Aberdare Rotary in South Wales is 96-years-old this year. As with many clubs, it has continued to support the community with Rotarians contributing their weekly meal dues.
Twenty-two per cent is retained by the club, 18% is used for charitable donations, and 60% towards COVID-related projects.
The Aberdare Rotarians have supported their two local foodbanks, one run by the Salvation Army, and also the Merthyr Cynon Foodbank, donating a total of £3,716.
Shrewsbury Severn Rotary in Shropshire have gone down the same road. They are donating £1,000 a month between the Barnabas Food Bank, Shrewsbury Food Hub, as well as the Pontesbury and Minsterley Food Bank.
For the last six months, Rotarians have given significant support to the food banks. Shrewsbury Severn Rotary agreed to maintain the level of support to food banks and hubs, particularly in the light of potentially greater levels of unemployment due to COVID-19.
For the last six months, Rotarians have given significant support to the food banks.”
Karen Williams, Foodbank PLUS Project Lead said: “Foodbank PLUS appreciates the ongoing support of and relationship with the Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club through regular monthly donations.
“This allows us to strategically plan for the future, particularly in light of the anticipated increase in demand of the services of Shrewsbury Foodbank and our debt advice service (Barnabas Money Advice) come the end of furlough.
Foodbank PLUS appreciates the ongoing support of and relationship with the Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club through regular monthly donations.”
“Their support ensures we can provide fresh fruit and vegetables for our clients to supplement the non-perishable parcels we provide, offer an extended debt advice service and continue to work with the community, supported by the community.”
“Christmas is going to be a particularly busy time and we hope to provide Christmas hampers for 200 families on top of our normal client base. The support of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club will be integral to that provision.”
Senlac Rotary based in Hastings, East Sussex, have also been feeling the pinch with fund-raising.
Normally they would expect to raise around £25,000 a year from their car show and other events. They have not been thwarted by the pandemic raising more than £5,000 from members’ efforts.
Secretary Marcia Bryant held a number of on-line raffles to raise £500 and Rotarian Chris Folley made quilts and facemasks, raising over £800, which will go to the club’s charity, The Yellowmen. These are a group of Sussex Rotarians who have been working in Central Pokot in north-west Kenya for the last 12 years helping local tribespeople.
Senlac Rotary President, Geoff Gander, and his wife Sally have been busy, too. Geoff has made numerous wooden animals from pallets which Sally has painted. The couple have also persuaded friends to part with unwanted items and then sold them on-line raising over £3,500 with their efforts.
Over the border in Kent, Folkestone Channel Rotary has donated £7,200 much-needed funds to five charities at a time when good causes are struggling to raise money due to coronavirus.
The money was raised by the club’s very successful Folkestone Channel Triathlon in September, led by club member Joe Sullivan.
Donations amounting to £1,200 have also been made to Folkestone Rescue, Folkestone Rowing Club and Kent Multiple Sclerosis Centre.
Cheques totalling £6,000 were presented to South Kent Mind and Shepway Youth Trust, by Folkestone Channel Rotary President, Malcolm Stewart, at the Three Hills Sports Park.
He stressed the vital work done locally by both charities and the importance of their collaboration to support mental health through sport
Steve Inett, Chief Executive Officer of South Kent Mind said: “At a time when demand is increasing and our funding sources are disappearing, Channel Rotary’s donation will be invaluable.
“Our team is working tirelessly to keep in touch with people who are isolated and have no access to the internet at home.
“For those who are online, we are expanding our internet courses and workshops to support people who are struggling with their mental well-being.”
Laurence Hickmott, Chief Executive of Shepway Sports Trust, added: “It means so much to our charity, particularly in these uncertain times.
“The funds will contribute to the costs of the Active Self Project that we deliver in partnership with South Kent Mind. The project gives people living with mental health conditions the opportunity to be active and social in a safe and caring environment.
“Despite the pandemic, I’m pleased to say that we are now back up and running. This kind donation will provide much needed funds to pay for the venue, equipment, staffing and refreshments.”