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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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Innovative Rotary

We used the opportunity of Zoom to re-run the presentation from Australian Rotarian Mark Huddleston, originally shown at the Virtual District Conference in October.

Mark is a renowned strategist, commentator, presenter and trainer in membership development and has very defined views on the future of Rotary, from the experience of his own club Seaford.

His views are of particular interest to Swanage & Purbeck, being, as it is, a seaside club within a similar population as our own. Mark was instrumental in the creation of the Seaford club as he couldn’t see the required level of change in his previous club and decided to create a new club.

it was comforting to see that many of the initiatives that Mark introduced have already been adopted by Swanage & Purbeck or are in the process of being adopted, including the concept of Business Partners, for which we are always grateful, including family and friends in our projects and activities and ensuring that our website and social media outlets are active.

There were many areas that we could embrace too, however, and we will be using the current situation where we are only able to undertake most of our activities online, to look at what we can do when we come out of the other side of the pandemic.

We are really interested in the views of those not yet members of our group, so if anyone has any ideas or suggestions on how we can innovate and change the way we do things we would warmly welcome them.

As always, anyone wishing to find out more about the Swanage & Purbeck Rotary group can contact our secretary for more information.

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No Ferry? No problem – Crowds flock to Rotary Fête

The well-reported problems with the ferry proved no concern for the annual Swanage & Purbeck Rotary Summer Fête, supported by our Business Partners, as crowds flocked to Sandpit Field to see the numerous stalls, entertainment and activities on offer.

From our major charity for this year Julia’s House and other local charities and good causes, to the ‘Boutique in a Bus’, there was a multitude of things to see and do. In the craft tent, there was a wide variety of stalls selling jewellery, clothing, works of art and other crafts. As ever, the refreshment tent, selling sandwiches, ploughman’s lunches, tea, coffee and cakes, proved very popular as did the barbeque which had a steady queue for burgers, sausages, bacon baps and, new this year, Portobello mushrooms.

There was no shortage of entertainment either. Curley the Busker started proceedings with a couple of sets incorporating 50’s, 60’s and 70’s classics, following which Kevin Burke did his magic show to an enthusiastic reception from the gathered crowd. Jurassic Rock and Roll, all musicians local to the area, rocked the field in the early afternoon and Karen G completed the line up with a selection of familiar and classic tunes.

Later in the morning, the Novelty Dog Show was a very competitive affair with winners claiming prizes for titles including prettiest bitch and waggiest tail and in the afternoon, the children’s games took place with several competitions keeping the children active and entertained.

Towards the end of the afternoon, the Grand Draw took place, with more than twenty prizes, nearly all of which were kindly donated by local people and organisations, being handed out to the lucky winners.

The weather just about held for the event and Club President Steve Parsons thanked everyone for coming and supporting the event and the Grand Draw, all the proceeds from which will provide valuable funds for many local good causes. More photographs from the day are available on our Facebook page.

Next year’s event will take place on Thursday 6th August 2020. Make sure it’s in your diary!

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Fun in the Park

More than 30 local groups, charities and good causes joined Swanage & Purbeck Rotary in King George’s Field this weekend to raise awareness of all the fantastic activities that are available to our community.

Coupled with the Swanage Classic Car Rally, taking place in the adjacent Main Beach Car Park, hundreds of local residents, and some visitors to the town, came to take a look at the various stalls, activities, fun and games taking place.

The weather was dry and largely fine, allowing people to circulate around the the range of organisations represented. Interspersing the day was an interactive display from Herston Hall Zumba, Swanage Town Band and the group Singing for Pleasure in the performance area, which attracted good audiences during their performances.

A Treasure Hunt attracted many children of all ages, who explored the field for clues to a list of questions and were rewarded for their efforts with prizes of sweets, drinks, pens and baseball caps.

Rotary Community and Vocation Chair Maggie Hardy declared the day a huge success and it is hoped that this can become a regular event. Rotarian Dai Hounsell from the Community and Vocational Committee was delighted with the response from Swanage residents to this initiative.

Grateful thanks goes to Swanage Town Council and Swanage Development Trust for their help and support in enabling this event to take place.

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Diamond Geezers!

The great and the good from Swanage and Purbeck, including Club members, Business Partners, Friends of Rotary, Past members and other Rotary clubs assembled at the Knoll House Hotel on Wednesday 20th March to celebrate the Club’s 60th Charter.

Amongst those present to commemorate all those years of fun, fellowship and service to the local community were our mother club Bournemouth, our daughter club Wareham and representatives of seven other Rotary clubs. We were honoured to also welcome RIBI National President Debbie Hodge and District 1110 Governor Allan Smith to the event as well as Swanage Town Mayor Mike Bonfield.

