Cross Fell Challenge
cross fell challenge

The club organised dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation in ShelterBox tents at the top of Cross Fell. The boxes were sponsored by Rotary Clubs, businesses and individuals throughout Cumbria and the North of England. UERC raised £40,800 via this enterprise.

Mali Aid
upper eden rotary club mali aid

Club members drove trucks filled with medical equipment and other items from Kirkby Stephen to Bamako and Timbuktu in Mali. After delivering the equipment the vehicles were donated to Bamako Amitie Rotary Club to sell to raise funds to finance additional aid projects.

Plymouth-Timbuktu Challenge
plymouth-timbuktu challenge

UERC members participated in the Plymouth-Timbuktu Challenge which involved purchasing a vehicle for under £100 and spending less than £15 restoring it. After filling the vehicle with desirable goods it was driven to Bamako, the capital of Mali where the vehicle and contents were donated to Bamako Rotary Club.

To Murmansk
upper eden rotary club murmansk

Members from Upper Eden and Appleby Rotary clubs travelled to Murmansk Rotary Club by public transport. Murmansk is high above the Arctic Circle in Russia. On arrival our members were welcomed with a traditional thrashing. We did say we would do anything to raise money for good causes!

Retro Car Tour
upper eden rotary club car tour

Over 100 Rotarians and partners travelled from 5 Countries to take part in the annual Rotary Retro Automobile Fellowship (RRAF) car tour which was based at the North Lakes Hotel & Spa in Penrith.

upper eden rotary club car tour

UERC will participate in the 4 day road tour of Great Britain and Ireland in May 2018 to raise funds for End Polio Now.


Each year we record what we do so that we can recall what we have achieved and aim higher

upper eden rotary club 2015

President: Ben Lyon.

upper eden rotary club 2014

President: Graham Curtis.

upper eden rotary club 2013

President: Ivor Allonby.

upper eden rotary club 2012

President: Lawrence Cowin.

upper eden rotary club 2011

President: Bill Barr.

zupper eden rotary club 2010

President: John Andrew.

upper eden rotary club 2009

President: Ray Thornton.

upper eden rotary club 2008

President: Roger Jacobs.

upper eden rotary club 2007

President: Philip Jones.

upper eden rotary club 2006

President: Roger Frank.

upper eden rotary club 2005

President: Peter Cartmell.

upper eden rotary club 2004

President: G Hodgkinson.