About District 24

Welcome to District 24 – a small active District with 9 clubs stretching from Harwich and Dovercourt in the north east to Harlow in the west.  We encourage new members and involve them in the varied Inner Wheel activities we enjoy.


 The Birth of District 24

District 24 began in 1974 when the number of Clubs in District 8, which covered East Anglia, grew too  large and a division was required.

We were born at the Copdock Hotel near Ipswich following the District 8 AGM – D24 had “arrived”.  Special links with D8 continue through attendance at Rallies and Past District Chairman annual lunch meetings.

What do we do

On 4th October we held our District rally to which we invited our Association President Anthea Tilsley who also is a member of a club in our District.  Other guests were the District Governor of rotary district 1240 along with his wife and the District Chairman of our neighbouring District 8, Deridre Rothwell and her husband.  Our District are celebrating 50 years this year and a special event is planned for May 2024.

The photograph above shows the Association President with District Chairman Penny and the executive committee.  The photograph below shows Penny and Anthea with David Willis

Our annual Seasonal Concert was held at St Botolph’s church in Colchester.  This was in conjunction with Rotary District 1024.  We invited local dignatories and Association President Anthea Tilsley.  The performers included the Orwell Singers, the Project 21 Dancers (Penny’s charity for her year), two winners of the Rotary music competition and readers from the local boy’s grammar school along with two Inner Wheel members.  We also invited Volya Ukraina a group from Ukraine being supported by Colchester rotarians.  The told us about their Christmas and sang some traditional songs.  We ended the evening with the audience participating in Christmas carols.  Pictured are Anthea and Penny, Melda the violinist, Volya Ukrainia and the Orwell Singers.

Our District Chairman

I have been a member of Inner Wheel since the year 2000.  I originally joined Chelmsford Mildmay club as my husband was a member of Chelmsford Mildmay Rotary Club.  After we moved to Cressing, near Braintree in 2007 I joined Braintree and Bocking Club.  I have been District Secretary and more recently District Editor.

The hand of friendship

Eileen French, D24 Membrship and Development Officer, hosted three Malaysian ladies prior to their attendance at the 19th Convention in Manchester.

District Growth

The Early Years

We have moved on from the early years of “Mrs District Chairman”, the rule book, hats and gloves to a far more flexible District.  We enjoy a range of friendship and service activities working independently and alongside other voluntary organisations but always maintain a sense of fun, friendship and enjoyment.


Chelmsford Mildmay

“Shine a Light”

Sue Read is Shining a Light to support ‘Empower the Gambia’. Their vision is to link individuals, organisations and charities together to benefit the communities of rural Gambia through education, training and empowerment to alleviate poverty. Sue, Jo, Jake and Jan delivered donated sponsor bags, toiletries and pencils to those in need.

The women who do gardening and run the chicken project were so happy Sue and her team had arrived. Hosepipes are appreciated but Sue would like to give all the school gardens and the women’s gardens some watering cans too. They have so few!

They delivered items to three schools before Sue travelled further up the river to Bansang to give some pencils to Chargel Upper and Senior school. They are so remote that they have very little materials and were thrilled to receive them.

Well done Sue and her team, you are making a huge difference to communities in rural Gambia.

Who We Support

This year’s District Chairman’s Charity is Project 21 which is a charity with a difference running innovative activities, clubs and events for people with Down’s Syndrome in the East of England  Project 21 thinks outside the box and listens to the voices of those with DS putting their wishes into action.  We promote independence and confidence at our core encouraging people with DS to live happy, busy and fulfilled lives

They currently have 3 branches in Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk activities include the following

Saturday musical theatre dance classes

Saturday football training sessions

Spotlight 21 performing arts course

Culture club (weekday group)

Weekly pub nights for adults with DS

Residential and weekend breaks

Summer activities programme

They currently have 200 members aged 0-57.


Social Links

The District 24 Year

In addition to our district meetings we hold an annual concert in conjunction with local Rotary clubs.  This year’s event takes place on Friday 15th December at St Botolph’s Church in Colchester. Tickets will be available at our rally in October and District meeting in November.  The proceeds are split between Rotary and Inner Wheel charities.

Each year the District Chairman issues a challenge to all members/clubs in order to award a trophy donated in memory of Daphne Cole who was a member of the club of Clacton on Sea.  This year’s challenge is in line with the Association Presidnet’s theme of 100 for 100 and is a writing competition.

Before the pandemic we also held an interclub competition for the Friendship Activities (FA) cup.  This will continue for 23/24

20 members from our District attended the Annual Conference in Blackpool and you can see from the attached photographs that they had a good time, fun and friendship as well as some interesting and stimulating speakers.

District 24 Officers

DISTRICT CHAIRMAN: Penny Pilbrow 2023/24
DISTRICT TREASURERS: Linda Wolfenden and Margaret Edgell
DISTRICT EDITOR:  Post currently vacant

Email Us

We would love to hear from you please contact us via e-mail info@innerwheel.co.uk

District 24 Events

District Committee Meeting 313/03/24West Maldon Community Centre
District Committee Meeting 4 + AGMTBAChannels

Current Clubs


Chelmsford Mildmay

Clacton on Sea


Harwich and Dovercourt

Braintree and Bocking

Rayleigh Mill

South Woodham Ferrers


District 24 latest news

Congratulations Eileen

Congratulations Eileen

  We are pleased to announce that Eileen French was awarded an MBE in the King’s birthday honours list.  This was awarded to her as founder trustee of Essex Council of Voluntary Youth Organisations, services to young people in Essex.  Eileen is currently...