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Rotary clubs gearing up to support vulnerable at Christmas

Rotary clubs gearing up to support vulnerable at Christmas

Not that you would know it, but the countdown to Christmas is on, and that means Rotary clubs across Great Britain & Ireland are gearing up for the festive season.

Two Derbyshire youngsters have been part of a Rotary scheme to fill shoeboxes with toys and clothes to bring the spirit of Christmas to vulnerable children.

Ten-year-old Xanthe McAughtrie and nine-year-old brother Seb, along with Derby Rotary members, Belper Central Methodist church, and the Women’s Institute, have filled and collected 46 boxes to send through Teams4U charity.

Two Derbyshire youngsters have been part of a Rotary scheme to fill shoeboxes with toys and clothes to bring the spirit of Christmas to vulnerable children.

The children’s grandfather and Rotarian David Ashley said: “It’s good to encourage young people like Xanthe and Seb to think about less fortunate people.”

Rotarian and local organiser John Scotney said that the boxes will go to eastern Europe – to Belarus, Bosnia, Moldova and Romania.

He said: “I know it’s a difficult time here but for some of the world’s poorest families the situation is dire, and a small box of gifts sent with love can at least raise a smile.”

Boxes are filled for three age groups, 3 to 5 years, 6 to 11 years, and over 12-years-old with toothbrushes, toothpaste, hair accessories, socks, underwear along with treats such as toys, games and sweets.

I know it’s a difficult time here but for some of the world’s poorest families the situation is dire, and a small box of gifts sent with love can at least raise a smile.”

Sometimes the boxes contain a photograph of the donors.

Sometimes, these boxes are then collected in Belper and Duffield by John Scotney who delivers to a collection point organised by Derby Rotary.

From there they go onto a national Teams4U warehouse for transport to their destinations in eastern Europe.

John added: “Forty-six boxes have been delivered to the Derby Rotary Club warehouse in Derby.

“That is 46 smiles that would not otherwise have happened. A big well done to Xanthe and Seb and the people in Belper and Duffield.”


In Wiltshire, Royal Wootton Bassett & District Rotary has been supporting a festive campaign to help the victims of domestic violence.

They have been receiving donations of toys and backpacks to be given as Christmas presents to children living in safe houses belonging to the Wiltshire Women’s Refuge.

Dr Brenda Moore from Swindon Old Town Rotary accepting the toys from Linda Locke, Royal Wootton Bassett & District Junior Vice President.

The charity has recently been rebranded to the Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service since men suffer from domestic abuse as well.

Caroline Black and Nicky Alberry from the charity collected the toys. They were overwhelmed with the generosity and kindness which residents had shown in supporting the cause.

Royal Wootton Bassett and District Rotary also donated £250 from club funds for the purchase of toiletries for the adults to have something to unwrap on Christmas Day.

The Rotary club received so many toys, that they were able to donate items to Swindon Old Town Rotary’s ‘Children in Care’ appeal.

Many Rotary clubs will be driving their Santa sleighs around the streets of their communities this festive season, although with limitations on what can be collected.


Elland Rotary Club’s Christmas sleigh was used by the Dave TV channel to film an episode of ‘Meet The Richardson’s’ in Mytholmroyd in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire.

The sleigh was pulled by a car driven by Rotarian Glyn Eyles, who said he enjoyed the experience.

The name of the Rotary Club of Elland, wishing everyone a Happy Christmas, was displayed on the back of the sleigh which, it is hoped, will be seen by those watching the programme on television this Christmas.


Among many innovative, online fund-raisers, Denby Dale Rotary from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, is organising a festive balloon race.

The race, which takes place over seven days of Christmas, will raise important funds for Yorkshire Cancer Care, Dementia UK and other charities. The first prize is £500, with an iPad and book tokens as runners-up prizes.

For more details visit the website.


Meanwhile, Lindum Lincoln Rotary’s Christmas cards have once again proved a great success.

Project leader Simon Kalson is delighted with this year’s result which raised £6,552.83 for End Polio Now.

Meanwhile, Lindum Lincoln Rotary’s Christmas cards have once again proved a great success.”

“Thanks to all customers who purchased cards from us,” he said. “They will see their End Polio Now credit to their club during November 2020.

“Thanks to the little elves from my club who packed the cards and envelopes into the plastic cello bags of 10.

“This was a challenge to arrange under COVID-19 distancing rules, however Rotarians are very resourceful, and we rose to the challenge, working at home by themselves.”