President Elect Steve Parsons and Teresa with Roy & Jill Parkinson and Dick & Julie Mattick from Swindon Old Town (Steve’s former club)

RIBI President Debbie, proposing a toast to the club, spoke warmly about the Club’s history and achievements. In response, PDG David Pike further detailed some of the more memorable events from the club’s past. Then Club President Linda Winter, proposing a toast to the guests, explained how important the local community and visitors to our community are to the club’s ongoing success.

District Governor Allan Smith responded on behalf of the guests and highlighted the important place that Swanage & Purbeck Rotary holds in the life of District 1110.

The event was a joyous occasion and we were delighted to welcome so many people to join our celebration. More photographs are available on our Facebook page


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Bringing Joy to Others at Christmas

Club members were delighted to welcome around 30 local residents to the United Reformed Church on Christmas morning for breakfast.

This annual event has been running for many years and is always a very happy occasion, with a full English breakfast being served, accompanied by the Buckle family playing Christmas carols and songs. President Linda Winter welcomed everyone and Town Mayor Mike Bonfield also said a few words of welcome to those present.

And despite a very busy night, Santa found time to make an appearance, handing out small gifts as people were leaving.

We extend our most grateful thanks to  Budgens, the Co-Op and Costcutters for proving the food and to our Business Partners and supporters for all their help in organising this event. More photographs can be found on Facebook.

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Merry Christmas!

It’s been a busy few weeks for Swanage & Purbeck Rotary.

The Annual Christmas Street Market on the 8th was again a great success. Over 50 stalls braved the rather windy weather and the threat of rain, and were rewarded by being well supported by the local community.

Either side of that, Santa and his sleigh have been touring Swanage, Langton and Corfe Castle over a 16 day period from 3rd. Large groups of children came out in all weathers to see him and there were plenty of sweets to go round! Keep an eye out for the winner of the Giant Hamper, which is being drawn at Hays Travel on the afternoon of 22nd December from the free raffle tickets that were handed out on the sleigh’s rounds and which have been entered into the draw. It could be you!

At the same time, our Christmas post service has been operating over the first half of December, and we have hand delivered over 4,000 cards to local addresses in the run up to Christmas.

In total, we have raised thousands of pounds for Rotary-supported projects and our grateful thanks go to everyone who has supported, attended and contributed to our events.

We will once again be running our breakfast on Christmas morning, for people who will be on their own and who have registered to attend. This is always a happy and joyful event that we all look forward to.

We would like to thank our wonderful Business Partners for their fantastic and ongoing support of our activities, and we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Successful 2019.

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Pirate Invasion a Roaring Success

The much anticipated arrival of swarms of Pirates over the Bank Holiday weekend, coupled with magnificent weather that was not forecast, made the Third Purbeck Pirate Festival a huge success.

Basking in almost wall-to-wall sunshine, events on Sandpit Field, as well as the Pirate Parades through the town and the skirmishes on Monkey Beach, kept thousands of visitors entertained throughout the weekend.

Rotary ran their hoop-la and darts stall in the main arena, raising several hundred pounds for good causes, and were also involved in marshalling the parades on the Saturday and Sunday.

A huge effort by the members of the Rotary Club eGroup ensured that the weekend ran
perfectly and grateful thanks are also due to Rotarian Deirdre Selwyn who co-ordinated the organisers brilliantly and the ever-present Rotarian David Pike.

Roll on next year’s event me hearties!

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Partners in Fundraising

Club was delighted to welcome two of our business partners to this week’s meeting, to tell us more about themselves and their businesses.

Gary Buglass from Bipcom Voice & Data Solutions addressed the meeting first, and told us about his background, from winning a cooking award when he was younger (possibly a missed opportunity?) to his passion for sailing which continues to this day.

Gary’s business installs telecom systems for a multitude of corporations up and down the country, including some overseas, offering tailored services to suit individual needs. Gary summarised the myriad of options (and price ranges) available across the market (with some recommendations of what to avoid!) and explained how Bipcom are different, and how they use Cloud technology to ensure that businesses can operate optimally going forward. Software provision is also part of the offering, which dovetails neatly with the rest of the technology on offer. At the end of his address, Gary took a number of questions from the floor. See here for more details about Bipcom.

David And Kathy Suruki relocated to Dorset from Los Angeles in California to take over as managers of the Isle of Purbeck Golf Club a little over one and a half years ago. They have made strenuous efforts to get the club to the place where they wanted to get it, including making it a friendlier and more inclusive place. The club has now introduced quiz nights, film nights, evening dinners and more, all aimed at getting more people to come even if they aren’t golfers.

Early signs are very encouraging and they have received many compliments from people who had never been up to the club before. By their own admission, however, it has been hard work and quite a steep learning curve, from driving on the other side of the road to moving from a huge city to a small community. David and Kathy took several questions from the floor. More information is available from Isle of Purbeck Golf Club.

President John thanked both Business Partners for addressing the club.