A SCHOOL for students with severe learning difficulties was visited by the President of Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland yesterday.

John Minhinick visited Uplands School, in Redhouse, to see for himself the work of the school and the involvement of Rotary in the local community.

A few months ago, a new type of Rotary Club was formed called eRotary where members meet online.

However, the club does hands-on work in the local area and has been raising funds for the school.

The club has also set up an Interact Club at the school and will see Rotarians visiting the students, who will take on different projects to raise money and help others in their community while having fun.

John, who was on a whistlestop tour of the area which is covered by District 1100, visited the young people and their teachers at the new community shop they have been running successfully over the past few months.

He said: “The Interact Clubs are youth clubs for 12 to 18-year-olds, normally based in schools and see the students taking on projects to raise money and have fun doing things together.

“For children in primary schools we have Rotakids, in secondary schoos like Uplands, we have Interact Clubs and for those aged 18 to 30, possibly at university we have Rotaract, with the idea that once they reach 30 they will transfer to Rotary Clubs.

“The club at Uplands started a month ago and we are delighted to have a club in this environment.

“Whether the children have difficulties or not, it is irrelevant to the club because when you listen to them and talk to them they have such great enthusiasm and the programme can fit their interests and abilities.

“Some of the things Rotarians are doing in their local communities are brilliant and one thing I want is for Rotarians to tell each other more about what they are doing.

“They don’t advertise it enough and they do some fantastic things both locally and nationally.”

Tim Mason, the president of eRotary 1100 said: “These are special children we work with in this school and Rotary wants to give them as much help as we can.

“It is great John visited the school to experience some of our work.”

Lorna Breslin, Uplands School assistant headteacher, who is also a Rotarian, said she was delighted that John paid a visit to the school.

“It is a real honour because he is president for whole of Great Britain,” she said.