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Music to Our Ears

We were delighted to resume after our summer break with a talk from Tim Arnold.

Tim has been involved for many years in the promotion of music for younger people in the Purbeck area and especially in local schools. Seeing the problems specific to our area in terms of a shortage of both teaching resources and instruments, Tim, together with representatives ‍of ‍Purbeck ‍Art ‍Weeks, ‍Swanage ‍& ‍Purbeck ‍Rotary, ‍the ‍Purbeck ‍Instrument ‍Loan ‍Scheme ‍and ‍other ‍educational ‍organisations, has set up Purbeck Youth Music in order to try and help and encourage young people in our area to take up music.

And early results are very encouraging. To date there has been a healthy take up by youngsters interested in leaning brass instruments which has resulted in a series of brass beginner groups. There are now plans for similar presentations for strings and woodwind to schools across the Purbeck area throughout the autumn.

Tim’s passion is very apparent and it is hoped that this initiative will help to stop the decline in young people taking up music in our area and identify hidden talent that can be nurtured in the years ahead.

Anyone interested in learning more about PYM and how they may be able to help should go to their website for more information.

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“Rotary In Action” Helping the Pakistan Floods

We’ve all been hearing on the news about the devastating floods that have hit Pakistan in recent days.

And this is where Rotary comes into its own.

Through its partnership with ShelterBox (who provide boxes similar to those shown in the picture which can provide temporary shelter and support for up to 10 people) aid can be provided extremely quickly to areas that desperately need it. ShelterBox works with Rotary clubs local to the area where the help is needed to deploy these boxes.

And thanks to the support that we have received from the Swanage and Purbeck community through events such as our Christmas activities and the recent Summer Fête, Swanage and Purbeck Rotary CIO (the fundraising arm of Swanage and Purbeck Rotary) have been able to fund three ShelterBoxes for urgent deployment to the devastated area.

Thank you all, from the bottom of our hearts, for enabling us to be able to demonstrate Rotary In Action. 

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Summer Fête Hotspot!

President Chris LeFevre reports on a scorching hot day in Sandpit Field:

After a two year absence, we were delighted to hold our Summer Fête and Craft Fair on Sandpit Field on Thursday 11th August.

Temperatures were very high, but despite this we had a steady flow of visitors enjoying the wide range of stalls and entertainment on offer.

These included traditional favourites such as hoop-la and the tombola, as well as more recent innovations such as the Cornhole game.

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The refreshment tent and BBQ were on hand to sustain those attending and other options included vegan soups, craft coffee and, of course, Purbeck Ice Cream!

There were plenty of crafts on display too, as well as the ever-popular Boutique In A Bus.

Charities presenting included Sustainable Swanage, Planet Purbeck and the RNLI.

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There was no shortage of entertainment either. Kevin Burke did his magic show (when he wasn’t striding around the field on stilts!) and music was provided by Karen Grant, local musicians Jurassic Roll’n Roll and the Ukulele Band.

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The Grand Raffle was drawn towards the end of the day, with prizes, most of which were kindly donated by our Business Partners and other local organisations, presented to the lucky winners. Those winners not present will find their prizes delivered to them in the coming days.

All proceeds from this event provide valuable funds for the many good causes that we are supporting.

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Our most grateful thanks go to all those who have helped to support the fête this year, including Friends of Rotary, Business Partners, Harman’s Cross Fête Committee members and, of course, the members of our Rotary Group. Here’s to next year!

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The Road Ahead

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It’s that time of year when we start to look at our targets and objectives for the new Rotary year, which begins on July 1st.

The group holds an ‘Assembly’ every June to identify the events that the CIO plans to run and the areas that it would like to support, assuming we are able to raise the funds to do so, in 2022/23. These include:

  • The Rotary fete on August 11 2022
  • The Young Musicians competition for school children
  • Help with the Friendly Food Club
  • Environmental projects including helping Greengage and restoring the Rotary garden
  • A host of Christmas events including the street market, Santa’s sleigh and charity Christmas mail
  • Christmas shoeboxes for deprived children in parts of the world less privileged than our own
  • A pop up shop to raise funds for various international projects including Rotary’s disaster relief charities, Shelterbox, WaterAid and the people of Ukraine 
  • Support for pre-school and primary schools in Swanage and surrounding villages
  • A range of projects with Swanage School
  • Initiatives to help local children get involved with various sports clubs
  • Silver Saturday – an afternoon of fun and refreshment for Swanage’s older residents

We look forward to seeing our wonderful local community at many of the events and sincerely hope that we will be able to raise the funds required to fulfil these plans.

Anyone who would like to know more about the group, what we do and how they can get involved can contact us via email here.

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A Jubilee To Remember!

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The Platinum Jubilee weekend brought the best out of Swanage and Rotary was right there to help the weekend go with a bang!

From preparing food and delivering it to the site of the Street Party on Friday 3rd June (at 6:30am!) to stewarding both ends of the High Street to manning the Corfe Castle event on Sunday 5th June, Swanage and Purbeck Rotarians were hard at it to ensure that all the hard work that had been done by the Platinum Jubilee Committee, under the leadership of Linda Welsh, went like clockwork.

