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Colchester Anti Loo Roll Brigade flushed with success

Colchester Anti Loo Roll Brigade flushed with success

The Colchester Anti Loo Roll Brigade (CALRB) has refused to be bogged down by COVID-19 and has been flushed with success helping the vulnerable in north Essex.

The CALRB was set up by last March at the start of the pandemic by Peter Dutch, the son of Rotarian and previous Assistant Governor, Tony Dutch.

The community group was launched on Facebook to help those who were locked in or who were shielding.

The need was there, and many acts of kindness have been performed in helping the isolated and vulnerable in Colchester over the past eight months.

There are now more than 9000 Facebook ‘brigade’ members and some of Colchester’s other charity organisations have enlisted CALRB’s help, including the St Helena Hospice and the Next Chapter Women’s Refuge, as well as Colchester Borough Homes.

In order to carry out many of their tasks the brigade needed a van. So Colchester Rotary Club and Rotarian John Robertson came to the rescue and secured the loan of a van and insurance.

However, loaning a van permanently is an expensive business so the Rotary clubs in Colchester and a group of Rotarians came together to provide the funds to buy a van and insure it for the first year.

This happened in August, and the van is now on the roads of Colchester inspiring communities and helping lives, as well as promoting Rotary.

There are now more than 9000 Facebook ‘brigade’ members and some of Colchester’s other charity organisations have enlisted CALRB’s help, including the St Helena Hospice and the Next Chapter Women’s Refuge, as well as Colchester Borough Homes.”

As demand on CALRB services grew after lockdown, and the fact that it could not be sustained without someone leading it, the organised established itself as a Community Interest Company. with a salaried managing director and a volunteer leadership team.

John Powell, Immediate Past President of Colchester Rotary Club, praised the word of the team and said they had no hesitation with providing funding for a van.

He said: ‘’The values of CALRB and the work they are doing so closely mirrors the ideals of Rotary that it was not difficult to decide to come to their assistance.

“A van providing a moving Rotary advertisement for a year or three it is a fantastic public image opportunity.

Peter Dutch of CALRB thanked Rotary for their support. He said: “We could not exist without a van to transport goods to our clients. Without the funding from Rotary, it would have made our life much more difficult, so we were delighted to partner with them to buy the van and to continue to help those in need in Colchester.”