The prize for our annual Essay Writing Competition is a day visiting an organisation that is related to the prize winning essay. In 2012 we received a great response, many well-written essays of a high standard with a range of occupations described.
We had one outright winner this year, Ben Gorman who wrote about his ambition to become a Radio/TV Reporter and our runner-up was Joseph Parkhouse who wrote about wanting to become a pilot of Search and Rescue helicopters.
Our winners each enjoyed a special day experiencing what they wanted to do when they grow up.
We were very lucky to be offered a prize-winning visit from two very generous organisations. For our ‘Reporter’ Ben, there was a day trip to Three Counties Radio Station. The radio station is based in Luton and Ben, his mum and a representative from Aylesbury Rotary were invited to join in a typical day at the radio station.
The day started with the tour of the offices where staff collect and prepare news items, followed by sitting in on the meeting of all staff involved with planning the radio shows for the following day. Reporters shared their news stories and the producer, after general discussion, decided which items were to be included. Ben was taken to a recording studio and given the opportunity to make his own recording of news and weather items and at the end of the day, the producer provided Ben with a CD to keep as a memento.
Meanwhile Ben’s Mum and our Rotary representative was interviewed by the producer of the Nick Coffer afternoon show. She needed background information on the Aylesbury Rotary Club Essay Competition to provide the presenter with a brief and guidelines for our ‘On-air interview’. Ben was going to be asked to talk about the Essay Competition on-air and also provided with the opportunity to use the technical equipment in the Recording Studio. At the same time Aylesbury Rotary Club were given the opportunity to talk about Rotary International – a rare opportunity to have air-time!
Our runner-up, Joseph Parkhouse, wrote about wanting to become a helicopter pilot with a Search and Rescue team. The Chief Inspector of Aylesbury Vale Local Police Area was most helpful in assisting in arranging contact with Chiltern Air Support Unit based at RAF Benson at Wallingford. The staff at the base were happy to host a day at RAF Benson for the winner. Joseph and his dad and our Aylesbury Rotary representative had a most enjoyable day. They were shown DVD’s of the type of work undertaken by the Air Support Unit and all the visitors were extremely interested in all the technical equipment, and especially how tasks, flight plans and communications are carried out. The guests were shown around the aircraft and were able to take photographs of the day. The Air Support Unit team were most impressed by the interest shown from our winner and the intelligent questions that were asked.
Rotarian Coleen Allen organised this event, and she'll soon be contacting schools so they can participate in the 2013 competition.