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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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Festive Cheer!

Festive Photo
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.