June 23, 2023

Champion of Change 2023: Bede Mullen, The Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge

District Governor 2022-23 Malcolm Tagg reports: My wife Judith and I had the pleasure of attending the Rotary Great Britain & Ireland (RGBI) Champions Awards in Birmingham, which demonstrate the huge impact made by volunteers in making life easier or safer for the wider community at home and abroad.

Bede Mullen of Hebden Bridge Rotary was honoured with a prestigious Champion of Change Award on Saturday 17 June 2023. Bede is recognised for his efforts to alleviate and prevent the devastating effects of flooding in natural and sustainable ways. He is Founder and Chair of the charity Slow the Flow (STF)

Since 2012, Calder Valley in Yorkshire has experienced three separate years of severe flooding, damaging thousands of homes and businesses in the area. Through Natural Flood Management, STF create ‘leaky dams’ using natural resources, to slow and divert water away from residential areas into woodlands and flood plains.

Bede and STF have created a new sense of empowerment among the community and inspired the participation of large numbers of volunteers in the charity’s programmes. Alongside practical work, their impact has included educational programmes for young people and schools, universities, businesses, and the public.

The search for this year’s winners was carried out across Rotary’s network of over 1,500 Rotary clubs, with Rotarians and members of the public having their extraordinary work, across a wide range of projects and causes, recognised.

Thank you to each club that submitted candidates for this year’s awards and huge congratulations to Bede, and by implication, all those who work with him.

An article on the awards will appear in a future edition of Rotary Magazine.

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