A MAN who spends much of his free time organising events for the youth of Helston has been given Rotary District recognition.

Helston Rotary Club member Mick Timpson said he was “honoured” to receive the PDG Neville Hargreaves Youth Award, adding that it was a “total surprise.”

One man who is less shocked, however, is the club’s president Mike Hales, who said: “Rarely has an award been so well deserved. Many young people in Helston have benefitted from the Rotary competitions in music, writing, speaking and cooking that Mick has organised over the years.

“This year in particular, despite having a family and a business to run, he gave up nearly two weeks of all his spare time to make sure that Helston pupils gained invaluable experience in public activity, which does so much for their self-confidence.”

Already this year Mike has organised the Young Chef competition that saw a student Helston Community College win not just the club competition but also the district one, narrowly missing out on the national final.

The Youth Speaks competition challenged youngsters in the area to debate on subjects, and while the intermediate winners of the club competition did not progress any further, the senior team won the Western Area Final – hosted by Helston Rotary Club – but were beaten by Tavistock College for a place in the regional final.

In the Young Musician competition there were entries from Helston Community College and other clubs who did not hold a competition of their own. As a result, the instrumentalist winner, Abi Piercy who played a pedal harp, is now off to the national final taking place in Truro School’s chapel on Saturday, May 3.

Also organised by Mr Timpson has been the ongoing Young Writer competition, from which the club winners have yet to be announced, with the winner amongst the district entries still being judged ahead of submission to the national final by May 10. In the Leslie Collins Youth Exchange two sixth formers from Helston Community College, who are French language students, are looking forward to visiting the Rotary Club of Lannion in Brittany.

Mick is also the press contact for the club and the Sergeant At Arms. It is his job to maintain good order and discipline at club meetings – making sure in particular that members pay up their fines of 50p for each “misdemeanour”.

This light-hearted process has managed to raise £133.60 from 50p fines during the last financial year, which goes towards the club’s contribution to Polio Plus, the Rotary’s campaign to rid the world of polio.

Helston Rotary Club meets every week at Wheal Dream Restaurant, at 6pm for a 6.30pm meal, with business then conducted along with schemes to benefit others.