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New Year New Us!

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As part of a move to embrace new functionality available to Swanage & Purbeck Rotary, we are in the process of migrating to a new website.

All our future news updates will therefore be posted on our new website and you can access them via this link.

We look forward to providing everyone with an ever more enhanced latest news and update service going forward.

See you there!

blog Events

Burns Night Festivities

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For the second year running, club members and guests met up to commemorate the life and times of the infamous Robbie Burns.

Enjoying the atmosphere!

As last year, the venue was The New Inn at Church Knowle, where the landlord and his staff laid on a superb occasion.

With the bagpipes ringing out as we arrived, members and guests started the evening socialising with a drink, but soon enough we were encouraged to take our seats and the evening proper began.

Following a starter of chicken and vegetable broth followed by grilled herring, the main event was the ode to the haggis, delivered immaculately by the host, dressed in all his finery, with some gusto (and a ‘wee dram’ of whisky, of course!)  

After the ‘dedication’ we all enjoyed the main course, including the traditional neeps and tatties , and dessert of either cranachan or clootie dumpling.

Washed down with a shot of Drambuie, the rest of the evening was spent socialising and reminiscing.

All agreed it was an excellent evening and grateful thanks go to Jenny Hynan for organising us all!

blog Members

LIfetime Achievement for One of our Own

Sue (right) at the Rotary Summer Fête 2023
Sue (right) at the Rotary Summer Fête 2023

One of our hardest working Rotarians has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award.

Sue Whitton (pictured above with Swanage & Purbeck Rotary President Elect Maggie Hardy), a Rotarian since August 2006, was presented with the award at the recent Swanage Community Awards, held on the evening of Friday 19th January at The Centre in Chapel Lane.

Many will know Sue from her catering for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Street Party in 2022, but she has also catered for the Summer Community Fête, the Rotary Pop-Up Christmas shop and Silver Saturday amongst many other fundraising events.

Read more about Sue and the awards at here.

blog Members

St Mary’s School Taking the Initiative

Our first speaker of 2024 was Becky Mateau from St Mary’s Primary School in Swanage.

At our January speaker meeting at Swanage Sailing Club, Becky explained how the school actively promotes a sustainable agenda for its pupils and encourage them to think more about how they can contribute to their local environment. At the same time, it works closely with a school in Uganda to identify areas where it can provide help and support. 

The talk demonstrated well how it’s never too early to get involved in thinking about others and how words can be transferred into action. There were a number of questions from the floor and everyone present felt suitably well informed. 

President Chris thanked Becky for an excellent presentation and we hope to be able to pursue further opportunities with the school in the future.


Christmas Delights

We’ve had a lot of fun in December, with the usual fantastic support from our loyal and supportive community.

Events including the Swanage Christmas Market, Santa’s Sleigh, our Pop Up Christmas Shop and Charity mail have all been taking place over the course of the month. Read more about how they all went here.

blog Rotary Announcements

Partnership with ShelterBox

We’re delighted and honoured to have been awarded Gold Partnership status by ShelterBox for the fundraising that we have been able to carry out with our community and as a club.

Swanage and Purbeck Rotary is one of just 17 Gold Partner clubs.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the support of our wonderful local community who have turned out time and time again to support our fundraising efforts. In particular, recent appeals for help with victims of the war in Ukraine and the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria generated a truly amazing response and has contributed heavily to the funds that we have been able to donate.

From us to you all, many thanks for your ongoing support to the millions of people who are suffering around the world and would be in an even worse situation without your support.


Seeking Talented Young Musicians

Once again we are looking for the local musicians of the future through the local heat of the Rotary Young Musician competition.

Click here for all the details

blog Members

Recognising Long Service

Three long standing members of Swanage & Purbeck Rotary have been recognised for their service.

Doug Quayle has completed 25 years service to Rotary, David Pike more than 35 years and Mick Beck over 40 years.

All three were awarded long service certificates by Club President Dai Hounsell at our recent speaker meeting at Swanage Sailing Club and at home.

David will be familiar to many as the ‘techie’ often seen clambering around stage setups for events such as the Summer Fête and Christmas Market, as well as helping Santa with his sleigh.

Mick has been a stalwart of the December programme, often acting as the sorting office for the Christmas Mail as well as being involved in many roles within the club over the years including auditor and committee chair and member of many of the club’s committees.

Doug has had input into many areas of the club over the years, in particular the Christmas market.

Their recognition is well deserved and they are an inspiration to us all, but we hope they’re not finished yet as their wealth of experience will continue to be invaluable to the club as we go forward.

blog Rotary Announcements

Assistance for Moroccan Earthquake and Libyan Floods

We’re sure that everyone has been shocked at the enormous impact of the earthquake in Morocco and the devastating floods in Libya, where the number of deaths is multiplying almost by the hour.

Swanage & Purbeck Rotary CIO is well aware of the requirement to act quickly in situations like this, as was the case previously for the Türkiye / Syria disaster, and made a decision this week to fund up to five ShelterBoxes (such as the one pictured above) from its own funds (some of which were raised at the recent Summer Fête).
You can see more of the work that ShelterBox are already doing in the affected areas here and on their YouTube channel here.

If you would like to contribute to this initiative, please scan the QR code below where you can donate directly to our fundraising effort.

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The Shelterbox charity, originally founded by a Rotary club in Cornwall, is always one of the first organisations to get to disaster zones when they happen around the word, and the boxes can literally be lifesavers in the first few days following an event such as an earthquake or flood.

Please give whatever you can to help.

blog Rotary Announcements

Rotary Honours Community Contributors

President Dai Hounsell reports on a day of celebration:


At the Swanage Bandstand last Saturday (19th August), two townspeople were honoured by Swanage & Purbeck Rotary for their invaluable contributions to the community. 

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One was Alan Houghton, who has led with great energy and thoughtfulness the appeal for funds to restore the Bandstand to its former glory.  The Bandstand, now meticulously renovated in its original Edwardian colours, has become once again one of the iconic sights of our seaside town, and fondly cherished by the local community. 

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The other was David Cook, highly accomplished leader and conductor for many years of the acclaimed Swanage Town Band, which brings together talented local musicians of all ages. This summer, as in previous years, the Band has performed a series of public concerts on the Bandstand, regularly attracting large and appreciative audiences. 

Both men were presented with the Paul Harris Fellowship, an international Rotary award for distinction in services to the community. The Fellowships were presented by Dai Hounsell, President of Swanage and Purbeck Rotary, and the Chair of its Paul Harris Fellowships Panel, Vice-President Maggie Hardy .