Meet The Team 2022-2023

Steve Runnacles

Steve has been a member of the Rotary Club of Ipswich East for over 25 years and is proud to be its President in 2022-23.

He is a retired Chartered Accountant, having been a Partner of two Accountancy Practices in East Anglia for over 35 years and was involved with the Chartered Institute for some years. He now serves as a Trustee for a number of local charities.

Steve is a keen social golfer and has six enthusiastic grandchildren to look after.

Bill Robinson

I moved to Ipswich in 1983 and, as a complete stranger to the area, it was nice to be invited by a work colleague to join Rotary. It was a great way of getting to know new people and start to build up friendships and contacts, and I have therefore been a member of the Rotary Club of Ipswich East for almost 40 years. I have particularly enjoyed the international links that the Club has with the USA and Germany.

I came to Ipswich as the CEO of one of the local Health Authorities and retired in 1999. I was Chair of the Copleston High School Governing Body for over 20 years and am now a Trustee of the Gippeswyk Community Educational Trust.

I am married to Marlene and have two grown up daughters, one lives in Shropshire and the other in Los Altos, California. In my leisure time I play golf at Ipswich Golf Club and I’m a season ticket holder at Ipswich Town Football Club.

Jo Banthorpe

My Father was a Founder Member of Ipswich East Rotary Club 50 years ago. I first joined in 2012 as a fairly newly qualified Acupuncturist and two years into running my own business.

When I first joined I was lacking in confidence both as a person and within my new profession. I didn’t think I’d be taken seriously, neither as a female member in a predominately male club, nor as a complementary therapist amongst a club of ‘real’ professionals. I certainly never imagined that after 12 years I’d become President of the largest Rotary Club in the region. I couldn’t have been more wrong! 

From day one I was warmly welcomed into the Club and treated as an equal, with respect and interest. I thought I’d be content to quietly sit at the back of the room and volunteer here and there, but was soon asked to organise my first event (KidsOut – a zoo trip for mentally and physically disabled youngsters). Before long I became chair of the Community Service Committee, which further stretched my organisational and communication skills; I became a member of the Club’s 5-Year Development Plan Committee, which I later chaired for two years, whilst also chairing the Youth & Vocational Committee and becoming Junior, then Senior Vice President of the Club. 

So here I am, 12 years on – and now as President. I must say that I have been encouraged to stray well and truly out of my comfort zone, but have been fully supported at every single step. 

So, as well as volunteering and giving back to the community, Rotary has given me the opportunity to form friendships with fellow professionals in all walks of life, and also to really develop my leadership, organisational and communication skills. It has been a hugely rewarding journey! 

I am a mother of four children and have three (soon to be four) grandchildren. I live and work in Ipswich, and have my own private Acupuncture practice, with a special interest in mental wellbeing.

Neil Hewitt

Neil has more than 25 years experience as an independent financial adviser. He began his career originally with the Halifax Building Society, then with a local IFA practice.

“Outside of work I am a keen sports fan and particularly enjoy playing golf. I joined Rotary to give something back to the local community, but Rotary has given me so much more back, including friendship and a real sense of achievement.”

Andy Lewis
Community Service Committee

I have been a member of Rotary since 2007, as I wanted to help give something back to the community. It has been very satisfying getting involved in volunteering through opportunities such as the Trinity Park COVID Vaccination centre, Ipswich Furniture Project and Safe Harbour Church top-up shop.

I also organise our annual Senior Citizens Concert in September which gives our local community an excellent free evening with a ‘Last Night of the Proms’ feel…..everyone over 60 is welcome!

Lucy Trenchard
Club Service Committee

Following my early retirement in 2015, I moved to Ipswich in 2016 and became a Rotary member soon after. I hoped that in doing so I would find fellowship and something useful to do with my time, something that allowed me to contribute to my new community… and I wasn’t disappointed.

I am a retired business person, having worked in the software side of Banking systems for nearly 38 years, specialising in Quality Assurance, and was looking for a complete change.

Being a member of the Rotary Club has allowed me to meet some amazing people, both members and those I meet as part of our charitable works, and it has given me an unparalleled opportunity to get to know Ipswich. Very early on I was asked to take on managing the clubs’ events calendar, and now have the honour of chairing the Club Services Committee, which is integral to the smooth running of the club.
I am also a Borough Councillor for a Ward in North West Ipswich and in my spare time enjoy gardening and socialising with friends.

Ray Walters: Chairs the Clubs Fundraising Committee. This Committee leads all of the Club’s charity fundraising activities.

John Goodship: Chairs the Clubs International Committee, which exists to promote better international understanding.

David Chittick: Chairs the Foundation Committee.

Toby Pound: Chairs the Vocational and Youth Service Committee.