GSE Team Visit



Tuesday the 2nd of August 2005, saw The Rotary Club of Hanwell & Northfields host the London Group Study Exchange Team who had been out to the USA earlier this year.

The Group Study Exchange (GSE) program of The Rotary Foundation is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for young men and women between the ages of 25 and 40 in the early years of their professional lives. The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits between twinned areas in different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country's institutions and ways of life, observe their own vocations as practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.

For each team member, The Rotary Foundation provides the most economical round-trip air ticket between the home and host countries. Local Rotarians in the host country provide meals, lodging, and travel within their host country.

This years visit was led by Rotarian Colin Matthews of The Rotary Club of Putney, the rest of the team comprised of Mark Allen a Prison Governor who was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Graveney, Richard King a Police Officer who was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Putney, Catherine Prisk a Regional Skills Policy Manager for the London Development Agency who was Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Highgate & Muswell Hill and Simon Marsh a Detective Sergeant with the Metropolitan Police who was Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Battersea Park.

During their time in America the team got to visit various Police Forces and a couple of prisons, they also got to meet several people who were involved in the regeneration of the city of Pittsburgh. The group were also fortunate enough to be in America at the time of the Centennial Celebrations for Rotary and were able to attend the Rotary International Convention in Chicago, along with 42,000 other Rotarians from around the world.

As well as working with their opposite numbers in the USA, the team were able to spend time socialising and relaxing at various venues within Pittsburgh and Chicago. All the members of the team had a good time and made lots of new friends.