A long-serving Rotarian has been honoured for his outstanding charity work.

Nick Bell, a member of Winchester Rotary, was awarded the prestigious Rotary International Service Above Self award at a special reception in the Mercure Winchester Wessex Hotel on Monday, March 4.

Rotary In Wessex (D1110) district governor George Phillips presented the award.

Friends, family, special guests and people who have been involved with Nick surprised him at a special meeting. 

Nick said: "I knew absolutely nothing about this. I was starting to get a little bit frustrated not knowing what the special meeting was about. Now the secret is out, all I can say is a very big thank you to everybody who has stood up and said wonderful things tonight. Thank you to all of you who have made this possible. I would like to thank each and every Rotarian and Rotarian's partner who have worked with me over the past few years, it's been an absolute pleasure." 

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While many Rotarians distinguish themselves through service, the award especially recognises those who make it a way of life.

Nick has been a member of the Rotary family since the 1970s, first in Rotaract - Rotary’s group for young professionals aged 18-30 - and since 1986 as a member of Winchester Rotary.

Hampshire Chronicle: Nick Bell in Uganda

He was awarded a Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship in 2010 and was Winchester Rotary President in 2013-14. It was during that year that Rotaract was re-established in Winchester and continues.

Latterly his roles in the club have covered both community and international connections from Albania to Uganda. 

Video messages were played at the event from representatives of projects which Nick has led in both countries. Guests included past members of Winchester Rotary and representatives from other clubs.

The evening closed with a congratulatory video message from Rotary International President Gordon McInally – a reminder of the significance of the award. Only about 150 are awarded globally each year.