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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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Rotary Young Musician 2022

Swanage & Purbeck Rotary Charitable Incorporated Organisation are once again proud to launch their Rotary Young Musician competition.

The local heat will (hopefully!) be taking place on January 23rd 2022 (COVID permitting). Full details and entry forms are available on the Purbeck Youth Music website here.

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Celebrating the Achievements of a Difficult Year

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Disaster Response from Swanage Rotarians

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Our Rotarians getting down to work!

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.

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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.

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Rotary Young Musicians Entertain and Delight!

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Swanage & Purbeck Rotary CIO is delighted to announce the winners of its Young Musician competition. Open to all music genres, entries included a funky violin piece “Mr Kool”, a lively piano solo “Struttin’at the Waldorf”, songs from West Side Story and Les Miserables, and the winning performance from Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor. The competition was held online for the first time due to the Covid restrictions. 14 dedicated young musicians aged 8 – 18 years recorded their pieces and then uploaded them for the adjudicators to review. The whole process was masterminded by Tim Arnold.  

To celebrate their achievement, a compilation video of all the entries at local level was played via Zoom to Rotary members, participants and their parents and teachers. It is hoped that certificates will be presented in person to all participants at a celebration evening in July, at which the main winners have been invited to perform.

The winners were as follows:

KS 1-2 – INSTRUMENTAL
1st Suzanne Lejeune – piano
2nd Alfie Yew – piano
3rd Rory Kerins – violin
Highly commended – Lily Fawcett, Lily Harris, Rosie Kent and Alvin Yew

KS 3-5 – INSTRUMENTAL
1st Sally Aiko Dando – violin
2nd Nick Aiko Dando – piano
3rd Oscar Brady – piano

KS 3-5 – VOICE
1st Olivia Marcus
2nd Reuben Marcus

Sally and Nicholas were invited to go forward to the Rotary Wessex District level of the competition, and we’re delighted to announce that Sally not only won her Instrumental Class but was judged Overall Wessex District Winner too! She will now go forward to the Regional round, to be judged in June. President-Elect, Chris le Fevre, presented Sally with her District prize and certificate at Swanage Bandstand. (photos attached). Unfortunately, it was too wet for Sally to bring her violin. Sally is very excited to have been selected to compete in the next round of the Rotary Young Musician Competition 2021 and to have got a place to study violin at the Royal College of Music in September. “I’m hoping this will open doors in the future for me to one day become a professional orchestral player. After I finish college, I would like to have the opportunity to travel and give poorer communities the chance to appreciate music as I have.”

Congratulations to all the competitors for their enthusiasm and commitment during these tricky times!

Grateful thanks go, of course, to Tim for his hard work in ensuring that the competition could take place at all, to Rotarian Hilary Thraves, Swanage Rotary’s Youth Committee Chair, to our adjudicator Dilys Thomas and to all the children and their families who took part in the event and enabled us to run it despite everything that’s going on.

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Jab It Forward

Swanage and Purbeck Rotary CIO is delighted to be involved with the Jab It Forward campaign, an initiative created by an Aunt and Nephew duo Ben and Mo Andrews, aimed at helping communities in low-income countries to become vaccinated against Covid-19.

Full details are available on the campaign’s JustGiving page.

No one’s safe until we’re all safe, so please take a look and see if you can help with this very important initiative.

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Festive Cheer!

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Festive Photo

The festive season has proved to be a great success for Swanage Rotary again this year thanks to the enormous generosity of the people of Swanage, Studland, Langton, Corfe Castle and the surrounding area.

Although our usual activities had to be amended, restricted and in some cases cancelled, some lateral thinking enabled us to continue to escort Santa and deliver local Christmas cards around the area. And we were able to add the pop-up Charity shop, the Christmas Stockings initiative and preparation of the Friendly Food Club ‘Yule Log’ food bags to our programme of events, not to mention shoeboxes for less fortunate children in other parts of the world.

When Santa’s sleigh was on its travels, members of the public still came out in their droves, in a socially-distanced way of course, to see us go by and donations to good causes almost matched 2019.

The charity mail was very well supported as ever. We received, sorted and delivered over 4,000 cards to local addresses with hardly any errors (but apologies to anyone who did receive anything not addressed to them!).

The Christmas Pop-Up shop proved to be just what people were looking for in completing their Christmas shopping and we pretty much sold out in 10 days!

In the absence of the legendary Christmas Breakfast, which we simply couldn’t operate this year given the status of the pandemic, delivery of Christmas Stockings to those who would usually attend the breakfast was very well received.

And we funded and prepared fifty food bags for distribution to local families to enable them to make their own unique Friendly Food Club Yule logs in time for Christmas.

Lastly, but by no means least, even during the toughest of times, we have been able to assemble enough contents to fill 286 shoeboxes for transfer to Bournemouth Airport bound for children in Montenegro, Albania and the Philippines who would otherwise have virtually no Christmas at all.

We are extremely grateful to everyone who participated in any of our events this year. Your generosity has enabled us to raise thousands of pounds which will be distributed to many local good causes as well as to some International projects supported by the wider Rotary movement.

From all of us to all of you, we wish you a Happy New Year and hopefully a much better 2021.