Rotarians cycle, swim and garden their way into the hearts of local communities

Rotarians cycle, swim and garden their way into the hearts of local communities

Across the country, dedicated Rotarians have been finding various innovative ways of raising money in challenging times.

All over the UK are piles of pallets which are uneconomical to return for reuse. However, the wonderful people over at Haslemere Rotary Club have been innovating ways to convert these pallets whilst improving their community. It all started with a friend of Haslemere Rotary who was converting pallets  into garden chairs and tables which were gifted to their pop-up shops and market stalls. The president of Haslemere Rotary took this idea to the next level by using the pallets to design mud kitchens – children’s play kitchen where they can mix up mud and water.

One of Haslemere Rotarys Pop-Up Shops

It doesn’t stop there though! After a picture of the pallet furniture was brought to attention of the local prison inspector, a group of Rotarians were able to take samples of the pallet furniture to The Mount Prison in Hemel Hempstead. A deal was then agreed that, as part of the prisoner’s ongoing workshops, they break up the pallets that the Rotary club collect into usable wood and make the furniture. The efforts of Haslemere Rotary to both improve children’s playtime while assisting in prisoner rehabilitation did not go unnoticed, with local MP Jeremy Hunt awarding the club his Local Covid Hero’s Award.

A bit closer to the capital, St. Marylebone Rotary Club member Peter Schweiger threw himself into the deep end in order to raise money for The Forth Feathers Youth and Community Centre in Marylebone. After being challenged by his local Rotary club president Margaret Pollock, Peter set himself the target of swimming a mile underwater unaided in his local pool. Since he started in April, he has now completed a mile and is now on the way to completing a second mile whilst aiming to raise £640.

Peter isn’t the only Rotarian to have dipped his toes into a fitness challenge, as over on the South East Coast the Channel Rotary Club were able to successfully complete their Charity Cycle Challenge. The success of the challenge enabled the club to raise £3,200 to South Kent Mind in order to develop its support for local people facing mental challenges.

Channel Rotary President Gary Calver said: “South Kent Mind has supported the residents of Folkestone and Hythe for over 30 years. The COVID pandemic has had a major effect on mental health, both directly and indirectly.  Channel Rotary is very pleased to contribute to the work of SK Mind in supporting local residents and look forward to working on future projects together.”

South Kent Mind CEO Simon Dolby said: “We are so grateful to Channel Rotary. The funds from the Cycle Challenge will help us to support people in Folkestone who are trying to re-connect with life after being isolated through lockdown.”

“For people suffering from anxiety and depression this has been a particularly tough time, and the workshops and counselling we are able to provide thanks to Channel Rotary will be immediately put to good use.”

The Rotary Club of Cockermouth at work protecting the riverbanks

Finally, members of the Rotary Club of Cockermouth recently donned the gardening gloves to lend a helping hand to the West Cumbria Rivers Trust. The Rotarians were pulling up and bashing Himalayan Balsam – a non-native plant which was threatening to reduce biodiversity on the riverbanks.

The Rotarians know how much their efforts help to protect the riverbanks of Cockermouth from erosion and they are keen to make this activity into a regular session for the club.