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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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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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Gold Standard!

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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.

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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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A Traveller’s Life

We had a talk from our very own Susan Treadwell last week.

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Susan has had a fascinating life in the Business Travel industry. She has spent her career managing travel arrangements for everyone from senior business managers, to the BBC and even royalty!

It sounds like the perfect job, but it is clearly extremely hard work, often involving travelling to locations around the world and working whatever hours are required to keep customers happy. Susan has spent time in locations such as Hong Kong and the Caribbean during her career. Pictured to the left is Susan in the Arctic when the temperature dropped to -34 degrees centigrade!

It was a fascinating insight into an area that most of us have experience of, albeit through our summer holidays (when we could travel!) but very few would have had any awareness of what is involved in ensuring that things go to plan. Susan was at pains to point out that arranging business travel is rather different to managing the annual trip to the sun. Nevertheless, we were fascinated to hear Susan’s stories from her many years in the business.

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World Immunisation Week, 24th – 30th April 2021

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Rotarian Maggie Hardy reports on a real good news story:

Swanage and Purbeck Rotary has supported the Global Polio Eradication Programme for many years both financially and by the attendance of three club members at a National Immunisation Day in Delhi, India. Rotary members know the power of immunisation well and are delighted that this awful virus is now only endemic in two countries but recognise that this disease is only a plane ride away so every effort must be made to continue support and completely eradicate Polio.

Over the last year S&P has raised £2,000 for Polio Eradication which is an amazing achievement during the coronavirus. This amount will be trebled by the Bill and Melinda Gate ‘s Foundation giving a sizeable donation of £6,000 to Polio eradication.

And now as Covid -19 vaccines are distributed around the world the well- established infrastructure for Polio is being used to support the pandemic with every effort being made to promote the value of immunisation/vaccination which will be highlighted with greater importance this year during World Immunisation week at the end of April. 

In S&P Rotary our support continues positively with the ‘Jab it Forward’ campaign, devised by a local Rotarian and her nephew to encourage all those who have been given their Covid vaccines by the NHS to donate the sum of £5 per vaccine to a fund aiming to provide Covid-19 vaccines to low- income nations around the world.

                                                “No one is safe until we are all safe”  

And locally Rotarians have also been supporting the Purbeck Vaccination Centre in Wareham as members of the vaccinator team working alongside many other volunteers who wish to help with the important work of Covid -19 vaccination.

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Happy Birthday Rotary!

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On February 23rd 1905, a man called Paul Harris, a lawyer in Chicago Illinois, arranged to meet up with some of his business acquaintances from the city to see what they could do to help the local community.

And so Rotary was born.

One hundred and sixteen years later, it now numbers over 1.2 million members in more than 35,000 clubs covering virtually every country of the world. And as we celebrate its birthday today, it has probably never been more relevant, supporting its local community and projects around the world through its seven areas of focus and helping to make the world a better place.

And what better way to demonstrate that in our own group than through the help that members of Swanage Rotary are providing to the COVID-19 vaccination programme. The picture above shows two members of our group – Maggie Hardy and Sue Whitton – at the Wareham Hospital vaccination centre where they have been supporting the incredible rollout to our community.

Rotary is open to anyone over the age of 18, so if you are interested in finding out more about us, what we do, the projects we’re involved in and how you can get involved, take a look at the Volunteer’ page on this website or contact our secretary.

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Learning About Recycling

Dorset Council Waste Management

We were delighted to welcome Marten Gregory, recycling Team Leader from the Commercial Waste and Strategy Team at Dorset Council, to our first get-together of 2021.

Marten presented a detailed overview of Dorset’s waste operation, explaining how many people work for the team, what it costs to manage the waste created by Dorset’s 176,000 households and how much is able to be recycled every year.

It was a fascinating insight into how much effort goes into trying to ensure that as little rubbish as possible goes into landfill. Volumes that do end up in landfill have reduced by around 90% over the past twenty years.

Dorset is very proud to have its own food waste recycling facility, near Dorchester in the Piddle Valley. Here the food waste collected undergoes a process that generates power for houses in the area. It also has its ‘We Need That’ directory, which shows which commonly thrown away items can be used by not-for-profit organisations and individuals.

Other recycling goes further afield, such as to Hampshire where Energy from Waste plants can convert it into energy and as far afield as North Wales and Tilbury, where bespoke facilities have been set up to process it safely.

There were several questions for Marten after his presentation, including whether there were plans to expand the recycling scheme to items that can’t currently be recycled and whether postcode tracking could be introduced to inject an element of competition into improved recycling in the county.

More information can be obtained from Dorset Council’s Waste Team. On behalf of Swanage Rotary, President Deirdre thanked Martin for taking time out of his busy day to speak to us.

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Festive Cheer!

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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.

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Pop In to our Pop Up

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Swanage & Purbeck Rotary have opened their very first ‘pop-up’ charity shop.

Situated in Station Road, Swanage, on the site of the former Mobility Shop, it will be open for the next two weeks (excluding Sundays) selling Christmas goodies and gift ideas.

Rotary President Steve Parsons (pictured above) was proud to officially open the shop on the morning of Thursday 3rd December. Also shown are Rotarians Maggie Hardy and Sue and Dave Whitton who look forward to welcoming everyone to the shop over the coming days.

The shop will be open from 9:30am to 2:30pm everyday except Sunday and can accept, cash, cheques, card and contactless including ApplyPay and AndroidPay.

We look forward to seeing you!