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.
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.
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
Corbens Estate Agents
Thank you all for helping to make the season so much better for those recipients of the stockings.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since the beginning of 2021, our two ‘Angels of Mercy’ Maggie Hardy and Sue Whitton have stepped up to help in the mass vaccination programme at Wareham hospital.
In the period between January and October they have vaccinated an incredible 4,250 patients, protecting those individuals and the wider community from the threat of COVID-19.
Maggie and Sue are both retired medical professionals who have selflessly put themselves forward to help protect our community and justifiably have been awarded Gold Medals and Certificates for their superb efforts.
Here at Swanage & Purbeck Rotary we are very proud of Maggie and Sue and would like to add our own congratulations to them both.
Every year we hold our Presentation Night to recognise those people and organisations who have helped us and supported our activities, and who we have supported through donations and other forms of assistance.
Delayed this year due to COVID-19 restrictions that were in place in June, we were eventually able to hold our event on 29th September in The Mowlem Theatre with Rotarians Past and Present and representatives from many of those organisations and good causes.
Also present was our Assistant District Governor Roz Scammell, who is also a Past President of Bournemouth Rotary.
President Deirdre opened proceedings with an overview of the year to the end of June 2021 accompanied by a slide show highlighting the activities and events that we had been able to run. Each of the club’s committee chairs then gave a brief overview of the areas that they were responsible for and the wide range of activities that have taken place despite the restrictions that we have all been under.
It was then time to present prestigious Paul Harris Fellowships (PHF), the “gold medal” of Rotary, to those individuals who have gone above and beyond in our community. We were delighted to present PHFs to Dave Whitton, for his tireless fundraising over many years and Frank Roberts, who leads the Swanage Army Link group that goes out in all weathers to keep our community litter free.
Following these formalities, a splendid buffet had been put on, allowing those present to chat and network with each other and enjoy the lovely views afforded by the venue.
Swanage & Purbeck Rotary is proud of its fast response to disasters around the world when they happen.
So when the earthquake hit Haiti last week, it was “all systems go” to try and do something to help.
Thanks to Dorset Council granting us a Street Collection Licence in double-quick time, we were out in Station Road Swanage on 24th August collecting money for a ShelterBox to help those in Haiti who are in dire need.
The ShelterBox charity provides equipment that enables up to 10 people to have shelter and basic equipment to be able to survive the aftermath of a natural disaster until more permanent help is able to be provided. More details about the charity is available on their website.
Each ShelterBox is numbered so that they can be tracked wherever they go around the world and organisations like Rotary who raise funding for them can see exactly where the money that they have raised has gone.
We were also indebted (as always) to Corbens Estate Agents, who once again offered to take donations in envelopes on our behalf. Total funding raised from the day so far is almost £900, from both cash and card donations, which is a fantastic achievement and we are incredibly grateful to the generous Swanage residents and visitors to our town who gave so willingly.
Grateful thanks also go to Rotarian Maggie Hardy who co-ordinated the day and to our Rotarians and friends who turned out on the day to help collect.
Swanage Cricket Club held their Presentation and Fun Day on Sunday 15th August. Part of the event was to present medals for all the younger members and Swanage and Purbeck Rotary was delighted to be able to sponsor these.
The photograph above, courtesy of the cricket club, shows the youngsters proudly showing their medals and certificates. It is heartening to see so many young people showing such an interest in the club and in cricket. Who knows, we may have an England star of the future amongst this group?
The club is thriving at all levels and more details about its activities are available on its website via this link.