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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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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.

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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!

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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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Inspirational!

This week we heard from Ella Beaumont, formerly a member of the Team GB wheelchair basketball team and now a producer of wheelchair-fit videos and a researcher for TV production company Whisper.

Ella has been paralysed from the chest down since birth but her ‘joie de vivre’ is inspirational. She explained how she had been encouraged by her parents to get involved with something active despite her disability. Wheelchair basketball was purely a leisure activity for her and some friends until she was spotted by a coach from the GB team who invited her to come along to a training session. This lead to her representing Great Britain at the World Championships in Canada and the European Championships in Germany amongst other events. She was also one of the torch bearers for the London Olympics in 2012.

At the same time, she was undertaking a Sports Coaching Science with Disability Studies degree at the University of Worcester and ultimately decided to focus on her studies rather than competing. On completing the degree she spent time coaching at her local club but has also moved into a career in television production, which has enabled her to travel around the world to events such as the Rio Olympics and Paralympics.

When the UK was put into lockdown in March 2020, Ella was disappointed to find out that there was very little available online for disabled people looking to maintain their fitness. So she launched her own YouTube channel and started making her own ‘Wheelchair Workouts’. These have proved extremely popular and lead to her featuring on BBC Newsbeat as well as being approached by disability charities and gyms from around the country.

On behalf of the club, Rotarian Ro Clark proposed a vote of thanks to Ella for a really uplifting talk and we hope that she will be able to come down and see us in person when we are all able to meet up again in the future.