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Rotary finances van for Essex food bank

Rotary finances van for Essex food bank

Rotarians in Essex have come up with some creative ways of fundraising in order to support a town’s food bank.

Earlier this month, David King, President of Colchester Rotary Club, handed over the keys of a van to Michael Beckett CEO of Colchester Foodbank. 

The Colchester food bank van funded by Rotary

Over the winter period, when the club’s only legitimate outings involved exercise, Rotarians took part in a walk to raise funds to purchase the van. 

Cumulatively they walked mileage equivalent to walking to their sister Rotary Clubs in Germany and Holland and then continued with a distance equivalent to walking around England.

The food bank distributes more than 15,000 carrier bags a year in the Colchester area, and without a van we would not be able to do that.”

Thanks to the generosity of the walkers’ friends and colleagues, more than £5,000 was raised to help purchase the van. 

“The food bank distributes more than 15,000 carrier bags a year in the Colchester area, and without a van we would not be able to do that,” said Michael Beckett. “We are hugely grateful to The Rotary Club of Colchester.” 

This latest donation forms part of more than £20,000 which the Colchester club has distributed to 35 local good causes over the last 15 months. 

President David said that he was very proud of the work that Rotarians do which relies on the support of the public whose generosity continues to amaze. 


Winchester Rotary has followed along similar lines by presenting the Ugandan-based Great Lakes Peace Centre (GLPC) with a new minibus.

The peace centre is based in Kasese in the West of Uganda. Although a lot of work is carried out in the city, probably more important is their work serving the villages and outlying districts, which are even more needy by comparison. 

The new mini bus at Ugandan-based Great Lakes Peace Centre funded by Rotary

GLPC launched an appeal a few months ago to fund a minibus which they acquired at a very reasonable figure for a new vehicle of £6,500. This vehicle will last them for some time at a minimal cost for maintenance and repair.

The funds were raised by the brilliant efforts of a number of Rotarians in Winchester Rotary as well as a few other supporters contributing through Winchester Rotary.

The new sign-printed minibus at Ugandan-based Great Lakes Peace Centre

These were matched by a District Grant from Rotary District 1110 and a very generous contribution from Bramhall and Woodford Rotary from Cheshire, which also has links with Kasese.

The balance was made up by the Rotary Club of Kasese Snow Peaks of which the Executive Director, Farouk Kibaba, is the Founding President. 

In the early stages of lockdown last year, Farouk was stranded for three months in Winchester, while on a visit to take part in a conference cancelled at short notice.  He consequently made many friends in Winchester Rotary!

The bus has been sign-printed for the centre so will be a prominent feature in the local community. 


Over the last 10 years, East Sutherland Rotary has showcased the wonderful scenery and the dramatic roads that weave through the Highland Glens to great effect by running a Classic Car Tour which has raised around £70,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

East Sunderland Rotary Classic Car Tour to raise funds for Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Last year’s car tour was cancelled because of COVID-19, but last month 60 cars left Dornoch Courthouse in Sutherland in carefully controlled conditions, winding their way over the Struie to Strathpeffer before taking the road to the Isles.

East Sutherland Rotary President, Alistair Risk, and Dornoch Provost Paddy Murray hope that £10,000 will have been raised on the outing.


When community charity the Perth Festival of the Arts was faced with Covid restrictions in May 2021, they turned to Rotary to help with an alternative event – an outdoor Drive-in cinema on the grounds of Scone Palace, just outside Perth.

This was a large-scale event over three days with eight full-length feature films being shown. 

Volunteers from Perth Rotary at the Perth Festival of the Arts outdoor Drive-in cinema

The three Perth Rotary clubs; Perth, Perth Kinnoull and Perth St Johns, pooled their resources under the umbrella of Rotary in Perth. This is a vision which the clubs’ Presidents have been working on for some time as the public perception of three clubs in one small city is difficult to get across. 

Rotary is about serving our community and our members turned out in force to help Perth Festival of the Art try something different in spite of the Covid restrictions.”

The volunteers braved the Scottish summer elements of freezing wind on the Friday night and then lots of showers and rain on Saturday and Sunday. 

The Presidents of the three Clubs, Shona Weir, Joe Cairns and Chris Kirk, said: “Rotary in Perth was delighted to help Perth Festival of the Arts at this event. 

“Rotary is about serving our community and our members turned out in force to help Perth Festival of the Art try something different in spite of the Covid restrictions.”