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As ever, the unflappable Sue Whitton was at the forefront of the Rotary element of the organisation, with David Pike jumping to the rescue when it was discovered that the street party was short of bread and ham!

The event was extremely well organised with as many people in the town on the Friday as many people could remember.

Celebrations continued in Corfe Castle on the Sunday with the gathering at the Millennium Sports Field in West Street, where people were invited to bring their own picnics. Entertainment was provided.

It was certainly a weekend that will remain long in people’s memories.

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Foody Fun!

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Maggie Hardy reports on a fun morning of food preparation:

The Friendly Food Club, supported and funded by Swanage & Purbeck Rotary, held an event in partnership with the Swanage and Purbeck Development Trust at Herston Village Hall this week.

Fifteen youngsters and their parents and carers attended to prepare and enjoy a delicious vegetable stew and some chocolate cornflake baskets.

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In addition to the food, Kim Gallagher provided a craft session just before lunch while the food was cooking. Judging by the amount of chocolate that ended up everywhere at the end (!) everyone present thoroughly enjoyed the day.

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Silver Celebration

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Good food and good company!

Saturday 26th February was the date that ‘Silver Saturday’ returned to Swanage, celebrating the older generation in our community.

An annual gathering before the pandemic, we were delighted to once again welcome more than 50 people to Emmanuel Baptist Church in Victoria Avenue, where they enjoyed afternoon tea and company.

This was exactly what everyone had been looking for after the last couple of years and the atmosphere was great with everyone getting involved and catching up.

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President of Swanage Rotary Deirdre Selwyn and President-Elect Chris LeFevre cut a cake to celebrate Rotary’s birthday and there was some excellent musical entertainment to round the afternoon off.

We hope that everyone present enjoyed themselves and we are already looking forward to next year.

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Christmas Stockings Cheer for Local Residents

Christmas Stockings!

To replace the popular Rotary Christmas Day Breakfast which again was cancelled as a result of Covid, Swanage & Purbeck Rotary members ‘stepped up’ to bring some cheer to residents in Purbeck who were spending Christmas Day on their own.

Some 34 Christmas Stockings, stuffed full of festive goodies, were personally delivered over the Christmas weekend.

We could only achieve this through those Rotary members who went above and beyond to help with the distribution of the stockings, and our grateful thanks also go to the following people and local organisations who made this possible :

The Barnett Family

Nicola Morgan

Chococo

Inner Wheel

Budgens

Corbens Estate Agents

WH Smith.

Thank you all for helping to make the season so much better for those recipients of the stockings.

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Wonderful Christmastime!

The beautiful Charity Shop window

“December will be Magic Again” is what Kate Bush sang back in 1983, and for Swanage & Purbeck Rotary it’s December 2021 that’s been magic thanks to the activities of its Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO – the club’s fundraising arm) during the month.

From the pop-up shop in Station Road, to the Christmas Market, the Charity Mail to Santa’s Sleigh, our wonderful local community has stepped forward and supported the CIO’s fundraising activities in a quite phenomenal way.

The shop started back in November selling books and bric-a-brac before opening its Christmas door at the beginning of December. We have been delighted with the response from the community, who flocked to the shop and quickly snapped up virtually everything we had for sale. Last year was the first time we had tried to run the shop and the funds raised this year have smashed through what we already thought was a good year in 2020.

Swanage Christmas Market

On 4th December the CIO, after an enforced year’s absence, was once again able to run the popular Swanage Christmas Market in Station Road and despite forecasts of strong winds the day turned out to be beautifully clear and sunny with less strong winds, resulting in hundreds of people coming down to sample what was on offer. All the traders who spoke to us told us how pleased they were to be able to take part in the event again and it was great success.

Hard at work with the Charity Mail!

The CIO also ran the Charity Mail service, with offices in Swanage town centre, Studland and Langton accepting Christmas cards for local addresses and personally delivering them during the third week of the month. Our members and volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure that everything given to us was correctly sorted and delivered in plenty of time.

Santa & Elves at the Co-Op

And, of course, Santa came to town and spent almost three weeks travelling around Swanage, Herston, Langton Matravers and Corfe Castle (in association with Crazy4Corfe) with his elves, bringing happiness and joy to local residents and handing out sweets to the children. The reaction of local residents to the sleigh has been amazing and enabled the CIO, again, to break all records for fundraising.

Getting those Yellow Food Bags delivered!

As well as all that, we have been able to recommence our support of the Friendly Food Club. Our Youth committee was able to provide 149 Christmas food bags for local pre-schools, following on from the efforts that took place at the start of the pandemic in providing ingredients and preparation instructions for local people to cook wholesome festive meals for their families.

We never cease to be amazed by the support we get from our community, and we are incredibly grateful to you all for the way that you help us to help those less fortunate, not only in our local community but also in national funding initiatives in the UK and across the world with campaigns such as JabItForward, which has helped to fund COVID-19 vaccinations to poorer countries and End Polio Now, aiming to finally eradicate polio from the world.

From all of us in Swanage & Purbeck Rotary, and our lovely friends, volunteers and Business Partners, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and the hope that 2022 will be a better year for us all.

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Swanage Linking Lives bringing Christmas Joy